March 21, 1933

CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The money for seed grain

in the dried out areas to which the hon. member refers was not paid in that sense by this government. That was a loan to the province of Saskatchewan. In these municipalities, which I believe number eighty-four, one hundred per cent of the relief that was given to the people in that area was paid by the Dominion government.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

When the minister says that one hundred per cent of the relief was paid by the Dominion government, does he mean only groceries and clothing, or groceries, clothing and feed for cattle and horses as well?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Yes, it includes everything.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

We listened last night

to two members from the province of Saskatchewan saying that the reason for the difficulties in Saskatchewan was the fact that the province had to look after these people in the dried out areas, and these hon. members pretended that the province of Saskatchewan had fed the people.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I did not hear any member say that.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

They said that the province of Saskatchewan was in a serious situation because they had had to take care of these people in the dried out areas where there had been crop failures. Personally, I understood, precisely what the minister says now, that the money had been put up by this government and not by the government of Saskatchewan, and there is no reason why the financial condition of the province should be ascribed to these crop failures, seeing that the money was put up by this government. What I have objected to and still object to, however, is that though we are putting up one hundred per cent of the money we have nothing whatever to do with the administration of it. The administration of the money is entirely in the hands of the province, as I understand it, and during the first two years of such administration we saw men running up and down the country handling relief and

Relief Act, 1933

drawing salaries equal to what they were handing out in the way of relief for groceries. The salaries of these supervisors in each municipality, taking all their expenses into account -the supervisor would drive from town to town and village to village, charging so much for each trip-amounted to as much as was handed out in the way of relief for groceries. Taking the administration of the system as a whole, the amount handed out in this dried out area looks small, but a large amount was for seed and for feed for the cattle and horses, and that required very little supervision in its distribution. But so far as the groceries were concerned, most of the expense was incurred in connection with supervision and the handing out of supplies. This year I am pleased to see that they have taken it out of the hands of these men and put in back where it was before, in the hands of the municipal officers, who are handling it for nothing.

The only objection we have to-day to the handling of relief in these districts is that the people in the dried out area, where there has been no crop for four years, have not been receiving enough money for clothing. I urge upon the minister the importance of furnishing both bedding and clothing. These people have had no crop for four years, and a man with a family of four or five cannot do very much with fifty dollars a year. When he is given fifty dollars a year for the purchase of clothing and bedding and everything else for his family, you can readily understand that some members of his family must suffer. I have come across families some of whose little ones have been unable to go to school because they had no clothing, and some of the women have told me that they were obliged to keep fires on all night because there was not enough bedding to keep the children warm-and this, not in one or two cases but in many instances. The children were unable to go to school because they had no clothing. Again I urge upon the minister the necessity of handing out more money for clothing in these districts. During the first year or two of the present calamity a great many people in eastern Canada sent out a lot of secondhand clothing, but there has not been so much in the last year or so. Apparently they are weary in welldoing and are not sending the same quantity of clothing as before, so that it is imperative that the government should look after these people and see that they are better provided for than in the past.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Frederick William Gershaw

Liberal

Mr. GERSHAW:

Could the minister inform the committee what period elapses between the time that a particular municipality pays out money and the time it receives the

government's share? In the usual course of events, a municipality pays one-third of the cost of relief and many municipalities are having great difficulty in financing because of the time which must elapse before they receive the government's one-third.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

About ten days elapse

after the receipt of accounts before the cheques are forwarded to the municipality or the province.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

