I remember Victoria day, 1940. Those were grim days. We held a celebration in my community and thank goodness most of the children there did not know what was in the newspapers and they were able to enjoy themselves. Those were the harsh and triumphant and miraculous days of Dunkirk. If anything brought home to Canadians the danger in which they were, it was the days of Dunkirk. That knowledge continued throughout the war and Canadians were therefore happy to accept restrictions upon their private lives such as they would not be agreeable to accepting today. If the C.C.F. think that Canadians are prepared to accept restrictions on their private activities, they should tell the public of Canada that they think so. I do not think we can have the
The Address-Mr. Laing application of subsidies in this country without the over-all fixing of the economy, precisely as we had in 1942.
Today there are throughout the world many governments which are more than anxious to get their thumbs and fingers on the throats of their people. In these days it is good for Canadians to realize that we have a Prime Minister and government who will use such methods only as a last resort instead of the first thing coming into their minds.
I should like to say a word concerning a matter which has not been given justice in this house so far. I hope such justice will be given before we go home at Christmas. The Old Age Security Act is a monument in Canadian history. We have arrived at the time when we are going to pay a pension, moderate it is true, to every Canadian without any strings attached, without any means- test. Any project which involves expenditures of the nature outlined last week by the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) is a monumental piece of legislation for any country regardless of size.
Already we are hearing suggestions made in the house that the payment is not large enough. There are indications that in another general election we shall have parties bidding against one another. I hope that that does not occur because it would be a bad thing for Canada and its people. We possess many valuable rights in this country. We have maintained equality of access to the courts. We have enjoyed broad political rights. There seems to be a new sense of economic right belonging to the individual. This can only be based upon a partnership between the government, on the one hand, and industry, on the other.
I am going to say that I think the only prerequisite to national greatness in this country is industrial peace, and I think the industries of Canada should be prepared to pay more for industrial peace than they have in the past. I think there should be a partnership between the government on one hand and industry on the other. We see it already at work, and I hope that government action in the future will be such as to make it easier, namely, the proposal to amend the annuities act and the suggestion of the minister when he spoke on the integration of employee pensions with the old age pension scheme. I think those two policies for looking after our people in retirement should march along parallel to one another.
It has been suggested in some quarters that the government should accept full responsibility for the retirement of all its people. If we have that I think we are on the road
to socialism. Other people contend that industry should look after all its people and see that they are retired comfortably. If you do that I think you will put such a weight upon industry today that our selling prices in foreign markets will be affected. I think that we can handle this thing on a dual basis which will make unnecessary either of these cataclysmic events.
For a few moments I want to speak of a problem which is of deep concern to the city of Vancouver, and I want to address my remarks to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier). It has to do with Vancouver's international airport. In 1929 the city purchased some 475 acres of land on Sea island and began to develop an airport there. In the minds of many people at that time it was a premature move but I think there has been ample evidence since to show that the civic officials were quite sound in their anticipation of the requirements of aviation. We have there today a most excellent airport. Most of its development took place subsequent to 1940. Many millions of dollars have been invested by the federal government. The city still retains the administration of the airport although in 1945 they were offered the opportunity of turning it over to federal control.
At that time they elected to retain administrative control but they have now decided that they would much prefer to have the federal government operate the airport. I am of the opinion that international airports, and this is veritably an international airport, should have their finances based upon the broadest possible tax base, which is the Dominion of Canada. The airport is servicing United Air Lines which is a foreign company. Trans-Canada Air Lines and Canadian Pacific Air Lines are giving most excellent service in that area. In addition, the airport is the base for some splendid private company such as Queen Charlotte Air Lines and Vancouver Air Lines, which are providing an excellent and expanding service to all parts of the province of British Columbia. Our province is ideally suited for air travel. There are many places which take twenty-eight to thirty hours to reach by train but which can be reached in two hours by airplane.
In comparison with other airports in Canada, on the basis of passengers and freight carried and on the basis of income from the airport I think we have unquestionably at Sea island the most important airport in the Dominion of Canada. In the last six months 1,400 passengers per day have departed from that airport. There was a magnificent performance under circumstances which were of
great importance to the city of Vancouver. At one time both railways were out of operation, and in one twenty-four hour period no less than 3,000 pasengers passed through the airport. Recently when the forests were opened up after the long dry spell, within four hours no less than 850 loggers were moved out of that airport to the camps. It is a most excellent airport and is doing a magnificent job not only for Vancouver alone but in the whole development of Canadian air travel.
One matter has not been referred to by anyone with respect to the airport and that is its position in the Pacific airlift. When security measures no longer make it impossible, I think a tremendous story will be told of the co-operation between the great McChord field outside Tacoma and the Vancouver international airport in sustaining the Pacific airlift. At the present time the mayor and aldermen of the city of Vancouver and the Minister of Transport are some distance apart in their negotiations. I think they are about $1 million apart. When negotiations are renewed with the minister very shortly, I would ask him to give the kindest consideration to the representations of the city of Vancouver which is now desirous of turning the airport over to the Dominion of Canada. They want to get back the capital expenditure they have put into it, and that is all they want.
I, like the last speaker from western Canada, should like to say something about the St. Lawrence waterway. When that project comes before the house I hope no western member will find it necessary to oppose it. The Dominion of Canada has taken the lead in this venture and I hope that it keeps the lead. I do not think it is necessary to share the responsibility of the venture with our great neighbour to the south. I think in these times when we relate our efforts to theirs, when they are doing magnificent things, it is imperative that we as Canadians should do large and magnificent things. I think our future security and our relations with all other nations in the world will be better preserved thereby. We can do magnificent things, and I think we should hold the initiative.
