Some hon. Members:
Keep quiet, please.
I am not attacking any civil and obedient servant. Perhaps I might illustrate what I mean in this way. My ancestors never kept any record of where they came from originally, nor of where they originally landed on the British isles. So far as I can gather it was before Magna Carta. It may have been, however, that my ancestors were from Norway. It is assumed they came from Scandinavian countries. It may be that one of my ancestors was driven from Norway by an irate fisherwoman who probably heaved a garbage can lid at him as a parting gesture; for my family crest appears to bear on it something which resembles the lid of a garbage can, on which is emblazoned the open-mouthed skull of a dead codfish, and crossed ham-bones-which would seem to indicate that the family was very fond of seafood and juicy sugar-cured ham.
There is this fact, however, which I should bring out, one which is of the utmost importance today. Ever since that time the Ashby family has handed down this thought from generation to generation-one which too many of us have forgotten. It is the thought that under no circumstances should we ever destroy an institution established by our forefathers. Remove the abuses-yes; attack all these abuses which will inevitably be introduced by those of evil intent; but never under any circumstances whatever must we allow these institutions to be destroyed.
When I refer to a civil servant I am reminded of our royal family. And when I think of our royal family, the greatest servants any people on this earth ever had, I wonder how many of us could recite the identical words uttered either by His Gracious Majesty the King or by Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth. Is there any member in the house who could stand here, or could stand anywhere else, and state
1352 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. Ashby definitely the words either of them has uttered? I doubt if any of us could. Yet many of us could recite the words uttered over the radio about soap, or some other product. I remember Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth speaking over the radio, saying something like this, "I pledge my life to the service of our people."
We hear people condemning our institutions. We hear people saying, "What is the good of this old Senate? Look at the old crocks who are in there." Yet, the Senate and the House of Lords are institutions established for a purpose. That purpose may have been forgotten by this time. But they were set up for us by our forefathers. We note that they are under attack today; they are being undermined by abuses introduced into these institutions by political parties.
It is the abuse of the civil service I am attacking today.
The uncivil part.
Those who are civil and obedient servants of the people are the most valuable persons in the country. They are the individuals who have made a special study of methods, and who know how to bring about any result desired by the people, if given a free hand.
I might add that all through history, whenever these institutions established by our forefathers have been undermined and have begun to decay, the countries of which they have formed a part have also decayed. And so would Canada and this great British commonwealth of nations decay.
It is our duty as individuals to attack all the abuses in these institutions we can recognize, no matter where they may be. If we can do that we will save this Christian civilization which we and our ancestors have endeavoured to establish. And so, it is all this abuse, and all this interference with genuine business by incompetent and artificial government employees, and all this abuse of institutions and of power-because these bureaucrats do not know how to use power; they know only how to abuse it-about which I am speaking. All of these abuses as well as this false, this perfidious, this inhuman, this despicable method of obtaining revenue which we call taxation; this unnatural and artificial diet of spam and spork instead of the genuine meats we can produce in great abundance; all this cheap and flashy jewelry you see for sale in stores, made of glittering glass, bright tin and so on; all this shoddy cloth that is sold for clothing-I am told that there is anywhere from ten to ninety per cent of old worn-out underwear shredded and woven into the clothing we buy today-the poorest type of cloth that has ever been turned out in the fMr. Ashby.]
past hundred years and that is being sold at three or four times its value; all this hypocritical, and I do not think I am wrong in so calling it, lying political oratory; all these beer parlours and government black market liquor stores; all these sensational magazines and movies depicting unnatural family life and living; all these things have been sown by the political parties in power and under the care of the political party cabinet, all these artificial, counterfeit and contemptuous things have grown up, and developed, have branched out, have blossomed forth and gone to seed like sow-thistles and stinkweed in a field of what would otherwise be the finest wheat, crowding out the good, distorting and polluting the natural God-given thoughts of our young people with false ideas and unnatural beliefs, confusing the people generally, and resulting in all the misery we see about us, in the wholesale arguments we hear, in the shoutings of men and screamings of abused women, in raucous laughter, in drunkenness, in divorces, in murder and suicides, in thiev-ings and robbery, in violence and filthy slums, in human garbage and ending up, periodically, in wars and wholesale slaughterings of our finest youths and the destruction of what we call our Christian civilization we and our ancestors have endeavoured to build up in past centuries. All this, I say, is the result of maladministration, of evil administration; and the political party which has held the reins of government each time, until it has brought about a depression, was the Liberal party. What a record of crime that is to be placed upon our Canadian records for ever. I should like to have the job of erecting a statue to commemorate the prime ministers who have held office during the past 25 or 30 years, for that is when most of the damage was done. I would employ the greatest sculptor living in the world today and I would have the image carved in the finest clay. I would place it out here on the lawn in the most prominent place so that the first shower that would come along would make of it the true image it really was. Have hon. members ever seen mud that has been rained upon?
I said that I would give hon. members of this house a few details of the methods by which we can abolish taxation, and I shall do that now if I have the time. The method which I am sure would bring about the desired result and of which perhaps I am more in favour than any other; the method which would revive an old custom of the British people and one which I am sure would be approved of by millions of people throughout the country, particularly in Ontario, which province would benefit most of all from an influx of tourists; the method which would immediately solve our problem of a
shortage of United States dollars would be to place the Prime Minister and the members of the cabinet in stocks out here on the lawn between the hours of ten-thirty a.m. and two-thirty p.m. until some method other than taxation was discovered by them or their deputies.
I will guarantee that within thirty days all taxation would be abolished.
Taxation is simply one of many methods of obtaining revenue as there are many methods of transportation. The taxing of money from the people is not the only method, any more than driving in a horse-drawn buggy is the only method of transportation. It would not matter what method I or anyone else might suggest, there would be those who would object. If I said that the automobile provided the best means of transportation today I suppose a dozen men would jump up and produce statistics showing the numbers that had been killed or the accidents that had taken place in an effort to refute this method.
