September 5, 1950

REFERENCE TO DIVISION ON MOTION FOR ADOPTION OF ADDRESS AND AMENDMENT THERETO

LIB

Howard Waldemar Winkler

Liberal

Mr. H. W. Winkler (Lisgar):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. I was not here to record my vote just before the house rose, because I had left the building, and according to the clock at the front entrance it was after one o'clock. If the clocks in this building had been synchronized I would have been present.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO DIVISION ON MOTION FOR ADOPTION OF ADDRESS AND AMENDMENT THERETO
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DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT

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

LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Douglas Abbott (Minister of Finance) moved

that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution:

Resolved, that sums not exceeding $142,200,200 be granted to His Majesty towards defraying expenses of the naval, army and air services of the Canadian forces:

That His Majesty may also incur commitments during the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1951, for expenditures on the naval, army and air services of the Canadian forces in later years in amounts not exceeding $409,257,821 in addition to the total amount of such commitments specified in the schedule to the Appropriation Act, No. 4, 1950;

Resolved also, that commitments not exceeding $5,310,000 in addition to the amount of commitments specified in the schedule to the Appropriation Act, No. 4, 1950, may be incurred during the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1951, for expenditure on defence research and development in later years, and also that sums not exceeding $2,000,000 be granted out of the consolidated revenue fund to His Majesty towards defraying the expenses for the land services of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in addition to any other grant of parliament;

And resolved further, that sums not exceeding $300,000,000 be granted out of the consolidated revenue fund to His Majesty, in addition to any other grants of parliament, for the production, acquisition, repair and provision of equipment, services, supplies and facilities, for the use of the defence forces of Canada and those of any party to the North Atlantic treaty, and the construction, improvement and repair of facilities, and the acquisition, processing, and storage of materials, supplies and equipment, required to produce and otherwise make available any such equipment, supplies, services and facilities;

With provision also empowering the governor in council to raise by way of loan under the provisions of the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act, 1931, such sum or sums of money not exceeding in the whole the sum of $300,000,000 as may be required for the purpose of defraying the aforesaid expenses, the principal and interest of any such loan to be a charge upon and payable out of the consolidated revenue fund.

He said: This resolution which I am

proposing provides for the introduction of a special appropriation bill that will contain three appropriations, of the size and for the

Defence Appropriation Act purposes noted in the resolution. It will contain as well a clause to provide authority for the transfer of defence equipment and supplies, either newly purchased or from stocks, to any of our allies under the North Atlantic treaty, on such terms and conditions, if any, as the government may specify. Other clauses will increase the limits set in the main estimates and Appropriation Act upon the contractual commitments for expenditures in future years for the defence forces and for defence research.

This bill, to be entitled the Defence Appropriation Act, following the practice adopted during the war, when passed, will take the place of the usual type of appropriation act with a schedule based upon estimates previously considered in committee. On this bill the house will have the same opportunity of discussing details of the appropriations in committee, either on the resolution or on the bill, that they would normally discuss on estimates. The ministers responsible for the individual appropriations will be available for these discussions in committee and able to supply the usual detailed explanations and figures provided for estimates. I will restrict myself at this time to a brief explanation of the nature and purposes of its main features, leaving until my later motion to go into committee of ways and means any comment which I may have to make on the financial and economic situation as a whole and the measures which it seems necessary to take as a consequence of the vast effort and expense that must now be devoted to making our nation, indeed our whole western way of life, more secure.

As I explained to the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), the first appropriation requested is, in essence, a supplementary estimate for the vote appearing

in the main estimates for the defence forces__

vote 202 on page 31. The amount voted there was $384,932,304, and to that we now propose to add $142,200,200, which will be available for the same purposes, that is to say, for the use of the navy, army or air force. The detailed purposes to which it is intended this be applied will be given in committee by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton), and have already been indicated in a general way by him to the house on Thursday last. The wording of vote 202, embodied in the schedule to the Appropriation Act of last session, includes a statutory limit on contractual commitments that may be made for expenditures in future years for the purposes described in the vote, and it is now necessary to increase this very greatly in order to permit orders to be placed for aircraft, ships, guns, and the other paraphernalia of modern

270 HOUSE OF

Defence Appropriation Act defence. To the amount of $141,123,670 now permitted for such commitments we are now proposing to add the huge total of $409,257,821. It is also proposed to increase the future commitments that may be made for defence research and development, adding an amount of $5,310,000 to the $3,057,800 permitted under vote 203 of the main estimates, although additional cash is not asked for this purpose this fiscal year.

