February 3, 1943

SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. ROBERT FAIR (Battle River):

Mr. Speaker, let me first of all join with the hon. member who has just taken his seat, (Mr. Gershaw), in extending congratulations to the mover (Mr. Harris, Grey-Bruce) and the seconder (Mr. Halle) of the address, and by so doing to pay a tribute to all the fighting forces of Canada. It has not been my custom in the past to extend these congratulations, but on this occasion I am very glad to do it because I realize, as all the rest of us here and throughout Canada must realize, that those in the fighting forces are giving everything they have in the fight for the preservation of what we in Canada wish to keep. I cannot say that I am satisfied with everything we have, but it is much better than people in other lands have, and it is our duty to do everything possible to bring to a successful and speedy conclusion the fight that is now in progress.

We have, as has been pointed out on several occasions, a number of small inconveniences to put up with, and among them is rationing. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) and the chairman of the wartime prices and trade board could not have been very active when the speech from the throne was being written, because certainly in that document there does not seem to have been any rationing of words, and it is evident that a number of good things which might have been included in it have been omitted.

There is in the speech from the throne only a brief reference to agriculture. We had better all understand that without food we cannot win the war or secure a successful peace. Food

is one of the first essentials. I realize, of course, that other things are necessary too, but food is one of the first things, because if we cannot feed our soldiers and our factory' workers and those on the other side of the Atlantic whom we have been feeding for the last few years, they will not be in proper physical condition to fight or to manufacture the munitions of war. Therefore, I believe that more attention should have been paid in the speech to the subject of agriculture. I am not particularly surprised to find the references to this subject so meagre, because agriculture has been neglected longer than the period of time I have been in Canada, which is almost thirty years now. Around election time all across Canada farmers are patted on the back and told what good fellows they are; at conventions and similar gatherings members of this house and others hand out bouquets; but when it comes to providing the dollars for the products the farmers raise, we find a number of these good people absent. I am sorry that this condition exists, and I hope something will be done in the very near future to have it remedied.

One short paragraph of the speech from the throne says:

A joint committee representative of the Departments of Agriculture of Canada and the United States has been agreed upon to coordinate the efforts of the two countries in the production of food for the united nations.

We all realize that Canada and the United States are geographically married and that there is no possibility of a congressional or house of commons divorce; and I do not see any reason why we on the Canadian side of the border should not enjoy the fruits of our labours to the same extent as those do who are south of the line.

On Friday last, January 29, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. MacKinnon) announced the joint agricultural policy for himself and the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner). If we look back just one year we may remember the delegation which came from the three western provinces. It was not a delegation wholly of farmers; it was representative of all western business and industrial life. The delegates asked for very moderate consideration. Consideration was promised to them and, I believe, was given; but we were minus the financial consideration when the crops were harvested. The delegation asked for an initial payment of one dollar per bushel on wheat, and later they wanted to receive parity, which I believe some suggested at that time to be $1.41. When the government's policy for the year was announced we found that a price of ninety

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cents was to be given, twenty cents above the seventy cents for the year-or for years -prior to that time, and much below what it should have been. The fact is that the summer-fallow bonuses in the year 1942, the prairie farm assistance and prairie farm income bonuses, have shrunk so much that there is very little financial return from that ninety cents when the amount which is taken away by the bonuses is subtracted. We were told by the Minister of Agriculture that the government -was taking every dollar it possibly could out of the treasury and paying it on our wheat crop. Hon. members who have followed the record of the various articles which have been purchased for the prosecution of the war will have noted that in every case cost of production plus profit is paid, and that the farmer is about the only class in Canada that is denied the cost of production. We have been told that the operations of the wartime prices and trade board are the cause of prices in some cases not having been put up. But those who are on the land and have had to buy farm machinery will agree with me when I say that wartime price orders did not provide that those from whom we had to purchase these things should be treated in the same way. If you bought a tractor a year ago this spring it cost you about 185 more than it did the fall before; and in several other lines similar rises of price have been recorded. I do not think, therefore, we are getting the equality of treatment which has been spoken of in this chamber *time and time again.

I know that the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Minister of Agriculture have done their best; the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Gershaw) has given them thanks, and I want to do the same-for small mercies. But the hon. member who preceded me must realize that these two ministers are a minority of the cabinet, that the more powerful interests are represented by the other seventeen members of the cabinet, and for that reason we are denied that to which we are entitled.

Since coming to Canada I have been trying to get farmers organized, and in the course of that work I have discovered various reasons why farmers have been kept where they are easy to deal with-that is, kept as near the bread-line as it is possible to keep them and yet have them produce interest on the money which they have to borrow to carry on their businesses.

In his announcement the Minister of Trade and Commerce told us that we were expected to reduce our wheat acreage this year by three million acres, and that we would be

allowed to deliver a straight fourteen bushels per acre. I am not sure whether in all cases we shall be able to deliver fourteen bushels, because, while this year we have had an exceptionally heavy yield of wheat and coarse grains, that condition may not recur for some years. If we look over the averages for a number of years we shall find that the yield this year is nearly as good as that of two average years.

In the course of his statement the minister said that in 1942 we can deliver only 1942 wheat. This, I believe, is a grave mistake on the part of the wheat board and any others who have the authority to deal with the question. There are, I believe, in the house today men who have a carry-over of No. 1 wheat and at the same time are compelled to deliver No. 6 and feed wheat in 1942. That is, they must deliver No. 6 and feed wheat to the wheat board in order not to break the law and incur a fine by the wheat board, while they are compelled to feed to their live stock the No. 1 wheat they have in their bins. I ask the Minister of Trade and Commerce if that is right or just or reasonable or good business. On the day the minister made his statement I asked if he would not immediately bring in an amendment to the Canadian Wheat Board Act and have this changed, and let us get down to business, but because of the rules of the house I did not receive a reply. I now ask the minister and the government to make an immediate change in the regulations so that a common-sense policy can be put into effect and farmers shall be allowed to deliver any grain they may have, whether grown prior to 1942 or during that year. I suppose none of us, when eating a piece of bacon, can tell whether it was produced from No. 1 wheat or feed wheat; and, while we are shipping most of our supplies at the present time to the old country, they over there are not so particular that they will not eat the pork and bacon produced on low grade feed.