The justification for the Canadian government taking such action is that the advantages and results of that development will accrue to all the people of Canada, and the sooner we realize that a development of that magnitude in one part of Canada is going to serve all Canada the sooner we will have a more closely knit and more united Canada. I bring up the subject only because the great new industrial development in
The Address-Mr. Laing this country is going to occur in western Canada. We as western members are going to have to come here in the years ahead and ask all members of the house for the same type of support and co-operation that I hope we can now give with respect to the St. Lawrence waterway.
Today in the province of British Columbia we have the second largest undeveloped resource of water power, the cheapest cost of development of water power per horsepower on this continent, and probably the greatest resources in the world, within a comparable area, of wood and wood products, and we have the great and magnificent province of Alberta next to us which I feel is going to be one of the great industrial centres of the world as time goes on. They have there in abundance coal, oil, natural gas, salt, limestone and iron ore.
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They have every component, muscle and fibre of industry. We need more people. We need an integration of the economy of these two western provinces, and it is going ahead naturally. I should like to see us give some official impetus to it, and I do not make the call particularly in this house because it is up to these two western provinces to take a greater initiative than they have thus far. We could include the province of Saskatchewan.
People investigating there are of the opinion that a great body of oil exists in Saskatchewan as well. I think it unfortunate that the government in Saskatchewan has introduced certain legislation which hangs like a Damoclean sword over those who would invest money there. But I have every confidence, sir, that the reserves will last far beyond the tenure of the present government. Saskatchewan too can be incorporated in a western industrial development.
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There is another great resource there, a resource which I think centres around Unity, Saskatchewan. I hope our new departments of Resources and Development and Mines and Technical Surveys will co-operate with the present provincial government in the development of that great proven body of potash in that area. The stuff is worth $30 a ton when you get it to the surface, and I understand there is a tremendous body of it there.
I feel that within these western provinces we have an opportunity for industrialization
The Address-Mr. Nowlan and for the integration, first of all, of our own provincial economies within the country.
I think we have an opportunity of industrialization and development there to support vast populations in happiness quite beyond the possibility in any other similar area upon the face of the earth today. So I make that appeal to western members. I ask them to try to see their way clear to support the vast development which is projected for central Canada, because we will benefit out of that also. Then the time will come for the governments to look west; and I am going to say this. I think this government so far has looked very kindly upon western Canada. I am not unmindful of the tremendous development of the aluminum company in British Columbia at the present time, which will involve some $500 million of new capital investment. Particularly the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe), as a single individual, I feel has done more than any other individual in Canada to ensure that development.
We have vast additional opportunities for development, and in those two or three western provinces we can support more than the present population of Canada. There is no question about that. When we come down and ask for these things I think we shall have the same kind of hearing from all parts of Canada that we as westerners will be able to give to the consideration of regional matters, which in the long run will mean advantage to us in all parts of Canada.
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Mr. Speaker, at the outset let me join with the others who have preceded me in congratulations to the mover (Mr. Cauchon) and seconder (Mr. Simmons) of the motion which is the subject matter of this debate, and to those who have taken part in it. I am thinking particularly of the four new members of the House of Commons who have made their maiden speeches during this debate. I am sure everyone will admit that the contribution they made and the promise they showed in taking part in the debate augurs well for their future participation in the proceedings of the house. We have already had two able addresses this afternoon, and if I do not attempt to follow the two speakers who immediately preceded me, and deal with any matters to which they referred, it certainly is no reflection upon the quality of their efforts or the manner in which they delivered their speeches.
Reference has been made in this debate to a survey of the natural resources of this country; and in this debate as well as in others much has been said about decentralization of industry. These two matters, Mr. Speaker, are of particular importance to
those of us in the maritime provinces and of course elsewhere in Canada. We do have natural resources in the maritimes. Perhaps they are not on the lavish scale that has just been elaborated upon by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Laing); nevertheless we have those which are already developed and others which undoubtedly require development and could be developed further. For instance, in Nova Scotia we have the one steel industry in Canada which provides the three basic elements necessary for that industry, namely coal, iron ore and limestone. There are those here who have had association with that industry and particularly know the possibilities of its development. Undoubtedly there are many others which either have been developed or could be developed; but, Mr. Speaker, perhaps one of our most important resources is our natural geographic position on the eastern seaboard of this country, projecting out into the Atlantic like a wharf. With the exception of our new sister or brother province of Newfoundland we look further to the east than virtually any other part of this continent. Goods from Nova Scotia may be shipped to ports in Europe or throughout the world more economically, more efficiently and with a shorter haul than from any other part of this country. That is a natural resource which should be developed, and which should be the subject of further study.
Today we are in the midst of a war economy, a cold war it is true. Nevertheless we are producing goods, we say, for the defence of this nation. They are being produced largely in Ontario and Quebec. We all remember the last war. We remember the congestion of the railways and the terrific problems of railway management. It was only by superhuman efforts that they were dealt with at all. Surely, Mr. Speaker, given intelligent direction, given careful surveys, many industries in the maritimes could be producing goods for national defence. Instead of shipping them by rail for hundreds of miles you could load them almost from plant to ship on the adjoining dock. I believe that is a possibility which should be considered in any survey that is made of this nation. If sanity ever returns to the world there are undoubtedly many, many plants, English plants, plants from France, industries generally in Europe, that would establish branch plants in the maritimes because of their geographical position. If the imperial preference is to be maintained in any way, then undoubtedly there are American plants as well which would establish industries within that area, taking advantage of the preference in order to ship their
goods to the markets ol the commonwealth and throughout the world.
