April 25, 1951

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

I did not answer any of his questions.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

That is quite right. I have already made my views pretty clear as to why I do not think the immediate imposition of over-all price, wage and other controls is desirable at this time. I must say it gives me a certain amount of quiet amusement to see the leader of the good old Conservative party posing as an advocate of a controlled economy, but I suppose I can be forgiven that.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that the Minister of Finance will find in Hansard that what I was referring to was a statement of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) in which he had referred to price controls, and price controls exclusively. I was pointing out that I hoped he knew what he had promised, and that he would do it.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

I was just referring to my

hon. friend's sort of general advocacy of controls as a cure for the inflationary situation in which we now find ourselves. As to the general criticisms of the budget, let me say at once that none of them came to me as any surprise. I knew perfectly well that ringing speeches would be made in the house about the evils of the general sales tax. I remember that ten years ago I had occasion

The Budget-Mr. Abbott in the house, in connection with another matter, to quote something I had read, that some people who think they are thinking are only rearranging their prejudices. I think that applies to a good deal of the criticism I have heard here and elsewhere about the so-called general sales tax in our tax structure today. I dealt with that matter at some length in my budget speech, and I am not going to repeat now what I said. I will say that anybody who stands up in this house and says that we should not increase the sales tax really should tell me some place, other than liquor, where I can get the extra revenue.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Excess

profits tax.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

I realize the political advantage of suggesting increased taxes on liquor.

I understand these things just as well as anybody else, but I gave the reasons why I thought that at this time it was not either desirable or productive to increase the tax on liquor, which was increased last September. I am sure that the leader of the opposition's successor, Mr. Frost, will agree entirely with the stand that I have taken on that point. In fact he has publicly said so.

Finally the hon. member made some reference to the desirability of increased production. Before I speak about that, may I add that I am not going to deal with the criticism of the tax imposed on refrigerators, stoves and washing machines. In my budget speech I stated why I felt it was necessary to put a tax on these articles at this time, and I am not going to repeat the reasons now. We have to remember that these moneys have to be raised from the people of Canada. In the situation we are in now I do not consider that, with the tremendously increased consumption of these particular articles, it is unfair or unjust to impose a special tax at this time. Other than that, I do not propose to add to what I said in my budget speech.

As to the question of increased production, I* think that is really the key to the solution, so far as a solution can be found domestically, of the problem of the inflationary forces that exist today. I have said before and I say again that I do not think anyone in this country-and that goes for all of us-should contemplate working less than he does now. Speaking generally I believe we should all recognize that whatever hours we are working now we should continue to work. I am not suggesting that wage adjustments should not be made; but any attempt to shorten the hours we work, with rare exceptions where greater efficiency might result, must cause some diminution in production and additional demands for manpower. So I really feel that

every Canadian should seriously consider whether, conditions being as they are today, he would be justified in asking that he work shorter hours. I am profoundly convinced of that, and I am glad of this opportunity to voice my views.

As far as the budget itself is concerned, I was faced with the problem of an outgo of some $3,700 million to $3,800 million. As I said in my budget speech, I felt that we should take in at least that amount, and in consultation with my colleagues I endeavoured to spread the burden as fairly and equitably as possible. I am not so conceited as to believe that I have omniscience, or that it might not be possible to make some improvements, but I believe that on balance the budget, while a tough one, is fair; and I am satisfied to leave the verdict on that with this house.

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LIB

Donald Smith

Liberal

Mr. Donald Smith (Queens-Shelburne):

Mr. Speaker, I shall not detain the house very long. I do desire, however, to make my contribution to this debate; and since this is the first budget debate in which I have taken part I should like to take advantage of this opportunity to offer my sincere congratulations to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott), not only on bringing us this budget but on those he has brought down since he has been in that high 'office. I know when I make this statement I am saying what is in the minds of the people of my constituency.

I should like to remind hon. members of the high standard that has been set by other finance ministers, particularly those from, my own province of Nova Scotia. One of the earlier finance ministers in our history was Right Hon. W. S. Fielding, who by the way represented the riding which I am now trying to represent. Mr. Fielding was minister of finance in Sir Wilfrid Laurier's cabinet. Then I need only mention the name of Right Hon. J. L. Ilsley to further remind hon. members of the high calibre of the ministers who have come from Nova Scotia, and to indicate the high standard which is being maintained by the present minister.

