January 31, 1944



Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)



I have the honour to inform the house that the Clerk has received the resignation of Hector Benoit, Esquire, Parliamentary Reporter, French, House of Commons, which has been accepted subject to ratification by the house, and I have directed the Clerk to lay on the table of the house the correspondence and my recommendation in relation thereto.




Mr. GEORGE BLACK (Yukon) moved for leave to introduce bill No. 2, to amend the Divorce Jurisdiction Act, 1930. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.



On the orders of the day:


Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. G. K. FRASER (Peterborough West):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Minister of Finance, under whose administration the wartime prices and trade board comes, a question with respect to an item that appeared in the Montreal Standard of Saturday. It says that a new plan by which Quebec farmers will be allowed to slaughter and sell their animals themselves in future has been adopted by arrangement with the wartime prices and trade board.

Does this arrangement apply also to Ontario and the other provinces?


James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)


Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

shall have to look into the newspaper report and see whether there is any truth in it. I do not know whether there is or not.


Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):


enough. I confirmed it this morning.




The house resumed from Friday, January 28, consideration of the motion of Mr. L. D. Tremblay for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session.


Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I shall have to ask the indulgence of Your Honour and of the house if I follow my notes more closely than I have been in the habit of doing. I am anxious to condense my remarks and deliver them in the minimum amount of time, in order to set an example that perhaps may be followed by the house in time to come.


Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh!


Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government


I was looking at the other side of the house when I said that.

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When I rose, sir, to take part in a similar debate a year ago I raised my voice in protest against the time lost in the house in the traditional and extended congratulations which are usually showered upon the mover and the seconder of the address. In parliament, as in many other phases of our national life, we have to make up our minds to leave some of the habits of yesterday behind. These are days of change and reform and having this in mind I hope that the mover (Mr. Tremblay) and the seconder (Mr. Tucker) will fully understand and appreciate the motive which lies behind my comparative silence with respect to their very excellent efforts. Were they not both members of His Majesty's armed forces, I would have refrained from creating another precedent in this debate. Both of them are comparatively young men; both of them have served with distinction in two wars. That in itself constitutes a word of tribute more eloquent than my words could convey.

It is appropriate that the first point I cover in this address should be the war. It is not yet won. True, we have reached the stage where the fear of losing it has been to a large extent removed, but with the most serious fighting and the heaviest casualty lists yet to come, it is in my opinion utter nonsense to talk as though the war were practically over. Would to God it werel

Mere words will fail to appraise appropriately the contribution of Canada's armed forces at sea, on the land and in the air. Their magnificent part in the pulverization of vital German industries; their heroic fight in Sicily and Italy; their daring exploits on the oceans of the world, have added a new lustre to Canada's already great reputation among the nations of the globe. It can be safely said -I should say, proudly said-that the Canadian armed forces rate second to none among the war's very best participants.

Labour, agriculture, industry and business generally have made on the civilian front a giant contribution towards the winning of the war, but the brunt of our effort is being carried by those in our armed forces. Our contribution as civilians, however great, suffers in contrast to theirs. When this war is over, this Canada of ours which has been ready to give and to pay heavily to win the war must equally be prepared to do the same thing for the establishment and the maintenance of peace and for the rehabilitation of our armed forces. '

It is difficult to say what the general terms of the speech from the throne mean for the veterans of this war. Only close scrutiny of

the legislation proposed will give any indication of how far the government is prepared to go. When our men and women come back they will be thrown into competition for a livelihood in our nation with those who have been receiving a very much larger share of the national income than our fighting forces. Let me therefore impress upon the government the necessity of giving to our discharged men and women sufficient aid and support to put them on better than an even basis so far as cash is concerned so that they will have a fair chance in the competitive struggle for a fuller and more abundant life. Our forces have not been niggardly in their sacrifices for us. Let us not be niggardly with them when it comes our turn to pay.

The government has never been too frank with the people of Canada with respect to the conduct of the war. It is high time it was. Our people are demanding satisfactory and straightforward answers to these questions:

(1) What does the abandoning of the seventh and eighth divisions in Canada mean?

(2) What does it involve?

(3) Why were these two additional divisions constituted in the first place?

(4) What were the underlying reasons for the change?

(5) What is being done with our big home defence army?

(6) Is it going overseas?

(7) Is it going to remain in Canada and if so, is its personnel to be directed back to civilian activities?

Recently the three chiefs of the navy, army and air force were transferred overseas. Does this mean that the government believes that all danger to Canada has been largely removed? If so, why the necessity for the maintenance of this big home defence army? Even at this late date it is essential that the whole story of the home defence army's constitution and its present and future role should be explained fully and frankly by the government to this house and to the people of Canada.

Canadians, too, are confused as to what is going on overseas. Why was the Canadian Army constituted as it was in the first place? Whose idea was it? If the plan was good, why was it abandoned? If it was bad, why was it approved in the first place?

Many rumours are in circulation regarding the resignation of General McNaughton. Public interest demands that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) should at once give a full and frank explanation of the facts in this regard, letting the chips fall where they may.

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The Prime Minister has stated that he is going to attend, at an early date, a conference of British commonwealth prime ministers. There are strong, but we hope not irreconcilable, views abroad in Canada with respect to our position in the commonwealth and with respect to our relations with the world at large. It is unfortunate that the speech from the throne mentions only the latter.

It is well that the views of all sides should be carefully weighed and considered. The views of the government would be particularly welcome, but it is not our intention to embarrass our own Prime Minister, or the representatives of other parts of the commonwealth, by tossing controversial issues into this debate when common sense indicates that every effort must be made to secure a united front in a united Canada in a greater and more powerful British commonwealth.

A very noticeable omission from the speech from the throne which justified curiosity_ is the failure to mention the burning question of post-war civil aviation. There is no single economic subject fraught with such important effects and ramifications of a world-wide character which is so vital to Canada as commercial aviation. People are asking if we are to be pawns in the great international game. Are we to stand by inactive in this field while the United States, Great Britain, Russia, China, Holland, Sweden, Free France, and many other countries, determine what our part is to be in the international scheme?

Canada is playing a dangerous game. Canada cutting in at the last minute will be of little use. Already official reports from United States sources are saying that the northwest route through Canada is credited with considerable glamour, but little commercial importance. In other words, they are already seeking to discount our geographical advantages.

Canada has earned a place in aviation far greater in importance than her proportion of operated air routes. The commonwealth air training plan, the vast distribution of arctic and sub-arctic landing fields, the weatherreporting facilities and other advanced operational achievements warrant her claiming an important role in all international post-war aviation deliberations. Yet, for some strange reason, the speech from the throne remains silent on this tremendously important subject.

The Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) has recently attended a commonwealth air conference in London; and he should be in a position to inform this house and this country where Canada stands in any agreements or proposed agreements that have been entered into or discussed. To

tMr. Graydon.]

what extent are we collaborating with the United Kingdom on this important matter? How far have negotiations proceeded with the United States?

There is grave and general concern throughout Canada that delay and inertia on the part of the government may lead to our position becoming, in the critical period ahead, nothing more than a point of geographical convenience when final arrangements have been concluded. Our people want to know and to be assured that full and beneficial use will be made of the vast and strategic ground facilities now available in Canada. How is the superior knowledge and experience of our trained people to be utilized to the greatest advantage; and what benefits are we to reap from our favoured position as the most economical trade route between industrial centres in the United States and the markets of Europe and Asia? Parliament is entitled to have, at a very early date, a full report on this vital matteT.

In agriculture, opportunism and a series of short-run moves are still being substituted for a definite, comprehensive, long-term policy. John Bracken's Lethbridge bill of rights for Canadian farmers has had some effect upon the government's indecisive agriculture position-


Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.


Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):




Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government


That is rather a hollow

laugh, but I cannot blame the hon. members for that. I am going to repeat this, because I know it is of tremendous interest to all:

John Bracken's Lethbridge bill of rights for Canadian farmers has had some effect upon the government's indecisive agricultural position; and, as in the case of our Winnipeg platform, parts of our policy will, no doubt, be adopted. Why did the' government wait until after a call from Canada's next prime minister to adopt a policy of putting a floor under the prices of agricultural products?

It is extremely significant that the government should have waited until after it had been in power for ei^ht years, and until fhe plan had been incorporated as part of the Progressive Conservative agricultural policy, before undertaking to establish floor prices for farm products. What Canadian farmers will want to know is why the government did not see fit to adopt this price floor policy during those pre-war years when the prices which they actually received were only a fraction of what they were justly entitled to and of prices ruling to-day.

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During the period this government has been in power, the annual average cash price received for No. 1 Northern wheat, basis Fort William, was as low as 62 cents a bushel; that of No. 2 oats, 29 cents; that of No. 2 barley, 40J cents and that of rye, 40J cents. The prices received at the farm were, of course, very much lower than this. Annual average egg prices were down to 17i cents. Prices received for hogs, butter fat and cheese were, at certain times, just about one-half as high as those ruling to-day; while good steers sold for as little as one-third of their present value. If reasonable floor prices are needed at present and in the future, they were no less necessary in the earlier years of this administration's tenure of office. Farmers were just as entitled to reasonable floor prices in peace time as they are now in the later period of the war.

I shall not now go over each of the thirty points enunciated by our leader at this time. I shall refer only to two of these planks, leaving the others until a more detailed examination of the agricultural policy can be made in the house.

Here is point No. 8:

To bring about an expansion of our export markets and thereby higher standards of living generally, we shall be prepared, in accordance -with the principles of the Atlantic charter, to progressively lower the barriers to trade; we shall set up a special export agency charged with the responsibility of promoting international trade, maintaining and expanding export markets for primary products, ensuring that domestic prices shall not be depressed because a small surplus may happen to result in making low export prices apply to both; and developing a positive programme of international collaboration, on the part of both exporting and importing countries, with a view to furthering the exchange of commodities and better international understanding and goodwill.

I mention also point No. 21, which deals with the increasingly important matter of agricultural research. A brief debate took place on this subject in the house last session. I now call upon the government to establish at once a national network of efficiently staffed research laboratories in order that agriculture will have at least as efficient research facilities as industry itself.

