@Deputy Speaker and Chair(man)? of Committees of the Whole
Shall I report the bill?
Mr. Pouliot: No, sir. -
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Shall I report the bill?
Mr. Pouliot: No, sir. -
Those in favour will kindly say "aye".
Some hon. Members: Aye.
Those opposed will kindly
Some hon. Members: Nay.
In my opinion the "ayes"
Mr. Pouliot: This is a most unusual procedure.
Not at all.
Mr. Pouliot: It is worse than closure, because with closure you can at least speak for twenty minutes.
In my opinion the "ayes"
Mr. Lacombe: On section 3, Mr Chairman-
Section 3 is carried.
Mr. Lacombe: Section 3 is not carried.
I am sorry, but it is carried.
Mr. Lacombe: It is not carried.
It has been carried.
This is an outrage on parliament; this cannot be tolerated. I said once that the greatest reproach to parliament is the fact that the supreme and only rule here is the will of
The Address-Mr. Pouliot
the government. That is bad. I am very sorry that the gentleman who was then Chairman has been rewarded with a promotion to the other place; it means that our gain is their loss.
I now come to another matter concerning the rights of parliament. Why did not the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon) protest, as against an encroachment on the privileges of the hon. members of this house, when he was informed by the press that a board composed of outsiders was to be substituted for the members of parliament in making a study of civil service matters? It is the duty of the members of the House of Commons to put their noses into that bureaucracy which has been denounced so eloquently by so many hon. members opposite, including the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe). But no one said a word about that board.
Let me show what ignorance or disregard for the rules may bring about. For a time, when the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen was leader of the opposition, he was represented in this house by the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson), and I take this opportunity to tell the present leader of the opposition never to pay any attention to any advice given to him by that hon. gentleman. At any rate, during that period many suggestions were advanced from the other side for a union government. The then acting leader of the opposition was only acting, acting on behalf of his mentor; but this is something worth saying, even if I cannot say anything else, and even though my time should be up. I hold in my hands the Votes and Proceedings of February 1, containing the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition and the subamendment moved by the hon. gentleman who leads the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group. Are they two or one? They are two in one. When the vote is called it will be exceedingly amusing to discover that it will be impossible for you, Mr. Speaker, to call two divisions. You will have to call only one, because the subamendment moved by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group does not subtract from the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition; it is in addition to it. Therefore all the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group wants is what the leader of the opposition asked for, plus a little more. This means that probably there will be a union between the official opposition and the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group. It means that in the first debate of the session, when the parties have to take their stand, they say, "We think alike, and we are a little more
cocky." It will be amusing to see the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group voting with the official Progressive Tory opposition, and will be very amusing to see my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, his antediluvian predecessor and all others, vote for the following subamendment, for it is in the light of this situation that the subamendment must be read:
And further we regret that Your Excellency's advisers have failed to take the necess'ary 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.
Therefore, all those good Tories will vote for the mobilization of wealth. Oh, that is most amusing. But I wonder if the house will permit the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party (Mr. Coldwell) to amend again the subamendment. Otherwise hon. members who will witness that solemnity will never regret it.
I have many other remarks to make, but I shall have to summarize my position with respect to the Liberal party. I am most fortunate in having as desk-mate a very dear friend-the best desk-mate in the whole house. I am fortunate, too. in being next to the former Minister of Public Works and Transport (Mr. Cardin), who, in years of service, is dean of the house. I have been a Liberal; I am a Liberal, and I will always remain a Liberal. I did not change at all. I have never changed. Therefore why should I change my seat? Perhaps I should use the words of Disraeli, when he was blamed by Sir Robert Peel for some criticism of a budget and said. "I have been elected to sit here; I sit here; that is all."
If I did not get all I asked for, at least there has been some improvement in the last report of the auditor general. It took a long time, but I gained something. We say that if the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres had not acted as he did; if Liberal members who gave a solemn warning to the government last year had not done so; if the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr- Roy)-and a very excellent member he is-and the very brilliant new member for Charlevoix-Saguenay (Mr. Dorion) did not think as they do, and as they did, it would be much worse now than it actually is.
My idea of national selective service is that each man shall serve his country during the war to the best of his ability and in that field in which he can render the best service. I am proud of my fellow citizens. I believe there is no better man in the world than a Canadian. I do not see why the Minister
The Address-Mr. Pouliot
of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) has imported Alexander Gunn, a man who knew nothing about Canadian affairs, to make reports on the transfer of what he, Mr. Gunn, thought to be a non-essential industry into what he, Mr. Gunn, thought to be an essential industry. I do not agree. Moreover, if national selective service is to be applied successfully, this can be done only by a man who has, first, enough authority; second, enough information ; andi, third, enough freedom of action to decide where the draftees shall be directed. Therefore, sir, it is absurd to think of a national selective service which would work successfully when we know that for the most part they are acting on the requisitions of the brass-hats who parade the streets in uniform, and who have never been in any theatre of war.
The national selective service should consider the case of each individual, not only from the individualistic point of view, but from the point of view of the service which each individual can best render the state. That is why I have not been impressed by the instructions sent out by Mr. MacNamara to the chairmen of the boards. Why am I not impressed? For the very good reason that it is only a palliative, that it will not improve the conditions of agriculture, because it does not touch those deserving farmers who are needed in the fields but who are kept by force in the army.
I have in my hand Hansard of July 13, 1942, in which the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) is reported as having said that it would be hard to let soldiers or draftees go to any civilian occupations. That is the way it is done. Unless the national selective sendee has authority not only over the draftees who have not had their training, but also over those draftees who did not enlist voluntarily, but were farmers or railway workers or lumbermen, the national selective service wall never work successfully. I am not a labour man, but my contact with the farmers, with railway men, lumbermen and other labour men, has proven to me that there is the sore spot. Unless it is remedied at once, as has been pointed out by the premier and minister of agriculture in Quebec, by the minister of agriculture in British Columbia and by the minister of agriculture in Ontario, and as said by Mr. Hepburn himself at Hamilton, we shall face a famine or a state of hunger in this land of plenty.
How can we be called isolationists when we are willing to help the allies throughout the world? We are doing so. The whole country is doing so, magnificently. We have tried to help the soldiers. And I will tell you more
than that. I hear some people complaining about the province of Quebec. When they complain, do they take into account the number of men and women in my province who are working in war industries and in other industries connected with the war effort? Do they consider the number of fine boys who have enlisted-over 2,000 of them from my constituency - in the three branches of the service? They deserve a tribute, and we must help them. We must look after them, and try to improve their condition of living and of health.
What has been done with regard to venereal disease in the army? In the United States many of the papers refer quite frequently to this plague. I have a copy of PM which refers to what is being done in connection with syphilis and gonorrhoea in the United States. Last year that country, under President Roosevelt, that great citizen whom we all admire, spent $8,000,000 to prevent these diseases; this year they are spending $15,000,000. What are we doing? Last year Canada spent only $50,000, and $165,000 for contraceptives to be given to the army.
I hate to say that, but it is the truth. It is a scandal. Our boys should be protected against those who have these diseases. Our boys should be looked after. When a Frenchspeaking boy is placed among English-speaking soldiers, quite often he is miserable because he cannot speak that language. Such boys should be looked after. I believe that good food is bought, but is it well prepared? Are they well looked after? That is a great concern in many homes.
In conclusion, I have only one word to say. I have spoken at some length about the rules of the house because that is an important matter. The day we do not have free speech in this house, that day we might just as well stop and close up parliament. We are not here to create trouble for the government or to show any rancour in connection with any minister. That is much beneath us. We are here to serve our country to the best of our ability and to see that this country is not disrupted when peace comes. What kind of peace shall we have after the war? The aftermath of the war will be just what the present is. If we have no order now, what order can we expect to have after the war? When a member of parliament makes a recommendation to the government in that connection he should be listened to; the government should take note of what is said.
Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):
Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege, a few moments ago when Your Honour was momentarily absent from the chamber the hon.
The Address-Mr. Nicholson
member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) used with respect to myself certain language which, to say the least, was abusive, if not insulting. At the time I raised a question of privilege and asked that the statement be withdrawn and expunged from the record, but the hon. gentleman who was temporarily in the Chair did not see fit to deal with the incident. I am asking if Your Honour will be good enough to get the record of Hansard over the dinner recess and read for yourself what was said, and that what I requested should be done. I ask Your Honour to give a proper ruling because I have no intention of sitting in this house and being abused by the hon. member for Temiscouata.
Mr. Speaker, I deny flatly what has been said. I never abused the hon. member. He suffers from the mania of persecution.
I shall look at Hansard over the dinner recess.
