March 7, 1947

LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Canada is certainly a member of the united nations.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

There are eighteen members on the organization.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

That is the committee. Canada is a member of the united nations.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I realize that perfectly well, but Canada has no representative on that committee.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Canada is a member of the united nations. My hon. friend knows it.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I can understand my hon. friend's position on a bill of rights, because last year he said that Canada did not need it, and the Minister of Veterans Affairs finally admitted that it did, so that there was slight cleavage there. I presume now that this is a means taken to prevent the people of this country from having a bill of rights of their own. This is a means taken to get around the need for a declaration of our constitutional freedoms in Canada.

Last year the argument was that it was not within the legislative competence of parliament to pass such a bill of rights, that it came within the purview of property and civil rights and as such was a matter of provincial jurisdiction. I would ask those who are interested in the problem to read the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Alberta statutes reference, which is cited in the Supreme Court of Canada reports, 1938, beginning at page 71. I may say that this reference was one respecting certain legislation passed by the government of Alberta which it was alleged had the effect of restricting the freedom of the press. When the matter came before the supreme court it was argued that the provinces had the right to interfere with freedom of the press, one of the fundamental freedoms under our democracy. It was argued that only the province could do that because primarily it concerned the matter of property and civil rights, and this is what Chief Justice Sir Lyman Duff said at page 133:

The right of public discussion is, of course, subject to legal restrictions; those based upon considerations of decency and public order, and others conceived for the protection of various private and public interests with which,_ for example, the laws of defamation and sedition are concerned.

Then he goes on:

We do not doubt that (in addition to the power of disallowance vested in the governor general) the parliament of Canada possesses authority to legislate for the protection of this right. That authority rests upon the principle that the powers requisite for the protection of the constitution itself arise by necessary implication from the British North America Act as a whole (Fort Frances Pulp & Paper Co. Ltd. v. Manitoba Free Press Co. Ltd.); and since the subject matter in relation to which the power is exercised is not exclusively a provincial matter, it is necessarily vested in parliament.

Then he goes on to say:

But this by no means exhausts the matter. Any attempt to abrogate this right of public debate or to suppress the traditional forms of the exercise of the right (in public meeting and through the press) would, in our opinion, be incompetent to the legislatures of the provinces, or to the legislature of any one of the provinces, as repugnant to the provisions of the British North America Act, by which the parliament of

____________The Address-Mr. Breithaupt

Canada is established as the legislative organ of the people of Canada under the crown, and dominion legislation enacted pursuant to the legislative authority given by those provisions.

In other words under that authority the dominion has power to legislate in regard to the maintenance of the freedoms incident to the maintenance of our democracy, under the British North America Act. Having regard to what has taken place in recent years, I suggest that in this parliament, supported as the need is by a large majority of the press of this country, a committee should be established including members of the House of Commons and of the Senate, with representation from the provinces, to the end that through conference a bill of rights may be established which will assure the people of Canada their constitutional rights, and further assure that no government in future will ever be able to endanger those rights without the approval and consent of parliament.

You have indicated, Mr. Speaker, that my time is up.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go ahead.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

An international

bill of rights cannot meet the needs of our people in Canada. It would be like a convoy the speed of which is regulated by the speed of the slowest ship. A bill of rights satisfactory to all the nations of the earth would provide for a lesser degree of freedom than Canadians have a right to expect. I may not have the opportunity of speaking to this matter on private members' day, because that is gradually being done away with, but I do make tins appeal to the government. Let us consider this matter as members of parliament without regard to party considerations, and build the future of Canada upon the foundation of a declaration of our rights which will assure the maintenance of the priceless rights in which we believe and for the preservation of which ninety thousand Canadians gave their lives in two world wars.

Mr. L. 0. BREITHAUPT (Waterloo North): Mr. Speaker, even at this late stage of the debate I wish to pay my compliments to the mover and seconder of the address. This may be customary, but it is none the less sincere. No doubt by this time the hon. member for Prince (Mr. MacNaught) will have had all his potatoes moved into the export market, and certainly the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cournoyer) is rapidly becoming acquainted in this house, and is demonstrating to all hon. members that he is a worthy successor to that great Canadian, the late Hon. P. J. A. Cardin.

83166-72J

In an analysis of the speech from the throne and an interpretation of its legislative forecasts one definitely finds much in the way of encouragement. I believe there is justification for hoping that substantial reductions in taxation may be in the offing. In spite of the fact that no definite assurance is given in the speech from the throne itself it is entirely reasonable to infer that our amiable and agreeable Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) will have some good1 things to tell us in this connection in due course. A general reduction in taxes is surely in the cards. When one ponders the large and mounting government surplus and considers that the speech from the throne itself points out "that the estimates will disclose substantial and gratifying reductions in expenditure", surely something of this kind should be forthcoming.

That being so, Mr. Speaker, I wish to put in a strong plea for consideration of the just claims for a reduction in taxation of the oft overlooked and neglected so-called1 white collar group, which forms such a large part of our population and is such an important element in our democratic institutions. When it comes to raising money for the Red Cross, for crippled children, for community chests and all that sort of thing, no greater support is given than by this great group of which I speak. An analysis of the 1945 tax tables shows the total number of taxpayers to be

2,365,000 persons. Of these some 1,677,300 received $2,000 per annum or less, while 478,200 received from $2,000 to $3,000. In other words ninety per cent of all Canadian taxpayers were in the $3,000 and under bracket. To encourage this group I suggest an allround reduction of taxes and further simplification of present methods enforced in their collection. The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. McCann), I may say, has made great progress in this direction, and it is to be hoped that further simplification will be achieved. I am sure we would all like to see some real progress made along these lines, which would permit those in this great group to retain a larger share of their income than has been possible during the war years.

Realistically speaking, incentive has been lacking for many to turn in their best work and to stay on the job. It is important not only that as many as possible should be employed, but also that those employed should be as productive as possible. This objective cannot be achieved as long as there is widespread uneasiness and bad feeling with regard to actual take-home pay. It seems quite evident that a reduction in personal income tax will lead more people in all groups to actually put their backs into their work, with a very

The Address-Mr. Breithaupt

beneficial effect on production, and in the long run government revenues themselves would greatly benefit.

What applies to the individual also applies to business. Now that the war is over greater incentives for production and employment should be the order of the day. The excess profits tax may have been sound in war time, during the period of non-competitive business; but now, with the need for a greater volume of export trade, full production and full employment are more than ever essential to our welfare. So, not only should the excess profits tax be eliminated entirely, but the high personal income tax should be eliminated also. Two great exporting nations have already abandoned the excess profits tax, and I think it is high time Canada did the same-and I mean not for 1948, but for the current fiscal year, 1947.

It is to be hoped that in the budget speech of the minister its entire repeal for the current business year will be announced. If we are to compete in export markets so earnestly striven for by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. MacKinnon)-and I should say, so effectively-then certainly industry should no longer be fettered by this impost.