I am sure it was most pleasing to my people to note that the fishing industry has been given some consideration in the budget this year. I refer in particular to the free entry of diesel engines, which will be of some assistance to those fishermen who use larger boats in which diesel engines permit more economical operation. Then the free entry of nets and lines of any material, while it may not seem like much help, will be of real assistance to our fishermen in Nova Scotia, so I am sure they will all appreciate what has been done for them in this budget.

In recent budget speeches documents have been quoted indicating the rapid growth of our economy. I believe it is only natural that some parts of Canada should have been in a position to participate in that growth to a greater extent than others. The rate of such growth depends on many factors, not the least of which is the presence of natural resources of one kind or another. Hon. members of this house who had the privilege recently of visiting northern Manitoba I am sure came back with a much greater realization of the importance of those natural resources. Many years ago men of courage and vision made a great contribution to the economy of this nation when the presence of high grade ore containing many metals was discovered. As a result of these discoveries, at Flin Flon today, for example, over 2,500 men are employed in mine and smelter, bringing out of the ground and refining some $40 million worth of precious and base metals, of which I believe today the latter are of more real significance than the former, particularly in terms of national defence.

When we think of natural resources we should also keep in mind the importance to the development of Canada of the gas and oil discoveries in Alberta and elsewhere. I believe we should consider the mineral developments in British Columbia, northern Ontario, Quebec and Labrador, whose iron ore deposits will play a most important part in our industrial development. If we had read or heard of a nation whose resources had been developed during the last ten years or so as have those of Canada, and which had made the economic and political progress this nation has made, I am sure we would be of the opinion that there was a nation with a future. It seems to me that we in Canada do not quite appreciate the future that lies ahead. There appears to be a lack of understanding of our potentialities. Discussions with students of history, economists, engineers and others who have given some thought to this matter can only lead one to the opinion that in the not too distant future Canada will not only be the leader of the middle powers, as she is now, but the leading country of the world; and it is a fact that even now, because of the ability of her leaders, Canada is giving leadership to the democratic world.

That causes me to say this, that we should not, through narrow thinking, fail to do those things which would promote this growth, or do those things which would hinder this great development. This is a time for vision, for faith and for hard work, as was so ably put the other day by the hon.

The Budget-Mr. D. Smith member for Oxford (Mr. Murray). To those who were not in the house that evening, and have not read that address, I would suggest that it is quite worth while.

I believe the construction of the St. Lawrence waterway will be an important step in our national development, and I believe we should get along with it with all speed. There are those from the maritimes who hold the view that this project will harm the economy of those provinces. I do not hold that view; I agree with the hon. member for Inverness-Richmond (Mr. Carroll) that it can be a real benefit to the industrial and economic life of the maritimes. As someone has said, prosperity is an atomic reaction, by which all links of the chain must be affected. Our ports of Saint John and Halifax will not only hold the business they now have; following the construction of this inland waterway I believe we can look forward to a great expansion of port activity coincident with our national growth. As has been pointed out, the development of the St. Lawrence waterway can provide the means for an expansion of the markets for Nova Scotia coal by placing it on a more competitive basis with Pennsylvania and Virginia coal, the producers of which in the past have opposed the St. Lawrence waterway because of their fear of the competition of Nova Scotia coal. In view of the present great need for power, because of its relation to national defence, and because of its importance to national expansion, I am prepared to support the St. Lawrence waterway.

As far as possible I believe this waterway should be self-liquidating. I believe the users of the power should pay for the power development, and those who use the canals should pay for them by means of tolls. At the same time the maritimes should insist that such developments as the Passama-quoddy power project, the St. Mary's project and others be vigorously explored. Without such power development in the maritimes we shall not be in a position to attract desired industries. With it, industries would naturally be attracted to the maritimes by the cheap power which would be thereby produced. I think that we in the maritimes should also insist that there should be no reduction in expenditures for public works and aids to navigation, things which are so essential to the fishing industry which I believe is on the threshold of greater expansion.

I further believe that the subsidy on feed grains from the west should certainly be continued. I also believe that, if the west give their support to this development, a project such as the South Saskatchewan river project should receive full consideration.

The Budget-Mr. D. Smith

Transportation costs have been held to be a factor responsible for a lack of industrial development in the maritimes. It is hoped that action will soon be taken to implement the recommendation of the royal commission so that the handicap of unjust freight rates will no longer be a factor. I think that we in the maritimes are actually prone to forget that, having the Atlantic on our doorstep, with all-year-round harbours, we have a position that is helpful with regard to exports. It was because of this favourable factor that the newsprint industry in Nova Scotia has been such a great success.

We all know that in order to develop industries in Nova Scotia or anywhere else risk capital must be provided. Past experiences have demonstrated the success with which capital has been invested in Nova Scotia industries. Reference has been made previously in this debate to the industry in Truro operated by Stanfield's mills. I could also mention the Moirs factory in Halifax. Stanfield's and Moirs are names that are known from coast to coast. Then there is the Simms company in New Brunswick which makes brushes and-as we certainly now know-brooms. It is a firm which has made quite a success. Those are just a few illustrations to show the people in this country that this can be done.

I do not expect government-owned and operated industries to be set up in our province. That is the socialist way, with its regimentation and its bureaucratic mismanagement. Nova Scotians should do their own encouraging of capital to come into the province. Capital was encouraged to come into my own constituency where the Mersey Paper Company, Limited, has operated for over 20 years. This newsprint industry changed completely the economic life of my home town and county, and it has had a great effect on the economy of the whole province.

Anyone who cries out that we are going to the dogs in Nova Scotia should look about him before making such a statement. Let him take a look at the lumber industry. Let him take a look at the fishing fleet: not only the number but the size of the boats has increased a great deal during the last two years. There are new plants established all over the province, some of them small and some of them extremely large. The herring industry is a new one in our province; herring are cured and exported to the United States. It is an industry which we did not have until just a few years ago. The swordfishing industry is one that is expanding on our coast. The incomes of the fishermen may not be equal to those of people engaged in

other industries, but for the fisherman who is ambitious and willing to work and take the necessary risks, his earnings ' are sufficient to make his way of life a happy one.

Notwithstanding the fact that Nova Scotia is third among all the provinces in dollar value of defence contracts awarded, I believe that we should, however, receive more preference than we do at present. I should like to give one example. In the town of Shelburne there is a company known as Ven-Rez Products, Limited, specializing in classroom furniture and office furniture. That is a factory that was set up after the war by two young veterans. Their product is of the highest quality, and has given every satisfaction. They have successfully developed a market for their product not only in the maritimes but in other provinces. Because of their insistence on maintaining quality they so far have been unable to meet price competition when tendering on defence orders, although the difference in quotations has been very little indeed in some instances. It seems to me that in cases of companies like that, there should be some system of allocation so that they could participate in some of these orders.

I should now like to say a few words in connection with refits and repairs to naval ships. During the last war a yard in my home town of Liverpool, known as Thompson Brothers, enjoyed the distinction of being one of the most important bases in the east for the refitting of minesweepers, corvettes and other naval ships. A large and well-equipped plant was built up, the full peacetime use of which has not been found possible. A certain amount of this kind of work has been carried on, as well as the manufacturing of oil burners and oil tanks. But with the steel situation as it is, the latter has had to be severely curtailed.

In recent months one naval minesweeper was refitted on a lowest-tender basis. This demonstrated the ability of this yard1 to do this work economically, quickly and well. A recent return, in answer to an inquiry of mine, reveals that 34 such ships are being repurchased from civilian owners; and such ships will no doubt require work done on them. However, Mr. Speaker, it will be considered unfair to the maritimes if this type of defence work is undertaken in those provinces already obtaining such a large proportion of defence orders. I would therefore urge that every consideration be given to this and olher Nova Scotia yards, as a

demonstration of the government's desire to decentralize defence industry wherever practical and possible.