We are asked for an increase in hogs, cattle and poultry products. I believe that the farmers of Canada-I am not referring only to the farmers of western Canada-from the Atlantic to the Pacific are doing everything possible to meet this demand. From the Wainwright district I have a number of resolutions; I do not think it necessary to read them because I believe the Minister of Agriculture has copies of them. On December 16 the farmers there met and organized to the best of their ability. I am not sure how effective that organization will be or what cooperation there will be so far as the government is concerned,

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but I know that the farmers are doing everything they can to produce to the utmost during the coming year.

One of t'he shortcomings of the government's programme is the withdrawal of payment for grain stored on farms. It is not possible in all cases for farmers to deliver all their quota, because the local elevators-and they are allowed to deliver at only one point-have not the space available. We are not getting such a high price for wheat that farmers can pay that storage. If you compare our prices here with those in the United States it will be seen that we are very much underpaid. In the Western Producer of January 21 last I find this item:

$1.13 Advanced on United States Wheat

The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that Commodity Credit Corporation through December 31 had completed 514,687 loans on 386.297,684 bushels of 1942 wheat in the amount of $436,695,969. The average amount advanced was $1.13 per bushel, which includes some transportation charges from the area of production to warehouse locations and storage advances on farm-stored wheat. Loans had been completed on 171,874,656 bushels stored on farms, and 214,423,028 bushels stored in warehouses.

So that in the United States they are advancing on grain stored in the elevators and on the farms. I do not think the United States can grow better wheat than we can; in fact I do not think they can grow as good wheat, and their costs of production are lower than ours. Therefore we are being cheated out of a good many cents a bushel on all the wheat we grow.

On January 7 last the Minister of Finance (Mr. Usley) addressed the Ontario Federation of Agriculture in Toronto. I do not know whether the minister felt he would catch the farmers napping; he told them that the very real harm that agriculture would suffer would be from the deflation and collapse of prices that would follow inflation. If the minister can show me and show the farmers whom he addressed in Toronto, taking into account the price increases that have been allowed on the things we have to buy, that we would suffer by having the price of our grain, particularly our wheat, raised fifty cents a bushel, he will have to make a better explanation than he has done in this house up to the present time. Deflation and inflation are straw men that are often used to scare the farmers. But some of our farmers are at last getting wise about these straw men and are not taking very much notice of them.

We have been charged on several occasions with coming here looking for charity. The farming class, and I have talked to them in different parts of the country, are the last

to ask for or accept charity. Farmers comprise about one-third of the population of Canada. The remaining two-thirds are largely dependent directly or indirectly on the farmers, because if there were no farmers in Canada the country would go back to the Indians and those who in the past have exploited the farmers would be in some other country. We want parity, not charity.

A number of reasons may be given for loss of production during this present year. One of the first I would refer to is the shortage of farm help. On March 24 last the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) made an announcement in connection with farm help. At that time it sounded pretty good, but the action taken on several occasions since then shows that the Prime Minister and his order did not go nearly far enough. Many young men necessary on the farms, key men, were called up and given postponement only until a certain date. In several instances those young men, in order to get into the branch of the service that they wanted to be in, enlisted before their postponement had expired, and for that , reason I know of several farmers who had to sell their stock and equipment and rent the land. Therefore there will be a considerable reduction in the production of live stock and live-stock products.

Again, because of lack of help in the last harvesting and threshing season, we have millions of bushels of wheat in the stook, and some of it even standing waiting for the combine. This cannot all be attributed to lack of farm help, because we had rather a late and rainy harvest season, and then when the time came that the threshers could be operated, several outfits that should have had a crew of ten men were compelled to operate with two or three or four. In my home district I know of only one outfit that had a full crew of ten men. For that reason, on thousands of acres in that vicinity, and I believe in perhaps forty per cent of the province of Alberta, the crop is still standing in the stook or waiting for the combine. This is not a healthy condition. When the grain is finally harvested the quantity will fall far below the earlier estimates. There will be a drastic reduction because of mice and rabbits and weather and other damage.

There is another serious situation in this connection. In many cases the grain is not all threshed; only sufficient has been delivered to pay the harvesting and threshing wages and other necessary expenses, and while their money is tied up in the field the farmers find that the machinery companies are seizing

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their machinery, which should be and would be paid for if the fanners had a chance to deliver their grain.

What is being done to take care of this serious situation? Only a few days ago we learned that the Alberta Debt Adjustment Act was ruled ultra vires by the privy council. I believe the other western provinces, and some of the eastern provinces as well, are in the same position as we are. I wonder what the situation will be before we can get modem judges, trained in the up-to-date modern school, who will give the proper interpretation to the legislation that comes before them. Something must be done. Last session I stated, and I repeat it now, that the President of the United States found it necessary to put progressive judges on the bench before any advance could be made with progressive legislation.

There is another question which will have to be considered before agriculture can get on a sound footing; that is the present farm debt situation. I am not like some people in talking about this; I know of what I speak, because in my own case I bought quite a bit of land when wheat was selling at from SI.40 to SI.70 a bushel, and I had to do work outside of the farm, in different lines, in order to keep up my payments. This is nothing new in western Canada, because under our price structure the farmers have not been able to pay for their farms, and for that reason have been compelled to carry on other remunerative work during their slack seasons. Now principal and interest have piled up to such an extent that the farmers can never get out from under the load; and while plenty of good suggestions are offered, no attempt is made to remove that burden which must be lifted before the farmer can make progress.

In connection with hog and cattle prices, while they are not just what they might be we have not yet received very many complaints about them. But there is a good deal of discontent in connection with the grading of hogs. As usual the packers seem to get the larger share of the melon, and we are wondering how long it will be until this matter is straightened out. Then in connection with the price of eggs, in my part of the country we had a reduction of 17 cents per dozen during the three weeks period prior to January 15. I wonder what the wartime prices and trade board is doing about that. On January 15 the temperature went down to 58 below zero in my district, and I think the Minister of Finance or the chairman of the wartime prices and trade board would have to go out there with a new mash or some-(Mr. Fair.]

thing of the kind to make the chickens lay in order to produce with a price reduction of 17 cents a dozen as compared to the previous price. I should like to have a good deal more to say on that question, and perhaps the opportunity will come later.

I do not see why the farmers, together with all the help they can get, and their families, should be compelled to work longer hours than any other class in this country and still get such a miserable standard of living. Time after time we have been told by the Prime Minister and others that we must have an equal standard, but I am still waiting and hoping for the day when some government will be put into power here that will do a little levelling up and bring about a fair distribution in this country. Time and again we have asked that representatives of organized agriculture be placed on boards dealing with agricultural matters. Up to the present we have not had much success in having that done, so that again to-day I am offering this suggestion to the government.

