I have not seen the cartoon, but I want to look at it; because in my judgment, the cartoonist for the Globe and Mail is one of the beslt in the country.
While we are on this question of price control I want to bring something to the attention of the committee which I think is important. I refer to the situation which has developed in our fellow commonwealth of Australia with respect to this question of price and rent control. I have had occasion in the past to refer to the constitutional position in Canada and the constitutional power of the dominion government to continue to impose price and rent control. I know that there has been the tendency in some quarters to consider that as a rather legalistic conception and one that does not have very much practical importance. The reason I want to say what I intend to say now is that the committee and the country may appreciate its practical importance; and I want to illustrate that point by outlining to the committee just what has happened in Australia.
As hon. members know, the federal government in Australia has been controlling prices and rent, over a number of years, under wartime constitutional powers which are not unlike those possessed by the federal government in Canada. Some months ago the Australian federal government-which is and has been for some years a socialist government-introduced a law into the commonwealth parliament to amend the commonwealth act, by adding to the constitutional powers of the federal government an additional power to be known as "XIVA". That power was to be inserted in section 51 of the constitution, which reads:
51. The parliament-
That is the Australian parliament.
-shall, subject to this constitution, have power to make laws for the peace,-order, and good government of the commonwealth with respect to:
Then there is a long enumeration of the powers, and the power to be inserted was: (XIVA) Rents and prices (including charges).
The situation in Australia is this. The federal government exercises such powers as are specifically given to it under the constitution, and those which are not mentioned there belong to the state. That is the reverse of
our position here in Canada. Nevertheless the situation is analogous in this respect, that since "property and civil rights" is not in the hands of the federal government in Australia any more than it is here, they required this specific power. That law was submitted to a referendum-the government advocated its adoption, of course-and the government put out a pamphlet entitled, "The case for and against." This pamphlet may have been seen by some hon. members; it fully and fairly, I think, states the case for the adoption of the constitutional amendment, and against it. With the indulgence of the committee I should like to read the summary of the case "for". This is the heading: "Keep the protection you have", and it reads as follows:
A "yes" vote for commonwealth legislative power over rents and prices, will permit the continuance of-
Protection against inflation; fair rentals; security against eviction; real benefit from wage and salary increases; fair value for your money; protection of your savings and deferred pay; full value for your life insurance, superannuation and social service benefits.
A "no" vote will expose you to-
Inflation, boom and depression; profiteering, rack-renting and black marketing; eviction from your home; a scramble for houses and goods, with the rich always winning; decrease in the real value of your savings; industrial unrest.