The government's policy respecting our production and export of bacon to Britain has been one of pronounced instability, fraught with sudden and frequent changes and guided by hindsight, rather than foresight. Various pronouncements of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) and his department, ostensibly designed to guide our farmers in the matter of future production, have served only to create serious uncertainty and considerable bewilderment. The variation of the arrangements with Britain regarding bacon has resulted in disappointment and dissatisfaction on the part of the agricultural population of Canada. Since the last session of the house, the wholesale slaughtering of brood sows and the general disintegration of the whole bacon industry have belatedly forced the government to give hog bonuses. The irreparable damage already done is a clear indication that these bonuses were long overdue.

Canadian farmers are willing and ready to produce enough hogs to meet Britain's bacon needs. But they quite properly feel that, if they do, the government should go at least part way to stabilize their position. This is but one of many striking examples which indicate the urgency for a forthright, vigorous, agricultural policy for this dominion.

Let the farmers of Canada contrast the single reference to agriculture in the speech from the throne with John Bracken's Lethbridge bill of rights for agriculture, and let them form their own conclusions as to where their friends in public life are. The speech from the throne and the government policy generally is bleak and barren when contrasted to the masterly programme for the relief of agriculture and the liberation of rural people as envisaged in the Lethbridge speech. It is significant that the only useful reference to agriculture in the speech from the throne was taken from John Bracken's address at Lethbridge itself.

Labour will look in vain in the throne address for either sympathy or a broad national labour policy. Not a single concrete proposal is to be found which would indicate that there are plans on foot to give labour its rightful position in the national partnership. High-sounding phrases about safeguarding the basic standard of living and standardizing wages and salary are poor and lame excuses for a government which should have established long before this a national labour code for Canada. The farmer is now having company; labour is joining him in that great group of forgotten men in the dominion.

This government embarked upon a programme of war production without adequately consulting labour or inviting it to share the responsibilities of administration, but let me caution the government that no programme of rehabilitation and reconstruction can succeed without the active cooperation of the labour movement.

Schemes for providing social security are not effective substitutes in themselves for higher earning power and continuous employment. All these plans can do is to spread the national income more evenly. There is grave danger that they may collapse and that inflation will result unless the national output of consumer's

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goods is maintained at a higher level than ever before. Let us remember that the first and foremost concern of labour is jobs and lots of them with good wages and good working conditions. The incentive to produce must never be allowed to weaken or else the administration of these grandiose schemes of social insurance will be like trying to spread an ounce of butter on an acre of bread-their benefits will hardly be felt.

Surely labour has a right to expect better consideration than the treatment accorded under the wartime wages control order, P.C. 9384, and by labour I mean to include organized labour, unorganized labour and that great section of salaried workers whose wages or salaries have been frozen by the government while their taxes and maintenance charges have been continually increasing. Why did the government not submit this wages control order to parliament by way of legislation, so that the people's representatives could express an opinion on it before it became law? Among other things this order, passed a month or so before parliament met, provided for the incorporation of the cost of living bonus into the wage rate structure and, at the same time, denied to labour that fundamental principle of British justice which declares that a man is innocent until he is found guilty. Against the provisions of this order labour has been rasiing its vigorous voice, and beside labour this Progressive Conservative party stands and joins in their chorus of protests. Why does the government continue studiously to ignore the leaders of labour and deny them a place in the formulation of policies affecting labour? Let us not forget that labour has its rights as well as its responsibilities and obligations. It has fulfilled its obligations at all times and will continue to do so in the future, but it must be also given its rights.

There is talk that the government is going to bring in a labour code wherein the jurisdiction of the federal government will apply to war industries only. This has not been announced because it is a matter of government policy, which apparently has not been quite completed. If this is so, the government is making a colossal blunder in flying in the faces of eight out of nine provinces in Canada who are in favour of a natidnal code covering all industry. The w'hole project is thoroughly impracticable. Men and women working in a plant, partly on war orders and partly on peace-time work, will find themselves under different codes. People engaged in the same type of work, one producing for war and the other producing for peace, will find that their fMr. Gravdon.l

conditions are regulated by different authorities altogether. The rapid change and transition from war-time activities to peace-time pursuits in itself will show how completely impossible the. whole policy must be.

Labour and management must press forward in the future as two great and harmonious partners, under legislation designed to give justice to both. I call upon the government to cease this endless bickering in labour matters; and let us have a code covering all our industries. Then let labour and management sit down together and perfect that partnership which we know is possible, but towards the accomplishment of which no all-out effort seems to have been made.

The government has recently set up a War Assets Corporation, constituted for the purpose of disposing of war materials classified as surplus or obsolete. In the disposal of such material the greatest care and caution must be exercised. At the end of the war, surplus goods will include raw materials, and any indiscriminate disposal of these might vety easily lead to the creation of monopolies by those obtaining them. Before the selling process gets under way, I believe that a judicial inquiry should be made into the details of materials purchased, cost prices and use made of them in so far as crown assets of Canada are concerned. The operations of the corporation should be carried out openly. The Canadian people are entitled to know whether value has been received for materials for which they were so heavily taxed. A report should be submitted for the scrutiny of the people of Canada, detailing value received for material classed as obsolete or surplus, and giving information as to the use to which it is being put.

