March 9, 1936

LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Well, I know

the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS TO OATS, BARLEY, RYE AND FLAX PRODUCED IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):

That is an

insinuation, too, and the hon. gentleman should withdraw it.

Wheat Board Act-Mr. Ward

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS TO OATS, BARLEY, RYE AND FLAX PRODUCED IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I will ask the hon. gentleman to withdraw the remark.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS TO OATS, BARLEY, RYE AND FLAX PRODUCED IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

It was just a

pleasant observation. I know the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS TO OATS, BARLEY, RYE AND FLAX PRODUCED IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):

All right.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS TO OATS, BARLEY, RYE AND FLAX PRODUCED IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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?

Mr ROSS (Moose Jaw):

The hon. member who introduced this resolution could have insisted at that time that the government have coarse grains brought under the board and prices fixed for them, but he did not do so. He does not need to say that I am insinuating now; I am stating the fact when I say that he did not do so at that time. Now he brings in this resolution at a time when he is sitting in opposition. So far as coarse grains are concerned, I would suggest that before any action is taken by parliament to have prices set on coarse grains, first of all the great loss which the western growers sustained through the delay of my right hon. friend in setting a price on wheat, or, if that price was set, through his not allowing the grain companies and the farmers of western Canada to know what the price was, should be refunded. I am willing to support any measure that will bring about that result, but I will not support the measure brought down by my hon. friend until such action is taken by this house.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS TO OATS, BARLEY, RYE AND FLAX PRODUCED IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. W. J. WARD (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, I agree with what has been said by the hon. member who has taken his seat (Mr. Ross, Moose Jaw) with regard to the delay in setting the price for the crop of the year in question, but in the light of the fiscal policy of this country, the bonus, if you like to call it that, that is paid to the manufacturers-and it appears to me that we have resigned ourselves to a system of bonusing our manufacturers-the only complaint I have to make with regard to the resolution is that it does not go far enough. I think we should include all farm products. If we are to continue bonusing the secondary industries of Canada by all that is reasonable and logical we should also bonus the primary producers. It has been stated by one hon. member, a man who I think should know, that it has cost us, in the greater prices we have had to pay for the goods we consume, in the neighbourhood of from 3400,000,000 to $500,000,000 to carry on this system of bonusing. I think if we could analyze the ultimate load created in this way we would find that it rests very heavily upon the shoulders of the farmers of this country. So if the hon. member had brought down a resolution advocating a direct bonus to all agriculture, to everything we produce, I would heartily support it, but I

think the resolution is perfectly logical in the light of the past experience of this country.

Mr. W. G. WEIR (Macdonald) [DOT] Mr. Speaker, this is probably one of the most important resolutions, as far as western Canada is concerned, that will come before the house this session. I did not think it would be reached to-night, and I know there are many members from the west who would like to take part in this debate. I know the interest that is being shown and that has been shown for some time in regard to this matter.

May I say that I subscribe very heartily to the remarks of the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross) with respect to the delay in establishing the initial payment on the 1935 crop, but I am also concerned in regard to the proposed settlement that was announced just prior to the election -frith respect to the 1930-31 crop. The government has already announced that it is going to introduce legislation to implement in part that supposed undertaking. I think we in this house, as well as the country at large, will welcome that opportunity of securing the additional information, and until that time comes I do not feel that we are in a position to deal adequately with this resolution. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I desire to move the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to and debate adjourned. VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS TO OATS, BARLEY, RYE AND FLAX PRODUCED IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL

TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION

CON

Denton Massey

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DENTON MASSEY (Greenwood) moved:

Whereas, a trained youth is indispensable to the future welfare of Canada;

And whereas, the unemployment of parents and heads of families, because of conditions for which they are in no way responsible, means that boys and girls, and young men and young women, have been denied the necessary training to properly and adequately equip them for a life's vocation;

And whereas, prolonged enforced inactivity has a debilitating and often disastrous effect upon the youth of our country;

And whereas, it is not enough merely to provide employment for youth who have suffered from the lack of training and preparation for vocational work;

And whereas, provincial schools which have reached a high standard of excellence and which yearly are increasing the sphere of their usefulness, do not provide adequate facilities for technical training;

Therefore be it resolved, that the government consider the desirability of investigating the broad question of the reestablishment of the young men and young women of Canada;

Vocational Education-Mr. Massey

And be it further resolved, that, in the conduct of such investigation, attention be given to the possibility of making available, to those of our youth, who are adapted for such training and who would otherwise be denied it, technical training in various branches;

And be it further resolved, that, in the conduct of such investigation, consideration should be given to the feasibility of setting up and maintaining a National Youth Reestablishment Commission.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I rise for this the first time to speak in this house with considerable trepidation. I am not insensible of the extent and depth of the tradition that is bounded by these four walls. I think of those who have spoken here these many years past and of those who speak here now. I am here as a new member; I have come here- and I say it proudly-with a sense of humility, a sense of privilege-the privilege of association; the privilege of opportunity; and the privilege of responsibility. I have been sent here-and I am fully conscious of it-by upwards of seventy thousand splendid Canadian people who are dependent upon industrial activity for their livelihood. I have been sent here to represent them, and when I speak in this house I speak not as a private member only but as the representative of those people. During the course of my campaign I made a promise. I believe, sir, that promises are rather dangerous things during elections. But I made one promise, and that promise was to do my best.

As I have said, I honour and respect the traditions of this house; I respect its dignity, its decorum, and the purposes for which we are gathered here. So as I speak I am filled with a sense of privileged obligation and traditionalistic responsibility not only to those who sent me here but to my fellow members of this house, to my country, to the empire, and to my king.

To identify myself, Mr. Speaker, may I say that I am a Conservative, and proud of the fact. I am proud of my party, its principles and its accomplishments. I have an intense loyalty to party, yes, but I feel that, in the words of him whom I honour as my leader, "a party is an instrument to effect a purpose," and this purpose is to advance the best and fullest interests of the Dominion of Canada.

The motion which it is my rare privilege to bring to the attention of hon. members is, I feel, vitally important to our national life. As I introduce it I am not under any misapprehension as to the magnitude of its scope. I realize that it must be treated as a national subject in the deepest and broadest

sense. I feel that it is the duty of this parliament particularly, if I may say so, to bend our united efforts, of course with loyalty to party ideals and principles, to the common cause, the national welfare. We have been sent here for that purpose and to that purpose we must adhere.

This motion relates to a national matter that concerns the very life-blood of Canada. We face a most serious national problem. That sounds platitudinous. One who rises to speak in such days as we have passed through in this world in the past seven years almost feels it incumbent upon him to use such language. But when I say that we face a most serious problem, this is no platitude. It is not necessary for me and it is not my purpose to expatiate at length upon the burning question of unemployment occasioned by the economic world war of the last seven years. It is with a single feature, and a singularly important feature of it, that this motion deals; that is the problem of youth. I have been privileged in my contacts during the last eleven years, in that I have had very extensive contacts with the youth of one city of this province, particularly, and perhaps in a lesser way with the youth of Ontario as a whole. I have come into contact with scores of young men who have been good enough to come to me with their difficulties and problems. I have counselled them in their difficulties and disappointments. So I speak here to-night with some definite and practical knowledge of the subject with which I deal.

