February 1, 1938

CON

William Allen Walsh

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALSH:

Will my hon. friend amplify that statement?

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

Yes, gladly. My hon. friend, I understand, is a teacher, and I think he will realize that where salaries are low one is not likely to get the same standards of training among teachers as where higher salaries are paid; yet I find that among male teachers, in 1935-1936, the average salary in the country schools was $848, while in the urban schools it was $1,922. Even my hon. friend would not work as hard for $848 as for $1,922.

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CON

William Allen Walsh

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALSH:

Is my hon. friend differentiating between the grade of diploma held by the teacher receiving $800 and the grade of diploma held by the teacher receiving $1,900?

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

What I have given has reference to public schools, and if .there was a difference in the matter of diplomas it only shows, what I am contending, that the country school cannot afford the high-salaried teachers who are employed in the cities. There are, in Ontario, something like 750 schools in which the average attendance is less than ten, and I venture to suggest that my hon. friends will appreciate how extremely difficult it is to provide the same high standards of education in such schools as exists in city schools, which have the advantage of better equipment. Inevitably, where there is a decline in rural wages, the earnings of the farmers, the standard of education will decline, not because the people want it to decline but because there is not the economic capacity to pay teachers.

I come to the question of remedies. I shall not discuss this question, because all I want the house to do is to realize the problem. I should like hon. members to appreciate the problem from the economic standpoint and to give full consideration to this fact, that if the entire rural population of Canada, or of the province of Ontario, must expect a low level of recompense for its work, then it follows inevitably that the burden will be felt by industries which will lack purchasing power; it will be felt by the railways; it will be felt in every phase of our life in Canada.

It is exceedingly difficult to obtain the facts. The story I have given to-day is not very clear, it is not very definite, because the facts are not available upon which to base a conclusion. Do hon. members realize that the latest available record of earnings of

51052-6A

farmers goes back to 1920 when the index of prices was 160 as against SO to-day? There were some reports prepared in 1931-32 by the Ontario Agricultural College. I endeavoured to get these reports but have not yet been able to obtain them as their circulation was banned by the government of Ontario at that time because the story they told was too tragic. They did not want the facts to be known. The same thing has occurred in the United States; when they start to investigate the living standards of the farmer the investigation collapses before it gets very far. But I contend that we ought to have these results.

Many will dispute these contentions in regard to the condition of the farmer. Some say: After all, the farmer is not trying to make a living; he is trying to live a life; he has a house of his own and all that. But I ask the government to give some time and attention to the problem. Let us make an analysis of the earnings on one hundred sample farms in Ontario, and a number of farms in other provinces. Let us take a fair selection, get the record and examine the facts. This would be a simple matter; we could use the facilities provided by our district agricultural representatives. It is possible to adopt a simple form of accounting and find out what the farmer earns. With a record like that, continued over a number of years, I am positive that we would have sufficient facts to convince any party or any government that the big problem before the people of Canada to-day is not, as some people say, the railway problem; it is not the unemployment problem; it is none of these problems-the real problem is to bring the standards of agricultural life up to such a point that when this nation goes forward-under a Liberal government, I hope, if a Liberal government is faithful to its trust, but otherwise under some other government-it will go foiward by a united movement all along the line, not simply raising by artificial means the reward of the few. while others are compelled to pay the added cost. I read from the address of the Hon. W. D. Herridge given in Toronto recently. I cannot agree with it. I do not think the problem can be solved in the way Mr. Herridge suggests, by a fixed price for agricultural products. There is no hope that way. I believe the movement should be towards freedom. Emerson said:

The basis of political economy is non-interference. The only safe rule is found in the self-adjusting meter of demand and supply. Do not legislate. Meddle and you snap the sinews with your sumptuary laws-give no bounties.

The Address-Mr. Deachman

I pass that on to my friend the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blackmore).

Make equal laws and secure life and property. Open the door of opportunity to talent and virtue and they will do themselves justice and property will not be in bad hands. In a free and just commonwealth property rushes from the idle and imbecile to the industrious, brave and persevering.

I would not subscribe to all that; yet it is a safer, surer guidance than sumptuary laws, planned economy, fascism, communism or any other ism. But with a measure of freedom, helped to some extent by the correcting influence which government can exert, I am sure that standards of living for the farmer can be raised and he can be brought to an equality with the rest of the people of the dominion. If we fail in accomplishing this we have not solved the one great problem facing Canada. It must be settled or life itself has failed in this great nation.

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CON

Gordon Graydon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Peel):

Mr. Speaker, at the outset of my remarks I want to congratulate the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I do that because I noted in their tones an undeniable conviction, and at the same time great fluency of delivery, which I think merit praise even from a humble member of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

In the months preceding the opening of parliament the speech from the throne has been awaited with a good deal of eagerness by the people of Canada. During the first session of this eighteenth parliament the government was to a large extent finding its feet. In the second session its eyes and those of our legislators in general were turned chiefly towards the coming coronation and the imperial conference which came directly after it. But this third session, and the program of governmental legislation presaged in the speech from the throne, provide a real test of the government of the day.

In my first speech in this chamber and in some other addresses I made here I expressed my desire to be helpful in connection with legislation coming before the house from time to time. I think hon. members cannot complain that I have been narrow or bitter or unfair in my criticism of governmental legislation, nor have I any intention of pursuing a different course in my remarks to-day. I believe that criticism of a government's program should be of a constructive nature. Our duty as legislators, representing our constituents, is much broader and goes much further than a mere attempt to make political capital or to seek tactical political advantage.

I think I echo the feelings of most people in the country to-day in saying that. Wherever I go I find a growing feeling that the work of this house and the legislation it enacts are of much greater importance at this time than ever before, and call for the undivided attention and patriotism of men on both sides of the house to make that legislation workable and beneficial to our citizens. The spectacle of governments assailing governments, section fighting against section and men manoeuvring for political advantage may make front page news and be a great "break" for the papers in some respects, but it does not come within hailing distance of a real attempt to solve the great problems which face our country at this time. There is much talk of national unity, but I should like to see more work towards that end as well. I sometimes fear that by so much talk we may talk ourselves into nine different countries instead of working ourselves into one. I leave that suggestion with hon. members, because after all our talk will not avail much unless we work towards that end.

