March 13, 1941

LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. GOLDING:

So long as we know what he is reading from.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

A piece of paper.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I am reading from pieces of paper on which I have jotted down certain notes which I am following fairly closely so as not to waste the time of the committee.

I was speaking of the securing, through national registration, of the names of those who were capable of assisting at shipbuilding. Would this not be more important to us at this time than to have the names of those who can milk cows? I think it will be readily agreed as to which would be the more important.

In view of the great shortage of labour, what effort is the minister making to take care of this situation? Should steps not have been taken months ago to have young men trained for this purpose? Even now should

rMr. Bruce.]

not schools-technical schools-be opened where young men could be trained in shipbuilding and various other things, in connection with the manufacture of munitions, to qualify them in a few months time to take their proper place in war-time industry?

In its latest report, the dominion bureau of statistics gives a survey of education in Canada for 1938-40. According to that report there are sixteen degree-giving universities. In 1939, there were 35,087 men and 13,118 women students, or a total of 48,205 proceeding to a degree. The total number of students in 1939, however, including those taking fulltime, part-time, short courses, and evening courses, was 79,143 men and 37,599 women, or a total of 116,742. Surely the government should see the necessity of speedily providing facilities for the technical training of as many as possible of these young men and women, and as many as are needed to make up the deficiency in labour for munition plants. I believe I can confidently assure the government of the cooperation of the universities in giving their laboratories and other facilities for this purpose. I would suggest to the government that they ask the universities to advance their examinations this spring by one month so that these young men and women would be available by the first of April; and then, if conditions are so serious as to require their services in the autumn when the universities open, that they ask the universities not to open until this crisis passes. To my mind it is much more important that these young men and young women should be employed to the fullest extent in industry connected with the war than that they should be proceeding to a degree.

There is another class of students in the high schools and collegiate institutes, boys and girls over fifteen years of age. I have not been able to secure the total number of these students.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I will give them: 119,000 for 1935-36 in the secondary schools, excluding Quebec.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

Thank you. According to the Minister of National Defence for Air, we have 119,000 boys and girls who would supply an emergency labour market. They could all be given intensive technical education. I am told that the technical schools in Toronto and elsewhere have the facilities for training many more students than come to them; but they require more teachers, and these teachers could be secured by certain exemptions from taking part in the present four months training plan.

In conclusion, I wish to say a word of commendation to the Minister of Munitions

War Appropriation Bill

and Supply, and to congratulate him for having secured the services of Mr. Joseph Pigott of Hamilton as head of the new government-owned company known as War-Time Housing Limited. Mr. Pigott is president of a very large construction company and has had wide experience in building of all kinds; he has exceptional organizing ability and is a man of the highest integrity. No better man could have been found for the job. I only regret to learn from the minister that this building project will be limited to war-time requirements and will not include the low rental housing plan recommended in appendix E to the Purvis report on unemployment, as these houses are so urgently needed. I trust, however, that the government will see the necessity for implementing this report as soon as the immediate requirements of the war are satisfied.

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LIB

George Henry Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Calgary East):

In addressing this committee last Monday afternoon, I undertook to set forth some of Germany's methods of financing the war. Many people throughout Canada, and particularly in my province of Alberta, have been urging strongly that we should look to Germany and adopt some of her methods. I have, therefore, undertaken an examination of Germany's methods and wish to make a few more observations on them.

At that time I pointed out that in Germany more than one-third of the revenue, nearly one-half, was being raised by taxation, and quite a large part of the revenue has been raised by borrowing. They get a great deal of revenue by selling loot from countries that they have overrun. They are printing money very freely for use outside Germany in buying goods from the small nations that are afraid to refuse to sell goods to them. Within Germany their currency is fairly stable owing to fixed prices and control.

I now wish to read from the last report made by the governor of the Bank of Canada to the Minister of Finance. It is dated February, 1941. In this report the governor of the bank says:

The truth is that German monetary policy has not been unusual. It has been simply an easy money policy of the sort which has been followed in many countries during the past decade. In Canada, for example, between January, 1933, and August, 1939, the total volume of money (i.e. coin, notes and bank deposits) was increased by some $750,000,000. International comparisons of the volume of money cannot be pushed too far since the velocity of circulation is an important factor, but it may be worth noting that on a per capita basis, the increase in the volume of money was about the same in Canada as it was in Germany, over the pre-war period. As for 14873-97

the period since the war began, the available information suggests that the volume of money has been increased considerably less in Germany than it has been in Canada, on a per capita comparison.

A realistic appraisal of nazi monetary policy must, of course, take account of the very complete and rigorous system of direct controls which the rulers of Germany have imposed upon their people. For example, nearly every article of consumption is rationed, wage levels and farm prices are rigidly pegged down, and the operations of private business are "supervised" in minute detail. With such controls in operation, the immediate danger involved in an unduly large increase in the volume of money would obviously be less than it would be if the controls did not exist. The fact that the nazis did not resort to issuing new money on an exaggerated scale is all the more significant in view of the margin of safety which they might have expected their elaborate direct controls to provide.

The policies which have been described above are those followed within the reich. In the occupied territories, on the other hand, the nazis have used the printing press deliberately as a means of plundering those areas. Instead of seizing goods the Germans simply bought them, paying with newly printed notes, and the people were robbed of purchasing power by soaring prices. This refined method of looting tends to hide the nazis' responsibility for resulting scarcities, and bears most heavily on sections of the population least able to endure it, thus helping to disrupt the economy and destroy the unity of the conquered people.

Hitler and his economic advisers have been most careful to avoid anything in the nature of inflation within Germany. Observers who have visited Germany tell us that Germany is fearful of another inflation; the people remember only too well the great inflation of 1923 and are fearful of a repetition of it.

Nazi war economy is based upon two factors: one being efficient exploitation of German labour and industry, achieved through crushing taxation, forced loans and ruthless regimentation of labour and capital.

The people of Canada will stand for heavy taxation; they may stand for forced loans, but I doubt very much if they would stand for the ruthless regulation of labour and capital that prevails in Germany. The Minister of Finance, in discussing this matter on November 21 last, used these words:

The whole habits of thought of the Canadian people, the dislike of intensive and general government intervention in their personal transactions and private affairs, would make a universal system of price fixing and rationing, even if it were practicable in Canada, far more odious, I am satisfied, than a system of taxation and borrowing out of savings, which is the policy of this government. Every detail of our economic life would have to be controlled by someone sitting here in Ottawa.

I do not believe the people of Canada would stand for such rigid control.

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The other factor in nazi war economy is an equally efficient and systematic exploitation of conquered countries, achieved by confiscation of foodstuffs, military supplies, raw materials and industrial facilities by forced labour and disguised robbery practised by the circulation of worthless currency. Hitler's first method is open to us if we are prepared to make the sacrifice; but currency inflation and social credit remedies have nothing to do with Hitler's success and can contribute nothing to our effort.