Mr. A. M. NICHOLSON (Mackenzie):
Mr. Speaker, in rising at this time to support the amendment and the amendment to the amendment, may I say that any citizen in Canada cannot fail to be proud of the part that we are playing in the present crisis. Like the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNieol) I have had the good fortune to be able to travel a good deal during the recess. I should like to pause at this stage to thank the hon. member for the valuable public service he performs each year by travelling extensively and then giving the house and the country the benefit of his observations. I appreciate particularly the reference he made yesterday to the Saskatchewan river and hope that some day a government of this country will carry into effect the constructive proposals made by the hon. member.
I visited all the provinces of Canada during the recess and was able to acquire first-hand information regarding our achievements in man}7 fields of activity. The hon. members who moved and seconded the motion told us of the achievements of the army. The comments which have been made in the house indicate that these expressions have been valued by all hon. members. I have seen the development which has taken place across the country in our air force, and I have never ceased marvelling that a country with such a small population should in such a short time have been able to build up these training centres and train so many of our young men and our young women. While I was in Charlottetown I visited the home of an instructor in the air force, and while looking through his wife's scrap book I came across a citation
which he treated in a most casual way. It read as follows:
Promotion to the rank of pilot officer came to Flight Sergeant Mullen soon after the award of the D.F.M., the citation for which said: "Since September, 1941, Flight Sergeant Mullen has completed over 30 operational flights of which 25 have been completed at night. Disregarding danger he has pressed home his attacks against enemy ships at mast head height in face of heavy anti-aircraft fire from the vessels and shore batteries. The success he has achieved has been gained by his undaunted keenness."
Here was a young lad just out of his teens when he joined the air force, who had been a clerk in a bank in a small western town but who had trained himself in a short time to perform this spectacular work, yet was still alive to have me read about it in his presence. I mention this incident because it is merely one of many that could be recorded of the heroism of our young men who have done such remarkable work.
Likewise the achievements of the navy must bring pride to the minister and to all those from coast to coast who have contributed to its success. At an eastern port I found myself in conversation with a very young master of a boat. When I remarked on his youth he replied that he was much older than he seemed to be, that he would soon be twenty-five. When we think of young men who, until a few years ago, had never seen a body of water larger than a slough and realize that they are now sailing the seven seas and keeping open our channels of communication-, surely we must take pride in the Canadian navy.
I visited a number of munition industries, and here again the accomplishments in production will provide a most interesting chapter in Canada's war history. At one large factory I saw PBY's being made. When you stop to reflect that the cost of the labour and material going into one of these machines is greater than the value of the automobiles owned by all the members of this house you get some idea of the work that is being undertaken to carry out our commitments.
AYhile our achievements have been worth while, the question we should ask is not, what have we done but rather, have we done our best? When we compare our effort with what our allies in Great Britain and Russia and China have been doing we cannot be satisfied with Canadian accomplishments to date, and therefore when the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon) moved his amendment regretting that his excellency's advisers had failed to provide an adequate plan for the effective use of Canadian man-power and woman-power 1 think he was dealing with something that
The Address-Mr. Nicholson
is quite fundamental. Even though we have been at war for over three years, we still have not a comprehensive plan which will permit every person in this country to make his maximum contribution to the war effort and permit every industry to be employed in the manufacture of goods essential for our wrar needs and civilian consumption. We have large numbers of men in the army, in the air force, in the navy and in war industries. I am not saying that we have too many in any of these services, but I am saying that we have not yet had a comprehensive plan showing how many a nation of eleven millions can have in the army, the navy, the air force and munitions industries and at the same time have produced on the farms, the forests and the mines all those commodities which are equally necessary in carrying the war to a successful conclusion. Consequently I think that even at this very late date the government should announce a complete over-all plan which will make clear how many men we can afford to have in these important services.
The amendment makes reference to the failure of the government to evolve a satisfactory labour policy. I shall not deal with that because my colleagues can deal with it more adequately than I can. I merely want to say that as I have travelled and spoken to people in industry I have been unable to find that spirit of enthusiasm for the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) that I have found for the work of the Ministers of National Defence.
Paragraph (c) of the amendment deplores the failure of the government:
To provide adequate measures whereby Canadian agriculture can make its maximum war contribution and receive a fair share of the national income.
We in this group have insisted ever since the war started that the production of food is a war industry. The time will come when large supplies of food will be a very important weapon in winning friends for us among the peoples of the occupied countries. The time will also come when, if present policies are not changed, shortages of essential foods in Canada and among our allies will have a serious effect upon our own morale and upon theirs. It has been necessary to ration butter, and I am not complaining about the amount of butter that is allowed. I understand that the men of the armed forces are to have less meat in the future, and I assume that the Canadian people could consume less meat without any serious effects upon our health; but if the situation grows as much worse in the next year as it has done in the last, we
shall be confronted with serious domestic problems. It does not matter where you go in Canada, whether you speak to a farmer in Prince Edward Island or in British Columbia,
. you will hear dissatisfaction expressed with the agricultural policy carried out by this government. Recently I received a marked copy of the Prairie Messenger, of Muenster, Saskatchewan. It is a Catholic family paper published by the Fathers of St. Peter's at Muenster. This paper could not be accused of trying to embarrass the federal administration. In a leading editorial dealing with the farm labour shortage it quotes the statement made by former President Hoover of the United States on January 21 of this year:
We place agriculture in the first rank of the war effort alongside tanks and planes . . . the fate of the war may depend, upon the farmer.
. . . The place of the capable farmer is the farm if he is to contribute his maximum to the war effort.
The editorial goes on to refer to the resignation of R. H. Milliken, K.C., who was appointed special agricultural representative of the national war services board at Regina. After being in office for only two months, he threw up his hands in despair. In one week he had a thousand requests for help, indicating the wide dissatisfaction with this government's policy in Saskatchewan. The speech made by the hon. member for The Battlefords (Mr. Gregory) the other evening and speeches made by members on the government side of the house indicate that the criticisms of the government's agricultural policy are not limited to opponents of the administration.
At six o'clock the house took recess.
The house resumed at eight o'clock.
During the dinner hour I have read over the speech of the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot), and particularly those passages against which the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) protested. The hon. member for Temiscouata spoke as follows:
Mr. Speaker, I would ask the former leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) to keep quiet. I will not listen to any interruptions. I had enough trouble when he was leader of the opposition without having him start again when there is another gentleman occupying that seat.
Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury): On a question of privilege, I do not intend-
Mr. Pouliot: Then let him git down. I will be rough.
The acting Speaker (Mr. McCann): Order.
The Address-Speaker's Ruling
Mr. Pouliot: I have been disturbed enough by him in former days and I will not stand for it now.
Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury): On a question of privilege, I made no observation-
Mr. Pouliot: He groaned.
Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury):
but I did make a remark in an undertone. If I had done a great deal worse than that it would have been appropriate, but all I was doing was making a remark in a low undertone.
Mr. Pouliot: He is wasting my time. He has no reason to do that.
Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury): I do not intend to have the hon. member for Temiseouata abuse me or make derogatory remarks about me and I ask that that be withdrawn. I would ask Your Honour so to rule.
Mr. Pouliot: Well, that having been said, I will come to the great tribute that was paid by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to the former leader of the opposition. I wish the hon. member for York-Sunbury a long life. I hope he will live to be a centenarian, but when he dies I hope he will put a clause in his will that Hansard containing the remarks of the Prime Minister about him be put in his coffin. Such things must be kept even in the other world. I know that several supporters of the government were very jealous when they either heard those remarks or read them.
In the next reference to the incident the hon. member for Temiseouata said:
Let me show what ignorance or disregard for the rules may bring about. For a time, when the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen was leader of the opposition; he was represented in this house by the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson), and I take this opportunity to tell the present leader of the opposition never to pay any attention to any advice given to him by that hon. gentleman.
The hon. member for Temiseouata said further:
It will be amusing to see the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group voting with the official Progressive Tory opposition, and it will be very amusing to see my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, his antediluvian predecessor and all others, vote for the following subamendment, for it is in the light of this situation that the subamendment must be read.
I was absent from the Chair for ten minutes during which this incident occurred and therefore I cannot deal with the attitude or the demeanour of the speaker, which may have accentuated and made his remarks offensive to the hon. member for York-Sunbury. I wish to protect as jealously as I can the right of every hon. member from insult and therefore have scrupulously examined and have read every sentence uttered by the hon. member for Temiseouata, referring to the hon. member for York-Sunbury. I must say that from the printed record, apart altogether from the question of taste, of which every hon. member must be his own judge, there is nothing said by the hon. member for Temiseouata which I could consider unparliamentary.