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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. G. M. Ferrie (Mackenzie):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to say how pleased I am with the budget. It does not do all I would wish it to do, and I will have something to say about that matter later. All those on my left are doing just exactly what they did a little over a year ago, crying: Doom, doom, doom; our trade is gone; farm products will be worth nothing and there will be a great mass of unemployment. The situation has now turned out to be just the reverse.

Here and now I wish to say that in my opinion there is no inflation. A third of the people, who were slaves to society-the farmers and the fishermen-are now getting a fair share of the economy of the country. Why do I say this? The farmer or the fisherman -and there are both in my riding-takes his product to the market and the buyer tells him what he will give him for it. Every other industry tells the consumer what he will pay for the product. Very seldom does the fisherman or the farmer have a seller's market.

This is the only time since 1929 that the farmer has had a fair price for his products. Some of these prices may seem to the people to be out of line; but when you consider the prices that were paid to the producer in 1932, you can readily see why we have such a feeling amongst the people that there is an inflation.

Let us take a few of the basic commodities and compare their prices as of 1932 and 1951; but before going into the figures, I should like to state that in the United States of America, in February, the government there set the retail price of beef at the highest price between December 15, 1950, and

January 15, 1951; and that price is still holding good. That price controlled our market in Canada. Prime beef, at that time, was 58 cents to 61 cents a pound by the carcass; that is for prime beef in the United States. We seldom have that class of beef to ship out of this country. The beef that we generally ship out they call good, and down there it was bringing 55 cents to 57 cents a pound for the whole carcass. That means our red ribbon beef. What we call the blue was 52J cents to 58 cents, and the common was 48 cents to 51 cents. I wish to bring to the notice of the house that this was certainly a control put on all animal products except pork, because the price of veal was set and the price of lamb was set at the same time in the same way.

The Budget-Mr. Ferrie

The reason that the price of pork was not set was that there is an act in the United States which states that no control may be put on unless the price of a farm product is up to parity, and at this time pork was not up to parity, and it has not reached it yet. We have beef products under control as I have just stated. We have hides under a control; we have butter and milk under control.

The leader of the C.C.F. party said that they have been asking for controls ever since 1948. He also said that he wanted to have a roll-back in prices. Does he want a rollback in prices of foodstuffs? To what year? Surely he does not want to go back to any time in the 1930's, for instance, when all the farmers in Canada were going behind. Maybe those in eastern Canada were not going behind so much as those in western Canada; but the whole farming population was in distress during that period. Let us take for instance the difference between 1932 farm commodity prices and those of 1951. Let us begin with eggs. The wholesale price of eggs in February 1932 in the west was 9 cents a dozen. In February, 1951, the wholesale price was 35 cents a dozen in the west. In 1932 hogs were $3.08 a hundred. Today they are $22.50, a rise of 730 per cent. For the same period the wholesale prices of other commodities were as follows. I am not going to put the whole list in. I shall give a few of the outstanding ones. In February, 1932, butcher steers were worth $3.22 a hundred. In February, 1951, they were worth 29 cents a pound, making an over-all increase of 900 per cent. Lambs of 100 pounds were worth $3.64. Today they are worth 32 cents a pound, making an increase of 879 per cent. Here is an outstanding example, and I hope that those people who are looking for controls will think a little bit about it. Let us compare wool with lamb. In 1932 wool was 7 cents a pound and I should like to ask any hon. member if he would like to raise sheep to receive 7 cents a pound for wool. Today wool is worth $1 plus a pound, making an increase of 1,420 per cent. I would ask those people who are advocating controls to take a look at what happened not only in 1932 but in 1935 to see how the farmer was progressing and to see who was getting the benefit.

It is well that we understand that farming is still Canada's greatest basic industry and that if we Canadians are to continue to enjoy an over-all level of prosperity we must guarantee to the farmer not only price stability but economic price parity with all other industries. However, such guarantees, in the light of past experience with tariffs and customs regulations to protect the manufacturer and industrial worker, high prices

The Budget-Mr. Ferrie and wages, can only be effective by guaranteed floor prices and subsidies, when necessary.