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ND

Walter Frederick Kuhl

New Democracy

Mr. KUHL:

No doubt the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat intended his remarks, the last time he spoke, particularly for the benefit of the group with which I am associated, and no doubt he is expecting some comment from this comer. I think, however, it sufficient to say that I do not believe his argument needs any comment. I believe he has done a perfect job of refuting his own argument; consequently it requires no refutation from this corner. For example, the hon. member in his speech the other day suggested that we in this comer have advocated financial methods which do not involve increased taxation and increased borrowing. Then he proceeded to prove that Germany has used practically nothing but taxation and borrowing methods, and he drew his conclusion in this sentence:

Apart from taxation, most of Germany's financing has been done by borrowing.

I think it should be obvious to anyone that the hon. gentleman has refuted his own argument, and it requires no further comment. With regard, however, to the subject of the financial methods to be used in connection with Canada's war effort, if the hon. gentleman will keep his ears open I think I can supply him with all the information he desires as to the social credit point of view.

I dislike being critical, and I wish circumstances to-day were such that I would feel obliged to present the government with one verbal bouquet after another. I have, however, sat here patiently and have listened carefully to all the criticism that has been offered with regard to government policies, not only by the opposition but by supporters of the government as well; and I must say that, as a result, from the point of view from which I wish to discuss this measure, I cannot be anything but critical of the government's policy. I say that notwithstanding what was said the other night by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) with regard to the duty of members

of parliament to develop a war spirit and morale in this country of ours. At page 1442 of Hansard the minister made this statement:

We have a lot to be thankful for in this country, and very little to grouse about after all

I agree with the minister that we have a lot to be thankful for, and we are thankful. We in the opposition are just as thankful as the minister is, and I believe that applies to the people of Canada also. We admire the British people for the courage they have shown in meeting the dangers with which they are faced, and I am sure all the people of Canada will gladly make all the necessary sacrifices they may yet be called upon to make in this great struggle. Nevertheless I suggest to the Minister of National Defence that to compare conditions in Canada with conditions in Britain certainly is no answer to the criticisms that have been offered as to government policy. To say that we ought to be satisfied with unnecessarily unsatisfactory conditions in Canada because the British people are in daily fear of their lives is, in my opinion, illogical reasoning. To say that we ought to tolerate poverty and insecurity in the presence of not only potential but actual abundance in this country appears to me to be the height of inconsistency. I should like to tell the minister candidly that I think his basis of comparison is entirely wrong. What we should be comparing is the conditions that could obtain in this country as contrasted with those that do obtain to-day. I consider this the only fair basis of comparison.

The minister spoke of developing a war spirit and strengthening the morale of both the civil and soldier population of Canada. I agree entirely that this is essential; but surely it must occur to the minister that the most effective way of creating a stronger morale and war spirit is to see that the people of this country get justice. I am satisfied that if, in Canada, every available man-hour were being used, at remunerative wages, and if conditions were such as are physically possible, there would be very, very little by way of criticism of government policy, either from the people or from the opposition in this house.

So far as government policy is concerned, I believe there are some obvious inconsistencies in the statements which have been made by the various ministers, and I should like to draw attention to statements of policy by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) and the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe). On several occasions we have heard

War Appropriation Bill

the Minister of Finance state that the only limit to be imposed upon Canada's war effort was the physical, mental and moral capacity of Canadians to bear burdens. I believe that is almost exactly the statement made by the minister. Personally I agree that this is the limit of what Canada can do. On the other hand we have the Minister of Munitions and Supply saying that we are unable to do certain things because we cannot afford the cost. As reported at page 916 of Hansard, when the matter of building ships on the Pacific coast was under discussion, in replying to the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) the Minister of Munitions and Supply made this statement:

No one is more anxious than I am to distribute plants, but when a study of plants is made, either for British account or for Canadian account, there are certain requirements that must be taken into consideration, and one of these is power-the source and the cost of power.

I am rather at a loss to understand what the Minister of Munitions and Supply means when he suggests that one point to be taken into consideration is "the cost of power." Surely he cannot mean that we are lacking in the physical cost required to set up power plants and to develop power. Obviously he must have had reference to the financial cost.

On the one hand, the Minister of Finance contends that there is to be no limiting in the financial realm, and that the only limitations to be imposed are physical; yet, on the other, we have the Minister of Munitions and Supply stating that we cannot build ships because of the costs involved. Obviously there is an inconsistency between the statements of policy of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Munitions and Supply.

If we can judge from the last words in the recent speech of the British Prime Minister, upon which occasion he concluded with a plea for the tools of war, certainly materials are needed. If those materials are needed and we in Canada can provide them physically, surely we ought to provide them, regardless of how much effort and physical material go into their production. Yet the Minister of Munitions and Supply has said that we must consider the cost. I say to the government that unless Canada is making use of every available man-hour and every ounce of material, Canada is not making her maximum war effort. I challenge any of the ministers, . including the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Munitions and Supply, to refute that contention. I believe very little examination and effort is required to find that Canada 14873-97}

is falling far short of what she is capable of doing, either in her war effort or in her domestic effort.

We have corroboration from the government side of the house, as well as the opposition side, for the contention that there are thousands of man-hours available in Canada- yes, literally thousands of man-hours going: to waste. Nevertheless the government has the-effrontery through its ministers to contend in the House of Commons that Canada is making her maximum effort. Furthermore, much more training of unskilled labour could be done. If these labourers are not required in industries, certainly they should at this time be prepared to take their place in industrial occupations. If we should happen to run short of manpower, surely it would be a simple matter to obtain help from across the boundary line, where they have many thousands of idle men.

In addition, we have available an enormous number of man-hours in undeveloped water power. At a point later in my speech I shall place on Hansard some statistics to indicate our great potential resources of electrical energy which have not been put to use. In passing, however, may I point to some statements which have been made by hon. members on the government and opposition sides of the house which would indicate that we certainly can afford the real cost of making a great contribution to the war effort, and at the same time take care of our domestic requirements.

The hon. member for Trinity (Mr. Roebuck)

is reported as follows at page 858:

It seems to me that the nervousness over this proposed appropriation arises from the fact that we are talking in terms of money instead of in terms of goods produced. That is why fear grips the hearts of many people and why we are wondering whether this effort will be successful.

The hon. member for Humboldt (Mr. Fleming) made reference to the speech of the hon. member for Trinity, and made this further observation, as reported at page 1309 of Hansard:

The war appropriation bill now before the committee of the whole contains figures so enormous that sometimes one is likely to conclude that such figures are beyond the human resources of this nation. In the early days of this debate the hon. member for Trinity explained forcefully how these figures mean very little. He pointed out that, after all, only goods and services really matter, and that it is goods and services which constitute the real wealth of this nation.