I wish to compliment members of the treasury board for the realistic approach they have taken in the matter of reduction of government expenditures in all departments. Their record, to date, is impressive, when one studies the estimates for the coming year. Where services are no longer necessary, I think every hon. member will agree that they should either be discontinued entirely or materially curtailed. We cannot reduce taxes on the one hand and maintain unnecessary services on the other.

I note with some concern, as most hon. members on this side must have done, that opposition members while advocating strict economy and reduction of taxes have not up to now, so far as I have seen, shown any marked tendency to assist the government in practising what they themselves preach. While I am a strong believer in bringing the tax structure down for all groups, so that greater incentive may result, I feel all Canadians should realize we cannot get anywhere unless we stay on the job.

I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said:

Friends and neighbours, the taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them, but we have many others and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride and four

times as much by our folly, and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us.

Obviously conditions have not changed much since Benjamin Franklin wrote this. To prosper we must humbly and wisely work, but most of all we must work.

As hon. members will agree, perhaps in this debate more than in any other a member is justified in referring as briefly as possible to the problems of his constituency. The riding of Waterloo North, which I have the honour to represent, is the one which first sent its most illustrious native son, our distinguished Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to the house. It is most diversified, and contains more contented and happy people than any other riding in Canada.

Even so there are some problems which concern my people back home from time to time. With your consent I feel it is my duty to refer briefly to these, and at the same time perhaps suggest some remedies. My farmers are looking for some upward price adjustments.

I was pleased to notice that one of these adjustments was made this week in respect of better cuts of beef. This will have the ultimate effect of returning a higher price to cattle producers and increasing the flow of livestock to market. By the same token I would like to see a reasonable upward adjustment made in butter prices, which would have the dual effect of encouraging dairy farmers in my riding as well as in other parts of Canada, and it would automatically also increase the supply for the benefit of all Canadians.

December 1946 statistics indicate that whereas manufactured goods have advanced 9-6 per cent since December, 1945, farm products have only advanced 5-4 per cent during the same period. This indicates some consideration might well be given to the request from farmers that butter and other farm commodity prices be reasonably adjusted.

Two other matters which are at present disturbing the agricultural section of my riding are the shortage of feed grains and farm labour. I am pleased to note that the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) has taken effective steps to provide a further supply of freight cars to relieve the former situation. I hope that so far as farm labour is concerned, actual conditions will be studied further by the government, and that the department of labour will take necessary steps to provide this very necessary labour.

There is no shortage of good living quarters on the farms in my riding. Therefore I hope that everything will be done that possibly can

The Address-Mr. Breithaupt

be done to encourage young fellows to stay on the farms, where there are good farms and where, according to present statistics in agriculture, financial returns were really never greater than they are today.

Turning to industry for a minute; on behalf of the luggage industry I should like to suggest that now that the war is over luxury taxes be eliminated on luggage. Employment in this industry, while it has been at a high level, is now in grave danger of being seriously affected if early relief is not forthcoming. A large percentage of factories in Waterloo North employ female labour, particularly shirt and footwear factories. Income tax regulations regarding female married personnel have reacted very adversely and have still further accentuated serious shortages existing in shirts and shoes. It is to be hoped that in the forthcoming budget some adjustment can be made which would permit married women, where possible, to remain on the job if they so desire, and assist in necessary production at least until the shortages are alleviated. Every hon. member in the house must realize that what I have said, particularly with regard to shirts, is true. I do not believe there is a place in Ottawa today where one can buy a white shirt.

Now a word about wartime controls. It will be recalled that in the speech from the throne it was stated that the government planned to keep-

-only such price and commodity controls as may be required to protect consumers from a sudden and drastic rise in the cost of living and to ensure the fair distribution of essential goods and services which are in short supply.

At the same time it was also stated that- -many of the controls and restrictions during and immediately after the war are no longer in existence; others have been considerably relaxed; controls over wages and salaries and over many prices and commodities have been removed; other controls are being removed in an orderly manner.

Just how rvell this job has been done is well illustrated in a recent Canadian press dispatch from Montreal:

Statistics show that over-all cost of living figures in Canada have increased less since 1937 than in 16 other nations surveyed. These were released by the International Labour Office.

Other hon. members besides myself will probably have vivid and bitter memories of what happened after the last war, how prices suddenly collapsed and we went through a wave of liquidation. Most people had nothing left but debts. Conditions existed such as this country had never seen. Many firms, through no fault of their own, went out of

business and into bankruptcy. No one was happy. There was a general state of disorganization, uncertainty and unemployment. That is what we would like to avoid now, if we can. I believe the government has made the proper plans to avoid a recurrence of this condition. True, we on this side of the house are not perfect. Mistakes have been made by the wartime prices and trade board and by us all. To err is only human. I maintain however that our record of price control is very good. It is good in comparison with what happened a year or two after the last war, and it is good in comparison with what has been happening in the United States during the past year. There have been a number of press items recently telling of falling prices in the United States. From our point of view this is all to the good. The sooner and the farther they fall, the sooner our price controls can and should be done away with, without any sudden jump in prices here. People should not be misled by these newspaper stories into thinking that conditions are entirely satisfactory in the United States. I took the trouble to look up the latest figures on price movements in this country and in the United States since their price controls cracked wide open at the end of last June. I found that between that time and around the end of 1946 the average United States wholesale prices had gone up twenty-six per cent and their cost of living had gone up fourteen per cent. In the same time our wholesale prices and cost of living had each gone up only three per cent. In other words, United States prices have still a lot of falling to do before they are back in line with ours.

I certainly would not want to perpetuate controls or carry them on for one month beyond the time when they cease to be necessary. No one in his right senses would. However I am satisfied that Donald Gordon, chairman of the wartime prices and trade board, and his able staff have by and large done a very good job. May I say that it has been a thankless one in many quarters. They are still doing a good job. The government should be given the necessary powers to finish the job in an orderly and efficient manner as long as world shortages and dislocations exist. I have noted, as have other hon. members, that sometimes the biggest beneficiaries of the sound policy that the government set up in connection with price controls are the biggest belly-achers when it comes to giving anybody credit.

As I say, I think controls should be continued as long as world shortages exist. One thing is sure, if the present policies are con-

The Address-Mr. Breithaupt

tinued any recession which might take place in the United States would not have as serious an effect here because of our relatively sounder position in which we are well cushioned against precipitate price declines across the border.

I wish to say a word at this time in connection with immigration. Canadians received with much interest the announcement made in the house a few weeks ago by the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Glen) that immigration regulations had been relaxed to provide much needed labour for agriculture and Canada's basic industries. It is gratifying to know that, while this step is now being taken, further important changes and improvements in the immigration regulations are to follow. The minister's announcement was received with much relief by farmers in my riding and by basic industries throughout the country. There is a shortage of help in certain fields.

While I am on the subject of immigration, I should like to suggest that because of the importance of this portfolio in our present economy the minister in future should be known as the minister of immigration as well as the Minister of Mines and Resources. My constituents, and no doubt yours, Mr. Speaker, find it confusing when you tell them to get in touch with the Minister of Mines and Resources in connection with their immigration problems. This is just a little suggestion as I go along.

I wish to say just a brief word on dominion-provincial relations. I am not going to discuss this contentious question bit by bit or blow by blow because I do not know enough about it to be an authority to the extent to which some of my legal friends in this house are. But I do know that people throughout the country whom I have been in touch with, and particularly those in Ontario, feel that the time is not far distant when some satisfactory solution must be arrived at so that the people of our province-I can speak only for those of us who come from Ontario, but I imagine our friends from Quebec feel the same way-will not be faced in the near future with double taxation, provincial and federal.

May I say a few w'ords about Canadian business. To listen to the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) it would appear that business generally and employment were suffering severely from the policies of this government. Personally I cannot subscribe to his theory of "cry havoc". I have gone to the trouble of looking up some independent statistics as well as those provided by the Department of Trade and Commerce, and at this point I should like to place them on the record. I am glad the hon. member for

l Mr. Breithaupt.]

Lake Centre brought up this question because it ties right in with what I had prepared for delivery to this house during this debate. Sometimes when one listens to some of the political pessimists who are members of His Majesty's loyal opposition one is likely to become discouraged, sell Canada short and move out unless one knows the facts in connection with the actual state of the nation, but as a matter of fact Canada is one of the last countries in the world that anyone in his right senses would want to leave. In my opinion there is no better place in the world to live and work in than this same Canada of ours.

Here are some facts worth pondering which I obtained from the "Year End Review" issued by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. MacKinnon), Canada is now the third largest trading nation in the world. There are more people employed in industry now than at any time in the history of the country. Canada's exports during 1946 rose to a total value of S2,312 million, or more than two and a half times as great as the five year pre-war average from 1935 to 1939.

As convincing as these statements by the Minister of Trade and Commerce are, and in case some opposition members wish to have further information in connection with Canadian business conditions, I have pleasure in quoting from a neutral source, the report of the Bank of Nova Scotia, dated February 19, 1947. which states:

All time records for construction contract awards were again broken in January for a further three per cent rise in the index.

A general year end review by the Canadian Bank of Commerce notes:

Canada's present working force of nearly 5,000,000 exceeds by a million that of 1939, and not only have these million workers been absorbed; but nearly three-quarters of a million veterans and half a million war workers have required to be reestablished in peace-time occupations since the summer of 1945.

Total sales of all retail stores during 1946 were almost fourteen per cent higher than in 1945.

What is the matter with business? I quote again:

The first month of 1947 was generally the most active industrially since October, 1945, when of course, a considerable volume of war work was still in process. The bank's industrial activity index number rose in January to 152-

The 1937 figure is taken as 100.

-the highest point for civilian goods ever reached.

The twelve months under review, 1946, though irregular and not measuring up to all economic opportunities were, on the whole, the most active

The Address-Mr. Breithaupt

in Canada's peace-time history. In fact, the production of certain commodities was greater than in some war years.

But that is not all. I have here another authority, the Canadian Executives' Digest, of February, 1947, published by the Thomas A. Edison Company of Canada, Limited, of Toronto, and coming out of Toronto it must be pretty good. Speaking of Canada's mineral production, it says:

Value of mineral production of Canada in 1946 has been estimated at $493,840,000. The value for 1946 was $4,915,000 under that for 1945, but was higher than any peace-time year in history.

It has this to say of cheques cashed:

Total value of cheques cashed in Canada in 1946 at $69-3 billions was greater than in other years, exceeding the previous 1945 high by 1-3 per cent, and 48 per cent higher than 1929 (culmination of the previous major economic cycle). The 1946 total was about two and a quarter times the 1938 figure.

And on newsprint it says this:

Both from a production and financial point of view, the year 1946 will go down as the best to date in the history of the Canadian newsprint industry; all records were broken with a 4,143,392-ton production figure. The industry realized $300 millions gross revenue, it is reported.

Surely that is not an indication of bad business in Canada under government policy. It goes on to speak of radio manufacturing:

In spite of shortages, the Radio Manufacturers Association of Canada production figures indicate that more radio receivers were produced in Canada in 1946 than in any previous twelve months in the history of the Canadian radio industry. If current production is maintained, a new annual record of 550,000 sets will be set.

Then it goes on to give the impressive record of car loadings:

Loadings of railway revenue freight for the 52 weeks in 1946 at 3,681,699 cars were higher than for any of the war- years and exceeded the 1945 total by 1-3 per cent, according to figures recently released.

Now I want to say a word about life insurance sales. Mr. Finlayson, dominion superintendent of insurance, informed me yesterday morning that new life insurance issued in Canada for the year 1946 broke all records- It reached the imposing figure of one and a half billion dollars, or half a billion dollars more than the sales for 1945, which I understand was the previous record year.

I think the review of Canadian business and employment conditions which I have just given provides proof positive that the country is far from going to the dogs under the Liberal administration of our great leader, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I believe that those who are fair enough to take a realistic and politically unprejudiced viewpoint must admit in spite of themselves that

an excellent job is being done by the government of the day, not a forty per cent job as was charged last night by my friend the hon. member for Vaneouver-Burrard (Mr. Merritt). Surely he could not have meant what he said to be taken seriously.

I agree fully with the hon. member for Argenteuil (Mr. Heon), when he said in the house the other night that a general election under these circumstances is certainly not necessary. I wish to add on my own account that there can be no doubt that the Liberal party has delivered the goods as advertised in the brochure to which he referred and displayed, "Programme for Canada". I think we have lived up to the promises contained in that brochure, at least ninety-five per cent, and certainly, until any other party has anything better to offer this country, there is no need of going to the country. It would be a sheer waste of money; and the results after the next election, whenever it comes, will no doubt be a more emphatic mandate than ever to the Liberals to continue their good work.

I am voting, Mr. Speaker, against both amendments submitted by the right and left groups, and against any more that come in from them, and I am supporting the safe and sane middle-of-the-road policy of the government. I am voting for the main motion, to support the government.

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CCF

Gladys Grace Mae Strum

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

Mrs. GLADYS STRUM (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon will long be remembered by hon. members of this house. We were privileged to witness one of the most delightful spectacles of the session. To see the leader of the Liberal party in Saskatchewan on his feet defending government enterprise was indeed a treat, and I hope he keeps it up when he returns to his native province. To see the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) refusing to allow the Liberal party any credit for establishing perhaps one of the most useful and important of these government enterprises, the Bank of Canada, and insisting that the Tories be given credit for it, indeed marks a milestone in our political history.