Canadian agriculture never did, until recently, receive and enjoy price equality with other industries and workers, having to sell at world price levels while buying in a highly protected market, where wages and prices were far above the average world level. It is only through everlasting and nation-wide co-operation, including the government, that the present high level of economic equality can be maintained for agriculture.

We have been able, through the past eight years, by good salesmanship on the part of our trade and commerce and agricultural departments, to market all our surplus farm products, with only one small exception, namely, eggs, at the highest general price level ever received by the Canadian farmer.

But that may not always be, and that is when stabilized prices are needed, if the whole broad Canadian economy is not to suffer a serious setback.

Our experience during the war years has clearly demonstrated the value of subsidies and floor prices. They have given to agriculture a degree of economic stability never before enjoyed by the Canadian farmer, or perhaps by any other group of farmers in the world, and every man, woman and child in this nation of ours has benefited by that stability.

With all our great gold, iron, copper, zinc and other minerals, with our vast oil resources, with our extensive industrial and manufacturing industries, farming is still the greatest of them all and without agriculture the others would be pretty weak and wobbly. There is one outstanding fundamental, which not only applies to the army but also applies to the industrial worker-the army travels on its stomach and so does every other individual.

Why is farming so healthy and has been for the past eight years? Largely because our national government gave ear to advice and accepted assistance from our grain pools and farm organizations generally, who have made sound recommendations, to which, in most cases, our government [DOT] has been agreeable.

In the view of some people, our farm prices have not, during the war and post-war years, been high enough, while another set of Canadians have protested that the prices of farm products at the consumer level have been too high. I wish to say here again that unless the farmer is prosperous and is making a fair profit nobody else has a good standard of living.

Mr. Speaker, let me say that there is only one way that you can reach an ideal in this

[Mr. Ferried

world, and that is to work toward it. There are two things, I think, that the people of this country are more interested in than anything else. The first is peace and the second is to get rid of communism.

Both these can be accomplished if the working people of Canada will put their shoulder to the wheel. This, in my opinion, is a wonderful opportunity for the union leaders of Canada to come forward and say to the people and to their government, "While this crisis is on, which affects our homes and every one of us, we will work fifty hours a week, for the same rate of pay, and we will raise the production of this country beyond anything that has ever been seen in our history."

This is the kind of patriotic spirit we need in the leaders of all our labour and agricultural organizations and all the people involved. In this way we can have our guns and also our butter. And I am sure the people of Canada would be only too willing, after the crisis is over, to say that there will be a forty-hour week across the depth and the breadth of the country.

I want to say to the member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), the leader of the C.C.F. party, that I cannot understand why he, as a representative of the farm population of western Canada, would want for one minute to have controls imposed on his farmers. I want to emphasize this point to him, that the first to suffer under controls is the farming population.

I will give you just one illustration, and I think he should do some real studying. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) made a statement in this house on control of the price of hides. How much has this control cost the livestock producer of Canada? When he is through figuring that out, I think he will forget, or want to forget, all about controls.

I would also like to bring to the attention of the C.C.F. party that controls may be just around the corner but no one who values his liberty will seek to advance that evil day. Workers and trade unions should be particularly concerned to avert what is at least a public misfortune and what could prove to be a calamity, for price controls are inseparable from wage controls and from that freezing of employment which is the same as what in other climes is called slave labour.

The hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Blair) made a good speech the other day with regard to the dairy cow and butter, but I would like to bring to his attention and that of the house that the dairy cow has kept pace with

the increase in population. This country has made wonderful strides in dairying since 1915. I should like to place on record the following figures showing the advancement in each province, the millions of pounds of butter which have been produced in that

The Budget-Mr. Ferrie period, 1915 to 1950, a table of which I will hand to Hansard, if I may.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Where is it from?

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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

The Budget-Mr. Ferrie agricultural production, has the secondary objective of the development of electrical energy.

This would give us one real city, the city of Saskatoon, which would be able to develop light industries and would take care of a lot of ore from the north, if the city has cheap power. It would help to cheapen all the power to the farms all through the province, and thus bring down the cost of production.