In the war-time economy, many small businesses have been squeezed out of existence. The small storekeeper, the man running the little enterprise, the farmer and others, have suffered. The little fellow should have an equal opportunity to obtain the materials to be disposed of by the War Assets Corporation. It is the job of the government to give every opportunity possible to these people for expansion and prosperity in the post-war period.

It is true that the speech from the throne speaks of the establishment of an industrial development bank to assist in the preparation for the transition of industry from war to peace. I hope that the little man of Canadian business will get the same kind of treatment as big men when this bank swings into operation. There will be some lifting of eyebrows by the farmers of Canada when they find that the principle of credits as envisaged by the setting up of this bank has not been

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extended by the government to cover their situation as well. The government has followed in many instances the Winnipeg platform, but it has failed to adopt one very important plank in that platform, and that is the proposal for a central farm bank. Why cannot agriculture be treated as well as industry in connection with credit facilities provided by the government?

National selective service earned for itself the title of "Canada's greatest war-time muddle". For quite some time it had no real competitor; but to-day its position in this regard is being seriously challenged by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The C.B.C. has lost the confidence of the people of Canada. I wish that statement were not true. I have been one who has believed that public ownership of our broadcasting facilities, working alongside our private stations, could be made a satisfactory method of handling this vital and delicate means of communication. To-day public ownership in this field is being so seriously threatened that I am expressing grave concern that unless something is done right now, we are apt to have a complete collapse of the whole structure which was so well established in the earlier days of radio.

The government has consistently let radio matters drift in Canada. For years there has scarcely ever been a full board of governors sitting at one time. In one instance, the government permitted a vacancy to stand for eighteen months without filling it. To-day we have the spectacle of two governorships vacant for three months; and of even more importance is the fact that there has been no general manager since early last fall when Doctor J. S. Thomson went back to Saskatchewan university. There has been talk of legislation to improve the corporation's structure; but the speech from the throne gives no hint that this is in prospect.

To the recommendations of the radio broadcasting committees from year to year the government has turned a deaf ear in connection with many of their proposals. The fact is that radio is looked upon as Canada's most important departmental orphan. Its constitution has never been properly clarified, and nowhere is there confidence in those directing its affairs. In the middle of this massive muddle, a second network has been put into operation. In some quarters this move is being viewed with grave concern, largely perhaps because there is no confidence that the present structure of the C.B.C. is in a position satisfactorily to direct anything in the nature of new works.

The question has been raised in the press that the C.B.C. has gone "commercial". If it

has, a number of very important points are at once raised, points which concern not only the press of Canada but the citizens of this dominion as well. The government deserves 'he just condemnation of an outraged public for its lackadaisical happy-go-lucky policy which has allowed this corporation aimlessly to drift into comparative uselessness, instead of directing its course into a field of greater and increasing public service. There is not a minute to be lost. Let the government act at once.

The rehabilitation of those in our armed forces, in our war plants, in industry and agriculture, will call not only for the greatest ingenuity on the part of the government, but as well for the same patriotic fervour on the part of our people as has characterized them in the conduct of the war. Our nation has, of its own free will, raised billions of dollars for its security and defence. When the war is over it can scarcely be less interested in the security of the individuals who comprise our nation, and especially of those who have assisted so vitally in the defence of our security. Canadians have experienced full employment, and our service men and women will be and should be satisfied with nothing short of that when hostilities cease. The wheels of industry must be kept turning; but production must be deflected from the demands of war to the demands of peace, from goods of destruction to the necessary peace-time consumable commodities. Into the flow of employment resulting from such a transition, preferred places must be found for the men and women out of our armed services. Our veterans, men and women, will not be content with blueprints, plans and promises. They will demand effective action. They have not been remunerated on any elaborate scale for the invaluable service they have been rendering us; and they are fully entitled to every opportunity which will assist in making them contented and satisfied citizens of a grateful country.

Second in importance to the paramount consideration of winning this war as quickly and conclusively as possible is the obtaining of full and gainful employment for all our people who are able and willing to work.

To achieve this objective, hand-outs by the federal government will be neither a sufficient nor a satisfactory solution. The dole has gone forever. The cooperation of business and industry will be essential if full employment for our people is to be achieved and especially if it is to be maintained. In a recent estimate, the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell)

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has revealed that to-day two million Canadians are in jobs whioh did not exist before the war broke out and most of which will terminate when the war is over, or before. Thus it should be very easily realized that the employment problem facing our country cannot be solved by an incomplete uncoordinated effort.

If the methods of the government to mobilize and utilize our man-power for war are to be the criterion for its effort to meet and solve the post-war employment problem, little hope for success can be held out to our people. Despite the optimism of the Minister of Labour, the operation and administration of national selective service has been a bitter and disillusioning experience for the Canadian people. The government sought and were accorded unlimited powers for the full mobilization of our man-power; they obtained all the necessary-and perhaps some unnecessary -machinery. But they lacked thg will and the courage to put it into effective operation at the proper stage of our man-power difficulties.

