May 19, 1948

?

An hon. MEMBER:

Give them.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I know the facts.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

You have made a statement you had no right to make.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

No right to make?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

No.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Did you hear the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson) comparing incomes of 1941 with rentals of 1948? Was that a fair comparison? He had the figures for 1947; there was a census in 1946. You had better just calm down and take it.

We know all about subsidized housing. The difficulty with subsidized housing is that it does not build any more houses. A fair comparison of the situation arises in the wartime houses built in the period from 1942 to 1946. We built a great number of houses, several thousand of them, to rent at $22 a month for the four-room house, and up to about $27 or $29 a month for the six-room house. These rents are very much below economic rents today, and yet the rental in most of these houses has not changed.

The problem arises in allocating the houses. How do we allocate them? We allocate them

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on a very strict point system that can work for veterans. It depends on the number of months overseas, and the number of children in the family. The more children the more points. Various other service items enter into it. The result is that the man who can qualify with the number of points gets the house for $22 a month, while the man who cannot qualify has to pay perhaps twice that. Hon. members say that is very unfair. I agree, but it is workable where you have military service which can be reduced to the point system. But how could it possibly work for civilians? You have 10,000, 20,000 or 100.000 subsidized houses to apportion fairly among the civilian population. That is the practical difficulty.

What would be the advantage of subsidized housing? I have already pointed out that money has very little to do with the houses we build. The hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Timmins) made a great gesture. He said the government should appropriate $100,000,000 to build houses. The government has been doing just that. Since the housing program was started in 1942, the government has actually invested something like $283,000,000 for housing by way of loans and direct construction. Hon. members will find in the estimates this year something like $78,000,000 for housing, which is in addition to the amounts appropriated through the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, covered by mortgages. Money is not the difficulty today. Any individual who wants to build a house can borrow probably up to 90 per cent of the cost of that house, if it is a low-cost house.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

Too much!

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I know; it is too much for prudence; nevertheless we hope to get houses built. Any city that wants the government to build houses has only to ask for it. The requirement is that the city must furnish the serviced land, provided that the cost of doing so does not exceed $600. If it is more than $600 the government pays the difference. The government of Ontario have intervened and they say that, while that may be too much for some municipalities, they will share half of the cost with the municipality. So in this province the cost of providing serviced land for houses has been reduced to $300 per house, and yet we have no signs, as far as Central Mortgage and Housing is concerned, that that effort by the province has increased the number of applications from Ontario towns and municipalities by a single housing unit. In other words, it is not a matter of money.

We would gladly have built more houses last year had we been permitted to do so by the cities in which the houses would have

been built. We entered into a program to build 12,000 rental houses this year, apart from any other plan under the Wartime Housing plan. The applications are falling far short of that. We are building houses wherever we have had an application.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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PC

Harold Aberdeen Watson Timmins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. TIMMINS:

Will the minister say why, in his opinion, the municipalities are not taking up that plan?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

My hon. friend gave a description of that in connection with one of the suburbs of Toronto when he spoke a few moments ago. That is exactly the reason. A good many people in the town do not like to have that type of housing built in the town. All I can say to my hon. friends opposite, and particularly to our socialist friends, is that if they would go back to their communities and promote a little rental housing-it would not be a question of subsidization-the houses would be built and rented at prices which were economical.

A good deal has been said about the cost of housing in comparison with the ability to pay. I came across an interesting advertisement in a paper called the Melville Advance of Melville, Saskatchewan. It shows in terms of wheat that the materials for a house cost 34 per cent less today than in 1939. It points out that the .materials which went into a house in 1939 required 2.782 bushels of wheat, whereas in 1948 the materials could be purchased for 1,822 bushels of wheat, or 34 per cent less. It was also figured out in oats. In 1939 the materials of the house would cost 6,361 bushels of oats. In 1948 it cost only 2,927 bushels of oats, or a saving of over 50 per cent. In beef cattle the material in the house would have cost twenty-nine head of beef cattle in 1939; in 1948 it cost only eighteen head of beef cattle.

It is all very well to deal with absolute figures. The hon. member for Mackenzie thinks he can give income figures for 1941 and apply .them to cost figures for 1948, and believes that hon. members should pay some attention to that kind of statement. I would suggest that everything he brought forward in his speech was just about as sensible as that particular comparison. In my opinion that is a fair indication of the value to be placed on his remarks.