Prior to 1929 it seems to me that we did not pay much attention to the youth of Canada. It is true that in 1919 we passed a Technical Education Act, the purport of which was "to aid in promoting industry and the mechanical trades and to increase the earning capacity, efficiency and productive power of those employed therein." The need for such aid was expressed in the terms of reference of the royal commission which had previously reported to parliament, as follows:

Industrial efficiency is all important to the development of the dominion and to the promotion of the home and foreign _ trade of Canada in competition with other nations.

From 1929 to 1936 the world has passed through very difficult days, days of diminished salaries, lowered wages, apprenticeships discontinued, days of lost opportunities. The abuses of the system under which we carry on in this western so-called civilization have become very apparent and have been brought under the microscope. We found that we had made many mistakes and had permitted many mistakes to be made. The

Vocational Education-Mr. Massey

results were farreaching and simultaneously spectacular and tragic. Unemployment of heads of families left in its wake suffering hardship, and many casualties the like of which the world had not seen before. Single men and single women found no means of selfsupport. In this emergency agencies were quickly set up and the job of work called relief was comparatively well done-when I say comparatively I refer to other countries -but sometimes it seemed that we had forgotten that women too who had been employed and were then unemployed had to be taken care of. Did we ever see a woman in the bread line? But youth has paid the greatest price of all, for not only did youth lose the opportunity to earn but it lost also the opportunity to learn how to earn.

Education had to be curtailed, not alone because of the cost of education, but because it was necessary for those who were engaged in academic and scholastic pursuits to surrender them in order that such means as possible might be gathered together. Then came spasmodic and in some cases continuing idleness. Idleness, Mr. Speaker, is an ugly word. It is a word that one finds on the side of the incubator of national disaster. In so many instances, youth became discontented, youth became unbalanced, youth became despondent. Youth did not understand what it was all about. Youth, in some quarters- and let us admit it frankly-became unpatriotic and permitted some of itself to be gullible to the approach of the foreign agitator, violent and extreme and destructive, gullibility born not of desire but of a sense of hopelessness.

To deal with the problem of the reestablishment of youth is to deal with a practical, not a theoretical, problem. This is not the time to spend in extended discussions of our problem. This is not the time to wrangle upon a party platform concerning what is to be done. These are days of action. The voice of youth will be heard; the voice of youth has already been heard in many quarters.

There sits to my left in this house a group of seventeen young men, sent here to represent a party. I deprecate the attitude of some, if I may do so in all humility, who tend to laugh at this group. Why laugh? Experiments will be tried; youth will indulge in experiments. These young men, our fellow-members, have been sent here by youth. These are days of action, and not of petty, partisan political ponderings upon petty matters. I envy the government, if I may say so, the opportunity that is theirs, and particularly, if he will allow me, do I envy my r.Mr. Massey.]

good friend the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) the opportunity that is his, an opportunity that he may discharge directly and swiftly. His action must spring, it seems to me, not from any academic or any theoretical point of view, but from a regard for human values and human feeling. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning), for whom I have the highest respect, is interested in a balanced budget, as he must be. Before him are figures, prefaced by the dollar sign, but the national dollar must be regarded only as it is related to national life.

For some days in this house there has been debated the matter of a trade agreement. The whole matter of this trade agreement, it seems to me, if I am in order, Mr. Speaker, is as it is related to jobs, and as it produces income for the primary producer. It is not enough for the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) to present at the end of this or that or the other year a statement showing an increase in trade. But what does increase in trade mean in terms of jobs and of income for the farmers? If trade is increased and the number of jobs is not increased, then trade itself is not enough. The unemployed youth of this country are thinking in terms of jobs, not in terms of dollars of trade. Further, as the resolution states, it is not enough merely to supply jobs. Parliament has a wider and fuller duty to the youth of Canada, our national life-blood, than merely to supply jobs. It is the reestablishment of our youth, morally, educationally, socially, as well as occupationally.

Here is the problem. In 1926-and may I say, Mr. Speaker, that all the figures I am using to-night are taken from the bureau of statistics-the population of this dominion was 9,451,000; I am giving figures to the nearest thousand; in 1929 our population was 10.029,000; in 1934 it was 10,835,000, and in 1935 our population was estimated at 11,000,000. From 1926 to 1935 our population increased by 1,550,000; from 1929 to 1935 it increased by

1,000,000; from 1934 to 1935, in one year, it increased by 165,000. Let us consider the problem more intimately, more in relation to the resolution itself. In 1931 there reached the age of sixteen years 215,000 boys and girls; in 1932 there reached that same age 205,000; in 1933, 207,000; in 1934, 202,000; in 1935, 210,000, and in 1936 it is estimated that there will reach that age 217,000.

Now, what of employment? We are told that employment at the end of 1935 is slightly higher than in 1934, and essentially the same in 1931. In other words, about four million men, women, boys and girls, altogether, are

Vocational Education-Mr. Massey

engaged in gainful occupations. But since 1931 the population of this dominion has increased by approximately 625,000; from 1931 to 1935 1,049,000 reached the age of sixteen. Now, what has happened to these young people? Of those who were in school at the age of sixteen, fifty-seven per cent remained in school until they were seventeen, and forty-three per cent dropped out. Of those in school at the age of seventeen, fifty per cent remained until they were eighteen, and fifty per cent dropped out. Of those in school at eighteen, seventy-one per cent remained until they were nineteen, and twenty-nine per cent dropped out. Of those of all ages who attended school only two-thirds reached the final year of the elementary school. One-half did some high school work; one-fifth proceeded to matriculation, one-tenth to university, and three per cent graduated. Let it be borne in mind too that in 1931, for example, there were 469,000 boys and girls under the age of twenty who were working at some sort of occupation, with an average earning for those of the age of nineteen of $760 a year. May I ask hon. members if they think that state of affairs which I have so briefly sketched is desirable, and if it is in the best interests of Canada?

What are we doing to correct this situation? What are we doing to bring about at least some measure of equilibrium in this state of unbalance? As the motion states, our provincial schools are doing an excellent job of work in their own field and as far as they can go. Our technical schools are also doing an excellent job of work as far as they can go. In my own riding there is a technical school in which 1,800 are enrolled in the day classes and over 3,000 in the night classes. This school is admirably conducted by the principal, Mr. Ferguson. There is at present in this dominion an investment of $579,571,000 in educational institutions which are maintained at an annual cost of $140,000,000. Let it be remembered that the cost of education of one child through the eight and a half years of his or her scholastic experience, which is the average scholastic experience in length of time in this country, is no more than $750. To raise one child to the age of economic independence costs $5,000. Thus it is that six children can be raised and educated in the Dominion of Canada at a cost no more than it costs to raise seven children as illiterates. Against this is the staggering figure of $7,000,000 per month which is being paid to keep men and women in idleness under the name of relief. Seven million dollars per month! What might that not mean translated into terms of education?

What price are we placing upon education? Why is it that we sit back and let our youth go out into the world to make their own way without adequate equipment?