My quarrel, however, is not with government enterprise but with the lack of government enterprise in implementing its promises to the old age pensioners of this country. The other day the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) gave us impressive figures of our contributions to the stricken countries of Europe and the part that Canada had played in winning the war. He pointed out that there was no such thing as partial participation in the war, that it was all-out participation or defeat. Canada has not been niggardly in her participation in relief

The Address-Mrs. Strum

to the stricken countries of Europe and of the world, but I submit that in Canada, the government's price decontrol policy and its social security measures result in only a partial participation in social security. It is a policy that is responsible for untold anxiety, humiliation and actual suffering in thousands of cases for Canadians in the lower income brackets who are struggling unsuccessfully to make ends meet, and particularly those who are trying to survive on the miserable dole that we know as the old age pension.

Again I do not wish to belittle the war achievement. We are all proud of the part that Canada played in the war, and I am sure we are all proud of the figures quoted by the hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Breithaupt). We do want to go on living in Canada, and it is because we believe that Canada could be much greater yet, greater in justice and mercy as well as in industrial output, that we believe that changes should be made. It all depends upon where you find yourself in Canada. It depends upon the particular income bracket in which you happen to operate. If you are a person who has extensive investments and are paying heavy income tax, you will not have much difficulty except with the Minister of Finance; but if you are trying to get along on a small fixed wage; if you are trying to live on a small annuity, if you are trying to exist on a pension for the blind or an old age pension, you will experience the greatest difficulty and humiliation. As the late Judge Emily Murphy said:

There is only one thing worse than a guilty custom, and that is a guilty acquiescence.

That is why we must raise our voices in protest against the treatment of these dependent people.

The first recognition of rising living costs was made in 1943. Canada had been at war almost four years when the government saw fit to recognize this and make an adjustment in old age pension. On August 10, 1943, an order in council was passed authorizing the making of agreements with the provinces governing old age pensions. P.C. 6367 says in paragraph 1;

Under war-time conditions it has become desirable and necessary to provide additional assistance to old age pensioners and blind pensioners.

This order allowed the pensioner to receive a special supplement not exceeding $5 a month, which brought the pension up to $25 instead of the original $20, and on the original basis, with the provinces bearing 25 per cent of the increase and the federal government putting up 75 per cent. Out of the original

'* j

$20 the federal government had supplied $15. It now supplied $3.75 of the $5, so that actually the federal government has never and is not yet paying more than $18.75 a month for the support of these aged poor. Of course some provinces have done certain things, and I think they should be given credit for it. They have raised the individual pensions and provided medical services, drugs, hospitalization and other services. These provinces are to be commended because they have done so without assistance from this government. They have taken it out of their limited provincial budget; they have taken some measures to relieve the suffering of these aged poor. But we, the members of this federal house, have it within our power to do much more than the limited provincial legislatures of the country, and I hope that at this session we shall do something worthy of this country and this parliament.

The means test, still in effect, limits the income of old people in spite of the almost daily rise in the cost of living, and it has imposed untold hardship on these innocent people. Many old people have been able to take part-time employment. During all the years of the war there was a steady demand for all kinds of labour, skilled and unskilled, full and part-time. Old people found to their surprise, and learned to their sorrow, that a few dollars earned in honest and useful employment resulted in only one thing, in having their pension suspended by the inspector at the time of his next visit. This means that the government is guilty of a double crime, first of imposing compulsory poverty on this helpless and innocent group by limiting its contribution to only $225 a year, and second by denying any remedy to the individual and imposing a penalty if the pensioner sought to better his condition through his own effort.

Further the whole policy of the government in regard to old age pensions is a contradiction of its own avowed Liberal principle. In its proposals to the provinces on reconstruction on August, 1945, at page 27 the government sets out this policy. This comes under "Social Security," a brief on "Reconstruction, proposals of the government of Canada." Here is what the Liberal government said:

The Economic Argument for Social Security.

Reference has been made to the effect of large-scale social security measures on the economy of the country as a whole. This need not and should not be the prime consideration in adopting health and welfare legislation. But since this aspect of the problem has not received the attention that it merits, perhaps a further reference to it would be in order.

During the war we have succeeded in establishing new high levels of employment. Our

The Address-Mrs. Strum

national income has risen to record heights. Income and purchasing power have been more evenly distributed than ever before. This has resulted in an unprecedented increase in consumer demand.

During the war years we have been obliged to keep this consumer purchasing power under control as far as possible. But as scarcities disappear and wartime demand falls away, it becomes essential to encourage a freer use of consumer purchasing power in order to take up the slack that will otherwise develop. It is in this connection-namely, the maintenance of a high degree of consumer purchasing power- that large-scale social security measures can and do play an important role.

A significant volume of social security payments, flowing into the consumer 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.

Why then does the government hesitate to carry out its own policy? Speaking over the C.B.C. on January 29, 1947. the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) had this to say:

The Liberals are right when they say that profits which are not required in the business are not your money. They are the money of those who applied their labour to the natural resources of this country to produce wealth, and if you do not or cannot pay them out in wages, local taxes, widespread dividends- share or patronage-to provide services, then we must tax them from you.

The money so obtained must be redistributed through provincial payments to the areas from which the wealth came. Where local authorities cannot, as in the case of family allowances and old age pensions, make the distribution equitably, the dominion government must. Where local authorities cannot stabilize returns to primary producers of exportable products such as farm products, the dominion authority must. The Liberal party is opposed to state ownership and control of all the resources and machines of production but the Liberal party is also opposed to any authority within the state attempting to take unto itself the right to tax the labour of the masses for personal or corporate gain or aggrandizement.

The Liberal party going into this session challenges any of the opposition groups to name one social service which is not already provided for. directly, or proposed through provincial cooperation, which they would make effective if returned to office. The Liberal party challenges any opposition group to advocate that any social service provided for be taken away.

I challenge the Minister of Agriculture to deny that the pension provided is inadequate, shameful, and a contradiction of their avowed policy of redistribution of the national income on an equitable basis. It is useless for members of the government to say that we have provided for increased living costs through price control, subsidies, family allowances, 83166-73

cost of living bonus, and that we have the greatest social security programme in the world.

Canada's productive machinery and her ability to feed the suffering of other countries does not in any way excuse this government in its neglect of our own aged and suffering people. True, we are striving to attain better standards of nutrition, and I think the present Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) did an excellent job as minister of national health and welfare. I think the programme of education carried on through lectures, films, publications and advertising releases of all kinds is a part, and a very important part, of a programme aimed at better health standards. The one disturbing aspect of this, and the thing which nullifies the effect, is the cost of food and the size of the pensioners' food budget. I hold in my hand the recommended programme for nutrition. In this booklet Canada's food rules read as follows:

These are the health-protective foods. Be sure you eat them every day in at least these amounts. (Use more if you can.)

Milk: Adults, one-half pint. Children, more than one pint. And some cheese as available.

Fruits: One serving of tomatoes daily, or of a citrus fruit, or of tomato or citrus fruit juices, and one serving of other fruits, canned or dried.

Vegetables: In addition to potatoes, of which you need one serving daily, two servings daily of vegetables, preferably leafy green, or yellow, and frequently raw.

Cereals and bread: One serving of a whole-grain cereal and four to six slices of Canada approved bread, brown or white.