Latterly much has been said about the worsening trade conditions with the commonwealth, and particularly with the United Kingdom. It is not for us to comment upon political changes in any other nation, but I think we all realize that owing to changes which have taken place within the last week an atmosphere may develop with respect to trade between this country and Britain different from that which has prevailed during the past few years; at least there is that probability. That should be surveyed. It is for that reason that we from the maritimes welcome the suggestion which was made by the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon), and by others in this house, of a survey of our natural resources. When that survey is made I believe much of benefit will be established.
It may be said that in Nova Scotia we have not the power for industry. We have sufficient power, Mr. Speaker, for existing industries and for a very substantial development. It is true that if it developed excessively as much as we might optimistically hope, there might be shortages of hydroelectric power as it is developed at the present time. I sometimes wonder if we are not living too much in the past and do not look ahead with the imagination that today requires. Canada is a country of the future. When we talk about power the day may not be too far away when this nation will not have to depend entirely upon hydroelectric power or power produced by coal. I read in the press that in the United States plans have been made recently for the production of submarines powered by atomic energy. If atomic energy can be so harnessed that it can be used safely and effectively within the narrow confines of a submarine, then what are its possibilities for industrial development? In a magazine last week I read that the only way one could possibly contemplate developments in this field would be to think of the Kitty Hawk aeroplane of the Wright brothers being converted into a B-29 bomber within three years. A development similar to the one which has taken the aeroplane industry a quarter of a century to evolve has taken place in the atomic energy field within the last three years. There is no question, Mr. Speaker, but that some day this source of energy will be available for industrial power. Then, in so far as power in the maritimes is concerned, coupled with our geographical position and given proper leadership and direction that would place the maritimes in a position where their prosperity would compare with that which existed many, many years ago.
The Address-Mr. Nowlan
Turning to another matter for a moment, I am sure the members of this house were delighted with the statement by the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Lapointe) that changes are going to be made in the pensions given to veterans. It is a surprising statement, but one which every member of the house receives with pleasure. It represents an amazing change from the attitude taken last June when this house was about to adjourn. Then the door was closed to the veterans, but now it has been opened suddenly. This proves that this government, though it moves slowly and is lethargic, can be moved if sufficient pressure is brought to bear. The action taken by the veterans organizations throughout this nation, by the various opposition groups here, and undoubtedly by members on the other side of the house as well, has accomplished something for the veteran which is well worth while.
There is one further step which should be taken at this session. Reference was made by the member for Vancouver South (Mr. Laing) to this magnificent old age pension legislation which was introduced the other day. With that we concur. The old age pension legislation, Mr. Speaker, has removed the means test in so far as millionaires are concerned, but it retains it for the recipients of veterans allowances. Those veterans who are burnt out, who are in most dire need, will findi a conflict between veterans allowance legislation and the old age pension legislation. It will put them in a different class from any other citizens in Canada. There is no excuse. It is no answer, Mr. Speaker, to say "Oh, well, consideration will be given to this at another session, and the legislation can be made retroactive. They will get the payment by and by". That is not an answer because the veteran may be dead before that day comes. In any case, that does not pay the coal bill this winter. There is no reason in the world why this government could not, at this session, pass legislation wiping out this one difference between the recipients of war veterans allowances and other pensioners in Canada. I am sure such a measure would receive unanimous approval. I have no objection to classifying old age payments as income for income tax purposes. But I do object to classifying it as income and thereby denying the war veterans allowance recipient payments he would otherwise receive. If the government do not take that action they will have been recreant in their duty to the veterans.
There is one other matter in connection with the administration of veterans affairs that I should like to mention. Last spring this parliament, after considerable debate and lengthy
The Address-Mr. Nowlan discussion in committee, adopted what was known as an unemployability supplement for veteran pensioners. You will recall that the basic principle was that pensioners had to be in receipt of a substantial pension, but I think it was 35 per cent for unmarried and 40 per cent for married; they must be unemployed and that unemployment must be directly attributable to their disability. In other words, one could say that all those who received the unemployability supplement earned it. They paid for it by their disability. What do we find? We find a regulation by the department whereby that supplement will not be paid to any person, otherwise qualified, who is living outside of Canada. I do not think that regulation should be there. As I say, I believe the veterans have bought and paid for their right to the payment by their disability. If they want to live in Mexico or on the isle of Capri, that is their privilege.
Even if the government or the house will not go that far with me, I would suggest this as a matter of common sense and decency. Many of these people are now living out of the country on doctors' orders. It is hoped that by living perhaps in California or Arizona, where certain climatic conditions exist, their condition may be alleviated. I have brought to the attention of the minister one or two of those cases, and I have others in my constituency. I do say that even if the department will not go so far as to permit this payment to be made to all those living outside the country-as I think they should- then certainly I urge that the payment be made to those who are living out of the country who can produce a certificate from a qualified medical man stating they are living there on the doctor's advice. It seems to me that is a reasonable suggestion. I know one man living in California on a pension. He is there on the doctor's advice. He was the commander of a corvette and was being carried by bomber to take over the command of another corvette. The aeroplane heating system broke down and he froze. They thought he was dead when they took him out of the aeroplane, but he survived and the doctor sent him to California. He is living there on a pension of $125 per month, and he has been denied this unemployability supplement. I brought the matter to the attention of the department, and I know the minister took a sympathetic view. Action is being considered, but action can be delayed so long that it is dilatory.