My purpose this afternoon in dealing with the speech from the throne is to stir this administration into producing more far-reaching and effective legislation on behalf of the great masses of our people. I do not think the speech from the throne can be regarded as of a kind likely to bring much sunshine and happiness to the great mass of Canadians. Like my right hon. leader I feel that surely something can be done within the precincts of this house by the administration now in power towards attempting, in any event, to bridge the gap between plenty on the one hand and poverty on the other. I am not taking a defeatist attitude in this regard. I have confidence in our Canadian people, whether they be Liberals or Conservatives or belong to some other group represented in this chamber. I am confident that what I suggest is the desire of the Canadian people, though sometimes we may disagree as to the methods which should be employed in attaining that end. By delay and overcautiousness in this country are we not contributing to the growth of radical thought and feeling? In order to do a proper job in a country such as this, in my opinion governments must keep abreast of the times. They must not go further than public thought but neither must they lag behind the general feeling that exists in the country over which they govern.

With regard to one of the major points dealt with in the speech from the throne,

The Address-Mr. Graydon

unemployment insurance, may I say that I doubt if there is one man-or one lady-in this chamber who is not fully in accord with the introduction of unemployment insurance to help our workingmen. I doubt very much if the sentiment of the house is not overwhelmingly in favour of unemployment insurance, but may I suggest with all deference, Mr. Speaker, that this question has been before the people of Canada for a great many years. I was not so active in public life when the Liberal platform of 1919 was drafted, but in that platform I read a reference to social legislation such as unemployment insurance. It would appear to me that the years of prosperity in this country between 1921 and 1930 was a period when unemployment insurance could have been inaugurated. If that had been done it would have worked out to the great benefit of the working people of Canada. I make that suggestion for this particular reason that after all the working people become annoyed from time to time at the delays which occur, from whatever causes.

During the very difficult years following 1930, when the depression was nearing its end, an attempt was made by the previous administration to introduce an unemployment insurance measure. After it was brought in, as hon. gentlemen are very well aware, its constitutionality was questioned by the then opposition. Shortly after the measure was enacted the Conservative administration was defeated at the polls. Now we are in the third session of this parliament and only now are we getting the legislation which, in my opinion, we should have had many years ago and which, if it had been brought into being at that time, would have built up a fund which would have been immensely worth while to the working people.

Now I should like to add a word of counsel, of caution and of warning to the government of the day. In all fairness and all friendliness may I suggest that they should give right of way to the unemployment insurance legislation at this time, putting it ahead of all other types of legislation, so that not one more minute may be needlessly wasted before we do something for the working people.

In the speech from the throne I notice some mention of economic recovery. It is true that Canada has shared in the general world movement during the last few years, but I think we should be cautious in our remarks with regard to the betterment in economic conditions, because, to my way of thinking at least, to some extent our increased trade rests upon the temporary foundation of world war

preparations. Suppose the war preparations should cease; just what provision is this administration making for the protection of the people of Canada if that trade should disappear to any great extent? Those are some of the matters which this government should take into very careful consideration, so that we may survive if at any time in the near future this trade stimulus should decline.

I should like to say also that we cannot risk our entire economic future upon outside markets, important though they may be. After all, the home market is also important, especially for those of us who represent agricultural ridings. The home market for the producers must be protected, and a national policy of self-preservation must, in my opinion, be inaugurated in order that the dangers I have pointed out may not have to be faced. In the last three months we have seen how quickly this country reacts to outside influences and how sensitive is our national economic set-up to conditions prevailing across the border to the south. So I say that we should make every effort to put our own house in order first. Then, when that has been done, we may seek those stimulants to trade which will bring to our people a greater prosperity in the years to come.

In the speech from the throne-and I should like to address myself particularly to the western members in this regard-mention is made of the activities carried on under the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act. During the past year many western farmers and their families have come to the county of Peel, which I represent in the house. Without any flattery whatever I should like to say that one would have difficulty in finding a finer type of rural Canadians or better farmers than these western people who have come to our county. On many occasions I have heard members from the west rise to great heights of oratory and enthusiasm, as only a western member can, on behalf of the men and women whom they represent. After having seen these migrants to our county may I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that they well deserve all the praise that has been given them in the house. I believe also that this movement has created a new understanding between the east and the west. So far as my personal knowledge goes, it has done more to create a real national unity and an effective interprovincial understanding than all the words that have been uttered in this house and the other legislative chambers in our country. May I express the hope that government activities under this act will not be necessary after this session has been closed, and that good crops and the necessary moisture will be found in those dried out areas

The Address-Mr. Graydon

of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. I trust that 1938 may be a banner year for the great grain growing population of western Canada.

Mention has been made in the speech from the throne of the training of unemployed young people in Canada, such training to be conducted under the Unemployment and Agricultural Assistance Act of 1937. It will be recalled that on September 14, 1937, an agreement was made between Ontario and the dominion under the youth training scheme, and $90,000 was made available for the training of young men and women in agriculture or allied pursuits. Five hundred young men were taken as a maximum for the purpose. When they went to the farms they were paid S10 per month, and .the farmers who took them in and gave them board and lodging received the same amount. This was to be continued for six months.

Anything I may have to offer with regard to the scheme will be by way of helpful suggestion to the government, and could not be regarded as a definite criticism. I would address my observations particularly to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers), under whose supervision the operation of the act comes. However there have been some minor criticisms which possibly should be brought to his attention for correction, in the event of the same condition arising in the future. There is no profession, vocation or calling in connection with which applicants must be chosen with greater care than in that of farming. Farming is a most difficult type of profession. Only those of us who have come from the farms and understand farm problems can realize -the full importance of what I say. To a great extent one must have industry, perseverance and a genuine desire to be a farmer, if he is to succeed in the training. All those factors are most important. Although the Minister of Labour is not in his seat, may I say that the greatest care must be taken in choosing the young men who are to train and thereafter may be expected to take their part in the future agricultural life of Canada.

Every farmer member must know of instances where urban dwellers have gone outside the cities to attempt to do farm work. Some of them have been good farmers. As I stand here this afternoon I can remember several young men, Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen, who have worked for us on our farm from time to time and who to-day own their own farms in Ontario, and can be classed as good farmers. On the other hand there were others who came to the farms who wished only to fill in time until they

could obtain other jobs within the town limits or within the limits of a city corporation. May 1 repeat that we must be careful in our choice of the men who are to be trained to do this type of work.

Some men have come out to the farms in the years gone by to attempt to learn farming, and even after years of experience they have been known to commit that unpardonable sin of hitching the tugs to the double-tree before the wagon tongue goes in to the neck-yoke. I notice the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) laughs; perhaps he has never committed that unpardonable mistake.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I have, and I have done it on a cold morning, too.

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CON

Gordon Graydon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GRAYDON:

On the other hand, there are those who have come to the farms with scarcely any experience, but have had a great desire to be good farmers and who, by using their own common sense, have known enough even to turn a scotch collar upside down before putting it on over a gelding's head.