The appropriation requested of $2 million for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is not to extend or intensify the activities of the police in Canada, but simply to provide for the taking over by the R.C.M.P. of the provincial police functions in British Columbia and Newfoundland, in accordance with agreements entered into in August. It was not certain in June that these arrangements would be made, and provision was not, therefore, made in the estimates; but the arrangements have been made since, and now, in view of the international situation, it is highly desirable that these vulnerable coastal areas should be policed in detail by the national force which has over-all responsibility for internal security. Part of this expenditure will be offset by revenue, as the provinces pay us $1,400 per constable per year for this service.

The largest and most interesting appropriation in the new bill and reflected in this resolution is that for $300 million for the purpose of producing extra defence equipment and supplies, either for our own forces or for those of allies under the North Atlantic treaty. This will get under way the Canadian portion of that large increase in the production of defence supplies and equipment which the North Atlantic council has found to be so urgently needed now. It will be used to produce those things which the government considers will be most immediately useful in the common cause, after receiving information and advice from the appropriate bodies created under the treaty. These may be turned over to our own forces, either increasing their plans or holdings beyond the present scale, which is provided for under our own defence program, or replacing equipment or stores which they may make immediately available to our allies in Europe. On the other hand, if it appears these new arms can be most effectively used or held in the common cause by our allies in Europe, they will be dispatched to them without delay and without payment. At this stage we cannot be sure what arms will be most needed and most readily produced in Canada, or to what forces they should be allotted; but we are sure that this amount, and probably more, will be needed from Canada during the next year and a half or so.

TMr. Abbott.!

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of fhe Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, while there will be an opportunity in committee to deal with the motion now before the house, before I make any further remarks I should like to ask the minister if it is not possible for him to table at this time, for the convenience of the house, a break-down of the amounts that are being asked for in this way.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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?

Mr. Afoboll@

I think it would be more useful to follow the usual practice of considering the details in committee. From my experience during the war years, that was the procedure we followed. When we were in committee the various ministers involved gave a detailed break-down of the appropriations which were being requested for their particular departments, and they were able of course in the committee stage to answer

questions with respect to those details. I think it would be infinitely preferable to proceed in this way. Any remarks hon. members may wish to make on general questions arising out of these appropriations should be made while Your Honour is in the chair, but the detailed discussion of the estimates should be reserved for the committee stage of the resolution.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I had not finished. As I said, I asked the question preliminary to any further remarks.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I was merely going to give my recollection of the procedure on the previous occasion.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I would prefer to continue with the remarks that were to follow the question. It was because that was not the practice followed that I asked the question. Every one of us has indicated the hope that the appropriations being asked for are for peace and not for war. Nevertheless, as the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) has quite properly indicated, the type of preparation calling for these huge expenditures is somewhat parallel to the procedure followed during the second world war, because it relates to very much the same subject. In 1944, for instance, on February 11, the then minister of finance, Mr. Ilsley, presented his request by way of a similar resolution, and in that resolution the minister moved, as reported at page 390 of Hansard, "That it is expedient to introduce a measure to provide, inter alia", for a number of things, and they bear some similarity to the things for which we are now being asked. Having outlined the general purpose, IVtr. Ilsley said that these matters would be under discussion in the committee stage later, and I should like to quote his words, to be found on page 392 of Hansard for February 11, 1944. He said:

To facilitate such inquiries and debate, I will now place on Hansard a break-down, by the main categories of expenditures . . .

He then tabled a most detailed statement, explaining that this would facilitate inquiries in committee in an orderly way. The points with which we are particularly concerned are the details relating to national defence; and at that time, at this same stage, Mr. Ilsley tabled extensive details of the requirements for the navy, air force and all other services, showing what the money was required for, and placing before hon. members the sort of information which made it possible to ask questions in an orderly way. So I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that

Defence Appropriation Act even if it calls for a deferment of consideration of this matter at the moment, this practice should be followed. There should be no difficulty about doing it. It is unthinkable that the government should have come forward and presented the resolution at this stage without having this information, and this is the kind of information hon. members should have. Especially is it the kind of information hon. members should have since we have reached this point in this special session with no information as to what our national defence plans really are. Everything that has been said so far by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) and the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) can be summed up by saying they have no plans, that it is a case of prepare as they go.

