March 19, 1943

CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Yes.

The Budget-Mr. Castleden

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

No. From their profits for purposes of taxation.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

For purposes of

taxation.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Right,

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

The excess profits tax is now 100 per cent.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

It is really 80 per cent.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

One hundred per cent with 20 per cent returnable.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I do not know, and the hon. member does not know either whether the company is in that class. It may be in the 40 per cent class, in which event his argument goes entirely.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

They are allowed in their returns an amount of $5,000,000.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Exactly, $5,000,000 a year, to be deducted from their gross income for tax purposes. I would ask the hon. gentleman not to twist that into a statement that this means $5,000,000 off their taxes each year because it does not.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

I am just giving the words of the agreement as it stands. This is the company which in 1941 declared a net profit of over $34,000,000, and according to the press of March 16 last, its net profit for 1942 was $33,301,829. It seems to me that in view of the very favourable position in which this company finds itself it could have been expected to carry on this expansion programme on its own. But the government is really granting it for taxation purposes the amounts set out in the agreement. It would almost seem good business for the government to build a plant, rent it to the company for the duration of the war, and then perhaps sell it to the company. This company has the right to Canada's ore; it uses Canadian workers in its mines, declares immense profits, and then is allowed these large deductions from its profits in making its taxation returns for the excess profits tax, which now amounts to 80 per cent, the other 20 per cent being returnable.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

My colleague drew attention to the fact that this company is not in the 80 per cent class. I feel quite certain that that is the case. I think the hon. member should use the figure "40" instead of "80".

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Well, its profits over a period of years before the war were some of the best in the history of the company.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

That would put them in the 40 per cent class.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Yes.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

I should be glad if the minister would make a statement as to where this company actually stands. This is the type of "free enterprise" to which we object. Apparently this company is granted certain privileges, although under free enterprise it is supposed to stand on its own feet.

Yesterday this group was attacked because of our stand last year on Bill No. 80, to amend the Natural Resources Mobilization Act. Our stand was this: We were quite willing to support the conscription of our man-power in the winning of this war if the government would spread that conscription and nationalization to include the industry and finance of this country. We believe that it is not right to ask men to give their lives while companies are permitted to continue to make profits.

I wish to compare the treatment handed out to this company with the treatment accorded to agriculture. There are 700,000 farmers in Canada; they represent about one-third of the population. In 1942 fewer than 1,500 earned sufficient to come into the income tax group-and our income tax for married persons is applied to earnings as low as $1.200. Any Canadian industrial concern whose industry was depressed in the period prior to the war is granted certain concessions, and any loss it may have sustained in the period 1936-39 is taken into consideration in computing excess profits and corporation taxation in time of war. I do not find in the present budget any such provision for the farmers. I believe that the statement was made that if any loss occurred in 1942 the farmer would be permitted to spread it over 1943 and 1944; but how about his losses in the past ten years?

Agriculture in this country, and I speak particularly for the province of Saskatchewan, in which I reside, as well as the west generally, went through almost ten years of mercilqgs depression. I have lived among the western farmers all my life. I know their condition; I have shared their troubles; I have worked in their fields; I have taught their children. I have seen these people come through smiling after ten years of fruitless toil, disappointment and hopelessness. I have the honour to represent in this house a constituency one-third of whose population is of Ukrainian birth. These people are making a noble contribution to Canada in every field of national life; they are fine Canadians. Along with men of other nationalities they shed their blood at Dieppe and Hong Kong, and they are willingly mak-

The Budget-Mr. Castleden

ing sacrifices. Those engaged in agriculture want to help with everything they can to win the war; and1 they know how to grow food. That is the farmer's business. The government has neglected to take into consideration the welfare of the people who are providing the life-line of Canada's war effort. The government has let them down seriously and badly. During the periods of depression most of the farmers were unable to get any return on their labour, and their debt piled up, interest being compounded on interest, until now that debt is almost unpayable. I should like people to realize what kind of job it is for farmers to work on day after day, year after year, with that load of unpayable debt, a debt which this government seems to be doing very little to remove. Preparation for last year's harvest, the largest in Canada's history, was extremely difficult. The farmer finds himself unable to plan his production this year, for many reasons. One of them is that he has no idea whether the boy who is still on his farm-if one yet remains-is to be allowed to stay there. The government should issue an order that any farmer who maintains a certain production, be it of dairy produce, beef, cattle, wheat or other necessary articles, will be guaranteed his labour. In that regard there has been no direct policy upon which the farmer can rely.