Taxation is not the only method and before I am through I shall give some alternate methods. Another method we could use to abolish taxation would be for all religious leaders who believe in the sanctity of the family and the home to denounce all those engaged in taxing the people. Taxing is not a native British method nor is it a Christian method; it is an alien method, a communist method. According to the communist manifesto it is an essential method used to force people to become absolutely dependent upon those who through trickery and deceit have gained control over them.
Taxation is a false and erroneous belief among many people. Another false and erroneous belief is that held by those who collect the taxes, by those who are employed directly or indirectly by the department of taxation, that if people are paid by the officials of the Department of National Revenue to commit an offence or injustice against their fellow Christians, the responsibility for the crime rests upon the institution, upon the department, upon the government or upon the bureau and not upon the individual who commits the offence. This is false for each individual is responsible. I do not blame the hired criminal. I do not blame those who break bad laws so much as I blame those who make bad laws.
There are other methods. I have had people tell me that you cannot get away from taxation, that you must pay taxes, but my reply is: "If you believe that taxation is necessary, you pay taxes, but do not impose your will upon me and force me to pay them". In my speech on February 24 I said that the key to the whole situation was personal 29087-864
The Address-Mr. Ashby responsibility. Another method to abolish taxation would be to have recorded on every ballot paper on which people vote the name of the individual with his or her address on the ballot paper, and explain that those who vote for the political party which imposes taxes shall pay the taxes, and those who did not vote for that political party shall be exempt from paying taxes.
That is the only chance you have to get into power.
There is, of course, an excuse for taxation. Should there be too much money in circulation, then it would be necessary to remove some of it. This money need not and should never be removed from those engaged in productive work, but it can be taken from where money accumulates in the greatest quantity. That is simple enough.
Here is a substitute for taxation. Three kinds of money are used to finance any large undertaking such as war. The first is what we call bank credit money. This is money created by the banking institutions which create all true dollars. A dollar is a unit of account as a mile is a unit of distance, as a bushel is a unit of measure, and as a quart is more than you can get out of a beer bottle. By law no one else is allowed to create these true dollars, which is as it should be, for no one knows more about the grocery business than the grocer, or more about farming than the farmer, or more about banking than the banker himself. Few institutions that we have can show such an outstanding record of honesty and trustworthiness as those employed in the institutions known as banks. Most of the national debt accumulated during the past two wars consists of bank credit money only. This money or bank credit is bought by the government from the banking institutions in return for interest-bearing government securities. The people are taxed to pay the interest on those securities held by the banking institutions. That is one form of money which is used to finance war.
Secondly there are the people's savings. The second kind of money used is the savings of the people which the government also buys in return for interest-bearing savings bonds. Only a fraction of this kind of money is used to finance wars; I think about one-fifth. Most of this money is bank credit money which has come into the possession of the people, and on which the people are paying interest by taxation. When the government buys this money from the people's savings the people are paying double interest on it, first to the banking institutions which created it, and secondly to the people who have saved it.
1354 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. Church
The third kind of money is what I call confiscated money. It is that kind of money known as taxes. This is money, most of which is confiscated from the hard-earned wages of those who do productive work, and who are least able to afford the loss. No interest-bearing government bonds are given in return for this kind of money. It is simply and purely legalized robbery. What is the solution? It is simple enough. No other kind of money is used, or ever has been used, to finance any such undertakings as war. What is the solution? It is for all members of all governments, municipal, provincial and federal, who are loyal to the people, who place their faith and trust in us, to insist on the people being given an interest-bearing government bond for every dollar taxed from them, whether directly or indirectly; for all three kinds of money buy identically the same kind and quantity of goods or services.
The striking thing about it is that, like so many of our democratic institutions, all of which were originally established to serve the people, the functions of the banking institutions have been abused and reversed, and instead of bank credit money being used to pay interest to the people on money confiscated from them by a ruthless and despotic bureaucracy the people are forced to pay interest in money they cannot create, to the very institutions that can and do create it.
At six o'clock the house took recess.
AFTER RECESS The house resumed at seven-thirty o'clock.
Mr. T. L. Church (Broadview):
Mr. Speaker, for three or four minutes tonight, I wish to refer to one proposal, and that is the Bretton Woods-Dumbarton Oaks principle. I shall not take up very much time, Mr. Speaker, but I should like to remind the house that I was the only member on these benches who was opposed to the Bretton Woods-Dumbarton Oaks-Lord Keynes principles because I believed they abandoned the traditional policy of the party. Ever since the days of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mr. Fielding, this party had a tradition for dealing with our best customer, the motherland. I believe the abandonment of it was a fatal mistake by those on our side of the house, as it was a traditional policy of the Conservative party.
At that time we had before us the prime ministers of New Zealand and Australia, Mr. Curtin and Mr. Fraser, both of whom addressed this house from the seat now occupied by the Clerk. These men made a proposition which was to be studied in London at a meeting with Mr. Attlee before
Geneva or Havana. This was back in December of 1946. Canada opposed it. I was opposed to the policy of the Liberal government of the day and opposed Bretton Woods strongly. I said it would lead us into disaster if we abandoned our best customer, the motherland. For that reason, I supported our friends on the extreme left in their proposal, and I believe I was right. I still think I am right. I might say that it was very difficult for me to be present on that particular day, owing to certain conditions. I supported the traditional policy of preferential trade of our party from time immemorial. It was founded by the two Liberal statesmen I named. I believe the abandonment of it got us into this dollar emergency which led almost to the destruction of the British empire. As you know, the policy of Mr. Attlee, and Canada made no objection to it, was to scuttle and quit and haul down the flag on the seven seas, when I raised here these matters of defence, trade and migration within the empire.
I regret very much that this dollar policy has been forced on this country by the present government. One of the gravest mistakes we ever made as a House of Commons was made in January, 1947. I remember Mr. Curtin and Mr. Fraser were in London at the time and wanted a meeting with Canada before the Geneva and Havana meetings in February, 1947. I asked in the house here about it, from February to July, but we were told not a word about it until late in November 1947, when this austerity policy was announced. Our party threw over its tradition and supported the dollar austerity program, abandoned preferential trade, which leaves us dependent upon Washington not only for trade and migration, but for defence. I believe a fatal mistake was made by those who were in the house on our side at that time.