I have not time to deal with a number of other questions to which I wanted to refer, but I should like to take up one which I believe is of particular interest to the whole of Canada, since now we are telling the men serving in this war what we are going to do for them when they come back. I am going to mention some figures to show what the men who served in the last war have been done for, not what has been done for them. I am referring again to the soldier settlement board. After t'he last war, in order to put some of the returned men to work and perhaps to keep them out of mischief, the soldier settlement board was set up; I believe that was about 1919. Originally the number of settlers under that scheme was 25,017; the government advanced loans to the amount of $109,034,331, and I believe the rate of interest was 5 per cent. Up to the end of March, 1941, collections on those loans amounted to $65,640,518. In other words it took about twenty-two years for the government to get back some $65,000,000 of the original $109,000,000, and included in that figure were the deposits or payments made on land which was resold to civilians after the soldier settlers got wise and left. Only 2,750 settlers have obtained title to the land, and a number of these had pensions or a little stake obtained from other sources. On March 31, 1941, according to the figures I have here, of the original number of settlers only some 7,360 remained on the land. Of those, 2,953 had an average equity of 67-5 per cent; 606 had an average equity of 32 per cent; 1,078 had an average equity of

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16 per cent, and 2,723 had no interest whatever in their farms. In other words, 2,723 men were staying on the land, wondering from day to day when the director would order them off or take some other action.

That is what we have done for the men who served in the last war. Further breaking this down, we find that 3,801 men, or 52 per cent of the settlers remaining on the land, have an average equity of not more than 16 per cent. Some say it is not good business to look back, but I am looking back and once more bringing before this house the question of the settlement of soldiers after the last war, for the express purpose of seeing that the men and women who come back from the present war are not treated in the same way. I hope hon. members of this house will see to it that when the men and women come back from the present war they are given better treatment.

One of the things that has hurt me time and again is the statement I have heard on various occasions that many returned soldiers from great war No. 1 enlisted in this war because they could not make a living for their wives and families, and saw a way of keeping the wolf from the door by going into the army again and getting the government allowances. But we find that under an order in council passed by this government part of those allowances has been held back and paid over to the soldier settlement board to apply on the debts of these men. Apparently the board would much rather have the ready cash, which rightfully belonged to the wives and families of the men who enlisted, than take a chance on the crops grown on the land, on which the debt was due. The government figures that there is still some $30,000,000 that may be recovered from the soldier settlers who have remained on the land. Up to the end of March, 1941, the cost of administration of this scheme amounted to $25,910,495, approximately $1,250,000 a year. During the period between 1919 and 1941 the government admitted that they had made a mess of the soldier settlement scheme, and proceeded from time to time by six different operations to bring down the debt against those people, and in that way to keep them on the land as long as possible. First of all they brought about a consolidation of loans, then a cancellation of interest charges, then a revaluation of land, then in 1930 a 30 per cent reduction, then a dollar for dollar bonus, and finally the benefits of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act. Total deductions through these six methods I have mentioned

amounted to $47,518,215. If things keep on like this, I do not know what is going to happen. We are told that $30,000,000 can still be salvaged; and while $30,000,000 is but a drop in the bucket in paying for and prosecuting the present war, so that things may be made better for the rest of us in Canada, I feel that that $30,000,000 does not begin to balance the misery and suffering endured by those men, their wives and families up to the present time.

On other occasions I have advocated that those who have fought against weather elements and other obstacles and stayed on the land up to the present should be given a clear title to the land. The government has not taken notice of that suggestion. Knowing what happens when a person has to pay five per cent interest, having paid seven or eight per cent myself on many occasions, and knowing the condition of farmers generally, I am now asking for something else namely, that those who have paid an amount equal to fifty per cent of the original debt, whether principal or interest, be given a clear title to their land. The men and women who are administering the act could be put to far better purpose in furthering our war effort, or, as one of my neighbours has suggested, in growing sugar beets, so that we would not have to have so many employed by the ration board. Those who had not paid in fifty per cent, or who would not be covered by that provision, would be placed on the same basis as those affected by the Veterans' Land Act. That is, they would have at least a fifty per cent equity in the land. In some cases this would mean a drastic reduction. But for heaven's sake let us clear the blot of the old soldier settlement board off our Canadian statute book. Give those people a break now, even though it is too late.

When I came to Ottawa a week ago there were so many of our forces on the train that it was almost like a troop train. There were members of all branches of the services, and a finer, cleaner and healthier group of young people you would not see anywhere. I discussed with some of the men their occupations before joining, their reasons for joining, and other matters. And in that connection I should like to place on Hansard a poem which was sent to the IFestem Producer by Eric A. Dowson, Runciman, Saskatchewan, because it describes very well the position of the diners who were in the dining car as we came east. This poem is entitled The Diner, and is in these words;

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He was dining on the diner;

And the waiter called him "Sir."

White linen decked his table And gleaming silverware.

They placed good food before him,

He sat and ate his fill,

They paid him every service And his country paid the bill.

And he thought of another journey Of a not far distant date;

When he passed through this same country. Just a hobo on a freight.

His country did not need him,

For he had no work to do And he wore no service uniform Of khaki, or of blue.

When his grim task is over Perhaps we'll understand,

That hungry mouths may all be fed,

From the plenty of our land.

And to go with that I have one further clipping. I am not sure who is responsible for it, but it is very well put. It reads:

Is it possible that when this war is over, the heroes of Dunkirk, the battle of Britain, Hong Kong, and Dieppe must do like so many of their fathers, the heroes of Mons, Ypres, Passchendaele, and Vimy Bidge, did after the last fracas and exchange the weapons they used to defend democracy and freedom for a peacetime issue of picks and shovels? What a "freedom", what a "democracy" the "planners" are planning. Do we never learn? Must this war also be fought in vain?

May I say on my own responsibility that the youth of our country must and will win the war, and therefore must be given their place in shaping and in enjoying the peace that follows.

I had intended to talk about social security, but my time has almost expired, and I do not wish to transgress the rules of the house. In the few minutes left to me I should like to record an incident which happened to me while passing through Winnipeg. The hon. member for Medicine Hat stared in his speech that the Prime Minister is a master in the art of government. A person came up to me while we were waiting at Winnipeg and said, "You are going to be fighting another election pretty soon; our Prime Minister is going to be elevated to the House of Lords." I began to wonder if we were to have another half-day session, or perhaps a day, and then be sent back to wade through the snow in another election campaign. He continued, with a smile, "I do not know what his title will be, but I do know his coat of arms is going to be two snails rampant on a field of red tape." Before concluding I should like to make one further plea on behalf of old age pensioners. This is one blot which should be removed.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has exhausted the time at his disposal.

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SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. FAIR:

I shall come back to this question at a later time.

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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the opposition I admit the government of the day has done a lot of good work in connection with the war. After all is said and done, the onus for conducting the war is on the government of the day, and as long as they are the government they are responsible to the people for a total war effort.

I have been one of those who have been associated with opposition. I do not know what I call myself now. I started in with Sir James Whitney and Sir Adam Beck, and we were called amateur anarchists by Sir John Willison in the News, because we went up and down the province on behalf of the people's power scheme, the hydro. I received a telephone message last week-end from a newspaper reporter who asked me if I was a Prog. Con. The telephone connection may not have been very good, and I thought he asked me if I was a frog pond. Of course a rose by any other name would smell the same. As long as we have the word "Conservative" in it I shall not object to any prefixes or affixes or titles- although I do not believe in all those titles, because I have never been anything but a progressive. I have always been too modest to admit it. Of course one may call himself a progressive, but the fact that one calls himself a progressive does not make him a progressive. In 1921 the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar), whom I do not see in his place at the moment, sat in this house with a following of about fifty members. He and his party were known as Progressives, but the fact that he called himself a Progressive did not make him a Progressive.

I have been in this house during every session since the war started. I pay a great deal of attention 'to the proceedings. I read them every day and I want to compliment the Speaker, the Clerk of the House and the other officers of this house of parliament upon the way in which the business has been conducted since the war started. It is not the fault of this high court of parliament that we as a house are being criticized to-day.

As I see it, under our democratic system the acid test for a newspaper is how it reports the House of Commons. After all is said and done, this is the only forum. We have 245 members and this is the only place where the average man on-the street can have his grievances remedied. The opposition and the private members are the connecting link between the government of the day and the electors. When that link fails to function all

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parliamentary government is at an end. I sympathize with -those who are conducting newspapers in this country to-day. They are under a terrific cost. I want to pay a tribute to what the press has done in this war. We had a newspaper bill up in the house some years ago, and on that occasion I paid a tribute to the press.

In my humble opinion the government of the day made a grave mistake when it changed the old system. We have a press bureau and an information bureau. I have received a huge pile of literature, but I have found that there is a most useful piece of furniture in my office called a waste-paper basket and that is where I consign a whole lot of it. The government has appointed this publicity board, and its officers and other liaison officers are running all over the country. Some of them are in Hollywood, -and they are spending money like water flying by air to California, and all over the world. They have been over to -the old country and to many other places. It is hard to know, except for our newspapers, what is going on in this country, and the newspapers supply the information at their own cost, without government aid.

The government should put back this function where it belongs with the press of -the country. It is a reflection on the press to appoint such a board. The newspapers are quite capable of handling this work. They were doing it at a great cost to themselves. There has been parliamentary criticism since the days of the Stuart kings. Criticism is a tonic; it spurs the government into action. We had an example of this in connection with the bonus to the soldiers. Public opinion in Canada was aroused, and the government of the day were compelled to change their views and grant this bonus, after the municipalities from coast to coast forced it. The money spent by this information bureau will run into a fabulous sum before the war is over, and this money is being taken from the hard-earned wages of the people of Canada. If this money had been given to the press of the country, to the dailies and the weeklies, the work would have been handled much better, and economies effected.

I have been dissatisfied with the conduct of the war during the past two years. I do not apologize, nor do I offer any excuses for the constructive criticism which I have offered on many occasions. From time to time I protested against what I honestly thought were mistakes that were being made and that could have been avoided. I mention some of them to-day. Using the words of Abraham Lincoln, " I have done and said what appeared to me to be proper to do and say on these occasions."

A great deal has been said about the British empire, in which I believe overwhelmingly. It was said here by my former leader, Viscount Bennett, that on empire matters I represent a large body of public opinion in this country. I agree with a very important statement made by the Prime Minister of Great Britain last November when speaking at the Mansion House or Guildhall. He did not use any high sounding phrase like the British commonwealth of nations, first heard of when Lord Rosebery discovered it in 1900. I think the vast majority of the people of Canada will agree with what the Prime Minister of Great Britain then said. It was as follows:

Let me therefore make this clear in case there should be any mistake about it in any quarter. We mean to hold our own. I have not become the king's first minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British empire.

I quite agree with those sentiments. I think Great Britain will be known in history as the good Samaritan of the nations. Russia came into this world war becaiise she was attacked by Germany. The United States came in after the attack on Pearl Harbour by Japan. The President of our great ally said that he reaffirmed the policy of George Washington and Andrew Jackson, those great presidents who said that, unless attacked, the United States should have nothing to do with world affairs and were isolationists. Britain was not attacked; she came into 'the war voluntarily because she had given a pledge to Poland. Others had given pledges, but they ran away from them. Great Britain, assisted by the dominions, bore the whole brunt" of the war f-or over two years alone. If it had not been for Dunkirk and the hand of providence, long ago the United States and Canada would have had to make peace with the axis powers. That would have been the end of civilization. As I say, Britain will be known as the Samaritan. She did not pass by on the other side like the lawyer, priest and the levite; she came immediately to the help of Poland with her whole strength and organization.

We talk about the League of Nations, but let me say what I have said before, the only League of Nations in the history of humanity that has been a success is the British empire. Long may it continue. Referring to this after the seven years' war, Burke said:

We ought to elevate our minds to the greatness of that trust to which the order of providence has called us. By adverting to -the dignity of that high calling our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire and have made the most extensive and the only honourable conquests, not by destroying but by promoting the wealth, number and happiness of the human race.

The Address-Mr. Church

Bennett, appointed a committee. Its work was crystallized by the new government a year later in a scheme under which nearly $80,000,000 have been spent on small housing. There is not a word in the address about that. Where are our soldiers to live when the war is over? The government of the day cannot solve the problem of housing even in this one city of Ottawa. How are they going to solve it on a nation-wide scale? One of the main reasons for the decline of agriculture in this country has been the lack of proper housing facilities for the urban, suburban and rural sections. It remains one of our most important problems, with' no mention of it in the speech from the throne. Where are houses to be found? When the soldiers come home they will be living in hovels, the way they did after the last war. The government made a football of this question last session; although I brought it to the attention of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) almost every week, they did nothing about it. There was a cry of shortage of materials; yet we find sufficient steel and iron can be provided for railway terminals and other places.

What about reforms for the benefit of Canadian youth? In 1935 and 1938, speaking on this question, I proposed to the then Minister of Labour, the late Mr. Rogers, that a plan whereby the young men who were coming out of the high schools at the rate of 200,000 a year could learn a trade, get pocket money, food, clothing and housing and deferred pay, with military training, instead of riding the rods. That was rejected by the minister. Had it been adopted1, we should have had 25,000 air cadets, trained pilots and mechanics before the war started.

As regards soldiers' bonuses, I would merely ask hon. members to look at the way in which that question has been handled during the past three years.

The speech from the throne refers to parliamentary under-secretaries. In my opinion it is a system which is not adapted to this country. I have opposed and will continue to oppose it. We have a cabinet of nineteen, nearly three times the size of the cabinet of the United States, a country of 134,000,000 people; and with the controls we have, costing $4,000,000 a year, much of the work is taken away from the minister. The system proposed is duplication- and a waste of money.

The government says nothing about what it is going to do to restore the country of Macdonald and Laurier, when Canada was a nation of property owners, so that the poor retail man, the small man, and the wholesalers will be no longer hamstrung by these controls. I have asked the cost, but the minister does

not know, from week to week, or from month to month, what the control system is costing.

There is another matter I wish to point out to the house, as I did last June. The auditor general does not audit one cent of the appropriation bills. That is provided for by the cabinet by order in council. Talk about expenditures; there is very little check or audit on them, as far as I can see.

As regards income tax, in 1927 and for three years before that I had a resolution before the house to restore the income tax to the municipalities, where it was before the great war. Their exclusive right of taxation in this field was invaded in 1917 by the dominion for the purposes of the war. When the late Mr. Robb was Minister of Finance it was proposed by me during those debates that we should have a pay-as-you-go plan.

One would like to refer to the war in the Pacific, because the issue is going to be decided there by the command of the sea, and it is not going to be easy going. There is no royal road to victory. Let us devote our whole time to the war. Let us recognize that neither blockade nor propaganda nor attacks from the air will win this war. There must also be an invasion of Germany on land.

I have been glad to see the success in Africa, where the much abused British army has saved the day. Those men are the very same troops who were attacked last spring during the battle of Egypt and they have proved their quality. Once provided with mechanized equipment which made them more nearly equal to the enemy, they conquered them very quickly. Theje was never any doubt among the people of the empire as to the ability of those wonderful troops, the famous British army, assisted as they were by troops from the dominions, when once they were put on equal terms with their opponents.

I believe several important matters have been left out of the speech from the throne. One is civil aviation. There is not one word with reference to it. Unless Canada gets busy in this direction, it will lose the opportunity of providing a great deal of work after the war for our soldiers. We are further behind in civil aviation than almost any other country. All that has been done is to write essays and that kind of thing. If one gets down to brass tacks, what else has been achieved? Not a thing. As mayor of Toronto I raised this question with Ottawa after the great war. Colonel Barker, V.C., Colonel Collishaw and other airmen were in Toronto for about three months after they came back

The Address-Mr. Church

from the war, and they told me that we should make the greatest mistake of our lives if we did not develop civil aviation.

I hope that the dominion will invade a field that should be theirs, namely education and health legislation. In 1921 and 1922, when I first entered this house, I introduced a resolution favouring unemployment, health and sickness insurance. That was twenty-one years ago. I also supported the dominion government in embarking upon a constructive policy to aid education and public health. Some good work was done in connection with technical education.

When, all is said and done, two things of supreme importance have been brought home to the people of the British empire. One is religion. The people of the empire during this war are turning back to religion as a primary thing. To-day they believe that without religion there is no real education. I believe that this government should recognize in future that it is the first function of government to look after the health, wealth, happiness, well-being and prosperity of its people. In the city from which I come, after the last war Doctor Hastings, the great health officer, and others of the department of health introduced health legislation more advanced perhaps than anywhere else on the continent. We had a modern health department and important measures of inspection in the interest of children and infants, inspection of milk, food and other commodities, and medical inspection, were carried out in the schools and elsewhere. I am sorry that the government has not brought forward a forward policy on this public health matter. For example, consider how many of the working classes are unable to buy insulin at its present price. Free insulin should be obtainable by the universities and the health departments and hospitals of this country. Let it not be forgotten that, if properly administered, insulin puts many a man and woman back where they can do useful work. I know of men who are engaged in heavy work at the present time and for the past several years who but for insulin would have been dead long ago. Equally it is the duty of the government to meet the menace of tuberculosis. Parliament must advance along this line and in many other matters of social security.

As I have said, I believe in education, and I believe further that there can be no education without religion. Christianity is part of the law of Great Britain; it is also, by the act of 1791, part of the law of Canada. Thomas Arnold, the famous headmaster of Rugby who died one hundred years ago, did not believe that examinations were the true key to education. He believed that character building came first, morals and right social relations second, and academic and literary education third.

We are fighting for an ideal. When the war is over some advanced measures will have to be taken along the lines of social security. The Beveridge report is all right as far as it goes, but it is based on the old system of government, the capitalistic system. The capitalist system is not perfect; it will have to be brought up to date. Nobody proposes to go back to things as they were, to the old pre-war system. I have respect for the views of my friends to my left, but my views have been consistent for a long time. The paymaster general, Right Hon. W. Jowitt, who has charge of these measures in Britain, addressing the House of Commons recently, said that the first thing the government is going to do is not to appoint a committee-it will go to a committee later-but to have a three-day debate in order to get the views of the government and of the opposition and of the whole house. That is what should be done here, so that all views may be presented.

After all we are putting the cart' before the horse. What are we going to do about the mother country? That will have to be determined. To-day she imports twenty-five out of twenty-seven articles of raw material and food. She has coal and iron; the other twenty-five she has to import. Without export trade and corresponding imports, without an exchange of goods and services, without her dominions and colonial empire, the mother country would be reduced to a second Denmark, would be no longer a first rate power.

There are constitutional difficulties in the Beveridge report as applied to Canada. The house should go into these questions. I believe some way can be found of aiding Europe and our colonial empire under the lease-lend provisions with the assistance of the United States. The Beveridge report is a good report in many ways, but it is based on the old plan. Many of its social features have been adopted by some of the large municipalities in Canada -for instance, the advanced legislation of the city of Toronto adopted twenty-one years ago. We must keep faith with our men at the front. If we give only promises to the men who are offering their lives for us, no guarantee against hardship and suffering when they come home, these heroes will not be getting their due for serving and saving the world.