As far as the amendment is concerned, it is simply a negation of the motion. The subamendment proposes another alternative, and it would possibly provide more houses. It suggests that local housing authorities be formed. It suggests that the municipality, the province and the federal government join with local housing authorities. There is something to be

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said for that; but the difficulty is, as far as the dominion government is concerned, that it is likely to be called on for practically all the investment. It believes that, being responsible for appropriating the taxpayer's money for that purpose, it has a responsibility also to see that money is well spent.

The federal government has been in the housing business now for five or six years. It has built up a valuable experience and an able organization. I believe that the federal government is getting good value for its expenditures in housing.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

Fair value.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

It is pretty good. I do not know of anybody who builds them as cheaply as we do.

It has been said in this house that it is impossible to build a house which will rent for $35 unless it is a subsidized house. The federal government is finding that it can build houses without subsidization which can rent for $35 and below. Therefore I say that neither of these amendments is likely to add anything very much to the housing that will be built in this country.

It has been said that this bill simply makes it easier to finance private enterprise in building housing accommodation. I agree. That is the purpose of the bill. It has also been said that private enterprise cannot afford to build houses under these conditions. May I point out that of the 78,000 houses built in 1947 private enterprise built five to the government's one. In other words, it built five units out of every six.

We believe the quickest way to obtain adequate housing is to make it possible for private enterprise to carry a very large part of the burden. That is the purpose of the amendments being introduced in this bill. No amendment is required to enable the government to enter into the field of direct building; it has that authority already under the housing act. We hope and believe the amendments now being introduced will encourage more building by private enterprise than has been visible over the past twelve months.

Mr. W. CHESTER S. McLURE (Queens): Mr. Speaker, I am not going to make any long address on housing or housing problems, but I want to draw to the attention of the minister a project in my constituency known as Maple Hills. A short time ago I mentioned this matter, and stated that the veterans occupying this accommodation have been notified that they must get out by September 30, 1948, or

be ejected. However I should like to review the history of this project, and find out from the minister what is to be done.

I think the minister will agree when I say that housing as carried on by the various companies under his department has been an entire failure in Charlottetown and, in fact, in all Prince Edward Island. Somehow or another they did not get into gear and get to work, so that very few houses were built. In 1945 the veterans began to arrive home; many of them were looking for houses, but they could find no place to live. The city of Charlottetown decided to come to their rescue, and took over the buildings at the airport, now known as Maple Hills. With some assistance from the provincial government they fixed up one hundred housing units for veterans and their families, and at the present time ninety-six of those units are still occupied by veterans and four by civilians.

The city of Charlottetown undertook this project to provide for the immediate accommodation of those veterans. That was in 1945. In February of 1946 a new city government came into power, and when they looked over the situation they decided they could not afford to carry it on. So they said to the authorities who were associated with them, "We cannot carry this on beyond May 31, 1946." The position of the veterans had not changed; they had nowhere to go with their families. In 1946 the provincial government decided to come into the picture. They had been assisting the city of Charlottetown, but the city withdrew from the proposition and the provincial government took over, and decided they would continue if they could get assistance from Ottawa. They came here in May of that year and made arrangements, I suppose with the right hon. minister, to carry on under a fifty-fifty plan with respect to the expenses in connection with Maple Hills, and this arrangement continued until September of 1947.

Finally, last August it was understood that some change would have to be made with respect to the veterans who had these homes. I understand on that occasion the provincial government approached this government and requested that the plan be extended for one year, until September of 1948. Of course that was not hard to arrange, because at that time a provincial election was in the offing. Maple Hills had a registered vote of some three hundred, and to turn those men out would mean a loss of that many votes. So the federal government granted the request, and the provincial government has continued to operate that project on a fifty-fifty basis.

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The end of the period is now in sight, and there is still no other accommodation for the one hundred families now living there. They are fairly well situated. They pay a rental to the two governments averaging about $24 a month, and those who are employed in the city have to pay another $15 a month for transportation to and from their work.