Yesterday the minister seemed to be in fine form when speaking of the back to the land movement. He stated that almost 100,000 people had been induced, directed, guided and inspired to go back to the land. Apparently this made such an impression upon the members of the committee that I thought that most of them would go back to the land immediately. I was surprised to-day to find that they were still present in the chamber.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I am afraid that they

would not make good.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

This afternoon the

minister told the committee that he was not a farmer himself. I am not surprised that he speaks with such enthusiasm of the back to the land movement because it is a matter of experience that those who speak most about a thing are those who know least about it. Apparently this is another make-believe policy and is similar to many other measures introduced by this government. We all know from experience how we try to induce the electors to vote for us and we are generally quite satisfied when we succeed in getting a majority to do so. Does the minister intend that the people shall be led to believe that nearly 100,000 people have been induced, directed, guided and inspired to go back to the land? I should like to know just how many have been established upon the land. I am entirely in agreement with what little good may come out of a back to the land movement but I do not think the government should try to induce the country to believe that so much good has come out of this movement. The best settlers on the land are those who are not given a chance to settle, the sons of farmers. These men cannot obtain any advantage from this scheme. Despite what has been said by the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot), I contend that the best scheme to be followed in this regard is that one introduced a few years ago by the Minister of Colonization of the province of Quebec. That province gives a premium of $24 to any settler for every acre of

Relief Act, 1933

land he opens 'Up. This is a real scheme and it offers a cure for the situation which confronts us. Perhaps the minister may not agree with me, but I would characterize this back to the land movement as a public confession by the government, as an expatiatory formula, as an admission of carelessness in the past, as a demonstration of the use of two pounds of cure where one ounce of prevention would have brought about the same result. I do not want to be too critical of the minister because I welcome any effort which is made in this connection. However, I do not think the country should be misinformed about the facts and told that 100,000 people have been induced, directed, guided and inspired to go back to the 'land. In effect, the minister is stating that he has induced one-eighth of our unemployed to settle upon the land. I should like to know just how many people have been settled upon the land, how many have stayed and how many are likely to remain permanently.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Mr. Chairman, a short

time ago the hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer) asked me if I thought it possible that a man could take up a farm location and sustain himself with only $600 in cash. From what the hon. member said, I take it that he has had much experience in colonization. I have seen one of the finest agricultural sections of Canada opened up, I refer to Timiskaming. When I went to that section of the country there were only a few small locations opened up. The settlers who came there had no money and prices were extremely low. If the hon. member for North Timiskaming (Mr. Bradette) were in his seat, I think he would agree with me when I say that probably there is not a finer section of settled agricultural land in Canada than the hundreds of miles to be found in our ridings. These men went in there when there was nothing but spruce trees upon the land; they had no money but to-day they own their farms. It is to their everlasting credit that I have received but few communications from them asking for any kind of relief. The population is about evenly divided between French and English speaking settlers, and I think I should comment upon how splendidly these people get along together. Anyone who started anything in the way of racial strife in that part of the country would not get very far. These people have confidence in each other and they are getting along as the two races should get along. They went into that country when it was solid spruce bush, when there were no pulpmills to which to sell their wood. In the first few years they did have

difficult times but to-day the great majority of the settlers own their beautiful farms without one cent of encumbrance against them. They did not have 8600 given to them. Their products were very low at the time they went in there, but they have made a success.

I take issue with the hon. member for Battle River with respect to the province of Quebec because the province of Quebec probably above all other provinces in Canada has for centuries devoted itself to the expansion of sound colonization within its boundaries, and in fact has extended its colonization schemes beyond its own boundaries into other provinces.

I am not in agreement with what the hon. member for Temiscouata has said with respect to colonization in the province of Quebec, and I had not intended to refer to it because I do not think I am charged with the responsibility of settling a scrap between the hon. member for Temiscouata and the Minister of Colonization, Hon. Mr. Laferte, in the province of Quebec, but I do say this, that in the county of Temiscouata, of the total number of settlers who were placed there, only two were placed under this scheme. Mainly the settlers that we have assisted to place on the land through the organization of the province of Quebec are in Abitibi and Timiskaming. When the 'hon. member for Temiscouata says that men, women and children, were hived there in sheds, and eating grass and roots and all that sort of thing, I do not know that he was speaking seriously; I cannot help but think that he was a little facetious. The fact is that under our colonization scheme the men folks went up into that country first, and they went there in charge of officers who are acquainted with that sort of work, and those officers stayed there until the men got their houses built and a little clearing made, and it was not until long afterwards that the men's families came along. I have had not only one but hundreds of communications sent to me by the railway committee upon which we have representation indicating the success of that scheme. At no time were any of these people housed together in the way the hon. member for Temiscouata has suggested.

