March 13, 1930

UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

I do not wish to

intervene, but this will be the last question I will ask. Will the Prime Minister admit that Canada, in comparison with other great commercial nations, is the only country in the world where the federal government is not helping technical education? Germany is helping, so is the United States, Czechoslovakia and other countries.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I will not

admit anything of the kind, because at this very time out of the federal treasury we are paying thousands of dollars to the provinces in aid of technical education. Does my hon. friend deny that?

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

Yes. It is a defunct process, because the act expired in 1929.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am sorry that my hon. friend has not prepared his speech with sufficient care and that he does not remember the legislation of even a year ago. Let me tell him this: On February 19, 1930,

that is not a month ago, out of the total grant of $10,000,000 that was made at the outset, only $8,328,885.84 had been paid, leaving unpaid $1,671,114.16. That is the amount that had been paid out up to February 19, 1930; that is only last February. There remains $1,671,114.16 still to be paid, and we are at the present time paying it out and will continue to pay for some three or four years to come. Last session this government, which my hon. friend is now condemning for not aiding technical education, asked parliament to authorize it to continue payment of the unexpended portion of the original appropriation for a period of another five years so that any province that had not availed itself of the full amount of the grant would be in a position to receive it within the next few years. Prince Edward Island will be entitled to receive from now on, $109,851.22; Nova Scotia, $345,911.50; New Brunswick, $69,115.73; Manitoba, $500,308; Saskatchewan, S645,927.71. In other words, there still is authority to pay to these provinces, authority given at the last session of parliament, at the instance of the present government. $1,671,114.16. That is the position at the present time.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

That will soon be no more.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend said a moment ago that it was all past, that it was defunct, and was condemning us on that account. I have shown him that there is over $1,000,009 still to be paid out of the treasury to the provinces.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

But that has expired.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It has not expired, it remains to be piaid during the next four years. My hon. friend said that that was to 'be his last question. He has madie his speech. I do not wish to argue. The facts speak for themselves.

When I was interrupted I was explaining to my hon. friend that at the time at which the royal commission was appointed it was not an easy matter to get the government of the day to be given even the power to appoint a commission to inquire into the subject of technical education. Before I could obtain consent to have the government undertake -the appointment of a commission it was considered necessa/ry for me as Minister of Labour to communicate with the premiers of each of the provinces of Canada and secure from them approval of the Dominion government going into the field of education to the extent even of collecting information to be placed at their disposal, so jealous was parliament of the rights of the provinces in matters of education, and so eager were its members not in any way to trespass on a field which they felt might be debatable. I wrote the following letter, which was sent to the premiers of each of the provinces of Canada; it is dated Ottawa, December 13, 1909. This was even before the royal commission was appointed or before parliament voted the money for the royal commission. The letter follows:

Department of Labour,

Ottawa, December 13, 1909.

Dear Sir,-

The Dominion government is considering the advisability of appointing a royal commission to inquire into the needs and present equipment of the Dominion as respects industrial training and technical education, and into the systems and methods of technical instruction obtaining in other countries, particularly in Great Britain, France, Germany and the United States. It is intended that the commission shall be solely for the purpose of gathering information, the information when obtained to be published in a suitable report to be at the disposal of the provinces and available for general distribution.

I may say that the view of the government is that a commission of the kind suggested might render valuable services to the Dominion as a whole, since it would be in a position to

Technical Education-Mr. Mackenzie King

conduct an inquiry on a wider and more comprehensive scale than might be considered desirable or possible in the case of the different provinces, and which if undertaken ^ by the provinces individually must lead inevitably to the duplication and reduplication of energy and expense.

Tt is recognized, however, that the work of such a commission, to be of national service, should have the hearty endorsation of the governments of the several provinces of the Dominion, and I am, therefore, writing to ask if the appointment by the federal authorities of a commission of the character and scope suggested would meet with the approval of your government, and to inquire, in particular, inasmuch as some doubt has been expressed on the point, whether exception to such a course would be taken on any ground of jurisdiction.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) W. L. Mackenzie King.

My hon. friend will find in the report of the royal commission on technical education, at pages 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the introduction, the replies that came to that letter from the premiers of the different provinces, in which they made quite clear that so long as the commission was solely for the purpose of gathering information and that there was no intention by the federal government of inserting the thin edge of the wedge whereby the federal authorities might come in time to assume what the provinces regarded as a provincial obligation, they had no objection to the commission being appointed, but would rather welcome the 'information it might collect and place at their disposal.

The commission took a considerable time to gather information. Its report was presented some years later. The report first of all outlined what was 'being done in other countries, in particular the methods being pursued, and in addition outlined a plan of technical education which its members thought might be suitable to our Dominion; but that plan contemplated the whole work being carried on by the provinces and distinctly so stated. The commissioners drew attention to this fact, that the provinces at that t:me had no equipment for technical training. They had not the physical equipment to start with; they had not the buildings that were necessary. I think there was a technical school in Toronto and another in Montreal; those, I think, were about all we had in the way of special technical schools at the time, if we except the work that was being done by one or two of the universities and colleges.

There was another lack which was very serious, the absence of any qualified teachers to conduct the necessary technical education. There was no school for training such teachers, and the commission pointed out that if the provinces were immediately to get under way 2419-37

with a system of technical education that would cover all parts of the Dominion it would be necessary that some assistance should be given to them to help them tide over the period during which the necessary staffs could be secured, 'trained', and appointed, the necessary buildings erected, and the necessary equipment assembled for the purpose of carrying on the work of technical education. It was in that connection that the royal commission recommended that over a period of ten years there should, conditional upon the provinces appropriating a like amount, be a grant from the federal treasury to the provinces which would average $1,000,000 a year. If my hon. friend will read the report of the commission, supposing he has not already done so, he will see that the recommendation was made wholly for the purpose of enabling the provinces, so to speak, to get on their feet in the matter of the necessary equipment to carry on the work of technical education, but once equipped they were to go on without further aid. It was not contemplated that federal assistance would continue indefinitely; indeed, the greatest care was taken when parliament was being asked to vote this money to secure assurances that parliament was not being committed indefinitely to a system of grants to technical education, that this was simply to enable an immediate start to be made.

