That is the attitude of the Minister of Finance as displayed in his flippant discourse yesterday.
If there are shortcomings, and there are grave shortcomings, in the procedure of this house in meeting its responsibility with respect to the review of expenditures, the principal responsibility rests upon the government and, not least of all, upon the shoulders of the Minister of Finance. The means of improving the procedure of this house have been pointed out times without number, and pointed out to the Minister of Finance.
Let me remind the house that on July 9, 1947, the public accounts committee, after having considered this matter and having heard the evidence of the Auditor General himself, made extensive recommendations to the government as to the means of improving the review of estimates and expenditures in this house. The Auditor General pointed out that at the present time so much is crowded into the program of the house that parliament is not doing its duty with respect to the review of expenditures. He said:
-complete examination of estimates is impracticable. Estimates should be presented in such a form that members do not have to guess purposes to which votes will be applied.
That report of the public accounts committee which embodied many recommendations set out the practical way in which this House of Commons could improve the manner in which it undertakes to discharge its responsibility with respect to the review of expenditures. The Auditor General offered recommendations from his long experience and those recommendations were endorsed unanimously by the members of the public accounts committee regardless of party. What has been done?
Subtopic: EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic: RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE