May 10, 1943

NAT

Grote Stirling

National Government

Mr. STIRLING:

Is the minister able to say anything as to the recipients?

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

It went to the United

Kingdom.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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NAT

Grote Stirling

National Government

Mr. STIRLING:

To be redispersed.

Mutual Aid Bill

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

At page 2438 of Hansard, the first column, I am reported as follows:

During the fiscal year 1942-43 the total payments by Britain and the rest of the sterling area to Canada amounted to about $1,890 million. Of this an amount of $740 million was paid for from the current receipts of the sterling area, receipts arising from export to Canada and other payments which Canada made to Britain or to other countries in the sterling area. The deficit remaining to be covered by one means or another, therefore, amounted to $1,150 million. Of this $924 million was financed from the billion dollar gift, the balance of which was used, as I have said, to take care of transactions during March of 1942.

Mr. Gray don: So that the whole of the

balance is used up now?

Mr. Ilsley: Yes; it was exhausted at the

end of last December.

The balance of the deficit was met by temporary arrangements which I shall describe in a moment and which applied to the later months of the year. During the nine month period of the billion dollar contribution to Britain, that contribution and the other means of financing the sterling area payments to Canada enabled us to transfer to the sterling -area munitions, war equipment and defence services to a total value of $740 million; foodstuffs $242 million; and raw materials and other commodities amounting to $288 million.

That, of course, is pretty broad, but it does cover the field in a general way. It is just a question of how far we can go. Some more work would1 have to be done on this, but if we are still on it to-morrow afternoon I shall be in a position then to give some information.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

How does the British government accept delivery of these goods? Are they handed over to representatives of the British purchasing commission in the factory, or do we deliver them to Britain? Just how is delivery made?

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

As a common thing they are taken delivery of at seaboard. We do not pay ocean freight on them.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

What I had in mind was this. Many of us have been in the factories and have seen representatives of the British purchasing commission taking delivery, it seemed1, in the factory itself. I was wondering whether delivery had been taken, in many instances, in the factory, and whether much of this billion dollars' worth of goods had gone overseas, or whether some of it was still lying along the railway track, in railway yards and on the wharves. That was the purpose of my question.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I cannot give a definite answer to that question. The Minister of Munitions and Supply would be able to answer it. It may be that Britain did take

delivery of some of it in the factories and that it became their property there.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Perhaps we had better ask the Minister of Munitions and1 Supply regarding the freight. I was going to ask the minister if he could give us any idea in the break-down of the amount of food that we have sent to various countries. I do not think there would be the same objection to giving information about food as there might be with respect to certain classes of munitions. It would be interesting to know just where the food went.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I will have that information to-morrow.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Chairman, one thing that I cannot understand is that questions should be put by members who sit to your left, except those who voted against the proposal of last year. I will tell you why. Last year the billion dollars was voted by this house as a gift. Whoever asks questions about a gift? Whoever asks, what have you done with that gift? That is bad manners. As most of the members voted that billion dollars as a gift they have no right to ask the minister what was done with that gift last year. I challenge the hon, member for Rosetown-Biggar, the present leader of the opposition and the leader of the Social Credit group, to show any logic in their asking any questions about what happened to that billion dollar gift last year. It was a gift of one thousand million dollars. It is the privilege of those who voted against that gift last year to ask for a rendering of accounts with respect to it. That is our privilege, the privilege of the very few who voted against that gift last year. I believe that the members who voted for that gift last year were sincere, and the nature of the thing has not changed because time has marched on. It is still a gift, and they have no right to ask any questions about it. It would simplify the work of the Minister of Finance if they would ask no questions about what is to be done this year. It would be very hard for them to ask any questions about it, because the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar says that what we are doing this year is exactly what we did last year. Therefore, how can he ask any questions about how this money is to be expended? These hon. gentlemen have put themselves in a very embarrassing position.