There is $1 million to be spent this year. Some people would think that this sum is small considering the total cost but, as every reasonable thinking person would know, ground work must be completed first. This is not costly work but it is doubtful if more could be accomplished in one year than the negotiating and the laying out of this large project. The job started will increase at a faster rate when heavy construction will have to be done.

While the spending of large sums of money for defence is necessary, the development of the country, with a corresponding increase of wealth and people, must also be undertaken.

Mr. Speaker, I said in the first part of this speech that I am pleased with the budget, but it does not do all that I would like to see done. There is no provision made in the budget for relief to local self-government. This sales tax attacks the municipalities, who are not profit-making corporations, in the same way as it attacks profit-making corporations.

The municipalities-the government of the country just the same as the federal government-are rendering service to the people, doing a lot of development work and carrying a lot of social services, which are rendered directly to the individual. If it is impossible to take the sales tax off such things as the machinery bought by the municipalities, then the government should give a grant in lieu of this tax to every municipality in Canada of 1,000 inhabitants or more.

I give you one illustration. A municipality would buy a caterpillar tractor, a bulldozer and a hydraulic scraper, which would cost from $15,000 to $20,000. This tax would add to the cost another $1,500 to $2,000. There is no doubt in my mind that if there are any bodies in this country which need relief from the heavy burdens they are shouldering they are the municipalities of Canada.

In closing, I would say that I would like to see more done for the youth of our country. Youth is the foundation of our country and our greatest asset. People will have to have food, and more food, to the end of time, and youth should be trained to realize that they should stay on the land. But capital must be found whereby youth can establish itself. In

my opinion, there is no reason why the facilities of the Veterans Land Act cannot be carried into civilian life, to the benefit of the whole country and the world.

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LIB

Auguste Maltais

Liberal

Mr. Auguste Maltais (Charlevoix):

Mr. Speaker, it was not my intention to take part in this debate, but after listening to the excellent speech by the hon. member for Saguenay (Mr. Brisson) in which he advocated the need for a railroad on the north shore, I consider it my duty to give him some support. As there has been a ruling that texts should not be used in the House of Commons I shall have to be brief as I have no text. However, I shall continue my remarks in the French language.

(Translation):

Mr. Speaker, the request made last night in this house by the hon. member for Saguenay (Mr. Brisson) is not new, since it dates back to 1916. That was the dream of Sir Rodolphe Forget, who built part of that railroad. I would like to put on record a motion which was placed at my request on the order paper, at the beginning of this session. It deals with the purchasing and improving of that railroad. I quote:

That, in the opinion of this house, the competent authorities should give early consideration to the advisability of (a) purchasing the railway communications between Quebec and St. Joachim; (b) improving the line between St. Joachim and La Malbaie, in the county of Charlevoix; (c) extending the said communications into the county of Saguenay, by way of Clermont, county of Charlevoix, in order to facilitate the development of the immense resources of Ungava, to make the district more accessible and to provide a railway system for that important part of Canada in a national emergency.

To establish clearly the geographical position of this railway, I should point out that the district of Charlevoix is east of the city of Quebec. The present railway leaves Quebec, crosses the municipalities of Chateau Richer, Ste. Anne de Beaupre, famous for its shrine, Beaupre which boasts a paper mill and a distillery, reaches St. Joachim, continues to petite riviere St. Francois, crosses Baie St. Paul, linking the parishes of St. Hilarion and St. Urbain, passes through St. Joseph de la Rive and from there to St. Irenee, Pointe au Pic, Murray Bay and finally Clermont.

The district of Charlevoix has a population of close to 40,000 whilst the district of Saguenay, as the hon. member for Saguenay pointed out yesterday evening, has a population of approximately 35,000.

It might be well to put on record what Mr. Meighen thought of this railway in 1916, when speaking in the debate. At that time, naturally, approximately 85 per cent of the Charlevoix railway was built. Construction had been started by individuals and assistance from the government had been sought in order to complete the railway. Here is what Mr. Meighen said, as reported on page 4014 of Hansard for 1916:

(Text):

When they sit by. therefore, and see their hopes being dispelled by the destruction year by year of the money that has already been spent by private enterprise to reach them, it is no wonder, particularly when they are being called upon to pay their share in connection with other railway projects, that they feel that they have a claim to some recognition at this time. What I want to emphasize is this: These people have a claim that differs entirely from other districts, in that millions of money have gone in there and that that money is being gradually sunk, being almost literally washed away by the river St. Lawrence and by the other corroding acts of time. The longer we wait the more we shall have to pay at some time in order that that district may get the service to which it is entitled. If the population is there-and those who ought to know say it is-and if the population is sure to come-and those who ought to know say it will come-then there will be vindication, there will be justification of this measure. Let us now look upon the matter in the broad way in which we ought to look upon it, even in a time like this.