Much has been said in this debate about the cost of living, and it is rather difficult to find anything original to say about it. In his excellent address the other day the member
for Red Deer (Mr. Shaw) pointed out that it is the number one topic in the minds of the people of Canada. It ranks higher than any other subject, and whether or not we like it, it is paramount in the minds of the citizens we represent. It is certainly paramount in the minds of the people of the maritimes, because undoubtedly the incidence of inflation is greater on some people than on others. We have heard this afternoon about the vast resources of British Columbia and Alberta, and the great wealth that is undoubtedly there. We know about the tremendous employment and the inflationary spiral that has been caused in the province of Ontario. There are other parts of Canada in which those factors do not apply. Nevertheless those parts of the country have to pay the costs without getting what you might call the benefits which others get from this inflation. I think there is one thing that can be fairly said, Mr. Speaker; that is that the people of Canada are getting weary of this monotonous chant that the people have too much money and something must be done, that it is the government's responsibility to take the money away from them. I should like to know who has too much money, Mr. Speaker. There are undoubtedly individuals who, either by accident or otherwise, or perhaps because of ability, have made tremendous fortunes during the last few years. But for everyone who has done that there are thousands in this country who are suffering hardships today. Certainly those of us who sit on this side of the house, Mr. Speaker, do not know those men or women who have so much money in their pockets that it has to be taken away from them. The hon. member for Maple Creek (Mr. Studer) told us that earlier this afternoon in his fiery oration, when he said he did not know who they were. But we constantly hear that statement about the people having too much money. There was once an English statesman whose name I forget, but I read a biography of his in which he was discussing the disabilities of the life of a cabinet minister. Someone suggested to him: "I do not know how cabinet ministers live on the salaries they receive", and he said: "There are other compensations. We sit with the mighty, and we dine with millionaires every night." I am not suggesting that this is true of the members of our Canadian cabinet, Mr. Speaker, but certainly they must meet far more millionaires than we do, because we do not know them on this side of the house.
I have in my hand here an editorial from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald dealing with
The Address-Mr. Nowlan
this matter. It is entitled "A Chant That Is Getting Monotonous" and goes on to say in part as follows:
It is a curious attitude and so remote from realities of Canadian families everywhere that one wonders in what kind of a world some of these government spokesmen are living. Do they ever meet ordinary people? Have they talked to heads of families, to householders who are worried to distraction with family budget problems?
Surely, if they understood how so many of us feel, they could not continue to repeat this unrealistic cant about the people having too much money. It seems, rather that they are dwelling in some sort of ivory tower, remote from the harsh realities which have become so unpleasantly familiar to many Canadians.
I think that must be the explanation, Mr. Speaker; they are living in ivory towers. They are removed from reality if they believe what they say, and I do not question their sincerity. They are removed from the plight of the common people in this country, the plight of the housewives who, if their husbands are engaged in heavy industry and they have to buy additional meat, must shorten up the milk ration for the kiddies because they cannot buy both. The same thing applies to the price of shoes, clothing or whatever it may be. That condition exists in the homes of thousands and thousands of Canadians throughout this country. They are being ground between the millstones of taxation and rising costs and deflated dollars. Something more must be done about it than simply say that there is just too much money in this country, that we have to take it away from you by taxation.
Another rather monotonous statement is that there are too few goods. Where is there evidence of there being too few goods? Are the grocery shelves empty? Are the automobile showrooms bare? What about the electrical supply stores? Do you see a shortage of refrigerators or washing machines or electrical stoves? Where is this shortage of goods of which we hear so much? In making this monotonous statement the government have adopted the classical phrase which may have been correct in the free economy years ago, that inflation was due to too many dollars chasing too few goods. In this case there are not too many dollars and there are not too few goods. Instead of there being too many dollars or too much money, Mr. Speaker, there is too much complacency on the part of this government; and in place of there being too few goods there is too little action on the part of the government. That is largely responsible for the inflation as we see it today.
Let us recall the days of the war. All of us can do that. Let us remember the days from 1941 to 1945. The hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Laing) read some of the restrictions which were in effect then. I do not question
them, but I also want to point out this fact. During those years the cost of living index rose from 111-7 to 118. That was all it rose in four years of war. We held the line. The government held the line. Do you remember when the Hamilton steelworkers suggested that they wanted an increase in wages and there was talk of a strike for a few days in the steel industry? What happened then? Mr. Donald Gordon and the late prime minister, Right Hon. Mackenzie King, and the cabinet were in a tizzy. They had to hold the line at all costs, and they did. Who talks of holding the line today? The line has gone from 118 up to something like 190, and nothing is done. Even King Canute was carried out in a chair to tell the tides to stop. He did not do a very good job of it, but he tried to do something. This government has forgotten all about the drive, initiative and energy it showed during the war. I think they wore themselves out. In this matter of the cost of living they show the same nervous energy of a flock of tired old butterflies. That is the situation.
In matters of finance, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) budgeted for a surplus of $30 million, and ends up with a surplus of $500 million.
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Yes, in five months, as my hon. friend says; from $30 million to $500 million. And he says: "I did not realize the forces of inflation. I did not allow for them." What is the job of the Minister of Finance if it is not to allow for such things? What is he paid for? He has the experts of this whole country at his beck and call. He has the benefit of the advice of experts not only in his own department but in all other departments, including the Bank of Canada and all the rest of it. When he says "I did not study my charts," may I ask this question. If you had a pilot, Mr. Speaker, who was making a navigational plot and he did not study his charts, particularly with regard to storms which were appearing on the horizon, that pilot would be fired. In this case our pilot apparently studied the ouija board instead of his charts.