It seems to me that right here is one of the most challenging, perhaps the most challenging, of all our national problems. Provide jobs? Yes, but are we playing fair with our youth who are going to fill these jobs? We listened the other evening with a great deal of interest and justifiable commendation to the Minister of Labour when he introduced his plan for closing the relief camps and putting some 10,000 men to work' this summer on the tracks of the Canadian National railways and1 Canadian Pacific railway. That is very laudable, but what about this fall? I have in my hand an excellent editorial from the Toronto Globe, which I read occasionally-I also take Punch -dated February 10, 1936, headed "Skilled Workers Service," and reading as follows:

There is something almost startling in the expressed view of industrial leaders in the United States that industry is faced by a shortage of skilled labour. At a conference recently of business leaders in Chicago it was stated that, though hundreds of jobs calling for technical knowledge were opening, trained men could not be found to fill them. This scarcity was described as most acute in the automobile and general machine trades, though it w'as experienced by industry in general.

The editorial concludes by saying:

This situation is not peculiar to the United States. It is being discussed in this country. Here also there will be plenty of applications for jobs as they develop, but it is evident that for some years, if conditions continue to improve, employers will be obliged to get along with a large percentage of inadequately trained workers.

There is a record of an anomalous situation. What is the solution of this problem? In suggesting this motion to the government I realize that the whole question is too broad, too deep to find an answer in this chamber alone. It is a job of work to be concentrated upon by a discerning and active committee or commission. Hon. members will perhaps permit me for a moment to touch briefly upon some phases of this situation and to deal with some of the possible steps that may be taken to ameliorate the condition that I have endeavoured to sketch.

What have we done for youth these past many years? I have stated already that our provincial schools are excellent. I have stated already that our technical schools are excellent. During the last twenty years

technical education has come into its own, for twenty-five per cent of all those now attending secondary schools in this dominion

Vocational Education-Mr. Massey

are attending technical or commercial schools. 1 have in my hand Report No. 3 of the International Labour Conference for the session at Geneva last year. This particular report deals with unemployment among young persons. What have we done in Canada as compared with what has been done in other countries in this regard? Under the chapter: General Education, Vocational Training and Social Service for Young Unemployed Persons, I find the following:

In Canada provision for the education and recreation of the unemployed is made in a .number of places, largely by voluntary effort. Thus, in Montreal, for instance, rooms have been opened for games, reading and classes, and a library, concert hall and theatre have been placed at the disposal of the unemployed. The classes include general subjects and some technical subjects such as geology and mining. Instruction of a practical character is also given in boot repairing, clothes mending, etc. Moreover, in many prairie towns and villages lectures on literature, civics and music have been organized.

That is an excellent job as far as it goes, but how far does it go? Let us consider the recommendations of this same conference. I have before me a pamphlet entitled World Labour Problems, 1935. This is an account by an eye-witness of the Nineteenth International Labour Conference. These are some of the recommendations made in connection with vocational training:

Juveniles (of 15-18) unable to find suitable employment, i.e. occupations which are not "blind alley," to continue full-time attendance at school until such employment is found' for them.

Juveniles not attending full-time school should attend continuation courses. Where such attendance is not compulsory for all juveniles, it should be at least compulsory for the unemployed, under pain of disqualification from unemployment benefit or relief.

For unemployed young persons of 18-25 vocational training centres with some general education should be organized, in cooperation with employers' and workers' organizations.

We have heard of the efforts put forward along technical and vocational training lines in Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Sweden and other countries, and yet we find, according to the Year Book, 1934-35 of the International Labour Office, that very little can be said about Canada. Compared with what has been done in Great Britain, Germany and other countries, very little has been done in Canada. There is in this publication one paragraph to which I should like to direct the attention of hon. members. It is headed: Workers' Living Conditions, and referring specifically to vocational training, it states:

During 1934 the effects of the economic depression continued to be felt in the field of vocational training: Further progress was

frequently held up, expenses were cut, and there was a reluctance to promote reforms and fresh measures. Attention must however be called to a number of encouraging symptoms, such as the improvements made in the vocational training of skilled labour, the insistent demand that such training should be of an educational character, the efforts made to link up general and technical education, and to combine intellectual and manual training, and the steps taken to regulate the training and employment of juvenile labour and to ensure adequate protection for young workers through the concerted action and real collaboration of all competent persons and parties.

Our position in the family of nations as far as youth reestablishment is concerned, is not too creditable. The funds available under the Technical Education Act are essentially exhausted, and in many places evening classes have been discontinued. We are making little or no progress towards making available to our youth, who without help from some source are denied it, that vocational training which is such an invaluable asset.

I have before me The Year Book of Education, 1936, and I turn to a chapter contributed by Mr. Robbins of our own bureau of statistics. He says in part:

It will be seen, then, that the last twenty years have brought about a beginning in the direction of shaping the secondary school course to fit occupational needs, and that this adaptation has taken the form of a broader common highway from primary school to university rather than a forking of the road. But so long as fewer than a quarter of secondary students are in the technical courses,, when more than half of all children are going into the secondary schools, it is difficult to believe that the present position represents more than a beginning, for only about 10 per cent of children are thus in their regular school career being trained specifically for either the offices or shops of industry. And this under conditions in which, as the census of 1931 showed, young people are not attaining economic independence before the age of eighteen, on the average. They were, of course, by no means all staying in school to the age of eighteen, but if trends of the last twenty years are continued, not more than one in four was preparing for a position in life in which he would not be on somebody's paylist. In the interests of the three-fourths there is room for a much closer linking up of the schools and industry.

This whole broad question which I have been attempting to discuss may be epitomised in one story. I take the story of a particular young man. Similar stories of young girls can be told to exactly the same purport. This young man spent nearly three of his four years in technical school; he topped his class for the two years he had been there and one term of the third year, but he was compelled by necessity to become the bread-winner of his family. He sacrificed his education and sought

Vocational Education-Mr. Douglas

for and obtained a job. He told me not many days ago, "I have done pretty well but I am not going to get the promotion I expected because the other two fellows working alongside me have finished their course and are better equipped than I am." That is not fair; it is not good enough.

There are many suggestions offered for consideration to those of us who have been interested in this particular phase of our national development. I have under my hand a letter from the head of the Balfour Technical School of Regina, Saskatchewan, Mr. Blair, in connection with correspondence classes. I have before me a pamphlet ably written by Mr. A. E. Corrigan, in connection with national scholarships as a national investment. I have also a copy of Hansard dated Monday, February 17, and' I turn to page 232, where I find part of the speech by the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol) in which he discusses what the United States is doing in connection with reforestation. Then I turn a page or two to page 235, where I read a most capable speech by the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Miss Macphail), in which she discusses what the United States is doing to keep youth in the schools.

I realize that the suggestion is a dangerous one, but one might introduce at this point the question of subsidizing industry to allow for apprenticeships! I say that the subject is a dangerous one because I see in his place the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) Apprenticeships are not being provided for these days. The opportunity given youth in days gone by when times were good and money was plentiful is now denied them, through no fault of their own. We are compelling people to go outside Canada to buy certain commodities they require because we have not in this country the men trained to manufacture those commodities, whatever they may be. I think of one case in particular but I will not take time to develop the point. I have mentioned but a few of the thousand and one possible approaches to a solution of the problem, which is too vastly important to be covered within the limits of a forty-minute speech. All I have attempted to do is to speak to the motion itself, which urges the government to consider the advisability of setting up a national youth reestablishment commission.