I wish also to put on record what Sir Wilfrid Laurier said in the same debate.

The usefulness of the railway has been recognized by all governments.

And again:

It is true we are living in strenuous times, and that perhaps now is not the most propitious time we could choose; it is true also that we should be as careful as possible about launching into new enterprises. Unfortunately, this is not a new enterprise, and for my part I should like to see it completed.

(Translation):

Following this discussion, the house then passed an act authorizing the government to purchase the Charlevoix railroad and also that line running from Quebec to St. Joachim. The Canadian National then used this legislation to purchase the railroad between Clermont and St. Joachim. What remains to be expropriated now is the part belonging to the Quebec Railway, running from Quebec to St. Joachim, over a distance of about 30 miles.

More than two million people travel on this part of the railroad each year. In 1950, close to 450,000 tons of freight were shipped over that railway line.

Naturally, this is a rather complex problem and the Canadian National cannot be blamed for improving a railway section not linked to its main system. If we look into the possibility of building a railway on the north shore, where part of the road already crosses

The Budget-Mr. Maltais the county of Charlevoix, it would be important that the government use the powers provided for in the 1916 legislation in order to expropriate the Quebec Railway so as to increase as much as possible the benefits obtained by the operation of this railway.

It is not difficult to understand why the Canadian National shows an operational deficit on the Murray Bay service since the better part of the revenue is acquired by the Quebec Railway which operates the train over 30 miles through the most profitable part of the district.

I am now concluding my remarks since I firmly intend to introduce the same resolution during the next session and to discuss it at length. I am sorry that during this session circumstances and parliamentary procedure with which I am unfamiliar have made this impossible. The resolution itself is only postponed and I hope until such time as it comes up again the government will seriously take up the matter.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Alcide Côté

Liberal

Mr. A. Phileas Cote (Malapedia-Malane):

Mr. Speaker, since yesterday, the budget debate seems to have become a first-rate French-speaking contest; I shall therefore speak in my mother tongue.

We are asked, under the present budget, to approve additional taxation which will require us Canadians to pull in our belts to the same extent as our cousins in England. Present conditions offer at least one advantage; it is that we are placed on an equal footing with them. Let us hope that they are as happy as we are about the turn of events.

Let us also hope that the money the government will derive from these taxes will not serve exclusively to kill human beings and that we will become no more hysterical on this side of the Atlantic than our British cousins. For if we are to judge from their attitude our friends over there have kept their heads as well as our money. To my point of view, this does not indicate that people in the most vulnerable country are panic-stricken or that there is either an imminent or a remote danger that we shall witness the end of the world.

This attitude on the part of our friends in Great Britain should mitigate somewhat the hysteria which has overtaken far too many people on this side of the Atlantic. This hysteria, in fact, has done little to promote the cause of peace in our world; should it not be held in check, it may well not only jeopardize the cause of peace but, there and then, the future of the civilized world. I do not think that our crusade in Korea will constitute in the history of mankind a page which will be

The Budget-Mr. A. P. Cote a credit to our modern Caesars. In spite of the rather dark prospects in Europe, it is not so sure that the efforts made will be necessary and if they should be that they will necessarily be successful. Nor would this be, for practical purposes, an epic in- the history of the world.

Therefore, we might be well advised to examine, and examine most carefully, the proposals put forth, before taking a header in boiling water, or rather in boiling oil, since that is, in my opinion, the true purpose of the feverish preparations going on on both sides of the barricade.

It would then be possible to analyse, from all its angles, a problem that may soon prove to be insoluble in this era of the atomic and germ bombs.

