February 10, 1943


Roy Theodore Graham


Mr. R. T. GRAHAM (Swift Current):

When the debate was adjourned last evening I was discussing the matter dealt with in the speech from the throne under the general head of social security. I had pointed out that a mere statement of the problem which we wish to solve, and unity of desire to achieve a measure of social security, will not in themselves be sufficient to enable us to reach our objective. One of the first essentials of planning for social security will be to put our house in order so that the foundation can bear the superstructure or the load that we propose to put upon it. May I say in passing that no plan of social security in a country such as Canada, with so important a part of its population engaged in agriculture, should lose sight of the position of the person engaged in farming. Certainly any plan based on the assumption that a measure of social security would merely add to the load that agriculture is already bearing would be a fatal mistake on the part of those attempting to put such a measure into effect. Our first duty is to examine the structure of Canada's economic life to see whether it can be improved so that it can bear that load which we propose to put upon it.

I ask myself what would be the two most important things to be dealt with in order to achieve our objective. First I suggest to the government and to this house that the fiscal policy of Canada must be such as to encourage the greatest possible exchange of surplus products with other countries; and secondly there must be a recognition on the part of that very important group in our Canadian national life, namely, labour, of the true relationship that exists between their wage rates, the cost of production and their own standards of living. I propose, in the very short time I have, to deal briefly with these two points.

I have often been amazed in the last few years to note that in all the strange formulas presented by different groups and individuals to cure our economic ills, the oft-repeated principle of common sense, to embark on a policy of free intercourse with the other nations of the world, has been so little put into practice. History shows that Great Britain rose to its greatest industrial strength and its highest standard of living under exactly that policy. The United States, in the early days of its development, accomplished the same measure of prosperity by free intercourse among the component parts of that great empire. It was only when their productive capacity rose to the point where they could not only serve the needs of their own people

The Address-Mr. Graham

but produce great surpluses that could be exchanged with other countries, that it has been gradually brought home, by the utterances of public men in the United States, that the advisability of continuing the high protectionist policy of the United States is wrong and will not succeed. That great empire, Soviet Russia, will in all likelihood go through the same experience as the United States. It may accomplish wonders internally so long as it is in that stage of development, but when it reaches the point of saturation it must look abroad to increase the standard of living of the people.

This is a particularly opportune moment to bring to the attention of the house the advantage of a policy so long urged by practically all economists, and certainly by many groups in this house down through the years. I suggest to the government that the greatest contribution made by the Liberal party in Canada to the general prosperity of the country has coincided with those opportunities which it has taken advantage of to increase trade with the country to the south of us. That is a standing tribute to the policy of free trade, and my own submission is that, unlike some other formulas, if we find a small dose of medicine accomplishing fairly good results it is sensible to continue the treatment and see if we cannot attain the degree of satisfaction in our economy which we all so much desire.

May I hope, too, that there will be no delay in this house on that particular question. In view of the recent Winnipeg convention, the long known attitude of the new leader of the Progressive Conservative party, and the attitude which has been expressed by the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and .the leader of the New Democracy or Social Credit group, I take it that this is a most opportune time for Canada *to embark upon a policy which would produce the highest possible national income and ensure the highest possible standard of living for its citizens.

The other point with which I propose to deal is the position of labour. I have on my desk the report of the special committee of this house which sat in 1937 to consider farm implement prices. At page 1230 a breakdown is given of the actual costs entering into the manufacture and distribution of a horse-drawn binder betwen the years 1913 and 1936.

I draw the attention of the house to that particular table, because the more I have studied it the more I am convinced that in those figures lies the secret of the cause of many of the failures in our economy during that period. If hon. gentlemen will examine

this table they will find in the story it tells, first, that the direct labour costs entering into that binder increased during that period by over one hundred per cent.

As my time has almost expired, I shall have to leave this question with the hope that an opportunity will be given to me later to develop my argument.


John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

Mr. Speaker, while I should like to make some comment on two or three of the items mentioned in the speech from the throne, and refer to the remarks made by two or three speakers who have preceded me in splendid addresses, I shall confine my remarks to the sentence in the speech from the throne in which the government states its determination to explore further reconstruction and rehabilitation measures. I believe that if I deal with that question only, my time will be all taken up, and I may add that the major portion if not all of my remarks will be directed to reconstruction and rehabilitation in the western provinces.

I should like to know if up to the present any plans have been prepared by government agencies in charge of the matter to provide, immediately after the war is over, work for the returned soldiers and those who may be displaced from munitions plants. I should like to know of a single project for which all the details have been prepared; because after the war we shall find exactly the same thing taking place that took place at the end of the last war. Industry will not be able to continue to employ the staffs on their payrolls at the close of the war. Therefore in my judgment the authorities should have ready concrete plans, with blue-prints, specifications and everything else required, pertaining to projects which are to be undertaken after the war, together with the quantities required of the various materials entering into their construction, so that the producers of the materials can be notified at once to produce so much of this and so much of that. There should also be prepared lists of the various trades which will be required to work on such projects. In my judgment this is essential. It is all right to explore, as the speech from the throne suggests. I am all for exploring; I have done a lot of it myself, and I shall refer to that in a moment. But we have to do more than explore with regard to reconstruction and rehabilitation; we have to be ready for immediate action at the conclusion of the war.

I remember November 11, 1918, as if it were yesterday. On that day the plant which I knew a good deal about had approximately 1,000 employees working in it, mostly

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

men. On November 15 that plant did not have 200 men and women working in it; on November 22 it did not have 150, and those who were employed were not working more than two or three days a week. The point I make, Mr. Speaker, is that it is of vital importance that whoever is going to look after reconstruction and rehabilitation after this war must begin now to prepare the projects which are to be undertaken, in order to allow industry itself to retool and reorganize its plants so that it can proceed from where it left off when the war broke out. It is of vital importance that steps be taken at once to prepare all details of the various projects to be undertaken.

Last summer I had occasion to make a trip up to the Athabaska river in northern Alberta. There I came in contact with a number of men from the United States-they are called PRA I believe-who were on their way north to work on various projects. They were United States civilians, but they were in uniform. They were, I presume, civilian workers on United States projects. I had a good deal of conversation with them; for I am always out for information. They were on their way north to a project which up to that time I had not heard of but which turned out later on to be the Peace River-Providence highway. These men told, me that they were going down the river, some to Fort Fitzgerald, some to Fort Resolution, some to the mouth of the Hay river, and some, I presume, to Providence itself. The instructions they had from their headquarters were to proceed west from wherever they got off and go towards the line of the new Peace River-Providence highway. There was already a road about ninety miles in length running north from a place called Grimshaw, west of Peace River, in the direction of Providence, but it stopped some miles north of Notikewin. The United States workers were to proceed north and work first on what is known as a tractor winter road, from Grimshaw to Yellowknife on Great Slave lake. They were to proceed north some distance towards Hay river and then go to -the northwest around Great Slave lake to Providence. The point I make is that they knew where they were going. They were numbered with each project; I have a recollection that one project was called No. 276, and the material for that project was numbered also. In other words they had prepared a number of projects covering the length of that new highway, several hundreds of miles, and their men all knew where they were going and what materials were required for each project.

The point I make is that we must forthwith begin to plan definite projects, for which the necessary men and material will be tabulated in order that those projects may be carried out. I think we must be ready, because I believe this war will end almost overnight, as the last war ended in 1918. I believe the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) was the second man in Toronto to be notified of the armistice on November 11, 1918, and I think I was third. This war may end in the same way. Are we ready; has anything been done to prepare for that day? From an editorial which appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail on January 5, I believe some schemes, of which we do not know, are ready. The editorial pointed out that there was one large project for which the details were apparently more or less complete, of such a size that it could be designated as a provincial or regional project. I do not believe the editorial writer was thinking of the St. Lawrence seaway, a project I greatly favour, because that is neither provincial nor interprovincial; it is international, and would be a mighty big project to go on with. But if there is some provincial project ready I should be glad to hear of it, and I should like to know what it is.

For myself I have followed the instructions given by the chairman of the rehabilitation and reconstruction committee at its final meeting last session, when he told each one of us we should go where we could and search where we could in order to ascertain any projects which might be undertaken, and which we should present to the committee again this session. I have quite a number ready, including one which I am going to mention to-day. It is too large for any committee to deal with. It will require the support of the government. I refer to a grand project for the rehabilitation of the great Saskatchewan river, first for navigation purposes, second for the production of power, and third for the conservation of water.

For a long time, Mr. Speaker, my warmest feelings have been for the western provinces, of course in addition to my own province which I love very greatly. I have had a strong feeling for the western provinces because during all the years I have been here I have heard from their devoted representatives in this house of the dire problems those provinces have had to face. I have made many surveys of the western provinces, both alone and with guides, and I have observed just what those provinces have to contend with. It is not their fault. It is not the fault of Saskatchewan that the rainfall of that province is so low. When the

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

pioneers first went out there they read with happiness the advertisements telling them what a wonderful country western Canada was. They did not know that the rainfall was away below the average for Ontario or eastern Manitoba. They went in there and settled, and far too many have had a terrible time in too many of the intervening years. I made up my mind, therefore, that anything I could do or say to help reestablish the economy of the west would be done and said, no matter what the cost.

