June 5, 1934

LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I believe that governments are not the best qualified bodies to handle merchandizing or marketing. These things should be left to private initiative. The experience of the past shows that there has always been failure when this had been tried, whether in cotton, in wheat, in coffee or anything else. The Minister of Trade and Commerce has referred to the old shibboleths -many people like to use this term-of supply and demand. The free encounter of seller and buyer, competitive prices, the decision as to markets and as to the raising or lowering of prices have always proved to be and I believe always will prove to be in the future a better regulator of human energy than any board, whether national or provincial. I do not believe in price control, in heavy restrictions and in artificial scarcity. I believe in freedom even if it brings me the sneering comments of some of my hon. friends to my extreme left. Many arbitrary and undemocratic measures have been enacted not only in this country but in the world. We are starting now under the disguise of planning. That word "planning" seems now to cover everything. Everybody becomes a planner; even the Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre) has become a planner and after having asked me the whole summer of last year whether I was going to the right or to the left, I wonder whither he is going now?

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

He is up in the air.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

He is in the air.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

He was the lay reader for the bill.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Where, after all, did this wonderful planning start? It started in Russia, extended to Italy and finally Germany caught the infection.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

And British Columbia.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I will deal with my hon. friend in a minute.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Under a Liberal government.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I see it is my hon. friends to my left who do not like my remarks. I am surprised at that. I will ask them to use their patience for a little while.

Of course the Russian communists went further than most of the planners in other countries. They abolished all private capitalism. They took charge of all imports 74726-233

and exports, hours of work, all conditions, everything exactly like conditions governing soldiers and sailors elsewhere. They organized a big planning unit in Russia, the head being at Moscow and extending to every remote part of the territory. They called it the All Union Planning Commission. They had a national planning commission at .Moscow, a planning commission in every one of the seven what they call constitutive republics of the soviet, and also one in every one of the thirty so-called autonomous republics of the union. Then there was one in every little section and territory but all welded into a big whole, working under the direction of the state. Under this system Russia has become a trading unit, and if the system is a success, Russia will be the greatest trading corporation in the world. Of course it shoots any peasants or old-fashioned people who do not believe in being planned in that way. Our own bill is a mere kindergarten compared with the planning of Russia. Here they satisfy themselves with misrepresenting those who oppose the bill.

In Italy a different method was adopted. There they did not do away altogether with private ownership, but they organized the state into many corporations, guilds, also all im-der a commission of their own and welded into a unit, the result being that at least part of the individual freedom of the subject is taken away.

In Germany the system is still in an immature state and cannot be fully appreciated and criticised. It is still subject to variation according to the whims of the restless chancellor. But one thing certain is that there is always an armed ipoliceman pretty near representing the chancellor and there to see that the planning is well done and observed by everybody. Sir Norman Angell, speaking of those various dictatorships, said that they represent the psychology of the lynching party. Whatever my friends to my left may think about my views these are things that I cannot swallow and that as a Liberal I shall never digest.

Last year it was my privilege to be invited to a debate held at Hart House by the debating society of the university of Toronto. It was being conducted under parliamentary rules; there was the government on one side and the opposition on the other. I was defending Liberalism along with two of the students of the university against three opponents. The debate was a very interesting one of course until I spoke, but one thing which I remember and which I thought was

Marketing Act-Mr. Lapointe

rather bold when it was stated at the time but which seems to me now rather reasonable, was this: of course in the university there is a strong element of those who do not recognize either the Liberal or the Conservative party as their affiliation; they are Fabians, Marxists, communists, C.C.F.'s and many other denominations. We did not know which way they would vote and the Conservative. debaters made an appeal to them, telling them that after all Tory policy and communist policy are both based upon the same theory, both based upon the interference of the state in the private business of the citizen. They offered along those lines a strong argument which I had some difficulty to repel successfully. We, however, won the day.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

You should have won it after an argument like that.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I see. That is why in this house certain associations on this bill may not be so queer as they look when we first see them. Heaven forbid that I say about my friends to my extreme left what their new associates were saying about them last year and for the last two years in my province. They were wrong when they were saying that, but I know my hon. friends will not say I am unfair when I state that they are more to the left than we are. They represent a more extreme left than we do. We are witnessing a union of the extreme right and the extreme left on this bill. It was noticeable during the speech of the hon. member for South Vancouver (Mr. Maclnnis); he was pleased to quote the words, many of them, of the hon. member for Quebec-Mont-morency (Mr. Dorion) and he said: That is our doctrine; that is exactly what we promulgated at our conference in Regina last year. I admit I was surprised to find these two gentlemen standing side by side.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DORION:

Not exactly.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Well, it will be for my hon. friend to try to extricate himself from this embrace. But coming back to the hon. member for South Vancouver, he said something to which I wish to allude. He said: "Hon. gentlemen to my right are speaking all the time of liberty and freedom, and it gives me a pain in the neck." Well, sir, I must tell my hon. friend that I am a Liberal, and I still believe in liberty and freedom, freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of exchange, even if it gives him a pain anywhere in his anatomy.