At the present time there is no possible chance for these one hundred men and their families to secure houses, so I should like the minister to give consideration to continuing this plan for the benefit of those people. It will not cost very much. The buildings are there. They may require a few repairs again this year, as all houses do, but generally speaking those families are fairly well located. They have a school and everything required; and the possibility that they may be ejected next September, with nowhere to go, presents a problem that I think well deserves the attention of the right hon. gentleman.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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CCF

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

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take part in the debate, but before doing so I rise to a point of order with respect to the subamendment moved by the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Timmins). I should like to say that I agree with the suggestions contained in the subamendment, as an addition to the proposal contained in the amendment moved by the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson), but I object to having those suggestions offered as an alternative.

It seems to me that this subamendment is out of order on two grounds. On the one hand, unlike our amendment which merely asks the government to consider a certain course, the subamendment in effect instructs the government to elicit certain co-operation and to do things that could not help but cost money. The other ground on which I suggest it is out of order is based upon a sentence I should like to read from May, thirteenth edition, at page 291:

An amendment to a proposed amendment cannot be moved, if it proposes to leave out all the words of such proposed amendment: but in such a case the first amendment must be negatived before the second can be offered.

The mere device in this instance of referring to "all the words after the word 'that' " is, as I have already characterized it, a device. In effect not only does it strike out all the ideas contained in our amendment, but it strikes out even the original motion, that Bill No. 280 be now read a second time.

For these reasons I submit that the subamendment, while containing good ideas, is out of order, and should be so declared.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Golding):

I must say the point of order raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) is well taken. The subamendment is out of order, and I would refer to the citation in May, 13th edition, which reads:

An amendment to a proposed amendment cannot be moved, if it proposes to leave out all tile words of such proposed amendment: but in such a case the first amendment must be negatived before the second can be offered.

This subamendment does that very thing, when it states that all the words after the word "that" should be struck out, and certain following words substituted therefor. Therefore I rule the amendment to the amendment out of order.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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CCF

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

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

Mr. STANLEY KNOWLES (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to speak briefly to the amendment now before the house. It was moved by my deskmate, the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson) and it was my pleasure to second it.

It seems to me that this amendment really poses the crux of the housing problem in Canada at the present time. A few minutes ago the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) suggested that in effect the government is doing some subsidizing of housing. That is correct, and I am glad the principle of subsidizing housing is, to that extent at least, recognized and approved by the minister.

But the point we wish to make, and we do so by the very wording of our amendment, is that what is needed is the subsidizing of low-rental housing, with the emphasis on "low-rental". For a long time the suggestion that there should be subsidized low-rental housing came chiefly, if not solely, from this group. That day has, however, passed. We now have such organizations as the Canadian federation of mayors and municipalities, the Canadian construction association and many local groups, societies and organizations across the country pleading for subsidized low-rental housing.

Those pleas also call for something for which the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Timmins) asked in his remarks of a few moments ago, namely, that there should be a more definite attempt made to get together the three levels of government in respect of this housing problem. I support wholly his contention that that should be done. However, in the very words of the Minister of Trade and Commerce, there is not much point in the various levels of government getting together, if you rule out the element of subsidies. That will have

National Housing Act

to come into the picture; and the Minister of Trade and Commerce is quite right when he says that if there is to be any worthwhile element of subsidy in the provision of low-rental housing, it will have to come from the federal treasury.

A few days ago the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) lectured the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken)-and some of us thought it "love's labour lost"-when he told him how to get along in political life. The Prime Minister said at that time something he has said on a number of occasions, namely, that even when a government has a good idea it should not get too far ahead of the thinking and desires of the people. The Prime Minister gave that as his reason for taking so long to take steps in the field of health services. That same reason was given when advances at long last were made in matters of old age pensions and family allowances. The Prime Minister's argument, when finally he did start to move in connection with these various matters, was that public opinion would now support these moves. As a matter of fact public opinion had overtaken the government and made it necessary that those moves be taken.

I suggest that public opinion has now overtaken the government in the matter of subsidized low-rental housing. The government needs no longer think it will be doing something out in front of public opinion if it rules in that direction. Every two or three days I receive resolutions from one group or another expressing concern about the housing situation; and it is amazing to note the unanimity with which bodies of various kinds are now asking for subsidized low-rental housing and for a get-together of the three levels of government to proceed with such a plan.