After such an analysis, it might not be so chimerical to hope that by clothing, feeding, housing and caring for those we wish to liberate-and let us not wait four years to do so-our century may become the era of the humble people without anyone resorting to the atomic or germ bombs.

Such a political trend might make it easier to provide funds for the welfare of our own people, here in Canada. For in this country, as in Europe and Asia, some people would certainly be less inclined to serve an ideology other than democracy, were democracy itself to give them less cause for criticism or even, simply, for doubt.

I, for my part, am of the opinion that the saying "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" truly applies not only outside of Canada, but within our very borders.

There is no point in deceiving ourselves. We must admit that there are some people in this country who have been expecting since 1945 the benefits supposedly accruing from the beneficial legislation of 1944: reconstruction and social welfare legislation.

Farmers, fishermen, workers, merchants, the whole population indeed, and especially the people of Quebec in these various spheres of activity, have been waiting ever since 1945. But, like sister Ann, they have seen nothing coming in so far as the implementation of these measures is concerned. I will be told that Ottawa is still waiting for permission from some legislatures to proceed with the plans set forth in 1944.

I will be told also that legislation concerning family allowances, unemployment insurance and various kinds of pensions has already given the desired results.

[Mr. Cote (Matapedia-Matane) .1

But I am sure, as I was in 1946, that the most efficient way to oppose the false prophets either in this country or elsewhere is- but allow me at this point to quote what I said at page 79 of Hansard, March 19, 1946:

The nations, aware of the fact that the inescapable realities of our time make it imperative for them all to reorient their thinking with regard to their respective sovereign state authority in relation to world wide sovereignty, will, I hope, establish a universal government.

As far as Canada is concerned, I am sure such an achievement presents no difficulty because, fortunately for our times, we have here in our Canadian government, statesmen who are not afraid to tackle new responsibilities in correlation with rights based on functional contributions.

Such a universal government would- provide social peace, as well as national security. It would accelerate free trade and ensure full employment. Full employment, in turn, would bring about better education, better medical care, better housing and more food. With social security at home, no country need fear for its national security, as long as similar conditions prevail all over the world and particularly in the neighbouring countries.

And to ensure a better distribution of wealth, which is, of course, the best safeguard against aggression, it would implement international monetary agreements, provide a proper administration of stabilization funds, international banks or at least clearing houses.

Eut, most of all, I firmly believe that the most important factor to co-ordinate and consolidate all elements conducive to peace is a world-wide unity of purpose. Such a unity can be reached only if all the peoples consider the world in its true perspective and from the same angle. Such an achievement can only be reached through public enlightenment. Before loving one's neighbour as oneself, one must at least know him. Thus people must be made to know each other, to respect one another's property, to understand one another's way of living and in return expect to be known better, understood better, liked Detter, through a professional job of international communications, incorporating all kinds of vehicles of information.

I will not make so bold as to offer here a panacea for the world's ills, but neither will I make a show of false modesty by hesitating to express my views in this debate, to all practical or impractical purposes, in the interest of this country and of its people. I am all the more confirmed in this view by hearing and seeing in action some of those who have taken upon themselves to correct the vices of others in the national or international sphere, a most thankless business indeed.

(Text):

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

Mr. Speaker, I should like to know what the hon. gentleman is quoting from.

(Translation):

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Continue.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Antoine-Philéas Côté

Liberal

Mr. Cote (Matapedia-Matane):

May I

suggest-

(Text):

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

May I ask the hon. member a question? I should like to know what he is quoting from.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Maisonneuve-Rosemonl):

He

said it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

Like Dr. Bruce, full notes. (Translation):

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Alcide Côté

Liberal

Mr. Cote (Matapedia-Malane):

May I, in

conclusion, suggest to the commoners in this house, whose duty it is, both on the national and the international levels, to set the course of our policy, keeping in mind what might be achieved, for example, by a universal government equipped with legislation, the observance of which would also be entrusted to a universal force-consider for instance how much the humanization of mankind might be furthered through education rather than coercion, through amenity rather than austerity-may I say: social security and national security, yes, they are necessary; but not necessarily through war and austerity. (Text):

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

April 25, 1951