February 1, 1938

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

We did not do anything about the regulations except to approve them.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

In that case you must accept the responsibility. But I received information from the minister of agriculture in Alberta, from which I understood the conditions were quite different. I shall not go further into that matter now, because a better time will be when the estimates come up and the matter can be discussed in greater detail. I shall then be prepared to discuss it at greater length, and there are many questions I should like to ask.

We are supporting the amendment moved by the right hon. leader of the opposition because we feel this government has had plenty of time to implement its promises of

The Address-Mr. Senn

monetary reform and yet has failed to implement them. The Prime Minister has definitely told us that what the people thought he meant is not what he meant, and we know now his real stand also on the question of currency and credit.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. M. C. SENN (Haldimand):

Mr. Speaker, following the example of those who have already spoken in this debate, I wish to offer congratulations to the mover (Mr. Francoeur) and the seconder (Mr. Warren) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, upon the acceptable way in which they discharged the task which was assigned to them. Both of them referred to the second paragraph of the speech from the throne, which mentions the coronation of their majesties, and I concur most heartily in the sentiments expressed by these lion, gentlemen and others regarding that happy event, and desire to express my own hope that their majesties' reign may be a peaceful, happy and prosperous one. The participation of so many Canadians in the coronation celebrations, both at home and abroad, would seem to be an indication to their majesties and the world that Canada is proud of her position within the British commonwealth of nations and that she is ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with other parts of the empire whenever difficulty or danger may threaten.

I listened this afternoon with a good deal of interest to my hon. friend from Huron North (Mr. Deachman) as he described what he conceived to be the conditions in agriculture to-day. He painted a dismal picture, but I am certain that that picture was not too harshly presented, and later on in my address I shall discuss this matter at greater length. Before doing so, however, I should like to say a word or two about a matter that was mentioned by the seconder of the address (Mr. Warren), namely, the benefits that Canada has derived from the trade agreement with the United States, which went into operation two years ago.

Many of our Liberal friends are taking great credit for the beneficial results of the agreement, particularly in regard to agriculture. It cannot be denied that in certain lines of agriculture our exports to the United States have greatly increased. This is particularly true of cattle, our exports of which have more than doubled in the two year period. To say, however, that this increase was due wholly to the one cent reduction in the tariff on our cattle seems to me to be scarcely correct. Owing to certain policies which were followed by the present administration in the United States in curtailing production, a scarcity of cattle ensued in that country in the past

two years, and this scarcity has caused the price of cattle across the line to rise to an exorbitant figure; so that even if we had not enjoyed the one cent reduction in the rate on cattle entering that market, I am sure that there would have been a very large increase in our exports. During the last few months, however, the price of cattle in the United States has dropped off to a great extent, and there has been a corresponding reduction in our exports. I fear that there will be a corresponding reduction next year, and that our exports will be disappointing in that respect.

I have before me a list of some fifteen farm products which enjoy a lower rate of duty than formerly in the United States tariff. The exports of every one of them increased during the year 1936; but of the fifteen, the exports have been reduced in the case of ten during 1937 as compared with 1936, and it seems to me that the same condition is responsible in this case as in the case of the falling off in cattle exports during the past few months; that is to say, the price in the United States has dropped in these particular lines of products. As time goes on and another year is passed we shall find that the exports in these particular lines will have been very disappointing indeed.

For the first thirty years of this century, in our dealings with the United States we had an unfavourable balance of trade of approximately five and a half billion dollars. This is a vast sum of money; it is greater than our national debt, and about five times the total agricultural production in the dominion last year. This flow of money out of the country has greatly retarded our progress, and it has had a grave effect upon our economic and industrial life as well as upon the population generally. When the change was made in the tariff in 1930 this unfavourable trade balance began to improve, and it gradually dwindled until in the years 1934, 1935 and 1936 we had a favourable trade balance of some $120,000,000. Immediately after the present trade agreement with the United States went into effect, however, a change became apparent, and in 1937 we had again an unfavourable balance of trade of some seven or eight million dollars. The significance of these figures cannot be overlooked. The effect of the tariff changes in 1930 was to discourage imports and to keep our money in our own country, whereas the effect of the present agreement has been to encourage imports again so that once more we are facing a definite flow of money across the border.