Then this point is made by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green), as reported at page 918 of Hansard:

I am told there is no reason why we could not be building at least fifty merchant vessels on that coast. At the present moment I believe there are contracts for eight.

War Appropriation Bill

had pursued the policy which they proclaimed to the people in 1935 they were going to adopt, an aeroplane industry could have been established at that time or even earlier without increasing debt or taxation, and I challenge any member of the government to refute that statement. There, again, was an indication that it was purely a lack of money, and not a lack of physical resources at all.

In summing up my argument, I should like to indicate briefly four reasons why I am opposed to the principle involved in this resolution. First, I want to make this comment on the principle. I am very much disappointed that so little attention has been paid to this extremely important matter of finance. I agree that the matters which have thus far been discussed, particularly those relating to the Department of Munitions and Supply, have all been important, but they have been discussed out of all proportion to the importance of the principle involved in this measure, which is the borrowing from a financial monopoly in this country, of money with which to finance the war as well as the domestic effort. This question should be discussed much more fully, and this debate should not conclude until this angle is given a thorough airing. I believe we ought to have government members as well as those on the opposition side taking part in a discussion of the principle of borrowing, and whether it is necessary. I believe that the questions which were put by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) the other night should be answered by the Minister of Finance so that we may know exactly how this money is going to be raised.

I am opposed to the principle involved in this resolution, first of all, because it still denies the government the right, which is a crown prerogative, to create in the first instance the money of the nation. I consider it, as I have stated in the past, a capital crime that a private monopoly should usurp and exercise as it is doing to-day this government prerogative. According to the statement made by the Minister of Finance in this house, the chartered banks of this country were permitted to create approximately $500,000,000 of brand new money. The money which was obtained from the chartered banks was not the people's savings. It was absolutely new money, additional supplies of money over and above what was already in existence. That, I maintain, is a usurpation of the prerogative of the crown. For that function the Bank of Canada should be

used. All of the money asked for in this resolution over and above what is raised by taxation should be obtained from the Bank of Canada at cost.

The second reason why I oppose the principle of the resolution is that it prevents the Canadian people from making the maximum contribution to Canada's war effort. The sum asked for in this resolution, if it reflected the potential possibilities of this country, should be double or treble this amount. The thing I quarrel with is not the amount asked for, but the principle under which the money will be obtained. Further, I contend that there is no relationship between the government's financial policy and the productive capacity of this country.-and there should be such a relationship. The purpose of a financial system and of a financial policy, so far as my understanding of it goes, is that the financial policy shall reflect the physical possibilities of a country to produce and consume, and the fact that we have thousands of idle people, thousands of idle man-hours, and thousands of unused tons of material, is proof that there is no relationship between the financial policy of the government and the physical facts of this country.

The third reason why I object to the principle of the resolution is that it demands of the people of Canada absolutely unnecessary sacrifices. I agree that if sacrifices are necessary to win this war we must make them; but I do not agree that we should call upon the Canadian people to make unnecessary sacrifices, and I contend that the government's policy is calling upon the people to make unnecessary sacrifices. Surely in a country which is so potentially wealthy as Canada, it is not necessary to reduce the standard of living of the people. Surely it is obvious that people can do their best only when they are at their best, when they have healthy bodies and healthy minds. We have resources enough to see to it that all our people have balanced diets and, as a consequence, are healthy in body and mind. To those who say we must sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, I say: Stand up and name the things we should deny ourselves. What articles of food, what types of clothing should we deprive ourselves of?

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LIB

Frederick Clayton Casselman

Liberal

Mr. CASSELMAN (Edmonton East):

How about liquor?

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ND

Walter Frederick Kuhl

New Democracy

Mr. KUHL:

The hon. gentleman can probably speak with more authority about that than I can.

The leader of the opposition in one of his earlier addresses said that we should pare down the estimates more. I should like to know why, and particularly why we should pare down the social service estimates. I

War Appropriation Bill

suggest that they should be increased and increased to the point where the Canadian people are able to enjoy exactly what they are able to provide in the way of physical energy and material.

Lastly, I object to the principle involved in (his resolution because it builds up a fictitious and unreal debt. The Minister of Finance has said that the policy of the government is a pay-as-you-go policy. I should like to know why, if it is a pay-as-you-go policy, there is any debt in connection with it. What do we owe and to whom do we owe it? The minister himself has said that the cost of the war is paid for substantially as the war progresses, and the statement has been made again and again that the cost of this war is blood, sweat and tears. These things certainly are provided from day to day as the war progresses. I know of no other costs that are involved, in a war. The minister himself has admitted that these costs are met from day to day as the war progresses. Then, in the name of common sense and justice, I should like to be told and the people of Canada would like to be told, "What do we owe if we have paid for the war from day to day in blood, sweat and tears, and to whom do we owe it?" That is a pertinent question, and I should like to hear some members on the government side, and particularly the minister, discuss it.

So far as banking costs are concerned, are they not in the same category as physical costs? What is the cost of operating our money system? In the main it is paper, ink, clerical work and depreciation that is involved in operating the money system. What is cheaper to run than a banking system? I challenge any of the hon. members who smile, to indicate what more there is about running a banking system. Those costs are provided each day as the money system is conducted. Therefore, all costs in connection with the war effort, banking costs as well as physical costs, are met from day to day. What will hon. members suggest we owe when the war is finished, and to whom will we owe it?

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, because this measure still denies the government the right to exercise the crown prerogative-

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I am sorry to have to remind the hon. gentleman that he has exhausted his forty minutes.

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ND

Walter Frederick Kuhl

New Democracy

Mr. KUHL:

If the committee will permit me; I am just on my last sentence, and if I can have time to complete it I will sit down.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

By unanimous consent.

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ND

Walter Frederick Kuhl

New Democracy

Mr. KUHL:

I was endeavouring to say- because this measure still denies the government the exercise of the crown's prerogative;

because it does not permit a maximum war effort or domestic effort; because it demands unnecessary sacrifices; because it builds up fictitious debt, obliging the people to pay several times over financially for what they have already paid physically, I consider that the principle involved in this resolution, of borrowing our own financial credit from a money-lending monopoly to the point of national bankruptcy, is not only unpatriotic but extremely inimical to the best interests of the Canadian people.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I have sat here for the past two weeks listening to the measure now before the committee being discussed, and I have heard so many different financial theories advanced that, as an ordinary worker, I am left a little bit dizzy. Since the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), the acting leader of this group, has placed before the committee the considered opinion of this group on the financial aspects of the measure, about all I have to say on the matter is to extend my sincere sympathy to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley), whose job it is to juggle figures at the present time and run the finances of the country.

