February 27, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Henri Sévérin Béland (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)



Just a word in commendation of what my hon. friend has said regarding Dr. Banting. We all hope that the experiments which have been for a number of years carried on by Dr. Banting will prove in the end to be a fruitful and a most useful scientific discovery. However desirous I might be to say that it is an accomplished fact, I must, however, state that it is still somewhat in the experimental stage.
So far as the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment is concerned, we have afforded to Dr. Banting the opportunity of applying, with the consent of the patients, his method of treatment to some of our soldiers suffering from diabetes in Christie Street hospital. It is not for me to say definitely that it is a discovery, but certainly something has been achieved which we hope in the end will redound to Canada's credit.
As far as putting an amount in the Supplementary Estimates is concerned as a recompense for Dr. Banting's labours, however favourable I would be to the idea, I would first of all like my hon. friend to bring together the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke) and the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), and if the three of them will consent, I shall have no objection whatever, but I am afraid my hon. friend will probably find some resistance in some quarters. If we did this for Dr. Banting, we would have to do it for a good many students and scholars who have achieved valuable results in scientific affairs. However, we are all proud of the results which have so far been achieved by Dr. Banting in the treatment of diabetes, and hope that it may prove a world discovery of the greatest benefit to humanity.

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