In the riding of Temiscouata, where the settlers were placed by the provincial government alone, an effort was made some years ago, I am informed, to flood that land under some conservation of water scheme, and at that time-I may be misinformed-I was told that the hon. member for Temiscouata was in favour of colonization there. But now he has changed his viewpoint and claims that that effort by the provincial government should

Relief Act, 1933

not have been undertaken. But these are all provincial matters which have nothing whatever to do with the joint effort of the municipality, the province and the dominion.

I have a detailed report, which I have not by me at the moment, from the colonization agent of the Canadian National Railways with respect to the settlement that has taken place in Abitibi and Timiskaming, in the province of Quebec, not in Ontario. I know that country very well, as well, in fact, as I know the country across the interprovincial boundary line where I live. I know that those people are located close to the railway; I know that they have passable roads built already; I know that good judgment was used by everyone concerned, both by our representative on the committee and the representative of the province of Quebec, to see that the locations were arable crown lands which were adjacent to and had the benefit of that best of all markets, the immediate home market in the rapidly expanding mining sections of Quebec. I wonder if members of this house realize what is going on in mining up in that section of the province of Quebec. Those mines have lain there longer than I would care to calculate. They were opened up only in 1923 as a result of prospecting by prospectors from the towns of Haileybury, Cobalt and New Liskeard, and they located what is now that wonderful mine, the Noranda. That inspired other prospectors to come in, until to-day in the northwestern part of the province of Quebec I hazard the opinion that there is not a finer mining camp on this continent, and of necessity it provides an immediate market for those who go on the land. So I say that the joint committee of the railways, ourselves, and the province of Quebec, should be commended for that effort. Whether we are commended or not we have evidence now of the success of at least that portion of the effort that we are putting forward to endeavour to locate upon the land those people who are suited to taking up farm locations and becoming farm owners with a view to placing themselves in a position of independence so far as their immediate needs are concerned. That generally has been the policy that we have been projecting.

I know how easy it is, by reason of my experience with those pioneers who went into the northern part of Canada, for a man to become discouraged. That all too frequently happens, but I say this, that we are at least devoting our effort towards giving Canadians in Canada, regardless of their race and political affiliations, a chance to become owners of that part of the national assets of Canada.

We must do it of necessity if we are going to support the services that have been projected, particularly railways. That necessitates turning a lot of our vacant spaces into production.

It may be asked, what is the use of doing it with price levels so low? Well, a few years is only a short space in the life of a country, and I think it will be only a short time before that condition disappears. If our own people do not accept the opportunity that I believe we are giving them-and it must be remembered that we have restricted immigration into this country for the purpose amongst others of giving our own people the first chance-in devoting any money we have towards the assistance of colonization by Canadians within Canada, but if our own people do not see the force of taking advantage of this opportunity, then I say that if we must have people we shall perhaps have to turn once more to seek new people from other lands. Bear this in mind, that at no time have there ever been any restrictions placed by this government on British people coming to Canada. That has never been done. But the movement is a slow one. Often we find that people even from Britain come out here for the purpose of colonization who are not suited. The selection was not made of them over there, and there have been disappointments. So far as the continent of Europe is concerned, it is well known that governments on the continent and many private agencies have devoted their energies towards moving the populations of Europe. Some of those countries are crowded, of course, and they are looking for an outlet wherever possible. It is equally true that no country likes to get rid of its best, and therefore it is essential that we exercise that degree of discrimination which is likely to result in contracting the migrations of peoples and result in the bringing to this country, so far as is humanly possible, those who are likely to be easily assimilated into our national life and become proper and useful citizens of this country. Shortly, that is my conception of the immigration policy which should be pursued. True, it is slow; it is not as colourful as the plan which has been followed in the past, but in my judgment it is the policy which will ultimately be found to be sound. Because, in my view, the greatness of a nation must be measured not merely by the number of people within its borders, but by the spirit and character of those people. That is the true measure of the strength of a nation.