I would refer to paragraph four of the address, wherein reference is made to a substantial advance in economic recovery in

The Address-Mr. Senn

Canada. Everyone, regardless of his party inclinations, should, and I believe will, rejoice in every evidence of returning prosperity. Expanding revenues and increasing trade are desirable, and to the extent that they are a reflection of better times everyone should be gratified. It is impossible, however, to agree with the contention of many government supporters, which is so often expressed, that the depression was due to Conservative policies and that any recovery which is now taking place is to be ascribed to Liberal administration. The downward trend in business and revenues, in employment and trade was not confined to Canada but was world wide and was well under way before the late government took office, just as the upward swing began before the change of government in 1935.

The conclusions that are so often voiced by supporters of the present administration with regard to better times in consequence of expanding revenues and trade seem to me to be too optimistic when we consider conditions that prevail in Canada. There is still an abnormal number of people on relief; unemployment figures are still very great; agriculture is in a lamentable state of insecurity, and the prosperity about which we so often hear seems still to be lurking around the corner.

I wish now to devote a few moments to a discussion of the position of our great basic industry, agriculture. The seventh paragraph in the speech from the throne reads:

The Department of Agriculture has been reorganized and its services consolidated along lines designed to improve the standard and acceptability of Canadian farm products.

This is the only reference in the speech to agriculture and it is significant that no mention is made in this paragraph of any betterment of conditions in the agricultural industry. When the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) announced last year that he was going to organize a marketing division in his own department, many people were hopeful that some good would be accomplished, but I am afraid that their hopes have been more or less shattered in the last few days.

I had the privilege and the pleasure the other evening of listening to an address delivered by the Minister of Agriculture before the Canadian Council of Agriculture and broadcast over a nation-wide hook-up. In the course of that address the hon. gentleman said that the marketing division in his department had now been organized and that the government's marketing policy had been formulated. I am glad to see that he is in his

seat, so he will understand that I have no desire to misquote him. He outlined his policy to the gathering that evening, saying it was fourfold in its nature. First, he announced that the government would give assistance to and cooperate with the provinces to improve production. Departmental activities, both provincial and federal, have been directed chiefly towards this very object for many years past, and, I may say, with good results; so it was only to be expected that the department would continue its activities in this direction, although sometimes farmers say they are surfeited with pamphlets and advice some of which is not too practical. Secondly, the minister stated that the marketing division intends to extend and improve the grading of farm products for export. Once again may I say that such a course was only-to be expected, because there has been gradual advance along those lines for many years. His third idea was to adopt a national mark for Canadian products which are to be exported. I am free to say that I believe this is a step in the right direction. Lastly, he stated that an agricultural commissioner is to be sent to London to further sales of Canadian farm products and to provide information to Canadian exporters.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I did not use the word

"sales."

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

Well, at least to provide information to exporters. Is that a fair statement? It seems to me this will be a duplica- ' tion of services which are already provided by the Department of Trade and Commerce, that department having had representatives in England for many years.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Ur. GARDINER:

May I call the attention of the hon. member to the fact that, as he knows, I read the speech the other night; it is all in print and there was nothing at all said about sales or promotion of sales.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

Well, at least I understand there is to be a commissioner sent to London for certain purposes.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

An agricultural commissioner.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

To provide information, as I understand, to Canadian exporters regarding marketing matters in the mother country.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

No, I said to the Department of Agriculture.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

Very well. I listened carefully to the whole address. I could not grasp it all because the minister was talking very rapidly, but I saw a report of his speech in

The Address-Mr. Sewn

the newspapers and I can say that as far as the sales part of his remarks is concerned I took that from the report in the newspaper. It is very disappointing to me, and I know to others, that nothing further has been formulated in this respect. The policy as announced by him I think would not justify the organization of a marketing division, or accomplish much in solving the farmers' chief problem, to which I shall presently refer.

At this point I should like to say that when discussing this question I am not speaking of the wheat farmer of the west. Frankly, I do not understand his problem. Wheat growing stands, almost alone as a branch of agriculture in Canada, because a large proportion of our wheat crop must be exported. In all other lines of farm production the great bulk of our goods is consumed in this country. I wish it understood that I am referring to those other lines of agriculture rather than to the problems of the wheat grower.