In 1914 there was a state of war. Youth carried the burden; youth bore the brunt of it all. They came back from France shattered mentally and physically, and we were quick to set up a soldiers' civil reestablishment commission. From 1929 down to this

day we have experienced the vicissitudes of another war, an economic war in which, thank God, there has been no rattle of muskets; there have been no long casualty lists published in the daily press; but there have been casualty lists carrying the names of those who have been "unwept, unhonoured and unsung," our unemployed. Again, it is the youth who have carried the greatest burden of this economic war. They have been deprived of the opportunity not only of earning but of learning how to earn. Should we then be slow in 1936 in setting up a national youth reestablishment commission?

It is an old adage that "he who pays the piper calls the tune." And youth has paid the piper. The next quarter of a century in this dominion is youth's ; youth has paid and youth will call the tune. We cannot be deaf to the voice of youth. Let us then act and act quickly, for God's sake, in the name of Christianity; for the sake of the crown in the name of devotion; for the sake of empire in the name of loyalty; for the sake of country in the name of patriotism; for the sake of youth in the name of humanity.

Topic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL
Subtopic:   TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. T. C. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

I am

sure the younger men in this house are very proud to-night of the able way in which the case for their generation has been presented by the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Massey). We of this generation feel perhaps that there are problems that we have which the generation that is older than we are do not quite understand. There is to-night in Canada an army of young people who are looking to the future with a degree of uncertainty, in an attitude of bewilderment, and who are looking to those who call themselves leaders in the community to take some very definite steps in guiding them. Twenty years ago an army of half a million young Canadians went overseas to engage in a life and death struggle. As I remember those years we bent every effort to look after their comfort, to see to their well-being. Women gathered in groups to knit socks; parcels were packed; people worked long hours; no sacrifices were too great on behalf of the men who were holding the line. Now, twenty years later, half a million or more young Canadians are fighting another battle in which there is no glory; they receive no medals; there are no drums and no flags. Yet I submit that it is a battle which is leaving some severe scars and lacerating wounds, and it is on behalf of those who have been the victims of this

. COMMONS

Vocational Education-Mr. Douglas

struggle in the last five years that the mover of the resolution is pleading here to-night. I submit that this is no time for ornate rhetoric; it is one for several concrete suggestions which such a commission, if established, might use in dealing with the problem of youth.

I would divide the great army of youth into four major classes: Those who are in the student class, who have completed all or part of their studies and are now waiting to be absorbed into industry; those who have had some training but have never been gainfully employed; those who have worked at some time but are now unemployed, with very little immediate prospect of being again employed; and, lastly, that great army of young people about whom we think so seldom, the farm youth, scattered across Canada, living on farms with their parents, not able to establish homes of their own, with their initiative and their energy bottled up. If we are going to deal intelligently and adequately with the problem of youth we shall have to consider these four groups, because they present totally different problems and consequently will need totally different remedies. I am going to touch on them only briefly, Mr. Speaker, because I know there are many other young men in the house who will want to advance suggestions before the hour of closing draws near.

Of the first group, that group of young students, I think it might be well said that the provision of national scholarships might meet something of their need. Instances may be found in abundance; I quote one. I know of two young men who two years ago graduated from high school with the highest average that had ever been given to any pair of students graduating from that particular collegiate. For two years they have been staying at home simply because their parents were on relief and they were unable to get sufficient funds to go to university. Imagine two young men with an average mark of over ninety-three, passing a grade twelve examination and yet unable to go on and give to the state and to humanity the value of that intelligence, and of the knowledge that they had acquired! And yet they represent but a fraction of thousands of young men across Canada, gifted, brilliant, able-

Topic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL
Subtopic:   TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION
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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

What about the women?

Topic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL
Subtopic:   TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. DOUGLAS:

but who, because of

the fact that they lack funds, are prevented from going on. One of my colleagues says, "What about the women?" The same is true of thousands of young girls fitted for nursing, fitted for teaching, fitted for research work !Mr. Douglas.]

and post-graduate work, but who are unable to make the necessary progress.

Some advance has been made along this line with reference to national scholarships in other parts of the world. I quote here something that is quite familiar, no doubt, to many members, from a little book by Professor Barker, entitled: The Universities of Great Britain. Speaking of this subject he says:

The state, through the Board of Education, grants state scholarships and other modes of assistance. The local education authorities grant local or county scholarships; these with other forms of public scholarships, give various forms of aid which enable poor students of promise to proceed to the university. It has been calculated, on the basis of official returns, that nearly one-half of the total number of students in British universities have obtained assistance in one or other of these ways on account of the promise they show either before entering upon a university career or at some point in its course.

Then this remarkable statement:

The universities of Oxford and Cambridge, supposed to be the homes of the rich, contain 38-2 per cent of assisted students.

The author also points out that the British government has assisted no fewer than 73,000 university students.

I submit that many of these young men and women, either in their collegiate courses or in their university courses, have shown such a degree of brilliancy as would warrant any assistance that can be given them by a national reestablishment commission that might be set up.

Then there is that group of young men in the cities who are not particularly adapted to academic pursuits, unemployed who never have been gainfully employed, who need some type of technical training. There is a crying need throughout Canada to-day for enlarged facilities for technical training. While visiting in Winnipeg I had it drawn to my attention by some men who are connected with St. John's and Kelvin technical schools of that city, that when they opened a course for these unemployed young men their registration was flooded within forty-eight hours and it was necessary to turn away a great number who wished to enroll. I believe that if it were possible to set up the necessary machinery, a great many young men and women who are at present unemployed, and who are getting very rusty, would have an opportunity to develop certain techniques that, when good times return, if they do return, would place them in a position to become economically independent. A prominent British economist made the statement a short time ago that in certain areas of Great Britain in which some indus-

Vocational Education-Mr. Douglas

tries were picking up it was found very difficult to obtain trained technicians, solely because during the last five years there had been no training of these people to fill the vacancies that might occur. This is a splendid way whereby such a commission, if set up, could go about the task of rehabilitating youth.

The third class that I mentioned consists of those who have worked and who are now out of work. They divide themselves into two classes: Those who have been located in unemployment camps, and those who remain at home with their parents. I am not going to deal with those in unemployment camps. The Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) has already made a statement; we shall know more about what is to become of them. But we should bear in mind that we cannot wash our hands of responsibility for these young men next fall; they cannot be left to wander, as they have done in days gone by, on freight cars across Canada. I was thinking, however, of the other group, not those in camps but those at home, staying with their parents, becoming restless and dissatisfied. Such a commission might consider ways and means of providing work and wages for those young men. They never have asked and they are not now asking for any type of charity, but if we have to continue year after year requiring them to live upon government bread, we shall come very quickly to the point at which the desire for work and the urge to work will disappear.