One of the great troubles in the west is the water problem. God has given them a great river. Of course it has its peculiarities. It is not like many other rivers, but it is like some. The first vision I had of what the Saskatchewan river could do for the western provinces came to me in Tennessee, where I spent some considerable time in making a thorough survey of the whole Tennessee valley project. The Tennessee river waters the land of seven states, some more and some less. It starts in the mountains, just as the Saskatchewan starts in the mountains. It gathers practically all its w'ater within one hundred miles of its sources, as the Saskatchewan does; then it flows across a great country, just as the Saskatchewan does. The Tennessee river flows west for about eight hundred miles, but of course it flows through a country that has a much heavier rainfall than occurs in western Canada. In spite of that fact, however, they had difficulty in raising crops in those states. They had to have more water; they had to conserve their water, and they did so. I believe we can do the same thing here in Canada. I believe the time has come when Canada must organize in the Saskatchewan watershed something similar to what has been organized in the Tennessee watershed, where they have established a great transportation route, a vast power and water resource. In many places on that river they did not have a draft of more than two feet, though it is a strong and powerful stream. To-day, however, for the first 650 miles they have a draft of six feet, and when they complete their works they will have a draft of nine feet over the whole length of the river from Paducah to Knoxville.

We can do the same thing on the Saskatchewan; we can rehabilitate that river in which the water flows at the rate of 56,000,000 tons a day without giving adequate return to those great provinces.

I am firmly convinced that no matter what it costs this country, the amount required must be spent- to rehabilitate our western provinces, because the success of the east economically

depends upon the success of the west. We are interdependent; we cannot separate one from the other and expect to prosper. The more we work together, the more we prosper; and goodness knows western economy is entitled to some consideration it has not been getting in the past. On tlhe Tennessee they have already built seven huge dams. I have seen all of them, ranging from 100 to 200 feet in height. Generally they are over a mile in length, and one of them is three miles long. Nothing has stopped them in their programme. They have provided storage space of 10,000,000 acre feet to eliminate the possibility of floods, and have succeeded in eliminating all possibility of floods. To-day the Tennessee Valley Authority is producing 1,600,000,000 kilowatt hours, and its power was sold wholesale at 4-47 mills per kilowatt hour. Surely that is something worth while. They are industrializing the whole of seven states through the God-given blessing of the Tennessee river.

We can do the same thing in the west through the blessing of the Saskatchewan river. Two or three hon. members who have preceded me in the debate have said there is little manufacturing in Saskatchewan. Well, manufacturing cannot grow in a big way unless large blocks of power are available at cheap rates. Saskatchewan could have large blocks of power, and could have it cheaply. Perhaps they could not finance such a project; but if they could not, then it would be up to this government to finance it-and when I refer to this government, of course, I do not refer to a political party, but rather to the government of the day. The federal government could give Saskatchewan its opportunity to shine in the sun of cheap power.

That province has lost much of its population. Why? Because there have been few places of any magnitude to which their young men could1 go. Compare Saskatchewan with Ontario, this glorious province of which we are all so proud. Here we have the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission, with its 2,000,000 horse-power for sale in the province. Is it any wonder that Ontario is such, a great manufacturing province? Well then, let us give the western provinces a chance to do something too.

What I am going to present is not new. These are not my arguments at all. Of course I have read a great deal on the subject, and last year I surveyed the area in question. I believe I travelled 10,000 miles altogether, much of that distance on the Saskatchewan river by canoe and by diesel engine boat, with Indians as guides.



Which river?

The Address-Mr. MacNicol


John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government


The Saskatchewan river.


Major James William Coldwell

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


North or south?


John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government


The north or main Saskatchewan river, chiefly from the forks to the mouth. That is the section about which I am going to speak in greater detail.

At the beginning of my observations, I said that this is a great river; indeed it is far greater than most people would believe. It has a watershed of 155,000 square miles. Its flow is not as large as might be expected, because the rainfall is low, but God has provided it with opportunities for reservoirs which can be filled to retain that surplus water. Sometimes the flow is as low as 2,000 second feet. Its mean flow is 30,000 cubic second feet. On one occasion it has risen to the stupendous volume of 297,000 second feet- a level to which the Tennessee has risen on occasions. Whereas the Tennessee has a watershed of only 40,000 square miles, that of the Saskatchewan, as I have said, is 155.000.

If the river were rehabilitated for navigation, power and conservation of water, we would get somewhere. The first government to propose navigation on the Saskatchewan river in a modem manner was the Laurier government. Last summer I went to St. Andrew's locks which were opened by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1910. It was there that I learned what he had said upon that occasion. He and his government did not for one moment build the St. Andrew's locks just for something to play with. They had a vision. Here is the vision Sir Wilfrid had at that time: "We have

opened the Red river up to lake Winnipeg; it now remains for my friend Doctor Pugsley" -who was at that time minister of public works- "to open the Saskatchewan from Edmonton to Winnipeg." He continued:

I am glad to say that my friend the Minister of Public Works is already at this work. He has engineers in the field surveying the Saskatchewan river, and before many years are over I hold that we shall witness such a thing as has been witnessed to-day-that is to say, the opening of navigation of the Saskatchewan river up to the city of Winnipeg, and if God spares me, and if the grace of God and the will of the people keep me where I am, I ai sure that I shall see the day when a barge laden with coal at Edmonton, nay at the very foot of the Rocky mountains, will be unloaded at Winnipeg without breaking bulk on the way.

That would be a distance of 941 miles to the mouth, and another 300 miles to the city of Winnipeg.

Sir Wilfrid had the vision, as did his minister of public works, to rehabilitate the Saskatchewan river as a navigational course. Why? Because it meant lower freight rates

to the west. Is that not one of the grievances in western Canada?


John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government


The freight structure in that part of Canada is not encouraging. I am not blaming the railways; perhaps they are getting too little. However engineers in those days advocated the building of a transportation route on the Saskatchewan river. At that time the plan called for the overcoming of Grand Rapids by, I believe, two or three locks.

That was the Laurier scheme, mainly to open up the Saskatchewan river as a navigational route. There is no reason why it should not be done, because it is a fine river. From the Pas right down to Flying Post at the outlet from Cedar lake there is no obstruction whatsoever, and that is a distance of about 135 to 140 miles. Substantial boats can make the trip. In the old days the boats used to go all the way from Flying Post rapids to Edmonton.

One of the men who advised the Laurier government was Lieutenant-Colonel Swinford, who had been general manager of a company operating ships on the Saskatchewan river from 1880 to 1888. I saw the hull of one of those old ships last summer, lying ashore at Prince Albert. It must have been a boat over 200 feet in length and 40 feet in width, and must have drawn three or four feet of water. How they ascended the rapids west of the forks, I do not know; the boats may have been pulled up by capstans. In any event the engineer in the department of that day, a man named L. R. Voliguy, estimated that the cost of rehabilitating the Saskatchewan river from its mouth to the city of Edmonton, a distance of 941 miles, would be only $21,000,000. That was to have been the cost of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's scheme.

Later other schemes were brought forward. In 1931 the Saskatchewan government engaged a celebrated engineer, Mr. H. G. Acres of Niagara Falls, to prepare plans and specifications for the production of power on the river. I am a great believer in combining navigation and power, because by so doing the cost is materially reduced. Mr. Acres wmnt to what is known as Fort a la Corne, and proposed building a dam two and a half miles east of that point. His proposal was that the dam should be 125 feet high, and I believe his figures are available. The minimum flow of the river is not very great when it is at its low point-I believe it is said to be about 4,000 second feet-but it goes up to nearly 100,000 second feet during the flood season. The plans and specifications he submitted to the Saskatchewan gov-

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

ernment showed that at Fort a la Come 86,000 electric horse-power could be produced, to sell at over 5i mills per kilowatt hour at the production plant.

It would be a wonderful boon to Saskatchewan if they could get power that cheaply and if they could get it in a block that size. It would offer an inducement to the building of some of the factories hon. members have been speaking about, and others as well. The other day I had a discussion with a man in Toronto who is contemplating the development of iron ore on the Belcher islands in Hudson bay. I asked him where he was going to ship it, and he replied, to Churchill. It would be a splendid thing for the prairie provinces if they could have iron ore delivered out there and then have the electrical energy available to process it into manufactured articles. The west must have some manufacturing to retain its population and increase its economy. In order to have manufacturing, cheap power must be made available.

If it is necessary for this government to assist the Saskatchewan government in building a dam at Fort a la Corne in order to produce 86,000 horse-power, or 125,000 horsepower in shorter hours of operation, why should we not d*o it? Would it not be a magnificent thing for that province? Of course it would. It would give them the power they have not at the present time. God1 has blessed the southern part of that province with almost inexhaustible quantities of cheap coal. A huge power plant should be built at Estevan, or near the coal fields, to provide large blocks of cheap power for the southern part of the province.