I mention these points simply to emphasize to the Minister of Labour the great care which must be taken in connection with choosing the young men who are asked to learn this most intricate of professions. May I add that, in my view, so far as possible friction should be avoided between those young men who come to the farm under a scheme such as this and the elder, more experienced and skilled labourers who have spent all their lives on farms, sometimes earning not much more than the young men who are about to study the art of agriculture. Tire general scheme of youth training must however commend itself to all of us.

For some reason or another the demand for unskilled labour seems to have diminished to some extent. No doubt many hon. members have had the experience I have had in attempting to place men in different jobs. At times we find it difficult to fit men into jobs because they lack some kind of technical training. Attention should be turned not only to the question of youth training, but, so far as finances permit, to the training of other people who may be fitted into the various niches of industry or other places in which, by virtue of their present lack of skill, they are not able to be absorbed.

Representing one of the greatest agricultural sections in Ontario, the county of Peel, I am interested in the Shaw report on overseas marketing. That report opened the eyes of many farmers in Ontario and, no doubt, in the other provinces. I shall not attempt to deal with the publicity which has attended

The Address-Mr. Gray don

the publication of that report. Not only does it reveal the faults in the present system but, more important to the farmer, it shows the definite possibility of future overseas markets. After all there can be no question that for the farmer the United Kingdom offers one of the greatest markets in the world.

I would ask the government so far as possible to assure us of some aggressive scheme for the standardization of products, and of an equally aggressive campaign for selling our products overseas. I do not know whether it is general in all constituencies, but there is a feeling among farmers, one which has been expressed to me on many occasions, that perhaps less money might be spent by the government in some other departments and that a little more might be spent in the Department of Agriculture. The view is held that greater expenditure might be made in connection with the extension of domestic sales as well as the sales of products in other parts of the world.

We have read in the paper where congress voted almost a million dollars for one particular type of advertising in connection with one class of farm product. All hon. members know what the citrus fruit advertising has done for the growers in California and other states. In this country I believe we might reduce the estimates of other departments of less importance, and allocate more money to advertising the products of the farm in our domestic as well as in our overseas markets. We should show people that for deliciousness and general food value our Canadian farm products outclass anything in the world.

The speech from the throne has dealt with the Veterans' Assistance Commission Act. The last report brought down made some mention of the imperial veterans. I should like to suggest to the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Power) that he might find it profitable to arrange for a conference between officials of the Ministry of Pensions in the United Kingdom and the department here. Out of such a conference might come something which would improve the status of the imperial veteran in this country.

I was interested to note the extensions which are to be made in the trans-Canada air service. We are fortunate in the county of Peel in having the village of Malton picked as the site for the Toronto auxiliary airport. We had a feeling in that county that when the authorities were looking for something good, they would come to our constituency. They have not failed us in that regard. We

are hoping to be on the direct line of transoceanic traffic in the years to come and I believe that the choice of Malton for an airport was a wise one.

Mention is made in the speech from the throne of a revision of the trade agreement between Canada and the United States. As the provisions of the new agreement have not been definitely decided upon I should like to make two or three suggestions to the government, which might be kept in mind when negotiations are in progress. There are a considerable number of fruit and vegetable growers in my riding and these men are much concerned over the possibility of the lowering of the tariff or the relaxation in the imposition of the regulations with respect to added value for duty. These people have suffered to some extent-perhaps I should say to a large extent-because of the agreement which went into effect on January 1, 1936.

The figures show that as between 1935 and 1937 there has been an increase of 50 per cent in imports of fresh vegetables from the United States. Our growers can supply the Canadian demand. They are not asking for special privileges, but they feel they have made a greater sacrifice in promoting freer trade between these two countries than any other industry in this dominion. Imports generally from the United States increased 30 per cent in the period 1935 to 1937, but imports of vegetables increased, not 30 per cent but 50 per cent. I cite these figures to show that these growers are entitled to some consideration. The tariff as it stands at present is not sufficiently protective and they are anxious that by the new agreement no additional burden shall be imposed upon their business.

According to the latest statistics, there are more young trees planted for orchard purposes in the county of Peel than in any other county in Ontario. This means that the orchard men of Peel are planning for the future. They are counting on a continuance of the preference which they now have in the overseas markets. I ask the government to exercise every care and caution to see that nothing is done to interfere with the preference which our fruit now enjoys.

In my closing remarks I should like to refer to three types of taxation, all of which are regarded as important in the riding which I represent. During the regime of the previous administration, a two-eent tax was placed upon sugar. That tax met with some outcry, especially from hon. members who now sit on the government side. In the next year

The Address-Mr. Graydon

the tax was reduced by one-half, but the one-cent tax has remained in force ever since. I submit that we do not give enough consideration to the effect that such taxes have upon the women of our country. After all the housewives should be considered. This tax is actually a burden upon the housewives of the dominion. Last year I suggested that this tax should be removed and I hope that I shall not be a lone crusader this year when I ask the government to consider this matter when the budget is brought down. This one-cent tax should be taken off sugar in order that some relief may be given to the housewives of our land.

The county of Peel is the home of the greatest cut flower industry, not only in the dominion but I think I am safe in saying in the world. No sales tax is imposed on agricultural products, but the full tax of eight per cent is imposed on horticultural products. This tax must be very difficult to collect because of the great number of small growers. The result is that it is to some extent discriminatory in its application. I suggest that this tax should be eliminated. I make this plea, not only on behalf of the large concerns in Brampton and elsewhere, but also on behalf of the workingmen who are engaged in this industry in great numbers. They are anxious that it shall prosper in order that they may derive some benefit from that prosperity.

I should like to bring to the attention of the house a matter which has not been referred to so far. I refer to the increase in the cost of radio licences. With all fairness to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Howe) and to the general manager of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for both of whom I have the greatest respect, I make the plea that there should be no increase. I sat in at one meeting of the special committee which dealt with radio broadcasting in 1936. I was elected to take the place of the late Mr. Plunkett, the former member for Victoria City. It may be that I did not know the general set-up of radio broadcasting, but at that time I felt that an opportunity should be given to the nationally owned broadcasting corporation to justify its existence. The report of that committee was concurred in unanimously by the House of Commons.

There has been, however, a growing discontent with our national broadcasting corporation. Whether or not this is justified, is not for me to say at this time. The people are now to be asked to pay an increased licence fee, not only on the sets upon which they previously paid a fee but upon the radios in their cars and any additional sets they might have in their homes. There has been a storm of indignation over this increase and I think it

should be brought to the attention of the government, if they have not already heard the rumblings in the press and from other sources.