I come to the last class of these young men and women, and that is those who are living upon the farms. They are not banded together; they have no collective voice, and as a result they have been very largely forgotten. Yet there are thousands upon thousands of them. I know of homes where there are five or six grown sons staying with their parents on the farm. The farm does not require that many to work it; yet they have no place to go. Farmers who wish to hire them are not in a financial position to do so. It is just possible that by cooperation with the federal and provincial governments, steps could be taken, as they have been in some small measure in the west, to subsidize farming, to pay a small sum to the farmers and a small sum to these young men, because they are men to whom schemes of work and wages would not appeal since they have never done industrial work.

They cannot be cared for by camps. They have been raised on farms; their whole outlook is agricultural, and they desire to stay in agricultural communities. On the other hand I know of farm after farm on which

old people are continuing to do the heavy chores for which they are not fitted; last summer some of them were putting up hay, because they simply could not afford to hire any help. I am informed that at Dundurn camp alone it was costing over $24 a month to maintain some of these young men; a questioner in this house in 1934 was told that it cost something like $39 per inmate. I have asked the present Minister of Labour what it cost in 1935; as yet I have not received an answer, but whatever the sum is it would be quite sufficient, if cut in half, to give half to the farmers towards boarding these young men and half to the young men themselves. That would do two things: It would rehabilitate them in an agricultural community with which they are familiar, and in the second place it would give them a small income which would enable them to buy clothing and set aside something in the hope of again becoming self-supporting citizens of an agricultural community. It might even be possible to have our present loan board take into consideration the fact that there are thousands of farms, particularly in southern Saskatchewan, that are not being operated. Many of these young men and women have come to the age when they want to marry and when, with some sort of government assistance, they would be prepared to go on these farms and set up house. In a measure they would be self-supporting; they would be reinstated in the community; they would not be a charge, as they are now, upon either their family or the state.

I submit that this is perhaps the most pressing problem facing the Canadian people at the present time. Some great sociologist has said that every nation gets the criminals it deserves. We shall get the criminals we deserve; we shall have the tramps, the transients and the vagrants we deserve, if we continue over a period of years to allow the young men and women, from whom we might create the finest Canadian citizens, to drift gradually into a state of dry rot.

Miss AGNES C. MACPHAIL (Grey-Bruce): Mr. Speaker, though not a young

man I desire to speak on this subject. I should like to see Canada composed entirely of young men, and see how they would get on.

I should like to read some extracts from a letter I received only to-day which perfectly illustrates the need of the debate that is taking place to-night, and of some action being taken in this regard. This letter is from a mother in an Ontario town. It is beautifully written, and she tells that her husband died suddenly. They had some life

. COMMONS

Vocational Education-Miss Macphail

* insurance, but he had used it to change his business. He had been a blacksmith; the automobile had come and ruined his business, so he had gone into some other way of making a living and shortly had died suddenly, leaving her nothing. She received mothers' allowance until the last of the children reached the age of sixteen. In this letter she tells me the story of the family, and I should like to quote from it enough to place the situation before the house. She says that her eldest son is twenty-three; he has a first class certificate but did not get a school, and is working for $3 a week. Her eldest daughter is twenty-one; she is a stenographer in an insurance office, but the man who employs her is not busy. He has little to do, so he can give her work only three afternoons a week, and she is paid fifty cents an afternoon. The next son is learning to be an operator in a theatre, and gets only $1 a week. She says that there is nothing else to do in this town, because the two factories in it are closed. The next son is sixteen; he has a paper route and earns SI a week. The mother continues:

When I received the mothers' allowance cheque I could always manage.... I could' keep their clothes clean and mended, cook vegetables and plain meals for them, but we cannot manage now. Lome-

That is the eldest boy.

-says he is going to leave home. Where can he go? ... Ruth's boss says he wishes he had enough business to keep her every day... I lie awake at nights. I worry so, sometimes I am sure I will lose my mind.

This woman lives in a very fine town. I do not know her, but I know the town and undoubtedly the member for that constituency would be interested in the letter, which I will pass on to him. What can be done for people like these? This woman is worse off now, with her children over sixteen, than she was before.

I am not going to make a long speech, because I am not prepared to do so, but I do want to say something about the necessity of giving youth a chance. They do not want to be unduly helped; they dislike that more than anything else. They want a chance to live; they want a chance to work. They do not want to be pampered and babied and subsidized, but they must be given an opportunity to help themselves. A quotation appearing in an article I saw in the New York Times a week or so ago by Aubrey Williams, director of the national youth administration of the United States, very well expresses just what I am sure we all feel. He said:

This is a task which we may begin for youth but which must be carried on by youth.

And again:

We must not let a single spark of that spendid fire go out, in the boredom, hopelessness and actual want that unemployment brings to those who meet it at the threshold of their active lives.

That is the task we face. We have not attended to it well, and it will cost as much in relief, in illness, in one or another of our institutions and in the care of our criminals as it would have cost to give youth an opportunity. We have spent the money but we have spent it in the wrong way. I think youth is particularly idealistic. They like heroic living. They want to live for an ideal, for something bigger than themselves. Unfortunately that is why war appeals to them; it is something in which they can drown themselves, and they certainly made a good job of it the last time. They want now a social order under which they will have an opportunity to live. They want to live normal lives. I hear older people saying, "Well, these are hard times, and they can just go without this, that or the other thing." What we forget is that these people will never have youth again. They have only one chance at youth. They are trying to have some fun, and why not? They have a right to it. They are trying to find some place in life They are trying to set up homes. I suppose there is no need to enumerate all the things they want to do, but they do want work; they do want idealism; they do want an opportunity to care for somebody or something; they do want the fellowship of their kind. Why should they not want these things, and how much less would we think of them if they did not?

I believe we are just on the threshold of something being done to give young people opportunities. I do not mean particularly in parliament. I should like to be optimistic enough to think the commission will be appointed to study the problems of youth; I hope the minister in charge of the matter will rise in his place and so state, but I have been here a long time and I am not looking for this. However, here and there in Canada I do see worth while people who are taking hold of this idea and acting in regard to it. There is a scheme being carried out in British Columbia; the money is supplied by the provincial government, but the work is carried on largely by Mr. Eisenhardt. There are thousands of young people who come, without any charge at all, and play and sing together, develop their bodies and have a very happy and useful time. Hon. members can read

Vocational Education

about this in many papers. But it seems to me insufficient, good as it is, since it is physical development without relation to mental development. Then I find that in Montreal, Rosemount I think it is, they are doing something which is described in a very interesting pamphlet: One Way Out. It shows that they have organized the whole community and in one season have handled five thousand people, there being a very nice combination of physical and mental development. So there are in Canada two places in which they have taken hold of this problem and done something about it. Many teachers in technical and high schools have done a great deal to interest youth in study, manual training, et cetera, and have kept them from becoming completely discouraged.