In 1932 the Manitoba government put forward' a scheme which in my judgment was a good one. It provided for power and navigation. So far as navigation goes, it would be superior to the plan of ascending the Saskatchewan river from Grand Rapids. I believe the Manitoba plan, which was prepared by Mr. C. H. Attwood, proposes the damming of the Saskatchewan river at Flying Post, where there is an excellent site for a dam. This dam would raise the level of the water in Cedar lake by about four feet and flood the million-acre Saskatchewan delta. I travelled through most of this country last summer and I saw what the results would be. They are producing thousands and thousands of rats in those marshes, and such a work would materially assist in that production. We could pay off the national debt if we raised enough rats down there and shipped them out of the country.

There is a peculiar topography to this terrain. Cedar lake is about 831 feet above sea level and just across a narrow isthmus known as Mossy, which is not over three or four miles wide and no more than 75 feet high, is lake Winnipegosis. It could easily be cut through. Lake Winnipegosis is the same level, 831 feet above sea level. If the isthmus were cut through, as was proposed by the Manitoba government in its plan, then the waters of the Saskatchewan river would flow into lake Winnipegosis. From- lake Winnipegosis they could flow across Meadow portage to lake Manitoba. From lake Manitoba the waters would flow down the Fairford river and through lake St. Martin; thence by a canal twelve miles long across country to fall back into lake Winnipeg, near the mouth of the Dauphin river at a point one hundred miles south of the mouth of the Saskatchewan river. The Attwood plan suggests that by thus diverting the waters of the Saskatchewan river they could be made to produce 400,000 horse-power as well as provide an inland navigation route. That power itself would pay, lock, stock, and barrel for the rehabilitation of the Saskatchewan river.

The three western provinces and the federal government should act together in solving this problem of the Saskatchewan river. We should take the same stand they took in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi and the other states in connection with the waters of the Tennessee river. They treated the waters of that river as a single economy, and all matters that pertained to the river were handled together. One state or one province should not attempt to rob the river at the expense of another. I am going to suggest that the government set up a board of engineers to be composed of federal government engineers and engineers from the provincial governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. There would thus be no expense except that of making the investigation. These government engineers could get together and try to evolve some plan for the rehabilitation of the Saskatchewan river for the benefit of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta instead of having it run down to the sea without giving any return. The electric power belongs to the provinces.

What would be the result? There would be anything from 75,000 to 125,000 horse-power at Fort a la Corne, and another 400,000 horsepower near lake Winnipeg. This would provide the power to light up the prairies. It was not pleasant to me last summer to find that the prairies were not lighted up the same as rural communities in Ontario. They are entitled to everything that we have down

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

here, but they cannot get these things because they have not the power. They have not the power because this great river has not been harnessed. Navigation would' be increased with a reduction in freight rates; power would be developed to encourage manufacturing in these western provinces, and there would be a tremendous conservation of water.

At Fort a la Corne there would be a depth of water 125 feet deep and the water would be backed up for about twenty and a half miles. This would mean a storage of over ten billion cubic feet of water. That is not the only place where there could be water storage. West of the forks at Cole rapids they did start to build a dam some years ago, and I do not know why they stopped'. But a dam could be built there and more power could be generated. This would mean a fair navigation route all the way from the mouth of the river right up to Prince Albert, to start off with. Other power dams could be erected at other places.

I am convinced that wTe have been asleep in this country so far as water conservation in the western provinces is concerned. I am not blaming any particular government; for all governments are in the same boat. Perhaps it was too great a problem to be solved rapidly. I know that all members in this house and all governments will be sympathetic and will be ready to do anything possible to rehabilitate our western economy through greater water conservation, the development of more power and the providing of additional navigation.

In connection with irrigation I have read over what is known as the Pearce report, and others have referred to this as well. Irrigation is most important to the west. At the present time an average of approximately 56,000,000 tons of water flow past Fort a la Corne every day in the year. Perhaps some of that water would be used to irrigate the arid plains of Saskatchewan, much as some portions of Alberta are being irrigated. It is possible that the irrigation area of Alberta could be greatly increased through conservation of water; if it could, it would be to the good of the western provinces and would mean prosperity for the whole of Canada.

I do not know what more I can say, except to urge that this matter is worthy of consideration, and to ask the government to consider it and to cooperate with the three provincial governments concerned with a view to determining whether the time has come to do for the western provinces, through power, navigation and the conservation of water, what has been done for the seven states watered by the Tennessee river. For my part,

as an easterner I have long believed that the more prosperous the west, the more prosperous the east, and I would support gladly any appropriation which this government felt would be necessary, though it ran into millions, to rehabilitate the western provinces and in particular the great area of which I have spoken. What if it did cost a hundred million dollars to give the west the chance to have power at 4-47 mills per kilowatt hour, as in Tennessee which perhaps we cannot hope for, or five and a half mills as engineer Acres suggested it would cost at Fort a la Corne. It would be a great thing for the west. For your own province of Manitoba, Mr. Speaker, a plan has been suggested to lower the waters at the delta of the river. Such a lowering would interfere with those great fur-bearing marshes. I hope nothing of that kind will be allowed. Has not the time come, for the sake of the economy of the west itself and of all Canada, to cooperate to preserve the waters of the Saskatchewan-that great river a thousand miles long in the north branch, perhaps more in the south branch-so that ships may go up as far as Edmonton, deliver their freight all along the way, and return with coal? The river banks near Edmonton are full of coal; why should not some of it be brought down? It would do much to relieve freight rates. I have tables of the freight rates which were compiled at the time Sir Wilfrid Laurier was considering the proposal. At that time the rate on coal from Edmonton to Saskatoon was 8-4 mills per ton mile; on the Ohio river it was only T4 mills per ton mile. That is a vast difference, is it not? The United States rivers-I have been over many of them, the Tennessee, Illinois and the rest of them-have equipped themselves to deliver freight at a low rate to help build up the national economy; and I say, Mr. Speaker, that we should do the same for the Western provinces.


Maxime Raymond

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. MAXIME RAYMOND (Beauharnois-Laprairie (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, the

speeches from the throne, except however the one we heard last year, do not as a rule contain much that might lead to practical discussion, for the very reason that they are more or less empty. This year, apart from the war programme outlined, the speech from the throne is no exception to the general rule. Therefore, I should n.ot have taken part in this debate, had not the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) made a remark about the small group of members who deemed it their duty to sever their connection with the Liberal party and sit on the opposition side of the house.

The Address-Mr. Raymond

In a three-hour speech, the Prime Minister has endeavoured, in particular, to show that Canada was making a greater war effort than the other allied nations, to indicate that this war effort would be increased and "that the only limiting factor with respect either to troops or supplies for overseas was the limit of the ships available to transport them".

That is an outspoken statement.

In other words, that is the policy of the Conservative party, which has been denounced for 25 years by the Liberal party and which was resumed in a well known utterance of Arthur Meighen: "To the last man and the last cent". .

We already knew, unfortunately, that our war effort was much greater than that of the other allied nations-a fact which had been evidenced by the last budgets-and the Prime Minister has on many occasions taken pride in it, just as he took pride in having declared war on Japan before the United States took that action, although the country that was attacked was not Canada but the United States.

Quite recently, in a speech delivered in New York on December 2nd last, the Prime Minister made much of Canada's war effort from the standpoint of troops and supplies, as compared with the effort of the United States and he showed that ours was much greater than that of the United States.

Has not Mr. Churchill himself stated to the Prime Minister: *

That it was beyond him to understand how Canada has been able to do what she has done and is doing in the war.

Well, if Mr. Churchill does not know it, we do: it is by ruining Canada, by sabotaging our whole present and future economy.

Our limitless war effort is to-day a cause of grave concern for the producers of staple goods, for all those who put the interests of Canada before the interests of other countries, and for those who think of the future, of the post-war period.

The young men in our rural communities are being sent to training camps, at a time when on all sides complaints are being made about the scarcity of farm labour and when the farmers are being requested to produce more. Through the lack of farm help, whole fields of vegetables could not be harvested and had to be mowed for the destruction of weeds.

Night work for women in munition plants is another problem which is serious from various standpoints. The government's policy seems to aim particularly at conscription of men for military service.

Allow me to read the remarks made by the chairman of one of our great banking institutions, the Banque Canadienne Nationale, at the annual meeting of shareholders. I suggest that the government give this statement its close consideration:

The war expenditure during the present fiscal year will be close on four billion dollars.

This estimate is even exceeded.

This figure gives relief to the importance of our economic effort, but, at the same time, it throws some light on the burden carried by a country of eleven and a half million inhabitants, which endeavours to become granary, arsenal and man-power pool all at once. However, the united nations statesmen speak of a war of attrition that may last some years yet. It would be well to remember the French proverb -which could be loosely translated as follows: "He who wishes to travel far, must spare his horse." To win the peace that will follow a war of attrition presupposes the conservation of man-power, capital, food, raw materials and all sorts of goods. World leadership will pass from the countries who will need assistance to those who are in a position to give it.

On the other hand, the power of a belligerent country is, to a large extent, dependent on the maintenance of a proper equilibrium between military and civilian economy, for the absence of such an equilibrium might entail severe consequences. An exaggerated, premature or badly directed effort, if it unsettled the national economy on which it is based, might weaken Canada before the end of the war. After the war, the country would not be in a position to carry the heavy burden which would fall on its shoulders, unless its economy had remained sound and solid.