In the days of Laurier and Macdonald everyone owned some private property-a small farm, a store, a mill-but that has all been taken away and Canada has become a land of proletarians. The right to possess

The Address-Mr. Church

private property is derived from nature, not from man, and the state has no right to abolish it; it has the right' only to regulate its use. I believe in private enterprise and the old incentives of business, brought up to date to meet changed conditions. Those principles made Britain the great nation she has been, and are the principles which should guide this country in the future.

Regarding the price ceiling and related matters I shall have something to say on another occasion.

Let me conclude by reading a short statement about the cruelty of this dastardly foe which but for Britain might have set foot in this country. It may be of interest to some of my friends from Quebec who have crossed the floor to this side of the house. This is from the Lisbon correspondent of France:

I hear of the arrival in Bessarabia of 20,000 Jews deported from France to the Germans. The state in which these wretched people arrived when their trains reached that country made a deep impression on the civil and military authorities . . . Twenty thousand men, women and children had been sent from France in sealed trucks, they were to be forcibly installed in the ghettos of these towns.

When -the trucks were opened an appalling spectacle was revealed. More than half the prisoners were dead and their bodies were decomposing. Dead bodies fell out on the railway line as the doors were opened. Those still alive were ill from terror, from hunger, from sickness caused by the atmosphere of putrefaction which they had breathed during the journey. Their condition is desperate and few of them will live.

One of the number who could still speak stated that they had been arrested in their homes in Paris in the middle of the night by S.S. men and taken to the railway station. There they were put into sealed trucks. They were not allowed to take any luggage save three days' provisions. The journey had lasted two weeks.

On these wagons of death was written the label "Explosive Material In Transit for Russia"; that is why none of the customs authorities had opened the trucks at the various frontiers.

Just one other quotation. Every day in Europe, now almost entirely dominated by Germany, men, women and children are tortured and killed. Here is the story of one martyr, a Frenchman. It was published in the paper France in September, though it related to events many months old. A German colonel named Holtz was shot. In reprisal fifty Frenchmen were murdered by the German rulers. One of them was called Fourny. A farm labourer, he educated himself as a youth ; he joined up in 1914. He fought well, but was taken prisoner. In prison he worked at his books, and while there he was condemned to death, but was saved just in time by the

armistice. He became a lawyer's clerk and passed his examinations. On the collapse of France he joined the underground organization. In August 1941 he was arrested. Holtz was killed in October. A few days later the first batch of martyrs, twenty-one in number, were chosen and Fourny was among them. The night before the execution Fourny wrote his last letter, and having done this he turned to his comrades, cheering and comforting them, writing their letters home for them, urging them to send messages.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member's time has expired.

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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

By leave of the house may I read just a few lines?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go on.

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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

I thank the house. I would like hon. members to hear something of the way they torture these young people. I quote:

"Tell me what you want to say, I will write for you. Is it your wife, or your mother you want to write to?" All night long he gave courage to the weak and sorrowful men who were to suffer.

When the time came for death the victims were brave, but among them were two lads of seventeen who were in revolt at the thought of what was happening. Fourny put his arms around them and spoke to them quietly. "It is not difficult to die, my children; come with me, we will die together, you will see it will be quickly over, you won't suffer, it is all quite easy." Affectionately putting his arms around them so that they could not see the machine guns, Fourny helped the young martyrs. The same spurt of machine gun fire laid them all three low. The name of Fourny will forever live in Nantes, where he was known and near where he was shot.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles

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

Mr. S. H. KNOWLES (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, last year, on March 23, this house paid eloquent tribute to the life and work of one of the greatest Canadians ever elected to this parliament, the late J. S. Woodsworth, whom I have the high honour to succeed as member for Winnipeg North Centre.

The expressions of high regard for the founder of our movement which were made at that time came from every section of this house, and they were reechoed throughout the country. My coming to this parliament is to a very large extent because of Winnipeg North Centre's appreciation of the work of its former member, and I wish to take this opportunity of paying my tribute to his memory. I am one of the many to whom he gave the vision of a better day for the common people of this country. It was my privilege to know him as a close personal friend and adviser. I am deeply conscious of the honour that is mine in being called upon

The Address-Mr. Knowles

to take his seat in this house, and I pledge to the people of Winnipeg North Centre and to the people of this dominion my loyalty to the cause of social justice which Mr. Woodsworth served so well.

Coming as I do directly from a by-election campaign, Mr. Speaker, I feel that I am in a position to give to this house a clear statement of the views of the people I represent, and I am satisfied that the views of my constituents are those of an ever-increasing number of Canadians right across this country. In the general election of 1940 the government candidate, though defeated, polled over 40 per cent of the votes cast in Winnipeg North Centre. The Liberal and Conservative candidates together polled 59 per cent. In the by-election held on November 30, 1942, the government candidate, supported by three cabinet ministers, having the old party field entirely to himself, received only 28 per cent of the votes cast and lost his deposit. Our vote rose to over 70 per cent of the votes cast, representing the largest vote and the largest majority ever given in Winnipeg North Centre. I suggest that a similar shift in public opinion is taking place all over Canada, and it behooves this house to consider seriously the matters which are of concern to the people whom I have the honour to represent.

The anxieties of my constituents are two. First, they are deeply concerned about the mess that obtains at the present time in war production and selective service, the existence of unemployment, and matters relating to labour policy. Second, they are filled with fear and misgiving for the post-war period. Speaking further on the present situation, may I tell this house that the people of Winnipeg, anxious as they are to make their fullest possible contribution to the winning of the war, are, to put it mildly, aroused by the lay-offs which have been taking place for some time in war industries. During the month of January I wired the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) three times, advising him of the lay-offs in such plants as Dominion Bridge, Manitoba Bridge, Western Steel and the Defence Industries Limited cordite plant at Transcona. In the replies I received I was advised on one occasion that a new contract had been awarded which would make possible the reemployment of a number of men who had been laid off, but when I called the manager of the plant concerned I was told that the new contract could be filled without such reemployment. On another occasion a Winnipeg plant, in posting a lay-off notice, stated that full production was anticipated in the spring, but the Minister of Munitions and Supply advised me that such could not be

counted upon. The Winnipeg city council, in conjunction with many local organizations, has sought to intervene in this matter. The final word of the minister to the mayor of Winnipeg, as well as to me, was simply this, and I quote from his letter of January 14:

I regret as much as anyone the dislocation of staff that results from changes or reductions in programmes. However, this is inevitable in war production. One of the principal functions of the national selective service organization is to arrange for the reemployment of any staff that may be displaced in war industry through changes or reductions in programme. This department maintains a very close liaison with national selective service in this connection.