But that is only a beginning; there will have to be a great deal more done. I feel sure that it will be done, but as we have the habit of doing in Canada, it will be started too late to be completely effective. If one compares our record in the treatment of youth with that of other countries it will be found that we are far down the list in our provision for the salvation of youth. I am thinking of Ontario which I know best; we need in the villages and towns and the open country adult education, education for the young people and the people not so young. The changes that have taken place in the last ten years and that are taking place are so terrific, so far-reaching and so rapid that people who do not follow the digests and magazines are unaware of what is taking place. We are most urgently in need of adult schools of some sort. When I think of the number of churches that are locked up in this province, and schools that are used only until four or five o'clock, I am appalled. The people built them writh their money and it is their sons and daughters who need a place to which to go for fellowship, development and amusement; yet these buildings, which should be available to the young people for any worth while projects, are not being used. The church is too good and the school is too-well something or other; the trustees are so very careful lest someone should scratch a desk or something.

What are schools and churches for if not for the development of young people? It is time that some of the too-good people, the goody-good, got it through their heads that the churches and schools are for the development of the people, and they must adapt themselves to the times when young people and adults can come to these schools and churches and use the equipment in them, 12739-58

such as piano, library, et cetera. The young people whom I know in these country communities cannot afford to buy a piano to put in their community hall, if they are fortunate enough to have one. All this equipment, including libraries, is in these buildings which the people cannot use, and they cannot afford to equip other buildings. So we ought to lay down in unmistakable language so often that it will be heeded that, if the upstairs of the church cannot be used, possibly the basement or the school would not be too good, and here the young people can come for study in economics, citizenship, music, dramatics, manual training and all sorts of domestic arts. Much good comes from singing together, not only by way of training voices but in developing fellowship and the spirit of cooperation.

Then we must get, whether in this or some other way, some adaptation of the folk school, some place in which the philosophy and history of cooperation can be made known to rural people. What they have done in the four eastern counties of Nova Scotia is revolutionary; in very simple surroundings they have studied the philosophy and history of cooperation in relation to the needs of the community and then applied their knowledge to the meeting of their need. It is time our agricultural colleges and high schools-and perhaps, this would not hurt in the last class in public school-should consider very carefully the subject of cooperation. At any rate the high schools and agricultural colleges should be devoting themselves to teaching the philosophy of cooperation, because the competitive age is finished; we are rapidly moving into an age of cooperation. But the education which rural youth are getting today has nothing to do with cooperation; it is all "beat the other fellow and get to the head of the class, and the more people you overcome the more successful you are," which is certainly not the spirit of cooperation.

Youth in country places can be well served without anything being done by this parliament, although I want something done here, but if there are leaders in every rural community they can do much; the high school teacher, the continuation teacher, the preacher and all these people who have had a good education can lead classes in some subject in which they are proficient, and not very spectacular but really good schools can be set up. Some woman in a community who can do something in needlework very well could teach that; someone else who is good at making things out of wood could teach how this should be done. There are some

Vocational Education

very fine craftsmen in rural Ontario. As soon as people get it through their heads that this is not a depression out of which some government with a large majority is going to bring them overnight, but a condition which we are never coming out of because the machine is displacing more people all the time, they are going to prepare for a longer period of youth, for a longer period of retirement at the end of life and for increasing opportunities at both ends and, indeed, in the middle.

There is in Canada a movement of youth themselves. I do not know what they call it; is it the Canadian youth movement? Anyway, that is the sense of it and they have brought together the young people of all sorts of organizations, from those farthest to the left to those farthest to the right. They are hoping to have a convention in Ottawa this year, and are ambitious enough to think they might send some delegates to Geneva, if there is anything left in Europe by that time, to discuss the problems of the young people of the world. I received one of their publications just to-day, and let me state some of the things they think they need. They say that the most obvious need of the young people is work. Any legislation that will be useful to youth must provide for this; it is the central point, but work, they say, must be provided at a standard union rate of wages. Then they talk about new jobs; they suggest the rebuilding of slums and other projects which would absorb people who are out of work. They also speak of the apprenticeship system and say that they would like it to be possible to learn a trade while working, and they ask if young people could not be employed on government jobs as apprentices and get some wages for such work. They go on to speak about students and scholarships, a subject which has been well covered by the member who introduced the motion. I am sorry that I have not had time to read the leaflet very carefully, but I think I have mentioned the main points. I want to stress, Mr. Speaker, that youth themselves are organizing, and it is not only radical youth, shall we say, but youth that, until lately, did not think about these subjects at all, and possibly a good many of these young people still are not affected by the awful prospects of not having any work to do.

I notice a little item in the Ottawa Citizen of March 3 last which seems to fit into this, telling about a young man of this city who had graduated with highest honours from technical school and was being sent to take a short course with the General Motors Corporation of Canada, showing a close connection between the school and industry. Unfortunately until recently there has been a

disposition in this country to have the schools quite apart from life. That did not work so badly perhaps in the days when the graduate was sure of a job anyway, but to-day when life has become almost terrifying so far as the future of the student is concerned, the closer the technical school and industry, the university and business and government, are brought together, the better I think it will be for those who are trying to prepare themselves for life.

I am sorry that I was not prepared to make a speech, and I have been very rambling, but I do wish to say to the House of Commons that we spend a lot of time discussing matters that are much less important than the one that is now before us.

Mr. DANIEL McIVOR (Fort William); Mr. Speaker, I should like to congratulate the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Massey): If I had not seen him where he

was sitting, and could have simply heard his voice, I would have said; There is a reformer from the west, because he speaks with practical, sound, Christian common sense. I am going to support this resolution because it leads in the right direction.

I had the honour to serve for six years on the board of education in our city, and we found this, that while it was necessary to teach our youth how to earn a living it was far more important to teach them how to live. I would like to give a few concrete examples of what I mean. I had a father come to me about three months ago and say, "'What am I going to do with my boy?" That boy was just as fine an athlete as we had in the city of Fort William, and that was about the best in Canada. But he had begun to stay out late at night and would not get up early in the morning. He was irritable with his mother, and his father found it more and more difficult to be chummy with him. The boy was disgusted with himself. All he wanted was a chance to earn a living and not be a load upon his dad. He wanted to be of use and to develop his own gifts, earn his own way and not become an idle nuisance. You and I, Mr. Speaker, know that youth will not be idle. When we were young we were always busy, sometimes on something good and sometimes on something bad.

Let me give another illustration, of a young man in our city who was a splendid athlete, a graduate from our high school, taking his second year at the university. The best our country could offer him was a job in a camp at twenty cents a day, and so he became red, as we call it, and I would

Vocational Education

become red if I had to do the same thing. But influences were brought to bear upon him and he is now a credit to our city. All he wants is an opportunity to earn enough to finish his course, and if we are brothers to him we shall see that he gets that opportunity.

I can give another illustration similar to that cited by the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Miss Macphail), of a mother with five boys. She was getting quite a pension at one time and the family could live comfortably, but now the boys eat more; she is off the mothers' allowance, and she does not know which way to turn. What are we going to do with those boys? They must have an opportunity to develop and to get work. But to-day, as I see the situation, we are developing a band of youths who have not yet learned to work, and some of them do not care if they never work. We cannot expect them to remain forever idle, and I would say, Mr. Speaker, that if we do not take care of our youth in a proper way they are liable to become criminals and the care of the state.