The man-power shortage is already serious in certain essential fields of production such as agriculture, cattle raising, lumbering, coal mining and even certain mining operations supplying metals essential to the prosecution of the war. Should we not follow Britain's example who has been forced to return 50.000 coal miners to their work after they had been called to the armed forces?

In the United States, it seems that the first step taken by Mr. McNutt, the man-power controller, has been to make sure that agriculture had a sufficient amount of reasonably paid labour. The absence from the home of thousands of women employed in munitions factories may entail severe consequences not only on the economic set up, but also on the moral and social structure of the country.

Why should Canada's war effort be greater than that of other allied countries?

Would it be to protect her territorial interests in Europe, in Africa or in Asia? No; we own no territory outside .America, while most of the other allied countries are now fighting to preserve their former possessions.

Would it be to conserve the mastery of the seas and to secure post-war trade, as is the case for many of our allies? No; this does not apply to us.

The Address-Mr. Raymond

Would it be because our country is richer than other allied countries? No. Being a nation of eleven million and a half inhabitants, living in a vast country, needing all our resources for development, we were, before the war, in 1939, said our leaders, without money to undertake any works that would give jobs to our men and put an end to unemployment; and now, not only do we spend more than the other countries in this war, but we offer to a richer country than ours the gift of a billion dollars, when that same country is lending money with interest to her less fortunate allies.

Would it be that we are more than others exposed to attack? No. Here in America, thousands of miles away from the war fronts, our country is better protected than others by oceans, and is far from the firing line.

Would it be that we can rely on an inexhaustible man-power reserve, numerically greater than those of other allied countries? No. A nation of eleven and a half million inhabitants, our population is less than one per cent of the total population of the allied countries.

Let us not forget that those who will pay the cost of the war will not be the present leaders so much as future generations.

Says the Prime Minister: "Nothing matters but victory." Then what? Indeed, we all want victory, victory over the axis, but let us not lose peace.

In 1918, we won the war and the same principles were invoked for participation, but we lost the peace. We do not want history to repeat itself. If there are some who have no thought for the post-war period, because they have no family worries of their own, the heads of families are in duty bound and have a right to keep it in mind.

The post-war period! All allied countries are, as indeed they have been for a long time, thinking about it. Why should we not do the same?

A dispatch received lately told us that London is thinking of calling an imperial trade conference to protect its post-war trade and safeguard its interests.

That conference is not intended to win the war but to prepare for the post-war period. Still, our Prime Minister keeps on repeating to us: "Nothing matters but victory," which was really the subject of his last speech.

I remember well the following declaration by Sir Norton Barclay, in England, in 1940:

The winning of the war and the loss of our export trade, said he, would be a poor heritage to pass on to those who will come after us.

Besides, right from the beginning of the war, in 1940, a commission was created in London, under the chairmanship of a member of the Cabinet, for the study of post-war problems. In certain quarters of London, for a long time, plans of mass emigration to Canada have been under consideration. All this is not for the purpose of winning the war.

In Canada, post-war problems are of no account.

Was it on account of post-war problems that, at the beginning of January, representatives of the Canadian universities were called to Ottawa for the purpose of arranging a suspension of the classes in some branches of education ?

Is the closing of the faculties of law, social sciences, commerce and arts an indication of the manner in which post-war problems are considered?

What does the speech from the throne indicate for the post-war period, and to allay the growing concern of the whole population?

Young people are worried because they do not know if after winning the war for others, we will not lose the peace here, in Canada. They are the same young people who, after sacrificing themselves on foreign battlefields, will find themselves shouldered with a crushing burden.

Read the speech from the throne over again. We are promised a committee of inquiry which will probably make no report at this session, as the Prime Minister 'has led us to believe.

Has the government no plan to offer? Have they not examined the question? Usually, we are presented with prepared plans; they have nothing to offer but a committee of inquiry.

The two most disquieting problems at present, as well as for the future, are those of agriculture and labour, and the government has no effective proposals to offer for their solution.

Suffice it to state right now that a man employed in a war plant, whose particular task tends to impair his health, is entitled to higher wages as a compensation for his reduced earning capacity in the future and the government, who grant subsidies reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars to private war industries, should insist on reasonable salaries being paid to employees in keeping with the risks they incur.

The other day the Prime Minister took us to task for having left the Liberal party at a time like the present and he added that our

The Address-Mr. Raymond

conduct reflected honour neither upon ourselves, upon our province nor upon the country as a whole.

As far as honour is concerned, I would remind the Prime Minister that the concept of honour varies with individuals. In the province of Quebec, since that province is being referred to, a man of honour is he who keeps his word, his promises and fulfils his obligations; and when the time will come for us to go before the electorate for our province to pass judgment upon us, we will have no fear of the verdict. In the meantime, t'he Prime Minister is without mandate to speak for the province of Quebec, particularly in view of the rebuff sustained at the time of the plebiscite and of the Oharlevoix-Saguenay election.

We have left the Liberal party because it has abandoned the policy which it had advocated for 25 years, and particularly during the 1940 general election campaign, to adopt that of the Conservatives which it had ever opposed; because the Prime Minister failed to keep his pledge, because he broke his most solemn promises and because we have lost faith in him.

A cursory glance over the years reminds us how in 1917 the Liberal party opposed the Conservative party because Mr. Borden had written a conscription measure into the statute books despite a pledge to the contrary. Ever since, at each election, the conscription issue was the mainstay of the Liberal party's campaign argument. At the time war was declared, in September, 1939, the Prime Minister solemnly promised in this house "that no conscription measure would be put forward by his government". Here is what he said in the House of Commons, on September 8, 1939:

I wish now to repeat the undertaking I gave in parliament on behalf of the government on March 30 last. The present government believe that conscription of men for overseas service vcill not be a necessary or an effective step. No such measure will be introduced by the present administration.

That promise was made to the province of Quebec. In the words of Mr. Lapointe, it was a contract.

At the general elections of 1940, the same promise was made, the same undertaking given.

On June 18, 1940, in the debate on the Mobilization Act, the Prime Minister repeated in this house the same promise in the following words:

Once again I wish to repeat my undertaking, frequently given, that no measure for the conscription of men for overseas service will be introduced by the present administration.

On June 24, 1940, the Prime Minister in a special message to the French Canadians on

the occasion of their patron saint's day, renewed the same promise.

In April, 1942, he endeavoured, by means of a plebiscite, to be relieved of that undertaking, while claiming that there was no question of enforcing conscription. The province of Quebec flatly refused to relieve him of that promise. However, five days after the vote, he introduced in this house a conscription measure, stating that it was a logical consequence of the vote. Accordingly, since August 1, 1942, we have in our statutes a conscription act which is the worst that has ever been devised.

We have severed our connection with the Liberal party led by the Prime Minister who has written into the statutes of 1942 a conscription act worse than that of 1917, which he had condemned, and despite his promise that such a measure would never be introduced. We feel that in leaving the Liberal party under these circumstances, we are faithful to our pledged word and bring credit on ourselves and our province.

We have ended our association with the Prime Minister because we no longer place any reliance upon his statements or promises, especially since the plebiscite andl the conscription act.

The people have been and are still being deceived when told that conscription is not enforced.

We have actually had for a long time a disguised and hypocritical form of conscription.

In accordance with an order in council dated June 27, 1941, no male person between the ages of 18 and 45, can obtain employment in the civil service, unless he can produce a medical certificate issued' by the military authorities showing that he is unfit for military service.

In September, 1941, the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) requested employers to release those of their employees who were of military age, in order to encourage them to enlist, the only conscription for them being to enlist or starve. That was conscription of the poor.

Young men have been called under the Mobilization Act of 1940. Once they had reached the military camps, various forms of intimidation and blackmail were resorted to with a view to forcing them to enlist for service overseas.

Such is the disguised conscription which has long been in force. It was said that the conscription for service overseas adopted in 1942 would not be enforced.

However, scarcely one month after the Royal Assent had been given to that act, that is to say, on September 4, 1942, an order

The Address-Mr. Brunelle

in council, later supplemented by many others, was passed providing for the dispatch of recruits beyond the Canadian territory. But those orders in council, as had been forecast last year by the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin), remained on file so that the public might not be informed. Pursuant to those orders in council the recruits could be sent first to a specific place, Newfoundland1 in one case, but also anywhere overseas without any further order in council, because the order to which I am referring states that pursuant to the Mobilization Act and the War Measures Act, the Minister of National Defence is authorized to dispatch certain recruits to Newfoundland, but it further provides that such recruits are to be put on active service outside Canada under section 64 of the Militia Act which reads as follows:

The governor in council may place the militia, or any part thereof, on active service anywhere in Canada, and also beyond Canada, for the defence thereof at any time when it appears advisable so to do by reason of emergency.

Now, let us consider order in council P.C. 11159, passed on December 8, 1942. It is stated therein first that under the Mobilization Act and the War Measures Act-

The Minister of National Defence is hereby authorized and directed to dispatch such personnel who have been called out for training, service or duty, pursuant to the provisions of the National Resources Mobilization Act, 1940, as from time to time to him seems necessary, having regard to the military exigencies of the moment, to Newfoundland . . . and to issue or cause to be issued all orders, and to take all steps necessary to give effect to this authorization and direction.