Mr. Benoit Michaud (Resligouche-Madawaska):
Mr. Speaker, perhaps it appears presumptuous to speak at this stage of the debate on the address in reply. However, most members know the reason which made it impossible for me to make my remarks earlier.
About the speech from the throne, I have only a brief comment to make. I was pleased to note the government's intention to amend the Family Allowances Act so as to eliminate the decreasing rate after the fifth child. The house will no doubt recall that on June 19, 1947, I brought up the matter in this house and discussed it at length.
The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) was then in his seat. He
listened to me sympathetically and promised that my remarks would be earnestly considered. I learned later that the officials of his department actually did consider the matter.
Other members have since made similar representations and I am happy to find today that the government have seen fit to amend the law in accordance with the remarks I then made.
Mr. Speaker, I regret that I cannot emulate the humorous vein of the member for Edmonton East (Mr. Ashby). I listened to him with a great deal of interest and, although I do not agree with most of the things he said,
I enjoyed his speech. The possible exception to this was the derogatory remarks he made, obviously with reference to the member for Glengarry (Mr. Mackenzie King). I feel that I must take strong objection to those remarks.
I have not his exact words before me, but I recall he mentioned he would like to hire the services of a great sculptor and have a statue of the hon. gentleman carved in clay. Then he would have it exposed on the lawn where the rain might do its work on it. I am sure that most of the members resented those remarks as much as I did. Even the political opponents of the hon. member for Glengarry have always recognized him as an outstanding Canadian who served his country under exceptionally difficult and trying circumstances. I am confident that his name will be written in history for centuries after his demise. His name will be remembered a great many years after the names of most of us, including the member for Edmonton East, have passed into oblivion. I feel confident that when the hon. member reads in Hansard the remarks he has made he will be sorry for what he has said and will regret having said it.
My main reason for speaking today, after being confined to the hospital for a period of four months, is the fact that a serious problem has arisen affecting a large number of farmers in my native province of New Brunswick, as well as the province of Prince Edward Island. It is the old problem of the marketing of our large crop of potatoes. During the course of the session of 1947 I did, on two occasions, deal with that particular problem.
Every once in a while our large potato growers are faced with a very serious situation. Unlike the grain growers of the west, it is not a drought which threatens them. It is not a rainstorm, a windstorm, a hailstorm, locusts or any such ordinary calamity. Paradoxically as it may sound, the threat which menaces our farmers is none other than what we are accustomed to call a bumper
10, 1949 1355
The Address-Mr. Michaud crop. When kind Providence gratifies our farmers with a bounteous crop, it turns out to be a curse rather than a blessing. If the crop is average or below average, there is no problem. Marketing takes place in an ordinary and satisfactory manner. If the crop happens to be good, let us say ten per cent or even five per cent above average, then we face serious difficulties.
At this point, may I emphasize the fact that the trouble does not arise because we plant too many acres. Our acreage does not vary much from year to year. As a matter of fact, in 1948 our acreage was smaller than in the years 1943 to 1946 inclusive, and it was only slightly larger than in the year 1947. The whole trouble comes because in certain years, on account of climatic conditions, the yield is particularly good.
The Lord has been favourable.
That is right. I need not stress the point that potatoes do not keep from year to year. We all know that. They require frost-proof storage facilities, and whenever there is a surplus crop, the storage problem becomes particularly acute in the fall, with the result that prices slump below the cost of production. Even if there were sufficient storage facilities, the surplus in itself would constitute a problem which would inevitably force prices down. Under such conditions our farmers are obliged to sell somewhat as people do in a bankruptcy sale or a fire sale. In such cases, of course, consumers generally get their potatoes at a price below the cost of production. I know for a fact that this has been the case, to a great extent, as far as the 1946 and the 1948 crops are concerned.
I think it is only fair that I should at this moment point out the fact that the potato growers of the maritime provinces are rendering a great service to the consumers of Ontario and Quebec, two provinces which do not produce enough for themselves and which depend to a considerable extent on purchases from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. If these two provinces were to stop selling on the upper Canadian market, I dare say that the price of potatoes in central Canada would just about double. Because of favourable soil and climatic conditions we can produce more economically-and the figures are there to prove it-than Ontario and Quebec. Thus we are in a position to force the price of potatoes down to what we consider a reasonable level. I presume the grain growers of the west also feel that they perform a similar service to the rest of Canada with regard to the production of
The Address-Mr. Michaud grain. In consideration of this service which they are rendering, the western farmers have secured advantages in the form of marketing and other legislation. With these policies I am in full agreement. But I take the view that our potato growers, who are doing such a great service to Ontario and Quebec, should be given more protection in the form of adequate marketing legislation.
In all fairness I must point out that, as to the crops of 1946 and 1948, our farmers have received some sort of protection under the Agricultural Prices Support Act. Although the support given has not been quite sufficient, in my opinion, it has helped considerably in both years, as otherwise prices would have fallen considerably lower and our farmers would have lost a good deal more than they actually did. As I commented at the time in a statement to the press-that was about three months ago, I believe-the guarantee of $1.15 per hundred pounds on April 1 is too small and too late. But perhaps it was difficult to do better under present circumstances.
I attended a meeting here in the month of September, when representatives of the producers from the various provinces made representations to the agricultural prices support board. The New Brunswick farmers claimed that it cost them seventy-two cents per bushel at harvest time, and that they should be getting that much for their product. The Prince Edward Island farmers and the Quebec farmers claimed that they could not get along with that amount, but that they needed at least ninety cents per bushel. The guaranteed price which has been set, considering the shrinkage and the storage, is quite a bit lower than even the moderate price of seventy-two cents per bushel submitted by the New Brunswick farmers.