Meat, fish, etc.: One serving a day of meat, fish or meat substitutes, liver, heart or kidney once a week.

At least three or four eggs a week.

Eat these foods first and then add other foods as you wish.

These are the basic essentials of an adequate diet, and I got a list of the costs of these items from my grocer at noon today. These are the things which people are supposed to eat, as set out by our department of health, and these are the prices we have to pay for them:

For one raw tomato, 5 cents; orange, 5 cents; banana, 5 cents; carrots, 3 cents; rolled oats to cover the cereal, 2 cents; six slices of bread, 3 cents; one serving meat, 14 cents; one egg, 3 cents; one potato, 2 cents; one pint of milk, 9 cents; cheese, 5 cents. That adds up to 56 cents for a day or 83.92 a week, or 815.68 a month. If we are to take the advice of our department of health and welfare we should not spend more than 25 per cent of the budget on food, so that with food at today's prices we need more than $60 a month if we are to have any kind of adequate diet.

The Address-Mrs. Strum

There is something else to which I wish to call the attention of hon. members. I think the greatest curse of this house is that we live in paper estimates and paper files. You want something and you send to the bureau of statistics; you want something else and you send to some other place. But if you want to know what it is like to live on $25 a month, go and see how an old age pensioner does it. If you want to know what it is like to find money for a room, or even to get a room, cut an advertisement out of your newspaper and telephone the people advertising. I did that today, and I can tell you it is difficult indeed to find a room where you have cooking privileges. Of fifteen rooms I found listed in today's paper, do you know what the rents are? Fifteen dollars a month for the lowest, and $32 for the highest, and one had grill privileges while another gave you the privilege of using the kitchen.

Where are our people to live? A single room is the cheapest accommodation there is, and if one tries to get a suite or an apartment or a house, the rents are of course much higher. The rents ran $15, $16, $17, $18; three at $20, one at $22, one at $25, one at $28; two with two rooms, one for $35 and the other for $42.

Where is the old age pensioner to sleep? If he eats according to Canada's food rules, the food which the minister's government in its wisdom advises people to eat, it will cost far more than the pensioner can afford to spend for that purpose, and still he has nowhere to stay. He has nothing to wear, he has not utensils to cook with, he has no bedding, he has no money for haircuts, no money for any of the things that make life half decent.

I advise hon. gentlemen again, as I did last year, to take $25 and try to live on it for a month. And let them try wearing cast-off clothes for a while and see what it feels like. Or they should try living as unwanted guests among relatives. If they really want to learn humility, let them go to an institution where old people are crowded together several in one room, where there is no consideration of the need for privacy, no consideration of the right of a person to be alone sometimes, or to have friends in or to entertain anyone. If all hon. members would do that, we would be amazed at the speed with which we could do something about the old age pension law. After a month of that we could put through $100 a month at the age of sixty, although I would not advise it.

Coming back to the inadequacy of food, here is one of those papers I referred to a while ago. This is statistical proof of the fact that the food dollar has shrunk. It is from

I

the Department of Trade and Commerce and is as of this week. In it the Department of Trade and Commerce tells us that prices of food have advanced, from the base of 1935-39,

47 points. That is to say, taking the outbreak of war as 100, the food index stands at 147, which means that the food dollar has been cut in half, so that the old age pension buys a little more than half what it did in 1939 when the war broke out.

We who talk about our financial statements and industrial output from our factories and granaries, and of our kindness to the suffering in other countries, are still contributing only $18.75 a month from the treasury of the nation to our old age pensioners.

Some hon. members last year had the privilege of listening to Doctor Tisdall, and I wish all hon. members had taken advantage of his excellent address on nutrition. Those who were present will remember he told us that he had been responsible for the nutritional aspects of the rations of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

It will be recalled that he told us about experiments in feeding Canadian flyers. He said that the original ration of milk was 10 ounces a day, which was considered not bad. The men however were having difficulty with their eyesight. The glare of the sun over the Atlantic was giving almost every flyer eye trouble. All the men had this difficulty, so they considered it a normal condition. Eye strain was regarded as part of a flyer's bad luck. After a while however they tried an experiment in the use of milk and obtained the- most surprising results. I am going to quote Dr. Tisdall. I will give his own words, which will be found in this book, which I hope all hon. members will consult when they get back to their offices. It is an excellent publication called "Health" and in the September-October issue will be found the article to which I refer. This is what he says:

We gave them additional riboflavin and, in- * side of two months, the vast majority of these men had such a marked improvement in their eyes that it wasn't necessary to take photographs to see the difference. They said themselves they could see better, and one of the publicity boys found that just at that time the number of submarines sunk increased very markedly. Of course, it could not be published.

He refers to the need for milk in the diet, and he has this to say:

We believe that riboflavin is most important for health and unless you take a reasonably good amount of milk-at least a pint a day-you cannot get enough riboflavin. That is why the ration of milk for the Canadian armed services was increased from 10 ounces of milk a day to 20, the largest milk ration of any service in the world. Just a few months ago it was again increased to 24 ounces.

The Address-Mrs. Strum

Then he tells of an interesting experiment carried on in Newfoundland by a group of scientists from Great Britain and the United States. We are all familiar with the very low incomes and nutritional levels common to Newfoundland. We are not so familiar with the physical results and the damage that poor feeding does to the human being. Doctor Tisdall said, referring to the survey made among the people of Newfoundland:

One thing that struck us all was the early ageing of the people. Time and again the first few days one clinician would call another over to look at someone and say., "How old do you think this person is?" Time and again he would guess from fifty to sixty, and the person would be in his early thirties. Recently Doctor Sharman of New York has done a study in which he gave experimental animals a diet consisting of one-sixth whole milk powder and five-sixths wheat. He found that those getting a larger amount of milk retained their youthful appearance longer, retained their period of adult vitality longer, and prolonged their period of life by ten per cent. We saw the same thing in Newfoundland-early ageing-and their records indicate they don't live as long as we do here where we get more milk.

This article by Doctor Tisdall is just one of many appearing in the medical journals every month, pointing out that senility could be arrested and the useful and active period of a person's life could be extended if older people were able to enjoy proper nutritional standards. A meagre and inadequate diet, the only one possible under the old age pension, brings on premature senility and speeds up ageing. This, combined with the means test, which puts a penalty on activity and selfhelp, can only have one result-that is, a lowering of vitality, a sense of helplessness and frustration, and the hope for a speedy end to it all. You know, there are some who might say this was a definite attempt on the part of the government to save money, but I would not accuse the administration of deliberately planning to reduce the number of old age pensioners. I think it is the result of complacency and callousness rather than deliberate cruelty; nevertheless I submit it is cruelty and sheer social waste.

The government's policy in regard to milk has been met only in part by family allowances. The experiment with the flyers proved that milk could greatly improve vision. If this is true of a selected group, it becomes an established nutritional truth and milk becomes a national necessity for people of all ages, not just those under sixteen covered by the family allowance. If it is true that the use of milk can combat age and preserve youth and vitality, then milk becomes a national asset in building up the pool of goods and services 83166-73*

which is the only real wealth of a country and the basis for all spending, private and public.