Very early in the present war the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) outlined a policy which, for this country, was quite revolutionary, when he suggested that whatever might be physically possible would be made financially possible. That policy was repeated by the present Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) when he was Minister of Finance, and the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) has also indicated it as his policy. It seems to me that, as far as the Department of National Defence and the Department of Munitions and Supply are concerned, this policy has been earned out, but as far as the Department of Agriculture is concerned it would appear that we are proceeding on the assumption that what is physically possible is not to be made financially possible. Members who have spoken in the house, from all the provinces of Canada, have repeatedly expressed the opinion that our farmers are not receiving' a fair share of the national income. I was interested in hearing the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) the other day. I recall that when he spoke in 1940, after his return from the old country, he made a prophecy which would leave us at the end of 1945 with a shortage of fifty million bushels of wheat. The minister has not been using statistics extensively since then, but on Tuesday last he did give us some figures to create the impression that, after all, the farmers of the country are not in a very bad position. 1 have before me the most recent statistics with regard to prices and price indices for December, 1942, and I find that if we take 1926 as the base, at the end of December, 1942, farm commodities are still at 87 per cent of what they were in 1926, and if we assume that there were fair prices 'in that year, farm commodities are still below what a fair price should be. It is true that prices for animal products are up at 117, but let me remind the house that a year ago, at the end of December, animal products stood at 100 and field products at 59, the average being 74-6, and in December, 1940, field products stood at 52 and animal products at 91, the total being 67-1.
The farmers of Canada do not desire from this government or the people of Great Britain prices out of line with those of other commodities, but they are asking for a fair share of the national income. When the victory loan campaign was organized about a year ago the Minister of Finance asked the people of Saskatchewan to raise $8,000,000 as their part of that national effort, and at the same time he asked the residents of Toronto to raise $180,000,000; or, on a per capita basis,
The Address-Mr. Nicholson
he wanted S10 per person from the citizens of Saskatchewan, and S273 per person from the residents of Toronto. That wide divergence gives some indication of the .low standards of living that have been forced on a large section of Canada.
I can understand that the members of the cabinet have to meet in council and decide how our national income is to be used, and I know the Ministers of National Defence and the Minister of Munitions and Supply are able to go to council and tell of pressing needs. It would seem to me that when the Minister of Munitions and Supply wants 820,000,000 to build a new factory, there is no question about a price ceiling or what will happen as a result of giving more wages to more people. When the Minister of National Defence, or the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services, or the Minister of National Defence for Air wants any large amount of money, it seems that these sums are available. Although the Minister of Agriculture does not represent such a spectacular group, he does represent over 700,000 families across the dominion. I wish that the Minister of Agriculture would enter the council and put up as good a fight for those he should represent as the other members apparently do.
Grant Dexter, writing in the Winnipeg Free Press on February S, gave an outline showing why there is a good deal of dissatisfaction with the government's man-power policy. He records the fate of ever}' hundred calls sent out by the national selective service board. Apparently eleven of those to whom notices were sent never received them. Twenty-eight of those who did receive them paid no attention to the calls. Fifty-nine turned up for medical inspection, and of those fifty-nine, twenty-five were placed in category "A"; sixteen received postponements, nine for agriculture and seven for industry; fourteen reported to military camps, of whom three were latei sent home, leaving eleven available for home defence. The complaints that have been coming from all parts of Saskatchewan indicate that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the gqvernment's handling of the manpower situation, particularly as it affects agriculture.
I must press on to the amendment moved by the leader of this group (Mr. Coldwell):
. . . 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.
I am sorry I have not time to develop this very important clause fully. I shall have to
confine my remarks to a single industry which I think should be mobilized at the earliest possible date. I am very glad that the hon. member for Wellington North (Mr. Blair) has achieved a good deal of publicity in Ontario by advocating what the members of our group advocate, namely, that the government should immediately take over the brewing industry as a war industry. Possibly hon members will be surprised to hear this industry mentioned as an essential war industry. I have received a marked copy of the Evening-Times-Globe, of Saint John, New Brunswick, dated February 8, containing a report of a speech made in that city by the Rev. Doctor J. R. Mutchmor of the board of evangelism and social service of the United church of Canada, in which speech he stated that he was not opposed to the shipment of beer to the British forces in Africa. I should like to state again that I am not opposed to the men of his majesty's army having available to them beer and other liquors when and where they want them. But I do think that the policy of shipping this material and of deciding how much should be made available should be decided by the responsible members of this government. The press report reads in part as follows:
... I am unalterably opposed to the wasteful use of shipping space for the transportation of upper Canadian beer.
Doctor Mutchmor stated that, "the federal Minister of Trade and Commerce says the British war department has ordered the beer. I claim that it is a manipulation and duplicity; that by having it ordered by Whitehall it is chargeable to Britain's credit fund in Canada; it classifies beer as a tool of war, making possible a ninety-nine per cent rebate in customs and excise taxes to brewers on all supplies, such as bottles, brought in from the United States, and enables brewers to charge depreciation and partly escape excess profits taxes."
Dr. Mutchmor declared that "it is a brewers' racket."
He said that "as far as can be determined the monthly shipments from November 1941 onward have been at the rate of from 600,000 to 800,000 dozen bottles per month."
"From a conservative estimate it appears that the total quantity of Canadian beer exported to British forces in the Middle East and Egypt has been an amount sufficient to fill a train of box cars 250 to 300 miles long."
I ask hon. members to picture a railway train with an engine in the city of Quebec and its caboose in Ottawa and the entire train, extending from this city to the ancient capital, filled with cases of beer en route to the middle east; or to think of a train coming from the west with its engine in Ontario and its caboose in Saskatchewan, and every mile of the mainline of the Canadian Pacific railway filled with box cars loaded to capacity
The Address-Mr. Nicholson
with beer en route to the middle east. We heard the Minister of Munitions and Supply state this afternoon that submarine losses have been alarming. Apparently, however, we have been able to find space for these very large shipments.
Doctor Mutchmor went on to state that his information is that there is plenty of beer in South Africa, and that beer for the troops could have been supplied from South Africa with a saving of fourteen thousand miles of carriage. He also said that the beer would have been available in Great Britain.
Mr. MacKINNON (Edmonton West):
Pardon me; I think the hon. member just made the statement that Canada found space for this beer. That is not correct.
Well, my information is that the beer went from Canada, and I have in my hand a statement of Doctor Mutchmor's to the effect that he had two long interviews with the minister who has just interrupted me, and that the minister did not deny that to date sufficient Canadian beer has been sent to the British forces in the middle east to fill a freight train over three hundred miles long, and Doctor Mutchmor asked three questions to which so far there has been no reply:
1. If beer must be had from North America, why not ship it from New Orleans, 3,000 miles closer than Toronto to Egypt and the near east?
2. Why not ship it from Britain, where there is ample beer as reported in the London Economist August 22, 1942, issue?
3. Better still, why not ship it from South Africa, 14,000 miles closer to Egypt and the middle east than Canadian shipping points mentioned? The London Times of September 25, page nine, reports one South African brewery with a net annual surplus for dividends of more than $1,500,000. This brewery has doubled its bottle-making plant at Talana. There are ample supplies of beer and bottles in South Africa.
I think the minister should take time during the present debate to make some reply to these questions which Doctor Mutchmor has asked.
When I discussed this important question on June 1 last, I made mention of the fact that E. P. Taylor, president of Canadian Breweries, Limited, had been for a considerable time a member of the British supply council. The paper published by Mr. E. P. Taylor, the New World, carried a picture of Sir Arthur Salter, Morris Wilson, E. P. Taylor and Mr. Jean Monnet, and in a statement, he said:
Whether it is an apple or a flying fortress, the British supply organizations endeavour to get these goods to the places most in need of assistance.
My information is that at a time when the beer made by Mr. Taylor's own company was on its way to the middle east, Mr. Taylor was a dollar-a-year man, or at the time this picture was taken he was in the United States as a member of the British supply council. I submit that for the sake of the morale of this country, if the limited space that is available is to be used for the shipment of beer to the middle east, the decision as to how much, if any, should not be made by anyone who is interested in the brewing business. Hon. members who have travelled in this province of Ontario will have been struck by the miles and miles of box cars of what I assume are essential war materials held up all along the way.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I must press on to another very important subject that I think has not received sufficient consideration up to the present. I refer to our post-war plans. There are too many people who say we have not the time or the energy now to give any thought' to the sort of world we shall have after this war. Our failure to clarify in our own minds the sort of society we want is having a detrimental effect on our war effort. Hon. members who heard the New Zealand minister to Washington, Hon. Walter Nash, who was the first minister of finance in the New Zealand labour government, were greatly taken with his story of what they have done in New Zealand. Mr. Nash directly tied up their social security legislation and their conduct of the war. He told us that they have been able to give more to the old people, more to the little children and better medical services to their citizens. He went on to say that no country in the world enjoys a standard of living as high as that of New Zealand, and that his people were fighting to preserve and maintain that standard, that they were determined that when this war was over, no one who had put on a uniform for his country would be worse off, that no one who remained at home would be better off, and that no corporation or individual would be permitted to profiteer. I believe that if this government would declare a policy of that sort, and really carry it out, we would be able to develop a great deal more enthusiasm among our people. Now is the time to make clear to those who are risking their very lives that, when the war is over, we shall do in peace time what we have done in war time, namely, carry out the policy that whatever is physically possible will be made financially possible.