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

Does the hon. member not think that the people need a little sympathy?

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I am not going to occupy any more time this evening than I have to. First, I should like to comment on a question which I asked the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar) on Monday of this week, as set out in Hansard, page 1359. My question was based on a letter I received from a mine workers' union situate at River Hibbert, Nova Scotia, informing me that a mine operating in that section at the present time would be closed on April 30. That organization had sent a delegation to the provincial department of mines, asking if anything could be done to keep the mine in operation. There are 110 men employed; and at the present time, according to the letter I received, they are paying national defence tax, contributing to a Spitfire fund, and subscribing for war savings certificates-which means something financially to the country at this time. According to my information, the market for that coal is the railways, and that market has certainly not disappeared. In answering my question, the minister stated:

I do not know of any action which the federal government could take to compel a mine to operate in the province of Nova Scotia. As my hon. friend knows, the mines of Nova Scotia are under the control of the provincial government.

War Appropriation Bill

The leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) then rose in his place and said:

But you have taken authority under the War Measures Act to do this very thing. What is it for?

The Minister of Mines and Resources replied:

I might refer to the observation of the leader of the opposition, who has hastened to the rescue of the hon. member for Cape Breton South. I do not know anything about the particulars of this mine. I should assume that if the provincial government, who are familiar with the operations, thought it was not advisable to maintain the mine in operation, their judgment would probably be sound. In any case I do not think it will affect the volume of coal that will be moved from Nova Scotia to other parts of Canada, whether the mine remains open or is shut down. There is plenty of coal available to meet the requirements that can be moved at the present time.

With respect to the minister's statement that the leader of the opposition hastened to my rescue, I do not think I was in any difficulties on that occasion, nor do I believe that there will be any necessity in future for anybody to rescue me; there has not been in the past. I endeavour to speak only about matters of which I have some knowledge, and I resent the minister's remark because it would lead anyone reading Hansard to suppose that I was floundering here and unable to take care of myself.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

It was the Minister of Mines and Resources who was floundering.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

As to there being no market for coal, I believe that the reverse is true. According to an order in council set out in sessional paper 2208, in answer to a question placed on the record by an hon. member, it is stated in the second paragraph:

Owing to the large traffic movement to the Atlantic seaboard the annual coal consumption of the railways has greatly increased, and it is most desirable at this time that the railways shall be assured a supply of coal adequate to their requirements.

It goes on to state that an inquiry is being made at the present time at Minto, New Brunswick, to see whether there is not a possibility of stepping up coal production in that particular mining section in order to meet the requirements of the situation, and setting out that an adequate supply of coal must be maintained for the railways.

As I have said, according to my information, in the section I speak of their market is the railways. Therefore, in view of the fact that their market has not disappeared, and that the minister and the federal government have the authority under the mobilization act to continue the operation and to assume jurisdiction in this particular case, if the mines

department of Nova Scotia are not prepared to accept their responsibility, why should the federal government not step in? According to the letter I received, that mine is down about 2,500 feet. It is only a matter of developing their slope to the next lift, drifting along probably 250 feet or 500 feet, tapping the seam lower down, and continuing the operation. If that is a true indication of the situation at the present time so far as coal is concerned, I see no reason why the federal government should not make at least some inquiries into the matter of preserving the means of livelihood for 110 men and their families in that section, who are making every reasonable contribution to the war effort. I leave that to the minister, feeling sure that he will do what he can with respect to that matter.

I. listened here a couple of nights ago to several hon. members from Nova Scotia stressing the necessity for the creation of a shipbuilding industry in that end of the country. I join with them in that request. I have endeavoured on every occasion when I have had the privilege of addressing this, house to bring to the attention of the government the necessity for the creation of some industry in Nova Scotia other than coal mining. I know that coal mining is on the wane in that province; the older mines are folding up; there has been no expansion of the industry for the past fifteen years, and I do not think there is going to be any. Something must be done to take up the slack in employment caused by the fall in the coal mining industry.

I would judge from discussion and press reports and resolutions that I am receiving from that part of Canada, that there is at the present time a well organized movement in Nova Scotia to bring forcibly to the attention of the government the necessity for something being done there. In that connection I received to-day from Mayor G. B. Slaven, mayor of Sydney, Nova Scotia, who is acting as chairman of an organization set up in Cape Breton island, a resolution, to urge that question upon the government. The resolution is lengthy, and I shall not read it-all, but one of the paragraphs states:

Whereas a great number of industries are being established which are not classed as war industries and while being used to render assistance in this war, yet will remain as a permanent industry after the war-

It goes on to state that it represents the considered view at a meeting of that entire section at which every town on the island was represented, including representatives from the municipal councils.

I would assume from wffiat I have heard that it is the intention of the government

War Appropriation Bill

to do something along this line in that part of the country. In that connection, I called the attention of the Minister of Munitions and Supply to something that I would again like to bring to his attention. On February 28 I asked him, as reported at page 1116 of Hansard, a question as to whether it was the intention of the government with the cooperation of Dominion Steel and Coal to utilize the plate mill that was built there during the last war at a cost, I think, of some $11,000,000, the government having subsidized it to the extent of $4,500,000. I do not think the mill ever went into production. Most of the machinery in that mill has been taken away, I presume moved to somewhere in Ontario; my information is that it went to Ojibway, but I cannot say whether that is true. The reply of the minister at that time was quite lengthy, but the latter part stated:

. . . but we are studying the question of

installing additional primary steel capacity at Dosco-that is, more open hearth capacity- and I hope a decision on that question will be made early next week.

According to a press dispatch, the minister has not anything to hope for in that direction. A dispatch of February 27 quotes Mr. Arthur Cross, president of Dominion Steel and Coal company, as stating that the steel plant was operating at 100 per cent capacity, but that there will be no plant extension for the coming year.

I would judge from the minister's answer to me that it is necessary at this time to expand that steel plant in Sydney. Mr. Cross' statement, however, definitely says there will be no expansion. That question received some publicity. If Dominion Steel and Coal company are not desirous of operating that plant, and if its operation is essential to Canada's war effort, as was indicated by the minister's answer, there are other people who are interested in that plant and may make use of it. I have a letter here from the Anglo-French Development Corporation Limited of Montreal stating that they are interested in that plant, that clients of theirs from overseas are endeavouring to take over in this country plants that can be put into war production, and that they are interested in that plate mill in Sydney. I replied, referring them to the heads of that corporation, suggesting they get in touch with them. The date of this letter is March 1; it went to Sydney and was relayed- back to me. To-day I had a letter from the same corporation thanking me for the information and addresses given and saying that they were immediately getting in touch with these people with the end in view of utilizing that plate mill. By virtue of the fact that the Canadian people

have an equity in that mill to the extent of $4,500,000 given to the corporation during the last war, it should be the government's prerogative to do something with it. I trust the minister will think that over and endeavour to make use of that mill. If a steel shipbuilding industry is to be developed in Nova Scotia, that mill will certainly be needed. There is also a comment on that matter in the Toronto Globe and Mail. A statement by one of their regular correspondents reads:

Why not recondition the Dosco plate mill?

