March 15, 1946

CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. WILLIAM BRYCE (Selkirk):

Will the Postmaster General consider the advisability of establishing a temporary reduction in the rate of postage on food parcels to Britain and the devastated countries?

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   RATES ON FOOD PARCELS OVERSEAS
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST BERTRAND (Postmaster General):

These rates are determined by

agreement between the British postal authorities and ourselves, and they could not be reduced without first having a conference.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   RATES ON FOOD PARCELS OVERSEAS
Permalink
CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. BRYCE:

Will the Postmaster General be prepared to do it?

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   RATES ON FOOD PARCELS OVERSEAS
Permalink

GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. FERNAND VIAU AND SECONDED BY MR. R. H. WINTERS


The house proceeded to the consideration of the speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor General at the opening of the session.


LIB

Fernand Viau

Liberal

Mr. FERNAND VIAU (St. Boniface) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, it is a great

honour for me to have been chosen to

The Address-Mr. Viau

move the adoption of the address in reply to the speech from the throne; I am a young Canadian making my first steps in this House of Commons, this honourable house where many eminent and enlightened men have, since confederation, discussed and debated economical, social and political questions which have helped to mould out of Canada a nation true to the longings of our fathers of confederation. Numerous valorous and unforgettable Canadians, of British and French extraction, have come into this house to find means of ensuring a lasting welfare for their generation and our own.

The honour which is bestowed upon me is rather an homage to the veterans whom I represent in this house. Although the war is over many veterans are still returning from overseas and I avail myself of this opportunity for thanking the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the government for honouring the veterans in this house by asking me to speak on their behalf.

Moreover, Mr. Speaker, the fact that I have been chosen is also a mark of respect and gratitude to the population of St. Boniface county which I represent here. St. Boniface is not a historical county, from the political viewpoint, but it is representative of the growth of the Canadian west. It was at St. Boniface, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, that the first explorers of the Canadian west arrived over a century ago. The first settlers and first missionaries landed on the shores of the Red river, at the very place where St. Boniface is now situated, to establish the first post which was instrumental in the growth of the Canadian west.

Today, St. Boniface is the largest industrial city in Manitoba. It is a cosmopolitan city, where the great races of this country live in harmony and I may add that the city itself is setting an example of good understanding for Canada as. a whole.

The population is not very large as yet. However, I would like to say a few words in regard to my city and my constituency. Here, in St. Boniface we have the two largest slaughterhouses and the two largest flour mills in the British empire in addition to a large number of other industries. Not only do those industries serve the rural sections of Manitoba but they serve the whole of western Canada. My constituency comprises two important sections, one rural and the other urban. In several French-Canad'ian villages our farmers have for a great many years grown wheat to meet Canada's needs as well as those of the whole world.

The Address-Mr. Viau

enable the British nation to reestablish itself economically and to regain the credit which it enjoyed so freely before the war. It is our nation's duty and such, I am sure, is the unanimous desire of all our soldiers, sailors and airmen, both French and English speaking, who have gone overseas and fought so courageously and so valiantly and who are now returning to Canada, happy in the thought of the great victory which they have achieved. They have been a credit not only to their nation but to their racial group, whether of British or French descent.

Secondly, I should like to emphasize that, apart from being a brotherly gesture toward Great Britain, that loan primarily confirms the determination of our nation to fulfil its pledges in regard to financial and other assistance, and to abide by the resolutions agreed to at the San Francisco conference.

The financial assistance granted to allied nations will enable them to recover their moral, economic and social balance in the post-war period. However, from an economic standpoint, and in conformity with the agreement made between our government and that of Great Britain, the credit extended to the latter nation will be used for the purchase of Canadian goods. It goes without saying that such a sum of money spent in Canada for the purchase of our products will also enable us to restore our industrial economy and provide Canadians with work that is so essential to the welfare and prosperity of this country; it will ensure Western Canada and all our farmers the markets that are so necessary for their products such as wheat, cheese, milk, butter, cream, meat and other foodstuffs. When the prosperity of industry and agriculture is assured, every Canadian, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, benefits thereby.