During the course of this debate the leader of this group suggested that we should declare now our intention to spend at least $2,500,000,000 during each of the first two years following the war. Well, we have been
The Address-Mr. Nicholson
voting billions for so long that we probably have not taken time to visualize what we could do with those billions in peace time. I have prepared a little table showing what might be done. This is not an outline of what the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation will do; it is a calculation I have made, using
figures taken from the Canada Year Book, to demonstrate what we * could do with just half the annual amount suggested by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). I have selected what I think all members of this house will agree are socially desirable objectives. The table is as follows:
Estimated Costs of Some Social Services in Canada for One Year
Old age pensions
Pensions for the blind
Pensions to ex-servicemen
Pupils enrolled in ordinary and technical day schools
Bed capacity-public and private
No. affected Estimated
(see Canada Amount annualYear Book per unit expenditure1942) per year in millions186,834 $ 900 00 168-16.208 900 00 5-597,145 900 00 87-466,952 300 00 20244,316 100 00 24-42,110.055 100 00 21149,356 500 00 24-762,964 1,000 00 62-911,505,898 10 00 11511,505.898 5 00 57-5734,000 300 00 220100,000 2,500 00 250 1,246-5
All the items I have outlined could be undertaken in any year at a cost of $1,246,500,000, or $3,500,000 less than half the amount the leader of this group suggested should be spent in a year's time. Some day the government of this country will have to decide whether we wish to balance our production and our consumption with a large army of unemployed, with slums, poverty and malnutrition, or with full employment, with our people working, with our industries producing at capacity and with the raw materials of the dominion being used in the interest of the people.
But some may say that will mean socialism. Well, people are not as badly frightened these days at the mention of socialism as they were some years ago. Before this session opened I was in the city of Montreal when the Prime Minister of this country and Mrs. Roosevelt took part in a very impressive meeting to raise money for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Many of us were at the Capitol theatre here in Ottawa on Sunday, and were impressed by those pictures which portrayed the remarkable heroism of the people of Russia who are fighting to preserve our freedom. His Excellency the Governor General stood while the national anthem
of Russia was being played. People now are coming to understand that those who are socialists do not want to divide everything once and for all. The wealth of the world is something that cannot be divided now and left that way. The wealth of the world is being produced and created every second, every minute. The socialist wants every individual to have the right to work, and everyone who does work to have a fair share of the wealth which is created as a result of their cooperative work.
We realize now that we are living in a cooperative world. Those of us who have been travelling during this severe winter have come to realize how dependent we are upon those section men on the railways who go out when it is twenty, thirty and forty below zero and keep the tracks in order. We have sympathized with the members of the train crews who have been compelled to go out in bitter cold weather to attend to hot-boxes. We consider that, when victory has been achieved, we must continue what we are doing now; that is, we must proceed on the assumption that the resources of this country should be used for an all-out war effort and must be used in the post-war period to give our people a total democracy. One of the best
The Address-Mrs. Casselman
books I have read in. the last year is "Last Train From Berlin", by Howard Smith, who was one of the reporters remaining in Berlin until a year ago last December. Smith gives an encouraging picture of recent developments in Germany. In one of his concluding chapters he suggests that if we want to win friends in the occupied countries; if we want to undermine Hitler, the democratic nations should immediately make some declaration of the sort of world they plan. Too many have said, "Wait until the war is over before considering the pattern of our future society". We of this group have felt that now is the time to declare our plan for the post-war period, in order that we may get the best out of the armed forces, those on our farms and in our industries.
Mrs. CORA T. CASSELMAN (Edmonton East): Mr. Speaker, may I, too, congratulate the mover (Mr. Harris) and the seconder (Mr. Halle) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne upon the excellence of their speeches? I should like also to express my deep appreciation of the men and women in our armed forces who are fighting for us at the present time. These members in uniform keep the armed forces vividly in our minds. .
Many of the speeches following those of the mover and the seconder were of a very high order, reflecting much constructive thinking. It was a great privilege to hear the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) setting out the policy of the Canadian government and people at this time. It was a privilege too, to hear the other leaders in the house, who are in the front rank of our legislators. Many hon. members from the west have set out our industrial and agricultural problems. I would mention particularly the hon. members for Medicine Hat (Mr. Gershaw), Swift Current (Mr. Graham) and Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross) who have put before the house some of the things for which the people in the west are asking.
Of course the main business this year is the waging of the war, the raising and maintaining of our men and women in uniform, and supplying them with suitable armaments and foodstuffs. This is the problem which must come before anything else. We must bend our energies individually and collectively toward victory. Some hon. members have mentioned that a land army of women might be formed to help produce more foodstuffs. That may be a good idea. I am wondering if the present employment services could recruit women for work on the land. They know the local needs. Moreover, seasons vary from time to time, and the length of time the women would be needed
on the farms would also vary. I believe these employment services should work in close cooperation with provincial departments of agriculture, just as in the past few years the federal government has worked along that line in its effort to supply extra labour on farms. If women are asked to do the work, I know they will do it 100 per cent; because everything they have been asked to do, whether volunteer or paid service, they have attempted to do to the best of their ability. There can be no doubt about that.
I was glad to note that there is hope for some comprehensive scheme of social security and health insurance this session. There are many gaps in our present social insurance I should like to see filled in. I believe it was wise to refer the matter to a committee of the house rather than to bring down legislation at the beginning of the session, because the subject bristles with problems which will have to be met and solved before any system covering all of Canada can be accepted.
The question as to whether this is the time to proceed with such measures is one of importance. However, if we are to have measures ready for the post-war period we shall have to think of them now. At any rate, if we can arrange for some comprehensive system of social security, it shows how we mean to use victory.
We need organization for this task, and I believe the Rowell-Sirois commission of a few years ago showed how a scheme might be evolved. The dominion-provincial conference of January, 1941, failed to make use of that material. However, it is still there for study. I believe we all remember how guilty we felt during those dreadful years of the depression, when methods for the solution of the problem of massed unemployment proved unsuccessful Every humanitarian instinct now calls for some preparation for social security in the post-war period. Every national instinct calls for it, for Canada, like the other nations, needs men and women well nourished in body, mind and spirit. Those depression years cost us a great deal not only in human suffering but also in hard cash. I say that because attempts were made by every public body and by individuals, through taxation, to meet the difficulties.
For instance, at page 15 of book 2 the Rowell-Sirois report states:
In 1937 the total expenditures of all governments in Canada on social welfare, exclusive of education and war pensions and after-care exceeded $250,000,000. This was more than one-quarter of the total expenditures of all governments, dominion, provincial and municipal, on current account.
The Address-Mrs. Casselman
Two hundred and fifty million dollars-and was it enough? Did it do any lasting good either to the recipients of the relief, to the tax-payers or to the country? It seems to me that this is where our forethought might be used at this time, namely, in working out a comprehensive system of social security to try to prevent mass unemployment and a repetition of those dreadful years in the thirties.
The Beveridge report has given a new impetus to the consideration of these matters. It provides benefits for men, women and children, in practically all the untoward circumstances of life, at a flat rate of assistance, with a flat contribution. The United States social security act of 1935, which was amended a few years later, provides assistance on a percentage basis. Canada will have to consider which system it wishes to accept, and which one would be more suitable. It may be a matter of compromise, because conditions in Canada differ considerably from east to west.
These two reports, then-the Rowell-Sirois report, chapter 2 of book 2, and the Beveridge report, part 6-set out the background of social services, the why and the wherefore. They are well worth studying.
Let me read to the house briefly from the Beveridge report at page 163:
Income security, which is all that can be given by social insurance, is so inadequate a provision for human happiness, that to put it forward by itself as a sole or principal measure of reconstruction hardly seems worth doing. It should be accompanied by an announced determination to use the powers of the state to whatever extent may prove necessary to insure for all, not indeed absolute continuity of work, but a reasonable chance of productive employment.
That is a broad principle, and it seems to me that this government has been trying to do that, through some of the committees it has set up. In the early months of the war the cabinet committee on reconstruction and rehabilitation was formed, then the committee headed by Doctor James, and the excellent subcommittees were headed by most able men. Last year's parliamentary committee on reconstruction and rehabilitation will, I believe, be reconstituted this year. It has considered the broad principles of productive employment, and has gone into plans which will aid in preventing mass unemployment of the kind we had during the depression years. They are urging every government, municipal and provincial, and every industry to do what can be done to prepare to change from war production to peace-time production.