Now, may I say to my hon. friend that conditions have changed very materially in Canada since that time with respect to the relative obligations of the Dominion and the provinces. The report of the royal commission was made before Canada had assumed the burden which she to-day has arising out of the war, and the many obligations which it has created. When this royal commission was appointed to look into matters connected with technical education our expenditure for federal purposes was relatively small-speaking offhand, I doubt if it was a third of what it is to-day-and the Dominion might well have felt itself in a position to render assistance to the provinces, to a degree that with the obligations it has at present it could not begin to attempt to-day. As I said the other evening when speaking of federal grants to highways, we have to-day an obligation to meet with respect to the war amounting to the sum of over $1,680,000,000, every cent of which is borrowed money, all of which remains to be paid back, and the interest on which has to be paid year after year until the whole debt has been discharged. We had not that obligation when the commission was looking into the matter of technical education. On the other hand, the provinces themselves are in an

578 COMMONS

Technical Education-Mr. Mackenzie King

entirely different position to-day from that which confronted them at that time; their position has very materially changed and improved.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

No, no.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

They have not any war burdens, they have not to provide for soldiers' pensions, they have not any of the obligations such as w'ill arise out of legislation which will be enacted shortly with respect to war veterans' allowances, and the like; these are all fresh obligations on the shoulders of the Dominion. On the other hand-and I am going to treat only of a few instances, more by way of illustration than anything else-the provinces themselves to-day have sources of revenue that they did not have then. Let me mention only one. In seven, if not eight, of the provinces today the sale of liquor is controlled by liquor commissions. I wonder if my hon. friend read his morning paper and saw the figures of the profits of the Ontario Liquor Commission contained in the report which was tabled in the Ontario legislature by the government of Ontario yesterday. Let me quote from to-day's paper. I have before me the Ottawa Citizen:

Reports profit of $9,661,448 by liquor sale.

Figures of Ontario liquor control commission for 1929 tabled in legislature by government.

"Regional purchase" plan to be adopted.

Past years' sales show increase over previous year of $6,364,978.

(Canadian press). Toronto, Ont. March 12.

With sales totalling $55,360,569, the liquor control commission reported a profit for 1929 of $9,661,448-

A profit.

-it was revealed in the annual statement of the year tabled in the legislature to-day by the government.

That is a profit of nearly $10,000,000 in the province of Ontario alone in a single year out of the liquor traffic. An amount exceeding the total grants to the provinces for technical education by the federal government during the past ten years. I think the province of Ontario, if I may be permitted to advise the provincial government that far, could not do a better thing than earmark all that money for technical education.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

May I ask the Prime Minister a question?

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

How much money did the federal treasury collect in excise tax on liquor during the same period?

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I think my

hon. friend will get full particulars of that to-morrow or a little later. When my hon. friend asks us to appropriate $1,000,000 a year by way of federail grants to the provinces in aid of technical education, I think it is only fair to remind him that we have obligations to meet to-day such as we never had before, and to draw his attention to the fact that one of the provinces which would get the largest portion of this grant has this year a surplus of nearly $10,000,000 solely from the operation of its liquor stores. That condition is very different from the one the province of Ontario faced at the time the federal government made grants to the provinces in aid of technical education. What has happened in Ontario is true also of Quebec, and true also, only in lesser degree, of practically all the other provinces. They all have government liquor control with its monopoly of sales for domestic consumption within the province.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Not all.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

They are all making profits out of the sale of liquor. Prince Edward Island is not.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Nor Nova Scotia.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Well, in view of the decision of the province, I venture to say it will not be very long before Nova Scotia has a liquor control commission. At any rate it will have it in operation during the period that my hon. friend wants these grants in aid of technical education to be made. I think it would be an admirable thing, and I think it would meet with the approval of the citizens of each province, if the respective provincial governments would -talce, if not all, at least half of the profits from the sale of liquor and devote the money thus secured to technical education. Then they would be carrying out some of Carlyle's diet-urns and wishes and the wishes of some of the people of this country.

My hon. friend has asked me a few questions. First of all he asks, do I hold that Canada does not need technical education. Of course I hold that Canada needs technical education. Every word that I said at any time on the necessity for and benefits of technical education I am prepared to stand by at the present time, every word. I believe that Canada needs technical education, but I believe that Canada is in a much better position in the matter of technical schools to-day than she has ever hitherto been. We

Technical Education-Mr. Mackenzie King

find a great difference between the position when these grants were first made and the position to-day. Already the federal government has spent between $8,000,000 and S9.-000,000 on technical schools in the different provinces, and the provinces themselves have spent an equal amount or more, and to-day they are carrying on these technical schools without making any change whatever. I ask my hon. friend to tell me where one single teacher has been dropped, where one school has been closed, in any of the provinces since the federal grant has ceased.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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CON

James Charles Brady

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADY:

Pardon me, sir. Since we have lost the federal aid to technical education the government of British Columbia has issued to the various technical schools a statement that they could not continue the grant which had previously been made by the Dominion government, and therefore they were not able to meet the requirements of the technical, domestic science, and manual schools. Consequently those schools are suffering now from the cessation of that aid.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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March 13, 1930