I trust the government will take an early opportunity to remedy this matter. If our national broadcasting system is to be a success we must first gain the confidence of the radio listening public in this dominion. We must be careful not to impose what people are apt to regard as nuisance taxes. Speaking for myself, I would rather pay $70 in gasoline tax, which I do every year, because I seem to notice it less, than be asked when the 31st of March comes round to pay the radio licence fee. That may seem peculiar, but human nature is human nature, as someone said in the debate yesterday. I would urge upon the government the importance of maintaining confidence in our nationally owned broadcasting system, and may I suggest that the raising of the licence fee will not tend in any way to increase confidence in the system. I ask the government at this time not only to refrain from increasing the licence fee by fifty cents, but very earnestly to consider wiping out the fee altogether and raising the funds required from some other source.

May I just say in closing that while the speech from the throne foreshadowed a number of very important projects which will be under consideration by parliament this session, undoubtedly it left out one very important matter, and that was any reference to legislation which would tend to bridge the gap, that inequality between incomes in Canada, which I mentioned in my earlier remarks this afternoon. Surely this great assembly of men and women representing all parts of this dominion, coming here with one idea in mind, that of bettering the condition of our people, can find in the legislative machinery at hand a powerful and effective instrument for bringing about a greater equality of income in this country at this session of parliament.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Mr. ARTHUR J. LAPOINTE (Matapedia-Matane) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I shall make my remarks brief, in order not to delay the adoption of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I wish first to offer my warm congratulations to the honourable, members who moved and seconded the motion." I was delighted to hear these speakers express themselves with such ease, eloquence and precision.

The Address-Mr. Lapointe (Matapedia)

The third session of the eighteenth parliament has just opened in an atmosphere of confidence and optimism. Instead of the disquieting situation in which the country found itself under the former administration, we are able to note today remarkable progress in all fields of national activity, thanks to the present government's policy built on common sense and cooperation.

In spite of the acrimonious remarks of the right honourable the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), many of his friends cannot help admitting that we are today on the road to true restoration, with all due deference to my honourable friend from Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens). As the right honourable the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) said last night in the course of a speech for which I wish sincerely to congratulate him, there is still much to be done; important problems remain to be solved, but I honestly believe that the Liberal party has reason to feel proud of what it has accomplished during the period of slightly over two years that has elapsed since its accession to power.

Among the difficult problems awaiting solu

tion there is that of the anxious and bewildered young people of this country who, during the past six or seven years, have seen the collapse of their ambitions and the vanishing of their fondest hopes. Today practically all avenues are closed to youth. Every position is filled, and when perchance a vacancy opens there are hundreds of applicants for it. I know many heads of families who have made great sacrifices to educate their children. Some of them spent nearly all their savings to give to their sons an education that would permit them to attain in due course to important positions. All that is left to them now is the consolation of looking at gilded diplomas hanging to the walls.

I know of no spectacle more tragic and distressing than that of our idle young people who, because of their idleness, are exposed to many dangers. The depression has affected the morale of the younger generation and I look upon the problem of youth as the most pressing one that we have to face. Indeed, the delay in solving it may lead to the most disastrous and irreparable consequences.

Since a nation's youth constitutes one of its most valuable assets, governments have in that regard duties and obligations which they cannot avoid. I wish however to congratulate the honourable the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) for the action he took last session in having one million dollars voted to assist the youth of the country. It

is a most worthy object and I was happy to note in the speech from the throne the government's intention to continue this wise policy this year. I hope that even more will be done.

As the representative of a rural constituency, I wish particularly to draw the attention of the government to the distressing situation of the young people of the rural districts. During the two years or more that I have had the honour of representing the electoral division of Matapedia-Matane in this house, I have received over five thousand applications for positions and assistance of all kinds, a large number of which came from sons of farmers. It is because I understand the deep distress of the young people from the country communities that I appeal to this house to-day on their behalf. I venture to hope that my appeal will be heard by those who are charged with the responsibility not only of the future and the welfare of our youth, but of the progress of our agricultural population as well.

In spite of a substantial improvement there are still in each parish of my constituency from 75 to 150 young men of an age to establish a home of their own, but who for lack of resources are unable to do so. Their fondest desire would be to follow the example of their parents and become useful citizens earning their living by their labour. Instead of that they have become a heavy burden and an object of anxiety for their parents.

People seem to forget that agriculture is Canada's basic industry, and I am under the impression that we have too often, in the past, neglected it for the benefit of other large industries, which resulted in drawing a large number of our rural youths to the cities, attracted as they were by the prospect of an easy life and by the mirage of delusive pleasures. But scientific endeavours with a view to improving our machinery soon brought about overproduction, and, therefore, unemployment. To-day, it seems to be an established fact that our factories, with their improved equipment, when they are running full time, are able to manufacture in a few months what we can consume in a whole year. Therefore the manufacturers will be more and more inclined to reduce their employees, and the cities will require a lesser number of workingmen. Consequently, there is an urgent need of directing our young people toward another sphere.

Desertion from the land has caused great social unrest, and, to a large extent, made for the economic chaos from which we have so much suffered for the last few years.

90 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Lapointe (Matapedia)

According to the statistics, the population of the province of Quebec, at the time of the census, on June 1, 1931, was 2,874,255, or 27-7 per cent of the total population of Canada. People residing in the 25 towns of more than

10.000 inhabitants made up 46-26 per cent of the total population. By adding the residents of incorporated villages of more than

1.000 inhabitants, the percentage of the urban population would be 54-51. And if you add to that the population of all our rural municipalities of less than 1,000 inhabitants, the percentage would then be respectively 63-1 for the towns and 36-9 for the countryside. Our rural population, in the province of Quebec, has been steadily decreasing for the last sixty years. According to the census of 1871, there were, then 80-5 per cent of the people on the land, and 19-5 in the towns. In 1931, the percentage of the rural population had dwindled to 36-9. However, during the ten years between 1921 and 1931, the population of the province of Quebec had increased by 21-76 per cent. Where did the surplus of our rural districts go? They helped to swell the number of workers in the cities, and Later the number of unemployed on relief, which meant a burden for the government, instead of an asset to the country.

Mr. Speaker, such conditions cannot last much longer without necessarily endangering the economic future of this dominion. I humbly suggest that the best way to put an end to these unfortunate conditions would be to improve the lot of our farming class, and to assist in establishing our farmers' sons, either on old farms which could be parceled out, or by opening new rural districts. Some time ago, the very eminent bishop of Rimouski, Mgr. Courchesne, pointed out that our forests that had for years supplied the mills in the Matapedia valley would soon be depleted, and that the people would of course have to go back to the land. Even if the keeping of our youths on the land must entail great sacrifices on the part of the nation, we should make them. It shall be the salvation of our young people. As I look all around, and as I endeavour to see through the future, I see no other means of really improving the conditions.