Mr. Speaker, I am convinced that, when, very shortly, this bill is introduced in the House of Commons, it will meet with the unanimous approval of every member from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Before concluding, I wish to say a few words to my fellow-citizens of the province of Quebec, this wealthy and gallant province who has ever played an admirable part in the development of our great nation. Recently, I have attended the sessions of the second annual meeting of Radio-Ouest francaise and have had the opportunity of witnessing the efforts and devotion to duty of my fellow-citizens from the west to promote' this gigantic enterprise which will put them in a position to tune in on concerts, speeches and plays in their mother tongue. Needless to say that such a worthy undertaking could not be real-

ized without financial assistance. The members from the noble province of Quebec, who have the privilege of sitting in this house, have no doubt noticed that, last fall, a subscription campaign was organized through the various parishes, under the auspices of both religous and civil authorities to help the western Canadians of French origin. You have been very generous, the total subscriptions being in excess of $200,000, and I take this opportunity, as a member of the constituency where the first French radio station will shortly be inaugurated, of thanking you from the bottom of my heart.

(Text): Mr. Speaker, in being accorded the privilege of moving the address in reply to the speech from the throne, I do not view it as a personal tribute, being one who has just taken his first steps in Canadian politics and who has yet to give proof of his wisdom in such an important duty, but rather is a tribute to the fighting forces of our dominion, an honour bestowed upon them, and I take the liberty to extend sincere thanks to the Prime Minister of this government for the honour so bestowed upon a veteran. I am sure that every man and woman who wore His Majesty's uniform during the long years of war would wish me to convey their thanks in these simple terms.

Yesterday the members of this House of Commons proceeded to the Senate chamber to hear the reading of the speech from the throne, wdiich was the last official duty of His Excellency the Governor General, the Earl of Athlone. His Excellency has been with us and laboured with us for the well-being of our people and those of the commonwealth and empire through what history will probably record as the most crucial years that humankind has ever known. His Excellency the Governor General and his gracious consort, Princess Alice, will soon depart from our midst to return to the land of their birth where they may enjoy a well-earned rest. It is with deepest regret that we of this Canadian parliament see them leave. It is with deepest regret that thousands of Canadians who have come to know them as friends will look upon their departure. The counsels of His Excellency in all those things which contributed to the good of our people, to the well-being of men, women and children, have only served to emphasize his concern for the welfare of this our land and for the well-being of the people of Canada.

The kindness which Her Royal Highness Princess Alice has brought to the many arduous tasks and duties which she has so graciously undertaken has only served to endear her to the hearts of Canadians everywhere.

The Address-Mr. Viau

In the departure of Their Excellencies we shall pause for a moment of thankfulness for their having come into our midst, and to wish them godspeed, a happy journey and joy upon their return to their home in those isles which have throughout the ages stood for the glory and dignity of man and the freedom, of the human soul. We pray that God will be with them and bless them in all the days to come, and I am quite sure that all Canadians will unite with me in repeating those words so graciously used by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on her departure from Canada on her royal visit in 1939: "Farewell; au revoir".

But as they leave, Canadian people welcome to this dominion one of the greatest soldiers of our tin..,, one of the greatest military leaders of the second world war, Viscount Alexander. The Canadian active army in the field had the honour of fighting under his command, and I know that our people will join with our Canadian soldiers in extending to Viscount Alexander, his lady and family, a heartfelt welcome with the hope that they may be long with us and that their life in our midst may be a happy one. Above all our thanks will-go to His Majesty the King who has so graciously seen fit to appoint to this high office this great man -of our time.

Mr. Speaker, as this second session of the twentieth parliament convenes, we still find a world of unrest not only in the economic, financial and social fields but also in the minds of the people and of the legislators of the world at large. As a young Canadian who has endeavoured to make a very careful and close study of all problems affecting not only my nation but also other nations of the world, I consider responsible legislators to be men and women of good will, although most of us differ as to the methods and means of translating that spirit of good will into concrete action.

One thing has impressed me most vividly and it is this. Speaking for my nation alone, I think every man and woman in the House of Commons to-day is intensely aware of the critical times in which we live, of the great issues that prevail, of the necessity of action and of the urgent need to put into practice the principles of the four freedoms as expounded by the ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain and the late President of the United States some five years ago during their meeting in mid-Atlantic. Those four freedoms were not an idle dream but a living reality which, in my opinion, is attainable for all of us. It is for us, the living, to translate those ideals into concrete attainment. I wish to say emphatically: It can be done. We differ as to the ways and means of doing it. Therein

lies statesmanship, or lack of it. We cannot hope to build a fruitful, free world on mere tenets of sectionalism. We cannot hope to create a united Canada by pinning up banners of race, creed or narrow provincialism and sectionalism, and then shouting from the housetops. Our outlook will have to be broader, kindlier, and exemplified in the spirit of good will to all men. Statesmanship that is not exercised in this spirit is of no lasting importance; it does not stand the test of time or the indulgence of thinking men.