So far as we are concerned we believe that at this stage hon. members should have before them information which will enable them to direct questions to specific items. What is happening now is precisely the sort of thing we have been confronted! with since discussion began last Thursday. The Minister of National Defence has made the same general statements, without giving any real information as to the state of our defence forces. Lacking that information, there is all the more reason why now we should be given a definite statement covering all these details. What is being suggested is that we go into the committee stage having to guess what questions we should ask. Then once more we will be fold: we give more information than anybody else, or ninety-five per cent of the information given elsewhere, as the case may be. But we do not know what questions to ask. .It is the business of the government, as our executive body, to inform hon. members; and I repeat the request for a detailed statement now, showing what this is for.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

If I may add a word, of course there is no desire on the part of the government, nor, I am sure, on the part of the Minister of National Defence or any other minister, to withhold information; but the proper place to discuss details is when the house is in committee. There will be at least two more opportunities to carry on that discussion. We will be in committee on the resolution. At the outset, I assume, following the general practice, if not the universal practice during the war years, the ministers will furnish mimeographed statements in detail covering the proposed items. Those can be discussed in full on the resolution at the committee stage. Then there will be a debate on second reading, after

which the bill will be considered clause by clause and the whole ground can be gone over again. I suggest that in the interests of expediting the business of this house, and in accordance with the valid precedent which was established during the war, Your Honour should leave the chair now so we can get into committee, when all the details can be discussed.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Are we proceeding with the discussion of the resolution?

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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?

Some hon. Members:

Yes.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I seem to recall very distinctly that the practice during the war was to give hon. members an opportunity of looking into such details as were provided, in order that the questions to be asked later might be more intelligent and better informed than otherwise would be the case. Would it not be facilitating the business of the house if that were done at the present time?

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

I understand the practice varied. I put through war appropriations on only one occasion, so far as the defence forces were concerned. That was in the session of 1945, when I was parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Defence. My recollection-and I have checked it-on that point is that the details were furnished in committee. I do not know that I put them on Hansard; I think I circulated a mimeographed statement giving the break-down, which may or may not have been printed in Hansard. But I have a clear recollection that this procedure was followed at that time, and I am suggesting that the same procedure be followed now.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Some of the rest of us have been checking the records, too; and is it not the case that the break-down of the figures was given at the start by Mr. Ilsley, then minister of finance, but that the discussion of items came when we were in committee of the whole on the resolution, where it was taken department by department, with the ministers concerned answering the questions that were asked? If there is any doubt about that, we can get Hansard and show what was done.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

My recollection is that there was no uniform procedure. My hon. friend is quite right in saying that the discussion took place in committee, but I do not think there was any uniform practice as to when this stencilled statement was circulated. I believe I am right in that.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

I have no desire to hold up proceedings at this stage, but I refrained

from taking part in the discussion of a previous measure with which we have already dealt, and I should like to be clear on this point. I agree with what has just been said by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). I remember being here when Mr. Xlsley presented his war appropriation bill, when the late Mr. Ralston was minister of national defence. I have followed the remarks of the minister closely, and it seems to me that this huge vote has to do with more than his department and the Department of National Defence. One or two other departments will be very much concerned, directly or indirectly, with this expenditure of money. I had some observations that I should have liked to make, and questions I wanted to ask, concerning those departments. If we should agree to let this resolution go to committee, I hope the rules will not be too strictly adhered to and that the minister will permit us to make such observations and ask such questions at that time, without being called to order because the other matter has been dealt with already. The minister is not precisely following what was done on previous occasions.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

We are not in committee yet, so I suppose I should not be jumping up and down answering questions. In the case of the war appropriation measures, however, there were two and at times three ministers of defence; the items of the minister of munitions and supply, those of the wartime prices and trade board and others were all included; and the detailed break-down was given by each minister as his estimates were reached. I have a very clear recollection of that.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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September 5, 1950