In short, that is the policy this government is pursuing. While I do not expect we will attain one hundred per cent success in the movement, so far as I am personally concerned

Relief Act, 1933

I shall at least have the satisfaction of knowing that we have given our people at home a chance to take advantage of an opportunity and to become the owners of locations within Canada. I am convinced that a fair measure of success will be the result. The head of the colonization department of the Canadian Pacific Railway has handed me a list showing those who have settled on one short branch of that railroad in Ontario. It shows that during the past eighteen months 1,510 families settled there, without any help from the railway' or from the government. Hon. members can see that at least some people in Canada believe that to establish themselves on farms, whether they intend to stay there or not, is the course of wisdom. The fact that they go to the farms is an illustration of their confidence in the belief that at least they can go into our farming communities and support themselves during this period when there is little or no employment security in industry.

Shortly put, that is the object of our devoting this comparatively small sum of money towards helping people to become self sustaining on the land.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to add a few words to the remarks of the hon. member for Kamouraska concerning the back to the land movement. I do not wish to criticize the plan; on the contrary I should like to congratulate the minister upon its success, despite the difficult conditions under which it has been operated. The scheme is carried out through the cooperation of the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and applies only to the unemployed in the cities. Any hon. member who has been born on a farm knows that in order to be a successful farmer one has to be born to it. Farmers are not improvised; they are not trained in a day. To use a French expression, d'aujourd'hui a domain. Because of this handicap it is a surprise that the back to the land plan has met with such a degree of success.

It seems to me one of the great difficulties in connection with the execution of the plan arises from the fact that the municipalities are asked to contribute to the amount being spent in settling the urban unemployed on the land. Very few municipalities, with the exception of large cities such as Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto or Quebec have any money to help settle their unemployed in faraway colonization districts. That is one reason why the plan does not work as successfully and as speedily as one might hope. Another reason is that the large municipalities which could contribute towards settling their unemployed

on the land are not very anxious to spend the money to send the citizens away from those municipalities. I have been informed that the large cities are more or less reluctant to settle their unemployed in faraway colonization districts such as Abitibi, Timiskaming or even Temiscouata county. The reason is very simple: When the unemployed remain within the boundaries of a city they receive relief moneys for shelter, for food, for fuel, for clothing and so on. This money is spent in the cities in local stores, with consequent benefit to local trade. Some of it returns to the municipal coffers in the form of taxation. For those reasons, of course, the cities prefer to retain their unemployed and have them spend their relief moneys in the cities. They do not wish to have them go to distant points to settle on the land.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I do not agree with that.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

For those reasons I

urge upon the government that it should relieve the municipalities from contributing to the land settlement fund, and that the scheme should be only a two party affair, between the federal and the provincial governments.

I have another suggestion to make to the government in connection with the back to the land movement, namely to enlarge the scope of the plan. At the present time it applies only to the city unemployed, and to the heads of families. As I said a minute ago, to be a successful farmer one has to understand farming and to be born to it. We cannot make a successful farmer of a person who has been living in the city for fifteen or twenty years. There is possibility of making a successful farmer of a man who has been in the city for only a short time. If he is a farmer who has been lured into the city, but has kept in touch with operations on the land and has not forgotten the elementary principles of farming, his chances of success are much better. But it is very doubtful whether a man who for fifteen or twenty years has been a labourer in industry could make a success, if he were transplanted in a far away district such as Abitibi or Timiskaming.