Canada, among other nations, has now emerged from a second world war, the most widespread and fierce that has ever been known in the history of mankind. Canada has emerged from this war with honour, dignity and the thanks of the civilized world. She has done her part nobly; Canadians now enjoy the honour and respect of thinking people in every part of the globe. Canada has stood four-square within the British commonwealth of nations for right and justice. History will prove that her contribution has not been merely that of lip-service. Her contribution has been in human lives, in material and in a spirit of fellowship with all men and all nations who had the courage to stand up against tyranny and oppression when these threatened to engulf the whole earth. Canadians are coming home from the war in this knowledge. They are resuming their peace-time vocations with a view to a future of good will that is not merely on paper but is rather a living thing for the Canadian people and all people elsewhere.

The members, new and old, of this House of Commons have assembled also in the same spirit; and here I may state that in this twentieth parliament the Canadian people witness the appearance of a very great number of fine young Canadians eager to ensure that the new ideals will be translated into active legislation, and all have come to this capital city with the firm purpose of building a still better Canada, a land of decency, of freedom from want, fear and futility. It is up to us all to make it so. We cannot deny that we have in Canada everything that living man could desire. We enjoy the fruits of the earth in its fulness, for all that is within our borders. In this period of recovery from war we must share those fruits with the less fortunate in those lands who by our side fought the nazis, the fascists and the Japs, and we shall see that this is done.

The British isles have sent to our shores many great people who have inculcated in the thought and culture of this land the great and broad principles of character which belong to the British people. Their ideals of freedom

The Address-Mr. Viau

have become our ideals of freedom, their love of liberty has become our love of liberty, their sense of tolerance our sense of tolerance, and by the very token of this which will one day become a universal brotherhood, their cause has been our cause through the years, in peace and war, to stand as a beacon of hope and a symbol of survival in the world's darkest hours. No living man or woman will ever forget the time when the commonwealth stood alone, when its armies stood off the hordes that had enveloped a whole continent in slavery and torture. No person will ever forget the courage of our people, who by nature are kindness personified but who, when the flame of war swept across Europe, stood their ground with fortitude never before matched in the history of the world.

"VVe, and all the world, owe such people a debt, one that can perhaps never be paid. But our sense of admiration and gratitude persuades us to do such things as are within our power to sustain them in their hour of recovery from the awful conflict. Thus it is fitting that Canada, as a partner in the commonwealth and an ally in the war, should see fit, through a unanimous vote in this House of Commons, to approve and sanction the loan recently arranged to assist the United Kingdom in her post-war rehabilitation. I know that I voice the sentiment of all Canadians, whatever their race or creed, when I say that this token of admiration and gratitude is given by unanimous consent.

The main factors to be remembered in granting this loan are simple, even if they are difficult of solution. The first factor to be considered is that the reestablishment of Britain as a solvent trading unit in a postwar world cannot be done too hastily. Every Canadian who has followed her history during the years of war will remember that Britain placed her whole industry on a war footing from the start of the war, and it will take many more months before this industry can return to a position to swing freely into peace-time production and thus increase her exports, which would allow her to pay the great debt she has contracted during the long struggle.

Canadians from coast to coast, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, no matter of what race or creed, must realize that we do owe a debt to Britain and that during this war, on account of her valiant stand, she lost a large part of her foreign investments, which were liquidated to pay for war supplies which she urgently needed. Canadians must remember that foreign currency used to be available to Britain in many countries, on account of her [Mr. Viau.)

credit established over many centuries by investments of her surplus exported abroad. At present that great nation is not able to purchase goods abroad as simply as it used to do, which is why Canada extends a hand to her, a credit of 551,250,000,000.