What the people want is a chance to work. What- shall we do when our present customer
who takes all our output, who is insatiable in his demands, who destroys everything he gets-what shall we do when war no longer buys our products? That is a question which will have to be answered. As was pointed out this afternoon in the excellent address of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell), that is something which has been in the minds of the cabinet. In carrying out their policy of wage and price ceilings they have had in mind to keep the value of money on a level keel. That is one of the broad principles which will have to be considered in order to prevent unemployment and to secure a livelihood for all. These committees will have an answer, and I hope they give the right answer, as to what our post-war production will go into, what projects and what development of our natural resources will be carried out.
Then again the Beveridge report in pages 154 to 158, has something interesting to say about children's allowances. Here the report discusses the background of the allowances given to children,. This is something that I have felt and urged should be incorporated in our unemployment insurance and in the benefits given to returned men. The size of the family should be taken into consideration when allowances are given. There are many who find that the everyday expenses of the larger family run into a great deal more money than those of the smaller family. Every mother who has planned for the table knows that.
To a large extent the state has taken over the primary education of children, and it seems to me that we ought to go a step further and do more for the physical wellbeing of the children of our land. We should look after their health. This might be done through health insurance, and also through housing conditions so that there will be the type of environment from which good citizenship comes. The dependents' allowance board is working along these lines. It will be remembered that in the beginning provision was made for only two children. I believe it was the intention not to enlist men with larger families, but this principle has been gradually broadened and now the size of the allowance is according to the need of the family.
Last fall dependents' boards of trustees were set up to look into special cases that needed assistance. This was an excellent arrangement. These local advisory boards know the needs of the district. If this legislation is administered with sympathy and forethought, the extra expenses of the soldiers' families will be met. But as in other boards,
The Address-Mrs. Casselman
if the personnel is not sufficiently intelligent and interested, the work will be unsatisfactory. Any legislation is ineffective if those who administer it are not intelligently anxious to make it work. This is something we might consider in connection with some of our present-day boards. If those who hear the appeals are not unduly biased, either in favour of the one who makes the appeal oi in favour of the taxpayer who foots the bill, then these dependents' boards of trustees should work well. These dependents do not ask for charity; they are claiming only what is their right-consideration for special needs. There would be fewer worries for those whose burdens no legislation can lighten if these boards worked sympathetically.
Another interesting point in the Beveridge report is the fact that he differentiates between the earned pay of the individual and the rate of benefit. It seems to me that the argument in favour of that is quite sound. He would not have the rate of pay such that there is no margin between what a man may earn and what he would get if he were idle. He puts no premium on idleness or laziness, which is often involved in such schemes. He provides a subsistence level, which to me seems quite low, but above that the individual is encouraged to save and to get more if possible for his other wants. I think most people will approve that principle. There are no people more indignant at the malingerers who draw pay without working than the workers themselves.
At page 166 of the report, Sir William Beveridge goes into the question of the standard of living. One paragraph reads as follows: [DOT]
The social surveys showed not only what was the standard of living available to the community just before the war but also that it had risen rapidly in the past thirty or forty years. The recent London and York surveys were designed to provide comparisons with earlier studies. They yielded unquestionable proof of large and general progress. When the New Survey of London Life and Labour was made in 1929, the average workman in London could buy a third more of articles of consumption in return for labour of an hour's less duration per day than he could buy forty years before at the time of Charles Booth's original survey. The standard of living available to the work people of York in 1936 may be put over all at about 30 per cent higher than it was in 1899. This improvement of economic condition was reflected in improvement of physical conditions. In London, the crude death-rate fell from 18-6 per thousand in 1900 to 11-4 in 1935 and the infant mortality rate fell from 159 to 58 per thousand. In York the infant mortality rate fell from 161 per thousand in 1899 to 55 in 1936; in the same period nearly two inches was added to the height of school children and nearly five pounds 72537-23
to their weight. Growing prosperity and improving health are facts established for these towns not as general impressions but by scientific impartial investigations. What has been shown for these towns in detail applies to the country generally. The real wages of labour, what the wage-earner could buy with his earnings just before the present war, were in general about one-third higher than in 1900 for an hour less of work each day. What the wage-earner could buy when earning had been interrupted by sickness, accident or unemployment or had been ended by old age, had increased in even larger proportion, though still inadequately, by development of social insurance and allied services.
That period covered years of peace and years of war, years of prosperity and years of depression-1900-1936. It will be noticed that he states that the real wages had risen. There are some articles in the Toronto Saturday Night of January 9 and February 6 by Don Stairs dealing with this same question in the United States. He draws his information from such high sources as the Annalist, of July 26, 1935, and bases his conclusions on figures from the United States bureau of census, bureau of public roads and the United States department of agriculture, showing that the standard of living had risen in the United States. I tried to get comparable figures from our own bureau of statistics, but could find no comprehensive overall statement. I did, however, find this, that the wage rate in Canada in 1925 was 98-8, and the cost of living, 120-6; that is, the cost of living in 1925 was away above the wage rate. But in 1941 the wage rate was 118-9, and the cost of living, 111-7; that is, the cost of living was lower than the wage rate, which means that the worker could buy more with his money than he could previously. The Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) in his address this afternoon touched upon that and pointed out that the wage earner could buy twenty-seven per cent more with his wages to-day than he could in the years of the first great war. So that there has been an increase in the standard of living in the intervening years, and yet it has not been enough. There are still gaps. There are still a number of people who are living below the subsistence level, and I hope they will be covered by this new security legislation toward which we are moving.
I have touched on a few points on the Beveridge report, Mr. Speaker, because it seems to me that the better informed we are on the problems and difficulties which may arise even in the committee, the more likely are we to be able to overcome these difficulties.
The Address-Mrs. Casselman
(Translation) Mr. Speaker, I know that many difficulties of a constitutional and financial character crop up in connection with the drawing up of a social security plan, in view of the size and political structure of our country.
Our way of life is not the same in the east as in the west; and the difference is even greater as between the various provinces, but we are united in our common resolve to reach a common aim, which is to achieve security and material prosperity for all our citizens.
From the Atlantic to the Pacific, we are all Canadians and moreover we are Canadians first and axious to see our noble country freed forever from the fear of destitution while enjoying that freedom for which our armed forces are now fighting.
(Text) If we are going to arrive at a comprehensive over-all system of social security, there will have to be some give-and-take across Canada, because the problem bristles with difficulties and it will not be easy to arrive at a solution. When the United States passed their act in 1935, which was amended later, they set up fifty-one different systems of social security, and the present chairman of their social security board is now advocating that they have a more uniform system. I refer hon. members to the Labor Information Bulletin of last October and the American Labor Legislation Review, where similar views are expressed. Mr. Altmeyer, chairman of the social security board of the United States, said in a broadcast on the American Forum of the Air, on January 17 of this year:
While I believe responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of a unified comprehensive system of social insurance should be centralized in the federal government, I believe that the actual administration of the system should be highly decentralized, with representative advisory committees and appeal councils in several states.
So that we have before us their experience to help us in setting up and administering our act.
I live in Alberta, and I know the mountains of Alberta. I know the mountain peaks are what we see, but we cannot see the depressions between those mountains. We in the democratic countries have pretty well arrived in our own minds at what the peaks of civilization and of freedom should be. But in between there are those depths which we want to fill, so as to make our civilization of as high an order as we can make it. We must also remember this, that no one country can do it alone. Think of the countries now under the nazi heel, of Norway, tolerant, democratic, freedom-loving Norway, which stood in the very forefront of civilization;
and think of Norway now in these last few years! We cannot do it alone, for any progress we might make in our own country could be swept aside by another holocaust of war. We must also think of how these things will be affected by the new international order that will be set up at the end of this war and in which Canada must play its part, because only under a stable international order could we count on having the time to work out our own progress and be assured that what we do is going to endure.
Mr. D. G. ROSS (St. Paul's):
Mr. Speaker, my first words must be those of congratulation to the mover (Mr. Harris) and the seconder (Mr. Halle) of the address. It was most appropriate that two members of the armed1 forces should have been chosen for that honour.
My next thought is to congratulate my new leader in the House of Commons, the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon), upon the splendid manner in .which he discharged his onerous duty of replying on the address. I should also like to express my appreciation of the conscientious manner in which the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) carried on as leader of the opposition in spite of great difficulties, and of the high plane on which he conducted debate in this house and always endeavoured to raise its level.
Coming to the speech from the throne, I am sure that we were all inspired by the meeting of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill at Casablanca, and now we know the result of their conference. One wonders where Mr. Churchill will be next. He is the dynamic spirit that has carried the allies through their struggles. I should like also to say a word in appreciation to the British people and our allies the United States, the Russians, the Chinese and all the smaller nations, for what they have done towards victory. It seems that now we are on the way to victory.