The removal of milk subsidies, effected in two stages, raised the price of milk to the consumer in Ontario and Quebec, where there is the heaviest concentration of population, from 10 cents to 15 cents a quart, and to a slightly lesser degree in other provinces. This jump from 10 cents to 15 cents in the cost to the consumer represents an increase in the cost of milk of 50 per cent. We are told by the department of health that every child must have a quart of milk a day. At 10 cents a quart thirty quarts, for thirty days, will cost the mother $3. At 15 cents a quart the mother can buy only twenty quarts for $3, so we have cut the monthly intake of the child by ten quarts, on the same expenditure of money. To that extent we have destroyed the chance of building good vision, resistance to disease and vitality, and we have shortened what might have been the life expectancy through the use of an adequate diet and the provision of milk for each child. If we are to choose between reducing the consumption of milk and the granting of income exemptions and other incentives to the corporations of Canada, it is a shortsighted choice on the part of the government to decide against the health of the Canadian people; and to say that we have covered the milk situation by the family allowances is just so much rubbish. The family allowance has been credited with being an umbrella over the head of the Canadian people to provide for education, health services, nutrition, crop failures and anything else brought forth by the imagination of the speaker on the stump at the moment. Again let me say that I am in favour of family allowances, but they are only a small part of over-all security and should be considered in the light of reality rather than as an excuse to avoid thinking about the people who are not covered by family allowances, and on whom they have no effect except that they must help pay the $260,000,000 voted this year to meet the expenditure.

I did not expect a government such as this, elected on the cry "defeat socialism" to bring in a policy such as the C.C.F. would institute; but the C.C.F. recognizes the practical value of the proposals set forth in the brief on reconstruction, and the validity of family allowance payments as a means of underwriting consumer spending in Canada. The C.C.F. programme, and the recent decision of the national council of the C.C.F. which met in January, would pay old age pensioners $50 a month, lower the age to

The Address-Mrs. Strum

sixty-five years, and eliminate the means test. The national council also recommended the payment of invalidity supplements, cost of living supplements, and free medical, hospital, dental and optical care to old age pensioners.

What would it cost to do this? Well, the costs are worked out, too. The cost of the plan after 1948 would be 8559,800,000. That is not such a staggering sum. To give a pension of 850 to all persons sixty-five years of age, and remove the means test, would merely be extending the principle now being followed in connection with family allowances. The family allowance payments this year will be made to all families in Canada, regardless of income, and the seLoff will be taken care of under the income tax. That is, the payments will be considered as income, and all couples receiving more than 81,500 will be given family allowances and an additional exemption for each child. This we believe to be a sensible and sound arrangement and a useful technique from the standpoint of simplifying administration. To give 850 a month to all old age pensioners at the age of sixty-five would cost the government, it is estimated, 8459,000,000 on the basis of the 1941 census; but this sum is 82,000,000,000 smaller than the amount we gave in mutual aid. According to the figures given by the Minister of National Defence appearing in Hansard of March 3, our mutual aid amounted to 82,471,000,000. If we take off the 82,000,000,000 and retain the 8471,000,000, that is still more than we would pay out in one year to old age pensioners. True, it is more than we now pay in family allowances; but the payments made to children, while a very good investment, have no off-set in production or earnings. They are paid on behalf of dependents who are immature and incapable of adding to Canada's pool of goods and services. There is much that an adequately nourished population of sixty-five years and over could do and would be more than happy to do as part of the nation's work.

In closing I merely wish to say that the record of a nation must not be judged by its guns and tanks nor by its grain elevators, the value of its exports or its bank balances. The real test of a nation's character comes in its regard for moral values. That nation is greatest that has the greatest care for human life and welfare. Let us not only talk of mercy and justice in the international field. Let us be worthy of our great wealth and our great trust:

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

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John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to follow the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mrs. Strum). She is worthy of the highest commendation for the eloquent way in which she has presented her case.

There is one matter which should be pointed out to all members of the house and all people of the country, and particularly to our C.C.F. and Progressive Conservative friends, and that is that there is no disagreement among the different parties as to what we want. Every heart in the house throbs in accord and in sympathy with every word the hon. member for Qu'Appelle has spoken. Any hon. member would have been happy to make that speech.

It is when we come to the question of how to finance all these things that the difference develops. I believe that matter should be faced sincerely and frankly by every hon. member. And I would appeal to hon. members of the C.C.F., when they are out talking to the people: For goodness sake, tell the people there is no difference between you and other hon. members in the house with respect to what you are aiming at. The whole question is as to how you are to get the money to do these things. That is the matter to bear in mind.

Technically, Mr. Speaker, we are now discussing the amendment offered by the C.C.F. as it is recorded at page 73 of Hansard for February 3, 1947. The essential passage of that amendment, I take it, is the one I now quote:

And further that Your Excellency's advisers have failed to introduce comprehensive measures for the socialization of the financial institutions and monopolistic industries of the country, and thus have failed to plan the full and proper use of our natural resources and our currency and credit in such a way as to provide for full production and a rising standard of living for the Canadian people.

It will be noted by every member in the house that the assumption is made in the amendment that if the government nationalizes or socializes-whatever is meant by the expression-the financial institutions of the country, and the country's industry, then immediately we shall be at the beginning of the solution of our problems. To that stand I take a diametrically opposite view. That would, not necessarily produce the results Canadians wish.

The immediate question with which we as members of the house are faced, is this: Shall we vote for this C.C.F. amendment? Should I, as one member in the house, vote for it?

Let us for'a short time examine this C.C.F. amendment with some care. In the first place, may I point out to all concerned that it is next

The Address-Mr. Blackmore

to impossible to tell what the C.CJF. leader means by his amendment. It calls for the socialization of the financial institutions and monopolistic industries of the country.

What does he mean by the socialization of financial institutions? Does he mean government ownership, or does he mean the socialized use of those financial institutions? Right here may I point out that a great deal of confusion which is being talked and scattered throughout the country by C.C.F. people arises from the fact that they lead people to believe that what members of the C.C.F. have in mind is a sort of socialized use of the financial institutions, rather than government ownership; or, if when government ownership is accomplished, a plan that automatically entails the socialized use of financial

institutions.

There is no justification for that propaganda at all. This kind of thing, as I have said, is contributing to the confusion in men's minds throughout the country. Does he mean what I have indicated, or does he mean government ownership together with a particular financial policy, a special method of employing the financial institutions? I submit that, unless there is a special method of employing those financial institutions, mere government ownership of financial institutions in this country will have no more beneficial effect on the economy of Canada than had the government ownership of the Bank of Canada-which amounted to practically nothing.

Mr. LOW; Utter futility.