Mr. Speaker, I am quite sure that all members of this House of Commons, Canadians not only of British descent, not only of French descent, but also Canadians of foreign extraction who have been chosen by the people of Canada as their representatives in this House of Commons, will by unanimous consent approve the attitude of the government in granting the loan to this former creditor nation, a loan which will also benefit Canada during the years to come in an increase of export trade and markets, and also will ensure to the world that Canada stands behind those four freedoms, as expressed in the early part of my speech, thus guaranteeing one of the most vital keynotes of the world's happiness and prosperity-freer trade among nations of men of good will. We shall watch with hope and increasing faith as the British people attack the problems of recovery as they did the problems of war. May good fortune attend their labours.

While we view with joy t'heir return to the normal ways of peace and freedom, we turn to those problems which face this country and for which we are now assembled to find the solution. One of the most important events in the months to come will be the third session of the dominion-provincial conference, which convenes next month. When the problems that come before that conference have been dealt with and the functions of the dominion and the provinces defined for the purpose of the orderly and effective application of measures to carry this country through the reconstruction period, W'e may feel confident that we shall ourselves be on the way to recovery from the ravages of war which for more than five years disturbed the economy and life of our people. I suggest that we and the -people of this country should face our problems with the calm and calculated firmness with which we attacked the problems of war, and that we should so cautiously build the framework for the future that it may be sound when the time comes for its application to the governing of our affairs. Things lasting and things worth while are not accomplished in a day, but rather by careful planning and repeated consultation. Thus it is that we should view with patient understanding the deliberations that are taking place and will take place in the months

The Address-Mr. Winters

to come in bringing mutual understanding and respect among the governments of the provinces and the dominion.

Thus will the welfare of our people be enhanced, a return to normal national life accomplished, and the future of Canada made the more secure because care and caution ruled the day when plans were being laid. Let Canadians beware of haste, but pursue with determination and courage the problems which, are before the country and for which within months we shall have a solution that will stand the test of time and circumstance.

Canadians must be aware, that is all those who have given time and study to our own national problems, that the purpose of the present Canadian government in convening the heads of the nine provinces forming our confederation, is not to centralize all economic powers, but to establish an economic programme by which the nine provinces of Canada will share all benefits equally and give to the people of Canada, from coast to coast, on an equal basis, the economic, social and financial securities which have been long desired and which were the aims and aspiration of the fathers of confederation when in 1,867 the great British North America Act was drawn.

The world situation is still disturbed and will remain so for many months. People everywhere are restive, alarmed, living in fear of this ism and that, in fear of the future. But wars have all through history brought such periods, and the leaders who have piloted their peoples through those years have become the great men of history. We and our allies held firm through the years of war, and -although disagreement and misunderstanding have arisen in these months of post-war recovery, we may look with faith to the future, and with our allies of the war period hold firm the torch of liberty and freedom for all people.

We should carry on the fight for freedom from all the doubts and travails of life for all people everywhere, and in God's good time the nations of the world will embrace those principles so nobly stated in the Atlantic charter and blueprinted at the San Francisco conference. [DOT]

In this dominion of ours we have had sound administration of the country's affairs through all the war years, and that soundness of administration is carrying us into the years of peace. This has been- due in great measure to the leadership of one who will go down in history as one of the statesmen of the world one who more than any other man or group of men is responsible for the fact that under God, Canada's status to-day among the free

nations of the world is greatly enhanced. This love and devotion, not only for -his country, but also for the world at large, stem from a sincere love of freedom, a hatred of foreign undemocratic control which animated also the soul of his revered grandfather, that leadership which has led our country during the years of war and peace, a mam who has a tenacious, strong and virile belief in freedom not only for the two great peoples which form this dominion of ours, but also the same philosophy for all mankind irrespective of creed or colour. This leadership is in our midst, this leadership rests with one mam who parallels this high quality of heart and mind with devout faith in the cohesion of the .British people united in their own commonwealth of nations, a pattern for all nations. Mr. Speaker, this leadership rests but in one person, the leader of the present government, the Right Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King.

I move, seconded by the hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg (Mr. Winters):

That .the following .address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General of Canada: May it please Your Excellency:

We His Majesty's meet dutiful .and loyal subjects, the House of Commons of Canada., i.n parliament asembled, beg leave to offer our humble .thanks to Your Excellency for the gracious speech which Your Excellency has addressed to both houses of parliament.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. FERNAND VIAU AND SECONDED BY MR. R. H. WINTERS
Permalink
LIB

Robert Henry Winters

Liberal

Mr. R. H. WINTERS (Queens-Lunenburg):

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure and great honour to second the resolution so ably presented by the hon. member for St. Boniface (Mr. Viau). I would compliment him upon his splendid address, and particularly upon his fluency in Canada's two official languages.