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I have no quotations. That is original with the hon. member for Annapolis-Kings, if the hon. member for Coast-Capilano really wants to know. And I will give him another original one dealing with this department. I will tell him that the only man who ever made a greater mistake in navigation or computation than that made by the minister
The Address-Mr. Nowlan was wrong-way Corrigan, who set out for California and ended up in Ireland. That is also original.
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It certainly was the effect. The hon. member for Coast-Capilano was talking about everybody having too much money, so apparently he has not felt the effects the rest of us have felt. It is no wonder that the hon. member for Coast-Capilano, who is in fairly close association with the government, talks about people having too much money, because the government with which he is associated is the only one which has a surplus of $500 million. As the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) pointed out the other day in his speech, despite the pledges of economy, despite the professions of faith we heard here last spring that economies were being shown across the board, what do we find? Every non-defence department is still spending more money than it spent last year. The people are exhorted to save. The good book has an injunction: Physician, heal thyself. Until the departments of government apply that exhortation to save to their own departments it is going to be rather difficult for the people to apply it. One could dwell on the matter longer, but I do not want to take up more of the time of the house.
There has been talk about using this money for debt reduction. I am not going to discuss that point, but I would suggest there are other ways in which it could be spent more effectively. I hope everyone has read the report of the Massey commission. It is certainly a document which ought to be studied. It reflects tremendous credit on the commission, and I believe will be read more widely as the years go by. I want to join with the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight) in all he said a few days ago about implementing certain parts of the report of that royal commission. Grants to universities, a system which this government has already instituted, are good. Further steps along that line should be taken, because the plight of the universities in this country-most certainly the smaller ones-is just as serious as the plight of the individual.
Then, referring again to the individual, let me point out that today, and markedly this year, student registration has fallen off. This
must mean that there are scores and hundreds of young men and women throughout Canada who are unable, for economic reasons, to register in universities. The universities have raised their fees fairly consistently during the past few years. That, together with living costs, has cut down the number of applications to a dangerous level in many universities throughout Canada. That is bad enough for a university but it is much worse for a nation, the youth of which are denied the opportunity of entering our universities. I do hope the government will give consideration to the establishment of national scholarships on a very wide scale, and that it will be done soon. Part of this $500 million spent in that way would do far more good for this nation, not only now but in generations to come, than any other expenditure that could be made.
I hope every member of the House of Commons will read the report, and particularly that section which deals with .the archives, our national records. The situation there disclosed is, to say the least, not a happy one. We find that away back in 1912 a royal commission of that time said there was over 1,629,000 cubic feet of floor space used by all records, many of which had not been sorted or classified since confederation. The report of the royal commission now before us says the situation has become worse. We find, for example, that the Department of Public Works is using over 350,000 square feet of floor space to store records of various kinds which have accumulated throughout the years. When one realizes that the Confederation building, a nine-storey building, has only 190,000 square feet of space, and that the Department of Public Works is using 350,000 square feet, he begins to realize the confusion there must be in respect to these records, half of which, according to the commission report, should be destroyed at once. In many cases the Department of Public Works is paying $1 per square foot for this floor space-350,000 square feet: $350,000. And half of this, according to the royal commission should be destroyed. A saving could be effected to the extent of $175,000 a year, if those records were put into proper shape.
I suggest to the minister that, as building materials are in short supply today, out of this $500 million the government should buy some of its own savings bonds and set them to one side, so the fund could be used to build a national archives building. As soon as materials are in free supply again the government could go ahead with the construction. Not only is it essential from the
standpoint of our cultural life, but it would also be a good investment from the standpoint of dollars and cents.
My reference to shortages of materials leads me to one other subject, namely the matter of credit controls, concerning which I should like to speak briefly. In this field the government has gone a long way. In fact, they have gone farther-I suggest they have gone too far-than they have gone in any other field. Hon. members are familiar with the situation that developed in Canada. Every help and encouragement was given to the development of our economy. The government, anticipating deflation, directed the affairs of the country, and did not rectify the condition when we were sliding into inflation. It did nothing until we had a conflagration in our economy. Then it erected a roadblock in the form of credit controls, against which trade was supposed to smash itself to pieces.
While the government has refused to follow the United States in many things, in this instance it went much further. In the United States there are credit controls in connection with instalment buying. I speak from memory, but I believe that over there they pay one-third down and have eighteen months in which to pay the balance. On the other hand, in Canada we are required to pay down 50 per cent, and have only twelve months to pay the balance. That is all right for the millionaire; it is all right for wealthy people. It is fine for the man who buys the Cadillac and who will have money enough to pay for it. But the farmer or the labourer in any of our constituencies who must buy a secondhand car in which to travel to his work or his office finds that he has not the 50 per cent down payment. Surely there could be some relaxation in this. It has created a real hardship affecting many people in Canada, and particularly the younger people who are trying to establish homes and furnish apartments. They cannot buy refrigerators, stoves or any other commodities because of these credit controls.
Those controls should not be abolished, but they should be relaxed, and relaxed' now. And, because of other indirect controls exercised through the Bank of Canada, bank credits have been denied, with the result that small businesses have been placed in a most perilous situation. Many of them are threatened with bankruptcy. Then we know of other businesses supplying the electrical and automotive industries. Real disaster stares these small businessmen in the face. Surely that was not the intention of the government, and I do suggest that some action should be taken to rectify the situation.