As I said before, although I have not been able to keep in close touch with the big producers along the St. John river, I have been informed right along that the price received by farmers most of the time has been in the vicinity of one cent a pound or sixty cents per bushel, which is a good deal less than the cost of production. Judging from the quotations on the Montreal market at the present time, I am inclined to think that our farmers along the St. John river are not getting much more than they were two or three months ago.
I understand that this support act expires this year. The assistance we have received for the two years referred to was under that act. I do not believe there is any other legislation besides that to justify any support price. What is the government planning to do, if anything, when this legislation expires? I can only judge from statements made by the
Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner). The latest that has come to my attention on this point is one which appeared in the Canadian press on December 8. The dispatch reads in part as follows:
Addressing the final session of the dominion-provincial agricultural conference, he-
That is, the Minister of Agriculture.
-told the delegates, representing provincial departments of agriculture, he was not prepared to say whether the dominion would enact marketing legislation at the forthcoming session of parliament.
I should like to know, as early as possible, what the Minister of Agriculture and the government have in mind as to this marketing legislation. The farmers in my constituency are of course greatly interested in any decision of the government along that line.
At the Liberal convention that was held in the first week of August, in outlining what he considered a national program for Canada the Minister of Agriculture advocated the setting up of a potato board for the benefit of the maritime farmers. Unfortunately I have not the text of his statement to the press at the time, but I distinctly remember reading about it. Naturally I was greatly pleased with the statement. I should be greatly obliged to him if he would inform the house, and through the house the farmers interested, just what are the government's plans on this matter.
Some hon. members of this house are likely aware of the potato price support policy in some of the states of our neighbours to the south. This price support policy has proved to be exceedingly expensive for the crop years 1946 and 1948, and I would suggest nothing of the kind for this country. We just cannot afford it. As a matter of fact, the United States are contemplating reducing by one-third their present support prices. I feel however that this government can bring about orderly and satisfactory marketing without cost to the taxpayers of this country, except the cost of administration. Such a policy could be made possible, provided, one, that consumers be made to pay a fair price, and, two, that acreage be confined to proper proportions. I suggest that all of this could be achieved through federal legislation alone.
There is no question that the federal government has full jurisdiction as regards foreign trade. The federal government could set a minimum price for all potatoes exported out of the country, whether seed or table stock. This would eliminate the often-heard complaint that dealers are cutting one another's throats in quoting prices to foreign purchasers, thus causing considerable losses to the farmer. It would also appear that this parliament has jurisdiction over interprovincial trade. All the provincial marketing acts which I have come across specify definitely
that they apply only to trade within the provinces. On this constitutional question there are not many authorities as to whether this parliament has jurisdiction to regulate interprovincial trade, trade flowing from one province to another. I have looked up the " Canadian Abridgment," a digest of cases, on this point. I hold in my hand volume XI, constitutional law being dealt with at page 432. In the well-known case of Citizens Insurance Company against Parson I find this significant quotation:
Construing therefore the words "regulation of trade and commerce" (which come within federal jurisdiction) by the various aids to their interpretation above suggested, they would include political arrangements in regard to trade requiring the sanction of parliament, regulation of trade in matters of interprovincial concern, and it may be that they would include general regulation of trade affecting the whole dominion.
In another case at page 437 of the same volume, the Grain Marketing Act, 1931, this significant passage in the judgment of the privy council appears:
Held, the Saskatchewan Grain Marketing Act, 1931, was ultra vires, since in its true nature and character it was legislation enacted with the object of controlling the export of grain from Saskatchewan to other provinces and foreign countries, and it was, therefore, an interference with the dominion parliament's exclusive powers over the "regulation of trade and commerce."
It would appear from these two decisions that the federal government has jurisdiction in the matter of inter provincial trade. I have not had time to look into the wheat board act, but what I am advocating resembles the wheat board act, which has not yet been declared to be ultra vires of this parliament. In any event, if there should be any question about the jurisdiction of this parliament, the opinion of the Department of Justice could be sought, or the matter could be referred to the Supreme Court of Canada; and if it should be deemed necessary to have provincial concurrent legislation I am sure that the province of New Brunswick at least would agree to the passing of any such concurrent legislation.
In view of the fact that Quebec and Ontario are not self-sufficient in this particular commodity, potatoes, and that they must get a considerable portion of their supplies from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, if proper restrictions were imposed on the movement of potatoes from one province into another an effective floor price could be maintained in the same manner as, at the present time, an effective floor price is maintained on eggs, bacon and beef, because of our sales to Great Britain. If, for example, this parliament should pass legislation setting a minimum price for potatoes grown in one province and sold in another,
The Address-Mr. Michaud then the price of all potatoes grown in Quebec and Ontario would immediately rise to that minimum floor level. The main problem in this whole scheme, which I now suggest to the government, would be to regulate properly the movement of potatoes from the maritimes into upper Canada. I think it could be done quite easily, however.
Statistics are available to show how many carlots of maritime potatoes are exported out of the country, and into the other provinces. Incidentally, the marketing scheme which I am advocating need not be concerned with anything less than carlots moved by rail. Any small quantities moved otherwise between the boundary of Quebec and New Brunswick would not amount to much and could not possibly disturb the scheme as a whole.
With statistics available, it is easy to determine what the maritime provinces should grow for export, and here I mean export into the other provinces as well as outside of Canada. I have those statistics in front of me but I do not feel like placing them on Hansard because they would not add anything further to the debate.
Farmers would be invited to join the marketing plan proposed by the government under this potato board, or whatever marketing agency may be set up. On the basis of their past performances, the growers would be asked to apply for a quota, so many bushels for export purposes. Since those who did not choose to come under the marketing scheme would not be allowed to market outside their province, until those coming under the scheme had marketed the whole of their quota, practically all potato growers would apply to market through the government agency. If the farmers applied for a quota corresponding to their past performances, it would just about correspond to our over-all requirements. Those who applied for too large a quota could be held to their average year, if they wanted to market through the government agency. In any event, a fair and equitable formula could be worked out in order to bring the sum total of all individual quotas to the over-all quota requirements for the maritime provinces.
All this marketing would be on a voluntary basis, and every farmer at seeding time would be given a quota for which he would be assured of a minimum price. If he chose to grow more, it would be at his own peril, and he could only market the surplus, if and when the national quota determined by the board had been completely disposed of. I do not feel like going into details as to how this marketing could be carried out. I discussed it with the farmers of my constituency
1358 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. Michaud on many occasions, and the suggestions which I am now offering have come mostly from them.
The government marketing agency could very advantageously replace wholesale dealers in potatoes, with the result that farmers would get a slightly higher return for their potatoes. Coupons would be issued to farmers for the amount of their quota. These coupons would have to be surrendered to the potato inspectors at the time of shipment, and then forwarded by the inspectors to the government marketing agency. In this manner every one would be held to his quota. The floor price should advance throughout the season to compensate for storage and shrinkage. Marketing could also be arranged so as to give every farmer an opportunity to sell gradually throughout the marketing period. In my opinion there should be no great difficulty in connection with the setting up of a marketing scheme of this nature.
Practically every other farm product has some sort of minimum price guaranty. The potato grower is just about the only one who has not had adequate protection for his product. From the standpoint of importance, the potato crop comes fourth after wheat, barley and oats. The large potato growers, who are responsible for the very reasonable price at which this vegetable sells, are highly specialized farmers. They derive at least 90 per cent of their income from the growing of potatoes. When the market goes bad, it means a disastrous disturbance in their economy. The fact that they may recoup some of their losses in a good year is not satisfactory. It is very seldom that the benefits of a good year will balance the losses of a poor year. Potato growers, like other farmers, and the majority of wage-earners, want stability. Not very long ago the Canadian federation of agriculture made representations to the government with a view to assuring stability of prices for farm products. I do not know that any special representations were made as regards potatoes, but I do know that those farmers want stability in the worst way; and I do hope that before this session is over the government will do something to protect that particular group of farmers.
In conclusion, I wish to inform the minister and his officials that I am at their disposal to discuss with them all the different phases of this particular problem. I realize that this subject does not interest a great many members of the house, but I would feel remiss in my duty if I had not brought it to the attention of the house and the minister at the first opportunity offered to me in the course of this session.
Mr. Real Caouette (Pontiac):
Mr. Speaker, those who have followed with attention the masterly speech delivered this afternoon by the leader of this group (Mr. Low) are unanimous in recognizing the high standard of his address, in addition to the logic and the great value of social credit. We should avail ourselves of the unique opportunity we have of implementing that doctrine in Canada without any delay, during the present session.
I should like to deal briefly tonight with certain attacks directed against social credit supporters in Canada, especially those of the province of Quebec. Violent attacks have been directed in the past and are directed today by some people against social credit and its leaders in the province of Quebec; it is claimed that social credit might be communistic, socialistic or that it might represent a certain "philosophy of the stomach", or in other words that it is quite a materialistic movement.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to tell the house tonight about a study that was made ten years ago not by myself or by any member of this group, but, at the request of their excellencies the bishops of Canada, by a commission of nine theologians, called upon to study the social credit doctrine in comparison with the church's social doctrine. It was not required to consider whether a social credit political party or a political movement of the Union of Electors could be recommended to the Canadian people, but merely to study the monetary theory of social credit.
The commission was composed of the following eminent religious personalities: Chairman: Rev. Father Joseph P. Archam-bault, S.J.; Mgr. Wilfred LeBon, D.P.; Rev. Canons Cyrille Gagnon and J. Alfred Chamberland, Reverends Philippe Perrier, Arthur Deschenes, Jean-Baptiste Desrosiers,
P.S.S., and Charles-Omer Garant, and Rev. Father Louis Chagnon, S.J. It is to be noted that, in the meantime, Rev. Charles-Omer Garant has become Mgr. Garant, Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec. The commission itself decides upon its field of study:
(A) The question is not at all the economic or political aspect, that is the theory's merits from the economical point of view and the practical application to a country of the social credit system. The commission's members do not claim any competency in these matters and, besides, the church is not called upon to express an opinion on questions concerning which, as Pope Pius XI said, "it lacks appropriate means and competency".
It is not the member for Pontiac who said or wrote that. Here then is a commission of nine theologians which determines for itself its field of study.
(B) Nor is it a matter of approving that doctrine on behalf of the church because in the social and political spheres, the church never submitted a definite technical system which, incidentally, is not part of its functions.
(C) The sole question under consideration is this: Is the social credit doctrine, in its basic principles, tainted with socialism or communism, which doctrines are condemned by the church; must it therefore be considered by Catholics as a doctrine they cannot accept, and still less propagate?
(D) The state referred to in the present report is considered, in abstracto, independently of any contingencies involved.
The commission then gives a definition of socialism.
2. The commission defines socialism and points out the characteristic features of this doctrine, in the light of Quadragesimo anno:
(b) class struggles;
(c) elimination of private property;
(d) control of economic life by the state without regard for personal freedom and initiative.
Such is the definition of socialism given by the church.
3. The commission then expressed in the form of propositions the essential principles of social credit.
The purpose of the monetary doctrine of social credit is to give each and every member of society the economic freedom and security which they have a right to expect from the economic and social body. To this end instead of bringing down production to the level of purchasing power by the destruction of useful goods or the restriction of labour, social credit wishes to raise purchasing power up to the capacity of production of useful goods.
To this end, social credit suggests-these are the commission's words, Mr. Speaker:
1. The state must recover control of the volume and issue of money and credit and exercise this control through an independent commission entrusted with all necessary authority.
2. The material resources of the nation, expressed in terms of production, represent the basis of money and credit.
3. At all times the issue of money and credit must correspond to the level of production so that a sound balance may be maintained between production and consumption. This balance is ensured, at least in part, through a discount rate which would vary of course with the fluctuations of production.