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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. J. E. MICHAUD (Minister of Transport) :

I do not rise for the purpose of stating that I will not support the amendment or the subamendment to the motion, or that I will support the budget as presented by my colleague. My purpose in taking a few moments of the time of the house this afternoon is to set forth some facts which on their face may appear to have more of local than of national interest. But I believe that they are due to the people of this country, and particularly to the electorate of New Brunswick.

The first matter to which I wish to refer is the statement made yesterday afternoon by the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) with regard to the disposal of potatoes from Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. I believe that, in view of the good reputation which the potatoes from the island and New Brunswick enjoy, not only on the Canadian market but on the United States market, and to relieve the minds of growers in both provinces, it is only fair that the explanation which was asked for yesterday should be immediately placed on record and brought to the attention of the public.

As reported in Hansard, at page 1355, the hon. member for York-Sunbury said:

Prices for seed stock have always been higher than prices for table stock, but I understand that now the wartime prices and trade board have either imposed an embargo on the export of seed potatoes to the United States, or have made such export subject to licence. I suggest to the minister under whose control the matter would come that this is a mistake from every point of view. A determined effort should be made to change that position, and I would ask the member of the government responsible to direct that the whole matter be reviewed. Not only shall we lose the export market in the United States, and the greatly enhanced price of the product; we will lose what I consider to be of at least equal value, the good-will of our customers across the line.

I have communicated with the department responsible for this situation and have received this statement, which I wish to place on the records of the house.

There is no embargo on the export of certified seed potatoes to the United States. For some time it has been felt that certified seed potatoes have been exported from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to the United States to be used as table stock, thus depleting the supply of seed potatoes required in Canada and the United States for seeding purposes this spring. The Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the provinces, has undertaken to encourage potato growers across Canada to use certified seed this year in order to increase their production of potatoes. To prevent seed potatoes from being exported for use as table stock and to ensure sufficient seed to meet our own requirements, the export of these potatoes has been placed under permit. The export permits branch of the Department of Trade and Commerce, and the Department of Agriculture, to whom requests will be submitted, may examine the bona tides of each shipment and decide whether or not a permit should be granted. Regard will always be had to the seed requirements of the Canadian growers. It will be seen that this regulation is not intended to prevent the growers of potatoes in the island or New Brunswick from exporting seed potatoes; its purpose is to ensure sufficient seed potatoes for the coming season, not only for Canadian growers but for those in the United States. People in the state of Maine have been buying our best potatoes as table stock. I am sure that the minds of the potato growers of Canada will be relieved and that they will feel satisfied that this regimentation has been adopted in their best interests.

There is another matter which I wish to bring before the house. For the last two weeks the opposition in the legislature of New Brunswick has seemed to give more attention to the discussion of federal problems and the

The Budget-Mr. Michaud

federal government and federal ministers than to a discussion of their own provincial affairs. This was started on March 4 by the leader of the opposition in the legislature when he criticized the federal government for having failed to utilize the resources of New Brunswick in the prosecution of the war and when he charged the federal government with discrimination against New Brunswick in the expenditure of public moneys for war purposes. He stated that all that had been given to New Brunswick was " chicken-feed." This criticism was taken up and repeated by some of his followers in the legislature and, as was to be expected, it was echoed in this chamber on the night of March 15 by the hon. member for St. John-Albert (Mr. Hazen).