They go on at length to point out why that should be done. Therefore the general public is interested.

Commissions have sat from time to time examining the industrial life of that part of Canada and have reported on its economy, its place in confederation with relation to the development of the rest of Canada. I should like to quote a few excerpts from the submission made by the Nova Scotia government to the commission on dominion-provincial relations. The present Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald) was premier of that province at the time. I think this brief was drafted by the late Minister of National Defence, Hon. Norman Rogers, and it sets out clearly the situation in which the maritimes, and Nova Scotia particularly, find themselves at the present time in relation to the rest of Canada. They certainly have not been treated as part of the Canadian family. The position is stated much better in this brief than I have seen it anywhere else. I shall quote just an extract here and there from this brief between pages 51 and 55. They say:

In the last decade between 1920 and 1930 the decline of manufacturing in Nova Scotia became more pronounced. In Ontario and Quebec (central Canada) capital invested in manufacturing increased from $2,696,000,000 to $4,158,000,000; the number of employees increased from 487,000 to 512,000. while the gross value of products decreased slightly.

Then further:

Ontario and Quebec are the most important manufacturing provinces of Canada. Their combined production in 1930 amounted to $2,735,000,000. or nearly eighty per cent of the gross value of manufactured products of the dominion.

Those figures are taken from the "Canada Year Book", 1933 Further it says:

Ontario and Quebec account for almost eighty per cent of the total capital invested in manufacturing in Canada.

That is also from the 1933 edition of the "Canada Year Book". Again it says:

Out of the total male wage-earners, numbering 431.463, and the total female numbering 120,033, 47-1 per cent of the former and 46-2 per cent of the latter were employed in Ontario.

War Appropriation Bill

Quebec manufacturers reported 30-4 per cent of the total males as compared with 39-6 per cent of the total females. As to earnings, Ontario firms paid out 49'5 per cent of the total wages in Canada, and Quebec 29'8 per cent.

Further on it states:

It will be seen that while manufacturing has increased in Canada as a whole by, say, twelve times since confederation, the increase in the maritimes has been about four times.

And further:

Between 1871 and 1931 the number of employees in manufacturing in Nova Scotia increased by only 580, or by 3-7 per cent. In the same period the number of employees in manufacturing in Canada as a whole increased from 187,942 to 557,426, or by 197 per cent.

This document goes on to set out some very good statistics. I have no intention of reading them, but I should like to read the concluding paragraph; coming from these people, I think it is very good. If I were to use it, or if it were to be used by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar, we would be considered socialists:

It is asserted as a general principle that industries in Ontario and Quebec have natural advantages of situation in relation to raw material, labour, force, and markets which enable them to take full advantage of the so-called economies of large scale production. We are asked to believe that these economies of large scale production will enable an industry to protect itself more adequately from foreign competition, and are passed on to the consumer, either in part or in full, through lower prices made possible by the lower cost per unit of the commodity manufactured. Whether such economies are thus passed on to the consumer in many cases is open to grave doubt. It will depend on the reality of internal competition, and the Canadian industrial field is so narrow as to raise serious misgivings as to the extent of true competition in many lines of manufacturing. The existence of monopoly, trade combines, and friendly price agreements within the shelter of a protective tariff, is not always capable of positive proof, but that it exists over a considerable range of manufacturing is scarcely open to question. Undoubtedly, a substantial proportion of theeconomies of large scale production are notpassed on to the consumer, but render possible a higher margin of profit for the industry and go into the safety deposit boxes of company promoters or the pockets of shareholders. Certainly the proportion of benefit that is

returned to the people of this province is not substantial.

With that statement I am in absolute agreement. I leave these thoughts, as set out by the experts who drafted the submission to this economic inquiry, with the

Minister of Munitions and Supply.

Just recently, another discrimination as far as industry in that end of the country is concerned was brought to my attention by a submission presented to a tribunal that has just- finished probing miners' wages in Nova

IMr. Gillis.]

Scotia; I refer to the McTague board. In making their presentation to that board, the representatives of the miners brought to its attention the unfavourable treatment received by manufacturers of steel in that end of the country in connection with the bounty paid on coal. I should like to give their own words. They say:

We feel convinced that Dosco should receive at least as favourable treatment as the upper Canadian companies, which receive a drawback of 74 cents per ton on coal used for metallurgical purposes as against the 45 cents bounty received by the Dosco. If the latter did receive the same treatment then they could easily pay more for their coal to the Dominion Coal Company, thereby benefiting the coal industry and increasing its earnings and also developing and strengthening the coal industry of Canada. In general we submit the proposition which we feel sure is almost axiomatic that Canada needs a strong fuel policy. We further submit that to bonus foreign coal 74 cents and Nova Scotia coal only 45 cents is not in line with a national fuel policy.

With that statement I am in absolute agreement. I made it my business to get in touch with the Department of Trade and Commerce and find out exactly how much money was paid to importers of United States coal used for metallurgical purposes during the years 1939 and 1940. I find that to December 31, 1939, there were 498,760 tons of coal imported and used for metallurgical purposes, on which $246,886.18 was rebated to the importers. During the year 1940 there were imported for that purpose 769,289 tons, on which the rebate amounted to $380,798.03.

The McTague board has completed its inquiry into the question of wages. I have seen a press release with regard to the findings of that board, but I am not going to comment upon them at the moment. Certainly they are not satisfactory to me, but it is the business of the union to make an analysis of those findings before I have anything to say about the matter. I believe that the treatment received by manufacturers of steel in Nova Scotia is a factor in keeping down wages in the coal mines. I see no reason why the steel company in Sydney should not receive the same treatment as the Ontario manufacturers receive, and in my opinion that is something which should be taken into consideration.

The hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) made a thorough analysis of the position of labour and its relation to our war effort. I do not want to repeat anything he said in that connection, but I am entirely in agreement with his views. With regard to conciliation boards, the minister seemed to resent the statement by the hon. member for Vancouver East that often the machinery set up for conciliation boards is too slow. I am

War Appropriation Bill

in absolute agreement with the hon. member for Vancouver East on that point. I have been twenty years in the trade union movement; and it is my belief that while this conciliation machinery may have served the purpose in peace time, certainly it does not serve the purpose to-day. I have seen the mining industry wait months for the setting up of a board.