I tell my good friend the hon. member for Vancouver East that he could speak for a very long time, for eight hours a day until the day of the election, but there is not a single one of his electors who will forget that he voted

Mutual Aid Bill

against the amendment [DOT] moved by the hon. member for Gaspe, seconded by the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay, calling for the payment of all the lend-lease goods under this measure by those who were fortunate enough to have assets amounting to more than half a million dollars. These hon. gentlemen have cut their wings; they have committed hara-kari, and then they try to give a lesson in logic! They should think before, not after. If I voted for that amendment, it was just because it gave an opportunity to sound business men in this country to stop and think of the responsibility they are assuming. And now we hear some people murmuring because they do not dare to stand up and say that we were unpatriotic because we proposed that gift.

What is being done with all the munitions that have been produced and are dumped along the railway tracks everywhere in this country, that are not moved out to China, Russia, Britain or anywhere else? These goods are piled up in chaos, in disorder; I have seen them myself. They have been exposed on the sidings for years and years to rust and the weather, so that nobody now can recognize one case from another. And now we are making more, when we have not delivered those we have already produced. Is it not more important to make deliveries than to continue production? Let us deliver what we have to Russia, China, Britain and our other allies, deliver them wherever they are needed against the common foe. Why keep these munitions piled up here, exposed to destruction by time and the natural elements? Why are they not delivered? There is no explanation. It is no good to invoke the censorship again.

This afternoon I heard the Minister of National War Services take the same stand that he frequently takes, and call "stand" again. Three or four weeks ago I rose to sponsor a motion by the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay, and I was told by the Minister of National Defence that he wanted to say something to the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay. Well, he has had plenty of opportunity to speak to him and apparently has not done so, and now his colleague who is responsible for the censorship, when the motion was called again this afternoon, says "stand" again. It seems impossible to get the facts. Is it Mr. Oliver Mowat Biggar who was deciding that? Was it decided by the British government, and is this government afraid to take a stand about it? How is it that we get news about things which happen in this country from the United States newspapers in the first place, while our papers are forbidden to publish

them? I have established clearly to the Minister of National War Services that one of his censors in Montreal is just a jackass and that it would put the minister in a very false position if he approved him. I have sent a copy of that correspondence to every member of parliament. It was in French; perhaps it has reached the wraste-paper basket because it was not written in the language of the majority. It shows that that man in Montreal is just as stupid as any man could be; but I am sure he is still holding his job, censoring the writings and sayings of people who have much more intelligence than he ever had.

But that is the way it goes. It is decided by censorship. How is it that members of parliament are not informed of matters which are sent to the press? We should be the first to be informed; yet we have no news. It is not printed in the blue books; it is not printed in the orders; it is sent only to the newspapers. Members of parliament are never informed. Whence comes this censorship? I should like the minister to tell us who does the censoring. Is it the government who censors? If so, they cannot say that they are bound by it. Otherwise we should have a repetition of Gulliver, binding himself with thread when he visited the dwarfs of Lilliput. These things are not done.

We must have a little more freedom of speech, although freedom of speech was not mentioned, any more than was freedom of religion, in the speech from the throne. It mentioned two other freedoms, but not that one. But I believe in freedom of speech. I try to exercise it as much as I can, and with much more liberty this year, sir, thanks to your spirit of justice and your knowledge of the rules, than happened before. Before that, it was impossible to carry on any successful discussion while the house was sitting in committee. This year, thanks to your spirit of justice and the respect you have for the parliamentary practice of this country, matters have improved. WThen you, sir, are in the chair I feel safe. I try to abide by the procedure and the practice of the house as much as I can, so far as it is possible for a human being to do so; it is understood that human beings err at times.

But now, sir, I want some information. What is this famous censorship which binds everybody? Ministers are bound by it. Journalists are bound by it. What is it? I hope that ministers will give a decent answer and let us know at least what the censorship is. If it is themselves they have no reason to invoke it, because they can change it at any time, and

Mutual Aid Bill

if it is Mr. Oliver Mowat Biggar, he is one of their subalterns, and the minister. has only to say a word to him to ensure that he does not exceed his very limited jurisdiction.