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John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

That ought to be

Faced frankly. May I say this word now to my good friends of the C.C.F. I do not know of any group of people I honour more than I do C.C.F. people. At least they are aware that something has to be done, and they are sincere and earnest in their desire to do something which is necessary. They ought to be very careful to see that they are not barking up the wrong tree. I believe they will find they are, if they will examine carefully what is in the amendment and in the speech of the leader of the C.C.F.

Does he have in mind, for instance, a method of distribution through the financial institutions, a combination of techniques for the financing of consumption, something more or less closely resembling social credit proposals? Does he have that in mind?

In my constituency C.C.F. people have gone around saying, "We believe exactly the kind of thing that social crediters are advocating. Look at this, and this, and this,

that we have moved." Well, why not be honest with everybody and make that quite clear in the amendment, so that we shall all know what we are talking about.

Or does the C.C.F. leader mean merely the government ownership of banks, with no effective change in policy? Who knows? N ot an hon. member in the house, even including those of the C.C.F., can tell from reading the amendment what it means.

A change of ownership of the financial institutions, without certain fundamental changes in financial policy which would bring about financing consumption in this country, would be of no more value as an aid to the Canadian economy than was government ownership of the Bank of Canada.

Suitable fundamental changes of policy could be made without government ownership or socialization of financial institutions. This is the next important thing for every member in the house to keep in mind. It is not necessary for the government to have ownership of any of the financial institutions in order to bring about fundamental changes in the financial policy of the country which would enable the country to finance consumption. Let that clearly be remembered.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

Explain.

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John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I can explain it.

However I have not the time to do so now.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

A lot of silly laughs come from the C.C.F. They ought to have sense enough to know, because they have been here long enough, that a member's time can be used up by things of that sort. I think that is what they want.

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Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Why take your time

to criticize the C.C.F.?

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John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I will take time

later on to go right to the mat with the best C.C.F.'er in the group. I am ready for them. Social Crediters desire such fundamental change in financial policy as would make for distribution, or consumption, that is, the marketing of Canada's production of goods and services.

The C.C.F. amendment does not call for such fundamental change. It may imply it, in the minds of members of the C.C.F.; but, so far as other hon. members in the house are concerned, there is no way of being sure what it means. Social Crediters would look at that matter before they decided how they would vote.

What does the C.C.F. leader mean by the socialization of monopolistic industries? Does he mean government ownership of such indus-

The Address-Mr. Blackmore

tries? And what constitutes a monopolistic industry? Is it industry that has become a monopoly, or is tending to become a monopoly? There is nothing in the wording there to show whether he has in mind one that is a nation-wide monopoly or one that is a monopoly in a community, such as a dairy in a small town. As far as the wording is concerned, there is no indication at all. Does the C.C.F. amendment mean that the C.C.F. would have the government assume ownership of Canadian industry, even down to the dairy in a small town if that dairy happens to be supplying all the milk being used in that town? Social Crediters can see neither need for, nor any advantage that would be derived from, socializing industry. Social Crediters can see in government ownership and the socialization of industry a serious danger to Canadian prosperity and freedom. Therefore they will take that matter into careful consideration before deciding how they will vote.

C.C.F. speakers, like other socialists, contend and argue that private enterprise has failed. I turn now to a general discussion of the whole point of view the socialists seem to take in this regard. Almost every member of the C.C.F. who has risen to speak has said that private enterprise has failed. But has private enterprise failed? That is the question which the house should face, including all members of the C.C.F. as well as the Social Credit group.

To answer the question as to. whether or not private enterprise has failed, we must consider several aspects of the economics of our day, nationally and internationally. Time forbids that I discuss the matter internationally, but I will give a little thought to it nationally. First, what is economics? Economics is the science and art of producing and distributing goods and services. I think all will agree with that. As I go on, my C.C.F. friends can decide whether or not they agree with the statements I make. I think there will be no disagreement on their part.

This means that the economy of a state such as Canada or the United States has two great functions to perform. First, it has to manage to have goods and services produced or obtained by trade. Second, it has to manage to have those goods and services consumed or distributed. I think we can all agree on that. It is very pleasant for us to agree; after we are working together on this thing we shall find out exactly where we disagree.

Production is the first thing to consider. If Canada's government brings about conditions

in Canada so that Canadian farmers, fishermen, lumbermen, miners and manufacturers can and will produce enough food, clothing, shelter, educational services, cultural services, health services and other services to give each family in Canada, say S3,500 worth in a year, then the Canadian government thereby makes physically possible in that year a standard of living and prosperity equal to $3,500 per family. I think we all agree on that.

Consumption or the distribution of goods is the next consideration. If the Canadian government is able so to manage the Canadian economy that, after the $3,500 worth of goods . and service per year for every family in the country have been produced, they can be got into the hands of those people so that those people can consume them, then the Canadian government has performed the function of distribution or consumption. The government may be held responsible for both of those functions today. Is there any disagreement by my hon. friends of the C.C.F. on that point?

It is our problem, first of all, to consider our economy from the point of view of production; then to consider our economy from the point of view of consumption. As we go on to consider private enterprise, let us see what bearing private enterprise has, first upon production and, second, upon consumption, so that we may see wherein it has or has not failed, either as a means of production or as a means of consumption. We shall then be considering this matter in a scientific sort of way, which I know the C.C.F. like to do.

It has been often said that mankind has solved the problem of production. I believe our C.C.F. friends will all agree with that. It is commonly suggested, and I believe it is accepted by them, that we have solved the problem of production in Canada and the United States. That has been done by private enterprise. There is no doubt in the world about that, because private enterprise is the system we have used up to the present time. Mankind must now solve the problem of consumption or distribution.

Private enterprise is being blamed largely because up to the present time it apparently has not been able to distribute goods. We shall have to examine the matter to see whether we have any right to expect private enterprise to distribute goods. That is the first point. Let us consider that frankly. Unquestionably production has succeeded; that is obvious. Consumption or distribution has more or less failed. Everyone agrees with that. I do not think the C.C.F. or anyone else will disagree with that point. What

The Address-Mr. Blackmore

we want to find out is why distribution has failed, why consumption has failed, what private enterprise has to do in each case and what to do in order to remedy the difficulty.

Where does private enterprise fit in? To what extent is private enterprise responsible for the success of mankind's production? To what extent is private enterprise to blame for the failure to distribute those goods? Let us -try to clear away the confusion in men's minds as regards private enterprise. I myself have heard C.C.F. speakers-doubtless they were not speaking with party authority-point out the fallacies of our consumption system, and then say that therefore private enterprise has failed. In the light of the facts, such a conclusion is utter nonsense. That is merely blind people leading blind people farther astray. Let us see whether or not that is so.

Let us first try to define private enterprise. Funk and Wagnalls new standard dictionary defines enterprise as follows:

The act of engaging, or the disposition to engage in difficult undertakings; boldness, energy, and invention exhibited in practical affairs, especially in business.