I do not believe the Department of Labour takes a sufficiently strong stand in these matters. When a board is appointed, by not agreeing as to the chairman an industry can hold up the functioning of that board for months. Two or three times last session I drew the attention of the minister to a board that was attempting to function in the Acadia section of the mining industry. Several months elapsed before anything was done. That sort of thing does not help to create a healthy frame of mind as far as the trade unions are concerned. Personally I think that if the operators of industry are as much interested in prosecuting the war effort as we are led to believe by some of the statements made in this house, there should be no need to carry on a poll in industry by sections. For instance, the Dominion Steel and Coal company controls twenty-six subsidiary companies across Canada. If the government is going to make an examination of that company, wherever a dispute arises, section by section, it will involve the setting up of twenty-six conciliation boards. The setting up of each board will involve considerable cost to the country, money which could very well be utilized in these days in other directions.

I believe if industry are as much interested in prosecuting the war as they should be*-and certainly they have something for which to prosecute it-then there should be a general understanding that when a probe is made and a board is set up, such board should make a thorough examination of the complete industry, including all the subsidiaries. It should bring about an understanding, set wages and get on with the job of prosecuting the war.

Instead of that, we have the present position where application is made for the setting up of a board. There is a disagreement at once about the appointment of a chairman, and the battle wages back and forth. All are in a bad frame of mind. Then, when the chairman is appointed, an examination is made in only one section of the industry, and on restricted terms of reference, thereby leaving an advantage in the hands of those who have an understanding of exactly how much of an examination can be made under

the terms of reference. I suggest that this machinery must be speeded up, and that we must come to some understanding.

The hon. member for Vancouver East discussed the question of intimidation. Comparisons are sometimes made in this chamber respecting the position in England, and the attitude of government over there. We hear much about the stand labour has taken in the prosecution of the war. There is, however, a vast difference between labour in Canada and labour in Great Britain. Labour in Great Britain, from the point of view of social legislation, is, in my opinion, at least fifty years ahead of Canada. It enjoys, many, many privileges that we have not. Labour in Great Britain is organized at least to the extent of 65 per cent, while labour in Canada is organized to the extent of only 15 per cent. The main fight of labour to-day is for the right to organize, and for the recognition by industry of that right.

For the life of me I cannot understand why those who are engaged in industry and who are prosecuting the war, those who have something to lose from a failure to . win the war, and who must realize what the situation is in Europe, are not alive to their own interests, and do not seem to realize that the greatest medium to-day of stabilizing their industry and putting it into a state of 100 per cent production lies in the recognition of the rights of the workers to sit round a conference table and iron out difficulties, instead of setting up conciliation boards and hammering at ministers of the government, who have plenty to think about without spending their time ironing out quarrels between industry and labour.

It took Hitler on the English channel to awaken the ruling classes in England to the necessity for a full recognition of the value of labour in the prosecution of the war. I am in hopes that it is not going to take Hitler on the St. Lawrence to awaken the captains of industry and the operators of monopolies in Canada to the necessity for full cooperation. Labour produces the sinews of war; in the final analysis, labour fights a war. With a situation such as we have today, I cannot understand why those in authority do not realize the value of sitting round a conference table, getting down to business and thereby relieving members of the government, who are charged with the responsibilities of their departments, from refereeing disputes between industry and labour in Canada to-day. I believe that if industry is engaged in an all-out effort, which means

War Appropriation Bill

the complete organization of all the Canadian people for the prosecution of the war, it ought to have sufficient intelligence to cooperate with that group which, in my view, is the major factor in the prosecution of the war-those who produce, and those who light.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. McLarty) took exception to some of the statements made by the hon. member for Vancouver East. As a worker, I get around among the workers, and from what I learn I agree absolutely with what the hon. member for Vancouver East has said. He will hear and I will hear stories from people who will not come to a minister of the government, who will not approach the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or any other law-enforcement body on matters affecting intimidation and persecution. In many sections of industry in Canada, there is to-day much unrest, and much of that unrest is on account of the question of organizing.

I would draw the minister's attention to a matter which for some time has been in the slings. I have heard it stressed in the house time and time again that the great requirement of industry at present is that of securing . the services of trained men. If my memory serves me correctly, on November 7 of last year sixty-three skilled workers at the Chrysler plant at Windsor, who were engaged in disputes, were thrown out of employment. Forty-six of those men were arrested, and paid about $9,000 or $10,000 in fines. They paid for breaking the laws of society, and according to my information, at least half of those men-and they were skilled men-are still on the streets. They have no jobs. They made application for changes in their registration cards, but those changes were not made, and as a result they are still registered with Chrysler. No other plant will employ them until they are released by Chrysler, with the result that since last November those men have been out of employment. I have received from the regional director of the union in that section a copy of an eviction notice. It would appear that one of those men was ordered out, and an eviction notice served on him. Here is a man who is walking the streets, thrown out of his home, at a time when men are necessary to industry. These are men who have paid the penalty for breaking the law. They have paid in the courts of the country, but they are being further penalized by the captains of industry, and in my opinion their only crime was that of exercising their democratic right to form a trade union-.

I understand that from time to time the Minister of Labour has ordered these men back to work, and has made recommendations

along reasonable lines, all of which have been ignored. I do not believe the responsibility is his, but I do suggest that contracts with all industries engaged in war production should carry a clause stating that workers should have the right to organize and to bargain collectively. That matter has been discussed from time to time in the house. I say to the Minister of Munitions and Supply, who has the prerogative of creating these industries, that if we are going to win the war we are not going to win it with kid gloves. The kid gloves must come off. Anybody in Canada who stands in the way of a proper prosecution of the war should be dealt with as an enemy of the state. Any organization which keeps skilled workers on the road to-day and refuses to release them to other sections of industry is certainly not cooperating in the prosecution of the war.

There are many points upon which I should have liked to touch, had I had the time. I would, however, draw the attention of the Minister of Labour to one further matter. To-day at the shipping piers in Sydney, Nova Scotia, there are ten men who have been blacklisted by a company for exercising their rights as union men. To-day they are on the road, and they have been on the road for the past five or six weeks. On different occasions the miners' union have approached the company, but have not been able to straighten out the matter. I have before me a brief prepared by executives of the union to be submitted to an adjustment board which has been set up in that province for the purpose of adjusting the grievance. The men in question had absolutely nothing to do with some trouble which developed there and which was being negotiated by the Minister of Labour and his conciliation branch. On several occasions I have met with the minister and have endeavoured to iron out that grievance. The minister was sympathetic, and he sent a conciliation officer down there to go into the whole dispute.

Before the conciliation officer arrived in Sydney, the strike developed. This was not called by the union; it was something that arose spontaneously in the wash-house, and it could have been organized on the outside by people not connected with the union. It certainly did not serve the purpose of the men at that time in view of the fact that they had been negotiating for two weeks and had a well established case. The union itself had legislated against the strike, and there are men on the road to-day who voted against any such action. They were active union men and, as such, they are on the road to-day. This is something I should like the Minister of Labour to look into.

