Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of Finance):
My colleague the Minister of Munitions and Supply intimated to me that the hon. member was going to ask this question, and it was thought that I might reply because of the fact that the offers to which the hon. member refers generally come in the form of offers of money to be used for a particular purpose. Members well understand that it is extremely difficult in practice to earmark a particular sum of money for a particular piece of equipment; it would mean the maintaining of a special fund for each particular purpose. Therefore we are indicating to the donors that it would be preferable if they would permit that money to be put into the consolidated revenue fund, and we have pointed out to them that the consolidated revenue fund will be devoted, among other things, to the purchase of equipment of the kind.
I should like to add, however, that if there are offers of special pieces of equipment for particular purposes the government will be very glad to give consideration to them, having regard to what fits best into our requirements. The government welcomes and appreciates, on behalf of the people of Canada, the offers which have been made of funds for particular purposes which afterwards have been permitted to be put into the consolidated revenue fund under the conditions I have mentioned, and the offers of equipment as well.
Subtopic: VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS BY INDIVIDUALS, CORPORATIONS AND MUNICIPALITIES