March 26, 1941


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Graydon

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Peel):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to follow the suggestion made by the Minister of National War Services yesterday and inquire what answer he has received from the Noorduyn company relative to key men in the aircraft industry and the four-months' training scheme.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   MILITARY TRAINING
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO POSTPONEMENTS IN THE FOUR-MONTHS TRAINING PLAN
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of National War Services; Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of National War Services):

Mr. Speaker, last evening the hon. member for Peel called attention to some questions and answers which were asked and given the night before in the house. As reported at page 1826 of Hansard the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) made a statement with regard to Noorduyn Aviation Limited, Montreal, and stated that the associate deputy minister, General LaFleche, had communicated with the company and was expecting a reply. I have received from General LaFleche a copy of the notes taken of the telephone conversation which took place between him and Noorduyn Aviation, Limited, as follows:

Mr. Noorduyn informed me over the telephone early this afternoon that as yet the calling out of his employees for compulsory military training has not adversely affected the production of aircraft by his company.

Mr. Noorduyn added that whether or not his industry will be hampered in the future would depend upon the successful working out of the procedure whereby any war industry or other employer may submit at any time, for consideration by the board, a plan for the advancement or postponement of the military training of any group of his employees.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   MILITARY TRAINING
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO POSTPONEMENTS IN THE FOUR-MONTHS TRAINING PLAN
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DECENNIAL CENSUS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I

desire this afternoon to make a statement to the house in connection with the decennial census which is due to be taken in June of this year.

In the minds of many persons it has been assumed that the national registration of last summer could take the place of the census.

I wish to make it very clear that the information asked for under the national registration was very different from that required under the census.

The census as it has been developed in this country is far more than a mere counting of heads. I have before me the schedules which will be used. They are eight in number. The one schedule for the national registration of last year contained 16 questions. The census schedule dealing with population statistics contains 39 questions.

There is a general farm schedule comprising 167 main questions and a very great number of subquestions.

There is a special schedule for the fruit and vegetable growers of this country containing 64 questions.

There is a schedule in connection with abandoned or idle farms containing 24 questions.

There is a schedule dealing with those who may be undertaking the production of fruits, vegetables and animals on a small acreage, or to a small value. This schedule has 54 questions.

There is a schedule containing nine questions covering merchandising and service establishments; and to assist in the complete enumeration of those who may be blind, deaf or mute, there is a special schedule containing some seven questions.

For reasons which will be obvious it is proposed in connection with the housing situation to have what is known as a test census. Some twenty-nine main questions will be asked of the owner or occupant of every tenth dwelling.

This brief statement as to the schedules to be used will give hon. members a slight idea of the scope of the information which it is desired to obtain.

It will not be possible to tabulate all the details which it is expected to obtain on these various schedules in a few weeks or even a few months. This means that, if the census were to be postponed for a year, or two years,

Decennial Census

or for that indefinite period "until after the war," particulars regarding housing, the data on abandoned or idle farms, that in connection with the general farm schedule, and other information which would be of infinite value in connection with the problems of demobilization and reestablishment of our soldiers, would not be available when it was required.

The census has been taken in the whole of Canada every tenth year since 1871; and in 1916, 1926 and 1936 there has been a federal census taken in the western provinces. Incidentally, I might point out, 1916 was a war year.

It is necessary that the information obtained be accurately compared with that obtained on previous occasions. If the period elapsing were to be eleven, eleven and a half, or twelve years, or longer, instead of ten years, this accurate comparison would not be possible.

The bureau of statistics has built up an enviable reputation for the information which it is able to provide for businesses of all types. It would be unfortunate if the value of that information were in any way impaired because of the inability of the bureau to make the necessary comparisons which must be made if the true picture of our economic life in Canada is to be obtained.

It is, of course, well known that the decennial census is obligatory under the British North America Act. The number of representatives which each province is entitled to have in this house, and the subsidy which the federal government pays to the western provinces, are based on the information obtained at this census. While this of course does not present insuperable difficulties, the amendment of the constitution at any time is a matter that should be most carefully considered.

Postponement of the census would require an amendment of the British North America Act not only by both houses of this parliament but also by the British parliament.