It is well to recall that in the pre-war period, agriculture, industry and business provided ninety-five per cent of the employment of Canada. And it is only with the cooperation of agriculture, industry and business that long-range plans for the reconstruction period and after can be effective. The people of Canada 'have accepted with good grace the curtailment of their freedom for the purpose of winning this war. In our peace-time economy they will demand fair wages, fair prices for farm and factory products, and above all freedom to run their own lives. Bureaucracy must go.

Hampering and unnecessarily restrictive measures upon industry and business will do nothing to advance the achievement of full employment. It is well and readily recognized and accepted by the vast majority of Canadians that there must be adequate controls designed to prevent the growth of monopolies and cartels. The Progressive Conservative party stands resolutely against this usurpation by private industry of the place of public power, but will continue to fight to the last ditch in the interests of the small business man, the farmer and the worker. Our belief is that plans should now be in progress which will give all business, all industry, big or little, including agriculture, its legitimate place in our economy, with reasonable opportunity for prosperity in the future.

There is little evidence in the speeches made recently by the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Hon. Mr. Mackenzie) and

CMr. Graydon.]

the Minister of Munitions and Supply that any well thought-out or coordinated plan to meet the employment problem has been concluded. Speaking in Vancouver on December 18 last-and I might say this is not all he said at that time-the first mentioned minister had this to say:

We propose having in readiness a great programme of public-assisted enterprise, public works, development projects of all sorts, so that there may be a bridge on which we can cross the gap between war and peace.

Important words, those. In the same day, speaking in Toronto, the Minister of Munitions and Supply stated:

With our post-war planners thinking in terms of public works and government dole, is it any wonder that the advocates of socialism are finding many disciples?

This is scarcely a striking example of the cooperation and coordination which the government will have to exercise in the solution of post-war employment.

No team work there, and not in agreement with what the Minister of Pensions and National Health said on the subject, the first subject with which he dealt at that time. I suggest that there should be established a new department of government that will integrate all aspects of our economy in its transition from war to peace, problems such as industrial reconversion, readjustment of war workers, demobilization of soldiers, and post-war employment. All the plans for the transition from war to peace must perfectly mesh.

Let there be no mistake; a reemployment division of selective service will not be enough. This war is likely to end in the way it started, that is, in consecutive cycles, not suddenly and abruptly, as did the last great war. And this means that we must be ready now to meet the problems of the .aftermath as they arise. The speech from the throne would seem to indicate that the government sees the end of the war in sight, and our entry at a not too far distant date in the era of transition from war to peace. The people of Canada have been very patient in their submission to the greatest network of bureaucratic controls this nation has so far experienced. I charge the government that they have exceeded the limits of vital war necessity and urgency in their rush towards bureaucratic government. The present administration has gone to such lengths in encouraging bureaucracy that our democratic form of government is actually in peril. At this stage of the war's development there cannot any longer be any real necessity for our citizens tolerating the continuance in toto of such a system, which might easily be perpetuated into our peace-time economy.

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The rights and privileges of parliament as the trustee and servant of the people which, under the stress of war, have practically ceased to exist must be fully and promptly restored. I believe that our present Prime Minister, in 1935, strangely enough when attacking another government, laid his finger on the most critical spot relative to his own administration now. This is what he said, at page 36, volume 1, of Hansard, 1935:

I have said that one of the supreme efforts of this administration has been stealthily to alienate the authority and control of parliament, to take power into its own hands and away from parliament with respect to many of the important affairs of the nation.

No words of mine could more adequately be utilized in criticism of the present administration than the Prime Minister's own language nn that occasion.

To show how far bureaucracy has gone, let us look at the legislative products since September 1, 1939. I recognize that perhaps this is not the proper yardstick to apply, but it is at least the yardstick which generally indicates the trend. Parliament since that time, the beginning of the war, passed statutes covering 838 pages, a total of 369 thousand words. Proclamations, orders in council, war orders and regulations covered a total of 5,791 pages, with a total of 2,895,500 words. It is a shocking situation and fraught with danger if parliament does not now take the reins of government into its own hands and seal the doom of bureaucratic government. The people are tired and sick of it all. Our party has already declared itself, and I again emphasize that declaration:

The watchwords of the future must be decentralization, not centralization; cooperation, not state dictation; expanding production, not scarcity; and widening areas of trade, not restrictive practices. The alternatives are continued chaos, on the one hand, or regimentation on the other-chaos with its frustrations, or regimentation with its deadening effect on the impulse to produce, its inevitable tendency toward dictatorship, and the certainty that all material increase will be skimmed off to nourish a growing bureaucracy.

No patriotic citizen of Canada would ask the government, in the midst of urgent war expenditures, to lower the general level of taxation. No such request has yet been made, and I am not making it to-day. No such request is likely to be made. Nevertheless if there shall be some lessening of governmental expenditures in the days ahead, I call upon the administration to give consideration to relieving the small wage-earner in the lower brackets from the comparatively heavy taxation which at present he must endure. He is not kicking. That great section of our

population only kicks when they can endure things no longer. It would seem, however, that some relief might properly be given to these people if expenditures are on the down grade and the war pressure is being somewhat lifted. The whole question of the relationship between absenteeism in industry and the income tax should be the subject of much more serious consideration than the government seems to have given the subject to date. Let us not be small as a parliament when we deal with the little men of our nation. Our little men are the biggest assets our country has.

And, speaking of income tax, I want to raise my voice in vehement protest against the complicated methods and procedure used in gathering the taxes from our people. Two things must be wrong, having in mind the confusion among our citizens. Either the incidence of our income tax system is inadequate and impractical, or else the forms on which the returns are made should be altered and changed and simplified. I think nearly every hon. member will agree with me when I say that a lot of people in Canada simply throw up their hands in holy horror and confusion when they see an income tax return. Unless all our people are going to turn into accountants there will be conflict and confusion so long as the present system of levying taxation and making returns in connection with it is followed. People are not nearly so concerned about paying taxes as they are hopelessly confused as to how the taxes are computed. Let us unwind the red tape which surrounds the income tax and make it simpler for the citizens of Canada. Why make a Chinese puzzle out of one of the most important parts of our national business?

Last session I pointed out in vain the necessity for sweeping away a lot of our legislative cobwebs. The Prime Minister thought that war time was not a good time to consider any changes in house rules and procedure, so I lost my case. Rut, like a lot of other judges who have subsequently found themselves wrong in both facts and law, the Prime Minister has seen fit to now accept my suggestion. He and the nation have, however, lost a year in the meantime; for only now are we to have a special parliamentary committee to see how the House of Commons rules and procedure can be modernized and brought up to date.

Frankly, I have been disgusted and discouraged over the unbusinesslike way in which parliament has been conducting itself. I think the country feels the same. If this nation is to take its part in a new order in a new world, surely it is not too much to expect that parliament shall give a lead in that direction. None

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of us is wholly blameless for this state of affairs, but surely that is an additional reason why we should seek to reform .both parliament and ourselves. We may as well be frank. My remarks last year on the debate on the address were perhaps too long. The Prime Minister himself, I recall, rebuked me at that time for the length of my speech, and then, proceeding to ignore his own advice, he spoke for an hour and a quarter longer than I did. I hope that on this occasion he will follow the advice he gave me at that time and that we shall both show parliament and the country that we are capable of condensing our remarks.

Our system of setting up committees is outmoded and outdated, and we do not operate very well the system we have, either. For proof of this, let us look at our session which has just ended and which covered the major part of 1943. The standing committee on agriculture and colonization did not sit until 115 days had elapsed from the opening of the session. The radio broadcasting committee did not commence its business until 123 days had elapsed from the opening of parliament, while the war expenditures committee began its closed door sessions 171 days after parliament had convened. One of the last things parliament did last session before its adjournment was to set up this war expenditures committee, which should have been convened many months before.

I should observe, I think, at this point that this committee's usefulness was gravely impaired by the fact that the government majority in the committee insisted upon its subcommittee deliberations being in camera. It is about time that the lid was blown off these in-oamera sessions of the war expenditures committee. It is little short of a national disgrace that the people of Canada should not know something about the investigations of these contracts.' I am opposed to the whole system of pulling down the blinds, closing the shutters and locking the doors when public contracts are being investigated.

As a matter of curiosity and concern I checked up the details in relation to the meetings held by standing committees from 1936 to 1943 inclusive. In those eight years the committee on agriculture and colonization sat in only six of the eight years-that is, it sat only for short times in six out of the eight years-for a total of seventy-one days in die eight years. Yet during that period agriculture passed through one of the most critical and trying stages in its history.

To give some idea as to the outmoded system exemplified by standing committees, I draw the attention of this house to the industrial and international relations committee. It has not sat since 1936, although labour

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and foreign affairs have constituted, m the meantime, two of the most important matters of national concern. It is hard to imagine that work could not be found for this very important committee during that wdiole period of time.

Then, again, why should two major matters be lumped together under the umbrella of one committee, while a separate committee sits for such subjects as debates, printing, standing orders and privileges and elections? Four separate committees for these subjects and only one committee to cover the whole area of labour and international relations. The whole thing does not add up. The whole thing does not make sense.

I hope that the new committee will commence its work with courage and determination to see that parliament, its methods, its rules and its procedure are taken out of the mothballs, dusted off, and made to work efficiently for the people of Canada.

To our left and much too far to the left for most people in Canada sits a group in the house to which I desire to direct a few remarks this afternoon. They will not be abusive remarks, because we have to learn in this country that our enemies at the moment do not happen to be Canadian, and, furthermore, that only by calm analysis and the utilization of light rather than heat in dealing with party programmes and policies will this nation get anywhere in the end. I have never cared for violent public denunciations of political parties or their supporters, but I take this opportunity of denying what seems to be an implied claim by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party that they have some monopoly on the will and desire of citizens generally in Canada to see this nation reaching her maximum national stature. No group or no party has a right to make such an implied claim. The Progressive Conservative party yields to none in its desire and, if I may say so, in its capacity, to achieve that objective.

Our party stands for a programme of rational reform, as opposed to a policy, on the one hand, of rigid reaction, and a policy, on the other hand, of reckless revolution. Our party stands pledged to remove the abuses and reform the present system. We will go right up to the precipice on the pathway of rational reform with the C.C.F. or any other party, but at the edge of the precipice we must part company with those who would lose their balance and plunge headlong over the cliff into the unfathomable depths of chaos and revolution below.

Our party stands for a policy of expanding production as the basis of prosperity. Our

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job, as we conceive it, is to distribute abundance rather than ration scarcity. The economic organization of yesterday was unable to achieve or to sustain that expanding production without which full employment could not be acomplished. State socialism can never achieve it; for socialism is rigid, centralized and coercive. The only hope of a steadily expanding national income lies in the cooperation of the state with all organized enterprise, whether it be private, cooperative or government-owned. As our party sees it, the government must join with those engaged in industry, commerce, agriculture and finance to plan for full, steady and growing production, and complete employment with as little loss of individual freedom as possible. Our party is out to free Canada from the bonds of bureaucracy, while socialism, in our opinion, can only plunge Canada further into the underbrush of red tape and administrative controls.

The policy of the C.C.F. is, to say the least, an elastic one. It stretches all the way from the Pacific coast, where its leader there calls loudly for the militant, revolutionary kind of socialism, with a few policemen and gaols thrown in for good measure, to the easygoing but relatively harmless pie-in-the-sky theories of the hon. member'for York South (Mr. Noseworthy). The variation of opinions in the C.C.F. party constitutes a danger signal for the people of Canada, who are anxious to know which way the party is going. Not much wonder the vast majority of farmers in Canada are looking with suspicious eyes upon this movement which never seems to be able to make up its mind how long it would let the farmer mind his own business were it ever to achieve power.

It is a favourite political pastime of some C.C.F. leaders to refer to the "old-line parties". I have no objection if they want to make it singular, because one of the boasts of the present Prime Minister is that Liberalism dates back so far. But Progressive Conservatism cannot truthfully be tied up with any old-fashioned policies or doctrines. From the Winnipeg convention emerged a new policy, and a new leader. Actually, many are of the opinion that old-fashioned parties now in Canada are the Liberals and the C.C.F.'s. Apart altogether from age, however, the C.C.F. party has developed certain characteristics which brand it as a typical old-line party to-day.

I thought that the old days of presenting political promises to the electors of Canada in bushel baskets had gone forever. There was a time not many years ago when people looked down upon the public man who made a speech full of promises. They almost ostracized from society the man who would issue a pamphlet

full of promises. That branded the politician as an old-fashioned old-timer in the field. But those days are back again and, strangely enough, ushered in by the party that likes to call itself the herald of the new order. Not only are the promises made in speeches and in pamphlets; but so great has been the volume of promises to the Canadian people that the C.C.F. have had to call in the bookbinders to assist. With all this plethora of promises to swallow, the citizens of Canada will be fortunate if they escape several attacks of acute political indigestion before the next general election. Canada has witnessed nothing like it since confederation. Let Canadians be certain that the cures now being prescribed for our national ills are not worse than the ills they are designed to cure.

The Progressive Conservative party has taken the initiative from one end of the country to the other in the battle against socialism. We are recognized as the main spearhead of Canada's fight against it. When this time comes, we shall call upon all those who oppose socialism, with all its regimentation and bureaucracy, to follow the leadership of John Bracken and the Progressive Conservative party. By that means, and that means only, can Canada stay on the safe road towards rational reform.

It is pretty generally acknowledged throughout the dominion that the present tired, weary administration has lost the confidence of the people of Canada. To look over the present House of Commons and contrast it with the present state of public opinion makes this Commons appear little short of a dream chamber. The government right now controls this parliament by what the Prime Minister in 1935 under parallel circumstances called a "mechanical majority." The weakness of the present administration throughout the country is admitted by its own friends. In its own good time it will be compelled to throw the torch of leadership and responsibility. That torch I predict will be caught by a vigorous Progressive Conservative party led by its able and experienced leader John Bracken, who will be called to save this nation from the chaos of socialism and disaster.

The speech from the throne may properly be said to be a combination of the Winnipeg platform, John Bracken's reform speeches, a death-bed repentance, and several dying declarations. It lacks the real crusading reform spirit to be found in either the Winnipeg manifesto or Mr. Bracken's subsequent addresses, but the effect of both of these factors can be seen in many parts of the throne address. The character of the speech indicates that the

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Prime Minister has momentarily taken an eye off the war and is now looking over his broken-down political fences.

I was under the impression that the present Prime Minister did not like reform programmes ushered in close to the time of a general appeal to the public. My belief was based upon the Prime Minister's words as found in his address as leader of the opposition in a similar debate to this in 1935, when the then administration brought down its reform for security plan. On that occasion the present Prime Minister, standing where I am to-day, had this to say:

In other words, I want votes, that is why the Prime Minister to-day brings in this programme of social reform so-called, on the eve of an election. . . .