I repeat that in view of the conditions under which the back to the land movement has been operating its success has been marvellous. I would urge upon the government, therefore, to extend the plan, so that it might apply not only to city unemployed but also to farmers' sons. In old counties the scheme cannot be carried out. For instance, in an old county such as the one from which I come, a county which has been settled for over three hundred years, there can be no colonization. Our great problem is to know what to do with

Relief Act, 1933

our fanners' sons. We cannot place them in commerce or industry, we cannot place them even in the civil service. They are the real prospective farmers who would make a success on the farms. They have the proper training, they are familiar with farming, and they would be more successful than would be the city unemployed. I therefore ask the government to extend the scope of the back to the land movement so that it may embrace farmers' sons. The rural sections are full of, young men who have nothing to do. They cannot get land in their neighbourhood; their fathers cannot place them in the parish where they were born, or the county or district, so they have to go far away. They can no longer go to the cities because there is no work; the only place they could go would be on the land in the colonization districts. There you have the very best of settlers. I would ask that the government find means to help those young farmers in the same manner as city unemployed are helped to settle on the land.

Another point I would like to bring to the attention of the minister is this: In some places where farms have been opened more or less recently the clearing of land has not advanced far enough to make them capable of supplying sufficient revenue to support the occupants. Those farmers are willing and anxious to increase their clearing, but they have not the money or the help to do it. I wonder if it would be possible to use some of the unemployed, more especially the unemployed living in the country, and even those living in cities, to help these farmers to clear their land. The owners of the farms cannot pay for help, but they could give them food and shelter if the government under a back to the land movement would undertake to pay a small wage to those engaged in clearing land for the benefit of already established farmers.

Another suggestion I would like to make concerns a plan which has been discussed for a long time in the province from which I come. At the present time the provincial government makes grants or pays premiums for clearing and ploughing on unpatented land; but once letters patent have been obtained the settlers no longer get those premiums or grants. It would perhaps be possible, under a scheme of co-operation between the federal and the provincial governments, to continue the payment of those grants or premiums even after letters patent have been granted. It would enable the farmers to clear enough to produce revenue sufficient to support themselves and their families. I offer these suggestions not in any spirit of criticism but only

with the intention of making the land settlement plan a little better, a little larger, a little more beneficial for all concerned. Before I resume my seat may I be allowed to congratulate the acting Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Gordon) upon the sentiments and opinions he expressed last night and to-day on the question of immigration.

I do not doubt the sincerity of the minister, and I am willing to admit that he has always held those opinions and sentiments; but may I be permitted to remind him that they have not always been the opinions and sentiments of his party? I remember very well, as those will who were with me here in 1928, that very few hon. members at that time held the opinions to which the minister gave expression yesterday. Very few of us warned the country to go slow on immigration. In the * session of 1928 the then leader of the opposition, the present Prime Minister, made a savage attack on Mr. Forke because he was not filling the country up fast enough with immigrants. I am glad the opinion has changed, and that the acting Minister of Immigration and Colonization has expressed as favourable to a principle for which my good friend the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) and myself fought in the house in 1928.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

Before the minister

answers my hon. friend from Bellechasse (Mr. Boulanger) may I be permitted a few words to congratulate my hon. friend for the excellent spirit he has displayed in his criticism of the back to the land movement. I would have been much pleased if the criticism of my hon. friend from Kamouraska (Mr. Bouchard) had been on the same lines.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

I made no criticism at all. Will my hon. friend permit a question?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

I shall be through in a

minute, and I do not want to enter into any controversy. I desire only to support what my hon. friend from Bellechasse has said about the sons of farmers from our districts, Bellechasse and Dorchester, who are unable to profit by the back to the land movement because our municipalities and districts cannot provide the sum of $200 which is required by the legislation. I think the suggestion of the hon. member for Bellechasse ought to be studied very seriously. May I suggest that this government in conjunction with the provincial government consider a plan whereby the cost of transportation of sons of farmers might be paid, in order to help those who wish to leave the old districts such as Dorchester and Bellechasse and the

Reliej Act, 1933

counties situated south of the St. Lawrence, and go to the new territories like Timiskam-ing or Abitibi? Last year I had a request from a man in the county of Dorchester who had twelve children. He had secured lots in Abitibi for three of his sons but unfortunately he could not find the necessary money to carry his furntiure and family from Dorchester to Abitibi. He applied to the provincial government and to the federal government, but was told that the back to the land scheme did not provide for the cost of transportation of the sons of farmers. May I suggest that the government study that side of the matter and enter into negotiations with the provincial government to find a way of helping fathers of large families who are anxious to have their sons settled on land in the newer districts?