Undoubtedly, I realize that the young people in our rural districts may not all feel the call to the land, but I know a large number of young men in my county who would be anxious to get established as farmers, provided that the conditions were more favourable, and that they w-ould get the necessary assistance.

The Auger-Rogers plan disclosed at first great possibilities for the province of Quebec, but we soon realized that the rural districts

could not easily avail themselves of that plan, because the municipalities are too poor to contribute their share. Although it was stated that the Quebec government would assume the share of those municipalities which would be unable to pay, I believe -that in our rural districts there were very few people who could avail themselves of that plan, and the towns seem to be the only ones to benefit by it.

Mr. Speaker, w-e do not seem to realize the actual conditions which obtain in the rural districts. While we grant the cities millions of dollars for public works and relief, our unemployed in the countryside must, most of the time, depend on public charity. Anyone who will look through the list of relief works undertaken this year in the province of Quebec under the Tremblay-Rogers agreement will notice that outside of a sum of $1,000 granted the constituency of L'lslet, not a cent was provided for the counties east of Levis. Not that I wish to blame the hon. Minister of Labour, who sits in front of me for I know that the choice of these undertakings is left to each province; but I would like, however, that it be well understood that the cities of Montreal, Quebec, Three Rivers, Sherbrooke and Levis are not the only spots in the province of Quebec where there is unemployment.

1 shall now turn back to the main object of my observations. In the previous speeches which I had the privilege to make in this house, I always advocated a back to the land movement, because I thought, as I still think, that it is the best way to solve the unemployment problem in our rural districts. In this respect, however, I am in perfect agreement with the bishops of the province of Quebec, who have just made a stirring appeal for land settlement.

I had much satisfaction in learning, through the press, that in April next a great radio campaign on agricultural training will be launched in the province of Quebec by "Le Reveil rural," whose chief founder and energetic president is my esteemed fellow member from Kamouraska (Mr. Bouchard). No better qualified man could have been selected as the head of that organization than the author of Vieilles choses et vieilles gens, who for nearly a quarter of a century has laboured so heartily on behalf of the farming community. Some people will no doubt claim that the back-to-the-land movement, the land settlement policy has not always yielded satisfactory results. Possibly, but we should also bear in mind the mistakes which were made in the past and could be avoided in future.

The Address-Mr. Lapointe (Matapedia)

In order to promote the development of new land settlement districts, it would be necessary, at the outset, to provide adequate means of communication with the older centres, instead of letting the poor settlers flounder over wretched roads. Again, those worthy people would have to be paid more regularly the salary and the bonuses to which they are entitled, instead of having to wait several months for them. I think the federal government should, along with the Quebec government, assume the whole cost of carrying out the Auger-Rogcrs plan, and that municipalities should not be called upon to contribute. In my opinion, under such circumstances, that plan would be an ideal one. Greater care would also have to be exercised in the selection of lands for settlement, and more attention should be given to the choice of settlers. In the past, farmers' sons have all too often been overlooked in land settlement schemes, while settlers were being looked for among the cities' unemployed. The latter, not all but a good number of them, had no natural turn for farming. They were not, either, prepared for the hard work and the numerous hardships that are part of a settler's life. Many among them had no greater ambition than to escape for a time their wretched conditions and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the governments. That is why, after a year or two, and in some cases after a few months only, they flocked back to the cities.

Before thinking of getting rid of the cities' unemployed by putting them on uncleared lands, let the authorities first put a stop to the migration of people from the farms by giving our farmers' sons practical help in becoming settlers. These young men are better aware of what is expected of them. For many years, they have, under the supervision of their parents, become acquainted with farming. They know that the constant and persevering exertions of a courageous settler are nearly always rewarded, even if in some cases results only come after a long time. In the province of Quebec, especially, if farming seldom brings wealth to those who make it their life work, it does, at least enable courageous and persistent people to live in easy circumstances, while bringing them independence, quiet, peace and happiness.

I am pleased to say that most of the settlers in my constituency have displayed much courage and perseverance. Thanks to their unremitting efforts land settlement has had a wonderful progress in our district. A few

newly-established parishes will soon vie with the older ones. In these troublous times, when people are more interested in enjoying themselves and leading an easy life than in making sacrifices, these worthy settlers, true to ancestral traditions, did not hesitate to plunge into the forest in order to establish a home and make room for their descendants. These unheralded heroes deserve our admiration since they are thus promoting the development and the greatness of our country.

When, looking over the map of my constituency, I notice a vast district, comprising the townships of Laverendrye, Catalogue, Gravier, Clark, Casault, Lagrange, Bontet. Duniere, Richard, Cuocq, Leclerc, Joffre and Baribault, which have never been opened to settlement, I cannot but think that all the unemployed of my constituency could find work there. I reflect that there would be good prospects for all courageous and proud young men who are not afraid to face those hardships and sacrifices which, sooner or later, must be the lot of those who wish to succeed in life. I reflect that there would be good prospects for all our spirited young men in whose veins is still flowing the blood of the early settlers who opened to civilization the shores of the St. Lawrence. And I know, Mr. Speaker, that these young men are still numerous in my constituency, but they are awaiting the time when the government opens the way to those areas and helps them to make a start. Let us not ^ forget that the future of our country is in the hands of our young people. And it seems to me that we would be remiss in our duty if we did not do everything in our power, if we did not take every means at our command for the salvation of our youth.

Mr. Speaker, I will conclude, since I staled at the outset that I would not speak at any length, but I do hope that the government will consider my suggestions.

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Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. VICTOR QUELCH (Acadia):

First, Mr. Speaker, I should like to congratulate the mover and seconder of the address upon their efforts to paint a silver lining in a murky and heavy cloud. During the past few months I have listened to many speeches by prominent Liberals, including members of the Liberal cabinet, and perhaps I might be pardoned if I termed the majority of those speeches as of a vainglorious nature. My reaction, and I believe the reaction of an ever-increasing number of people in Canada, is a feeling anxiety, bred by the belief that this much vaunted

The Address-Mr. Quelch

prosperity rests upon a foundation which is not only unsound but altogether undesirable. It appears to me to be a lamentable state of affairs when the prosperity of a country such as Canada should have to depend to such a large degree upon the volume of our export trade rather than upon the demand of the home market.