This afternoon the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) made a few remarks on which I would comment briefly. He pointed out that last year only 1,200,000 man hours were lost. I would ask him how many man hours have been lost this year, since the beginning of the year, through strikes. I estimate that we have lost already, in the steel strike alone, 1,200,000 man hours which should not have been lost, because there should not have been a strike. The trouble had been coming for such a long time that it should have been avoided if the government had taken courageous action in that regard.
The Address-Mr. Ross (St. Paul's)
My house leader has set out in a splendid manner the platform of the Progressive Conservative party as laid down in the convention at Winnipeg. I would remind the house that our party had a convention in 1927 at Winnipeg. There a platform was laid down which was progressive, and our party carried that platform into effect during their term of office. I might recite a few of the progressive features. There was the Natural Products Marketing Act, the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, the Bank of Canada Act, the Dominion Trade and Industry Commission Act, the Canadian Farm Loan Act extensions, the Canadian Fishermen's Loan Act, the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act, the Act to Provide for Minimum Wages, the Act to Provide for Limitation of Hours for Work and a Weekly Day of Rest, the Dominion Housing Act, the Act to Provide for an Economic Council, and the Employment and Social Insurance Act.
It is true that some of this legislation was declared and improperly declared invalid, but there is no doubt that enabling legislation could have been obtained from the provinces in order to validate a good deal of it. The Liberal party and the government, however, with their laissez-faire method, did not raise a finger toward that end. The Employment and Social Security Act went a good deal farther than the Unemployment Insurance Act of to-day, and some of the ideas contained in that act are only now embodied in the speech from the throne.
I mention these things only to show the sincerity of our party, who have a habit of keeping their promises. May I point out that the word "Progressive" is not new in our party. In 1854 Sir John A. Macdonald, writing to Captain Strachan in the city of Toronto, said that he hoped the Conservative party would be broad enough to embrace all progressive Conservatives. Since confederation, practically all social legislation and great reforms have been put into effect or instigated by our party. As my leader pointed out, a part of our policy to-day has been embodied in the speech from the throne. It was amusing to hear the Prime Minister say the other day in the house that it has taken our party twenty-five years to catch up with his party, when last year, in the House of Commons, the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin) said to his own party and to the government that this government never did anything unless it was forced to do so by the Conservative opposition.
The Liberal government has never given leadership; it has always followed with a policy of laissez-faire. In that regard I would
say a few words about the laissez-faire attitude of the Liberal party and the Liberal government with respect to old age pensions. I do not think anyone will disagree with me, or contradict me, when I say that Canada has treated in a disgraceful manner her old people who have passed their useful age. When one considers that they have been good citizens all their lives; when one considers that they have probably raised a family and, through no fault of their own, have been unable to provide for their old age and are now in the evening of life, it seems to me it is the right of these people to have some provision made for them. And what do they get? A dollar a day is the maximum they can obtain under the old age pension scheme, or $240 a year, and if they have more than $300, including pension, the pension is reduced, making a total of $300. It is a terrible thing for old people to have to live on a dollar a day or less, but not a finger is raised by the government to remedy this situation. Not only that, but if they happen to have a boy in the armed forces from whom they are getting a dependent's allowance, the old age pension is reduced by that amount, and all for the sake of a few paltry dollars.
It would take a long time to get legislation through the House of Commons to take care of this situation, and I say that the government ought to do it at the present time. It can be done under the War Measures Act. We should have some form of compulsory contributory old age pension scheme to which every one should contribute, from the dustman to the highest in the country, and everyone should accept the pension. Moreover, fancy having a means test for these old people and the investigation they have to face! It is degrading, and some remedy should be provided immediately. It took this opposition a long time to get the government to put into force some remedy for the condition of the widows and some benefits for the dependents of soldiers, and I suppose it will take a long time to get this put into effect.
With regard to the man-power problem, is man-power being used to the best advantage? In 1940 we had national registration, and as far as I know the only thing it has been used for has been call-ups. That registration would have been of great use if the questions asked had been more carefully thought out. "Can you milk a cow?" was one. Were they going to put all the people who could milk a cow into one category? The only thing that has been milked is the public; they have been milked for the cost of the plebiscite and of the national registration to the tune of some two and a half million dollars.
The Address-Mr. Ross (St. Paul's)
The government as far as its man-power policy is concerned is, after two years, back just where it was before. Some time ago they made a start; they got Mr. Little here, and what happened? He was forced to resign. Why? On account of lack of cooperation by the government. There was no man-power policy until he came. He established a good policy, but he was so trammelled and worried by the government that he was just forced out. The government did not have courage to back up the man they put in. We now have a new man, and I suppose there will be another policy.
The other day we received a copy of a letter-it was called an interpretative letter-sent out, I take it, for the guidance of the judges who were to judge what was to be done. The letter says that the agricultural worker is, of course, free to volunteer for active service. It goes on to say:
It is the intention of the regulations that agricultural workers are to be retained in agricultural employment as far as practical through the national selective service (civilian) regulations. To the extent that their services can be spared from the farms during the "off-crop" season they are to be encouraged to take temporary seasonal employment in lumbering and logging, forestry, fishing, coal and base metal mining.
Why are they allowed to go only into the primary industries? Some of them live near other industries which at times need casual help during the off season on the farms. Do they have to go away from their homes in order to go into these industries? Some of these farmers have a trade; can they not work at their trade? Then again, why should they be allowed to volunteer for active service if they are essential to an agricultural job? To my mind, the outstanding factor in determining whether or not they should volunteer is the essentiality of the man to the job, not whether it is an essential job. If they are essential to the job they should not be allowed to volunteer. On the other hand, some recognition of this should be given to them so that there would be no stigma on their name after the war for not having enlisted for active service. The same thing applies in other industries.
I should like to cite a case; no doubt there are many others.. A young man, married, was sent over to England in 1940; he was one of several others specially picked. They were chemists and were sent over by the government of Canada to learn a specialized industry which was to start up in Canada. They came back and were placed in jobs. One man was placed in charge of a very special job. But he was unhappy in his job. He was an
essential man in the industry, but he was unhappy because his friends had enlisted in the army. For that reason and as a duty he volunteered for the army. He was afraid that after the war there would be a stigma on his name because he had not served overseas. That man is not doing the job in the army as he could do a job in essential industry in Canada at the present time. There should be some way of preventing such things as that. There are many square pegs in round holes, men who have been taken from industry and agriculture and put into the army. Something should be done to take care of that situation. Unless something is done, agriculture will in very truth become what the Prime Minister called it in his radio address, namely a war casualty. Just think of the Prime Minister of Canada calling agriculture a war casualty!
The government have fooled around with this man-power business long enough; they should get busy and lay down some policy. Labour in many instances is not being economically or efficiently employed. At times men in factories are working only half-time, although they are at the factory all the time. The employers are wondering how to keep them busy while certain changes are being made. I know it is hard to get men back if they are laid off; but we do not want to lay them off; there should be some system, some pooling arrangement whereby those men could be placed on some other job where they could be useful in the meantime. Some planning ought to be done in that regard.
Our young men have responded nobly to the call of duty. I just want to remind hon. members of the situation a few years ago when some of the finest young men in Canada, called transient unemployed, were riding the rods during the depression trying to find work, but nothing was done for them. In fact, one hon. gentleman in this house, who was sitting on the other side at that time, spoke of them in not very nice terms, calling them spineless, pap-fed saps. What are those spineless pap-fed saps doing now? They are in the army, the navy, the air force, fighting the battles of our country in spite of the way in which they were treated during the depression. We must never let such a situation occur again in this country.
I have before me some figures with regard to the call-up. Under the National Resources Mobilization Act the army asked for 150,309 home defence conscripts covering the call-up operations for 1941-42. There were 750,611 notices sent out, of which 87,465 were not delivered. This left 663,146, out of which
The Address-Mr. Ross (St. Paul's)
number there were 216,791 from whom nothing was heard. They either had enlisted or died or been killed or dodged the draft. This left 446,355. Of these, 189,491 were in category A, leaving 256,864. Of these 120,610 obtained postponement, and I do not know what happened to the remaining 136,254.
These figures are interesting, but they do not jibe with the next figures. Notices to report for military service were then sent to 173,525 men; why, I do not know. Of these notices, 9,345 were not delivered, leaving 164,ISO. Of these, 32,826 vanished, I do not know where, leaving 131,354 to report at the training centres. Of these, 23,676 were found unfit, so that in all the army got 107,678 instead of the 150,309 they wanted. Mr. Grant Dexter summed it up in the Free Press in this way: Out of every 100 notices there were 11 not delivered, 28 never heard from, 59 turned up for medical inspection, 28 in category A, 16 postponements-9 agriculture and 7 industry-and 14 reported to camp. Three were unfit, and the army got 11 out of 100.