On Monday I asked the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) what steps his department was taking to deal with this situation, and what was his reply? After trying to minimize the situation by referring to inevitable "pockets of unemployment" he said, and I quote from Hansard at page 23.

The Department of Labour is working in close cooperation with the Department of Munitions and Supply in an effort to place these people where they can be most useful.

These two ministers may feel that they answered' my question- by passing the responsibility to each other, but that does not provide employment in Winnipeg, nor does it make possible the full production to which the workers are exhorted by posters and placards hanging in the war plants -from which they are laid off. The failure of capitalism, even under the impetus of war with its demands -for equipment, to maintain full production, is evidence of the imperative need for economic planning. The people I represent are deeply concerned over the failure of the government in this regard'.

In his reply to me on Monday last the Minister of Labour endeavoured to brush aside my question by stating that large numbers of those registered for employment in Winnipeg are women, and that other large numbers are unemployables. Entirely apart from those groups, however, on January 21, just before I left Winnipeg, there were 1,800 employable men registered for work, many of them having had machine shop experience. When these men are told to register for unemployment benefits, to remain idle on S9 or $13 a week, with a war on, they use language which I thought was unparliamentary before I came to this house. As for selective service, the people of Winnipeg feel that its only purpose is to hide the fact that the government has no plan for full employment in the production of our war needs.

There is another fact which must not be forgotten, even in war-time; that is, that

The Address-Mr. Knowles

when workers are unemployed they and their families suffer want and fear. The Minister of Labour speaks lightly about "pockets of unemployment", but the people I represent feel that it is the duty of the government so to plan our economy that useful work will be provided for all able-bodied citizens. The men who are fighting this war are not fighting so that they may come home to "pockets of unemployment". They are fighting for a Canada in which all our citizens will be employed producing an abundance of goods to make possible a high standard of living for all our people. If "pockets of unemployment" is the best the present government can do now, what in heaven's name are we in for after the war is over?

I listened closely on Monday to the Prime Minister's defence of the Minister of Labour. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) seemed utterly unable to understand why so much criticism has been directed against the Minister of Labour. I may say that I am a member of a trade union. I have close contacts with all sections of the trade union movement in greater Winnipeg. I had unanimous endorsation of the trade union movement in Winnipeg in the recent by-election campaign. I can say to the Prime Minister that labour in this country, both organized and unorganized, is up in arms against the Minister of Labour because he, as a trade unionist himself, posing as a labour man, is willing to administer the government's policy as it now stands. Labour is fed up with being told every time it seeks an adjustment in unjust and low wages that it is unpatriotic, that it is attacking the government's anti-inflation policy. Labour, Mr. Speaker, is fully aware of the perils of an inflationary spiral. But the freezing of unjust wages is not the only way to prevent inflation. It can be done, for example, by taxation and by rationing.

At the present time the government places upon the workers and farmers of this country the whole burden of avoiding inflation, and labour is thoroughly disgusted with the way in which the government uses this weapon to deny justice to the workers of Canada. Let me repeat that labour is fully conscious of the perils of inflation, and is not opposed to the government's aim to avoid it. But labour is opposed to the governments' one-sided policy in this matter, putting as it does the full burden on our farmers and workers.

In the thirties there was no money. Now there is too much money. If it is not one thing, it is another. But labour must be kept down. This is the policy of the government; and no one, least of all a labour man, can

expect to administer such a policy without a storm of protest from Canadian labour.

I may say further to the Prime Minister that one of the reasons labour delegations are seeking interviews with him, which he deplored on Monday in answer to a question about the Montreal aircraft workers, is that labour's grievances involve more than the matter of administration in the Department of Labour. They involve the whole policy of the government, in its attitude toward labour. I am confident no member of the house ever spoke the mind of his constituents more clearly than I do when I say that Canadian labour wants a new minister of labour in whom labour can have confidence.

But, Mr. Speaker, that is not all. Labour also wants a new labour policy, and I make that fact known directly to the Prime Minister. Apart from the injustices of the low-wage freezing policy, there is also the government's attitude toward trade union organizations, and the complete failure of the government to make labour, and agriculture as well, full partners in the common struggle in which we are all engaged.

By order in council the government has paid lip service to trade union organization and collective bargaining. But much more effective orders in council have denied these fundamental principles of democracy, in actual practice. I mention Kirkland lake, steel, Montreal Aircraft, Vulcan Iron Works at Winnipeg, and so on.

I would remind the house that the government picks its controllers, its dollar-a-year men, from the big businesses concerned, on the ground that they know what it is all about. But when it comes to the placing of men in employment, at which trade union business agents are specialists, they are not only ignored but their functions are superseded by the hodge-podge of selective service. To labour this is all seen as a well-designed attempt on the part of the government to prevent the common people in this country from coming into their own, in the kind of cooperative society for which this war is being fought. The farmers and workers of this country, supplying as they are the personnel of our armed forces, working and sacrificing in every possible way for victory, have an end in view-a Canada in which there will be full employment, fine homes for all, adequate education, care of our health, a high standard of living and) full social security. These things cannot be denied forever. The processes of democracy may work slowly, but they are to-day working in favour of the common man, because of the interest he is taking in his own well-being.

The Address-Mr. Knowles

I want to go back for a moment to the matter of unemployment in the city of Winnipeg. It is the responsibility of the government to explain the situation, but I may state here an opinion that is widely expressed where I come from. It is that we are already experiencing the first slackening of the postwar period. This opinion produces two comments. First, there is resentment that there should be any slackening until victory has been won. Second, it drives home the fact that the problems of the post-war period are with us to-day.

I said earlier that the people I represent have two major anxieties-the mess that obtains at the present time, and the fear that a worse state will be ours when the war is over. I have spent most of my time in discussing the present situation, but I may say that the fact of unemployment now, coupled with the government's anti-labour policies, aggravates the fear of my constituents for the post-war period. If production has to be curtailed now, under the impetus of war, what then, when the war is over?

The Minister of Munitions and Supply, speaking in Winnipeg in November in support of the government candidate in the recent by-election, was reported as saying that he was confident there would be full employment after the war. He is reported to have said that we wmuld have new plants and machinery, thousands of men trained in new skills, and a ready market in the needs of our people for cars, trucks, washing machines and radios. All we would require would be to connect these three factors. Precisely. Rut the people of Winnipeg North Centre know that we had these same three factors- plant, men and human needs-in the thirties; and yet we had unemployment and poverty.