War Appropriation Bill

I do not want to exceed my time limit, but I did want to leave these few thoughts with the committee as to the necessity of establishing other industries in Nova Scotia and the necessity for recognition of the rights of the workers to organize. We had a complete statement by the hon. member for Vancouver East on this matter. I hope the ministers charged with the responsibility of going into these matters will pay some attention to what I have said.

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Subtopic:   OPERATIONS
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LIB

John Mouat Turner

Liberal

Mr. TURNER:

Mr. Chairman, as you well know I seldom speak in this chamber, and I did not intend to speak on this resolution. I should, however, like to draw the attention of the committee to a point or two. In the first place, the resolution now before the committee was first introduced into the house on February 19 of this year. Wide latitude has been given to hon. members, and many have spoken who do not know the first thing about tanks, aeroplanes, guns and other implements of war, and who know less about their manufacture. Yet they talk and take up the time of this committee when we have a real war on our hands and a job to do.

This is not a school; it is a House of Commons where we are expected to impart knowledge to the house and to the country so that all may benefit. Many questions have been asked which mean nothing to our war effort but which have just delayed the progress of this house at this critical time. In my opinion, much of this has been done for purely political advertising purposes at the expense of the country. Perhaps some hon. members have not realized just what harm has been done by this useless talk. I should like to point out that permitting all this baseless criticism to go on has not helped our war effort.

While we have been talking, President Roosevelt to the south of us has put through his lease-lend bill. He has it signed, sealed and delivered and has started off already with seven billion dollars. He has already given the United Kingdom ships and other help, while we are simply talking and doing nothing. The senate was summoned here, but had to go back home because there was no work to do, even in war time. This does not leave a very good impression upon the minds of the people and it certainly does not help our war effort. The President of the United States has stolen all the thunder and applause and the headlines, and he certainly deserves them. They were working there while we have been idle.

This performance of ours has had the kind of effect upon our people that one would expect. It has been much like this: They say,

"they are just wasting their time and our money down there." This must be changed. All this may have a still more serious effect and become quite noticeable when the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) launches his loan for some billion dollars or less, made necessary by this very resolution which has been before the committee for nearly one month. I do not think this delay will help our war effort at all.

Therefore I sincerely ask all members of the committee to tighten up and get down to real business, to realize that there is a war on and get this House of Commons geared up to a war-time basis. After all, this chamber should be the very pulse of our nation at this time. Our people expect it, but they certainly are not getting it. This is all I have to say.

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Subtopic:   OPERATIONS
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NAT

Douglas King Hazen

National Government

Mr. HAZEN:

Mr. Chairman, I want to take this opportunity to ask the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) and through him, the government to provide more industrial plants and allot more contracts for munitions and supply to New Brunswick.

I have received each week since June last from the office of the director of public information a circular setting out the contracts awarded for materials and supplies. These run into the millions of dollars. I have examined these statements and have been surprised and disappointed at the small number of contracts allotted to New Brunswick. The name of Canada Packers Limited appears frequently in the list of New Brunswick firms having received contracts, but this is not a New Brunswick company. In making a comparison between the contracts let in New Brunswick and those let in other provinces, the contracts given to this firm should not be considered. I ask that in future this error be corrected.

I receive also regularly from the director of public information another circular giving the construction contracts awarded by the Minister of Munitions and Supply. These also run into millions of dollars. I have examined these circulars and have been surprised and disappointed at the small number of contracts awarded to firms in New Brunswick.

Rightly or wrongly, and I believe rightly, the people of New Brunswick believe that they have not been treated fairly in the matter of these contracts. When they read week after week of the thousands of contracts that have been awarded by the dominion government and see that only a few have been given to New Brunswick, they are not at all satisfied.

The people of New Brunswick take pride in the fact that Canada is making a great contribution to our war effort as a member of

War Appropriation Bill

the British commonwealth of nations. But they get no comfort nor do they derive any satisfaction from the fact that, while the government is advancing the enormous sum of over $307,000,000 to companies in different parts of Canada in order that they may erect plants to manufacture the materials required in our war effort, the statement put on Hansard a few days ago by the Minister of Munitions and Supply shows that out of this enormous sum of $307,000,000 only $182,526 or a small fraction of one per cent, is being spent in New Brunswick. This amount is being provided for the McLellan Foundry and Machinery Works at Campbellton. We are all pleased that this firm is being assisted and that, in consequence, work will be provided for this part of the province where it is needed so badly. I am sure the company will make a good job turning out shells in the factory which this money will provide, and the minister has made no mistake in assisting this company.

We have been told that further sums will be advanced by the government for the purpose of erecting plants of various kinds. I think the figure of $177,000,000 was mentioned in Hansard. I would ask the minister to keep the province of New Brunswick in mind when it becomes necessary to erect such plants.

At the last session of parliament all the members from New Brunswick, both Liberal and Conservative, held a meeting and appointed a committee to interview the Department of Munitions and Supply. It was the opinion of this committee that work should be provided in the first place for all small plants in the province and that then, if it was possible, consideration should be given to erecting large new plants which would have a chance of surviving after the war, these to be built with government assistance.

The committee received a courteous welcome and had a frank discussion with the deputy minister of the Department of Munitions and Supply. I am not prepared to say that the efforts of the committee produced any noticeable results, but on the other hand I am not going to say that they produced no results. I do know this, that only recently the premier of New Brunswick came to Ottawa and endeavoured to get some plants started in the province, which is further evidence that the people of New Brunswick are not satisfied with what has been done for them by this government.

The Minister of Munitions and Supply stated in the house the other day that he knew "of no small plant which had not more business than it could do at the moment," that

"almost every small machine shop can get all the work it wants to do." His statement is found at page 1006 of Hansard. If that statement was intended to apply to all of Canada, I assure the minister it is wide of the mark so far as New Brunswick is concerned. There are small plants and shops in New Brunswick which want more work and I hope that this will be provided. The minister has told us that there is no one more anxious than he to distribute these plants, and that he is trying at the present time to place a plant in New Brunswick. This is good news, and I hope that he will continue his efforts and that they will be successful.

It has been pointed out that we have no great supply of electricity in New Brunswick. That is true, but it is also true that we have some electrical power. We have in the city of Saint John power available from three plants. The hon. member for Vietoria-Carle-ton (Mr. Hatfield) tells me that there is power available in his constituency. I am informed also that some manufacturing plants such as chlorine plants, cordite plants and soda-ash plants do not require large amounts of power.