That is the definition of private enterprise. Have we any lack of that kind of thing in Canada? Are these splendid lads who are coming home from overseas manifesting any lack of initiative, boldness or courage in going into business? All you have to do is to come in contact with a few of them to know that they want to go into business. Many C.C.F. people have never taken the trouble to find out what private enterprise means. If it has failed it is because of conditions under which private concerns have made their efforts to carry on.

Will any one in this house argue seriously that in Canada there is any lack of boldness, energy and invention in attempting to establish and maintain practical business undertakings? I do not think the C.C.F. or anyone else will. There can be no doubt that there exist in Canada plenty of citizens ready and eager to undertake to produce goods such as wheat and other foods, or services such as trucking, flying, repairing and all other manner of services. The only deterrent these boys or girls run up against when they seek to go into business is: first, the question of security of tenure-are thejr going to be able to hold their jobs?; next, the adequacy of income, and, then, the opportunity to Tise.

There is no lack of private enterprise. There is thus far no fault with private enterprise. It is a fact that there is a lack of security, but that has nothing in the world to do with private enterprise. There is a lack of surety of adequate income, which again has nothing

to do with private enterprise. The lack of the opportunity to rise is only indirectly related to private enterprise. The adverse circumstances which face our people when they undertake to go into private business is a matter over which the government has the power to exercise control. If the government does not have that power, then the government should seek it.

To state that private enterprise in that sense has failed is to tell a falsehood-let any one challenge that statement-and to slander the splendid Canadian youth. Will any C.C.F. member attempt that? Or any other? In this sense private enterprise has not failed, is not failing and will not fail if it is given the ghost of a chance. The only difficulty is prices and markets and taxes, purely matters of government policy.

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Oh, oh.

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John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

There is a lot of laughing by silly, superficial people, but let me point out that these matters are important. The government has that power, and the C.C.F. have shown that they believe so, by rising in their places and declaiming against the government because it has not an adequate price and wage policy. Surely they realize that the government could have control over prices, markets and taxes. In other words, the government has responsibility for the conditions under which private enterprise must endeavour to make good.

If private enterprise fails, it is the fault of the government and of the government's financial system. Why not be honest and face up to that? Then we shall know where we are going. The fault is a matter of government financial policy. The financial policy of this government has failed miserably and despicably, and that is true also of the United States. It is not the fault particularly of the men occupying governmental positions but the fault of the outmoded, useless financial system under which they are trying to operate. Why not be frank and face up to that fact? I call on the Progressive Conservatives to face up to it. Why give the people the idea that if you were on the government benches you could make the old car run any better than the present government is doing? What nonsense! There is a species of dishonesty about this which must be cleared away. We must face the facts, find the ball and follow it through until we get a solution. Surely this house was sent here by a despairing, suffering people to find solutions, and not get up here and play politics.

But when the C C.F. use the expression "private enterprise has failed" they appear to

The Address-Mr. Blackmore

have in mind private business, such as farms, sawmills, machine factories, textile mills, steel companies, coal companies. The C.C.F. do not seem to have in mind the desire on the part of Canadian youth to go into business, but rather they think of some business that is established. If I am wrong they can correct me. Very well. Let us consider these factories we have in Canada and of which we can be very proud. They are great, splendid, efficiently run concerns ready to produce in superabundance and in high quality almost everything that Canada needs.

In the first place, for an example of private enterprise let us fix our attention on a coal mine. A coal mine is a producer. Remember we have two functions to perform: we have to get production, and we have to get consumption. Can you hold a coal mine responsible for consumption? Its business was never to consume or to cause consumption, but to produce coal, and if it produces coal in sufficient quantities and of a high enough quality at a reasonable price it has succeeded. If there is any failure to distribute its product, that failure is to be attributed to the government and the government's financial policy and to no other possible factor. Let us get that perfectly straight. We can hold the coal company to blame if it fails to produce abundantly and economically goods of fine quality. But we have no right to blame the coal company for a failure of consumption of its goods. The coal company may lay off men; and for every man it turns off it destroys a certain amount of wages and a certain amount of consuming power, so that when the coal company turns off a man who is no longer needed and thereby economizes it is defeating the object of consumption. Let that be borne strictly in mind. The more efficient the coal company becomes as a producer, the less efficient it becomes as a distributor of consumer purchasing power.

One of the causes of confusion lies in the fact that the C.C.F. seem to blame the coal company because it does not distribute enough purchasing power to purchase the coal it produces. There could not be a more monstrous fallacy. Let us face up to it fairly and squarely. It is utterly absurd to blame the coal company for failure to distribute. It is just as absurd to blame the coal company for failure to distribute as it would be to blame a hen because it does not give milk or to blame- a cow because it does not lay eggs. Hens were not made to produce milk and cows were not made to lay eggs, and a coal company was not made to distribute purchasing power. What purchasing power it does dis-

tribute is only incidental, accidental, and unavoidable or inevitable. It distributes just as little purchasing power as it possiblly can, and it has to do that in order to be efficient as a producer.

Let us bear in mind that industry is part of the productive mechanism of Canada, and not a part of the consumptive mechanism. The people of Canada and members of parliament must keep these two functions, production and consumption, constantly in mind; for otherwise disaster will face us, and frustration and misery, depression, and all the other ills which we fear so much will be our lot.

Consumption has to be taken care of by some other mechanism than by industry; it has 'to be taken care of by some sort of financial mechanism. The C.C.F. appear to commit the colossal blunder of blaming industry for failure of the consumptive mechanism of Canada, and because of the failure of that consumptive mechanism they say "private enterprise has failed." The leader of the C.C.F. party, in his speech on his amendment, talked of the failure of private enterprise to produce houses. What is the reason it cannot produce houses? It is that private enterprise knows from bitter experience that the more it puts money into housing, the greater its taxation will be; it does not matter a particle whether the houses are rented or not the taxation will still go on. The first thing you know the municipality will have the house. Is that giving private enterprise a fair deal? To blame private enterprise because houses are not built in this country is a monstrous species of dishonesty. We have to face the facts and be realistic in these matters.

Let us turn now to consider government ownership. It is proposed that the government should own this coal mine we have been talking about. Could the government-, by taking over the coal mine, increase the production of coal? Second, could the government, by taking over the coal mine, increase the consumption of coal? If the answer must be "no" in both cases it must be obvious that the proposal that the government take over the coal mine is purely futile, if not mischievous. Would government ownership increase the productive capacity of the coal mine? It is very doubtful. The vast proportion of our ^private industries, when given a chance, produce magnificently, efficiently and in superb abundance goods of a very high quality, and no one is honest who will question that statement. If the government took over the coal mine it would not increase the production or quality of the coal. It might have

The Address-Mr. Blackmore

the very opposite effect. Government ownership as proposed by the C.C.F. amendment could not aid production.

Could it aid consumption? It is very doubtful if the taking over of the coal mine by the government would increase consumption. If the government were to increase consumption by taking over the coal mine it would have to put more money into it; it would have to put in two men to do the work of one.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Put in machinery.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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March 7, 1947