The hon. member for Grey-Bruce says- and I believe that she meant it-that it is nicer for our young people to have homes of their own and choose mates in this life. She knows that is the natural and the proper thing to do if a young man finds one that he cannot live without. I had an invitation from a young man after he had been employed for about three months this summer. He said, "If you can guarantee me a job eight months in the year I have the finest girl in the world and we will get married, and you will get the job of marrying us." It is not a matter of getting empty buildings or getting buildings heated, because we have plenty of them. It is just a matter of having a heart to measure up to this task, and if we do, we shall find that it will pay us splendidly. Just let hon. gentlemen put themselves in the place of these boys. They graduate from our high school, and as we saw it on our board of education, our task was not so much to find good teachers and to raise enough taxes to meet the estimates, as to find something for our youth to do when they came out of our schools. Of course, they can go on the highways, ride the rods east and ride the rods west, and spend part of their time in different gaols, but that is not in keeping with this great country of Canada, which is the land of our birth or the land of our adoption. I congratulate the mover of this resolution upon the splendid way in which he has presented 12739-584

the matter to us, and I am sure that the government will endorse it.

Mr. JEAN-FRANQOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, the problem of youth is certainly one of the most important problems of the day, and this motion gives us an opportunity of discussing it in this House of Commons. The first paragraph of the resolution reads as follows:

Whereas a trained youth is indispensable

to the future welfare of Canada;-[DOT]

A trained youth. Well, youth can betrained in different ways. Youth can betrained as Bible students; youth can be

trained as good citizens; youth can be trained for a vocation in the world; youth can be trained for many good purposes, but it is not stated in this motion how youth should be trained. Now, that is most important. The training might be good or bad, but I assume that the sponsor of this motion desires to give a good training to youth. Of course the motion is only as big as its wording, and its language should be a little more precise.

The second paragraph of the resolution reads:

And' whereas, the unemployment of parents and heads of families, because of conditions for which they are in no way responsible-

Everyone knows who is mainly responsible for the acute unemployment now existing in this country.

-means that boys and girls, and young men and young women, have been denied the necessary training to properly and adequately equip them for a life's vocation;

Before any one is trained for a life's vocation, he must choose the vocation he desires to follow. Every young person who grows up must decide whether he or she will go this way or that way. If a young man or woman wants to reap a success in life he or she must do the thing for which he or she is best suited. The decision must be made as to what is to be done before the training is started. In spite of the fact that unemployment has been so acute, very few boys and girls have been denied instruction. They have been offered the same facilities that were available at other times. The trouble is the plethora of clerks being turned out by the commercial academies in the different provinces. Every young man or woman wants to become a clerk of some kind and there are no more artisans. It is not dishonest to practise a trade. It is not shameful to be a shoemaker, a tailor, a mason, a carpenter or to carry on any other trade. There are many clever young men and women

Vocational Education

Topic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL
Subtopic:   TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Are you not going

to create a national employment commission?

Topic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL
Subtopic:   TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

If the hon. gentleman will sit down and listen to my argument I will afterwards answer any question he has to ask. I have the floor and I do not wish to be interrupted. I wish to make my point first and afterwards I will answer any question he wishes to ask me. It is healthier for him to sit quiet now, healthier for a doctor. The point I am making is this: We have suffered perhaps as much from paternalism in Canada as we have from unemployment. What is paternalism? It is the preaching of this falsehood by one man: Come unto me and I will give you a job, every one of you. That was what was said in 1930. It was a terrific blunder; it was an awful mistake, a great error of judgment. Perhaps it was said in a jocular vein, but there should be no joking about it; the matter is too serious. By speaking that way the gentleman who used such language was killing private initiative in the youth of Canada; and if to-day the youth, although courageous, cannot do as much as they did before, it is because they believe that governments should do everything.

The reason why this country was more prosperous before 1930 than it was afterwards was not so much by reason of the measures that were brought down by the administration that was in office prior to 1930, but by reason of the fact that that government did not interfere with private business, and the youth of the country had every opportunity to earn their own living by themselves. They began at the bottom and worked up gradually until they attained satisfactory positions that

enabled them to earn a reasonable livelihood and even to get married and to enjoy the comforts of home. But now who is the young man that can find a job? It is very difficult to find one, and though there is an improvement it will take a long time to restore the old condition completely.

Young men have to learn, too late perhaps, but they have to learn the truth about the matter. They have to learn that we are at rock-bottom and that it is impossible to give every one of them a job, however sad it is to be forced to tell them that their request, which is perfectly legitimate, cannot always be granted. At any rate, the youth of the country must be told the truth; they must be told that they were cruelly deceived five years ago, and that they can no longer believe that the state can do everything for them. Whenever confidence is fully restored in this country, the Canadian people will realize that private initiative on the part of good Canadian citizens at large, good Canadian fathers and mothers, good Canadian boys and girls, can do much more for the welfare of Canada than any government can do, provided that the government of the day understands this elementary truth that it ought never to interfere with private business nor kill private initiative. The youth of the country deserve every praise and everyone is ready to give it. But let us say to every young man and woman, "Do not be discouraged, for better times are coming, provided that in the future horse-sense and common sense are given the place they should have in the government of the country."

Hon. NORMAN McL. ROGERS (Minister of Labour): I wish at the outset to offer

my congratulations to the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Massey) upon the manner in which he has presented this resolution to the house. His speech was one which I am sure he may recall in later years with great satisfaction.

As one who has a special interest and responsibility in relation to unemployment, I wish also to express my indebtedness to those who have taken part in this discussion, not excepting my very good friend the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot). He and I have the same objective in view, though our paths sometimes may slightly diverge.

The general objects set forth in the resolution are not in controversy. Certainly I do not propose to approach the discussion of the resolution in any controversial spirit. There is one observation, however, which I am compelled to make, and which my hon.

Vocational Education

friend the member for Greenwood will not contradict. The resolution states that the government should "consider the desirability of investigating the broad question of the reestablishment of the young men and young women of Canada." That is not in dispute; but as I agree with him in that he must agree with me in this, that it would have been desirable that the government should have considered the reestablishment of the young men and young women of Canada during each of the previous five years. I say that because this problem in its very nature is cumulative, and I suggest that its gravity and complexity to-day are due in no small measure to our failure to realize its true proportions in recent years. I think it may be said in connection with this whole problem of unemployment that there is resting upon us now a necessity to reduce it so far as we can to manageable proportions, and that, I believe, means that we must so far as possible divide it into segments. I take it that one of the purposes behind this resolution is to direct attention to some peculiar features in the problem of youth in relation to this larger problem of unemployment, and I think we must all agree that the problem of youth does present certain peculiar features which call for special study and investigation, to be followed in due course by the formulation of special measures to deal with them.

This question of youth and unemployment has received a great deal of attention in other countries. It has also received careful study by a committee of the League of Nations. I was very much interested to observe the recommendations which came from a special committee of the League of Nations upon this question. Among these recommendations were the following:

1. The abolition of child labour.

2. The adoption of compulsory school attendance for primary education where this measure is not yet in force; and, in countries where it exists, the extension of the period of compulsory school attendance (a) by the addition of one or several classes to the primary schools, (b) by supplementary vocational courses, and (c) by the extension of the period of attendance at nursery schools.