The excuse, of course, is offered that in Canada, where we have a comparatively small population, that population is not able to absorb the total production of the country. However that argument can be tenable only if the present population are having their wants adequately met. Would anyone in the house suggest for one moment that the domestic and social requirements of the people of Canada are being adequately met to-day? Would anyone suggest for one moment that the masses of the Canadian people are receiving a sufficient quantity of food to afford them a decent standard of living? Would anyone suggest, for instance, that the masses of the Canadian people possess a sufficient quantity of clothing? I refer especially to children in the rural areas, who in many cases have to travel two, three and four miles in sub-zero weather wearing clothing totally unsuited to withstand the rigours of this climate. Once more, would anybody in this chamber suggest .that the housing requirements of the people of Canada are being adequately met? It is not necessary to travel very far from this chamber to find people living in very undesirable quarters, and in this dominion I have seen people living in hovels that would make the pigsties at the central experimental farm here look like palaces. Tha-t being the case, Mr. Speaker, there can be no justification for our exports exceeding our imports to the extent that has been the case in the past.

Some people take the stand that our main trouble arises from the fact that we have a small population, and they advocate that we should have increased immigration. But recent statistics show quite clearly that an increase in immigration does not necessarily mean an increase in population. It stands to reason that unless we are going to make social conditions in this country of a desirable nature, people are not going to stay. In that case the result of immigration is merely a floating population, with people coming in one door and going out the other. Then, again, if we are going to bring industrial workers into this country, those industrial workers, utilizing the modem equipment available in Canada to-day, will be able to produce goods greatly in excess of those

their purchasing power will buy, so that the demands of the home market will not be increased in relation to the production of the country. Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that foreign, trade and immigration will not solve the problem, we once more stress the fact that we should stimulate the home market so .that the people of Canada may be able to consume to the utmost of their desires or to the full capacity of industry to satisfy those desires, whichever may come first.

I do not wish it to be thought that I am denouncing the value of foreign trade. As the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Black-more) has already stressed, we realize full well the value of foreign trade, but what we criticise is the policy of this government with regard to foreign trade. The Liberal party appear to take the stand that they are willing to allow a low standard of living in Canada in order to make available a greater quantity of goods for export. I do not say that this is the deliberate intent of the Liberal party, but this appears to be the result of their policy. We take the stand that the correct function of foreign trade is the exchange of the surplus of those goods that we can produce most economically for the surplus goods of other nations that we cannot produce economically or in sufficient abundance.

Why is it that the home market of Canada does not create an effective demand for the production of Canada? We have stressed the reason on several occasions in the house and no doubt will continue to do so in the future. The principal reason we have emphasized is that the producers of consumer goods are not able to create an effective demand for the total of their production. Therefore it becomes essential that additional purchasing power shall be issued outside industrial systems in order to make up that deficiency. The first time I spoke in the house I referred to the fact that a definite relationship should be maintained between the production of capital goods and the production of consumption goods, and I pointed out that this relationship should be so adjusted that salaries, wages and dividends paid out in the production of capital goods would be equal to the deficiency of purchasing power that existed as between the total prices of consumption goods and the total effective demand of the people. Perhaps I might quote from a very interesting article that appeared in the Canadian Business magazine, entitled Is A Major Depression Ahead, because it carries out what I have just been saying. At page 18 the article states:

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that it was difficult to foresee what

The Address-Mr. Quelch

would check the present downward spiral of decreasing purchasing power. . . . Until now, the disequilibrium between revival in the capital goods industries and those catering to a consumer demand has been one of the stumbling blocks to sound prosperity.

It is quite evident that the necessary relationship is not being maintained to-day, and until steps have been taken to increase the purchasing power of the people it is quite obvious that the people of Canada are being deprived of the goods that are available or that can be made available.

What is mainly responsible for the present partial recovery? On this question I think it is only right that we should be perfectly frank and face the situation as it exists. As some members have already stated, the main reason is the fact that the major nations of the world are spending millions upon millions of dollars on armaments. Here I should like to refer to the October letter of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Referring to this question the letter points out that this foundation is not only unsound but is also undesirable. I quote:

Moreover, it had become increasingly apparent that most nations were drawing heavily upon their immediate and future resources to engage in rearmament. This program, though giving an immense impetus to world business, must eventually result in a substantially increased financial burden. With world armament expenditures estimated this year at the colossal sum of 15 thousand million dollars, and fully half of European industry devoted in varying degree to armament activity consequent upon the 8 thousand million dollars apportioned for this purpose by five major powers, world industrial production soared in recent months above that of 1929, while international trade rose practically to the level of that year. Yet, as will be seen from the following account of economic developments abroad, strains and stresses have become more evident, and have had something to do with the recurring "incidents" and "crises" which recently brought people everywhere to the most anxious frame of mind in many years.

Following that argument I do not think anyone would try to say that our prosperity today is based upon either sound or desirable foundations. I listened with a great deal of interest to a speech made a few months ago by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning). I had the opportunity to hear his voice from the screen of a moving picture theatre. On that occasion he indulged in the common practice of throwing bouquets at the Liberal party, and he pointed out that the prosperity and partial recovery in Canada was to a great extent due to the fact that the mining industry had considerably increased production and export. I believe his figures indicated that the production of minerals had increased in the last two years from $190,000,000

to about $350,000,000. At the present time I believe the figures are considerably higher than that.

As has been pointed out in the Bank of Commerce letter, the present prosperity in Canada has been brought about to a large extent by the armament programs of foreign nations, and those programs have accounted for the marked increase in demand for our minerals. Those increased demands are due entirely to the warlike activities of foreign nations. The inconsistency in the minister's speech, so far as I was concerned, was when he said, in order to round out the picture: "Let us pray for international peace." If international peace comes the market vanishes, and down we go into the depths of depression. So much for the Liberal party's policy of increased foreign trade on that basis.

We are well aware that at the present time a wave of horror and repugnance has swept across the civilized world because of the actions of Japan in committing atrocities in China. That reaction has become evident through the demands by many organizations and individuals that boycotts be instituted against goods imported from Japan. Yet we in Canada are today supplying the major portion of certain essential minerals Japan is utilizing in the production of those armaments which are creating destruction in China.

The hon. member for Lethbridge quoted figures to show the amount of minerals being exported today from Canada to Japan. It seems to me that we are taking a most , inconsistent stand. In view of the fact that we are deliberately aiding and abetting Japan in her actions through the export of tremendous quantities of minerals, we are not in a position to criticize the action of Japan in China. It has been said that if we were to place an embargo upon the minerals to be exported to Japan there would be a danger that that country might declare war on Canada. I am glad to say that New Zealand has had the necessary courage to take that very action, and has placed an embargo upon the export of scrap iron. I realize that the amount of minerals exported by New Zealand may be small, when compared with Canadian exports. No doubt that is the reason why we are not prepared to place an embargo upon these exports. Apparently we are more interested in the profit derived by these industries than we are in helping to save human lives.