It is interesting to note that one of the first acts of the United States in relation to their defence preparations was to declare the census bureau a war department so that it could not be interfered with. All census employees there are exempt from any military service unless or until released from census duties. However we propose to overcome this by the selection of personnel.

The majority of the communications which I have received or the newspaper editorials and articles which have been published opposing the census this year, have been based largely on one or other of the arguments, that it is simply a matter of head counting or that the expense can be saved. I have already dealt with this first objection and

shown that the intended census is far from a mere tabulation of our population. It is a much needed statistical basis for a full consideration of all economic and social problems.

The idea of saving money by postponement of the census is attractive, but it is not well founded. If the money which would be spent would in any degree lessen the effectiveness of our war effort, you can be assured that neither I nor any one of my colleagues would contemplate proceeding with the census for one moment, and of course the same is true of every member of this house. We definitely believe, however, that the value of the census to the economic life of this country far outweighs the immediate saving "of the money which would be spent on a census this year. I say immediate saving because this money will have to be spent, if not this year, then next year or the year after or at a still more distant time. If long delayed the census would lose much of its real value. I might add that already approximately $100,000 have been spent in preparatory work for the census. The total cost will be spread over approximately four years although the greatest expenditure of course will take place this coming year.

The large number of enumerators who will be required will be taken entirely from among those people who would not be available or suited for war work. We propose to use ex-service men and capable women where practicable.' There will be no necessity for any men to be drafted or withheld from industry because of the census. The enumerators will be selected on broad, general principles, from people of all classes who are able and available, and partisanship in this selection will be avoided. Instructions to the census commissioners will be definite in these respects.

We have had suggestions from different quarters that the census might be taken by workers on a voluntary basis. We appreciate to the full the spirit which has prompted these offers. The nature of the census, however, requires a regimentation of staff which would be very difficult if the workers were on a voluntary basis. It is necessary that the commissioners be in a position to direct their enumerators to do certain things at certain times, and, with all respect to a voluntary organization, I think' the house will agree with me that many difficulties would result if voluntary workers were employed. One group which made an offer of assistance for little or no fee was the Canadian Teachers' Federation. There is perhaps no group in this country who are better able to carry out the census work or complete the intricate forms

Decennial Census

18S3

necessary, but the census must be taken in June and it will take several weeks to instruct the enumerators before that time.

Secrecy is an essential part of the census. Oaths of secrecy must be taken by all enumerators and, for this as well as other reasons, it is essential that the commissioners be able to select enumerators having regard to their suitability. This might be extremely difficult if the work were handled through a voluntary organization.

In considering the problems to which the war is giving rise, it is most desirable that complete up-to-date information as to our economic situation be available not only for ourselves but for our allies. One illustration of this is the desirability of having complete knowledge of the situation in regard to western agriculture at the earliest possible moment so that we may deal with agricultural problems, such as wheat, with all available facts before us.

Full consideration has been given to the fact that many of our enlisted men are away from home. Arrangements have been made that all abroad as well as in Canada will be enumerated, and the information included for their ordinary place of residence.

The reasons for the census this year may be briefly stated as follows:

Failure to take the census would impair the working of the principle of representation by population. It is, therefore, a constitutional necessity.

It is a financial necessity for the purpose of determining provincial subsidies.

It is a practical necessity because of the need of comprehensive factual information on innumerable subjects by provincial governments as well as the federal.

The census is the basis of all our statistics dealing with the problems of population.

With our large immigrant population a census is the only means of determining the rate of assimilation and is therefore essential for determining immigration policy. This, incidentally, may be very much to the front after the war.

The information obtained as to occupation, employment and earnings of our citizens is essential to competent administration of social welfare legislation. This information will be particularly necessary in regard to the administration of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

The census is essential to educational administration in the provinces because the information obtained is required for the determination of present and future school problems.

The decennial census is the factual basis of the agricultural policy of the ten departments of agriculture of this country. Annual sample investigations have been made but

these are unsatisfactory unless a comparison is possible with complete statistics for a decennial period.

The census of trading and service establishments has been found most valuable in the legislative work of parliament in recent years and it cannot be given up without serious loss to the country.