The mover of the resolution and I are fully conscious of the honour that has been conferred upon our respective provinces in western and eastern Canada by virtue of this invitation to speak on the resolution. In constituencies, situated at a great distance from Ottawa as the capital of the dominion, as is Queens-Lunenburg, on the Atlantic seaboard, frequently there develops a feeling of remoteness and detachment, and sometimes even of neglect in the over-all picture of national -affairs. But I am sure that the people of Queens-Lunenburg will construe this honour accorded their member as recognition of the part they have played and are continuing to play in the development of Canada. On their behalf I wish to thank the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and his colleagues.

On the eve of their departure for England, may I say what a great privilege it has been for Canada to have had Their Excellencies, the Governor General and Her Royal High-

The Address-Mr. Winters

ness the Princess Alice, with us for the past nearly six years. Since their arrival in June, 1940, they have worked tirelessly in the interests of Canada, during a period full of stress and grave concern. To be obliged to be absent from England whilst their country was undergoing such great tribulations was not easy. Their Excellencies made a great sacrifice on behalf of Canada. They have taken their place in the life of this country and the hearts of the people. They will not soon be forgotten.

We are indeed sorry to have them leave, but are grateful that they were able to be with us for even a comparatively shctrt period and that they made such an outstanding contribution to Canadian life. We wish them long life and happiness in the future.

In casual thinking it sometimes seems that the war is a long distance behind us, and we tend to be impatient when in these days of peace some condition arising out of the conflict appears to be unfair or to impose hardships. When it is recalled, however, that Japan surrendered only a little more than six months ago, we must realize that much has been done by way of restoring normal conditions in a short period of time.

The programme of reconstruction in Canada is going forward smoothly. This is due in no small measure to the inspiring and capable leadership of the Minister of Reconstruction (Mr. Howe). It was expected that there would be temporary dislocations, with some unemployment, during the reconversion period; and it is, in fact, true that in some instances these conditions have manifested themselves. But when we compare progress made and present conditions in Canada, with progress and conditions in any other country of the world, there is good reason to feel that our problems are being handled competently. The desirable condition, of course, is full employment and a high level of production, and every effort is being made to attain those ends. There are no grounds for pessimism in the light of results to date.

In a consideration of the problem of reconversion the generally satisfactory relationship obtaining between labour and management in the dominion should not be overlooked, especially in the light of less favourable conditions in this regard prevailing in manj^ other countries in recent months. Due credit for this favourable state of affairs must be given to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell), whose honesty of purpose and forthrightness are widely recognized. The evident desire on the part of both labour and management to cooperate in solving their problems on a mutually satisfactory basis in the interests

of the country as a whole has been commendable. It is hoped it will continue with the minimum of interruption in the difficult days ahead.

War-time controls, regulations and restrictions are being removed as rapidly as present-day conditions warrant. The recent steel situation wherein shortages were brought about by strikes across the border served to illustrate that controls can still be relied upon to further the nation's interests under unusual and emergency conditions. The government's record in the field of national economics during the war and since stands as the best evidence of its desire and determination to exert its special powers in the interests of the national good. Canadians in all walks of life know that these regulations are applied to their advantage and that the government is most anxious to remove what remains of them at the earliest moment that conditions permit. It is very difficult for individuals to look beyond their own immediate problems. Isolated cases of hardship, brought about by regulations, are undoubtedly encountered, but when they are integrated into the national pattern the over-all result is beneficial.

During the war Canada grew, not only internally but in the assumption of a more important and vital part in world affairs. Internally our output of products of all kinds rose to a level believed unattainable prior to the war. This expanded production was brought about through demands generated by the' war. Britain and other allied nations relied heavily on Canadian production and we met our commitments. Many of our plants turned out warlike stores which have no place in a peace-time economy. Other facilities produced an expanded volume of their normal run of commodities to meet these heavy external demands. Except in isolated instances wre had sufficient man-power to develop the full output of these enlarged facilities, and a condition very close to full employment resulted. Our output was far in excess of that required to satisfy Canadian requirements alone.