Standards of living on the farm have gradually changed during the past thirty years, and I am glad to say that the change has been for the better. The average farmer today enjoys many of the advantages of city life, while escaping some of the disadvantages. With the coming of the motor car, of hydro, af rural mail delivery, with the building of oetter highways and the installation of labour saving machinery, living conditions on the 'arm have naturally improved. But this has resulted in a corresponding increase in outlay. In addition, due to various causes, the farmer's cost of production has increased materially. Unfortunately the revenue derived from the average farm to-day has not increased to the same extent as has the farmer's cost of living. For years many farmers have been forced to live beyond their income in a vain attempt to keep pace with changing conditions.

It is often said that a farmer, like anyone else, should live within his income. This should be so. but if the average farmer is to keep his boys and girls on the farm he must see that they enjoy the same privileges as the young people of other classes in the community. The farmer in Ontario and the eastern part of this country too often has had to deplete his resources or perhaps to go into debt, hoping vainly from year to year that times would improve and that there would be a change for the better in farming conditions. As a result of this the census of 1931 showed that there has been an exodus from the rural parts to the city, and that our urban population now exceeds our rural population. But. more serious still, during the same period there has been a gradual and alarming depre-

ciation in land values, amounting in some cases to as much as 50 per cent. Many farmers who a few years ago were fairly well-to-do have found their equity in their holdings partly or wholly wiped out, while others who have grown old and have been forced to retire from active work find that the income from their holdings today is not sufficient to provide for their old age.

I now intend to make a statement which may be challenged by those engaged in other lines of industry, but I am sure my friend the hon. member for Huron North (Mr. Deachman) will agree with it. It is this; The prices realized by the farmer for his products today do not bear a fair relationship to other commodity prices. Occasionally scarcity has raised the price of farm products to high levels, but generally speaking when there is a surplus in any line of farm production prices fall to an unprofitable level. Price fluctuations are very rapid and violent, and a proper equilibrium has not been maintained between prices realized by the farmer for his products and prices he has to pay for other commodities and for labour. There seems to be also a gradual widening of the margin between prices received by the farmer and those the consumer has to pay for his products. The result is that farm revenues have not kept pace with production costs and the increased cost of living and the additional expenditure necessary to maintain the newer standard of living to which I referred.

The other night the Minister of Agriculture in his address made another statement with which I entirely agree; in fact, I intended to make use of it myself before hearing him. He said that the new wealth created each year by primary production helps to maintain the buying power of the country and is in large measure the controlling factor of distribution. Now the farmer is the greatest producer of primary wealth in Canada, so it is important that his revenue should be as great as possible in order that he can purchase his share of other merchandise. It is most necessary that a proper balance should be maintained between farm and other commodity prices, but I fear that balance will not be maintained so long as the law of supply and demand has full scope in determining farm prices. As I have already said, rapid and violent fluctuation in farm prices has been the rule rather than the exception.

The farmer has to make his plans many months before he places the finished product

The Address-Mr. Senn

on the market. A year must elapse from the time his wheat is sown until it is ready to harvest and market, and the same or even more time is required to produce and market almost any of his other products. During that period prices fluctuate and even the greatest prophet cannot foresee price levels a year or more ahead. Moreover much of the farmer's product is perishable and must be marketed when it is ready, regardless of what the price level may be. So whether prices are determined by the law of supply and demand or by manipulation, as some people say they are, the revenue of the farmer is most uncertain and bears little or no relation to his cost of production.

This fact has been recognized in many countries, several of which have made attempts to stabilize and maintain farm prices at reasonable levels. Under the present administration the United States made the experiment of curtailing production in order to overcome surplus conditions and raise prices, with at least some temporary success. Australia put into effect what is known as the Paterson scheme, bonusing exports in order to maintain a reasonable level of domestic prices. Great Britain established the quota system in order to maintain prices by means of quantitative regulation of imports. France, Germany and Italy have bonused the production of cereals within their own countries and have erected impassable trade barriers with beneficial results so far as production and prices are concerned.

In Canada the former administration took action to halt the downward trend of wheat prices. It was only an emergency measure, but it was successful in returning many extra millions of dollars to the pockets of the western farmers. The Natural Products Marketing Act, which was condemned by the Liberal party when in opposition and which lately has been declared ultra vires by the courts, was devised for the purpose of assisting cooperative marketing, and it cannot be denied that some of the schemes operated under this legislation were highly successful, notably in raising prices to tobacco growers of Ontario and Quebec and the fruit growers of British Columbia.