The most recent of these to come to my desk-it arrived only two days ago-is from the Soroptimist club of Winnipeg. This communication is signed by Miss Kathryn M. McLearn, president, whose address is the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children at Winnipeg. Miss McLearn enclosed with her letter a copy of a resolution passed recently by the Soroptimist club in that city. It is lengthy, and I shall not read the whole of it; but I believe I should place on record two or three of the recitals and the operative part of the resolution. I quote:

Whereas a great many families with low incomes in Canada are living in unhealthy, overcrowded or unsanitary housing accommodation; . . .

And whereas most of the people living in deplorable housing accommodation cannot afford to buy houses at today's high prices;

And whereas bad housing results in higher disease and mortality rates, and in higher rates of crime and delinquency;

And whereas bad housing is not only costly in human values, but also is costly to the taxpayers in providing social services which otherwise would be unnecessary . . .

I would ask the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Matthews) to note that these remarks are not made by someone who wears politically coloured glasses-to use his phrase-but that they are made by the group to which I have just referred, namely the Soroptimist club of Winnipeg. The resolution continues:

. . . And whereas Great Britain, the United States and the Scandinavian and many other countries have provided lowr-rental housing for low-income families largely subsidized by the national government, but our federal government has not provided any such housing in spite of many recommendations to do so;

Therefore, be it resolved that the federal government without further delay, institute for low-income families a low-rental housing program largely subsidized by the federal government.

There is much more I would like to say. In fact I confess I have on my desk some notes and quotations which are somewhat provocative; and that is the way some of us feel about this problem. But I am not going to go ahead with what I had planned to say. I would rather leave it as it is. My reason for doing so is that the amendment now before the house poses the issue squarely that what we need is for the government to move in the direction of subsidizing low-rental housing. That is not just an amendment moved by the C.C.F. As already pointed out, it is the position taken by the Canadian federation of mayors and municipalities and the Canadian construction association. That is the position of many organizations, societies and bodies across Canada, which are alarmed and concerned about the menace of bad housing in this country.

The minister has said that the effect of this amendment will be to negate the bill. I will not go into the procedural phase of the matter, but in spirit he is right. What we want and what I am sure the people of Canada want is not this bill, which will not build houses for people in the low-income groups, but that the bill should be defeated and the government informed that it is the opinion of this house that they should bring down a measure for subsidized low-rental housing. I hope the house will see fit to support and pass the amendment which has been moved.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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CCF

John Oliver Probe

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

Mr. J. O. PROBE (Regina City):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a word at this stage. Hon. members on the opposition benches have pleaded with the Minister of

*111

Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) to bring forth a subsidized low-rental housing formula which would be more effective than what the minister is now proposing. Every successive amendment on housing that has been brought into the House of Commons since I have been here has had the effect of consolidating the investment feature of those companies which lend money for housing purposes.

'I realize that on second reading I should not refer to any specific clause, but I should like to comment on one provision which, it seems to me, is a breach of what the minister brought forward a year or two ago. Investors in house building were held to a maximum profit return of five per cent by the amendment which was brought in, I think two sessions ago. This bill contains a provision which will permit limited-dividend housing companies to exceed that five per cent return on capital investment, because they are to be permitted to retain the full residual value of the property after the loan granted by the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation has been repaid.

It seems to me that the emphasis is being improperly placed. No more building will be carried on as a result of these various amendments than was carried on before. What we need is not a guarantee to the investment company or the builder of eight or more rental units, but to the individual whose income does not permit him to rent anything more than a shack in which to house his family. Such quarters are not suitable for the size and dignity of the average family.

This afternoon objection was raised by the hon. member for Ottawa East (Mr. Richard) to a discussion of housing conditions in Ottawa on the second reading of this bill. I should like to tell the house something of what has been done in my city. The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) has criticized the lack of sanitary facilities in many of the houses at present occupied across this country.