Are we bound by the censorship of the British government? The best man who exercises censorship in England is a fellow member with Viscount Bennett of the privy council and the House of Lords, and he used to say- I mentioned his words some time ago-that the idea of censorship was not to protect the government but to prevent the enemy from knowing anything which might be useful to him in this war. That is the purpose of censorship; and the Minister of National War Services, who is responsible for censorship, will agree with me that what Lord Macmillan then said is absolutely true and should be concurred in. On this principle, what advantage could it be to the enemy to know what we gave to Great Britain or to other countries last year, for it is impossible for the enemy to know at what times and on what ships those foodstuffs or munitions or arms were transferred across? What advantage could it be to the enemy to know that we have sent shipments of grain amounting last year to, say, ten million bushels, or one hundred million bushels? What does it change as regards the information they already have? Does it increase the information of the enemy? Can it do so? Suppose we sent flour instead of grain; what is the difference? Supposing we have sent some cartridges, or some shells, without mentioning the sizes of the shells we sent; what difference does it make to the enemy to know that they were sent; and if that cannot be stated, because perhaps a lot of material, whether food, munitions or arms, is still here, dumped somewhere, unchecked by anybody, although intended as a gift to Britain, we could know at least how much has been spent to buy those things, whether flour, meat, munitions, arms, garments, shoes, or what-not. It would be more satisfactory. It could be done if the Minister of Finance has in his department officials who are worthy of him. If we cannot get that information, we might as well put a padlock on this place, close the whole thing up, and say, "Good-bye, we are going home; we have had enough of it." If we are here merely to listen to "censor" and "censorship" repeated ad infinitum, we had better say, in our most gracious way, "Goodnight; we are not afraid to go home in the dark." We cannot go on like this. I make a plea to have some information. I do not see anything wrong in that. Who sees anything wrong in it? Everybody is asking for information, even those who are not entitled to it. I ask it on behalf of those who regret their votes last year and

regret their vote of to-night, if any do; if not, I do it on behalf of those who have been logical with themselves and who have acted according to British principles from the start.

And now, sir, because we do not repeat what is said in certain quarters, some people find that we are unpatriotic. Is any hon. gentleman present certain that the great majority of English-speaking Canadians are not thinking exactly the same as the majority of good French-speaking Canadians? I tell my hon. friends that they would be greatly surprised if they knew the impression many people have of this lavishness in dispensing the produce of the taxes which come from the pockets of Canadian citizens. Everything is to be given outside this country. But I remember very well, as the leader of the opposition pointed out, quite rightly, in his first speech, I believe, on the address, that the general complaint in this country is, how is it that so much money is found for war when people were starving before and it was impossible to get anything for them? I remember that time; but now it is all right. We are ready to do something; we are ready to do all we can, but in the first place let us put our house in order. We have had enough secrets. Everything that is done in the dark is subject to caution. Crimes are not perpetrated in the full light of day at noon; they are committed at night. Night is the occasion for crimes. Fortunately there is some light here; otherwise I do not know what would happen. Outside in the dark, I am not so sure of what could happen in connection with anything like this.

If we want information it is not only with regard to what has been done in the past; it is for the purpose of having a guarantee for the future. It is the only check we have, now that responsibility is taken out of our hands. This house has no more responsibility. A thing is brought to us and that is all. I was scandalized by what the Minister of Finance said. He said the Canadian people want to do this. Let him wait until the house has voted for the third reading. He cannot make that statement, that it is the will of the people, until after the representatives of the people have voted for it. It may be done; it probably will be done, but it has not yet been done. It will be done only after the third reading, and' the minister will have the right to make that statement only after the third reading. What I am stating now is for the benefit of the Minister of Finance and his colleagues and for the benefit of the whole house and country, and I say that we should make a check on what has been produced by this country for war purposes and what is left to us, before starting again to beat the drum and

Mutual Aid Bill

saying that we shall spend more. Who is to guarantee that what we shall produce with the money that we are asked to vote will be used more successfully than what has been produced with the money that was voted last year? And what is left on the sidings anywhere from Toronto to Montreal, at Point St. Charles, St. Lambert and other places? Everyone sees it, and I have thought it my duty to report upon it to the house. That having been said, sir, I hope that the Minister of National War Services will be good enough to give the information asked for in a motion which has been standing since April 14 in the name of the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay. It is an important matter, and we are here to help the government as much as we can. I quote:

Order of the house

For a copy of censorship regulations preventing the government from giving figures showing Canadian export trade by countries.