I believe an ever increasing number of people are beginning to realize that the prosperity of Canada should be based not

The Address-Mr. Quelch

only on a sound but on an honourable basis. We cannot be proud of a prosperity brought about by the export of minerals to a country such as Japan., in the light of her activities against China today. I would suggest that Canada should lead the world by putting her own house in order.

Let us briefly review the situation. To-day there is a chronic shortage of purchasing power in the hands of many Canadian people. Second, our potential production is considerably in excess of the present effective demand of the people; it is not in excess of the physical demand, but it is in excess of the physical demand backed by money. Third, a large number of national projects are sorely needed throughout the dominion. Then, one might well ask why in the name of common sense and Christianity, in a democracy such as this, we do not put those national projects into operation so as to make certain necessary services available to our people, and thereby distribute the purchasing power so sorely needed to make an effective demand against the goods available in Canada to-day.

I was interested in a statement by G. D. H. Cole, Professor at Oxford university, which appeared in the Sunday Pictorial. He was referring to conditions in England which. I suggest, are applicable to Canada, and stated:

Nevertheless, despite rearmament, there is a danger of employment falling oft. House building is past its peak. Traders in many lines are carrying very heavy stocks.

I would refer particularly to the last sentence, in which reference is made to stocks carried by traders. There are people who say, when it is suggested that social credit proposes to put purchasing power into circulation, that there would be no goods to meet the demand. I would point out that, as Cole says, the traders are carrying heavy stocks of goods. He continues:

It will not do to be overconfident, as the government appears to be, that rearmament activity alone will be enough to prevent a slump from happening. What, then, ought to be done? The answer, I think, is simple; and I shall proceed to set it out here.

I suggest that the answer might well apply to Canada.

Keep money cheap and plentiful . . . get plans ready. Prepare and have ready to start without any delay plans for house building, school building, road making, electrical development, and so_ on, so that these schemes can be used to provide employment and put money in the consumers' pockets the very moment there is any sign of the demand for labour falling off.

I suggest that we might well take that advice and prepare a plan to put national projects into operation in Canada, not merely for the

[Mr. Quefch.f

purpose of producing work but for the sake of providing services required. Then the money paid out through these projects would help to make up the deficiency of purchasing that is so chronic to-day.

Last session the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) stated that in his opinion public works were not a permanent solution. Of course hon. members in this section of the house readily agree with him in that statement. They cannot be a permanent solution, because eventually all necessary works will be completed. Then, whether one likes it or not, the inevitable solution must be a social dividend paid as a supplement to wages. That is, as the hours of labour are reduced, as eventually they would have to be, reduced wages can be made up by a social dividend, or by a reduction in price, through a price discount financed by the federal government.

Of course the question immediately arises: How will these projects be financed? I would point out that that question does not come very well from the present Liberal government. Hon. members in this corner have stressed time and again how we believe those projects should be financed, namely by the use of national money. Two years ago hon. members in the group to which I belong refused to support an amendment to the address in reply to the speech from the throne moved by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) because that amendment involved a vote of want of confidence in the government. At that time the Liberal party had made certain definite promises with regard to monetary reform, and w*e thought that if those promises were implemented a considerable improvement could be brought about in conditions throughout the country. Therefore at that time we refused to support the amendment. To-day we find a very different situation. After two years not only has the Liberal party refused to carry out its promises but, in a statement he made last year, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) showed clearly that what he actually meant was not what the people thought he meant. Therefore we shall take great pleasure in supporting the present amendment of the right hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett).

What was the statement made by the Prime Minister during the election campaign? What was the statement that echoed from one end of this dominion to the other? What was the statement that was hurled as a challenge from eveiy Liberal platform? I think that statement is within the memory of all of us; it was, "currency and credit in

The Address-Mr. Quelch

terms of public need." The Liberal candidates in that election did not leave the people of the country in any doubt as to what was meant by that expression. They told the Canadian people how national projects would be put into operation throughout the country and how those projects would be financed by the national credit. The Prime Minister has since shown quite clearly -what was in his mind when he made that statement. I refer hon. members to page 3806 of Hansard of 1936, as follows:

. . . there will be employment for all provided out of funds which this bank, by some mechanical process or other, will turn out. I want to make perfectly clear that that kind of thing has never been expressed by any person speaking with authority on behalf of the Liberal party.

A large number of Liberal candidates in the last election told the people that that was exactly what the Liberal party proposed to do, and yet the Prime Minister states that no person had any authority to make a statement of that kind on behalf of the Liberal party. It would appear that a number of totally irresponsible Liberal candidates were running around during the last election and some of those candidates are now members of the house. I am not saying that they are irresponsible; I am simply taking the statement of the Prime Minister that any Liberal member who made that statement is irresponsible.

The Prime Minister has not been very clear in his definition as to what currency and credit in terms of public need actually mean. However we find that during the election he made this statement on a number of occasions, to be found at page 3805 of Hansard:

A central bank is necessary to determine the supply of currency in relation to the domestic, social and industrial requirements of the Canadian people.

Does any hon. member suggest for one minute that that is being carried out today? Would any hon. member suggest that the domestic and social requirements of the Canadian people are being adequately met? That is what was promised by the Prime Minister during the election campaign. As those promises have not been implemented, we urge the government that they be implemented immediately in order that national projects may be started adequately to take care of the domestic and social requirements of the Canadian people.

The Prime Minister evidently anticipated a certain amount of difficulty in implementing this promise because, as has been referred to

by the leader of the opposition, he has said that Canada is faced with a great battle between the money powers and the powers of the people, a battle that will be waged in the next parliament. We in this corner of the house have been waiting patiently for that battle to materialize.

On behalf of this group I can promise that if that battle should ever materialize the government will have our full support.

Instead of such a battle materializing it would appear that this government has been engaged in a love feast with certain financial powers or money barons of this country. This would seem to be borne out by the action of the government in running to the assistance of the bankers in Alberta when certain legislation was passed. That action is especially strange in view of certain promises made by the Prime Minister during the election campaign. I should like to quote from a speech which he made in Saskatoon in 1935, as follows:

In Alberta at the present moment the government was launched on the experiment of social credit. "I hope with all my heart that they *will be successful," said Mr. King, assuring the audience that if he -was returned as Prime Minister of Canada, Alberta would be assured of the greatest freedom in carrying out its experiment under the Liberal policy of not interfering with the rights of the provinces.

That was the attitude of the Liberal party during the election campaign. Apparently that was still the attitude of the Liberal party prior to March 30 of last year, when the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) made the following statement in reply to a question by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) regarding the padlock law:

If, as the hon. member suggests, it is ultra vires, then the courts will so rule. The courts will declare that it is ultra vires, and it is better that the courts declare than that the Minister of Justice do so because there would be no appeal from disallowance by the minister.