The Address-Mr. George
More than that, why should these controls be applied uniformly across the dominion? Inflation is regional. We see heights of it in some provinces, and at least valleys in others. Yet these controls, like the ten commandments, appear to be printed on tablets of stone, and are forced inexorably upon everyone regardless of financial position. We have regional arrangements in other matters, and in this connection I think of the financial arrangements with the provinces. Some provinces sign agreements while others do not, but it is all done on a regional basis. There are all sorts of precedents for this regional treatment, in every other field of government. I am confident that credit controls could be administered on a regional basis just as efficiently as they are now, and that the results would be much more beneficial to all people concerned.
I have spoken longer than I had intended. The hon. member who preceded me in the debate painted a vision of the future with respect to his part of the country, and I would subscribe to what he said. Despite the difficulties about which I have spoken, despite the hardships and all the rest of it, not only for his part of the country but the whole nation I believe the future is unlimited indeed. All we need is leadership and direction and a determination such as we have shown in the past. Given those qualities, despite the apparent difficulties of the day, those who come after us will live in a happier and better Canada than we have ever known.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Mr. Speaker, I wish to join with those who have preceded me in the debate in complimenting the mover (Mr. Cauchon) and seconder (Mr. Simmons) of the address in reply. They did an excellent job; and while I had to read the translation of one of the speeches, I must say I was deeply impressed by it. Both hon. members reflected credit upon their constituencies.
Before continuing I should like to thank the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) for the trip he arranged for members of parliament and senators who went to Camp Borden last Saturday. We left here at nine o'clock in the morning from Rockcliffe airport, where aircraft were provided, and spent the day in Camp Borden visiting the military establishments at that point. May I pay tribute to Major General Graham and Group Captain Coleman who arranged our visit, for the excellent job they did in showing us through not only the army but the air force establishments. It was most informative not only to those of us who have some knowledge
The Address-Mr. George of what goes on, but more particularly those who have only slight knowledge of military affairs.
I should like to review briefly two things which I feel should be done to improve the economic situation of the maritime provinces.
I do not include the new province of Newfoundland because I know very little about it. There are many other subjects in connection with the economic situation in the maritimes and in Canada as a whole which I could discuss, but I feel that the two subjects I have chosen are the most important. While they are far apart, in one sense they are closely related.
The past of the maritimes is a matter of record and known to all. At one time we were the richest part of Canada; today we are the poorest. What might have happened without confederation will not be the subject of my remarks; enough to say that the days of the wooden ships are over. When the maritimes were first settled the primary industry was agriculture. Labour was supplied by the family, and practically nothing was imported. They even ground their own flour and made their own clothes. The great shipbuilding industry developed, and lumbering and fishing also helped the farmers to make a living. Comparatively heavy industrialization plus available markets in what is now the United States made the maritimes very prosperous.
Beef raising was the main agricultural pursuit and many boatloads of cattle were shipped to the United Kingdom, especially from the bay of Fundy area. The cattle were shipped alive, as refrigeration was unknown. It is interesting to note that in 1889 some 78 per cent of the population were on the farms raising food for themselves and for the other 22 per cent of the people. While none of them had much money, they owned their farms, were well fed and made happy and good citizens. Many of the younger people left for greener pastures, the same as they do today, but the picture was good. Western grains were unknown and the maritimes were selfsupporting. Then, as is the situation today, the maritimes were the best place in the world to live.
Let us have a look at the situation today. Apart from Prince Edward Island the maritimes are unable to feed themselves. Outside of potatoes we must import food in order to live. The maritimes, especially the area at the head of the bay of Fundy, used to raise large numbers of cattle. However, in the thirties the farmers lost considerable money and sold their herds. There was a good export market for hay at the time and the farmers
found it easier and more profitable to make a living raising hay. Today only those farmers producing fluid milk or raising beef can show a profit; the others depend upon lumbering, fishing, trucking, et cetera, to make up their deficits.
Crop failures this year in the maritimes have not helped. While seeding was late, we still had the heaviest crops in years. However, great areas were not harvested. It will be remembered that last year there was a surplus of potatoes. That necessitated dumping. A small subsidy was paid, for which we were all thankful, and this helped to ease the situation; but the fact is that the farmers lost a terrific amount of money.
Over the years Canada's economy has changed from agriculture to industry. Today in the United States there are five million fewer people on the farms than in 1889. The figures for Ontario-and these are probably true for the maritimes-show that in those days 78 per cent of the people were on the farms where today only 11 per cent of the population is producing food. It is interesting to note how improved methods and the use of efficient machinery enables fewer people each year to feed the population. In one area in Ontario this year there are ten thousand fewer cows than a year ago, yet the area is producing more milk than ever. All this does not add up to what we would like.
Outside of western grains, the production of foodstuffs i? on the decrease in relation to the increase in population. Canada is importing butter in increasing quantities every year. The maritimes must import a large percentage of the food needed by the people. Farmers cannot get help; therefore they are producing less. The 40-hour week plus high wages is taking most of the young men from the farms. It is an accepted fact that within ten years Canada will face a food shortage unless some direction is given, and quickly.
People are blaming the farmers for high food prices, but their cost of production has risen far more than the increase in food prices. The farmer lacks organized marketing facilities, and it is only the shortage of food that keeps farm prices high. As we all know, farmers cannot set the prices for what they produce; they must take what they can get. I believe there is a great future in the maritimes for agriculture. Outside of the market gardener, the small poultry farmer, the beekeeper and a few other specialists, the days of the small farm are over. I understand that a survey has been made in the maritimes with a view to determining what areas should be cultivated. I would hazard a guess that one-half the cleared land in the
maritimes should be reforested. As we all know, it is uneconomical to farm marginal land. The shortage of labour, along with the small margin of profit, makes necessary improved and efficient methods of farming through the increased use of machinery. The small farmer cannot afford to purchase this heavy machinery, because it is uneconomical with small acreages. It has been proved that the pooling of machinery is unsatisfactory.