The date of that is April 14, and this is May 10. It is an easy matter for the minister to give the information in that regard. If he cannot give the regulations, let him at least state why he cannot do so. Is it at the request of Great Britain or of the United States, or is it at the suggestion of Mr. Oliver Mowat Biggar or that man in Montreal who is so crazy? I should like to know who is the obstacle in the way of the minister giving a decent answer to a very sensible question.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I think that the first thing to-morrow afternoon I shall be able to give pretty full information about the shipments under this legislation last year, but I am not at the moment able to say just how far I can go and I do not want to lay it entirely on the censorship, because there is much to be said for the position that the government is not necessarily bound by the censorship. However, I wish to respect the spirit of the censorship regulations, and I should like to consult the intelligence officers of the various departments. That will be completed to-morrow morning, and I shall have a fairly full statement to-morrow afternoon.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

I am sure the committee will be glad to know that the purpose of the hon. member for Temiscouata was to help the government instead of obstructing because, if he ever starts obstructing, seeing what he can do when he wishes to help, he will make a real job of it. Strangely enough, I agree with a great deal of what the hon. member has said in regard to the Minister of Finance making this information available to the house; but when the hon. member says that we are in an illogical position in asking for

information after having voted for the gift, not only is he being illogical himself but he is talking nonsense. In asking for information we want to know whether the gift authorized by this house served the purpose for which it was made. Does the hon. member on the other hand wish to know how little served the purpose for which the gift was made? That is the difference between us. We wish to know whether the gift served its purpose and reached the people for whom it was intended. I see no reason in the world why we should not be told how much of various commodities went over. There may be certain things which we should not be told, but as regards the number of tanks and aeroplanes and the quantity of wheat, it seems to me that the enemy knows more about these things than the members of the House of Commons, and it will not hurt anyone to make that information known now, nor. will it hurt anyone to say how much we are going to do. Indeed, I think the effect would be the other way. Not only would it help our allies, but if the enemy knew that we were supplying so much to our allies it would be harmful to the enemy's morale. I hope the minister will be able to give this information to the house. It may be that it has been done in two bites, so to speak, and possibly time could be saved if all the information were given at the same time, indicating how much was done under this head and how much under the other. I fully agree with the hon. member for Temiscouata that there is very little of this that could not be made clear to members of the house.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

The minister says that he will make a statement to-morrow. I agree that there might be some hesitancy from the point of view of censorship so far as munitions are concerned, but with respect to foodstuffs and raw materials I wish he would obtain from his colleagues the information relating to these matters. An official, the food controller, was reported in the press last summer as having said that the Canadian people could not eat their beef and ship it to Britain at the same time. It is evident now how much beef has been shipped to Britain during the past year. During the past two weeks I have been at home going among the farmers, and despite the fact that requests were made to them on good authority they still have doubts as to what they should produce in the form of agricultural foodstuffs so as to be able to come out at the profitable end of it next fall. These .people to-day are doing some reasoning and arguing; they are not just taking the requests of the minister

Soviet Union

and the government as to what they should produce. Therefore, if the minister can tell us the amounts of the various kinds of foodstuffs, as pointed out by a recent speaker, he will be rendering further service to the producers of this country. I trust he will have that information in detail for us tomorrow, and I cannot see why there should be any interference with that by the censorship.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

The minister will have that to-morrow afternoon?

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Oh, yes.

Progress reported.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Bradette in the chair.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000,000 FOR PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF WAR SUPPLIES
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PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH


193. Departmental administration, $139,321. Item stands.


POST OFFICE


240. Departmental administration, $730,858. Item stands. Progress reported. On motion of Mr. Crerar, the house adjourned at 10.55 p.m. Tuesday, May 11, 1943


May 10, 1943