We have in New Brunswick men who want work. The hon. member for Northumberland, N.B. (Mr. O'Brien) told me that he had received word to-day that from four to five thousand men are idle in his constituency and vicinity. We have resources that need developing, and we have some power available. With all these factors at hand, with the minister anxious to distribute these plants, and with these enormous sums of money that are being spent by the government upon' the construction of plants, I again urge the government to establish more of these plants in New Brunswick.

In my opinion a short-sighted policy is being followed by the government in continuing to place so many of these plants and war contracts in central Canada. I can appreciate the fact that earlier in the war when the extent of the war effort was not realized by many people, the policy of placing so many of these plants in central Canada could perhaps be justified on the grounds of sound business.

But in view of the enormous task that lies before us, in view of the all-out effort that we have to make, the time was reached some time ago when this policy should have been changed in the interest of national unity, in the interest of the financial and economic well-being of every part of Canada.

War Appropriation Bill

I should like to say that I am in agreement with a remark made in this house not long ago by the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blackmore), when he said:

... I am not finding fault in any way with Quebec or Ontario. The people of those two provinces are good Canadians and are entitled to their full share of the good things available in this nation. But let it not be forgotten for one moment that the people of every one of the nine provinces of Canada have an equal right. If that is forgotten, then unquestionably the unity of this country will be threatened, or, if not the unity, at least the strength.

I want to draw the attention of the minister and the government to a fact which should be kept constantly in mind when we are considering the location of these plants, that when the people of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia agreed to enter into a federal union with the colony of Canada, that is with upper and lower Canada, they did so in the belief and on the understanding that they were entering into a partnership in which they would share the benefits. They entered into confederation in the belief and on the understanding that they were entering into a partnership that would be to their advantage. Unfortunately for them, confederation did not prove to be to their economic advantage. After a thorough investigation made by the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations, the Rowell-Sirois commission reported that:

New Brunswick shares with Nova Scotia the unhappy distinction of the longest unfavourable economic history of any Canadian province.

That is not a pretty picture, but I think every one of the four members of the government from the maritime provinces will agree that it is a true picture; that New Brunswick does share with Nova Scotia the unhappy distinction of the longest unfavourable economic history of any Canadian province.

The Rowell-Sirois commission also in their report say that the "basic problem" before the commission "lay in finding a way in which the financial position of the provinces could be improved and assured without disastrous financial consequences to the federal government on whose efficient functioning the provinces are dependent." Although the conference held between the dominion and provincial governments in January last to consider the Rowell-Sirois report came to a sudden and, in my opinion, an unfortunate ending, the dominion government at the present time has a wonderful opportunity to solve, to some extent at least, this basic problem which the commission faced, though it cannot implement all its recommendations.

It can solve the problem, to some degree, by a wise distribution of these plants.

The government can, if it will, have more plants erected in the maritime provinces. Perhaps at the present time we have too much centralization and too lop-sided an economy in this country. Wealth is not fairly distributed. I would ask the government, through the Minister of Munitions of Supply, in the interests of national unity and in order to improve the financial and economic position of New Brunswick, to establish more of these plants there. The plants we should like to have established with this end in view are plants which could have an opportunity of surviving after the war, such as modern shipbuilding plants, chemical plants, chlorine plants and soda-ash plants.

We are glad to learn that two merchant ships are to be built in Saint John. I hope this is only a beginning. Lord Beaverbrook, in his forceful address over the radio not long ago, urged our country to supply ships and more ships. It has been reported that the Germans plan to have 600 submarines engaged in attacking British shipping this spring. At present, I understand, our replacements are not keeping pace with losses. We have a critical situation to face. I know that the energetic hon. member for Northumberland, N.B., is endeavouring to get the government to establish some shipbuilding plants on the Miramichi. I would urge the government to build more ships in New Brunswick. They can be built. There is a pressing need for them, and where there is a will there is a way.

While I am speaking of shipbuilding, I would point out to the government that it is essential to make the best and most expeditious use of the tonnage which we now have at our command. There has been a great delay in handling ships. I want to call the attention of the minister to the fact that there has been a serious congestion of shipping at Saint John this winter owing to lack of wharves and water-front facilities for handling cargoes.

It has not been uncommon during the winter months to have all the berths occupied by ships, to have several ships anchored in the stream, and to have ten or a dozen ships waiting outside the harbour to get in to discharge and load cargoes. This is a serious situation in war time, when tonnage is limited and supplies are vitally needed overseas.

The officers of the national harbours board visited Saint John in January and conferred with the mayor and members of the common council, with officers of the board of trade,

War Appropriation Bill

and with local shipping and railway men about the congestion which they found there. At this conference the mayor presented the following recommendations which were considered necessary to improve the port so that it could handle the heavy volume of traffic:

(1) A shed for No. 8 berth, West Saint John.

(2) Passenger and immigration facilities.

(3) Reconstruction of McLeod and Pettingill wharves. This work had been arranged for and was ready to be proceeded with when war broke out. The Canadian National Railways have expressed particular need for this reconstruction.

(4) Additional wharfage facilities on the east side of the harbour for the handling of bulk cargoes such as lumber, coal, ear$ et cetera.

Mr. Colin Mackay, president of the board of trade, is reported to have said at that conference:

There is no use in getting supplies manufactured in a hurry and sent to the seaboard in a hurry if they are going to be held up for a considerable length of time for lack of sufficient handling accommodations. We need more docks here, more facilities. Large sums are being expended on the war effort. Well, this is a most important link in that effort.

Mr. D. W. Ledingham, chairman of the port committee of the board of trade, is reported to have said:

There is no question but that we are in a jam. There is a "bottle-neck" here. Ships are having to wait outside and in the stream because there are no berths to take care of them. Traffic is going to American ports that should be going through here. The MeLeod-Pettingill wharves could be constructed in seven months and be ready for the next winter shipping season. Every steamship line is suffering from cramped facilities.

Mr. T. C. McNabb, general superintendent of the New Brunswick district of the Canadian Pacific railway, spoke from the point of view of the railways. He is reported to have said:

There are not enough berths from the standpoint of the railways. We have never had so much tonnage as we have had this winter for export.

It was pointed out to the board that there were sufficient longshoremen to meet all needs. Councillor Skaling, who is president of the New Brunswick trades and labour council, informed the members of the board that the labour capacity existed and the port wanted the opportunity to use that labour to the utmost. Captain Oland, the naval officer in charge of the port, said that the best longshoremen in North America were to be found in Saint John.

Colonel S. A. Dubuc, a member of the national harbours board, is reported to have expressed the opinion that the only remedy seemed to lie in increasing lighterage facilities

on a tremendous scale, loading ships in the stream and even from the harbour side while being loaded at the dock.

Topic:   TRAINING AND FIGHTING
Subtopic:   OPERATIONS
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March 13, 1941