March 13, 1941

NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

So does everybody else.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   WHEAT POLICY AND IMPLEMENTING LEGISLATION -WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I leave it to the house itself to say whether the word I have used was or was not fair. I am not saying the hon. member is obstructing. We will judge the significance of his words by the action of himself and his followers in connection with the measure itself.

But what I would wish to point out to my hon. friend is this, that I do not believe he has any right, any more than I have, to seek to control actual discussion in this house ' on any matter. And when he says that he will undertake-

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The Prime Minister has already taken that right.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

When he undertakes to say that the debate on agriculture is going to be restricted, I hope he has the authority of hon. members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the Social Credit groups-

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

No.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

-to say that they are prepared to restrict the time to be given to that discussion. Unless he is in a position to speak for the whole house, then what he has said now is wholly devoid of merit.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, certainly there has been no consultation with the group I represent in regard to this matter. But I should like to say this, if I may, while I am on my feet, that I believe to a large extent the government itself is responsible for this situation. Had the debate been organized in a different manner the ministers might have been relieved of constant attendance in this chamber. Had we had a 'break-down of the amounts of moneys to be appropriated, by departments, and gone into the amounts by departments, all the ministers w'ould not have found it necessary to remain here continuously.

Let me say that in these days I sympathize with the ministers; I think it is just too bad that they have to sit in this chamber-all of them-each afternoon. I suggest that the Prime Minister again consider the system followed in the British House of Commons, that of having under-secretaries who may take the places of the ministers in dealing with matters such as these.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I say to my hon. friend that I do not believe the house would be satisfied with answers from under-secretaries with respect to questions in

connection with this measure. May I say further to him that from the point of view of the minister's time, and the giving of information to the house which the house wishes to have in an authoritative way, the minister is in a much better position to do this himself than he would be by trying to indicate to another member of the house what he should say in reply to the different questions which may be asked.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

Then the debate, I submit, ought to be organized in a different manner-if I may make that suggestion.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):

With respect to what has been said as to the organization of the debate, may I point this out to the house. When the Minister of Finance introduced the resolution, immediately speeches started on aircraft production and continued for about a week and a half. In fact, the Minister of National War Services fairly had to force himself into the debate in order to make a statement as to the activities of his department. I had about the same thing the other day, in response to the speech made by the hon. member for Hastings-Peterborough. It was not a matter of organization at all. It has been a matter of the ministers having come on as rapidly as they could. And then, even after the statement from my department had been made, there was a reversion to the matter of aircraft production. I suggest that the members of the committee themselves are the ones responsible for the course the debate has taken.

Mr. KARL K. HOMUTH (Waterloo South): In view of what the Prime Minister has just said, may I ask him if it would not be possible, when ministers rise in the committee to explain the activities of their departments, to break diown the expenditures which have been allotted to them in the appropriation bill? Only yesterday the Minister of Labour spoke; there is an amount 'here of over $4,000,000 for the Department of Labour, yet not one explanation was given the house as to why that money is needed. Certainly when ministers rise in their places they ought to give us a break-down showing what the moneys are wanted for.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am afraid

I cannot answer my hon. friend's question as to what each individual minister will do. I have no doubt that all my colleagues will be anxious to oblige both the hon. gentleman who has just spoken and other hon. gentlemen.

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NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. PIOMUTH:

Why not do it voluntarily?

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

I want to add just a word about the matter

Business of the House

of the introduction of a supplementary to the appropriation bill. The leader of the opposition said he was very much surprised that it had not been introduced before this. The amount to be 'asked for in the bill will be substantial, and' the nearer to the end of the fiscal year the bill is introduced, the more accurate the amount will be. It is for that reason that the introduction of the supplementary war appropriation bill for the current fiscal year is being left until we have disposed of this bill.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I should like to direct the attention of the Prime Minister to a statement with respect to this matter which he made on Wednesday, February 26. We had been discussing the war appropriation measure, and at the end of the day I asked what would be the business for the day following, that is Thursday, February 27. The Prime Minister said:

To-morrow Mr. Speaker leaves the chair without question put on going into committee of supply, so we will take up supply, I hope at an early stage in the proceedings, the supply being that of the Minister of Justice and later that of the Minister of Agriculture.

Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury): Will we not

go on with this discussion to-morrow?

Mr. Mackenzie King: No, I think we have had enough of this for a short time.

Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury): I thought this was very urgent.

Mr. Mackenzie King: Well, perhaps it is

less urgent than it was.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes. May I say to my hon. friend that I gathered from conversation with him that there would not be a disposition to prolong unduly the discussion on the war appropriation measure. My hon. friend speaks of what I said on February 26, but this is March 13 and from that date until to-day we have been dealing exclusively with this war appropriation measure, which had also been discussed some time ago.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

We have been in supply.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

There has been very little supply. A day or two ago I asked the house if it would permit us to go into supply -for a few minutes in order to call items in one or two departments so as to enable some other ministers to take up supply on Thursday or Friday and relieve my colleagues who are engaged on war duties for those days. What was the attitude of the opposition to that request? It was to move a

motion on going into supply in the nature of an amendment. An amendment to the motion to go into supply is in the nature of a vote of want of confidence in the government. That would certainly occasion a prolonged debate. What my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is asking us to do is to set aside an important war measure and allow the opposition to say that it has no confidence in the administration, to introduce a vote of want of confidence motion in the house at this time. When it comes to a matter of precedence, I need scarcely say we are not going to give precedence to any measure that has to do with want of confidence in the administration.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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WAR APPROPRIATION BILL

PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY


The house resumed from Wednesday, March 12, consideration in committee of a resolution to provide sums not exceeding $1,300,000,000 for the year ending March 31, 1942, for the carrying out of measures consequent upon the existence of a state of war. Mr. Ilsley-Mr. Vien in the chair.


March 13, 1941