(Melfort) for the second reading of Bill No. 51, to improve the methods and practices of marketing of natural products in Canada and in export trade, and to make further provisions in connection therewith.
Mr. PIERRE F. CASGRAIN (Charlevoix-Saguenay) (Translation): Mr. Speaker,
apparently, we are passing through a period of schemes and systems generally known as plans or planning. We have but to read the newspapers and reviews to find all kinds of economic reforms advocated by so called learned men, economists and governments. We find an example in the Republic to the south of us with its NRA and various systems. Every one has a new scheme to end the crisis or depression. Perhaps, some day, the right system will be found. It is to be desired. I do not think, however, that the government by its bill No. 51 submitted to us, has discovered the real remedy. The people at the next election, will be given an opportunity to choose between facism, socialism and democracy. Among all the systems proposed, I still prefer democracy. We cannot further try out all kinds of expedients and systems or be satisfied with a policy of evasion or hesitation as the one adopted since four years. Democracy will have to be founded in the future on an economic regime so as to insure the material needs of humanity.
Man has always been an individualist. Society has taught him to organize. Thus we have been given definite working hours, scales of fixed wages, the regulation of work for women and children, etc. In all cases society has always kept in mind the protection of the individual's liberty. That is what has been left out in the bill under consideration. What is lacking to-day, is a fair distribution of wealth. Wealth is in the hands of a few only. The great evil is that its distribution is not proportionate to our requirements.
In the United States an effort is being made to remedy this state of things; a greater demand is sought from the consumer by enhancing his purchasing power. I do not think that to attain such an end, production must be curtailed or limited. It should be increased so as to satisfy the requirements of all. We are suffering from too great an abundance, the result of an unwise distribution.
Does the bill introduced, at present, by the government solve these problems, while safe-guai'ding the individual's liberty? I do not think so. The title is a long one: "An Act to improve the methods and practices of marketing of national products in Canada and in export trade, and to make further provision in connection, therewith." I wonder whether the results will be as slow in coming as the government was in introducing this bill. I prefer the title given to it somewhere: Natural Products Marketing Board. I, moreover, prefer the title to the bill itself. The bill is very elaborate and so is the title. As I stated the government was slow in submitting this bill. Were I to criticize the government I would state that it is four years late. I fear that it is a still-born infant, that the government will never put into force, and even if it is explained to the people, especially in our province, they will not put any faith in it. I do not think that the results expected will even be realized, because the provisions of the bill are of a nature to harm the farming class rather than benefit it.
In four years the government has amended, changed and increased the tariff, signed agreements with almost all parts of the Empire, helped industrialists, manufacturers, bankers, insurance and railway companies, and it is only to-day that they give a thought to the farming class.
Fear is the beginning of wisdom. Elections must certainly not be very remote.