In other words, the Minister of National Defence has been authorized to dispatch men mobilized under the Mobilization Act, 1940, and the War Measures Act to a specific place, that is Newfoundland, but the order-in council goes farther and provides as follows:

Further, all personnel so dispatched, or who may at any time be so dispatched, are, pursuant to section 64 of the Militia Act. chapter 132, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927, placed on active service beyond Canada for the defence thereof.

Let us recapitulate. The Minister of National Defence may be authorized to dispatch soldiers outside Canada under the War Measures Act, the Mobilization Act or the Militia Act. True, the Prime Minister stated that he would submit to a vote of confidence of parliament before sending troops overseas under the Mobilization Act, but he did not say anything about the Militia Act, which is another conscription measure. The order in council authorizes the Minister of National

Defence, under the Mobilization Act, to dispatch recruits to Newfoundland only, but, on the same occasion, the Minister of National Defence was authorized, by the same order in council and under the Militia Act (which is another conscription act) to transfer these same recruits in the active force and cause them to serve anywhere outside Canada. Therefore, no new order in council will be necessary to dispatch these recruits on service anywhere outside Canada, as the minister may see fit; he is already authorized to dispatch them.

In spite of all these facts, there are some who are surprised that we dissociate ourselves from such a policy and lose faith in those who are responsible for it. We have lost faith, because we are being continuously deceived.

One more remark and I am through. Our group, the Bloc Populaire Canadien, although composed of few members, expresses, I believe, the feelings of a large section of the Quebec population. It does not wish to fall into petty politics nor to move amendments for opposition's sake. It will judge every measure on its merit and take whatever stand is inspired by truly Canadian interests.

Being unable to support the speech from the throne, because we cannot approve the government's war policy, we cannot support either the amendment or the su-bamendment, since they add to the speech from the throne and imply its acceptance.


Hervé-Edgar Brunelle


Mr. H. E. BRUNELLE (Champlain):

Mr. Speaker, I shall not follow the hon. member for Beauharnois (Mr. Raymond) in the arguments he has used to show that we are doing too much in this war. I only wish to point out that he said we-which I presume includes the hon. member-all want to win this war, and the natural conclusion to be drawn is that in consequence we must do all we can to win it. We went into the war voluntarily and on condition that there would be no conscription for service overseas. As yet there is no conscription for service overseas, and I think we might well wait until we have it before we begin to complain. There is a principle or motto, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" and I suggest that the hon. member for Beauharnois adopt that principle as one that should be followed by everyone. To be fair, I suggest to the hon. member as a general statement that in discussing the policy of the government during a war such as this, one must constantly bear in mind the fact that war measures of necessity are unpleasant, at least, if not always onerous. It cannot be otherwise,

The Address-Mr. Brunelle

since such legislation is bound to require some manner of sacrifice from every class of society. In French we say, "On ne va pas a la guerre sans qu'il en eoute," which expresses in a short and simple way what should be in the minds of those who undertake to 'discuss war-time legislation. It seems that only those who persist in thinking that we should not be in this war will disagree with what I have just said, but since the number of isolationists in this country is very small I shall not discuss their views further.

During the next fifteen or twenty minutes I wish to refer to the government's programme with regard to social security and then discuss our agricultural problem, and I shall say a few words with regard to the war-time price controls. First, perhaps, I should congratulate the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) upon his recent appointment as house leader of the opposition. It was pleasant and interesting to listen to his criticisms in his opening speech, first because there was so little criticism to be offered and second because his whole demeanour displayed good nature and a disposition to cooperate. So that I think things will go much better with everyone. It seems that from every quarter we hear that things will go smoothly. The eloquence and kindly disposition of the house leader of the opposition will inspire us all and will remind us of the old Conservative party, now dead. In the second place the government will feel much more at ease in proceeding to accomplish its wonderful work. In the third place, behind the scenes the Honourable Mr. Bracken will continue lavishly to hand out a brand new programme of social welfare every two or three days, for the benefit of posterity, in different colours and different points ranging from 16 to zero. And dominating the whole situation, almost throwing into the shade both men and things, the genius of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) will continue to guide our destinies and lead our nation out of the enormous difficulties engendered by the war. The wisdom of the Prime Minister is becoming more and more appreciated everywhere, and I think it only fair to say that it has been a blessing for our country to have had such a great and able man as Prime Minister to administer properly the affairs of the nation during this war.

No legislation is more anxiously awaited than that which will tend to make people happy after the war is over. It is indeed most interesting to hear the speculations of the people as to what will take place after the war. From what I hear I must come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of pessimism

in the minds of the people, probably owing to the fact that the last war failed to bring the improvements we all expected.

Mr. Anthony Eden on September 26 of last year made the statement that the old world and the old system were dying even before the birth of nazism, and that no country will escape the revolutionary changes which are inevitably coming. When I hear public men say or when I read in newspapers that we are fighting the war for the sole purpose of preserving or assuring the survival of our way of life, I would smile if I did not feel most uneasy.

In this great and rich dominion, which God created for us that we might be reasonably prosperous and happy, thousands and thousands of people suffered bitterly in the last few years. They lived on government relief. Healthy and industrious men and women were not able to find work to earn their daily bread, w'hile on the other hand a few were allowed to monopolize and to control too much of our national assets. I for one thought most sincerely that it was impossible to get money in sufficient quantities to give work and have our unemployed earn their living.

I shall not undertake to enumerate the grievances against what I might describe as the old order, because on December 2 of last year in the city of New York the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) himself, after enumerating many of those grievances, pictured a future society from which monopolies, which always bring suffering and disaster in their wake, will be banished.

My friend the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Wood) who spoke well during the debate last week, made favourable comments on our ways of life. He pointed out as evidence that there was one car or truck for every seven persons in the country, that we had plenty of good roads, and that we had probably a million and a half telephones. That is all very well, and we should preserve those advantages. They are indispensable, and as evidence of their usefulness let me say that during the depression many of our Canadians were using their telephones to complain about the quality and quantity of relief they were getting, while others were using their motor cars to drive to town to collect the relief moneys allotted to them. The old order was surely a queer one.

In order to keep the enthusiasm and good will of the people let us not say that we are fighting the war to preserve our way of life. Let us say rather that we are fighting the war for better and more equitable ways of life. No doubt among our ways of life there were

The Address-Mr. Brunelle

good features. The Prime Minister, whose ability, wisdom and foresight are well known, is preparing legislation which will make this country one in which life will be worth living. Many people think the Prime Minister and the President of the United States working together will take the initiative and will elaborate plans which will make of the whole north American continent a land of plenty and happiness. It is this hope which will maintain our courage and give us strength to endure still greater sacrifices, although we seem to have gone to the limit.

On November 1 of last year the Chinese minister of foreign affairs, Mr. F. V. Soong, made this declaration in Washington:

Canada is making a magnificent contribution which in proportion surpasses that of any other country.

May I add that this is done while order, harmony and unity are preserved in the country. On January 23, 1943, Mr. Walter Nash, Australia's representative in the United States, said:

The immense war effort of Canada should confer upon her at the next peace conference a voice that should be heard writh the greatest respect.

These compliments have reference to every one of our different spheres of war activity- army, munitions, regulations and agricultural organizations.

This leads me to the second point I had in mind, namely, agriculture. By way of criticism we hear now that the farmers are being askedi to produce more and more, while farmers, farm help and farmers' sons are called in great numbers to the army. Let us look back and see what has happened in t'he last three or four years. From the beginning of the war, 'both in and out of the house, in the press and on public platforms, who was it that asked so loudly for the conscription of more and more men? It was the Conservative party. The government did not go as far as that party wanted. And yet those same people today are claiming there is a shortage of manpower on the farms. The government was right in proclaiming again and again that our war contribution had to be balanced and kept within reasonable bounds. It is evident that a population of 12,000,000 people which undertakes at least partly to arm, feed and clothe the large armies of Russia, China and England cannot adequately fulfil that immense task if people are taken from the munition factories and from the farms, where they are so urgently needed.

Mr. McSherry, editor of the Family Herald and Weekly Star, made this statement in March, 1942:

The best way for farmers to serve Canada is to stay at home and cultivate their farms.

On January 30, 1942, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gajdiner) said-and as usual he was right:

A farmer's son brought up on his father's farm, who always worked there with the hope of inheriting it, is more useful on the farm than anywhere else.

Here I pause to congratulate the Minister of Agriculture upon the most brilliant and interesting speech he made yesterday in the house. I believe he will go down in history as one of the greatest ministers of agriculture, if not the greatest this country has ever had. Canada owes an immense debt to the Minister of Agriculture for the services he has rendered and also for the life of his son who was a casualty last year. Although it is late, in the name of the farmers of my constituency and myself I should like to express to him and to his wife (and family our most sincere sympathy.

It is not easy to replace farmers. They do a hard and difficult task. Women, students or persons from the city are not of much help to farmers. Every year Canada contracts to supply large quantities of agricultural -products to Britain, and if too many -men are drained from the farms we shall either have to fail in our engagements or submit to further rationing in Canada. Mr. Hoover has had considerable experience in connection with supplies in war time, having looked after the providing of supplies during the last war. On January 21 in New York he said:

The burden of furnishing food supplies to the united nations now and to a starving world after the war rests largely upon the American and Canadian farmer.