3. The systematic transfer of unemployed families to rural areas; that is, internal colonization.

4. The institution of workers' allotments and suburban colonies.

5. Voluntary civic service in labour camps.

[Mr. Rogers. 1

6. Voluntary organizations created by the young people themselves.

7. Vocational guidance and employment bureaus.

8. Technical training of a generalized character.

Now if hon. members examine these recommendations one by one it will become apparent that in a country such as this, in order to carry out even a limited number of these recommendations, it is desirable to secure the maximum of cooperation between the dominion and provincial and municipal governments. If one lesson has been brought home clearly as a result of our experience in dealing with this problem of unemployment' during the past few years it is this, that unless we are able to find and create a medium through which that cooperation can be secured and continued we shall not be able to deal effectively with the problem of unemployment. This resolution is simply an illustration, I believe, of the imperative necessity of securing that cooperation. Whatever may have been our failures in the past, we are confronted with an existing situation, serious in itself, which demands our united efforts. And it is with this in view that the present administration proposes to set up a national employment commission which is designed to secure that degree of cooperation, not only between governments, but also between governments on the one side and private industry on the other, in order that we may attain a maximum of united effort along the whole front of our economic life.

I may say on behalf of the government that, in connection with this special problem of youth, it will be possible, in setting up a national employment commission, to provide for a special committee which shall investigate those peculiar features of the unemployment problem which relate to youth. I hope that as a result of such an investigation it will be found possible for this government, working in cooperation with other governmental agencies in Canada, to arrange for improved educational facilities and a better correlation of vocational schools and employment services than now exists. I hope too that it may be possible to revive in some degree an apprenticeship system in this country, although that will require also the cooperation of private industry and of labour organizations.

This government and previous governments have frequently received delegations from individual industries or from associations of industries in this dominion, and invariably

Three Rivers-St. Angele Bridge

these industries or associations have presented to the government specific requests which they believe must be granted if they are to carry on their business successfully. I wonder whether the time has not come when in connection with this whole problem of unemployment this government is not entitled to send delegations to industries and to associations of industries and commercial organizations in this country. I wonder whether we are not entitled to do that and to say to them that their active cooperation is vitally necessary if we, with them, are to deal constructively with this problem of unemployment.

One word more. If we are to deal with this problem of unemployment in a realistic way, obviously we must have something more than the bare statistics of how many men are unemployed and how many women are unemployed in Canada. It is of the utmost importance that we should know how many of these men are employable and how many are unemployable, and the same applies to the women who are on our relief lists at the present time. It is also important that we should know as far as possible the age groups and occupational groups of those who are on our relief rolls. I think I am correct when I say that the dominion government has not possessed that information up to the present time. At the recent dominion-provincial conference it was agreed that there should be a reclassification of the unemployed on relief. I wish to assure the house that no time has been lost in making out the requisite forms and in securing the cooperation of provinces and municipalities in order to obtain that information.

May I say this, too: the hon. member for Temiscouata, by his industry and persistence a year ago, laid the foundation for the work we are seeking to carry on now in that direction. No one can question the desirability of securing this information at as early a date as possible; certainly no one who has any acquaintance with the problems confronting social service agencies in Canada can doubt the wisdom of obtaining and analyzing this data. Already some of the returns have come in from the provinces. As soon as it is possible to summarize that information I propose to lay it before this house.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would repeat that the government is fully in sympathy with the reestablishment of the youth of this country and, like any government conscious of its responsibility in relation to unemployment at this time, we will take every possible step to see to it that young men and women

are given opportunities within which they may realize their desire for remunerative employment. I do not believe the youth of this dominion expect ready-made jobs, nor do I believe that the solution for unemployed youth lies in public employment. If I did believe that I should have some misgivings for the future of Canada. It is our duty to create conditions within which our Canadian youth may once more, as in other years, find their own opportunities and make the most of them.

Topic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL
Subtopic:   TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION
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CON

Denton Massey

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MASSEY:

Mr. Speaker, may I thank the hon. members who have spoken for the kindly attitude they have shown towards this motion, and may I thank all hon. members of this house for the way in which they have listened to and absorbed that which has been said. Particularly may I thank the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) for the words he has added to the debate. I am sure that what he has said to-night, not only the language itself but what lies behind that language, the thought, the earnestness and the sincerity of purpose, will bring hope and cheer to many who otherwise are rather hopeless and cheerless. I am sure that the cooperation of which he speaks between the federal and provincial governments can be achieved, and I wish him every success in his effort. Let me assure the minister that any part I can play, as a member of this house, in the accomplishment of his purpose in regard to this great question of youth reestablishment, I stand ready and willing to do.

Topic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL
Subtopic:   TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION
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Motion agreed to. THREE RIVERSnST. ANGELE BRIDGE


LIB

Lucien Dubois

Liberal

Mr. LUCIEN DUBOIS (Nicolet-Yamaska) (Translation) moved:

Whereas the city of Three Rivers is the most important centre on the St. Lawrence river, between Quebec and Montreal;

And whereas (a) the said city being an industrial centre largely inhabited by the labouring class is the natural outlet for agricultural products of the region; (b) the farmers of the south shore are interested in that important city being easily accessible to them, both for the selling of their products and the making of purchases; (c) the ferry boat service is not always regular, chiefly in winter season and sometimes in summer months by reason of the very large number of passengers; (d) practical means of communication at all hours of the day would benefit the working-class population of Three Rivers and the farmers of the south shore; (e) from a tourist standpoint the regional highway of St. Angele de Laval via Sherbrooke is the shortest route between Three Rivers and the United States; (f) the construction of a bridge

Three Rivers-St. Angele Bridge

between Three Rivers and St. Angele de Laval would greatly facilitate communications between La Tuque, Grand'Mere, Shawinigan, Cape de la Madeleine, Louiseville, etc., and important centres on the south shore, such as the cities of Nicolet, Vietoriaville, Sherbrooke, St. Hyacinthe, etc.; (g) the construction of a bridge would encourage the development of a large number of counties as it would improve transportation facilities and the amount of labour made available in the region; (h) S't. Angele de Laval is one of the terminals of the Canadian National Railways on the south shore between Montreal and Quebec;

Therefore be it resolved, that, in the opinion of this house, it is expedient that the government should consider the advisability of appointing experts to look into this matter in all its aspects and report as speedily as possible.

Mr. Speaker, more than ever, the time has come for action. I therefore do not wish to speak at length, and quote all sorts of figures, and then prevent the house from passing as soon as possible the resolution which I have the honour to submit for consideration.

The resolution speaks for itself and its conclusion, which is as follows, is in no way embarrassing to the government:

That, in the opinion of this house, it is expedient that the government should consider the advisability of appointing experts to look into this matter in all its aspects and report as speedily as possible.

I trust that the government will view my request with due consideration. I believe it to be a reasonable one and I have nothing further to add for the present.

Topic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO NEED FOR TECHNICAL
Subtopic:   TRAINING OF YOUTH, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL YOUTH REESTABLISHMENT COMMISSION
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Motion agreed to.


UNITED KINGDOM TRADE AGREEMENT

March 9, 1936