My hon. friend from Bellechasse says it is difficult to make a good farmer of a city dweller. That is true, but on the other hand my hon. friend and others on that side of the house should not forget that during the years 1927-28-29 a great number of sons of farmers were lured into the cities by industrial activity. For instance in Quebec when the Anglo-Canadian pulp and paper mill was opened I think 2,000 young people came in from the neighbouring districts to settle in Quebec. These people have since been unable to secure employment, but they are not city dwellers in the true sense of the term; they are sons of farmers who have been lured into the city but who would be willing to go back to the land and would make very good settlers.

May I also point out to those on the other side of the house that this government has taken into serious consideration the suggestion which has been offered by the provincial governments. The federal government has respected the autonomy of the provinces, and in regard to the back to the land movement this government has done nothing contrary to the wishes and desires of the government of Quebec. So we on this side of the house were surprised to hear the strong criticism offered in the house yesterday by the hon. member for Temiscouata, and we wondered if all hon. gentlemen opposite were of the same opinion. We would be interested, and I am sure the government of Quebec would be interested also, to know whether hon. gentlemen opposite share the views of my hon. friend from Temiscouata with regard to the colonization policy of Quebec.

This is all I have to say, Mr. Chairman, and I conclude my humble remarks by thanking my hon. friend from Bellechasse for his broad criticism. I am sure the government will take his suggestions in the proper spirit.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Unfortunately I was not in the house yesterday when the Minister of Labour said:

If my recollection serves me correctly, and my hearing is right, the hon. member for Temiscouata directed his barrage against the province of Quebec.

When the house opened to-day I rose to a question of privilege and said:

The hearing of the hon. gentleman may be correct and his recollection may serve him correctly, but his understanding was very poor because I did not direct any barrage against my own province, which I love as much as my country and which I am always fighting for.

A esterday I said the following words, which appear at page 3156 of Hansard:

In my remarks, I had no more the intention of attacking the Quebec government than -attacking, in the house, the Minister of Labour, yesterday.

I was referring to my speech on March 2. I am sorry that the minister does not understand French, but it will be noticed that in my remarks yesterday I did not seek to place any blame on this Or any other government. For this reason I was very much surprised to hear my hon. friend from Dorchester ask what Mr. Tasehereau might think or what the Quebec government might think. I have nothing unpleasant to say about the Quebec government, but I find it very strange that the hon. member for Dorchester should stand on the platform and oppose the Quebec provincial government during every election and still be so much interested in their welfare between elections. He might be taken much more seriously if he supported the provincial government during elections as well as between election campaigns. What I said yesterday was mostly objective and not subjective; I wanted to give my unbiased views with regard to this extremely important problem confronting us at present. Speaking yesterday the Minister of Labour said:

I am not unmindful of the situation, but the policy which I have outlined will be pursued.

So he is the father of that policy; he has given his name to it. So much the better for him if he is pleased with it, but there is a lot that can be said about this policy; he must be told where it is wrong. It does not matter what name may be given to it; it does not matter by whom the policy is out-

Relief Act, 1933

lined. The essential thing is that it should bring about efficiency, and if it does not do so it is a bad policy.

What did I say about those camps on March 2? I did not mention there were any camps in Temiscouata county, though I have since learned from a letter which appeared in the press that there were such camps. I did say they had these camps in the north and I saw families going there while there were no roads leading to their lots. I do not say I have been misquoted or misunderstood; I have said what I have said and nothing else. There is something I should say, and I do not refer to it because I have any quarrel with any person; I have no quarrel with anyone, but when a man is incompetent I ask for his dismissal without fear or favour. I am here to do my duty. I am not here to exact any sort of vengeance from this person or that, and I have no such idea and no ill feeling towards anyone. I will do my duty as best I can, and I will not be swayed by what may be said by the hon. member for Dorchester, or even by the minister himself. I fear no one but God, though after listening to the budget speech this afternoon I also fear for the future.