On January 16 I read this sentence in the Financial Post:

There is just one thing more important than bullets in this war and that is food.

Therefore let the government go on with its balanced -war effort, because I am sure that as long as the agricultural interests of the farmers of Canada are in the hands of the Minister of Agriculture they will be safeguarded.

I come now to the third point which I wished to discuss briefly, namely, our price. control laws. I believe Canada was the first country in the world to enact such price control laws. The consumers of this country have profited. Because of these laws we have been able to carry on the immense responsibilities of this war and pay the huge expenses without inflation. Without these laws prices would have gone up almost daily, and while wage increases would have come in succession, they would have always been behind the price increases.

The Address-Mr. St. Laurent

Those who must live on fixed salaries would have been in a desperate situation. As opinions have only a relative value, I shall place on record certain figures relating to the prices of certain goods or articles of food during the first three years and a half of the first war and during the same period of this war.

First, I should like to point out that at the beginning of the last war the cost of living index was much lower than it was at the beginning of this war. At the beginning of the last war the cost of living index was 79-7, while in 1938, at the beginning of this war, it stood at 100-8. I would point out also that the increase in the cost of living during the first three and a half years of the first war was greater than it was during the same period of this war. The increase in the cost of living from 1914 to January, 1918, was 39-6 per cent, while during the first three years and a half of this war it was only 16-2 per cent. During this war the cost of living did not go up half as much as it did in the first war.


George James Tustin

National Government


Does that include the subsidy paid by the government?


Hervé-Edgar Brunelle



There is no mention of it in the figures I got from the bureau of statistics. Our price control has kept prices down. For instance, in 1918 the price of bread was 7-6 cents per pound, whereas as in January, 1943, the price was 6-6 cents per pound. In 1918 the price of potatoes was 36-3 cents per peck, whereas in January, 1943, the price was 40-9 cents. In 1918 the price of milk was 1T9 cents per quart; in January, 1943, it was 10-3 cents per quart. In 1918 the price of flour was 6-5 cents per pound; it was 3-6 cents per pound in January, 1943. Sugar was 10-7 cents per pound in 1918; in January, 1943, it was 8-6 cents per pound.

The prices of feed for cattle are much lower to-day than they were in 1918. The price of bran, f.o.b. Toronto, was $35 per ton in 1918. whereas it was only $29 per ton in 1943. The price of shorts was $40 per ton as compared with $30 in January, 1943. Then in addition the freight assistance given by the government to-day would have to be deducted.

The price control board has done a great deal of good for the Canadian consumer. We must remember that an increase of one point in the cost of living index represents approximately $30,000,000 that must be paid by our consumers. From October 1, 1941, to November 1, 1943, the increase in the cost of living index was 2-7, which represented an outlay by our consumers of about $75,000,000. During the same period in the United States,

when they had no ceiling, the cost of living went up eight points. Had it gone up as much in Canada our consumers would have had to pay at least another $160,000,000 for the goods which they bought.

We are fortunate to be living in Canada during this war. It is true that there are annoyances, there are worries, there are privations, and there are sacrifices. Our dollar-a-year men and our numerous controllers do not always make good company, but most of them are doing a good job. Let us take comfort in the fact that they are here only temporarily. On the one hand there has been no war profiteering, and on the other hand there has been plenty of money in circulation among our people. The government has not permitted politics to interfere in war matters. Some Conservatives have had some of the biggest war contracts, and others are holding some of the most important jobs. Since mistakes in administration are bound to occur I hope that our Conservative friends will be ready to take responsibility for their proper share.

The Toronto Star of December 2, 1942, after stating that our contribution is now known all over the world, said this-and it will be my conclusion:

In Canada where the constant barrage of partisan criticism fooled some of the people some of the time, it is being generally acknowledged that the government has done a wonderful job.

And it has done the job with an absence of scandals and an absence of millionaire-making which are not the least of its accomplishments.

Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Minister of Justice): I did not intend to participate in this debate, and I do not intend to take part in the general debate on the address. But a few moments ago the hon. member for Beauharnois-Laprairie (Mr. Raymond), referring to orders in council for the dispatch of recruits beyond Canadian territory, asserted that under the terms thereof as they were drawn, such troops as had been so dispatched might now, without further action by the governor in council, be used anywhere in the world. I would deprecate any impression going abroad that this is thp proper construction of these orders in council. I think it is sufficient to refer to the terms of the orders in council to see that they were passed for the purposes expressly stated in their terms.

The hon. member referred to the one numbered P.C. 11159, which was for the dispatch of certain units to Newfoundland, including Labrador. If the text of that order in council is looked at it will be seen that the men so dispatched are required by the terms of the order in council, or may be required by the

The Address-Mr. Roy

Minister of National Defence, under the terms of the order in council to perform while in Newfoundland, including Labrador, and nowhere else-

. . . such training, service or duty as may be ordered by any superior officer, in all respects as if the aforesaid training, service or duty in Newfoundland (including Labrador) was training, service or duty performed or ordered to be performed in Canada.

That is the purpose for which the order in council was passed. That is the authority which was given by His Excellency in Council to the Minister of National Defence: to require these men while in Newfoundland, including Labrador, to perform such training, service or duty as they might have been required to perform while in Canada.

It is true that the order in council then adds that the personnel so dispatched or who may at any time be so dispatched are "placed on active service beyond Canada for the defence thereof." That is merely a statement of fact. Newfoundland, including Labrador, is beyond Canada; the men who are being so dispatched to these points are required to perform service and duty there, and the order in council states that it is for the defence of Canada that they are so placed on active service beyond Canada. But I can assure my hon. friend that if the government ever wishes these men to perform service elsewhere there will be other orders in council adopted by his excellency to that end, even though what is to be done now is, as stated in the order in council, something "beyond Canada for the defence thereof."


Joseph Sasseville Roy


Mr. J. S. ROY (Gaspe):

I was very much amazed yesterday at the speech of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), who made such an enthusiastic display of the good situation of agriculture that I was near to believing that everything was very well in the best of all worlds. In spite of his great optimism, I, being more realistic, still believe that the situation as far as agriculture is concerned is altogether out of balance, and that the whole economic situation is also so far out of balance as to border on anarchy.

The amendment tO' the amendment to the main motion reads:

That the motion be further amended by adding to the amendment the following words,-

"And further we regret that Your Excellency's advisers have failed to take the necessary action to achieve a total war effort by neglecting to apply the powers contained in the National Resources Mobilization Act to war industries and financial institutions in the same manner as they are being applied to the mobilization of man-power for military service."

Before making my remarks on the amendment to the amendment I should like to make a few observations with regard to what was said last evening by the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin). I agree with most of what he said, but I am inclined to wonder whether logically it is in accord with his attitude in the past. I have no doubt of his sincerity, but quite a few things make me worry a little.

For example, the hon. member said that there was a shortage of man-power for agriculture. He criticized the drafting of recruits; he criticized the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) for what he has been doing; and he said-very truly, I think-that the situation was altogether out of balance and that we should have an investigation of the whole matter in order to make a new repartition of our man-power. With that I am in agreement, but it must not be forgotten that the situation which he is now criticizing could have been foreseen long before to-day. I recall the fact that something was attempted last year with a view of preventing this very situation. All hon. members must remember amendments which were made at that time with a view to exempting farmers' employees and many others, amendments made last year by the hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains (Mr. Lacombe) and myself, which amendments were not adopted, as hon. members know, and which were never supported by the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres.

On February 19 of last year the following amendment was moved by the hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains:

That all the words after "this house regrets that Your Excellency's advisers" in the amendment, be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

(a) did not deem it proper to advise Your Excellency that the government should adhere to its commitments and the terms of its mandate against conscription-

That is one point which came in for severe criticism by the hon. member last night.

-for overseas service which it received from the people of Canada at the general elections held on March 26, 1940;

(b) that the farmers, farm employees, fishermen, fisheries employees and all persons engaged in industries connected with agriculture or with war industries, should be exempt from military service.

This amendment, which was in order, was put before the house and I see by Hansard, at page 722 of the session of 1942, that eleven members voted for it and 195 members against it, among whom I see the name of the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin). That was the time to oppose this law, a

The Address-Mr. Roy

measure which was calculated to throw out of balance the man-power of Canadian agriculture. The hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres voted against the amendment. In doing so, he voted against an amendment that opposed conscription for overseas, and to-day he thinks that the government is applying conscription for service beyond our boundaries, with the possibility that those draftees who to-day are sent outside our boundaries may also be sent anywhere overseas.

That is something I do not understand, but that is not all. It is all very well to oppose the state of affairs that exists to-day, but there are reasons why that state of affairs does exist. In 1940, when the national resources mobilization bill was introduced into the house, the hon. gentleman was a member of the government as Minister of Public Works. I opposed the bill, and I declared at the time that it was the bed in which conscription would be born. I believe I was right. That was the time to foresee what was coming.