4. The present economic system, thanks to the many discoveries and inventions that favour it, produces an undreamed-of amount of goods. At the same time it reduces employment level and causes permanent unemployment. A considerable part of the population is therefore deprived of all purchasing power with which to provide for itself goods created for it and not for any individuals or groups of individuals.
In order that all might share the cultural heritage bequeathed by their predecessors, Social Credit suggests a dividend the amount of which is to be determined by the mass of goods to be consumed.
The Address-Mr. Caouette This dividend shall be given to each citizen, as such, whether he has other sources of income or not.
Let us consider whether there are traces of socialism in such proposals.
Ad lam: This proposal does not appear to contain any socialist basic idea and is not therefore contrary to the social doctrine of the church. The allegation is based on the following quotations from the encyclical letter Quadragesimo anno.
The Pope said: "There are certain kinds of wealth about which it may rightly be held that they should be reserved to the community when they may confer such economic power that they cannot be left in the hands of private persons without danger for the common good."
Further on we may read: "The most striking
thing today is not only the concentration of wealth but also the accumulation or enormous power, of a discretionary economic power in the hands of a small number of men who ordinarily are not the proprietors but only the trustees and guarantors of the capital which they administer as they deem fit.
"This power is especially considerable among those who being the holders and absolute masters of money manage credit and grant it as they see fit. Thus, they distribute the blood to the economic body whose life they hold in their hands to such an extent that without their consent no one can breathe."
Mr. Speaker, when we hear the flamboyant speeches of certain French-Canadian members from Quebec sitting in this house or in the Quebec legislature attacking social credit, suggesting that social credit could be tainted with communism or socialism, I believe, that those politicians or other people who deliver such attacks against social credit are simply being dishonest with society, with the members of the social credit party and with themselves when they talk against social credit as they are doing.
Mr. Speaker, on a recent visit to the Quebec district I heard speeches by some provincial representatives, members of the clique of Mr. Duplessis, the premier of Quebec. At that time, Mr. Maurice Bellemare, of Champlain, attacked Social Crediters, social credit and the leader of the Union of Electors, claiming Social Crediters to be apostates. He mentioned, as an instance, the case of a certain group in Three Rivers who abjured the catholic faith to join a new Christian faith around Cap de la Madeleine. And so, because four or five people decide to take this attitude, certain provincial members of Quebec consider it appropriate or intelligent to connect them with the social credit doctrine, in spite of the fact that the majority of Social Crediters in Quebec are true catholics. Well, Mr. Speaker, some members have made this very unfair statement to help the Union Nationale win an election in the province of Quebec. Mr. Speaker, what I have
The Address-Mr. Caouette just mentioned happened recently in the constituency of Levis.
Mr. Speaker, Social Credit members cannot be insulted forever and criticized for their theory as at present, because their philosophy is consistent with the social doctrine of the church. Either social credit is good or it is not; if it is not, it should be condemned, but if it is not condemned therefore it is good. People should cease calling us communists and socialists in the province of Quebec or elsewhere in Canada. I do not contend that social credit as a political movement or party is perfect. I am not speaking of the political movement, but of the social credit doctrine.
This is the kind of propaganda that is being directed against the social credit theory. During provincial elections, for instance, provincial politicians said: "The Social Credit party may be good, but in the federal and not in the provincial sphere; in the provincial field, only the Union Nationale is worthwhile, all other parties are no good. It might be a good idea to enter candidates in a federal campaign, since Social Credit advocates monetary reform, which is within the jurisdiction of the dominion government. In Alberta the Social Credit party has not been able so far to put its theory into effect, so it will not be any better in the province of Quebec. Therefore, you are wasting your time in the provincial field. Why not try the federal sphere? You might do better there. Others claim that social credit may be commendable in theory but that the movement does not have good leaders. The leaders of the Social Credit party are hypocrites, they are dangerous, they are demagogues with revolutionary tendencies; they stir up class hatred, the newspaper Vers Demain spreads the seeds of revolution, etc".
Mr. Speaker, the best way to kill a movement is to destroy those who are at its head. Deprive the Canadian government of its leaders, and straightway the country will be without government; do away with those who are in command, and any movement will cease to exist; without its captain, any ship will surely go off its course. Therefore, the leaders of the social credit movement are assailed on all sides. Its opponents claim that although the social credit philosophy may be good in itself, its leaders are rather questionable.
Mr. Speaker, we certainly have no intention of asking our Liberal friends in the province of Quebec to begin spreading the doctrine of social credit among our people. We shall certainly not ask our antagonists to propagate the social credit theory because if we did so, they would, judging from the tactics they have used up to the present, soon label us communists. We have our own way of spreading social credit and we shall keep to our own methods; we shall use them for wide-scale propaganda in the provinces and in the country at large.
Since the social credit philosophy has not been censured and, in fact, stands above reproof, and since it is tainted neither by communism nor socialism, we are in a very good position and shall carry on as we have done so far. However, I would ask our opponents, if they have any conscience whatever, to end their treacherous attacks and to stop calling us socialists and communists when they know very well that Social Crediters are as good if not better Christians than they are themselves.
A little further on, the board of nine theologians takes the trouble to answer various objections that might be raised by my hon. friends. If they want to obtain those tracts, I would advise them to write to l'Ecole sociale populaire, Montreal. That tract sells for 3 cents a unit, 20 cents a dozen, $1.50 a hundred and $12 a thousand. Therefore, it might be purchased by the thousand and distributed among the Liberals in this country; after reading it they would possibly have a better notion of what Social Credit is. Now, let us look over the objections. Here is the first one-
Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf):
The pamphlets should also be distributed to the supporters of the Union Nationale.
Yes, my hon. friend is right; they should be distributed to the supporters of the Union Nationale.
Here is the first objection:
The control of currency and credit necessarily implies the control of production to the extent of the socialization of the latter.
I shall quote the commission's answer. The following statement is not from me but from the commission of nine theologians.