As an idea of what machinery will cost the farmer with a medium size farm, the total cost of cultivating machinery, hay bailer and other haying tools, binder and so on is between $11,000 and $18,000. When you consider the cost of land, buildings, stock and so on, the total runs into a large figure. A change must be made in the type of farming carried on at the head of the bay of Fundy in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I believe that is where the greatest future lies. As I mentioned before, for the last twenty-five years farmers in that area have been raising hay but there is now no market for hay and they must revert to cattle. These farmers find themselves with from 200 to 800 acres of hay land with no market for hay and no cattle. Those farmers in eastern Canada who have had cattle have been importing far too much western grain, and I cast no reflection upon western grain or those who raise it. We have not been using natural ensilage. Ensilage made from green grasses is the best livestock food in the world. The use of this, with some dry hay and very little grain, has cut the cost of production to the farmer, and means that he can also raise most of his own feed.. The marsh reclamation program developed by the federal government, in conjunction with the provincial governments, is reclaiming thousands of acres of land in the maritimes. No immediate use can be found for much of it unless the farms are restocked with cattle.
I come back to the second part of my argument. I should like to speak briefly about the St. Lawrence waterway and how it may affect the maritimes. Hon. members will understand why I said these two subjects were actually closely related, though at first sight they might seem to be far apart. I am not against building this waterway, but I feel there are certain points that should be brought to the attention of the government. The idea of the waterway is not new. It is the natural sequence of a continuous policy of development of the whole St. Lawrence system stemming back more than one hundred and sixty years. Canals do not get built by some such mythical process as that by which the children of Israel were fed on their flight from Egypt. Canals are built either by private enterprise in the hope of profit, the expectation of which would be entirely absent if no
The Address-Mr. George reasonable justification existed at the time, or by governments as the result of pressure exerted on them by voting constituents. Such pressure is not exerted unless there is a widespread demand for the particular public work in question.
The necessity for power and a larger ship canal has brought this about, and there is great demand for the development of the St. Lawrence waterway. This project involves the construction from Montreal to the open water of lake Superior of a ship canal, and it involves the improvement of the St. Lawrence river section both for navigation and power. It is understood that the large lake boats are not suitable for ocean traffic, but it is probable that they could reach the maritime province ports.
The benefits of this project to the maritimes are not immediately obvious but nevertheless are of the type that may make possible an orderly economic development of these provinces. The waterway is not a development concerning which the maritimes can remain indifferent. The two commodities which might benefit directly following the closer joining of Ontario and the maritimes are coal and steel. Both these products are being exported from the maritimes now to upper Canada, and due to the deepening of the channels may reach as far as Toronto. Other products which might also be shipped are seafoods, lumber, agricultural products, salt and gypsum. However, it must be remembered that the deepening of the seaway will also make Montreal marketing available to the upper lake boats from western Canada and the United States.
It is problematical if the demand for coal will increase because the increase of available electric power together with the diesel-ization of the railways is even now continuing to decrease the amount of coal required. It must be remembered that the real value of coal at Toronto or any other point is the cheapest figure at which good quality United States bituminous coal can be laid down at that point. It appears obvious that without some sort of subsidy Nova Scotia coal would never be shipped west of Montreal.
The establishment of a flour and grist mill at Sydney, Nova Scotia, has been under discussion for many years. I would refer the house to the report by a special select committee of the Nova Scotia legislature which studied this subject in 1930 under the chairmanship of Hon. Frank Stanfield, M.L.A. This report finds that it is rather doubtful if a flour mill would be established in the maritimes as a result of the building of the St. Lawrence waterway. One of the objects of establishing the mill would be to provide
The Address-Mr. George transportation tor maritime products to upper Canada on the return trip of the grain boats. One of the likely demands of the industrialized St. Lawrence basin will be for agricultural products furnished by the maritimes. A study of the St. Lawrence river and its tributary areas shows that the section roughly defined as between Kingston and Quebec city will develop into one of the greatest industrial areas in the world. The great increase in population which will result will have several interesting effects, and this is one of them. The agricultural areas lying behind the probable industrial area are very small. The Laurentian or PreCambrian cap goes down to within a comparatively short distance of Montreal and Kingston. Therefore the large population that will exist in these centres must be fed from comparatively distant agricultural areas. There are only two such areas to which the St. Lawrence valley could turn for agricultural supplies adequate to its needs, namely, the agricultural portions of the maritimes and Ontario.
The automotive industry was born in the interior of the country, and indirectly it helped to establish many other industries both closely and distantly related to motor cars. All these industries depended on coal and iron. The site was determined by the presence of large quantities of coal and by the reasonable accessibility of Michigan iron ore. We in the maritimes have great natural resources of coal, and iron ore from Labrador is easily available. There also great quantities of limestone in the maritimes.
The main feature worrying us today is the relationship of maritime to all-Canadian production. Records show that the trend of this ratio has gone down and is going steadily down. The conclusion we draw from the study of this problem is that the economic importance of the maritimes with relation to all Canada will probably continue to decrease as long as the major opportunities for personal economic advancement, exploitation of natural resources and general commercial development, lie in the centre and other parts of the dominion. The handicaps that bring about such an unfortunate result are the relative scarcity of the more important natural resources, average natural soil conditions which are not high, natural remoteness of markets where maritime resources could be sold, and the artificial remoteness because of tariffs of their closest natural markets, the New England states. The immediate removal or easing of this last handicap is outside the power of Canada at the moment, but the physical remoteness of the maritimes is to some extent a factor
controllable by changes in the cost of transportation. Therefore it is subject to government action, and such action in modifying the cost of transportation is entirely in conformity with several historic parallels. So the problem before Canada as a whole is, in those regions where such changes are possible, to decrease the economic handicaps or physical remoteness surrounding the maritimes to the degree that they are capable of being altered by human agencies. Only then can the maritime provinces be restored to their natural importance in the whole of Canada, and thus take that place in the realm of production which was expected by the fathers of confederation.