Many lines of industry in Canada, with the exception of agriculture and other primary industries, have adopted some method of price maintenance. No doubt my hon. friend from Huron North, who spoke this afternoon about the condition of the farmers, will not agree that this is a sound practice, but I wish it to be distinctly understood that I am not finding fault with such a system. I believe it is here to stay and nothing can

be done that will change the situation as it presently exists. Labour has its union scales of wages and its hours of labour. Civil servants and employees drawing salaries have fixed incomes. Lawyers and doctors have schedules of fees which are more or less rigidly maintained. Prices of manufactured goods bear a close relationship to the cost of production. We have minimum wage laws. We have a railway board which sets the rates charged by our public utilities, having regard to cost of operation. There are fair wage clauses in our government contracts, but I should like to direct the attention of the house to the fact that there is no provision that fair prices shall be paid for farm products purchased by public institutions.

It is only reasonable to suggest, therefore, that agriculture stands alone in that its price structure is not constant and is determined by factors which the individual farmer cannot control and which are too often unsatisfactory and unfair. The policy of relying upon foreign markets as a solution for the problems of the farmers in my judgment can never be successful. With the exception of wheat and cheese, from 85 to 95 per cent of all Canadian farm products find a place in the domestic market and are consumed here. It seems to me the domestic market is the farmers' most valuable asset. The price realized in foreign markets for the small remaining surplus that must be exported determines to a large extent what our domestic price shall be. Unfortunately in foreign markets our products come into competition with goods produced in other countries where climatic and other conditions ensure a low cost of production. Therefore we cannot expect that a fair or satisfactory price structure in Canada can be maintained upon this basis.

Personally, Mr. Speaker-and I am speaking for myself alone-I see no reason why farm prices cannot be regulated in this country along the same lines as the prices are regulated in other industries that I have mentioned. It is already being done in the fluid milk field in a number of provinces and in the tobacco growing areas of both Ontario and Quebec, and has been successful in both cases. It is worthy of note that those engaged in the collection, grading and resale of " fluid milk and tobacco have not suffered in any way by the stabilization of prices to the grower. Different schemes, of course, will be necessary to stabilize prices in different lines of agricultural production, but I am confident that by experiment and study such methods can be devised. It is needless to say that such schemes would be impotent unless the farmers' home market were safeguarded from exploita-

The Address-Mr. Mclvor

tion through the influx of foreign goods. I repeat that the domestic market is the farmers' most valuable asset. It can remain such only if it is carefully preserved and if some reasonable and stable price structure for farm products is devised.

These are the reasons why I was disappointed with the policy of the new marketing division, as outlined by the Minister of Agriculture. I am not condemning these policies merely for the sake of fault-finding. I believe other policies could have been adopted which would have been much more satisfactory and worth while. May I say to 'the house that I am making these proposals simply because I believe they constitute the only constructive remedy for the stagnation which exists in the agricultural industry of Canada at the present time.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. DANIEL McIVOR (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, it is with a good deal of misgiving that I rise to make a few observations. When I entered the house this session it was with a feeling of reverence and awe that I looked to my left, to see vacant seats formerly occupied by men for whom I had high respect, who are now in another place. Somebody asked who was going to be next. Well, after all, it does not matter who is next. When men have served their God and their country and are busy doing good things it does not matter who is next. So it is up to us to see that we do the things worthy of the highest -and best in manhood.

My first impression of the speech from the throne was very fine. As I stood in the senate chamber and tried to hear the governor general deliver his speech my first impression was that it must be a veiy fine one because there was not a senator in the chamber who shook his head nor was there a beautifully adorned lady who was not enjoying it to her heart's content.

However, as I listened later to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) my impression was to some extent changed. I thought it could not have been such a fine speech after all. I find that the right hon. gentleman is reported as follows at page 25 of Hansard: "We have retained the three cent postage rate." I do not know whether the right hon. gentleman or any other hon. member wants to reduce the rate. If he does, then there is one very good way to do it, one which I suggested last year. Let us begin at home, and reduce our franking privilege. I do not think there would be a dozen men in the house who would wish to do it.