Looking at the speech from the throne, I have come to the conclusion that his policies are a sort of omnium gatherum. They are intended to take in a little of everything he can discover in anybody's policy.

How applicable the Prime Minister's words of 1935 now become in relation to the present speech from the throne. I toss them back to the Prime Minister as an appropriate comment on the present government's programme, and I repeat the Prime Minister's own words:

. . . his policy is intended to take in a little of everything he can discover in anybody's policy.

And I go further along the pathway then chosen by the present Prime Minister when he urged upon another prime minister at that time to bring down at once the legislation forecast in the speech from the throne, in order that it may receive the careful scrutiny and consideration of the elected representatives of the people.

Let us get this programme down out of the clouds to where we can see what it really is. It may well be that these lofty high-sounding phrases mean very little in the way of reform to the Canadian people. I hope that it will prove more than a smoke-screen to blind the electors so that they cannot see the tragic failure of this government's administration. The government has done some attractive political window-dressing. Let us see now what they have on the shelves inside. What is on the shelves is what counts. Let the government bring forward its measures so they can be judged by what they are, not by what the government hints they may be. No speech from the throne in itself ever accomplished anything for the Canadian people. All the vague generalizations this one contains will accomplish nothing either. Let us have the measures which the government proposes. They alone can do anything for Canada. Then

we shall see wherein the government's plans are adequate or inadequate to meet the challenging problems of these days.

Turning to the speech from the throne, this is what we find:

Mutual aid for destitute populations! No one opposes that. Let the measure be brought down.

Expansion of world trade? No thinking person but supports that. . Bring forward the measure, not a promise.

National security and enduring peace by international cooperation! Brave words that have become hackneyed by over-use. No one in the world but prays for that. Bring down the bill.

A national minimum of -social security, full employment, a higher standard of nutrition, more adequate housing, social insurance against unemployment, accident, ill health, old age and death of the bread-winner! Why has the government let eight years pass by without these? No one opposes these principles. Introduce the bills so that they may be enacted into law.

Rehabilitation and reestablishment of returned soldiers! Transformation of war-time to peace-time economy, insurance against social and economic hazards! Let us have, not words, but specific proposals. Adequate plans will find no objectors.

War service gratuities! By all means, and as quickly as our parliamentary system will permit, and let us err on the side of generosity when we are doing it. Tax modifications! This government seems to know how to modify them only one way-upwards for all, which has led to absenteeism by many, even when maximum production is needed as never before.

Expansion of trade commissioner service 1 A belated admission of previous failure. Research activities 1 The government's record in this respect is one of lost opportunities.

Housing plans! Health insurance! How long have these been promised, now to be resurrected in an election year? I suggest that the government bring in the legislation as soon as possible.

More generous old age pensions! We are in favour, but the government's repentance in an election year carries no sense of confidence.

A minimum of well-being for the children of the nation by family allowances! After two decades of opportunity to do so the government now in its dying days makes a preelection bid for votes. There is a problem to be met in the care and health and training of children, and it should be met without

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delay. Until we see the legislation, however, we are unable to tell whether or not this high national purpose will thereby be achieved. Let us have the bill forthwith.

Floor prices for agricultural products! The government in this, as in other matters, will be judged by its actions, not its promises. Not until the fifth year of war did fair treatment for agriculture occur to them. They let many agricultural prices remain at less than half what they are to-day for long periods after they came into power. What will the wheat growers, who got sixty cents a bushel or less for their wheat, and live stock men, who suffered equally, and dairy farmers, who were producing cheese and butter and milk and eggs far below the cost of production- what will all these think of a government which waited eight years to suggest a floor price, and then only after our party had proposed it? Nearly every agricultural commodity has, within the life of this government, sold at less than half of to-day's figure. Why no floor price till the government is threatened with defeat? .

Our criticism of this government in these matters is that for eight years it has not brought forward enough progressive social or agriculture or labour legislation, and only now, in an election year, comes forward with these dying declarations.

Not as a challenge to the general principles of this overdue programme announced by the government in the speech from the throne but rather as a protest against certain grave omissions therein, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) the following amendment:

That the following words be added to the address in reply to the speech from the throne:

"We respectfully submit to Your Excellency that this house regrets that Your Excellency's advisers have:

(a) Failed to make adequate provision and to implement promises already made for the immediate needs and employment of the men and women of the armed forces on demobilization;

(b) Failed to provide adequate measures . whereby agriculture can make its maximum

war- and peace-time contribution through a stable and effective long-term programme;

(c) Failed to establish such a national code for labour as will ensure maximum production and give to labour its rightful place in our national partnership; and failed to provide for the correction of the unfairly coercive and restrictive clauses in the 1913 wartime wages control order;

(d) Failed to lessen bureaucratic controls and regimentation and to recognize and restore the supremacy of parliament; and failed to halt the continuing infringement of provincial rights and the centralization of authority.


January 31, 1944