The control of currency and credit does not take away from individuals and private institutions the property of the implements of work and of production even though it might imply a certain degree
of indirect control of that production. Such indirect control which, normally at least, must be exercised for the public weal, does not involve any socialistic character, no more than the reasonable control of production by the banks could necessarily be said to imply liberal individualism.
The dividend is an incentive to laziness.
I doubt if a single one of my friends opposite has ever considered that the national dividend would inevitably lead to laziness. That is the thought and explanation of the commission, which, incidentally, are the same as ours.
The state does not manufacture money and credit at will but according to the requirements indicated in the statistics of production which is intimately related to the labour of men. Some may attempt yet to remain idle. But the dividend will not always be sufficient to provide a living. Even if at the outset, the dividend proves sufficient to fill the gap between production and consumption, its stability will require a continuous increase in production due to an equivalent increase in labour.
And, incidentally, whether it be labour provided by man or machinery and progress, it is labour just the same.
The dividend, and even the discount, it is said, deprives the labourer of his salary and the producer of his profit.
That could be true more or less, and always indirectly, if in fact there were no gap between production and consumption. But Social Credit is based precisely on this gap which is a purely economical and technical consideration. Thus, the system cannot be condemned on behalf of the social doctrine of the church. Besides, a gap seems to exist in fact between the production cost in certain fields, fisheries, hunting, natural resources of the soil, etc., and the consumption price.
Mr. Speaker, it is rightly claimed that there is a difference between production and purchasing power because dominion statistics show that production now amounts to $15,350 million against a purchasing power of about $9 billion. That is what we ask, that the difference between production and the purchasing power be distributed equally in the shape of dividends, among every Canadian, from the cradle to the grave.
Let that difference be represented by purchasing power in the hands of the people, and that production would be within their reach.
One does not need to have an unusually brilliant mind to understand that it is but logical and quite in order to issue money in proportion to production.
We hear about money being based on nothing but gold. Representatives of mining companies asked me last year what I thought of gold. I do not suggest, as some do, that
The Address-Mr. Caouette the price of gold should be raised by $3 or $4 an ounce, but I should like the government to allow the free marketing of gold; mining companies could then sell their gold for $60 or $70 an ounce instead of having to operate at a loss as do some mining companies in my district. That would create more work and enable the owners of small mines to develop their properties faster and come into production as soon as possible.
Mr. Speaker, I urge the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) to do all he can in order to keep the gold market absolutely free, so that mines may sell their gold at a better price. When they can operate at a profit, they can pay better wages.
And now, Mr. Speaker, there is another point to which I wish to call the government's attention. Following a request by mining companies, we have in our district an intensive immigration movement. These immigrants, to date, take the place of our Canadians, of our family heads and I happen to have here the particulars concerning the case of Mr. Michel Lacasse, of Duparquet. A few months ago, Mr. Lacasse sent me a letter telling me that there was no work at the Duparquet mine, operated by Consolidated Beattie Mines Ltd. It was said, he explained, that about fifteen men were fired. Mr. Lacasse, who has two children, then claimed unemployment insurance benefits. After he had waited for a month, he was told to go to Rouyn, 35 miles away, to work at the Senator Rouyn Ltd. mine.
Of course Mr. Lacasse did not wish to leave his family under the circumstances. He informed the unemployment insurance commission that he was willing to accept any job in his home town but a Hull civil servant, Mr. Auger, told him that, since he was turning down a job 35 miles away, the commission could no longer allow him any benefits. Mr. Lacasse writes:
Herewith all the documents I have received in this matter. You will thus have all the particulars. Included is their last letter advising me that I had lost all rights to unemployment insurance.
I was laid off by the Duparquet Mines. We were about fifteen men and immigrants took our place.
I have here a list of the mines in my constituency that have brought in immigrants, or D.P.'s as we call them. I find that the Consolidated Beattie Mines Ltd. accepted and gave work to 40 D.P.'s from Europe. Moreover, I see that there are still 25 immigrants to come to Duparquet. Since June, 1948, this same company has submitted another request for 40 more labourers from Europe, who have not yet arrived.
The Address-Mr. Caouette Mr. Speaker, I am not against D.P.'s nor against immigrants. They probably are perfect gentlemen, good catholics and I have met many of them. I must protest energetically and vehemently against the government allowing mining companies in Abitibi and the northwestern part of the province to instigate such irrational immigration which only serves to cause anxiety to our Canadian families in the district. We have unemployed men in Val d'Or, Malartic, Rouyn, Noranda and Duparquet. We have unemployed men in all cities of the district.
We have in the province a government that for the past two or three years has been clamouring for provincial autonomy. I inquired if provincial authorities had ever protested against this immigration to the province of Quebec, especially in the northern districts. The federal government informed me that the provincial government offered no objection. The latter never said a word against this immigration. And yet the matter of labour does not come within the purview of the federal government only. It is the duty of the province of Quebec to protest energetically to those mining companies in order to prevent them from hiring foreign labour when so many men are available here for this work.
Mr. P. E. Cote (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour):
On a question of privilege, I challenge the hon. member to mention a single case where foreign labour brought to this country under the authority of the Department of Labour has prevented Canadians speaking French or any other language from keeping their positions in any locality whatever.
The day before yesterday, I made a statement in the house and I abide by what I said at that time.
Mr. Speaker, in reply to the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Labour, I may say that he should have a strict inquiry held not only at the Consolidated Beattie Mines Ltd., but also at the Noranda Mines Ltd., which has to date given employment to 303 immigrants. Seventy-two more are to come, and the Noranda mining company has put in an application for an additional number of one hundred.
Besides that, we have the East Sullivan Mines Ltd. owned by Mr. Pierre Beauchemin. The president, Mr. Beauchemin, recently admitted to me, during a conversation we had on the train, that French Canadians were not suited for mining work, and that it was necessary to bring displaced persons from Europe for underground work in the mines.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to emphasize to the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Labour that the displaced persons from Europe are depriving our Canadian workers of employment. The mining companies that have applied for D.P. labour are letting our own people go without work.