In my opinion there are several things that can be done to bring the maritime production average to the all-Canadian level. One of them is an immediate improvement in our agriculture. There is no better type of country in the world than an agricultural one, as is shown by the low countries of Europe, which are highly agricultural. On the whole, maritime agriculture is on a downward grade, and this will not bring prosperity. In my opinion all the marginal land in the maritimes should be reforested. Lumber is one of our main industries and always has been, but it is now in serious danger because of depletion. Federal assistance has already been offered to the provinces in this regard.
Loans from the Canadian farm improvement board and under the farm improvement act are too small under conditions existing today. Many farmers in the bay of Fundy area of the maritimes find themselves, as I said before, with from 200 to 800 acres of hay land, no market for their hay, and no cattle to eat the grass. To restock these farms is out of the question without financial assistance.
Marsh or dike land, which brought a price of over $200 an acre twenty-five years ago, is worth practically nothing today. Recently sales have brought from $5 to $25 an acre, this for land which grows grasses containing the highest protein of any in the world. No one will lend any amount of money on this type of real estate. You may say that the government's act of reclaiming this land has been a waste of money. That is not true. Parts of the world are starving today. It is predicted that in from ten to fifteen years every acre of land is going to be needed to feed the population. The potential value of this land at the head of the bay of Fundy is tremendous, and it will again be worth practically what it was twenty-five years ago. Let us say that a farm of 400 acres will support a minimum of 125 head of cattle. To restock
this farm today the farmer requires up to at least $25,000 plus his equipment and property, which he now owns, although he will require other special types of machinery for handling grass silage. I might say that this grass silage has been introduced into the maritimes in the last two or three years, and in the next two or three it probably will constitute the main type of feed for livestock. The financing of this type of work probably comes within provincial jurisdiction, but since the two lending agencies are controlled federally I feel that sufficient money should be made available immediately in order that the maritimes may get back on an export market in food, not only in cattle, but in other agricultural products. At the present rate of decrease in the cattle population of North America and the rapid increase of the human population, it is only a matter of time until beef will not be a part of our diet but will be used purely for medical extracts.
From the time the Canadian farm loan board was formed until 1935, the maximum amount which could be loaned on farm property was $10,000. In 1935 this amount was reduced to $5,000, plus an additional $1,000 on second and chattel mortgages. If the authorities were correct in making available $10,000 previous to 1935, then the figure today should be in the vicinity of at least $20,000. In addition to moneys lent by the farm loan board, it is possible to obtain up to $3,000 under the farm improvement loan legislation through the commercial banks. It is said that if this amount of money were made available the farmers would, no doubt, contribute greatly toward inflation, and the policy today, as we all know, is to limit credit. It is possible that certain sections of Canada, such as the maritimes, should receive additional credit to improve agriculture, and I believe that local conditions should be the controlling factor. If, as I have suggested previously, the maritimes will become a source of food for the industrial areas of Ontario and Quebec, the government should act now in order that food may be available when it is required, and also that the maritimes will once again regain an export status in agriculture.
Unless minerals or'oil are discovered in the maritimes, there will be no natural industrial development there. The maritimes are so far removed from the markets that transportation costs keep industries from being established there. No one will risk capital in an area so far from the centre of population. If we are ever to regain our proportion of the natural average of production, then industries must be built. We have one industry being built in my riding at the present time, a
The Address-Mr. George Canada Cement plant. That is being built purely as a matter of distribution. It is the only large industry that has been built in the maritimes in the last few years, so far as I am aware.
As I said previously, and as has been pointed out by other hon. members, we have an abundance of coal and limestone in the maritimes, and iron ore is easily accessible in Labrador. A surplus of power can be developed in the maritimes in several ways. The house will remember that in 1950 I spoke in the debate on the throne speech and mentioned the St. Mary's power project built by Walter Melanson of Moncton. My remarks may be found in Hansard, volume I of 1950, at page 716. This is a type of project which develops up to two million horsepower. Then there is the Quoddy project which was discussed here the other day by the hon. member for Saint John-Albert (Mr. Riley). It also will develop a surplus of power. There are other ways in which power can be made from coal. We have an excellent plant in Nova Scotia now, the Canadian Electric, which is producing power from powdered coal. We hear of developments going on, of burning coal in the ground. Russia is supposed to lead the world in that field today. We do not care where the power comes from so long as we get it. I think all maritime members will agree that we are not backing one power process ahead of another. All we want is power development.
Since there is a world steel shortage, it appears to me that the government could very well assist the maritimes by making available the necessary power, and by building a steel plant and the other plants that would go with it. As far as I can see, no other agency will ever build large industries there. The resultant industrialization of the maritimes, together with the construction of the St. Lawrence waterways, would make a canal from Northumberland strait to the bay of Fundy a necessity.
I repeat, we in the maritimes are not against the building of the St. Lawrence waterways or any other project that will benefit Canada. But we do feel that we are deserving of a production average at least equal to that of the rest of Canada, and we feel that the government is the only agency today which can make this possible. I am sure that the fathers of confederation never intended that it should be otherwise.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY