March 7, 1947


The house resumed from Thursday, March 6, consideration of the motion of Mr. J. W. MacNaught for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Bracken, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coldwell.


PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. DIEFENBAKER (Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, the debate on the address has wended its weary way for a considerable period of time, and we are now approaching a vote on the amendments. The amendment moved by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken) is couched in simple terms. It reads:

We respectfully submit to Your Excellency that Your Excellency's present advisers do not possess the confidence of the country.

A subamendment has been moved by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Cold-

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker

well) which to all intents and purposes is a motion for the establishment of socialism in this country. In the amendment of the leader of the opposition the question of confidence is placed clearly before every hon. member of this house. Every hon. member on this side, without regard to party considerations, has for varying reasons declared a lack of confidence in this government. In my submission, to declare lack of confidence without voting lack of confidence is to be inconsistent.

There may be some who will say that while they have no confidence in the government, neither have they confidence in His Majesty's opposition.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I am glad I have approval of one thing from the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

I did not say a word.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

A little later I shall be saying something which will not gain that same degree of approval. The amendment of the leader of the opposition places clearly before the members of this house the situation of non-confidence. It does not mean the substitution of one government for another, because the Prime Minister has stated that if it is carried there will be an election. We at least know the situation, and we are asking all those who have no confidence in this government to support the amendment of the leader of the opposition.

I repeat that the amendment of the C.C.F. embraces nothing but the establishment of socialism. Anyone who believes in the maintenance of private enterprise to the maximum cannot support that amendment. The time has come when there should be an outspoken declaration in favour of freedom from unnecessary interference with private rights, private property and private industry by those who believe in the maintenance of private enterprise in this country. While the present government gives lip service to the maintenance of free enterprise, and in that regard it goes far, although it is only a matter of degree it does not go as far as the government of Saskatchewan which avows socialism. While the members of the government profess to believe in private enterprise, the business men of this country have been pushed around, not only during the war but since, as though they were enemies of the state. Success on the part of the individual is becoming a subject of deprecation. To many bureaucrats a business man, however honest he may be, is an object of suspicion and in many cases a parasite to be denounced. The honest business

man, no less than the farmer and the worker and other citizens, should be entitled to fair and equitable treatment.

I have no sympathy with wrongdoers or those who would exploit and take advantage of their brothers, but when we ask private enterprise to provide jobs we must at the earliest possible moment remove the controls which prevent business from doing that. The honest business man should be protected against attacks made maliciously and for the purpose of creating political capital. Canada has the right through her people to decide whether or not she shall become a socialist state. Canada cannot exist and prosper under a government which while it avows private enterprise is afflicted with a definite trend toward socialism.

Business will be responsible if it fails to discharge its duty and provide jobs. It is true that business must be supervised, but the spirit that called the peoples of the world to our shores, the spirit of adventure, of initiative and of courage, is the spirit that is needed, not the bureaucratic attitude which is encouraged and fostered by this government and which consists of penalizing business, denouncing it, catechizing it, frustrating it, overtaxing it and at the same time expecting it to provide jobs. The danger to our economic future lies in the fact that the business man, however honest, if harassed by snoopers will find that the incentive to expand and to produce has been destroyed by excessive taxation, unnecessary interference by bureaucracy and the maintenance of unfair and unjust controls.

While bureaucracy was not the creation of this government, it has been expanded by this government to the point where the bureaucrat has developed the psychology of an autocrat, independent by being above the courts. First the bureaucrat passes an order in council or a regulation. Then he decrees what shall be done under it. Then he prosecutes those who infringe it. Finally, having made a determination on the question behind closed doors, he denies the right of recourse to the courts. Canadians should no longer be required to dance like marionettes under the untrammelled control of bureaucrats appointed by and responsible only to this government.

Some will ask what difference there is between those who believe in private enterprise and those who believe in the socialist form of government. There is one similarity between this government and those who profess socialism in this country. Both operate under and through the instrumentality of a bureaucracy which carries out the will of the cabinet and which denies the right of appeal

The Address-Mr. Diejenhaker

to the courts on the part of those affected. In Saskatchewan-and the government of Saskatchewan is in no worse position in that regard than this government-compulsion has become the order of the day. Insurance must be taken out by all public institutions or by recipients of grants from the government in the government insurance company. Trappers must sell through government boards. Fishermen dispose of their catch through government agencies. In the lumber business the government is in competition with private business, and it has this advantage over them, that it does not have to pay taxes.

What about the government of this country preaching the doctrine of free enterprise and the rights of the individual? It enjoys monopoly control over wheat and rubber. It has extended its interests into shipping, air and land transportation, housing, mining, moving pictures and public information. How serious the trend is may be indicated by a return brought down in the legislature of Saskatchewan the other day in reply to a Liberal member who had asked the government how many crown corporations were operating in the province. The answer was: Twelve federal crown corporations, as against eight established by the government of Saskatchewan, under a socialist government. There is the situation in this country today.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

Are you against the Bank of Canada? Are you against the industrial development bank? Are you against the wheat board? Why don't you say where you stand? Are you against the C.N.R. and Trans-Canada Air Lines?

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

The hon. member for

Rosthern (Mr. Tucker) is a super-socialist.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

Answer the question.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Mr. Speaker, it is without reluctance that I answer my hon. friend. The Conservative government set up the Bank of Canada.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER :

May I make this correction, on a point of order, Mr. Speaker?

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I would remind hon. members that the member who has the floor should not be interrupted without his permission.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

On a point of order, sir, the hon. member spoke of the Conservative government having set up the Bank of Canada. They set it up as a privately-owned institution.

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member will please not interrupt the hon. member who has the floor, without his permission.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Mr. Speaker, do you count out time for this?-because I find that I never get much more than about twelve minutes out of my forty.

I do not wish to be understood as criticizing the civil service. Canada needs and has an efficient civil service. But Canada does not need and must fight against the type of bureaucracy that is today controlling this country. When a government which depends to be in favour of private enterprise goes as far as this government has gone in the matter of export controls and other legislation introduced at the present session, then private enterprise becomes merely a phantom, a dream, a nebulous memory.

The Progressive Conservative party demands the maintenance of freedom. It stands opposed to privilege. It stands opposed to a coercive society, but it believes in maintaining a maximum stimulus for the productive activity of the individual without permitting detriment to others. It believes that the individual is entitled to a fair reward and a fair return for what he does. It is opposed to monopoly, whether that monopoly be by private greed or under the principles of Marxism.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

You are talking like a Liberal now.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Like a Liberal used to be.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

Like a Liberal of fifty years ago. You have just caught up with them.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

It is difficult to understand my hon. friend, because the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) in his western tour made a statement-when he was in the house he said to the C.C.F.: "You are Liberals in a hurry," and now the hon. member for Rosthern says that he is a Liberal of fifty years ago.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

No; I said you were.

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March 7, 1947