I want to refer to the stand taken by the Labour opposition in Great Britain as to the

marketing act of last year. Of course the word "planning" was borrowed by Mr. Elliot from Mr. Cole. They approved of the principle of the bill, and I am not surprised at that. But they moved an amendment that all lands should be nationalized, because they said that it is the logical conclusion.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

So it is.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

It is only piecemeal planning that you are doing; their stand was for the nationalization of the land. I shall quote from an article of the Right Hon. Doctor C. Addison, M.P., one of the leaders of the Labour party, stating what their aims are with regard to that marketing act. He says:

The powers that would require to be taken would be these:

(1) Power to conduct purchases and control supply and distribution on national account, as far as necessary.

(2) Power to control the prices and the charges of distribution.

(3) Power to ascertain costs and to fix fair prices.

And for the long term policy the powers that would be required are:

(1) Power to plan land development.

(2) Power to give effect to the plan by possessing.

(a) Power to make the best and wisest use of the land;

(b) Power over prices, including marketing, distribution and costs right down to the consumer; and

(c) Ability to create the machinery for securing the progressive development of the plan.

Mr. Cole, who is a Labour authority in the matter, in an article entitled Planning International Trade, does not like the planned economy under capitalist conditions. He says:

What is doubtful is whether a planned economy introduced under capitalist conditions can possibly so establish itself in face of the powerful vested interests with which it will have to deal as to exercise the degree of control over the use of national resources necessary to afford a sure foundation for a system of internally planned production and trade.

And further:

Under such conditions national planning will lead, not to the regime of plenty which is now well within the world's grasp in view of its greatly expanded productive power, but to a perpetuation of scarcity, and to the shutting up of each developed country more and more behind a wall of economic nationalism, save to the extent to which the stronger countries are able by the methods of economic imperialism to force their way into the markets of the weaker and reduce the smaller countries *o the position of satellites.

Marketing Act-Mr. Lapoin.e

I should like to read more of Mr. Cole's article, but time does not permit.

Of course the socialist opposition there accepted with great cheerfulness all the new methods of dealing with the constitution, orders in council, minister, officials and boards being substituted for the authority of parliament. On May 29, 1932, in the report stage of the agricultural marketing bill, Sir Herbert Samuel moved an amendment to omit a clause providing that:

-the making of an order in pursuance of this section shall be conclusive evidence that the requirements of this act have been complied with.

The Labour party did not vote against it; they were delighted with the provision. What did Sir Stafford Cripps say? I quote:

This is an excellent precedent, which will be followed widely in the future, and seems to us in every way to be desired. We shall be delighted when on future occasions (as ministers) we have to draw the attention of hon. members opposite to the excellence of the precedent.

Again, on July 5, 1933, when an order made under the Import Duties Act was being discussed, Sir Stafford Cripps on behalf of the Labour party said:

We desire to put it upon record decisively that this is a mode of procedure which, if we get the opportunity, we shall adopt in an increasing measure. ... We hope we shall be able to utilize it for just such measures as the transference of the national wealth from one lot of people to another.

Nothing can better serve the purposes of those who desire to break away from the constitution and not be hampered by its provisions than this bill. I do not mean to suggest that all who favour the bill would favour the implications which I suggest. They certainly would protest against anything which would operate exclusively along the lines I have mentioned, but we are entering on the road which leads in that direction.

The most perfectly planned society is an army. All the fascist and communist countries have organized their planned economy on a military basis and along military lines-1'etat major, the staff which does the planning, captains and officers, then the officers who deal more directly with the rank and file, and then the rank and file which has to accept and submit to everything, as it is done in an army.

Mr. ST-PERE: Sometimes shoot them.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

These planners have, of course, great confidence in the power of men to govern other men they think they are best suited to decide what is best for the individual 74726-233J

farmer or the individual industrialist. That is the state of mind necessary for the success of national planning. I quite admit it. But those who do not like this way of dealing with the people of a country cannot accept this. The rational method of dealing with the difficulties of the farmers at the present time I submit would be to try to increase the purchasing power of the consumers, to try to enact tariff and other economic legislation in such a way that people in the cities, towns and villages would be able to buy the products of the farmers and other producers instead of being forced to live on bread, potatoes and things of that kind, as thousands to-day are forced to do. In my view, to be at all effective a system like this must be universal and must be applied to all kinds of products. If, by reason of these regulations, the prices of some articles go higher while, other prices stay where they are or go lower, all the farmers will try to produce the articles selling at the higher prices, and there will be a glut on the market. That is unavoidable. You cannot force the consumer to buy where prices are higher; he will buy where prices are lower, and he will buy from the unregulated producer if he can get better prices there.

