September 25, 1945

?

Mr. COLD WELL@

At the moment.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

And until it is changed it remains at that.

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. ARGUE:

Pardon me; $1.25 is the

initial price for the crop delivered this year, but the assurance we had was that SI per bushel would be the lowest initial price until 1950.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

That ever will be set,

but it may not be set lower than $1.25.

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. ARGUE:

Oh, yes; but judging from

the government's record in the past we are afraid that $1 per bushel will in fact be the price. Another thing I should like to add to that is that $1 per bushel is not on all the bushels of wheat-necessarily-that a farmer can raise, but on the authorized deliveries, and we have had no assurance as to what those authorized deliveries will be. Consequently, if the government should see fit to decide that five bushels per authorized acre is the total amount of wheat a farmer can market in one year, this government will certainly assure economic death to all farmers in western Canada. We in the C.C.F. have always contended that the farmer should receive for his products a price based on parity, a price in line with the prices of goods a farmeT has to buy. The farm management department of the University of Saskatchewan calculates that parity to-day is more than $1.40 per bushel. The government, instead of raising the price of wheat near parity, has announced a floor price very much lower than parity. The price which a farmer pays for fuel, for machinery, for interest on mortgages is relatively fixed. These are "stick-y" prices, and if in the future-and we of this group certainly hope it will not be the case_

The Address-Mr. Argue

the prices of agricultural products fall, the farmer facing fixed costs will find it almost impossible to survive.

We hear a good deal of talk from the government about social security, about public works programmes timed to prevent depression, but in its policy of agriculture it is dealing a death blow to security and prosperity. It is saying in effect, "We herald a new depression with a floor of only $1 per bushel for wheat." If labour is to be forced1 to take wages lower than those of the. last few years, and if the farmer is to receive a reduced income, I am convinced that the government's scheme of timing public investment is doomed to complete failure. We in this group will be satisfied with nothing less than full production, and labour and the farmer receiving their full share of that production.

I want to bring before this house changes which we believe should be made in the Prairie Farm Assistance Act. The act was passed as a measure bo alleviate suffering in areas of the prairie provinces and the Peace river which periodically suffer crop failure. That these areas are an important part of our agricultural productive system is well known, because of the large quantities of meat, butter, eggs and grain which have been produced in the war years-quantities which have contributed in no small degree to the successful feeding of the allied armies, and will contribute in like degree to feeding the starving people of Europe. This year large areas in Saskatchewan and Alberta have an almost complete crop failure. I have tried1 to obtain some statistics as to crop conditions in Alberta, but was unsuccessful. However, the Minister of Agriculture intimated last night that about half the farming area of Alberta is experiencing this year, a crop failure.

Before me I have the last estimate of crop yields coming from the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture, under date of September 17, and- looking over the map I would say, that about half of the area of Saskatchewan is this year experiencing a crop failure to the extent that yields for wheat will be less than ten bushels per acre.

The Hon. L. F. McIntosh, the Minister of Agriculture for Saskatchewan, as reported in the Regina Leader Post of recent date, stated that farm income from grain in Saskatchewan this year will be forty per cent less than last year. Surely a crop failure area of that size, and a drop in farm income from grain to the extent of forty per cent for Saskatchewan, warrants a comprehensive study of the inadequacies of the Prairie Farm Assistance Act.

There is a common belief that Saskatchewan farms are of enormous size, but such is not the case. In southwestern Saskatchewan the average size of farm is 325-2 cultivated acres, and in the north the size is 143 cultivated acres. The P.F.A.A. payments to be made to farmers in the prairies in any year declared an emergency year, and if the yield is from 4-1 to 8 bushels per acre, is $1.50 an acre for half the cultivated acres up to 400 acres. If the yield is 0 to 4 bushels, the payment is $2 an acre on half the cultivated acreage up to 400 acres. But to calculate the amount of money the farmer will receive under P.F.A.A., let us assume that a farmer is fortunate enough to have a crop failure when 171 townships in Saskatchewan have yields of less than five bushels an acre, that is, when the crop failure clause comes into effect. Let us assume that in the area under five bushels the average yield is half of five, or 2i bushels per acre. If wheat sells at SI a bushel at shipping point and harvesting costs are low, the farmer may have something like $1 an acre, or $162 over and above harvesting costs. Then the average farmer in southwestern Saskatchewan, the area of largest farms, would receive $2.50 an acre on 162-6 acres, or $406.50. If besides he has a crop of 2i bushels an acre he receives a total income from grain and the P.F.A.A. of not more than $569.

Calculating farm operating expenses as three-quarters of the cost of hiring the work done, that is allowing the farmer no wages, then seeding and summer fallowing for the coming year would cost at least $659. This leaves the farmer, then, on operating expenses alone nearly $100 in the red, besides owing the municipality for taxes, owing interest to his creditors, and, what is more important, with no income for himself and his family.

The argument might be put forth that in times of crop failure the farmer can sell some of his live stock and in that way supplement his income. But in years of crop failure shortage of grain and fodder makes the retention of live stock a costly matter. It may well be that the farmer is forced to reduce drastically the numbers of his live stock and still have insufficient moneys from that source to pay for the wintering of his foundation stock. That was the experience of farmers in 1937.

The federal government has of recent date set out its proposals, many of which are admirable, before the dominion-provincial conference. At page 6 of the proposals the government of Canada states:

The Address-Mr. Argue

The achievement of greater stability in the flow of consumption expenditures is dependent, to a significant degree, on the policies that are adopted to protect the basic incomes of the groups whose position is most precarious.

Again, on page 7:

In familiar terms, our objectives are high and stable employment and income, and a greater sense of public responsibility for individual economic security and welfare.

Again, on page 17, speaking of agriculture, the dominion's proposal states:

No industry has made a greater contribution to the Canadian war effort than agriculture. This achievement has left problems of conversion to peace-time conditions comparable to those of manufacturing industry. Many branches of agriculture were greatly expanded in response to war needs and over-all production increased to levels far exceeding those of the past. This accomplishment drew heavily upon agricultural resources, resulting in heavy depreciation of machinery and equipment and great strain on the depleted farm population. The dominion government feels it has a responsibility to assist the industry in making the necessary readjustments to peace-time circumstances and to work in cooperation with the provincial governments, to provide for a greater degree of stability in farm income, and a greater measure of security than has prevailed in the past.

Then on page 28 we find:

A significant volume of social security payments, flowing into the consumer's spending stream, will stabilize the economy of the country as a whole and work against a fall in the national income. Social security payments therefore become, in these circumstances, a powerful weapon with which to ward off general economic depression.

Here the federal government has stated very definitely that it will seek to prevent violent fluctuations in the farm income. It has stated that social security payments will work against a fall in the national income. This is admittedly a good policy, but nowhere in the dominion's proposals, or in the speech from the throne, is there even a hint that the P.F.A.A. payments will be increased. The P.F.A.A. as it is now constituted is wholly incapable of maintaining even a minimum of security for the farmer.

Surely the government would be well advised to do more than pay lip service to social security, and implement comprehensive security for the farmer against crop failure.

I have shown that payments under the P.F.A.A. will not meet even next year's operating expenses, and in no way can it be conceived that the act now provides one dollar towards feeding, clothing and sheltering the farm family. The hard cold fact remains that in time of crop failure the farmer has no security.

Speaking of the P.F.A.A., a report submitted in 1944 to the Saskatchewan reconstruction council states:

Of the five years in which the act has been in force, three of the years were more or less average. For the prairie provinces as a whole, one, 1941, was a very poor year, and, one, 1942, was the largest crop on record.

I have made a few calculations from that statement. For the three average years the payments totalled $22,864,272. The average payments for the three years of average crop were $7,621,424. The collections for those three years totalled $7,602,948 and the average collections per year were $2,534,316. The average cost of awards was $5,000,000 a year in round figures. We in the C.C.F. ask that the maximum payment be raised from $2.50 an acre to $6 an acre. This new figure would then cost the government about $15,000,000 a year.

I believe that Canadians have come to realize that prosperity, like peace, is one and indivisible. If labour and small business is to prosper, then agriculture also must prosper. Indeed prosperity in Canada generally depends in large measure on a prosperous agriculture. Prosperity cannot be built on an impoverished agricultural economy. If agriculture in the west is to be prosperous, farmers must be guaranteed an income in time of crop failure sufficient to give the farmer and his family a reasonable living and sufficient to carry on farming operations for another year. The sum of approximately $15 million a year would go a long way toward doing that, and I suggest that that is indeed a small item in the modem Canadian budget.

I should like to mention some proposed changes in the Prairie Farm Assistance Act:

1. That the payments be increased to $6 per acre for a zero to a four bushel yield, payments to be increased to $3 per acre for a 4-1 to eight bushel yield, and that elevator deductions be not greater than three per cent, which is three times present deductions.

2. That the payments be made to include all bona fide farmers to ensure that the man who has borne the expense of seeding and summerfallowing shall receive the payment.

3. That payments be made on an individual yield basis rather than a township yield basis, to ensure that every farmeT who has a crop failure receives the full benefit.

4. That the minimum payment when the crop yield is less than four bushels per acre be $500. and that the minimum payment for a yield of 4 [DOT] 1 to eight bushels be $300.

The Address-Mr. Jaques

The government has committed itself to a programme of social security, and to a programme that will prevent violent fluctuations in income for the farmer. An adequate Prairie Farm Assistance Act would assure the farmer against a falling income from one source, that is crop failure. A $6 per ucre payment in time of crop failure is surely very little. It would mean for the average farmer in the area composed of the largest farms an income of still less than $1,000. Surely such a payment is but simple justice. I would suggest to the government that there is no single piece of legislation so universally demanded and so essential to the farmers of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and to a lesser degree Manitoba. I suggest that the measure I propose is essentially a social security measure. It would prove to western farmers that when the government says that social security measures will be implemented, it means what it says. Farmers demand a substantial increase in the P.P.A.A. payments, at least to the extent of $6 per acre in a year of crop failure. Farmers in the west will not rest content until their demands for adequate protection against crop failure have been met.

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Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. NORMAN JAQUES (Wetaskiwin):

I wish to make a few general remarks which I hope to elaborate during future debates. First of all, I should like to deal with the criticism or the remarks made by the hon. member for Grey North (Mr. Case). He made them in a very generous and pleasant way and I hope that he will accept mine in a similar spirit. The hon. member said, as reported at page 369 of Hansard:

I wish to say to my hon. friends that I do not think Canada, of all countries in the world, is in a position to give leadership in monetary reform.

May I say at the beginning that social credit is not only, or even mainly, a system of monetary reform. Social credit is a philosophy of life, and the monetary proposals are designed to make possible a Christian way of life, of individual freedom and individual responsibility.

The hon. member for Grey North went on to say: .

We produce a tremendous volume of goods in this. country, and we must find a market for them in the markets of the world. The home market could never consume the amount of goods we produce, because we produce enough for 50,000,000 people. The productive capacity of this nation during the war absolutely staggers human imagination.

I am not quite sure what that 50,000,000 means. I do not think it can be meant that

11,000,000 Canadians produce enough goods

for 50,000,000 people because, if you take the total production of Canada in the last year or so, you will find it certainly would not be sufficient to give even the bare necessities of life to 50,000,000 people. It is true that of some articles we produce a great deal more than we can use, and naturally we must find a market for the surplus in order that we may be able to bring back in exchange goods that we do not and cannot produce in Canada. That, of course, is understood, but apparently many hon. members are still of the opinion that there is a necessity for increased exports over imports. As they have said, "we live on our exports." Social Crediters simply reverse that and say that we live on our imports.

We Canadians are not the only people in the world who, under the pressure of war, have stepped up our powers of production. That is true more or less the world over. When I was in England the winter before last I met some prominent manufacturers, and one of them, who was one of the largest producers of aeroplanes in Great Britain, told me that the factories in Great Britain alone could produce in one week the world's peace-time needs for aeroplanes for five years. I think those figures are impressive.

At this time I should like to explain the fundamental difference between the economy of Major Douglas, or social credit, if you prefer that, and the ordinary orthodox economy. I think the basic difference is this, that the orthodox system of economics is founded on the idea that production automatically finances consumption, and that the wages, salaries and dividends distributed in producing, or in connection with whatever is produced, will equal the sum of the prices which must be charged if the producer is to recover all his costs.

Douglas denies this. Perhaps I might put it into the language of Mill, that great orthodox economist. His statement is one which I believe stands as one of the foundation stones of orthodox economics, and goes something like this: It is sometimes asked if there can be a shortage of what is known as purchasing power. Those who ask this question cannot understand what is meant by purchasing power. Every seller is, in the end, a buyer. Could we suddenly double the production of the country we should double the supply of goods in every market, but we should by the same stroke double the demand. Therefore there cannot be a shortage of purchasing power.

The Address-Mr. Jaques

Some years ago I put that statement to the committee on banking and commerce, at a time when Mr. Towers was a witness. He said that it was some time since he left school, but that he agreed with it and thought it was perfectly sound. Then I said that I would like to put it in a slightly different form. Every birth in the end is a death. Could we suddenly double the number of children in the country we should double the supply of babies in every nursery, but we should by the same stroke double the deaths. How, then, does the population increase?

That is a perfectly fair statement of Mill's axiom. Mr. Towers excused himself by reason of his modesty for not answering the question. Seriously, however, how does the population increase, when every birth must end in death? Mr. Stevens, who was a member of the committee, answered at once that the birthrate was greater than the deathrate; and, of course, that is the answer to the statement of Major Douglas. It is that the rate of flow of prices is greater than the rate of flow of purchasing power. Once that idea is grasped, it can be seen easily that in normal times- not in war time-there is chronic shortage of purchasing power. It is for this reason that all orthodox governments, or those governments operating under an orthodox system of economics, demand, and plan their economy on increased exports. It is for this reason that they send goods out of the country. The wealth leaves the country, but wages and salaries remain behind. In that way to some extent they get around the chronic shortage of purchasing power.

But every industrialized country is in the same position; they all try to export more than they import. Hence you have tariffs, dumping duties and every other means to keep other people's goods out. That is why they speak of a favourable balance of trade when we send out of the country more than we bring in. The orthodox economist considers that this condition is one which indicates a favourable balance of trade-which as Euclid used to say is an absurdity. So much for that.

Our C.C.F friends to my right have been criticizing private enterprise. Apparently they place upon private enterprise the blame for our troubles, and say that we should produce for use and not for profit. Well, for the greater part of my life I have been a farmer, and it always seemed instinctive and a selfevident truth that the most profitable thing to produce would be that which would be most generally useful. If you can supply a universal demand, then there is no doubt

fMr. Jaques.]

about your profit; but if you produce some-thnig which people do not want, you may have to take a loss.

In criticizing the capitalist system our C.C.F. friends refer to it as a profit system. It is a great deal more than that; it is a system of profit and loss. I know of no other way by which dishonesty, inefficiency and, if you like, stupidity, among producers can be penalized than by allowing them to take a loss when they are inefficient or stupid, or produce something that is not wanted.

A word about nationalization, something which many people seem to think is a cure-all. I suggest that the acid test of nationalization is this: Will it lower production costs without lowering wages? Will it guarantee employment without curtailing individual liberty and freedom? That, to me, is the acid test of any new economic idea.

There is one thing about the C.C .F. I never have been able to understand. Coming from *an agricultural community, I have never understood why farmers should "fall" for socialism when, of all people in the world, surely the farmers are the most individualist-ically-minded people. At hundreds of meetings throughout western Canada I have asked farmers why some of them support a proposed system of socialism. Invariably the answer is, "But of course socialism will not apply to us farmers." I have had a wide experience in the west, and I think I can say that the reason why the C.C.F. party won in Saskatchewan was that they managed to convince the farmers in that province that under a C.C.F. government they would not be socialized. On the other hand in Alberta, where I suggest the people are more wideawake and better informed, the farmers were convinced that under a C.C.F. government they would be socialized. Therefore they voted for Social Credit rather than C.C.F. candidates. Socialists make an appeal to the masses and I think, I believe the reason is that the mentality of the masses is not the sum of the knowledge, or mentality of the individuals composing the masses; it is merely the lowest common denominator of the mentality of the individuals comprising the masses.

Then we have planning. Socialists seem to think we do not know what we want; we do not know when we want it, and we do not know in what quantities we want it. They say there must be some centralized authority in Ottawa or some other place to tell the people not only what they want but when they want it and when and how they are to get it. Social Crediters cannot agree with that. As a matter of fact, we have the most perfect system of planning in our monetary system.

The Address-Mr. Jagues ___

If we regard money, dollar bills if you like, as economic ballots, so that every time we spend a dollar we are voting for the reproduction of what we buy, then we have what I would call economic democracy. But the supply of money is no longer, if it ever was, controlled by the people as a whole. It is controlled by some tiny minority. We know before the war you could go into a store and see the goods piled on the shelves, and there they stayed because the general public did not have the necessary economic ballots or dollar bills in their pockets to indicate to the manufacturer that he could go ahead and produce some more.

What does social credit propose to do to remedy that situation? I am not going to apologize for saying this again, because there are over one hundred new members who have not heard this before and it will not hurt some of those who have heard it before to hear it again. We propose simply to find out the total production and the total consumption of the country, and the difference between the two would show the shortage of money or purchasing power. We would equate the two by distributing the difference, so as to make them balance, by means of national dividends. I am not going into the ethics or morals of national dividends at this time, but that is the simple proposal.

Of course our opponents will say that when you distribute so many million dollars or a billion dollars, whatever it is, you would then have nothing but inflation and the extra money would be used in paying the extra prices. Douglas is a Scotsman; he is a very great Scotsman, and he knew enough to get around that trouble. He proposed to kill inflation before it started by having part of the dividend, or all of it if that were considered desirable, distributed in the form of price discounts or, as some say, compensated prices.

This simply means that retail prices would be reduced by a given amount, and then the retailer would be compensated the amount he was out of pocket. I remember when that was proposed in this house ten or so years ago. At that time it met with great ridicule, but as a matter of fact that system very largely has enabled Great Britain to carry on during this war. When I was over there I was told that the money paid out to retailers in the form of compensated prices amounted to three-quarters of a billion dollars. Not only was it used in Great Britain, it was used in this country but to a much lesser extent. For instance, the consumer of milk has been able to buy that product for two cents a quart less and the retailers have

been compensated. That is pure social credit; that is a compensated price. The only difference is that in war time and under orthodox economics, the money to pay it is derived from taxation. That is necessary because in war time there is too much money floating about. However, in peace time the money for that purpose would be created by the Bank of Canada without debt and without interest. .

Just a word on old age pensions. I should like to add my support in the strongest possible way to everything that has been said during this debate in favour of increasing the old age pension. I would not trust my language to say what I really think about the way the old people of this country have been living and are forced to live. It is a national and an international disgrace. I can only hope that when the readjustment is made these old age pensioners will receive at least a decent living pension. I am not going to say how much it ought to be, but I certainly would not have it less than $50 a month and I would not have the age limit oveT sixty years.

To change the subject a little, I should like to endorse what was said yesterday by the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Hlynka). When I was in England the winter before last I spoke to many Polish and other soldiers and refugees, and since then I have read everything I can lay my hands on about this matter. I am not going to say anything at this time except to quote from a statement which was issued not long ago by the former premier of Poland, iMr. Tomasz Arciszewski. He said:

The government that has been formed in Poland is not new'. It consists of sixteen communists and crypto communists under fraudulent party labels. The new premier is a soviet citizen and an official of the Comintern for the past twenty years.

And again:

Poland to-day is ruled by the N.K.V.D.

That is the soviet secret police.

The Polish army now is controlled by officers of the red army. Thousands of Poles are being deported daily to Siberia because they are Polish patriots-those deported include women and children. As an old socialist I can say that under the regime imposed on Poland by Moscow Polish democracy is doomed and the entire struggle of five years against totalitarianism will become a mockery.

That was a statement issued by a former premier of Poland.

On August 20 last, Mr. Bevin, Foreign Secretary in the British Labour government, speaking of Hungaria, Bulgaria and Rumania, said:

These governments which have been set up do not, in our view-, represent the majority of the people, and the impression we get from recent developments is that one kind of totalitarianism is being replaced by another.

The Address-Mr. Jaques

The whole world is now being deluged with details of German atrocities. Those atrocities are not due to the German people as Germans. They are due to the German people as totalitarians, and the result of totalitarianism is the same wherever it controls the lives and fortunes of the people. Propaganda during the war has, of course, been put out for war purposes, and very little truth has been made available to the people of this or any other country. The whole purpose of propaganda is, of course, to confuse the people and to hide the truth, and when it comes to lying propaganda of that kind our C.B.C. need not apologize to anything they have over there in Europe. There has been a steady propaganda day after day, week after week and year after year ever since the war started, to put over the idea of socialism and communism at the expense of our democracy.

I have here a statement issued by the Social Credit Association of Canada, constituency of Vancouver South, from which I quote:

As the facilities of the publicly-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have been made available to Mr. Elmore Philpott and he has used these to verbally support the armed insurrection of the Trotskyites in Greece, and " addition has openly condemned the actions of Churchill and General Scobie, head of the British army there; and whereas Mr. Philpott has been an ayovied advocate of a centralization of power scheme known as federal union, of which Dumbarton Oaks and Bretton Woods are a part; and whereas the facilities of the C B C has not been placed freely at the disposal of the oocial Credit Association of British Columbia in order that the other side of the story might be presented to the people, we' have therefore taken this, the only means at our immediate disposal, to place before you some essential facts of the power politics of those who crave world dominion and whose propaganda at times has been considered openlv seditious.

With regard to the free publicity given by the C.B.C. to the various political parties and their leaders I would say that the free publicity given to the leader of the C.C.F. is out of all proportion to his importance either as a citizen or as the leader of a party. I do not mind saying that I hardly ever listen to the C.B.C. news but what I am informed of Mr. Coldwell's opinion on this, that or the other matter.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. JAQUES:

That is all right, but what about the other leaders? I have never heard Mr. Low's name mentioned over the C.B.C., and we have as much right to free publicity as the leader of the C.C.F. I think we might 'hear a good deal more of the views of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) over

the C.B.C. I think his ideas and his proposals should be put before the Canadian people more than they are.

I do not mind how much radio time a party buys. If the C.C.F. likes to buy hours of time, that is all right, for all know that what they are listening to is C.C.F. propaganda, and they are not deceived. But when there is all this free advertising-the C.B.C. is supposed to be absolutely non-partisan, almost ex cathedra-and people hear these ideas put forth day after day, it has an effect in time. Even during the election the Social Credit party, which then had as many members in the House of Commons as the C.C.F.-and we have had a Social Credit government in Alberta for ten years, whereas the C.C.F. have had one in Saskatchewan for only ten months -got only four one-quarter hours, the same as the communists got, a party that was banned during the war for subversive activities. I repeat, we got just the same amount of time as the communists. I understand, and I have heard it on good authority, that the ex-minister of national war services was let out because he opposed this propaganda which has been put over by the C.B.C.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

Who let him out?

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Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. JAQUES:

I can understand that he would object to it. I know I do.

Finally I wish to quote from "The Road to Serfdom", by Professor Hayek, and I hope that every member of this house and everybody outside the house will read "The Road to Serfdom". Professor Hayek says at page 184 of this book:

And, undoubtedly, not merely the ideas which in Germany and elsewhere prepared totalitarianism but also many of the principles of totalitarianism itself are what exercises an increasing fascination in many other countries. Although few people, if anybody, in England would probably be ready to swallow totalitarianism whole, there are few single features which have not yet been advised by somebody or other. Indeed, there is scarcely a leaf out of Hitlers book which somebody or other in England or America has not recommended us to take and use for our own purposes. This applies particularly to many people who are undoubtedly Hitler's mortal enemies because of one special feature in his system. We should never forget that the anti-Semitism of Hitler has driven from his country, or turned into his enemies, many people who in every respect are confirmed totalitarians of the German type.

I now conclude my remarks, Mr. Speaker, but I hope to elaborate them in future debates as the occasion arises.

The Address-Mr. Michaud

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LIB

Benoît Michaud

Liberal

Mr. BENOIT MICHAUD (Restigouche-Madawaska):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate myself with all those who have congratulated you upon your elevation to the high position which you now occupy and which you seem to discharge with such distinction and impartiality.

I also wish to congratulate the mover and the seconder of the address upon their splendid performances. At the same time, I apologize to them for having been unavoidably absent while they were speaking.

As a newcomer to this house I did not intend to participate in this debate. 1111 when I see so many young members rising in their places and speaking with such ease, such assurance, and in many cases such eloquence, I feel that I would be remiss in my duty if I did not raise my voice to speak some of the things which I have to say, particularly since nobody from New Brunswick has as yet spoken. In addition, when I look around me I find so much food for thought that I cannot hold my peace any longer. I find, so far as I have been able to make a calculation, that there are ninety-seven new members like myself entering this twentieth parliament; that sixty-one members entered this house during the last parliament, and that fifty-nine more came in between 1935 and 1940. This leaves but twenty-nine members of the present parliament who sat in this house prior to 1935. Political life in this arena appears to be so short that unless one speaks his mind while a new member he may never have another opportunity of being heard. _

As a new member, I presume I should introduce myself. I have the honour to represent the constituency of Restigouche-Madawaska, formerly represented by the ex-minister of transport, who is now Chief Justice hlichaud of the king's bench division of New Brunswick. Incidentally, another namesake, Mr. Pius Michaud, of Edmundston, sat in this house for eighteen years. Those who sat with him-and I think there are still seven or eight of them-may be glad to hear that Mr. Pius Michaud is still enjoying good health.

At this moment may I remind the house that a part of the riding which I now represent, Madawaska county, was once represented by a gentleman who holds, I believe, a unique record in the history of this parliament. I refer to the late Senator Costigan, who came to the House of Commons in 1867 and sat continually until 1906, when he was elevated to the senate and sat in the senate until 1917, or a total of fifty years in both houses of Parliament. I think that is a record in the federal parliament.

At this stage, I feel I should pay a tribute to my immediate predecessor, who discharged in a most commendable manner his mandate, first as a private member, and then as a minister of the crown. Upon assuming his succession as a member for Restigouche-Madawaska, I feel that he has set for me a very high standard of service and efficiency, a standard which I shall do my utmost to emulate, and in this undertaking I shall welcome the cooperation of every member of this house.

Many hon. members have spoken with gratification of election results in their own constituencies. Others have expressed the view that as a matter of chivalry we should not bring to the attention of the house the fact that one or two or more opponents lost their deposits. I shall heed their suggestion. I wish to say, however, than in my campaign I appealed for an over-all majority over the three opposition candidates, and I am pleased to inform the house that the constituents of Restigouche-Madawaska supported this government in the proportion of fifty-five per cent. For the confidence which they have placed in me so generously I am most grateful; at the same time I consider that I have great responsibilities toward the good hard-working people whom I have the honour to represent. These responsibilities I propose to discharge to the utmost of my ability, and I trust that Providence will make it relatively easy for me to do so.

The people of my riding were satisfied1 with the present administration and expressed that satisfaction at the polls in no uncertain terms. I cannot illustrate that fact any better than by relating an incident which occurred to me two or three days before the voting. A settler, well known to me for his staunch Tory affiliation, came into my office and said that he wanted to speak to me privately. What he said was short and to the point*. "I did not vote for you last summer", referring to the occasion when I was a candidate in the provincial .election, "but I am going to vote for you this time. Mackenzie King, that's a good man"; and he went on to tell me in a few short sentences why he thought the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) is a good man.

May I also take this opportunity to offer my sincere congratulations to the newly appointed Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Bridges). Thirteen years ago this very day, I was working with him in his office pending my admission to the bar. Two years later he was elected to the legislature of New Brunswick. The Liberals elected on that occasion were so numerous that he did not have a chance of

The Address-Mr. Michaud

getting into the cabinet. However, on the opening day he was elected, sir, to the honourable position similar to the one you now occupy. The hon. member for York-Sunbury, who served for three years in this war, comes from a distinguished and highly educated family, one held in high esteem all over New Brunswick. His father was chief superintendent of education of New Brunswick for many years, and enjoyed a most enviable reputation. His grandfather on his mother's side was a brilliant jurist who adorned the supreme court of IS/ew Brunswick for many years.

While making allowances for differences, I cannot help remarking that the career of the Minister of Fisheries and my own have had many points in common, and thirteen years ago little did we dream that we would be sitting together in this house. We both started teaching school, then drifted into law and finally into politics, provincial and federal. During the few years I practised law in Resti-gouche county we had occasion to meet in court on opposite sides, and I am pleased to state that I never came across a more loyal and more gallant opponent. Possibly because he is nine days my senior, he always managed to get ahead of me in life, in teach-mg, in law and in politics, matrimony being the only exception. The new minister has had a very successful career at the bar, and for that reason he should prove to be a valuable addition to the cabinet. I rejoice at his elevation to the responsible position he now occupies and I wish him continuous success and good luck.

I suppose I should say a few words about my constituency. Restigouche-Madawaska is the largest constituency in New Brunswick. It is the third largest from the point of view of population. It is 210 miles from one extremity of the riding to the other The mam industries are, first, farming, including potato growing to quite a large extent. Incidentally, Senator Pirie, potato king of the British empire, began his phenomenal career >

growing potatoes in the parish in which 1 was born and brought up and now he carries on extensively in my own constituency.

We also have lumbering, including three arge pulp mills. Veneer logs are cut and processed in Saint John, New Brunswick the largest mill of its kind in the British empire. Fishing is also one of our main industries, particularly in Restigouche county where salmon, smelt and lobster fishing is carried on. We have some of the most valuable angling licences in the world. It will be recalled that last summer the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were guests in the Resti- . , ' r

gouche river district and, according to newspaper reports, they gave a good account of themselves.

May I refer briefly to the record of enlistments from both counties of Restigouche and Madawaska in the present war. Voluntary enlistment was second to none in that part of New Brunswick. I know of no case of desertion which is hanging fire at the present time. I know of only one case of absence without leave, and since I have had no requests from anyone, I have every reason to believe that those who are in trouble with the Department of National Defence are very few. Of this record I am proud. A few days ago when an hon. member representing one of the Winnipeg constituencies was speaking he made reference to the Royal Rifles. I may say that a great many young men of Restigouche county were in the Royal Rifles regiment and a few of them who were well known to me will never return. We all rejoice in the reunions that have taken place or that are about to take place after almost four years of horror, but we must not forget those who made the supreme sacrifice. To this day I know of families who have never heard from their dear ones and do not yet know whether those men are alive.

During the course of the debate reference has been made to the housing problem. We have quite a housing problem in a few of the towns in my riding-Campbellton and Dal-housie for instance-and at this point I would endorse the remarks made by the hon. member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. White) some time ago on the recent amendments to the rentals order, whereby owners and purchasers of homes have been denied the right to possession on the giving of notice as in the past. It seems to me that this recent amendment has not brought any great measure of redress; on the contrary it has worked a great hardship in many cases. I am unable to concur in this most extraordinary interference with the civil rights of individuals. The order as it stood prior to July 25 was irksome enough, but it was justified in view of the war emergency, and it had a fairly good effect in bringing about a number of transfers of property. I hope that the matter will be reviewed at an early date and that the order will be amended so as to enable bona fide purchasers to obtain possession of their homes as was the case prior to July 25.

I should like to mention something about the difficulties which I have experienced in New Brunswick in obtaining loans from lending institutions under the housing act. Apparently the lending institutions are not eager to make loans. I have written and in a great

The Address-Mr. Michaud

many cases have not received a reply. Of late, however, I did receive a reply from one of the companies together with their application form, but on glancing over it I am inclined to think the conditions are so hard that very few people will be able to meet them. For that reason I shall welcome any amendment to the housing act. To my mind the government should finance the building of homes somewhat along the line advocated by George Creed, president of the league for Economic Democracy, in his recent book entitled, "Money, Master or Servant". An editorial along the same lines also appeared in the Liberal Advocate of May, 1944, I believe.

It was my intention to say a few words about my good friends of the Social Credit party who took such an interest in my constituency recently.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE IN REPLY
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

You were not afraid, were you?

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE IN REPLY
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LIB

Benoît Michaud

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

No. Glance at the results and you will see that there was no reason to be afraid. As early as 1938 Mr. Louis Even organized a huge meeting in my native parish and on that occasion I took the trouble to travel 125 miles to listen to him. From then on I did not pay very much attention to their activities, but I know that for a period of three months prior to the election in Restigouche-Madavvaska they carried on a passionate courtship and my constituents were honoured' by the visit of none other than the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low), the hon. member for Jasper-Edson (Mr. Kuhl), and the Hon. Lucien Menard, attorney-general of Alberta. I attended two of their three meetings. I happened to be unavoidably absent from my home town on the third occasion.

I have no time to-day to refer to any of the utterances of these gentlemen in this house, but I wish to make my position clear on a few fundamentals. In the first place, I do not believe that a single member on this side of the house favours full employment as an end in itself. Just a few days ago the hon. member for Jasper-Edson asked us what our aim was as regards full employment. I think we are all agreed that we are seeking full employment as a means to an end, as a means to acquiring purchasing power, but I do not suggest that it is the only way to acquire purchasing power. It is one which cannot and will never be done away with completely. To what extent the acquisition of purchasing power will depend upon employment in the future remains to be seen. It is a fact that working hours have decreased within the past twenty years, and in my opinion they will eventually be further

reduced. When I see so much work remaining to be done in Canada, work which cannot be done by machines alone, I cannot conceive the possibility of any substantial reduction in working hours until all useful projects are completed in this country, and I have my doubts whether this condition of bliss will ever be achieved. Just what this full employment should mean in terms of wages or income I am not in a position to say. I cannot give any expression of opinion any more than to say that wages and income should be such as to make possible a substantially higher standard of living than that at present enjoyed by the average thrifty worker. I just wish to add that I firmly believe in the principle that all that is physically possible is financially possible. As 1 see it, the only limitations to our accomplishments are materials and man-power. If materials and man-power are not sufficient to meet all the demands of the people then priority should be established.

I was very much amused at the remarks of the hon. member for Edmonton East (Mr. Ashby) when he said some time ago that the people from the east are becoming enlightened. I am sorry that he is not in his place at the moment. With his statement I heartily agree. Indeed the people from the east are becoming enlightened, and they proved it quite well on June 11. In the maritimes, out of twenty-six ridings, government supporters carried nineteen. In Quebec there are at least fifty-eight sure supporters out of sixty-five members. Not being very familiar with the geography of Ontario, I am not in a position to say how many Liberals were elected east of Ottawa. By looking at the map I am inclined to think we have quite a few supporters from Ontario east of Ottawa.

Reference has been made to the proposed income tax reduction in Australia. I understand that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) gave some figures on the income tax structure of Australia and New Zealand a year or so ago. According to a statement published in the Toronto Daily Star on June 27, 1944, a married man with two children with an income of $1,200 would pay $96 in Australia and $150 in New Zealand. One with an income of $1,500 paying $24 in Canada would pay $188 in Australia and $229 in New Zealand. Take off twelve and a half per cent from this, and have your choice. I am sure that this government will allow anyone to pay according to the rates in Australia.

We have heard a good deal about living conditions in these countries. I do not mind listening to hon. members from the prairies telling us about their own problems concern-

The Address-Mr. Michaud

ing wheat and irrigation projects, and I hope they will bear with us when we talk about our maritime problems. I am not very much interested in hearing about New Zealand or Australia, because I think very few people know exactly what conditions are in those countries. I daresay none of the hon. members who speak in such glowing terms of far distant countries would take the chance of exchanging this country for any one of those foreign lands. I believe that we live in a most wonderful country, possibly the best in the world, and I say it with all the sincerity at my command. Let us not belittle it by comparing it with other lands unless we are positive that such countries are better governed than we are. Let us have faith in our country. It is true that it may not be all that we should like it to be, but I would ask my good friends across the way to stop looking for a depression bear behind every bush. Let us all get together in a true spirit of cooperation and offer constructive suggestions to the government instead of trying to embarrass it.

To my mind there are two big problems confronting this government, namely, housing and unemployment. The speech from the throne discloses that the housing act will be revamped. I am glad to hear that because I think it requires material amendment. According to statistics given by the Department of Labour I believe that we still have more jobs seeking men than men seeking jobs. Apparently labour is unwilling to accept a cut in pay. We had this situation in Camp-bellton a short while ago when approximately 120 men were out of work as a result of a small shell factory closing down. I believe that most of them have now taken other positions and very likely at reduced wages. All this was done without too much commotion. Naturally the problem is more difficult of solution when a large number of men are involved. In order to arrive at some equitable solution of this big problem, both labour and industry will have to compromise in their demands. In this connection I find an editorial in the Ottawa Journal of September 11 very much to the point. It is long and I shall not trouble the house with reading it, but I wish to emphasize the main ideas contained in it. It suggests that full employment does not mean selected employment. It also suggests to industry not to take advantage of labour, and it concludes with this principle:

The fortunes of workers and of industry in this country are indivisible.

It will not be long, however, before the people seeking jobs will outnumber the jobs available. In my opinion, if and when this

situation arises, and if private enterprise is either unwilling or unable to cope with the situation of providing jobs, then it will be the duty of the government to come in with enterprises of a public nature. If the lending institutions are not reasonable in granting loans to prospective home builders, then the government should make the money available for the urgent task of home building. If the building of homes cannot take care of all the unemployed, then there are plenty of public works urgently needed; and may I take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to suggest a few public projects which are badly needed and would be greatly appreciated in my own constituency. First and foremost is the interprovincial bridge between Campbellton and Cross Point. This project has been under consideration for upwards of twenty years. I understand that an interprovincial bridge is generally built under some sort of three-way arrangement between the two provinces concerned and the dominion government. Negotiations between the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick have taken place at different times in this connection, the latest occurrence being less than a year ago. At that meeting there were two ministers of the New Brunswick government and at least one from the Quebec government, besides provincial members from the two provinces. I take the liberty of bringing this matter to the attention of the Minister of Reconstruction (Mr. Howe) and I urge that as soon as materials are available the project be given immediate attention. There is no question that the man-power will be plentiful when the steel and other materials can be released.

There is also urgent need for a new post office building in Campbellton. The present one has served its time and could be used to shelter other departments of the government at present located in rented buildings. I do not know whether there is a scarcity of building material for such constructions, but a time will come in the near future when materials will be available. There is one project, however, which in my opinion should not be difficult to undertake, because materials and labour for it are easily obtainable right on the spot. I am referring to the Dalhousie wharf, which is in a deplorable condition. There is plenty of lumber in Restigouche county as well as labour.

A new ferry service was reinstated last spring between that town and the Quebec side. It is urgently needed and should never have been discontinued, after having been in operation for a great many years. But unless

The Address-Mr. McLure

some repairs are made to this ferry wharf it will be very difficult for the ferry service to continue with any success. To my mind there is no justification for allowing both wharves to remain in their present state of disrepair, and I warn the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier) that I shall never miss an opportunity to bring this matter to his attention unless I receive the assurance that repairs will be undertaken in the near future.

Before resuming my seat I wish to assure you, Mr. Speaker, that I am highly honoured in having the privilege of occupying a seat in this House of Commons with such distinguished citizens from all parts of Canada. Judging from the tone of the remarks which I have heard up to this day, I feel that every hon. member in this house has but one aim and objective, namely, the welfare of the greatest number of his constituents. Unfortunately, we differ, and at times radically, on the methods of approach to achieve our common aim. I shall always try to remember this point in the course of the discussions in this house. If it does occur to me to criticize the views of other hon. members who do not see eye to eye with me on matters of public interest, I wish to assure them that I do not question the sincerity of their motives. In return, I hope that fellow members will do me the same courtesy. With this attitude of mind, I believe that we can tackle with confidence the ardous task ahead of us. By an honest and sincere exchange of views during the coming four or five years, we should be able to make this Canada of ours a land wherein it will be easier to live in peace and contentment.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Mr. W. CHESTER S. McLURE (Queens): Mr. Speaker, you have listened to speeches by hon. members from every province in this Dominion of Canada, save one. As representative of that province I felt it was my duty to say a few words about the garden of the Gulf. Let me state two facts at the beginning of my remarks. Prince Edward Island is the banner province of this dominion, bar none. Prince Edward Island is the province which the dominion government has neglected ever since we came into the union in 1873. During my rambling remarks I shall attempt to give my reasons for making that statement.

In rising to speak on the address in reply to the speech from the throne, I do so because this debate affords an opportunity to a member to speak on any subject without his remarks being termed irrelevant. I feel I would be remiss in my duty as a member of this house if I did not offer a few words of congratulation at this time. My first desire is to congratulate you, sir, upon being raised to the position of Speaker of this house by your peers in this chamber. Your appearance, your qualifications and your experience fit you admirably for that position. But I regret that I was the first member of this house to be called to order by Your Honour. However, I bowed to your ruling.

I should like to say to the mover (Mr. Benidickson) and the seconder (Mr. Langlois) of the address in reply that any adjectives which I might use by way of congratulation would be simply a repetition of the fine things that have been heaped upon them. I concur in all that has been said regarding them, but I wish to add that this was a well planned honour to the service men of Canada.

I would have desired the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to be in his place at this moment because I should like to offer him a few words of congratulation. When I entered this house a few days ago and as I looked across to the other side from time to time since then, I could not help noting the pleased expression of the Prime Minister. I could not say whether that was due to his being in the same old position of Prime Minister of Canada, but I did have another thought in mind. I wondered if the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) had piped him in as king of Glengarry.

I wish to offer my sincerest congratulations to the leader of His Majesty's most loyal opposition (Mr. Bracken). May health and strength be granted to him-and likewise to the Prime Minister-to aid him in the great task of restoring responsible democratic government to our dominion. When the Prime Minister was speaking the other day he cracked what was perhaps a good joke about my leader. The Prime Minister said that it took him only two or three weeks to enter parliament after being defeated in his constituency, whereas it took my leader two or two and a half years to get into the House of Commons. I have it on the Prime Minister in two ways. It took me ten years to get back into the house, and that surpassed him. But I did not leave my constituency of Queens because I knew that sooner or later the electors would find out that I was the better man. Had they found it out sooner I would have been delighted.

If time permitted I should have liked to extend my congratulations to the leaders of all groups in the house and also to the young members who have spoken for the first time. All I can say is, congratulations and carry on.

The Address-Mr. McLure

When one returns to this house, after a period of years, one glances around and sees a great many new faces and perhaps regrets that some of the older ones are not here. As I glanced around I saw one of those great masters of the universe, the hand that rocks the cradle, the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mrs. Strum). Congratulations. And let me give this old toast in her honour:

Here's to our lovely women

Who fill our lives with little bees and honey;

They break our shocks;

They mend our socks.

But, oh, you bachelors,

Aren't you afraid how they will spend your money ?

I wish to make a few remarks on the great and glorious news that flashed around the world during the last few weeks of victory, the cessation from war-victory, with unconditional surrender over the nazi gangsters whose thought was world domination; and victory once again on the Pacific coast over those human rats who thought they were the elect of the world and could destroy our civilization. Now we have a liberated Europe and a controlled Pacific, and I thank the overruling Providence for the victories that have come to our armed forces. I give thanks to those of our nations and to those of the allied nations, to the countless heroes among the men and the women who faced capture, faced shackles, faced crippling injuries and faced death itself to make your freedom, Mr. Speaker, and mine secure. To those heroes of our nation and our allied nations I bow in sincere gratitude. To those who made the supreme sacrifice and passed out of the sight of man on to the paths of glory I have no words adequate to express my thanks and devotion. May we one and all be worthy of the price they paid.

While giving thanks to the Divine Ruler of the universe for our great allied victory, I am inclined to believe, as I read the papers from time to time of the atrocities of the Japs, that the Great Ruler may never fully pardon the American nation or the British nation for not absolutely destroying and driving into the sea those human rats of the Pacific. God forbid that our nation should ever allow one of them to set foot on Canada again. Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, you may think I am bitter, but let those atrocities that have been written up come home to you, and there is not a member of this house, I believe, but will say: Away with those human rats.

I have noticed by the different speeches which have been made in this debate that it is customary for a member to introduce

himself to the house. In case hon. members may not know it, may I say that I have the honor to be one of the representatives of that dual constituency of Queens in the Garden of the Gulf. I wish to inform this house that I am the Progressive Conservative, and not the Liberal representative of Queens as the press stated a few days ago. However, I pardon them for a slip of the pen more easily because I happen to be one of the owners of that great standard of news, the Charlottetown Guardian, and I know how easy it is for a writer to make a slip. The Charlottetown Guardian is known for its worthy and careful writing, and it has the slogan "It covers the Island like the dew." Since we are a prohibition province, that means the morning dew, and not rye.

The chief topic in this debate is the address in reply to the speech from the throne and for a few minutes I wish to direct my attention to it. As I read and re-read the speech from the throne, I considered that it was quite academic. It would make good propaganda for a political thesis on war-time doings and the war. The speech from the throne is a governmental document prepared by the cabinet and placed in the hands of His Excellency by his constitutional advisers. Therefore any criticisms of mine or of anyone else's in this house of the speech from the throne do not reflect upon His Excellency the Governor General either in person or in public affairs.

The speech from the throne can best be described as a synthetic speech. Do not mistake me. I do not mean sympathetic; I mean synthetic. Let me draw to the attention of the house one brief sentence, from page 8 of Hansard, which is to be found in the document placed in the hands of His Excellency. It states:

The government has received a definite mandate from the people of Canada.

To have a definite mandate from the people a government must win a majority of the seats so contested. Did this government win a majority of the seats contested? Decidedly no.

In the speech from the throne it was expected by the people of Canada and their representatives in this house that the government would deal with live issues, issues of the present time, and not the morbid history of past doings or misdoings of a government which does not now represent the majority. Why did the speech from the throne nor contain something definite on such subjects as jobs for the jobless, taxation reform, hospitalization for veterans, encouragement for

The Address-Mr. McL/ure

the industries of Canada in order that private enterprise may be able to develop and make jobs for the jobless?

Besides the definite omissions which I have mentioned, here is one more of many omissions. Hon. members all know that sins of omission outweigh by far sins of commission. Here is one great omission. Now that the war is over, the duty which faces this government and parliament in priority over everything else is to remove with all convenient dispatch those block-busters of business, industrial and agricultural production, and free enterprise. The nation has stood for regimentation from 1939 to 1945, for government by control boards of all kinds and descriptions, for government by orders in council. During the past war years a reign of dictators has developed through war-time controls in Canada. Now that the war is over, this must not be permitted to continue, or it will undermine and destroy the rights and liberties for which we have so long struggled. Controls and controllers may have been necessary in some things during the war, and Canadians patriotically stood for them in the interests of an all-out -war effort. But now that the war is over, let us not permit these controls and dictatorships, which are insidiously and definitely becoming part of our every-day life to continue. These controls in their particular branches are nothing less than dictatorship. To a large extent they have taken away from us our civil rights and have denied the right of the citizen to appeal to the courts. It should be the first duty of this government and this parliament to see to it that the hard-earned civil rights of the people are restored to them, and that these dictators -or call them what you will as long as you use parliamentary language-shall be scattered to the four winds of oblivion, and responsible democratic government restored to Canada.

It is not my intention to criticize further the speech from the throne. It has been torn asunder, with the government which produced it, by other speakers, and parliament is waiting to learn what the ministers of the crown are going to do.

I said a while ago that, if time permitted, I would refer to my own constituency of Queens county and to Prince Edward Island. First, let me ask this question: what representation has my constituency or my province in the federal cabinet? Here is the answer. The official announcement made by the Prime Minister a few days ago was to the effect that Prince Edward Island, the cradle of confederation, is deprived of representation in the inner councils of the federal government. It was generally believed by the people of 47696-29

Prince Edward Island, when a shuffle of the cabinet was made prior to the election, with the Prime Minister's own statement that every province including Prince Edward Island would have representation in the cabinet, that after the election was over, the Liberal member of the dual constituency of Queens would receive the portfolio of fisheries, a position which, from his practical business experience, he could have filled admirably. But no, Mr. Speaker, we as a province are neglected and left out in the cold. The Prime Minister forgot that when he was looking for a roosting place to enter parliament my province of Prince Edward Island gave him his only opportunity. It is also true that when the Prime Minister was looking for seats for the Hon. Charles A. Dunning and the Hon. J. L. Ralston we gave them our suffrages. But perhaps some hon. member may be saying to himself, or thinking, "Well, Prince Edward Island had good representation with high ranking men in the cabinet." But no, Mr. Speaker, they were mere bagmen, serving their own private interests and had not the interest of Prince Edward Island sincerely at heart. Under the terms of confederation, when a province has elected members of parliament, especially a parliament controlled by men of its own political complexion, it should not be debarred from representation in the councils of the government. But that representation is denied us. Can you call that democracy in any degree?

Let me say a few words with reference to confederation. In 1867 the Dominion of Canada was confederated. The aims and objects of that union were consummated and joined together by a documentary agreement with all classes and creeds, all provinces and races and all territories that went into that union. Confederation had a birthplace and a cradle. It was fitting that my province of Prince Edward Island should be that birthplace, and some time in the future I may have an opportunity to give to this house some of the details of the birth of confederation.

But Prince Edward Island did not choose to join the union in 1867. Why? Because the terms offered were not considered fair and equitable to that province. We therefore remained out of the union and we paddled well our own canoe. Something comes in here that may be of a little interest, namely, the question of unity. We have heard much of late, and especially during the election campaign, of the need of unity in Canada. If we presuppose that men are honestly talking about unity, what is the greatest need today with respect to unity? Simply that we all, in all the provinces, should know what

The Address-Mr. McLure

we mean, each in his own province, when we demand a square deal from the government of Canada.

Each province is now a part of the great Dominion of Canada, and my province, as the cradle of confederation, is an essential part. The personnel of my province is the acme of good citizenship since it embraces the four great races of the world: the diplomatic, governing Englishman; the shrewd, canny and industrious Scotsman; the fighting and industrious Irishman; these three great races combined with the joyous, light-hearted, home-loving Frenchman, giving to our province a unity that should be not only greatly admired in that province but greatly desired throughout Canada.

The people of our province live in a land that is worthy of -respect and admiration, a land fertile and productive. There is no land more pleasing to the tourist to look upon, a land where the industrious farmer is offered the best soil for farming which is to be found in Canada. All these things, all this beauty in Prince Edward Island, are bathed in the waters of the Atlantic, rich with fish of all kinds, herring, cod, mackerel, lobsters all in abundance, and besides that the great bivalve fish now produced by aqua-farming, the oyster. These are the endowments of Prince Edward Island, and I could mention many more such as the ponds and bays that bring ecstacy and joy to the men who follow the art of the great fisherman Izaak Walton.

Notwithstanding all these endowments, and many more I could mention, which a kind nature has bestowed upon us, we must demand justice, mercy and a fair and square deal from the dominion of which we are a province.

I said a moment ago that our province did not choose to enter confederation in 1867, but after we had been wooed for six years by the dominion the union was consummated in 1873, our province having secured better terms, especially with regard to our transportation. There was this unique clause in that documentary agreement, namely, that we should have continuous, efficient and adequate communication with the mainland. That part of the contract has never been implemented to the full by any government.

Time does not permit me in forty minutes to give all the details of- the treatment which my province has experienced in the matter of winter communication. Suffice it to say that until 1910, and even later, the only sure waiy of continuous communication to and from the mainland in the winter time was by small iceboats provided with runners, hauled and propelled by passengers and crew across the strait of Northumberland, a distance of some

nine miles. True, we had during that time such steamers as the S.S. Stanley, S.S. Minlo and S.S. Earl Grey, plying in the winter time between- Pictou, Nova Scotia, and Georgetown, Prince Edward Island1. These boats gave some measure of transportation, but often they were held up for eight or ten days at a time and ve had neither mail nor anything else from or to the mainland. Every election, for as long as I can remember, politicians would come to- us with the same old promises, although some of the promises had more sugarcoating on them. In the election campaign of 1911 the two great leaders of the two great parties, the Eight Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurie-r and the Right Hon. Sir Robert L. Borden, came to our province. They studied our transportation problems, and they realized the injustices we had suffered. The electors of our province at that time were determined to have a definite commitment from either or both of those great men. I might say that Right Hon. Sir Robert L. Borden pledged himself and the party he represented to inaugurate a ferry between Cape Tormentine- on the mainland and a point nine miles distant across the Northumberland strait- on the Prince Edward Island shore. This place- is now named Borden in honour of Sir Robert. What was his pledge? He pledged to give Prince Edward Island a service- that was long overdue, and that we should have some continuous winter communication. Accordingly docks were built at Tormentine and Borden and an icebreaking ship was built on the Clyde for this ferry service. This was the first-

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am sorry to interrupt

the hon. member but I have to remind him that he has spoken for forty minutes. With the consent of the house he may carry on.

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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLURE:

May I continue?

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

If it is the consent of

the house.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Continue.

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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLURE:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker

and- hon. members. I said we had our docks built at Borden and Tormentine, and a ship built on the Clyde as an icebreaker. This was the first real attempt to give us justice as a province of the dominion. The docks and boat were built in 1915, and a steamer, the S.S. Prince Edward, demonstrated that continuous winter communication could be solved. This boat has done wonderful service, and let me say to you, sir, that she is still the only boat we have on that ferry service. She has been in the service for thirty long years.

Under the Bennett government we had another good steamer built in 1931, the S.S.

The Address-Mr. McLure

Charlottetown. Hon. members know the fate of this ship in 1941. This steamer has never been replaced. Why? No one knows except it be the ministers of the government opposite. Excuses of the most frivolous kind were given. Some of the excuses were lack of material, no yard space available to construct a ship of this size; but all of those were not good excuses. The government could have built a ship for us in United States yards where they were crying aloud for work at that time. The United States had not entered the war and did not enter the war until five or six months after the S.S. Charlottetown was lost.

Prince Edward Island has been promised a boat since July, 1941, but as yet we have no definite knowledge as to when she will be in service. I may say here and now that I hope to place on the order paper some questions that will elicit an answer of some assurance with regard to this boat.

We are under the greatest handicap of any province in this country. Look for a moment at our freight rates; look for a moment at how we are subjected to delays in the transporting of goods. Let me cite one example, the handicap to which our producers are subjected. It can be pointed out that to take a five-ton truck laden with farm produce from Borden to Tormentine, and to bring back that truck loaded again, probably with coal or something else, another distance of nine miles, costs over $50; I think, to be exact, $50.65. It costs that amount to move five tons of produce a distance of eighteen miles, while on land in the other provinces, and even in our own, to move that truck and freight would cost not more than $4.50.

Our contention is that according to the terms of confederation we, the province of Prince Edward Island, should have the Northumberland ferry treated as a highway, and that whatever charges are to be made for freight over it should be and must be borne by the dominion government.

There is a great deal more that I could say with reference to our transportation problems, but I wish to say that in this house there are a great many men who know Prince Edward Island. I know that any remarks of mine with reference to our transportation problem will have the fullest support of the other hon. member for Queens (Mr. Douglas), the hon. member for Prince (Mr. McNaught), the hon. member for Kings (Mr. Grant), all of Prince Edward Island. It would also receive the unanimous support of a number of hon. members who have visited my province and know the conditions. I should like to mention the 47696-29J

men who I know will support us in getting a square deal from this dominion. They are as follows: The hon. member for Chateauguay-Huntingdon (Mr. Black), the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Black), the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church), the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker), the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon), the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris), the hon. member for St. John-Albert (Mr. Hazen), the hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings (Mr. Ilsley), the hon. member for Rosedale (Mr. Jackman); the hon. member for Cape Breton North-Victoria (Mr. MacLean), the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol), the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. McKay), the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe), the hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Black), the hon. member for Royal (Mr. Brooks), the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Claxton), the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis), the hon. member for Stan-stead (Mr. Hackett), the hon. member for Victoria-Carleton (Mr. Hatfield), the hon. member for Waterloo South (Mr. Homuth), the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis), the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. McCulloch), the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Matthews), and the hon. member for Colchester-Hants (Mr. Stanfield), and the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Bruce). Probably there are some other members whom I have omitted.

I would say in conclusion-and I wish to be careful in this-that if the Prime Minister were in his place at the moment I would say to him and to the members of the cabinet, to all hon. members of this house and to this parliament that if you do not know the facts concerning my constituency and province it is to your discredit. We are penalized in our province. Hon. members should know, and will know if I am permitted to speak in this chamber, about the burdensome restrictions, conditions and discriminations under which my province struggles. To hon. members I say that if I have underrated their knowledge, then I crave their pardon. But it is different with the cabinet; if they know, it is to their shame as a government that they do not at once give us justice and a square deal.

Here is something that this government dias known during the past six years: the part my province played in an all-out war effort when we were first in enlistments; first in the buying of bonds; first in the buying of war savings stamps; first in contributions to the Red Cross, Russian relief funds and other funds; first in the production of

The Address-Mr. Bentley

foodstuffs-first in everything for an all-out war effort. On all occasions my province exceeded its quota on a per capita basis, accepting the last census of about 88,000 souls as the figure from which to work.

Much of the publicity from my province has been of a boasting, halting, or apologetic nature, just as if we were on the defensive, and not a part of this great dominion. Why should there be a gradual decrease in our population from 109,000 in 1873 to 88,000 in 1941? Some say that this is on account of the burdensome restrictions, conditions and discriminations imposed upon us; but I say to you, Mr. Speaker, and to the house that it is owing to the fact that the terms under which we entered confederation in 1873 have never been implemented. The dominion has not lived up to the signed document. My province is not asking any special favour; we are not seeking gifts. But as a province we demand justice, fair play and equal rights through 4he implementing and the long delayed fulfilment of confederation. If the dominion does not wish to recognize us as a province, then I say, give us justice by our liberty.

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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. T. J. BENTLEY (Swift Current):

Mr. Speaker, I am another one of those new members.

Mr. CRUICIvSHANK: But do not ask for an hour and a half.

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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

I can assure my good friend from the peach country that we from the wheat country are not even as long-winded as they are out there, let alone those in the spud country.

Before proceeding to the few things I should like to say to-night, may I pay my compliments to you, Mr. Speaker, upon your accession to the position of Speaker of the House of Commons. May I go further and congratulate the house upon having acquired so gracious a gentleman as yourself to act in that capacity. As host you have on several occasions, and indeed quite recently, been most tolerant and gracious to hon. members who have overrun their allotted time. I shall try to avoid that this evening, but I may possibly offend in some other direction; and in such event I hope Your Honour will realize that iny offence I might commit would be through gnorance, certainly not through intention, and that under such circumstances you will show tolerance.

May I add my word of praise and congratulation to those of other hon. members who have referred to the young gentlemen who moved and seconded the address in reply,

from whose observations this long debate has developed. If they continue in public life- and I assume they will-they have many years of great public service ahead of them. I believe the evident sincerity of their utterances bears out that contention.

May I make one further observation in this strain before proceeding farther. It gives me pleasure to congratulate by predecessor from the constituency of Swift Current, Mr. Graham, upon his appointment as assistant to the Clerk of the House. Mr. Graham is a highly respected citizen in that place about which I shall speak later in my speech. I appear as member purely because of a change in political ideas, and not because of anything in his character which would make him unfit to continue as member, so long as he cared to do so.

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September 25, 1945