The usefulness of the census extends over a ten-year period. It affords much needed information to foreign countries as well as to our own people concerning developments and opportunities of investment, trade and the like.

Unless the decennial census is taken there will be many special statistical investigations required and these in all would be very much more expensive than a single census.

The census has become an integral part of our government operations. It is just as important as hundreds of functions of other departments which are being carried on from day to day unquestioned. The fact that the census occurs only once in ten years should not obscure this fact, and opposition to the taking of the census should not be based on this premise without complete evaluation of the essential factors which require a census.

The government has decided that for these and other reasons the decennial census should be taken this year. Arrangements are being made accordingly.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

I rise not for the purpose of opening any debate on this matter, which would be entirely out of order, but to ask a question the object of which is to clarify the position. The minister has stated that the census will be completed, $100,000 having been already spent. I understand that the commissioners in each constituency have been appointed. The minister has stated that the services of returned men and of qualified women will be used wherever available. I should like to ask him, what is the basis upon which the enumerators will be appointed? May I call his attention to a statement which he made to the house on February 21 in which he said:

I may say that if the census is proceeded with, enumerators will be selected from all parties, returned men in all eases where available, and women where practicable.

I should like to have that position made quite clear at this time if possible.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON (Edmonton West):

That is the intention.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That is as clear as mud. Will the minister make a statement clarifying the whole position as to the appointment of enumerators?

C.NJt.-Auditors

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Will the minister tell the house whether the census commissioners were selected on a non-partisan basis?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON (Edmonton West):

Will the hon. gentleman repeat the question?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

I asked, were the census commissioners selected on a nonpartisan basis.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The minister has made a statement. If hon. members wish to have further information with respect to the matter they should place questions on the order paper. This is not the time to debate the subject. The question which the leader of the opposition has asked is proper in the circumstances, but I think the minister was equally wise in not attempting to go into an explanation at length at this time. The explanation, when given, will be satisfactory to hon. members, I am sure.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

On the orders of the day I should like to ask the minister how he is going to arrange with the census commissioner for my constituency, who is secretary of the Liberal association, for the appointment of enumerators in that constituency.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

I was not attempting to debate the matter of the census. I was asking the minister a question on the orders of the day. I wanted to know whether or not the census commissioners had been appointed on a non-partisan basis.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink
LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON (Edmonton West):

In answer to the hon. gentleman's question, I personally have no knowledge of that. The permanent officials in charge of the census have proceeded in the same way as they have been doing every ten years since there has been a census-from 1871.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION TO PROCEED IN
Permalink

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS


Hon. P. J. A. CARDIN (Minister of Transport) moved the second reading of Bill No. 13, respecting the appointment of auditors for national railways.


NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

If these were ordinary circumstances I would have no objection to going ahead with the second reading of the bill, but may I point out that a week ago to-day I asked for the tabling of the report of the Canadian National Railways. That report will contain the auditors' report for the last year. We were promised it the next day.

[Mr. R. B. Hanson.3

Then we were told by my hon. friend (Mr. Cardin) that it was being delayed by the printer. It has not been brought down, and I suggest that we ought not to proceed to give authority for the appointment of auditors for another year-I realize that this is more or less a pro forma bill-until we have seen the report for the last year. For that reason I object to proceeding with this order. I think the reason is a valid one, and I hope it will commend itself to the minister.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF GEORGE A. TOUCHE AND COMPANY AS AUDITORS
Permalink
LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Transport; Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

When the leader of the opposition the other day drew my attention to the fact that the report had not been tabled I told him that I expected to have it tabled the next day. I was informed the next day that the printing had1 been delayed and that the report would not be out of the printing office for a few days. The officers of the department have informed me to-day that the two reports will be out of the hands of the printers by to-morrow. There is a separate report by the auditors, and another report is also made by the board of directors. Both reports, I am informed by the officers, will be out to-morrow. As this is a mere formality, if my hon. friend has no serious objection to the appointment of the auditors, I would ask him to allow the bill to get its second reading. However, if he presses his objection I do not mind.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF GEORGE A. TOUCHE AND COMPANY AS AUDITORS
Permalink

March 26, 1941