If that is not muddling along, I do not know what is. Why should we have such a ridiculous situation? Why should we send out 750,000 notices and find that 216,790 were never heard from, with apparently no one knowing where they are? If we do not know where they are, why not? But while this call-up was going on, there were thousands of other young men-good men, too-who volunteered for service anywhere in the world. Some of these men were vitally needed for our home production, in coal mines, toolmaking, as scientists and so on. Many of these men were essential to industry. There is a waste of effort; there is a lack of planning all the way through. Here are the three branches competing among themselves for men, with no cooperation whatever. The armed forces, industry and agriculture all want men, and they are given no direction at all.
I have in my hand a copy of a memorandum prepared at the beginning fo the war by General McNaughton concerning the supply of skilled men and tradsemen to the armed forces and to industry, from which I should like to read one paragraph.
Under a system of voluntary service in the armed forces there is a probability, having regard to the character of the Canadian people, that many men with the highest qualifications of all sorts will seek active service. The problem of ensuring that industry is not deprived unduly of the skilled engineers, mechanics, etc., on whom the rapid expansion of production depends by reason of their enlistment in or appointment to commissions in the armed forces, is thus prevented.
Some trades are vital, others are less important, and others again can be dispensed with under conditions of national emergency; hence a list of "reserved occupations" is needed.
Some industries are important to or for the production of munitions; others for the maintenance of vital services to the civil community; others again which are active in peace are of little importance in war. In consequence, a list of "essential industries" is required.
Where is the list of essential industries? Has it ever been prepared? General McNaughton says what I have also mentioned previously:
. . . having regard to the character of the Canadian people, that many men with the highest qualifications of all sorts will seek active service.
Many have done so, and many of them should be in essential industries in Canada. This memorandum goes on to point out how this question of national selective service should be worked out. Have these suggestions ever been followed by the Department of Labour? Judging by the results, I would say they never have.
That is all I have to say with regard to the man-power muddle, and now I should like to say just a few words with regard to the work of this session of parliament. We in this house have been accused of wasting time and of repetition, and of neglect in passing the estimates. I think last year it was said that we passed $36,000,000 through the house in thirty-six minutes. I would say that this is not the fault of the opposition; it is the fault of the government of the day. At the present time there is no proposed legislation on the order paper outside the $1,000 million resolution. Why should the proposed legislation not be there, so that members of the house may study it and become familiar with it, in order that they may know what they are talking about when it comes up? We shall have the war appropriation bills in a short time; and if we do as we did last year, almost every hon. member will want to speak half a dozen times or more on the same thing. Why could we not have the war appropriation bill set out in some orderly fashion, something like the estimates, so that the discussion might be carried on in an orderly way? By that means a great deal of repetition would be avoided. If we have a reasonable breakdown of the expenditures, which we are entitled to; if we are 'Shown how the money was expended by the various departments, a great deal of the time of the house will be saved and we shall have the whole story.
Much more information should be given this house. We want to know what is going
The Address-Mr. Ross (St. Paul's)
on. But when we ask for information it is always the same old story; we are told that it is not in the public interest, or that it will give information to the enemy. Well, I have before me a report to the 78th congress of the United States on lease-lend operations, published by Edward R. Stettinius, Junior, lease-lend administrator of the United States. I will not take time to read it all, but there are one or two paragraphs which may be of interest. He mentions some planes, some
medium tanks, some anti-tank guns and so on sent to Egypt and then, in connection with the north African campaign, goes on to say that Great Britain provided two-thirds of the warships and transports employed in the original landing operation. Does that give information to the enemy? The report states:
Sixty per cent of the ground forces were American and the air forces were equally divided. Of the landing craft employed most were American-built. Some had been lend-leased to Britain and were manned by British crews. United States fighter squadrons, on the other hand, flew 160 Spitfires provided by Great Britain under reciprocal aid.
Then it goes on to say:
Supplies lend-leased by Britain to our armed forces included such items as 100 miles of portable air-field runways, more than half a million anti-tank mines and grenades, 130 reconnaissance boats, four complete 1,000-bed field hospitals, and medical supplies for 100,000 men.
It tells also, by tables, where these articles went. Then again at page 50 there is further information about the material supplied. Does it. give information to the enemy? Or is it "not in the public interest"? It is certainly in the public interest. The public are paying the shot, and the public are entitled to know what they are getting for their money. That is what I think about the matter. There is no reason in the world why we should not have much fuller information before the House of Commons. We are always told it is "not in the public interest".
Moreover, too many statutes are altered by order in council when the house is in session. There is no reason in the world why a report should not be made to the house. After all, we are responsible for the discussion of the rights and wrongs arising when the laws are made. Then, too many regulations are put through without reference to the House of Commons, but while it is in session.
Not only that, but we are supposed to come here and sit for six or seven months, as we did last year, when, I suggest, it would have been far better if we had come for a month, returned home for a month, come back for another month, and then returned home. When
we did arrive, much of the work was not ready for us. Had we had an opportunity to return to our homes, we might have discussed some of the measures in our constituencies.
Then, I have in mind the question of the rationing of butter. We were told by the administrator that there was no chance of butter rationing; yet, two months later, butter is rationed. Had the House of Commons been sitting, the administrator would have had the advice of the members, coming as they do from various parts of the country-members who know what they are talking about. Greater information would have been available, and the whole matter would not have been left to the administrator. There are many other matters which might be discussed by members of the house, either in the house or in committee, before regulations are put into effect.
After all, members of the House of Commons are responsible to the people, while the administrators are not. If more opportunity were given to members to discuss matters in the house we might go a long way toward getting rid of much of the dissatisfaction and discontent that exist. Parliament in Canada must be kept supreme. We do not want dictatorship, although we have almost a dictatorship now. We are not consulted about most action taken.
I now come to the matter of questions asked on the orders of the day. This afternoon the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) undertook to lecture my leader when he asked questions. Is there any reason why we should not follow the practice in the British House of Commons, and have a question hour? Could we not have a similar period? We may put questions on the order paper, and the answers will appear in Hansard or in Votes and Proceedings. On a great many occasions questions of great importance are answered very briefly, or by indicating that an order for return will be tabled. Perhaps the lapse of time between the appearance of the question on the order paper and the tabling of the order for return may have the effect of losing any advantage there may be in the answer given.
After all, members of the House of Commons are entitled to know what is happening, and the only way whereby they can get information is by asking questions across the floor of the house. There are just as good reasons why hon. members should receive verbal answers to questions as there are against the reading of speeches. There is no reason why we could not have a question hour during which time public matters could be discussed across the floor of the house.
The Address-Mr. Marshall
Our first concern to-day must be for our own self-preservation, the winning of the war. Coupled with that aim is our obligation to see to it that those nations of Europe which are now occupied are freed. It is our obligation to see to it that there is a return of rule and order in the world. In that connection we are anxious to know something about our armed forces. Are our armed forces as efficient as they could be? Have we sufficient reinforcements? What about our auxiliary services? Are those in command of our armed forces the very best we can obtain? We as members of the House of Commons want to know this. Are our weapons the best? Is our equipment the best available, and in sufficient quantities?
We hear rumours and criticisms, and we are entitled to know the truth. No doubt, a little later in the session an opportunity will be given for the discussion of these matters. However, we want these questions answered more fully, and we do not want to hear that it is "not in the public interest" to answer them, or that by answering we would be "giving information to the enemy." The war is not yet won. Probably we are on the top of the hill, and the strength of the allies is probably equal to that of the axis powers. We must not be turned aside from complete and ultimate victory by any premature proposals of peace. Let us not be led astray by any such proposals. Victory and lasting peace can come only when the axis powers are swept from the seas, from the skies and from the territories they now occupy.
The war is our first concern, but we must not overlook the post-war period. Free enterprise must formulate plans against mass deprivation of work. Actual plans must be laid and ready. We cannot allow our forces to be discharged until there is work for them to do; we cannot permit dismissal of those who are now working in munitions factories until they are supplied with other jobs-even if we have to throw into the lake the munitions they may have to make.
Free enterprise must plan. Unless we put our economic and industrial house in order, constructively, the demagogues and the rascals will step in; they will take over and move in. Every crackpot with a promise of $50 every fish day, every scoundrel with hate for humanity in his heart, will try to wrest power for himself and his faction. They will make their appeals to the war weary, the dispirited, the hungry and the jobless. They will offer them pie in the
sky, but quick, in exchange for their liberty and dignity. They will promise them jobs from a fuehrer and regular train service of a Duce if the workers will but surrender their freedom and independence. Reason and common sense will go by the board, and the process of evolution which has brought our nation to relative well-being will be wiped away.