Here we have a scheme to send people back to the land, and it is advertised like a circus. Has it been well thought out? Is there a careful selection of the would-be settlers? On what basis is that selection made, and who makes it? Those are interesting questions.

In my constituency of Temiscouata there is a seigniory, an area two leagues wide along lake Temiscouata; that seigniory is a cancer in that farming district. Many people there suffered eviction, just as the Irishmen were evicted from their own country. That property formerly belonged to Seignior Thomas, who died, and now it is the property of the Fraser Company. There are several parishes contained in that siegniory: Sainte Rose du Degele, Notre Dame du lac, Saint Mathias de Cabano, Saint Louis du Ha! Ha!, Saint Eusebe de Cabano. The new parish of Squatec is close by, and there is also the parish of Saint Juste du Lac. Among these are some rather old parishes, but the seignior refused to grant lots to the sons of the farmers, and as a consequence the young men could not settle near their homesteads. As a result they have had to settle on land farther away, though if conditions had been reversed there would not have been the gaps between those parishes and the crown lands in the eastern part of my constituency. For a long time now I have advocated an exchange

of lots in order that the sons may be near their fathers. Nothing has been done except to create a new parish in front of Notre Dame du Lac, although there was a good location further south on the Madawaska river. That scheme has never been accepted for the simple reason that there was too much oomimon sense in it. The lands in the vicinity of the Madawaska river are excellent for farming but they have been neglected. The soil is good and there is only one river to cross, a small river, to reach the other side. Lake Temiscouata is over a male wide and is quite deep, and for about two weeks in the spring and two weeks in the fall it is impossible to cross it owing to the moving ice. Now this is my suggestion, which I have often made in public and in the press. I suggest that there should be an exchange of lots so that these vacant lands might be granted to farmers' sons who have experience in farming and who could settle near the old homestead. In the first place, the farmers must strengthen their position in the old parishes; they must strengthen the old fortress in each parish, and after that is done colonization should go forward step by step just as in the army. When a range in a new township is conceded, a second range should be conceded provided all the lots on the first range are inhabited by serious settlers. How can we pick and choose this and that one? How can we take Paul and Joe, Fred and Tom, and take them away into the midst of the forest and say to each of them, "You will have to settle here and there."

I submit that there has been no system in colonization; there has not been any system for some time, perhaps since confederation, and possibly even before that. I do not blame any government, but I offer them this suggestion and ask them to take it into serious consideration so that all may profit thereby. The Gordon scheme is a very nice name, and perhaps no one could suggest any better; but it must be lasting. It should not merely be a palliative. If it is only a palliative, what is the use of taking men from the city where they are on relief and placing them in the middle of the wilderness and giving them $600? They will simply die there; you might as well support them in the city. It would be cheaper, for it seems to me that the government will simply have to bring them back from the forest and see that they are cared for.

These are all serious considerations. More than that, Mr. Chairman, may I say that the reason I spoke as I did yesterday is that I am tired of this wonderful picture of colonization which is given us by those who have an

Relief Act, 1933

interest of some kind in painting it that way. Things must be presented to us exactly as they are; there should be no camouflage. If a thing is good, let it be so represented; if it is bad, we must be told that it is bad. But what have we here? We have the maple syrup of Dorchester uttering sweet words to the house in the same fashion as French fried potatoes are sizzled in the pan. We have complaints of every description-flowers of every kind. To-day it was just as at a wedding, flowers everywhere, flowers to this one and flowers to that one. I suggest that the minister is too much of a man to care so much for flowers.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Certainly I don't like

French fried potatoes and flowers in the same bouquet.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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March 21, 1933