November 7, 1941 (19th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Ernest George Hansell

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I am not finding fault
with the selection of the sites. My point to start with was that there should be a coordination of the work of the departments of government. When I made the inquiry I was told by letter that the department had made extensive inquiries and no one knew about an air training school being built at that point; yet the machinery was on the ground and the school was being built. Somebody slipped up-and I did not write to the office boy, either. I will not say to whom I wrote; I do not want to embarrass any government official. It was not the minister. I immediately wrote back and asked for an explanation. Let me read a paragraph from the reply. It seems that the Department of Transport selects the site -the minister can correct me if I am wrong- and the same department also lets the contract for the building of the runways. The Department of National Defence for Air has nothing to do with it. The Department of Munitions and Supply, on top of that, and apart from the Department of Transport, lets the contract for the erection of the

The War-Mr. Hansell
buildings on the site. Here we have the Department of Transport doing one thing, and the Department of Munitions and Supply doing another, both working separately for an entirely different department, which is the Department of National Defence for Air. The paragraph giving the explanation reads:
When we made our reply to your letter we made inquiries of the R.C.A.F. and of this department and found that as yet no authority has been established to construct the school, and it is on this basis that your reply was made.
It does seem to me that when a certain project is to be erected or a certain objective is to be attained, all who are interested in that objective should be brought into consultation. That is what I would consider a proper coordination of effort. I have explained that I tried not to embarrass the government, but I must say that it has the appearance of withholding information-I am not saying that it does-until certain contracts are let, so that a certain amount of patronage can be effected. I am not saying that was done.

Topic:   THE WAR
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