I must say that I commend the Postmaster General (Mr. Elliott) for his hearty cooperation with us at the head of the lakes in striving

to improve our rural mail delivery, and to extend it so that men will not have to travel ten miles to get their mail.

What I have to say will be in the form of a few suggestions to some of the ministers. First, I should like to commend the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) for the way in which he has stuck to his task. I commend him, first, because the relief camps have not been reopened. To my mind those camps were only an emergent measure and they had long outlived their usefulness and had become a curse. When I saw a young university student who had passed with honours in his second year engineering course receiving only twenty cents a day in Thunder Bay district, or anywhere else in Canada, I realized that an improper condition existed. I believe the propagation of communism was removed when those relief camps were put out of business.

May I point out to the minister, further, that many hon. members have had delegations wait upon them from the youth movement of Canada, impressing upon us the necessity of continuing the training of our unemployed youth. I hope the minister will not permit anything to come in the way of continuing that training, so that they may be fitted for worth while tasks.

I should like to make another suggestion to the Minister of Labour. While I know it is not within his sphere to curtail the hours of labour, and while I know that is a matter within the control of a provincial government, yet I do believe that the hours of labour must be cut down. If a man working in an office from nine o'clock to twelve o'clock earns a half day's pay and if by working from one o'clock to five o'clock he earns another half day's pay, I say the blacksmith, the sheet metal worker, the machinist, or the paper worker should have his hours of labour cut down accordingly, because it is just as necessary that he retain his health. I would suggest that all unorganized labour should work no more than eight hours per day, and that unorganized labour should have the right to organize anywhere without the danger of losing their jobs. I am sure the Minister of Labour will agree with the statement of the President of the United States that low wages are suicidal, and he would also agree with the hon. member for Fort William that unemployment is slow murder.

May I congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) upon the provision in the speech from the throne for an unemployment insurance measure. We hope before very long there will be a measure providing for state medicine, something about which we shall hear more a little later on. It is true that many attempts have been made to pass

The Address-Mr. Mclvor

this kind of legislation, but I do not think there is any hon. member who will doubt the sincerity of the Prime Minister in his efforts to have unemployment insurance provisions made effective. Had he been otherwise disposed, he would not have brought the matter before the house so early in the session.

Unemployment insurance affects keenly the workers at the head of the lakes who are connected with operations of the board of grain commissioners. There are grain samplers, weightmen and other employees of the board who cannot make a decent living because they are given three months holidays or more without pay. Those men are not receiving any more than a living wage at any time, and because of their enforced idleness they suffer undue hardships. They are returned men.

May I mention one example respecting a man who was laid off because of only seasonal employment. The man's wife had baked a ton of flour the previous winter, but this winter she has not been able to bake, and he has had to turn in and do the housework. I do not believe the government wants our returned men to live in other than comfortable circumstances. I believe if the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) would keep an eye on the board of grain commissioners he would get food for thought.

I am sorry the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Power) is not in his seat. I shall not say he is in a better place, but I do know that he is in a very fine place, because he is helping the Canadian Legion in convention in the city of Fort William. There are one or two points I should like to direct to his attention. Some returned men have found it very difficult to get a proper pension. I do not speak without facts. I visited Ottawa and in particular the Department of Pensions after the session closed. I was well treated, and when the facts were placed forcibly before the department the pension in which I was interested was increased. Unfortunately before the man received his first increased cheque he had passed on to his great reward.

I could give the story of another man who lived on Empire avenue. Although he had no difficulty in securing jobs he could not hold them, because he was not in fit physical condition to work. I visited him daily in the hospital and I know he was a beaten man. We have good doctors in Fort William, just as there are in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. One of our doctors made the diagnosis that the man in question was suffering from abscesses on the liver, caused by shrapnel. The doctors in another city laughed at him.

When the man passed on I advised his widow to have a post mortem performed, and on performance of that task shrapnel was found in the liver. He did not receive a decent pension, and as a result he, his wife and family were forced to live in poverty. I am going to place the case in the hands of the Minister of Pensions and National Health because in my view she should receive some compensation for the hardships she had to endure during those years when her late husband should have been on full pension. I feel this very keenly. These returned men are wards of the dominion government. If they cannot obtain a decent job with a living wage they should receive an adequate pension.