We hear very often in this house-I have just heard it from the hon. member for Beau-harnois-Laprairie (Mr. Raymond)-that the form of conscription we had in 1940, under the National Resources Mobilization Act, was the most hypocritical we have ever had. That could be seen at the time. But after it had been in operation for a year or so we had a, plebiscite. What was the position of the hon. member with reference to that question of the plebiscite? He took part in the campaign. He declared in the house last year, when he left the cabinet, that he had gone into the province of Quebec, risking his life, and had fought to obtain an affirmative answer to the plebiscite. The object of that was to abandon all the promises that had been made in the past in the province of Quebec. If the answer had been yes, I wonder what the hon. gentleman would have done, and I do not think his attitude would have been the same. After separating himself from the Prime Minister and his cabinet last year, on that very question of the plebiscite, the hon. member, a few days later, voted for the budget, which budget involved the application of that conscription law. Ever since then Bill No. 80 has constituted conscription for service anywhere, and the hon. member supported a budget which was the synthesis of all those measures which he criticizes today. I cannot understand his attitude. As I said at the beginning of my remarks, I concur with him in the position he has taken, but I do not follow him in his illogicalness. The hon. member's position might be illustrated by an analogy. He has helped to buy the lumber

to build a scaffold; in accepting our declaration of war he has voted for the money to buy the nails and to pay for the building of that scaffold1-the scaffold, of course, is the National Resources Mobilization Act of 1940-^ he has taken part in engaging the executioner, namely, the plebiscite; he has helped to bring the condemned man on to the scaffold and to have the executioner put the rope round his neck-that was the budget of 1942-and when everything was ready, he drew back just a few paces and said, "I am opposed to your hanging this man".

I know the hon. member is sincere; he has too much of the old French-Canadian spirit in his soul to be otherwise. But if he wishes to be logical there is only one thing for him to do, namely, to quit the Liberal ranks. If he supports the government on the speeches from the throne, on its budgets, and on everything, I do not see what use there is in his criticizing the government in what it is doing. That is my opinion on that question.

Coming back to the amendment to the amendment, I 'believe there are reasons why our economic front has been thrown out of balance altogether, and I would offer a few comments on the causes of that situation. The amendment to the amendment which I read a few moments ago pretty well touches the sore when it says that we should1 conscript our financial institutions just as man-power has been conscripted. Though it may not 'be complete; though it may not be perfect-I am not quite in agreement with the first part of the amendment where it speaks of a total war effort, because I think there is exaggeration in that regard, and we have no right to ask for a total war effort which is already out of all proportion to realities-nevertheless I say that the last part of the amendment to the amendment does touch the sore. The situation with which we are confronted to-day, and which hon. members on all sides of the house are criticizing, seems to have been realized last year by the government. If we may judge by the letter of Mr. MacNamara which was read yesterday, according to the critics and everything that has 'been reported in the newspapers, it would appear that everyone realizes that the situation is quite acute, and I suggest that our economic structure is about to have an attack of lumbago, if I may put it in that way, unless we change our policy.

Last year the government was given warnings that this very situation would arise as a result of the policy which we were applying, but as usual the government, with these irresponsible commissions that are running the country outside this house, ignored those warnings.

The Address-Mr. Roy

Yes, Mr. Speaker, (lie government ignored all the warnings it received. We are really being governed by these boards and commissions through orders in council, instead of by parliament, which is the body best informed on conditions throughout the country; for every section of Canada is represented in this house by the most able men we have, and parliament is therefore the body best fitted to govern this country. But we are governed from outside this house by people who are not responsible to parliament, who have been placed at the head of all these boards and commissions, by the financiers of whom I shall speak later on. The government was warned last year not only by members of parliament but by ministers in the cabinet of what would happen if these commissions were allowed to continue to govern this country, but even the ministers of the cabinet who gave those warnings were not listened to if one may judge by the conditions which exist to-day. Last year the then Minister of National War Services, Mr. Thorson, said this, as reported at page 3412 of Hansard of June 17:

Furthermore, our war industry programme contemplates and involves heavy man-power requirements. So does the programme for essential agricultural production. I shall not deal in detail with either of these programmes, except to say that the man-power necessary for their performance cannot be withdrawn from these essential purposes of war without hurting those purposes.

It is the duty of the government to allocate man-power in accordance with the needs of the war purposes of Canada and the war objectives that I have mentioned.

That was said last year by Mr. Thorson when he was a member of the cabinet. Then on June 25 the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) said this, as reported at pages 3682 and 3683 of Hansard:

I believe that steps will have to be taken in the very near future to see that the heavy industries of this country are provided with sufficient men so that -we can produce the necessary supplies according to plan. I sometimes wonder whether we have not tried to do too much for a nation the size of ours.

In recent weeks I have received many visits from industrialists who are anxious about the shortage' of labour and its effect on war production.

That was said last year by a very capable minister. But his warning was not heeded by the commissions that I mentioned a moment ago. The Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) also said this, on June 16 of last year, as reported at page 3373 of Hansard:

It follows therefore that if we are to continue our vast programme of war production and at the same time meet the requirements of

the armed services, it is essential that we maintain a sane balance, and that we do not adopt, on emotional rather than on logical grounds, any policy which will unnecessarily upset that balance, and hinder one or other of the allimportant phases of our war effort.

These were serious warnings given by ministers of the crown who were supposed to be well informed with regard to the actual situation. Other members of the house, also gave similar warnings, but none was listened to. If we have reason to complain to-day of the serious shortage of man-power, one reason is that we have drafted too many men for the armed forces at the expense of industry and agriculture. Why is it that we have called so many men to the armed forces? Why is it that we have made other blunders, one of which I instantly recall, such as making a gift of one billion dollars to Great Britain as we did last year, a gift which, according to what the Minister of Finance (Mr. Usley) said a little while ago, will amount to almost one and a half billion dollars. I protested against that gift along with the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) and proposed that the money should be advanced in accordance with business practice, that we should lend the money to Great Britain and charge interest on it. But I was not listened to.

I have in my hand the Financial Post, of February 6, 1943, which contains an article headed "Will assign own surplus in future- Canada to deal direct with other nations rather than through Britain." The article goes on to say:

Australia has been highly critical that while Canada supplied certain war material to the United Kingdom free of cost, Britain re-exported the goods for Australian use and charged the Australians in sterling. The British argument was that Australia had considerable sterling balances with which to meet the cost, but the deal rankled none the less. From now on, under its new allocation board, Canada wil make a deal directly with Australia.

That could have been done last year, but out of all the sacrifices which were made by Canadian citizens last year we made this gift of one billion dollars, and another country made money from it. We could have helped our allies just as well by dealing directly with them instead of passing this aid through another country. That was a blunder, and there have been many other blunders like that. The reason for these blunders being committed is this: If we have to protest more and more about the growing shortage of manpower; if we are asked to sell or lend or give so much more; if we are asked to draft men for the army, more than we can afford to do according to the size of our population, it is because we are governed by these financiers

The Address-Mr. Roy

who are also governing the commissions which are under their direction. We are being asked by them to draft more and more men for the army, and this means that they will get more orders for caps and boots and uniforms and equipment.

Meanwhile industry is asked to produce more and more, which means getting more contracts and making more money. In their blindness they have not seen that if we are to have a large army and if we are to produce a great deal, we must have man-power accordingly. We cannot get the men that we have just by a display of money; human capital is something that money cannot buy. We have not enough men for everything. As a result this finance which has no patriotism of any kind but only love of money will throw us so badly out of balance in everything, that soon we shall be getting that lumbago which I mentioned a moment ago, and as a consequence our war effort will be greatly injured. It is about time that some measures were taken to control the ambitions of those who are not more faithful to the true interests of our war effort and our country and to the principles we are defending against our enemies.

The way to correct the situation is to conscript finance entirely. If that were done, instead of making money out of the sacrifices of others, these people would be compelled to empty their pockets; they would become a great deal wiser, and their advice and management would be more pertinent. I am sure that is the way to cure this sore which is so much criticized.

Mr. JOSEPH H. LECLEEC (Shefford) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, in the past, I have almost exclusively promoted the interests of the agricultural class, which, before the war, had been most affected by the depression, To-day, I believe the farmers enjoy a reasonable share of the national income. Unfortunately, they are now faced with a labour shortage, and I shall probably refer to this at a later date during this session.

At this time, I wish to deal with another class which well deserves our attention. I refer to the workers in the small industrial towns of the province of Quebec, and especially those of my own town, whose wages are frozen to the lowest level of any industrial province of this dominion. In September, 1941, the province of Quebec intended to enact new orders granting increases in basic wages. These orders had even appeared in the Official Gazette of the province. Unfortunately, the province of Quebec had granted a delay for the enforcement of the new scale of wages and this delay

expired after the enactment of the federal order in council of November 15, 1941, freezing

all wages and salaries. To-day, wage increases could be granted only provided the commission receive permission from the local war labour board, and even then, this permission would have to be approved by the national war labour board, since the increases would be of a collective rather than an individual character, and would conflict with order in council P.C. 59-63. I do not know whether these orders in council are legal. However, the provincial governments have not challenged them, because they were war measures of a temporary nature.

