June 30, 1948


On the orders of the day:


PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. RODNEY ADAMSON (York West):

I should like to ask the Minister of Finance a question arising out of an article that appears in today's press with regard to a reported $300 million fund which is lying in the United Kingdom for the use of Canada. Is there truth in that story?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT AS TO FUNDS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM TO CREDIT OF CANADA
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. DOUGLAS ABBOTT (Minister of Finance):

I have not the faintest idea. I have never heard of it.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT AS TO FUNDS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM TO CREDIT OF CANADA
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

It is on the front page of the Gazette today.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Macdonald! (Brantford City) in the chair.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT AS TO FUNDS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM TO CREDIT OF CANADA
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DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE


Demobilization and reconversion- Wartime prices and trade board- 87. Administration, $3,990,040.


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

When the house rose last night I was in the process of questioning the minister with regard to the wartime prices and trade board, and specifically I was trying to find out whether the board, in anticipation of the government doing something about the report of the prices committee, hiad any plans worked out for the reimposition of some price controls and some subsidies.

It does seem to us on this side of the house that it was not an accident that the prices committee recommended the proposal which it brought forward. One of those proposals was for a qualified and selective return to the principle of controls and subsidies, and I would hope that the wartime prices and trade board might already have some of the machinery set up for taking these steps. Can the minister tell us whether that is so?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. DOUGLAS ABBOTT (Minister of Finance):

The existing organization of the wartime prices and trade board is there, but as yet no special instructions have been given in connection with the matters referred to by my hon. friend.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

In other words, the wartime prices and trade board will not act of its own motion, but upon instructions from the government.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

So that the basic question is still whether or not government policy will be changed to meet the recommendations passed by this house the other night. May I ask the minister what has happened to the staff of the wartime prices and trade board in the last number of months, or for such period as he may have the figures? Has the personnel been maintained at the strength of a year ago, or has it been increased or reduced?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mt. ABBOTT:

At April 1, 1947, the staff of the board' was 3,920; at May 31, 1948, it was 1,277.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

Does the minister or the chairman of the board, who is in front of him, feel that the present staff of the board can dlo an effective job in implementing the recommendations of the prices committee?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Well, the recommendations of the prices committee were pretty guarded in their terms.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

No doubt about that.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mt. ABBOTT:

Naturally, the extent to which it may be considered advisable to re-embark on price oontrol will govern the number of employees and the type of organization which the board will have to maintain. I repeat, however, that it is not anid never has been the intention of the government to go back into an over-all price control, or wage control, which is a necessary corollary to that. I think it is fair to say that any ceilings which may be reimposed will be very limited, and that is my understanding of the recommendations of the prices committee.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

The minister said that the recommendations of the prices committee were very guarded. Not half so guarded, may I suggest, as the comments which the minister himself is making on this question. It would seem that the most apt comment on the work of the prices committee was presented to us yesterday in pictorial form in a cartoon in the Globe and Mail. Most horr. members saw it.

Air. MaoNICOL: Which way was the soldier going?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

The cartoon showed a brigadier in charge, namely the Minister of National Health and Welfare-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. AIACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

It was a field marshal.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Air. KNOWLES:

All right-a field marshal. He was standing there giving commands to his three soldiers, labelled "recommendations",

Supply-Finance

to "forward march" and there they stood with their faces up against a brick wall entitled "government policy". That seems to be the position, and the people of Canada have to take the rap.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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June 30, 1948