I know another man who because of his war wounds and the number of operations he had to undergo never was able to have a really comfortable moment. At the time of his death this man was receiving a pension, but this was cut off w'hen he died. His widow and four children are finding it extremely difficult to get along.

I view with alarm any action taken by any province to curtail the freedom of the press or freedom of speech. I -think we have a right to keep our eyes open. I do not think any press can be kept provincial in scope. I speak from experience because at the head of the lakes we gave a welcome to two communists. I am far from being a communist, but I believe in freedom of speech. The city council of Port Arthur permitted one of the leading communists of Canada to speak in that city. I do not suppose anyone who heard that man speak was not disappointed. He got off a lot of wise cracks, but those who went expecting to hear a great speech delivered were disappointed.

The city council of Fort William permitted a leading communist from the Clyde to speak. Many in that city threw up their hands and said we were doing a terrible thing. The worst thing that could be said about this man was that some people could not understand his Scotch burr. Again many people were disappointed because they expected to hear some great things. Instead of that man propagating communism, he did the very opposite. As I said a few moments ago, one of the principal causes of communism in our part of the country was the relief camps, but they have since been abandoned.

There are a few things of interest to us art the head of the lakes. I am not a free trader, although I come very close to being one when tariffs affect us at the head of the lakes. We suffer because of the coal subventions. There is a large plant at the head of the lakes which cost about $3,000,000. To-day that plant is

The Address-Mr. Mclvor

hardly operating and the employees are on part time. While I live in the east I am really a westerner. I know something of Alberta and Saskatchewan, but although I love the great west and the breezes of that country thrill me to the core, I do not like to see western coal coming down to within a few miles of Fort William to the detriment of our workers. I believe I can trust the government to right this matter.

Another difficulty with which we are faced is the freight zoning by the railways. I do not know much about this matter, but I am told that the flour mills at Winnipeg can ship their product to Toronto and the east just as cheaply as the mills in Fort William. I expect that the Minister of Transport (Mr. Howe) will see to this matter in the future. I believe he will remedy it if it can be remedied; if not, he will be man enough to tell us.

I should like to pay a tribute to the Minister of Lands and Forests of Ontario, the Hon. Mr. Heenan. He has done much to solve our unemployment problem. Three years ago I led nearly 600 unemployed from the labour hall to the relief office in Fort William. Last year I stood and watched 1,500 men, most of Whom were previously unemployed, heading for the dining-hall of a pulp and paper mill.

I should like .to leave one thought with the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar). I should like to think that I shall be living fifteen years from now so that I might see the iron mines of my district pouring forth their precious ores. It is not generally known that iron ore that can be very easily mined is .to be found in large quantities at the head of the lakes. I am not saying this in an endeavour to have hon. members invest in these mines any loose cash they might have. If hon. members have any spare money, the best thing they can do with it is to support some decent church .that is serving this country or to put their money in a bank where they may be sure of getting it back again.

I should like to make a suggestion to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) in connection with the large Canadian nickel. This coin should be made either smaller or larger so that it will no longer look like a quarter. I have heard it described as the great deceiver. I asked a porter on a Toronto train how he liked this nickel and he told me he would rather have a quarter any day, that he got too many nickels.

I have another suggestion to make which perhaps may not get very far. Some hon. members have been in .the house for a long time, but there is no more chance of their getting to the senate than there is of my

visiting the moon. My suggestion is that a pension should be provided for those who have served their country faithfully. I believe that members of the house have as much right to a pension as any other civil servant.

I believe the Prime Minister was wise in not granting a licence for the export of power and thus giving people the chance to ask why he did not get something for the campaign funds. I believe he is right in allowing this parliament to have its say. If it has its say, then it must accept the responsibility.

I think it is our duty to endorse any group of workers who are making an effort to make better citizens of Canadians. I want to pay a personal tribute to the Oxford group. During the Christmas season these workers put out a magazine entitled The Rising Tide. They have shown that if a man places his trust in the almighty dollar, he will soon bow to the power of that dollar, but if he places his trust in the Almighty, he will be in the rising tide and of some use to the country.

On motion of Mr. Coldwell the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Lapointe (Quebec East) the house adjourned at 9.43 pun.

Wednesday, February 2, 1938

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink

February 1, 1938