In normal times, labour legislation is a provincial matter and I must admit that, in my province, the wages were much too low compared to those of the other provinces. This fact is supported by the scale of wages as frozen for industrial firms in my province: 26 cents an hour for 60 per cent of the workers, 22 cents an hour for 25 per cent of the workers, and 17 cents an hour for 15 per cent of the workers. Furthermore, a special clause allows the employers to pay 10 per cent less to apprentices, in spite of the low level of wages I have just mentioned.

Several firms having failed to pay those salary rates, they were forced to reimburse $50,000, in 1942, to workers of my city. If I am not mistaken, any firm in my city getting war contracts must abide by federal enactments fixing wages in my province at 25 cents an hour for women and 35 cents an hour for men. But I am told that one firm which was given war contracts divided its plant in two with some canvas and operates under different names so as not to pay the same rate to all its employees. As I have shown, Mr. Speaker, it is evident that the wages paid in my province are ridiculously low, and firms which-like the one I have just mentioned-try, by dishonest means, to pay even lower rates are guilty of an offence which should be severely punished.

When employers making large profits do not pay their employees wages enabling them to give a decent living to their wives and children, those workers are reduced to economic slavery. If our region is poor that is due to lack of balance between the social condition of workers and that of the industrial lords. The capitalist system based on the pursuit of profits for the individual runs counter to fraternal equality which should be the lot of the people.

The freezing of salaries to the depression level, as decreed by the government in 1941, is unfair to many workers in my province.

The Address

Mr. Leclerc

During the depression, a great number of workers never succeeded in having their wages readjusted. I ask the government to allow my province to adjust salaries to the level obtaining in Ontario. The workers of my province are loyal to their country and they bear in silence with such conditions. The National Catholic unions would not for a moment sabotage the war effort of the government, as did recently steel and mine workers under the influence of international unions, when we saw the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) begging persons who are not Canadians to call off the strikes.

Can the government tell us what the situation would have been had our relations with the United States been less friendly than they are at the present time? It is fortunate these strikes did not happen in my own province, as my fellow citizens might have been branded as disloyal.

Mr. Speaker, we often see posters or cartoons in the press representing workers in Europe toiling as slaves under the nazi lash; but when one of these caricatures reaches the eye of a poor Canadian worker who is earning too little to afford his family decent lodging and livelihood how can we stimulate his patriotism and invite him to fight for his country in order to preserve his way of living?

In my province, everyone knows that, as a rule, our people do not set any ceiling to the number of children they will raise. They still have the courage to raise as many as Providence may decide to send. In many instances, we witness the sad spectacle of a mother being forced to work in a factory so as to make up for the inadequacy of her husband's pay, while she has to hire a young servant girl to look after her children. As an abominable consequence of such an economic set-up, the .children have to leave school at an early age and look for work in the factory, accepting whatever wages are offered them. I have here the pay envelopes of a certain firm in Granby for the last three months of 1941. Here are some of the weekly salaries: $5.11, S6.27, $7.15, $7.58, $7.95, $7.40, $6.86, $7.42, $7.79, $8.19. The following are the salaries paid during another week: $5.68, $8, $9 23, $9.41, $9.04, $6.11, $8.25, $9.97, $8.25, $8.25, $8.48, $6.80. There was another person receiving the fabulous salary of $4.35 and $6.55.

The salaries I have just mentioned are paid by certain firms recently established in my own city; my fellow citizens have subscribed the capital with which they have built up their plants, and the city of Granby has accomplished a great deal of work for them

free of charge while the construction of their plants was in progress. A fine reward to the people of Granby in return for the help these people have so generously given them. I think these firms have added a few cents a day to their salaries since that time. This class of employers whose ideas are still those of the eighteenth century, who regard their employees as slaves and, being masters in their own house, exploit their employees without the least concern for their social welfare, deserve our whole-hearted reprobation.

In this connection, may I be pemitted to quote Relations in a labour review:

It is a sorrowful fact that the whole world is divided into two and that we should witness the deplorable class antagonism so energetically denounced by Leo XIII and Pius XI, a condition temporarily alleviated by the necessities of war, but threatening to reappear with accrued violence when economic difficulties will once again be at their height, perhaps not immediately after the war but certainly not very long after victory is won. On the one side we have a few beati possidentes holding dearly to their privileges; on the other, an innumerable army of proletarians who rely on the work of their hands as their sole means of livelihood. In words so well uttered that any attempt at commentary would be useless, the Archbishop of Canterbury offers a remedy, founded on the most genuine Christian spirit: "If each man made sure, before accepting the superflous, that every person has enough, there is no doubt that each and every one would not be wanting in anything." As said in Quadragesimo Anno, "the existence of an immense number of proletarians on the one side and of a small number of wealthy individuals on the other side, proves beyond all doubt that the wealth created in such abundance in our age of industrialization, is badly distributed.

Such crying disparity, by which life is a continual feast for some and an almost unbearable load for others, arises from the very prin-. ciple on which is based our economic life. It is founded entirely on the pursuit of profit. Every text-book inspired by the liberal school, -and what other books were ever put in the hands of our students?-has constantly taught us that the motive of all economic activity is profit. On profit is focused not only the management of particular enterprises, but the whole economic organization.

I should like now, Mr. Speaker, to quote figures showing the wages paid to men and women in the town of Granby, including the cost of living bonus.

There are in my home town some eighteen to twenty industrial establishments of various kinds. Here is a table which was prepared by the National Catholic syndicate of Granby.

In an establishment where a rather large number of workers are employed the average weekly rate, including the cost of living bonus, is $17.82; in another, it is $17.96; and in another, from $17 to $18. We have one where the average weekly rate is $20, including the

The Address-Mr. Leclerc

cost of living bonus; another where employees are paid at the rate of 20 cents per hour for 60 working hours a week; another where the average hourly rate is from 20 to 21 cents, and another-it deserves commendation,-is a small establishment where the basic wage is $25 a week. I must add in all fairness that wages are slightly higher in a few other establishments and I contend that with such wages as I have mentioned a workingman is not in a position to support his family decently.

I have to note with regret, Mr. Speaker, that the sickness and mortality rates in my province are higher than in any other province of this dominion. Such low wages as I have just mentioned are not without relation to this sad situation. I am glad that in the speech from the throne mention is made of social security legislation. In Canada federal legislation has already done a great deal towards providing for the welfare of the population. We have a plan of annuities, unemployment insurance, pensions for the aged, the blind and the returned soldiers, but as yet there has been no mention of a social security system on a national scale. I dare hope that in the study of these essential questions consideration will be given to providing uniformity of wages throughout Canada.

But, Mr. Speaker, as this legislation is not to be brought down immediately and follow-in the statement of the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in reply to the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon) that though wages have been stabilized in order to prevent inflation, it is always possible to make adjustments in cases where wages are deemed too low, I would ask that the government enquire into the wages paid in my province and that such adjustments be made as soon as possible. A large number of my fellow citizens suffer in silence and have to go without certain necessities of life. For what reason, may I ask, would not the same wages be paid in munition plants of my constituency as are paid in large plants such as Cherrier, Bouchard and others? All these plants belong to the government and for equality of risks there should be equality of pay.

To pay different rates to men and women for the same work seems to me another injustice.

I must say in fairness to the national unions of my city that, under wise guidance, they strive to settle their labour differences through peaceful means, and for that I congratulate them.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I have certain suggestions to make to the government and

to the Minister of Munitions (Mr. Howe). I am aware that the ministers are overworked and that, consequently, they cannot check all the expenditures incurred by their officials. As a member of this house I have submitted before that it would be advisable to consult members of parliament regarding the handling of government transactions in their respective districts. Once the war is over, the members will be held responsible for the actions of the government, and I for one do not want to be involved, in any way, in the doings of those who manage the war effort of the country. As the minister's assistants are not always familiar with local conditions, involuntary mistakes may sometimes show in their transactions.

On that point, Mr. Speaker, I wish to call to the attention of the government one transaction entered into last year in Granby.

In order to establish a munitions plant, a certain individual had acquired a fifty-acre farm, part of which was outside the town limits; he had paid $5,000 or $100 an acre for it. Out of the wrorst part of the farm he had sold some twenty acres for $8,000 a few months later, thus realizing quite a fair profit. According to a Granby newspaper, dated November 5, 1941, the owner of that farm had even offered part of the land free to establish an industrial plant. We have there a fine example of swindling and of the selfishness of wartime profiteering.

As I had nothing to do with this transaction and have in no way been consulted, I disclaim any responsibility in the matter and I do not want it to be said that, as a member, I took advantage of my position to work against the interest of my country. At a time when rich and poor alike are heavily taxed, and when the government is forced to collect in taxes 10, 15 and 20 cents a week from those who receive starvation wages like those I mentioned before, I claim that this type of transaction should not be tolerated. The government could easily have saved $5,000 on this transaction and it would not have been necessary then to collect a few cents from the poor, each week, for the national defence tax.

I want my fellow citizens to understand clearly that no criticism can be levelled at me, as I want to disclaim all responsibility for a transaction of which I had no knowledge.

On motion of Mr. Mitchell the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Crerar the house adjourned at 5.58 p.m.

Gasoline Rationing

Thursday, February 11, 1943


February 10, 1943