Mr. J. A. MARSHALL (Camrose):
Mr. Speaker, before I proceed to a discussion of some of the questions referred to in the speech from the throne I desire to pay a tribute, not only on my own behalf but on behalf of the members of my group, to those gallant and heroic men who took part in the battle of Dieppe. Dieppe is one more glorious page in history written by Canadians, and it will ever rank in importance with those memorable battles which were fought and won by Canadians in the last war, the Somme, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Mons.
In the southern part of my constituency there is a thriving and prosperous town called Stettler. From this town and the adjacent countryside have gone forth many men and women to serve their country in every branch of the armed services. They are giving of their best in every theatre of war where Canadians are found to-day. Some of the men enlisted in the Calgary tank corps, but little did they realize that at some future date they would play a part in what may be looked upon as one of the most important engagements fought thus far in this war.
I recall how the people of that district received the first intimation that their sons had taken part in the Dieppe raid. I recall, too, quite vividly the day when the telegrams were coming in almost hourly, announcing the fate of some of these men on the bloodstained sands of that French shore. Men and women of that district went about their daily tasks dreading what the hour or day might bring forth. When the roll call was finally completed it was discovered that that district had, through its sons, played a leading part in the Dieppe raid. Some of them made the supreme sacrifice and others are languishing to-day in German prison camps.
I read with great care the tribute which the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) paid in his speech to the men at Dieppe. It was a wonderful tribute, couched in masterly English as only a master of English could do. He spoke of their resource, their ingenuity, their bravery, their valour and their heroism. All these words struck a sympathetic chord in my own heart as no doubt they did in the heart of every hon. member of this house. But I
The Address-Mr. Marshall
must confess that I was deeply disappointed at the manner in which he closed his eulogy. While I am precluded from quoting the words he used because they were used in this debate in which we are now engaged, I shall endeavour to give their essence as best I can.
He said that he hoped that word would go out to the living among their numbers that the House of Commons, whatever difference there may be in its parties, was one in its thought for them and its determination to see that everything that was in its power to do would be done to help and support them. Such an indefinite promise as that will, I think, bring cold comfort to many aching hearts. Surely the Prime Minister of this country could be more definite and more specific when making a promise to these men. Never in the history of this country was there given to any man a greater opportunity to assure, not only the dependents of these men who gave their lives, but all men and all women who are fighting the battles of their countiy in all the armed forces that no matter what might happen to them, Canada would deal fairly with their dependents.
It is tragic to think that such an opportunity should be allowed to go unaccepted. As I contemplate the conditions which are likely to prevail in this country at the close of the present war, unless we change the system under which we are operating, I wonder what will be the fate of these men and these women and their dependents. Would it be too much to ask the Prime Minister not only to pledge himself as leader of the government but also to pledge his party and to pledge parliament and the Canadian people that the wives and the children, the fathers and the mothers of these men shall never know the meaning of the term "economic insecurity." [DOT]
Rumours fly thick and fast that we are approaching a general election, and I suggest to the Prime Minister that he take unto himself and his party another plank, one which we have had in our platform ever since the war commenced, one which we still have there and one in which we still believe. It is this: "Economic security, with individual freedom for every Canadian citizen." I do not think that is incompatible with anything in the Liberal platform.
I should like to deal now with three important questions which are to be found in the speech from the throne, and in dealing with them I shall reverse the order in which they are to be found in Hansard. Those three questions are (1) the parliamentary assistants to be appointed to assist cabinet ministers whose duties have become particularly onerous
fMr. Marshall.] .
because of commitments of war; (2) redistribution of representation in the House of Commons, and (3) social security measures for the whole of Canada.
Dealing with the first one, I am not convinced that any good purpose will be served by the appointment of secretaries to ministers of the crown. I realize, of course, that there are some ministers who perhaps would find themselves displaced by their secretaries within a very short time. There are in the cabinet to-day men who might be stunted or stultified by their secretaries. But I cannot find any man, or any woman for that matter, who would be able to fill the shoes of the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe). I think anybody would have difficulty in acting as understudy to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston), or to the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power) ; and although I do not agree entirely with the methods adopted by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley), or the manner in which the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) deals with the problems of the farmers, I believe that the efforts of these men would be in some way constrained by the appointment of secretaries to them. We have been at war for three and a half years now, and if those departments which have to deal directly with the prosecution of the war have not yet been so organized as to give the ministers a great deal more freedom than they had1 at the beginning, then there must be something radically wrong. I find myself admiring particularly the Minister of Munitions and Supply, and wondering, as Oliver Goldsmith said of the Village Schoolmaster, how "one small head could carry all he knew." It would be a calamity if anyone were to try to act as understudy in the House of Commons to a man of that calibre.
I come now to the second question-and I can touch on these questions only briefly and superficially-redistribution of the representation in the House of Commons. Gerrymandering has been the sport of the major political parties ever since confederation, and I am quite satisfied that this practice will not be eliminated when redistribution of the present representation comes up in the house for final approval. I believe that the whole question which underlies the representation of the people of Canada in the Canadian House of Commons should be thoroughly gone into. Redistribution of representation has been the subject before a special committee in the British House of Commons, the Vivian committee I believe, and that committee has submitted its report to the British house. I have
The Address-Mr. Marshall
not seen a copy of the report, I have not read it, but I think it would bear careful study by the committee which the Prime Minister expects to set up at this session.
The war to some extent has caused a shift in the population of this country. Some parts of the west have been badly depopulated; people have moved from that section of the country to more highly industrialized centres in eastern Canada. That is a war problem.
It will remedy itself, I believe, at the close of hostilities, if not before hostilities end. For that reason I think this question of redistribution should be shelved for the duration of the war.
I come now to the most important question of all, that of social security measures. Here in this field of human activity and endeavour we find a welter of confusion-plans, plans and more plans. More plans have been advanced by different individuals and different organizations than a dog has fleas. When I spoke in this house last session I tried to emphasize one particular fact. I make no apology for bringing it up again at this session because it is very important. Plans presuppose objectives, and these objectives, so far as I am aware, have not yet been positively defined. Preachers, teachers, newspaper correspondents, university professors, orthodox economists and politicians have hinted at the shape of things to come. I have tried to crystallize in my own way the various ideas which these individuals have expressed from time to time. Here are the things which I think these learned gentlemen would like to impose upon us: (1) A return to the gold stapdard; (2) The establishment of an international police force; and (3) The complete destruction of British idealism, individualism and initiative, and the substitution of state autocracy.
I will admit that some planning is necessary; but as Major-General J. F. Fuller once said, "A planned world is a damned1 world, because, unlike the machine, man was not created on a drawing board." Since the war began we have set up controllers to control almost every commodity in Canada, and now we find it necessary to set up a controller to control the controllers. Likewise, in due process of time, I believe we shall have to set up a planner to plan the planners.
Already we have three committees operating in Canada, one under the chairmanship of Doctor Cyril James. They have taken a lot of time and spent a lot of money, and thus far we know little of what they have done. There is also the house committee set up last session which will be reconstituted this session. They have done little or nothing, and now we find there is a committee of the cabinet 72537-24 revised
I believe there are plans in existence today in Canada. When the time comes, these plans will be brought forward; but the blueprints from which the plans have been taken will be kept a closely guarded secret. I am suggesting that there are two probable sources from which these blue-prints (upon which the plans will be based) will emanate-one, from the blue-prints which have been made by the bank for international settlements. This may sound rather strange to many, but if hon. members want confirmation of this they will readily get it in the last report which was issued by this pro-axis and mysterious organization presided over by an American, the shares of which are controlled to a large extent by the axis powers. There is ample evidence that these blue-prints are at present in existence.
I wish now to make passing reference to the proposals of Sir William Beveridge. They are causing a vast amount of excitement, and enthusiasm as well, in the minds of the people.
You cannot hope to bribe or twist,
Thank God, the British Economist.
But seeing what the man will do,
Unbribed there's no occasion to.
What is one nation's Beveridge may be another nation's headache.
Who is this man Beveridge? It is necessary to know something about the man before one can appreciate, or otherwise, his proposals. "By their fruits ye shall know them". In January there appeared in the Edmonton Bulletin a long article dealing with the past history of this gentleman. It is not my intention to read it at length, but I want to read just a few lines:
He has been a one-man economic reformer in Britain since long before the war.
And here is the significant part:
He has had an important hand in every major piece of social legislation in the last forty years.
Social legislation which has caused grinding and punitive taxation, social legislation which has produced labour queues, the means test, idleness, want, disease, ignorance and squalor. Then again, to round out the picture, this man has long been closely associated with the London School of Economics. To some of us this fact has special significance. Professor J. H. Morgan, K.C., writing in the Quarterly Review for the year 1929 on the life of Lord Haldane said:
When I once asked Lord Haldane why he persuaded his friend Sir Ernest Cassel to settle by will large sums on the London School of Economics, be replied "our object is to make this institution a place to raise and train the bureaucracy of the future socialist state".