The European displaced persons are protected by a labour contract, which provides that the mining companies will employ them for one year. They are thus assured of keeping their jobs for a year. At the end of that period they can be dismissed and replaced by Canadians, but until then nothing can be done. The people I represent in this house have protested and still make representations to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) and to his parliamentary assistant.
Mr. P. E. Cote (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour):
Will the hon. member allow a further interruption? Whenever a company applies to the Department of Labour for manpower, our officials immediately inquire from the national employment service whether its offices located in the province where the industry is operating are able to supply the labour required. Only after the employment offices in and out of the province concerned have stated they cannot fill the order does the department apply for manpower from the European reservoir.
If my hon. friend knows workers who claim they are ready to replace these immigrants, he should tell them to apply to the employment service. That is the best suggestion I can make.
I understand the explanations of the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Cote, Verdun), but that is not the point. I am not blaming the Minister of Labour or his parliamentary assistant, or the provincial ministers of labour, but the mining companies that hire the workers. If the hon. member will take the trouble of inquiring from the employment offices in Val d'Or as elsewhere, he will see that they receive applications all day long. Workers come in every day requesting jobs in mines, but there is no place for them. Men from the East Sullivan mine have recently been fired. The hon. member asked me to mention names. I will take note of his request and give him a list early next week, together with supporting evidence. However, the Minister of Labour cannot compel a mining company employing a European displaced person to fire that man because, under the contract, it has to keep him on for a year. I understand that at the end of the year he can be replaced, but during the contract year neither the parliamentary assis-
tant to the Minister of Labour nor the minister himself can remove a displaced person. Under the contract, it is impossible to do so. Therefore, the D.P. cannot be replaced by a Canadian.
Still, I bring this matter to the attention of the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Labour and I hope that the activities of the mining concerns operating in the northern part of my constituency of Pontiac will be fully investigated; I refer to Canadian Malartic Gold Mines, Consolidated Beattie Mines Limited, Consolidated Central Cadillac Mines Limited, East Malartic Mine Limited, East Sullivan Mines Limited, Golden Mani-tou Mines Limited, Lamaque Gold Mine Limited, Malartic Gold Fields Limited, O'Brien Gold Mines Limited, Perron Gold Mines Limited, Sullivan Consolidated Mines Limited, Noranda Mines Limited, etc. All these mining concerns already have D.P.'s on their staff and will employ more of this labour; since June 1948, they have even asked the Canadian government to supply them with more such manpower.
I shall now discuss another matter. A while ago, I mentioned production and purchasing power. I pointed out that our annual production is now valued at $15 billion but that the yearly national revenue amounts to barely $9 billion. It may be noted that $11 billion include salaries paid employees of various departments, civil servants, etc., as well as taxes. However, for every $100 earned, $20 must go towards income tax, which reduces our purchasing power to $80 out of $100. Thus, these things being considered, the national income amounts to approximately $9 billion. There is therefore a difference of $6 billion between this country's total production and its purchasing power. And yet there are still people who inveigh against communism, who declare that communism is a dangerous thing. Even the leader of the Quebec provincial government, Mr. Duplessis, has been heard to cry out that communism "is a hideous face that appears in this very country and which must be chased out at all cost." Well, Mr. Speaker, when the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) was at the head of the Ontario government, he was unable to stem the rising tide in Toronto. Toronto is the haunt of Canada's leading communists and certain districts have given as many as 40,000 communist votes during elections. And what about the prime minister of the province of Quebec, Mr. Duplessis, who has never been able to stem the rising tide of communism in the province of Quebec. Well, I maintain that better means will have to be taken than those presently employed by the gov-
The Address-Mr. Caouette ernment. Since the present leader of the government feels unable to halt the forward march of communism in Canada, I say to them that as long as the difference between total production and total purchasing power is not distributed among the people of Canada, communism will go on rising and making progress in this country. I insist upon the fact that the only way to prevent it from doing so is to provide for a fairer and more equitable distribution of the country's wealth. To this end, it is absolutely necessary to establish a system whereby the difference between total production and total purchasing power can be distributed among all the citizens of Canada. Therefore I say that if this is not done, communism will certainly take root in Canada and the only ones responsible for this situation will be the ministers of the present government, the Liberal members of parliament and others on this side of the house who accept the government's policies. There is no other alternative but to help our fellow-countrymen and to make the country's wealth serve the people so that every individual will have the self-respect to which a human being is entitled. There is only one way of achieving this end and that is to make money once again serve human beings and to provide them with the social and economic security to which each and every one of our citizens is entitled and to prevent cartels and those who control the nation's economy from controlling our lives as they have done so far.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I hope that when the budget is brought down, the special luxury tax will be abolished by the government.
A strange suicide has lately taken place in Pembroke. The hon. Minister of National Revenue (Mr. McCann) says; "That is no fault of ours". It may be no fault of ours, but it is certainly the fault of taxation, let there be no mistake about that. A tax is not an incentive, but the contrary. Anybody who has taxes to pay is always looking about for a means of escape. That was what Mr. Simpson was telling Mr. R. Roger Smith, who lives on Dorchester street in Montreal, in a letter he wrote to him on 21st January last:
So far I haven't questioned the right of a government to levy a tax but, as you evidently understand, I do question their method of doing their collection by forced labour.
All I can do, therefore, is to press for a decision on the constitutionality of the law under which I am charged. This is too big a decision for a police magistrate to deal with, so all he can do is convict me for violating the law, which he has done. Sentence will be passed next Thursday.
1364 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. McLure
I do not know how long it will be before the next step is taken. I have some time yet before I must decide on the exact move. But I intend to push it to the limit.
And Mr. George J. Simpson went to the limit with regard to that tax. He died fighting it.
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I suggest that a national flag be adopted during this session so that Canada may have a distinctive flag which would be the fulfilment of one of our ambitions and which would allow us to be recognized as a nation throughout the world.