The demand for warlike stores has fortunately now virtually disappeared and the need for other of the commodities has decreased. As a further consideration hundreds of thousands of our service men have now been discharged from the forces and have entered the labour market. Therefore, unless we can convert those of our plants which were devoted to this expanded programme to produce goods for which there is a demand, and develop foreign markets, we

The Address-Mr. Winters

shall be faced by the danger of unemployment. To sum up, we must replace war-time markets by peace-time markets.

One obstacle in the way of foreign trade is the poor economic conditions prevailing in most potential buying countries. This government has taken steps to circumvent this situation by making available credits or loans on a large scale to many western European and other countries. These loans will serve the two-fold purpose of assisting in the reestablishment of the ravaged countries of our allies and ensuring a foreign market for our products. To date, loan agreements have been entered into with England, Belgium, China, Czechoslovakia, The Netherlands, The Netherlands East Indies, Norway and Russia. Furthermore, negotiations are well advanced toward making a very large amount of money available to France. Except in the case of England, these funds will be used entirely to purchase goods in Canada and will be paid back in due course at normal rates of interest.

The credit to Britain is also a loan which will be repaid with interest. As I understand it, it is basically a business proposition, intended to give Britain an oportunity of buying Canadian products, and as such it will be enthusiastically endorsed. Except for this loan, and a larger one from the United States, Britain might, and probably would, be forced to do most of her export and import business with countries dealing in sterling, thereby increasingly excluding Canada from this important market.

Moreover, loans of this kind to Britain are needed if she is to be able to pay for her imports in currency that can be used in other countries, as we wish her to do and as the Bretton Woods agreement requires if it is to work properly. We want to be able to sell our products in Britain for money that we can spend not only in Britain but also in France, in the United States or elsewhere. We want Australians who sell wool in Britain to be able to use the money they receive to buy goods in Canada. This credit to Britain, together with the larger one from the United States, will help to make this possible.

The loan to Britain, accordingly, does not oblige the British to spend all the proceeds in Canada. But the fact is that the British within the next two years expect to spend considerably more than the amount of the loan on purchases in the dominion. It would be generally recognized as fit and proper for Canada to wish to help England to the greatest possible extent, in the light of her extreme and disproportionate war-time sacrifices. But at the same time it is well to

remember that the loan is greatly to Canada's interest from the point of view of business and post-war trade. The government is to be commended for its forward looking policy in extending these credits, which are proving, and will continue to prove, of such great advantage to Canada-the lender-as well as to our allies-the borrowers.

As was pointed out in the speech from the throne, Canada's internal problems must indeed be viewed in the light of world conditions to be seen in true perspective. This country's status among other nations is continuing to grow under the splendid and outstanding leadership of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). We must now be prepared to play our part to the fullest extent called for by our obligations. We anticipate a fair share of the world trade and we want, of course, to live in peace. Therefore we must expect to contribute in full measure to any programme necessary for the readjustment of commerce and to the organizations established under the general assembly of the united nations, with a view to avoiding future wars.

We can well be proud of the part the Canadian delegation, headed by the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent), played in the first meeting of the united nations organization in London. They brought great credit to Canada, as we knew they would. It is gratifying to know, further, that Canada is to participate in the forthcoming peace conference in Paris, and this House is well aware of the part the Dominion is taking in conferences dealing with international finances. These are all problems of an international nature which have a very direct bearing on our Canadian standard of life and we must be prepared to view them in that light.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would say a few words about 'the armed forces and the veterans. Except for the occupational forces in Germany, the bulk of our troops have returned1 from foreign theatres. Considering 'the strengths of our forces abroad in the three services, the number of nations requiring troop carrying facilities and the fact that there were two separate theatres of war, one cannot avoid being impressed by the amazingly outstanding success of 'the repatriation programme. I would take this opportunity of expressing to the ministers of national defence our admiration and commendation for the vital task so well performed under difficult conditions. We do not overtook the fact that many of our soldiers are bringing war brides and families with them to Canada, and we wish to assure them of a welcome in this country. They are

The Address-Mr. Winters

desirable citizens and will play an important part in our future. This intake will serve to offset to some extent our losses through emigration. We must bear in mind that this country needs in increasing numbers immigrants of the right type.

Many of our soldiers, sailors and airmen have been discharged from the services, and either they are deriving educational or other benefits under the veterans legislation, or they have been rehabilitated. Others will remain in the services to seek their careers. Some, already discharged, will be reattraoted to the forces, and there will also be new enlistments.