Many people in Alberta believe it is a great pity that the Minister of Justice and the government have not continued to think as it was evident they thought on March 30 of last year. One wonders why there was a sudden change in policy on the part of the Liberal government with regard to Alberta. That change apparently took place shortly after the members of the cabinet returned from the coronation. It makes one wonder whether that change was the result of the delegates to the coronation absorbing some of the atmosphere of financial imperialism which they

The Address-Mr. Quelch

encountered in England. It makes one wonder whether that change was the result of their rubbing shoulders with Hitler in Germany.

We in this corner are not in a position to know just what was the reason for that change in policy, but we are in a position to judge what the results have been. One of the results of that change has been a distinct discrimination against Alberta. This discrimination is resented by the people of Alberta all the more because it comes as a culmination of many previous acts of discrimination against their province by this government. Perhaps I should review briefly some of those acts of discrimination.

I should like to take hon. members back to April 1, 1936, when Alberta defaulted on certain maturities. It will be remembered that Alberta asked financial assistance from the federal government in order to meet certain maturities. Certain other western provinces also asked for assistance and the federal government agreed to give this assistance provided the provinces became a party to a loan council. It was generally recognized at that time that should the province of Alberta become a party to a loan council, all chances of putting social credit into effect in that province would be killed.

I have referred already to the statement of the Prime Minister that he hoped from the bottom of his heart that Alberta would be successful in that experiment, and that nothing would be put in the way of Alberta to prevent it from succeeding. In view of that statement it seems strange that shortly after, the government should try to saddle a loan council upon Alberta, knowing that if the province accepted such a council it would be impossible for social credit to succeed. That does not appear to be a consistent or sincere attitude.

The premier of Alberta realized only too well that if the province became a party to the loan council it would be impossible to proceed with social credit. The government of Alberta had been elected on the definite understanding that they would try to implement social credit, and therefore when the federal government issued their ultimatum that the province would have to support the loan council in order to receive financial assistance, Mr. Aberhart had these two alternatives before him: Either he had to default or else he must betray the people of Alberta who had put him in power. I think he is to be congratulated, Mr. Speaker, upon having [DOT]had sufficient courage to refuse to betray the people of Alberta and to follow the course he did.

Now on the question of discrimination, where the discrimination comes in is this: Shortly after Alberta had defaulted, the loan council plan was modified and again submitted to the provinces of this dominion. Some of the western provinces had refused to become a party to the loan council as it was first proposed, but after it had been modified they agreed to become parties to it. The point I want to stress is this, that Alberta was never given a chance to become a party to the modified loan council before she defaulted, and that is where the rank discrimination comes in.

Second, we all realize to-day that had Saskatchewan and Manitoba received the same treatment that Alberta received, both those provinces would have been forced to default. There is no question about that.

Third, there is the question of the Quebec padlock law. When the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre asked the government to disallow certain legislation of the province of Quebec, we were told that the government did not consider it advisable to disallow that legislation, that it was better to allow the courts to decide upon it. Yet when the Alberta legislation came up for review, this government evidently decided that it was wise to run to the rescue of the bankers rather than allow them to fight their own battles.

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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS:

It all depends whose

chickens are stolen.

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Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

Yes, one was the social

credit province of Alberta, and the other was a Liberal province.

I should like now to say a few words about the Rowell commission, because there again we consider that rank discrimination has been shown against the province of Alberta. The Rowell commission was formed for the purpose of trying to bring the provinces closer together, and it was essential for that purpose that an impartial body of men should be appointed to the commission. But what do we find so far as western Canada is concerned? Two western men were chosen, Mr. Dafoe and Mr. Angus. Mr. Dafoe has consistently attacked the principles of social credit, and has made slanderous and libellous attacks upon Major Douglas, Premier Aberhart and members of his cabinet. Mr. Angus was employed by the so-called Economic Safety League during the provincial election to attack the social credit candidates who were running in that election. Was it likely, therefore, that these two men would command the confidence of the people of Alberta?

The Address-Mr. Quelch

Is it likely that they will be able to deal impartially with evidence that comes before the commission from that province?

Before closing. Mr. Speaker, I should like to touch very briefly on a subject that I had not intended to deal with tonight because I had not thought I would have the time, and because it can be dealt with better and in more detail upon some other occasion, and that is the question of feed in the drought area. 1 see the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) in his seat. I had quite a bit of correspondence with him on this subject. While fully realizing the magnitude of the problem he is trying to handle, I deeply regret that the federal government should have considered it necessary to impose the restrictions they did regarding the supply of feed relief in the drought area at this time.

We know that in many parts of the drought area-I am especially familiar with conditions in the constituency I represent-many farmers, particularly in the eastern part of my constituency, are no longer farming land. They dare not plough up the land on account of soil drifting. They have succeeded in keeping off relief by keeping five or six milk cows, and that is practically all they have to depend upon for a living. They are raising no crop, and they deserve to be congratulated upon having kept off relief in the past. But to-day many of them find themselves without any feed, and they have had to apply for assistance. They were told that they could not get any assistance unless they cut down their small herd of cows to two, if they have a family of two children, or three or four if they have three or four children. The result has been that these farmers have been thrown on relief, and it is very hard to see how they will ever be able to get off relief.

I know the reason has been given that there was not a sufficiency of feed to make it possible to carry a greater quantity of stock, but I am satisfied that when the spring comes we shall find thousands upon thousands of tons of straw that have never been used. Why? Because the amount of money allowed in payment for that straw is not sufficient to cover the cost of baling and hauling the straw to town. All the farmer is paid is $3.50 a ton.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

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Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

The farmers who live quite a distance from town cannot bale the straw and haul it to town and cover the cost of handling it. They are better off keeping the 51052-7

straw at home. I have spoken to many farmers with a large amount of straw, and they have told me they have not been offered a price for straw which would pay the cost of handling it, that they could not possibly handle it at the price offered.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The provincial government are handling that.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

It has to be financed by the federal government, and the federal government will not pay more than that. Again, some of the farmers have Russian thistle which will do for cattle that are not milking, and if the federal government had made money available to buy grain, there is plenty of grain available. It is not as if this condition had arisen just this year or last year, because, Mr. Speaker, in the constituency I represent it has been necessary to give drought relief in every single year since 1918.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

If the hon. member will permit me, the regulations he refers to are the regulations which were presented to us by the provincial government.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

I understood that there were definite regulations laid down by the federal government as to the conditions upon which that money would be granted.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The terms of the agreement are that the regulations shall be made by the provincial government and be approved by us.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

And what were your

regulations?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

They made the regulations and we approved them.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

Did you leave it wide open?

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February 1, 1938