No objection can be taken to anyone in New Brunswick or anywhere else criticizing the action of this government and the manner in which public moneys are expended. We are fighting to preserve that right. If the matter had remained a purely local one, I would not take up the time of this house in discussing it. Until this morning I was at a loss to understand the reason for this sudden change of attitude on the part of the opposition in the New Brunswick legislature. If I recall aright, last year they took exactly the opposite attitude. They refused to the government the privilege of discussing federal matters and complimenting the federal government upon what it had done for the province. They based their argument upon the ground that this was not a matter that pertained to the provincial government.

We read in this morning's press a report of a news item from Montreal to the effect that the hon. member for York-Sunbury is to resign and Mr. Bracken is to run in his place. This may partly explain the sudden change in the attitude of the opposition in New Brunswick and their interest in federal matters. This report has been denied by the hon. member for York-Sunbury, and I am afraid that this will act as a frustration of the enthusiasm of his hyphenated friends in the legislature. If it were only a matter of political expediency or tactics or warfare, I would not have mentioned it, but I am afraid that this criticism which has received headlines in the New Brunswick newspapers and recognition in the national press will lead to the belief that the resources of New Brunswick are not being utilized to the fullest extent. The natural deduction will be that New Brunswick is not contributing to the war effort to the extent of its capacity, and nothing could be further from the truth than such an assumption. .

The resources of New Brunswick are being used 100 per cent in the war effort. The province has a recorded population of 457,401, of whom thirty-five per cent are of French extraction. The province has supported the war effort 100 per cent with its man-power, an achievement which has not been excelled by any other part of the country. The material resources of the province have been used 100 per cent in the war effort as have the financial resources. Quotas for all victory loans have been oversubscribed. The principal industries of New Brunswick are agriculture, lumber manufacturing and fishing. I defy anyone to say that the men engaged in those three basic industries are not serving their country in the best manner possible. They are working to 100 per cent of their capacity in their respective callings. The industrial and manufacturing facilities of the province are being used in the war effort 100 per cent. With a population of barely over 450,000 people distributed over a relatively large territory, it stands to reason that there are no large centres of population in that province. Moreover there is no large industrial centre in the sense that this term is understood in central Canada. Unfortunately we have no large electric power developments, no large manufacturing plants in the sense that this term is generally accepted. But we have a number of smaller plants distributed all over that province, and they have been used to their full capacity.

It is possible that those who have made criticisms are under the impression or labour under the delusion that war industries and war plants are being planted by the dominion government in different parts of the country to gratify local pride or political friends or special interests. I must say that the government's attitude toward using industry in Canada for the war effort has not been to create and develop industry in competition with plants and industries already existing. On the contrary, the efforts of the government have been to use fully for war purposes all industrial capacity which existed before the war. And no different treatment was meted out to that province than to any other section.

Unfortunately, on account of local conditions-lack of power, manufacturing facilities, and technical labour-it was impossible to establish large industrial war plants in New Brunswick. But if there had been such facilities, why is it that those who are interested and who are now criticizing did not offer their services, their capital, their management talent, their manufacturing facilities? All the

The Budget-Mr. Michaud

industrialists of the province-and there were many-who volunteered their services, who wanted to contribute something to war industry, who had something to contribute, have not only been encouraged to do so but have been helped financially to place their facilities at the command of the government.

What did take place? When the war started I took it upon myself to see that New Brunswick should be given an opportunity to contribute to its maximum capacity toward1 the war effort in the industrial and manufacturing line. For that purpose gentlemen in whom I had full confidence, who I knew could, because of their past activities and success, well advise the government and the several war departments, establish relations with industrialists in the province and look after the interests of the province, were invited to Ottawa. They were placed in the Department of Munitions and Supply and were given positions in which they could in the discharge of their duties look after the interests of the industrialists of the province. I shall name them, because they are men of outstanding reputation, and the mention of their names will not detract at all from their good reputation.

We have Lieutenant-Colonel W. A. Harrison, who is executive assistant to the minister, Department of Munitions and Supply. Colonel Harrison was a retired gentleman who could well afford to spend his days in leisure. In the month of January he was summoned by the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) from Florida. In four days he was in Ottawa and since then has been here working without remuneration. Doctor J. R. Petrie, director, displaced industries division, Department of Munitions and Supply, was a professor in the university of New Brunswick, a New Brunswick boy who has been brought here to look after the interests of that province. Mr. W. F.. Knoll, in charge of wires and nails, office of the steel controller, was, I understand, manager of an industrial plant in Saint John and has been invited to serve in the office of the steel controller in the capacity in which he could best exercise his talents. I would also mention Mr. B. W. Kelley, chief engineer, maritknes subcontract division, Department of Munitions and Supply, and Mr. Frank M. Ross, director general, naval armament and equipment, Department of Munitions and Supply.

What has happened? Let us take a Cook's tour round the province of New Brunswick and see what industries we have which were invited to contribute and have contributed to the war effort. Travelling eastward from Ottawa we enter the province at the gateway at Campbellton. There we have the McLennan Foundry and Machine Works Limited, and

iMr. Michaud.]

J. and D. A. Harquail Company Limited; at Dalhousie there is the New Brunswick International Paper Company; at Bathurst, the Northern Machine Works and Canada Iron Foundries; at Buctouche there is J. D. Irving Limited; at Moncton, Clark Ruse Aircraft Limited and Humphrey Woollen Mills; at Port Elgin, the Copp Woollen Mills; at Sackville, Enamel and Heating Products, Limited and Enterprise Foundry Company, Limited; at Petitcodiac, the Lawson Machine Works; at Sussex, the Wallace Manufacturing Company; and at Saint John, T. S. Simms and Company Limited, Murray and Gregory, Provincial Wood Products Company Limited, Saint John Iron Works, E. S. Stephenson and Company, J. Fred Williamson, Courtenay Iron and Brass Foundry, Saint John Machine Shop Company, Wilson Boxes, Toronto Shipbuilding Company and Saint John Dry Docks and Shipbuilding Company. At Fredericton, there are Horsnell Machine and Iron Works, Hartt Boot and Shoe Company, John Palmer Company and Palmer-McLellan Shoepack Company. At Devon there is Creighton and Smith Limited. At Upper Gagetown, McMul'kin and Sons; at St. Andrews, the Vaughan Shipbuilding Company, and at Bristol, John Mead and Sons; at Hartland, the New Brunswick Potato Products Limited, potato dehydrating plant, and at Grand Falls, Pirie Potato Products Limited, potato dehydrating plant.

That makes thirty-four industrial plants in New Brunswick which have received war contracts directly from the Department of Munitions and Supply, and some of which have received capital assistance when it was needed. Not all have received capital assistance, because all did not need it.

We have eleven other industrial firms which have neither received capital assistance nor demanded any and which have not received war contracts directly from the government but whose industrial plants have been working efficiently and continuously to their maximum capacity for the war effort. These companies are: at Campbellton, W. H. Miller Company and Restigouche Company Limited; at Bathurst, the Bathurst Pulp and Paper Company Limited; at Nelson, Geo. Burchill and Sons; South Nelson Lumber Company Limited; L. J. O'Brien; at Moncton, LeBlane and Lockhart, woodworking factories; at Fredericton, Fraser Companies Limited; at Edmundston, Fraser Companies Limited; L. H. Morneault woodworking plant. Naturally there are more woodworking plants and lumber mills than tank and gun factories, because New Brunswick is a lumbering province; lumber is the main industry. These eleven firms never received

The Budget-Mr. Michaud

government advances of any kind, nor have they received direct government contracts, as far as I know. They are, however, using the natural resources of the provinces to their maximum capacity, in the war effort.

Let me now give the miltiary establishments. New Brunswick has not been overlooked, disregarded or discriminated against in this particular. For a small province we have quite a number of establishments, as follows:

Army

Saint John, military district headquarters.

Sussex, training centx-e.

Tracadie, rifle range.

Utopia, advanced training centre.

Fredericton, training centre No. 70.

Edmundston, training centre No. 71.

Air

Chatham, Salisbury, Moncton, Saint John, Seoudoue, Pennfield.

Navy

Saint John.

Now what about the amount of actual money expended in that province since the beginning of the war? The total is $78,712,178.12, made up as follows:

Department of Munitions and Supply

Dollar value of contracts $37,832,903 00

Capital expenditures 21,463,065 58

Department of National Defence

(army)

Department of National Defence

(navy)

Department of Transport

Airpoi'ts

Seamen's branch

National Hax-bours Board

Canadian National Railways.. Department of Public Works....

7,674,531 53

2,127,489 31

2,577,190 23 75,000 00 857.302 31 4,646,375 00 1.458,321 16

Grand total $78,712,178 12

I could give the details for each of these departments, to indicate where the money has been spent. It has been claimed by the hon. member for St. John-Albert (Mr. Hazen) that the city of Saint John did not receive its share. Well, some may claim that the war expenditures of the government should have been distributed according to population, but to me that is a ridiculous claim, because expenditures are governed by the exigencies of war, by the requirements in connection with our defences, by the nature of the places where it is expedient that something along this line be done in the best interests of the defence of Canada.

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NAT

Douglas King Hazen

National Government

Mr. HAZEN:

Like Deep Brook.

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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Yes, Deep Brook is a place where it was found necessaxy and expedient to make some expenditures. Just to show how difficult it is to make a distribution according to population, even in the little province of New Brunswick, despite all our efforts it has

been impossible to spread the "chicken-feed" evenly across the province, though we have tried not to allow two or three old hens to get it all. We have not always been successful, notwithstanding all the efforts we made, to apportion the money as between Saint John and the rest of the province. Saint John constitutes about 11 per cent of the population of New Brunswick, but the war expenditures in Saint John constitute about 14 per cent of the grand total spent in that province. These expenditures were made up as follows:

War Expenditures in Saint John (capital)

Department of National Defence

(Army) $ 2,448,274 82

Department of National Defence

(Navy) 500,000 00

Department of Transport

Seamen's branch

75,000 00:National harbours board 857,302 31Department of Public Works... 1,458,321 16

Department of Munitions and Supply

Capital expenditures 5,999,600 ST

Grand total $11,338,498 66

Therefore I think neither the city of Saint John nor the province of New Brunswick has reason to complain of discrimination or that, to use the expression used the other day by someone from that city, the federal government has not pumped enough money into Saint John. I do not think that statement can be justified. If large war industries, or more war industries, have not been located in New Brunswick, whose fault is it? Is it the fault of the government, or is it the fault of the capitalists, the industrialists and the* swivel-chair critics who had an opportunity tc* offer their services, their capital, their manufacturing and managerial talents, and their skilled labour? Not one of those who could guarantee production and delivery was turned down, ii-respective of politics or creed; all were given a chance to produce and deliver. I defy anyone to contradict that statement.

If we had established some large industrial plants in New Brunswick, we would have had to build mushroom towns for them; we would have had to impose very difficult problems upon local municipal authorities. The first problem would have been that of housing p the second would have been that of municipal-services. That would have necessitated, on the part of municipal governments, the incurring of large capital expenditures, and the consequent development of large capital debts. Had we followed the policy of establishing three or four large plants in the province, we would have developed local jealousies-and would have hurt local pride. Instead of.

The Budget-Mr. Michaud

throwing the "chicken-feed" to a few old hens, we distributed the feed throughout the province, with the result that there is not one local plant which has not had a chance to contribute its full 100 per cent capacity to the war effort. I am satisfied this was the best policy which could have been followed in that province. In that respect I took the trouble to consult many public-spirited citizens, men of long experience in municipal and provincial public affairs, men experienced in financial and industrial ventures, and they all agreed that we must avoid a post-war problem. After the war, at least in some centres, in respect of some industries, there will be industrial demobilization; this is bound to happen. Had 'we encouraged a mushroom overgrowth in some municipalities in the province, we would have developed a condition which would be bound to have its reactions, and we would be left holding the bag.

Whatever may happen, I am sure the government will not have to assume responsibility for having caused annoyances in respect of special local problems. I am sure the people of New Brunswick will be able to revert to normal, without any commotion, without disturbance, and without having to labour under heavy municipal debts incurred -*during the war for the purpose of carrying on services and helping war industries which .could not be maintained to 100 per cent producing capacity after the war.

Those who are not satisfied, those who criticize the government are the ones who have not lifted a finger to try to promote, foster or encourage any special industry in New Brunswick. There are those who sit back in these years and clip their coupons. They will criticize, but they will not risk their dollars in war industries, or ventures of that kind. Now that there is no possible chance, according to the hon. member for York-Sunbury, for Mr. Bracken to try to seek election in New Brunswick, I hope the provincial opposition will revert to its duty of minding its provincial affairs and attending to its own business, without devoting its time in the legislature to federal matters.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Hon. H. A. BRUCE (Parkdale):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Gray) who spoke in the house on Friday last evidently realized that the most important subject before the country to-day is that of man-power. I wish to congratulate him upon his able and courageous speech, in which he IMr. Michaud.]

appealed for unrestricted conscription, coupled with scientific allotment of civilian workers to essential occupations. He gently chided the members of the Progressive Conservative party for having "now become a bit cloudy on the man-power issue". I intended to deal with this suggestion, but it is not now necessary for me to do so, because the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) pointed out that compulsory selective service was one of the important planks in the platform adopted at Winnipeg.

May I recall the fact that on June 13, 1941, I called upon the government to introduce unrestricted compulsory national selective service. Hon. members will therefore realize how delighted I was when, about a year later, on June 16 last, the hon. member for Lambton West gave such logical and convincing reasons why this was the only way to bring about equality of sacrifice-and incidentally preserve national unity-in an all-out war effort, and urged the immediate introduction of unrestricted compulsory selective service. I admire the courage he showed in taking that position in opposition to the leader of his party. But he had the satisfaction of knowing that he had the support of a vast majority of his constituents.

My advocacy of unrestricted compulsory selective service two years ago was not popular in many parts of the house, and in particular with the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston), who warned me of the danger of fomenting national disunity. However, he eluded the fact that those seeds of disunity had already been sown in Quebec since the last war, by the Prime Minister and the supporters of the present government. Surely within the last few months we have had abundant evidence of the truth of this assertion from the government's own followers in the house.

In February last I stated unequivocally that the man-power muddle was due to the government's failure to put compulsory selective service into effect-and when I use this term I mean not only compulsory service for our armed services anywhere, but also compulsion in putting men into the jobs for which they are best fitted, in the factories, on the farms, or in the mines. Surely this is what is meant by selective service-a service which must be compulsory when the nation's life is at stake. This is something which cannot be left to the caprice or voluntary choice of the individual. In no other way can we have equality of service and sacrifice.

The Budget-Mr. Bruce

It is unnecessary for me to repeat the arguments in favour of compulsory selective service made so effectively by the hon. member for Lamb ton West, which should be put into effect even at this late day, because that is the only way to solve our present manpower crisis. This crisis has been brought about by encouraging voluntary enlistments from the farms until they are now largely depleted of men, and in many instances there is not enough labour to carry on. Many farmers have had to sell their stock and abandon their farms, and discontinue their operations, thus interfering materially with the production of foodstuffs. Because we are [DOT] calling for men to go on the farms does not mean that we were wrong in asking for compulsory selective service for our armed forces; for if there had been no restrictions placed in the National Resources Mobilization Act in 1940 we would not be in our present unhappy position in respect of labour, and the present man-power crisis would have been averted. A sufficient number of men would have been left on the farms to ensure the -maximum production of food for both ourselves and our allies.

It was because of the acute situation on the farm that I asked a couple of weeks ago for the return to the farms of Canada's home defenders, soldiers who have not been ordered to go overseas and who at present are mostly fulfilling no useful purpose. I am glad to learn that some action has already been taken in this regard. May I just add, Mr. Speaker, that this home defence army is a luxury which Canada could very well do without.

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Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 19, 1943