Members of this house have frequently emphasized the value of modern weapons and equipment for the peace-time services, both . permanent and reserve, and have insisted on pay comparable with what could be obtained in civil life for employment at corresponding levels. We have also asked for a generous programme of retirement benefits, and are anxious to make life in the services attractive since it is desired to have the best type of men in our forces.

On the other hand -there is a heavy responsibility devolving upon the chiefs of staff, and right down through the chain of command, to see that the services, in turn, make the maximum contribution. We want to see in our forces officers and men who are well turned out and proud of their uniforms. They must be kept busy, interested, and made to feel that they are important units in the pattern of Canadian life. That the forces can make a worth-while contribution to our national life goes without saying. We have but to refer to their contributions and initiative in scientific developments and exercises such as muskox to remind us of the vital roles they can play. Full advantage should be taken of the great fund of knowledge and experience accumulated in the past few years. Further and continued progress must be encouraged.

Veterans who have been rehabilitated are pleased with the consideration which has been extended to them through this government by a grateful nation. On the basis of the splendid legislation enacted thus far and exemplified by the War Service Grants and War Veterans' Allowances Acts, they have the greatest confidence that at the earliest possible date this house will consider all outstanding veterans' matters and promulgate a veterans' charter which will be a credit to them and to this country.

The importance this government, and indeed this parliament, has attached to the welfare of veterans, was reflected by the spirit prevailing in the special committee on veterans affairs last session. As a new member, it

was a pleasant revelation to me to see how representatives of all parties and groups on this committee forgot -party politics and worked together in the common interest of the veteran. In my opinion this attitude does great credit to this house and raises its esteem in the eyes of the country. It is hoped it will set the pattern for greater unity of purpose in other phases of legislation.

The throne speech sets forth the urgent food situation obtaining throughout the world, and states that food is the key to peaceful reconstruction. Canada's accomplishments in the field of food production during the war were magnificent because of the untiring efforts of thousands of men and women, many of whom had passed the normal age of retirement, but who carried on in the absence of their sons and daughters in the armed forces or in munitions plants.

Under the continued outstanding and forceful leadership of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), the Canadian farm community can be relied upon with confidence to face the new peace-time challenge of maximum farm production to alleviate the current critical world situation.

Canadian fishermen wish to emphasize that any and all food negotiations should include fish, which is an important item on all food programmes. We feel that we can rely upon the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Bridges) to safeguard our interests in this field.

Now, Mr. Speaker, may I say a few words about the dominion-provincial conferences. To date, there have been three meetings, and the fourth is scheduled for April 25. In my opinion the importance of these conferences is vital and we in Nova Scotia hope that they will produce satisfactory results. The dominion proposals are laudable, and such objectives as the improvement of the tax system, encouragement of employment and advancement of social services, such as medical care and old age pensions, in particular, are in the nation's best interests.

Nova Scotians commend this government for recognizing the dominion's great fishing industry' by declaring in its proposals that it plans to do research on fish biology, utilization of fish products and transportation of fish. The proposals involve consideration of means by which credit can be provided for improving the catching, processing and distribution of fish. In fact, they offer every assurance that this industry will be encouraged.

By virtue of heavy foreign demands for fish, Canadian fishermen have enjoyed a well merited measure of prosperity during the past.

The Address-Mr. Winters

several years, and they are, of course, most anxious that all precautions be taken to ensure maintenance of present standards. Conditions must not be allowed to deteriorate to the point where fishermen will be faced by poverty such as they encountered for so many years prior to the war.

The main contentious problems to date in the dominion-provincial discussions have been in the fields of taxes and subsidies or grants.

I must express agreement with that part of the January submission by the government of Nova Scotia which stated:

The ideal condition -would be found when all the provinces of the dominion would have such revenues amd such levels of economic well-being *among their people as to make the granting of subsidies by the dominion government unnecessary.

This is undoubtedly the ideal condition. But in a country the size of Canada, with economic, geographic and climatic inequalities throughout its entire length and breadth, the ideal may quite likely never be attainable in all provinces. Under these circumstances, if we are to be a nation in fact as well as in word, these inequalities must be levelled out to the greatest possible extent, and subsidies or grants then become of great importance.

We speak today of nationhood in Canada, and we are to discuss this session a bill on citizenship, as well as to give consideration to the design of a distinctive national flag. These are healthy evidences of growth, but we must keep in mind that if we are to be a nation we must go forward as one unified country and not as nine separate and loosely coordinated provinces with boundaries closely drawn. To the greatest possible extent the same fruits of nationhood should be available for enjoynfent by all citizens regardless of where they happened to be bom or dwell. The government is to be highly commended for its forceful leadership in this direction through the medium of its proposals.

To Nova Scotians, being located as we are, at the end of a long, slow rail haul from central Canada, this is of the greatest significance. Nova Scotians want to be part of Canada as a nation, and they want to have Canadian citizenship. They want, also, to enjoy all the benefits accruing from these factors. Among other things they are justifiably eager to have access to central Canadian and foreign markets on a fair, bilateral basis. They are looking forward to faster rail transportation to and from central Canada, and to having better facilities, both rolling stock and road beds, within the province. The important project now under consideration, of linking up the Nova Scotia mainland with the highly industrialized island of Cape Breton, by means of a bridge or causeway, should be a vital part of any programme of improvements in our transportation system.

We do not expect that any common ground reached between the dominion and the provinces will provide the basis for a cure-all, but we do look forward hopefully to an understanding, because we feel that it would be a great stride forward, whereas failure to reach any understanding may well prove a step backward.

The speech from the throne reflects in good measure the progress being made in Canada and by Canada. It bears repeating that to a great degree that progress is directly attributable to the Prime Minister. He is a great leader, a great Canadian and a great world statesman, of whom all our countrymen are justifiably proud. His place in Canadian and world history is assured.

There is one other word I would say about great men, Mr. Speaker. I would feel that I had not discharged my responsibilities to all Nova Scotians, and indeed to all Canadians, if I did not say a word in appreciation of the services of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley). In Nova Scotia we take full and justifiable pride in our minister. No man has worked more diligently, more sincerely and to better advantage for his native province and his country than has the Minister of Finance. He has established a reputation for integrity, even in a field which is sometimes unpleasant to himself as well as to the rank and file, which is unsurpassable. He has carved in our history a place which ranks him among the great public men of the nation.

In closing I would say, having in mind the incomparable war record of the dominion, with its population of only some twelve million people, that we have a splendid background of experience and accomplishment upon which to build in meeting the challenging and complex problems of peace.

The keystones of our war effort were initiative, determination and unity of purpose, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Nothing less than the same spirit on the part of all Canadians will suffice if Canada is to discharge her enhanced responsibilities as a nation at home and abroad.

With the full knowledge that in the spirit of unity we did it under conditions of war, we can go forward now in complete confidence that we can and will do it again in peace.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. FERNAND VIAU AND SECONDED BY MR. R. H. WINTERS
Permalink
PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

The speech from the throne is

The Address-Mr. Bracken

an old institution in British parliamentary practice. It is a speech which is prepared by the government and read by the representative of the crown. The debate upon it is one in which custom gives the honour of moving and seconding it to two of the junior members of the house, junior members on the government side. It is a debate in which both tradition and custom favour, by these two men, speeches which shall not be too controversial, which see nothing to commend in the opposition and which see only virtue in the government. I wish to commend both speakers for the manner in which they have maintained the tradition so long established.

If they see only virtue in the government, this is one occasion when we can excuse them. If they see nothing to commend in the opposition, this is one occasion when we can forgive them. Without further comment on that particular aspect of the matter, let me say quite sincerely that this is one occasion upon which, without agreeing with all that these horn gentlemen have said, we can commend them for their effort, and personally I wish to extend my congratulations to them on their contribution to the debate.

I shall refer to only one matter to which they made reference, namely, the departure of our'present governor general and the coming very soon of a new one. Earlier this afternoon we paid our respects to Lord Athlone, who is shortly to leave us. With respect to the coming governor general, I am sure we shall all extend to him a sincere and generous welcome. He comes to us as an outstanding British citizen and a great soldier as well as the representative of the king. I am sure that all Canadians will welcome him in all three of these capacities, and I am equally sure that his duties here will be carried out in a manner which will bring credit to himself and to the crown which he will represent.

As custom provides, I shall reserve my further remarks until the next sitting of the house.

I wish, therefore, to move the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King the house adjourned at 5.30 p.m.

Monday, March 18, 1946.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. FERNAND VIAU AND SECONDED BY MR. R. H. WINTERS
Permalink

March 15, 1946