I represent a people who know that both for the production now of our war needs, and for the production after the war of a high standard of living, we need a basic change in our social structure. Private industry, based on the principle of producing only where profit is to be made, in the vain hope that some benefit of that production will fall like crumbs to those who toil, will not fill the bill. The people who are giving their all in this war are entitled to democracy, to the ownership and control of their own instruments of production, so that they might produce goods, not for the profit of a few, but because they are needed by all.

Our men are not fighting to come home to "pockets of unemployment," to relief, to wage-slavery, to $20 a month at the age of seventy. They are fighting for a new Canada, in whose life they will participate in eveiy way. That

participation involves a voice in those matters which affect our daily lives. That participation will not be complete, nor shall we have achieved democracy, until our people, through social and cooperative ownership, are in complete control of the economic life of this country, which thus far has been the preserve of private and vested interests, both in war and in peace.

I know that the speech from the throne makes reference to a plan of social insurance. No doubt there are some who imagine that because social insurance, in our view, does not go far enough, we of this group will oppose any steps the government may take in this direction. This is not the case. In fact, since all we have been offered for this session is a select committee, and recalling how long it has taken in the past for other forms of social legislation to pass from the committee stage to the statute books, the chances are that we of this group will find ourselves having to fight for all we are worth to get the government to go ahead with its present intentions, whatever they may be.

But, although we may prod the government to implement its own ideas, let me make it clear that I represent a people who agree with the position taken by this group, that social insurance is not enough. It will not be the century of the common man until we have social justice. What is the difference? Social insurance under capitalism is a means whereby those who are subject to unemployment, sickness, invalidity, and insecurity pool their meagre earnings so that when calamity falls they can be kept alive. So long as we endure capitalism, such will be necessary. Social justice, however, involves an economy in which those who toil, being part of the community, own the productive machinery of the nation and therefore receive every day and every month and every year their full and just share of the wealth they produce.

To-day, the workers and farmers produce the nation's wealth, but get only a meagre portion of it. There is no justice under such a system. Charity and insurance are the best that can be offered. But one day this Canada will become a real democracy, and the workers and farmers will do two things; they will increase our production, and they will get their fair share of what they produce in a high standard of living through the whole of life, including full protection against sickness and invalidity, together with security and dignity in old age.

Speaking, however, of the government's references to social insurance and social security there are one or two comments I would like to make. First, I may say that the coun-

The Address-Mr. Knowles

try will not share the government's satisfaction expressed in the words in the speech from the throne:

A considerable measure of social security has already been provided.

Further, may I say that if the government really means business in this field, the least it could have done would be to offer legislation increasing the amount of the old age pension. I mention also the blind, the veterans of the last war, and widows of veterans of the last war. 1 understand that those discharged from the armed forces now, after one month, if still unemployed, go on unemployment benefits of $9 a week for single men, $13 for married men. This is not good enough for the defenders of our right to build' a democracy. And why the discrimination against women in our armed forces? After one month a discharged unemployed woman goes on benefits not exceeding $6 a week.

Coming back to the matter of old age pensions, I understand that two provinces, British Columbia and Alberta, have made provision to pay $25 a month in certain cases. In Manitoba we have been pressing the case of our old people for all we are worth. The Winnipeg city council has urged the federal government and the Manitoba provincial government to raise the amount. I note that the Manitoba government proposes to increase the pension payable in that province by $1.25 a month. Apparently that government dares to hope that this government will provide an additional $3.75 to make a total of $25 a month. That would not be enough, but surely it is the least we might have expected, and I hope, despite its non-inclusion in the speech from the throne, that we may get action along this line during the present session.

I was glad to hear the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Gershaw) express this view from the government side of the house this afternoon, but I was sorry to hear the Minister of Finance (Mr. Usley) say earlier in the day that nothing had been planned as yet in connection with this matter. I hope that the hon. member for Medicine Hat and others in his group will join with us in our continued effort to press for action in this matter while the house is in session.

There are other matters I must defer until later. There is the problem of housing, concerning which we in Winnipeg have been given a disgraceful run-around. I shall deal with this matter at length when the opportunity is afforded. I gather that the city of Ottawa has had an experience similar to ours in Winnipeg. On a future occasion, as the only Cooperative Commonwealth Federation mem-

[Mr/ Knowles.]

ber in this house from Manitoba, I will have something to say on behalf of the farmers of that province. In the meantime, I may say that my colleagues in this group from Saskatchewan are, in my opinion, stating clearly the views of the farmers of Manitoba. Possibly before I get around to a speech on this subject, a by-election will have been held in the riding of Selkirk, now vacant in Manitoba, with the result that we may be joined by a C.C.F. member for rural Manitoba. If Mr. Bracken decides to run in Manitoba, and some other seat is opened for him. we may be joined by two C.C.F. farmer members.

In that event those of the Conservative party who argued at the Winnipeg convention that a leader should have been chosen from among the membership of this house would be vindicated. I recall that the fear was stressed there lest the disgrace of York South be repeated. It may be that they were right.

In closing may I say that I have not indulged in some of the niceties and platitudes with which the debates in this house seem to abound. I do wish, however, to express my appreciation of the cordial welcome that has been extended to me by hon. members whom it has been my privilege to meet. Coming as I do from a much smaller body, the Winnipeg city council, where one gets to know everyone, I am struck with the large number who are here and how difficult it is to get to know everyone. Yet I hope that it may be possible for me to get to know as friends as many as possible of the members of this house even though on the floor of the house we may differ sharply in the views that we present.

I may say finally that I feel that I have been sent here on serious business. I represent a people who want to play their full part in winning the war. Toward that end they insist on full production and on the acceptance of labour into full participation in the war effort. They want a new attitude toward the workers of Canada in the Department of Labour. They want a new minister of labour and a new labour policy. They want some evidence now of a better Canada after the war is over. If social insurance is the best that can be offered by the present government, they want that now, but the people of the constituency I represent insist that from there we must move on to the full realization of social democracy and social justice. In short, Mr. Speaker, the people whom I represent want this parliament to get on with the job of winning the war and winning the peace.

Food and Fuel

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has just delivered his maiden speech in the house, and because he cannot be expected to be thoroughly familiar with the rules I did not call his attention to the rule which forbids the reading of speeches. I should just like to say that I hope no other member will take this as a precedent when he is speaking.

On motion of Mr. Reid the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver Centre) the house adjourned at 5.45 p.m.

Thursday, February 4, 1943

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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February 3, 1943