Regina attempted to the best of its ability, with some help from provincial and federal purses, to provide emergency housing, but that city has now reached the end of its resources. As a result of what was done, there has been created out of sections of what we thought was a beautiful prairie city what are no less than slums. In providing this emergency housing we built small two-roomed shacks, about the size of the ordinary garage or perhaps smaller than the garage in which the minister houses his car. These were made available to families that had no better place in which to reside. There was no such thing as running water or plumbing in those build-

National Housing Act

ings. We live in a part of the world where the temperature drops to 40 or 50 degrees below zero, but for economic reasons and a lack of plumbing fixtures we were forced to build outdoor toilets fifty or sixty yards away from the shelters.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Is the hon. member accusing the federal government of having built those?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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CCF

John Oliver Probe

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

Mr. PROBE:

I tried to be explicit. I said that our own city had put up these shacks with the assistance of the senior governments. There was no other means of quickly housing the great influx of returned soldiers, veterans families and others. Regina tried to meet the needs with its resources, and we are thankful for the limited help we were able to get from the senior governments, which includes the minister's department.

The plea I make to the minister-I would get down on my knees if it would have any effect-is that we have not made an adequate start. I would like to mention one family that lives in one of these two-roomed shacks. The family consists of a man, his wife and at present there are three children. The mother is in daily expectation of having an addition of twins to the family, so that there will then be five children ranging in age from eighteen years down. The man is employed, but he has no alternative as far as housing his family is concerned. Canada does not have to do things in that way.

Since I have been here no man has been complimented more than the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Everyone recognizes the skills he possesses and has paid I think fitting tribute to him. But, Mr. Speaker, I dislike his bill. He will not be able to do the job as a result of these amendments. I am going to vote against this measure because it will not provide the housing that our people with low income desire and must have.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. H. HARRIS (Danforth):

Before this measure receives consideration from other hon. members, I should like to have the privilege, Your Honour, of paying my regards, respects and compliments to the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Matthews), and I couple with his name that of the hon. member for Renfrew North (Mr. Warren) for the speech he made almost a year ago. Both of these gentlemen took a very broad view of Canada's housing accommodation, not only thinking in terms of those of us who find ourselves crowded in urban centres but bringing into the equation also the people in the rural communities who, as so many

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members of this honourable assembly during the quarter century I have been in it have said to you, sir, and your predecessors, are the backbone of this nation. Yet, sir, as you and I traverse this country and see so many abandoned and neglected and not kept in repair homes, one sometimes wonders whether or not we are a people of the soil. That does not refer to the problem which is at present before the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe), who is charged with the responsibility of piloting through this house a bill which is far removed from trade and commerce, so far removed that I sometimes wonder how he can be a man of so many parts.

I want to make particular reference to a statement made a few moments ago by the hon. member for Brandon when comparing our position in this fair Canada of ours with the position that obtains in other dominions within the commonwealth. The hon. member said, as I recall it, that to the extent of SO per cent New Zealand gives priority to the necessary materials used in the production of housing-nails, if you will, and any other necessary commodity-while Canada gives 100 per cent priority wherever it possibly can.

It was my happy privilege some few short years ago to observe and travel through the length and breadth of New Zealand and also some 14,000 miles through the Dominion of Australia. Naturally, Mr. Speaker, a Canadian thinks of our sister dominions down under, which he may be visiting, in terms of what obtains in his own community. When I think of the climatic conditions under which our cousins down under make their living and carry on their way of life, at the same time I think of the conditions under which we in this more northerly and not quite so temperate zone have to find our way of life.

It is a great privilege perhaps and to the advantage of our ordinary Canadian citizenship to apply nomenclature to ourselves which

says that we are strong men of the north. That condition does not obtain-I am thinking of housing-to the same degree with our empire associates living in zones not quite of the same nature as our own, north of the 49th parallel, where we must of necessity be strong men of the north. Down there the people live under tin roofs, without basements in their homes because there is no frost to lift their foundations. They harbour their cattle and what not out in the open twelve months in the year. But in Canada the conditions are such that we cannot have our breakfast in a room in which there is no floor under the kitchen table. Ours is a different climate altogether; and when my hon. friend the member for Brandon stated that New Zealand gives priority to the extent of 50 per cent on building materials as compared with Canada's 100 per cent, I ask my hon. friends to my left when they speak of New Zealand to be fair and remember the very different conditions that obtain in Canada.

On motion of Mr. Harris (Danforth) the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO POWERS OF APPROVED LENDING INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

May 19, 1948