We are entering lightheartedly on the very difficult task of controlling thousands of small, unregulated farmers. As I said before, agriculture is a long range industry, in which you have to plan for years in advance. It is subject to changes and modifications of which the individual farmer is a better judge than any board sitting in Ottawa, Quebec or elsewhere. The economic planner, whether in Rqssia, Italy, Germany or elsewhere, seems to forget the human mind. There is a difference of mentality as between peoples and as between individuals. Russia can have its economic planning; Italy and Germany can have their plans, but I do not believe Canada will ever submit to any system which will make the state the master of the individual. I know the Quebec farmer, and I think the other farmers of Canada are much the same. The Quebec farmer will never submit to this system; he will never agree that his judgment should be subordinated to the judgment of any board however it may be organized. When the depression ends-and it will end- I submit that those planners will disappear like the night birds that are chased away by the sunshine. The Canadian farmers will remove this restriction on their liberty, and they will never accept what may be quite acceptable in a socialized state. Great institutions are rooted in the life and the habits of a nation and should not be subjected to

36S0

Marketing Act-Mr. Lapointe

sudden changes. We cannot tear ourselves loose from our history and adopt unfamiliar and exotic arrangements which may be quite good in other countries and for other people. Historical, geographical and racial conditions in Canada will make those changes not serviceable to all the producers of our country in the same way. Paternalism is not what has made Canada what it is to-day. Regimentation is not what has made Canada a great success. Neither paternalism nor regimentation will make Canadians the great people they are destined to be. This bill represents an organization of bureaucracy, and if I have time I should like to quote a sentence or two from the May edition of a review entitled Canadian Business, which is not a political paper. Dealing with this bill this review states:

The oft repeated term "governor in council" in the bill leaves an indelible inference in the reader's mind and in making the act effective the government should remember that the control of commerce by such means tends to make trading uncertain and traders reluctant to make forward contracts.

The writer continues to declare against the element of compulsion. If I had time I should like to read a resolution adopted by the farmers of France protesting against a plan of this kind which they said was against French mentality and was conducive to chaos and fallacy.

I am told that I am at the end of my time, Mr. Speaker; perhaps the house does not regret it but I do, because I have something else to say. In conclusion, however, may I merely direct the attention of the house to the topsy-turvy policies of the government. In this bill they are trying to control nationally what is private business. In the Bank of Canada Act they control privately what is national and public business. Here we have absolutely two different standards, and in order to be logical I think the government should reverse the policies embodied in those two pieces of legislation.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. MAURICE DUPRE (Solicitor General) :

Mr. Speaker, I did not know that my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) would address the house, but perhaps I may be forgiven if very humbly I try to answer some of his remarks. I think my hon. friend has drawn a rather dark picture of the bill under discussion. It is not as bad as he says. He calls it a leap in the dark. May I say that the right appellation is a leap forward. He calls it also a sort of regimentation, while on our side-and I think this is

the right interpretation-we call it a measure to create cooperation and bring about mutual help among the classes. This is the difference we see in the interpretation of this measure.

After having listened with great care to what I may call the charge of the ex-Minister of Justice against the bill I have come to the conclusion that he has not given a real argument against it. We must be satisfied with his "ipse dixit." Of course, the high personality of my hon. friend may carry a certain weight, but I would have preferred precise arguments against the bill, based on the provisions of the bill, to the ipse dixit of my hon. friend.

My hon. friend stated that this bill will not help the producers, and that the farmer is the best judge of his own requirements and necessities. With the last point I agree; there is no doubt that the farmer is the best judge of his requirements and necessities. But it is for the farmer to say whether or not he will profit by this measure; it is for him to say whether or not he will use the machinery provided by it. There is no compulsion on the farmer to accept and to use the provisions of the bill, and there is no regimentation.

My hon. friend referred to the stand I took last summer during the course of a campaign in the province of Quebec. He was referring to the question I put to him wherein I asked him whether he was going to the right or to the left. The hon. member did not give this House of Commons the answer he gave me. He told me he was not going either to the right or to the left, but that he was going forward.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Straight ahead.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUPRE:

Surely my hon. friend

should be satisfied because in this measure we are going forward. The reason why I asked my question was obvious. The electors of Canada at that time did not know exactly where the Liberal party stood. They listened to my hon. friend in the counties of Belle-chasse and Lotbiniere when he stated that his party was going forward, and not to the left. Only a few days before that we had listened to the declaration made in the western provinces by his right hon. leader (Mr. Mackenzie King) to the effect that at least three-quarters of the third party platform could be accepted by the Liberal party. Only a few minutes before or after thfe truly remarkable speech of the ex-Minister of Justice at St.

Marketing Act-Mr. Dupre

Flavien in the county of Lotbiniere, on the same platform we could hear the Hon. Mr. Taschereau, premier of Quebec, summoning the ex-Minister of Justice to oppose any bill establishing a central bank.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

He did not succeed.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink

June 5, 1934