November 27, 1952

LIB

John Lorne MacDougall

Liberal

Mr. MacDougall:

If not, he can take it as notice. I should like to know what members of the cabinet are considered officers of the crown. If there are any members of the cabinet who are not in that category, who are those specific ministers of the crown who are not so considered?

Topic:   THE CABINET
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO DESIGNATION "OFFICERS OF THE CROWN"
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):

I am afraid that even the alacrity of the Minister of Justice is not equal to that question, without notice. I shall be glad to take my hon. friend's question as a notice and bring down an answer.

Topic:   THE CABINET
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO DESIGNATION "OFFICERS OF THE CROWN"
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PENSION ACT

DEPENDENTS OF DECEASED SERVICE PERSONNEL


On the orders of the day:


CCF

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

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direci a question to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Has the minister received a copy of the resolution of the Silver Cross Women of Canada, as I believe have all members, asking for certain changes in section 33 of

the Pension Act with respect to pensions paid to dependent parents of deceased servicemen? Will consideration be given to this request?

Topic:   PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   DEPENDENTS OF DECEASED SERVICE PERSONNEL
Sub-subtopic:   REQUESTED CHANGES
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LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs):

I have received such a resolution,

and I have made arrangements to meet with the officers of that association in the very near future to discuss the matter with them.

Topic:   PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   DEPENDENTS OF DECEASED SERVICE PERSONNEL
Sub-subtopic:   REQUESTED CHANGES
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ARMED FORCES

WELFARE FACILITIES


On the orders of the day:


PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon):

I should

like to direct a question to the Minister of National Defence. In view of the continuing expansion of the armed forces, does the government intend to make use of the welfare facilities offered by the voluntary organizations which served so effectively during world war II?

Topic:   ARMED FORCES
Subtopic:   WELFARE FACILITIES
Sub-subtopic:   ORGANIZATIONS
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxlon (Minister of National Defence):

The hon. member for Brandon

was good enough to give me notice of his question. At present we have a brigade group in Korea, a reinforcement group and other units in Japan, an air force wing and. a depot in England, a brigade in Germany and an air force wing in France. The heads of the three services consider that it would be unwise, uneconomical and unnecessary to establish at all these places the five welfare agencies that we used during the second world war and I agree with them. Whatever welfare services are required will continue to be supplied by one means or another, depending on the circumstances.

Topic:   ARMED FORCES
Subtopic:   WELFARE FACILITIES
Sub-subtopic:   ORGANIZATIONS
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SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed, from Wednesday, November 26, consideration of the motion of Mr. J. L. Deslieres for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in' reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Drew, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coldwell. (Translation):


IND

Raoul Poulin

Independent

Mr. Raoul Poulin (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker,

I came to Ottawa to attend the present session firmly determined not to take* part in the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne. However, after listening to the various speeches made during the last few days I changed my mind. Many will undoubtedly say that that is where I erred. As a solace, I might tell them that my remarks will be brief.

The Address-Mr. Poulin

Like the previous speakers, I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to the mover and seconder of the address for their magnificent and successful effort to uphold, according to the tradition of the house, the quality and dignity of those speeches.

I also associate myself with the wishes expressed by the previous speakers for the complete success of the celebrations marking the coronation of the Queen of Canada.

I say without hesitation that, in my humble opinion, our present political system is not the one I prefer. For instance, I have often asked myself what is the necessity or even the usefulness of a governor general, even a Canadian governor general, and of lieutenant governors in the various provinces. However, as long as we are governed by a constitutional monarchy, the person vested with supreme authority, whether man or woman, will find no more respectful subject than I. Consequently, I sincerely trust, without any reservation, that our new queen will enjoy a reign both happy for herself and her family, and beneficial to the loyal subjects that we are.

At this stage of the debate on the address, we are considering the amendment to the amendment moved by the member for Rose-town-Biggar on behalf of the socialist party of which he is the leader.

The said motion reads as follows:

We regret further that Your Excellency's advisers have failed:

(a) to recommend legislation, establishing a a nation-wide health insurance program, with provision for provincial administration.

I wish to state right now that I am decidedly opposed-not because I am a doctor myself but as a Canadian citizen-to any state-controlled health insurance scheme.

Health, treatment of ailments, relations between the patient and his doctor or nurse, hygiene, medical education, hospitalization, all these are hallowed fields in which moral and psychological factors are just as important as therapeutic or hygienic considerations. It therefore appears to me to be absolutely unseemly-if not altogether impossible-to let the state look after medical matters in a country such as ours.

Though it may be argued that freedom of choice would be safeguarded, as regards both the doctor and the patient, it is nevertheless a fact that the physician would become a civil servant; he would be forced to abandon all kinds of personal undertakings which are just as necessary in the medical field as in other scientific fields. He would be obliged to put down in writing any number of declarations directly opposed to his professional oath of secrecy and entailing an unnecessary loss of often precious time. Even were

The Address-Mr. Poulin the family doctor or the consulting specialist to retain all those privileges which they now enjoy, and which give to his relationships with his patients an almost sacred quality of friendliness and confidence, the fact would nevertheless remain that state-controlled medicine would bring about a type of officialdom whose doings would be prejudicial to the best interests of the patients.

In a country such as ours, in particular, where there is duality of culture and religion, can you imagine, for instance, an atheistic high official-and it is not the first time that persons of that category have sat on Canadian government bodies-in charge of health control with the education which that involves? Can you imagine this official being required to pass upon the advisability of allowing or prohibiting therapeutic abortion, or to give advice concerning sexual intercourse or chastity in marriage, or else on the gynaecological care to be given in maternity cases? Can you imagine this same person expounding doctrines of birth-control or sexual education to be given to adolescents? It would indeed be interesting to see a Dr. Chisholm -the less said about him the better- approaching these problems! It is not therefore surprising to note that, in Catholic Ireland, in 1951, that is, last year, the bishops forced the Costello government to dispense with the services of Dr. Browne who was in charge of the health department, because he favoured a government plan for medical care to mother and child.

On the other hand, I am bound to admit that a great number of our people are not getting adequate medical care yet, in spite of the fact that great progress has been accomplished during the last decade in the field of preventive medicine. Such an improvement has been possible thanks to an acceptable co-operation between the Minister of National Health and Welfare and the provincial governments.

I acknowledge, and I am pleased to do so, that the federal government has done much in this field in lending genuine support to the constant efforts of the provinces. I would like to add that, on the whole, provincial autonomy as well as the sacred field of medicine has been respected by Ottawa. In co-operation with the provinces, the federal government has been concerned mainly with hygiene and preventive medicine. In this field we have by now reached a reasonable level, which compares favourably with the level attained in several other countries. .Could the federal government go further than that? Could it do more than it has done :so far?

As I just said, preventive medicine is making considerable progress. The most serious deficiencies are now felt in another sector, that of curative medicine, and this is the field which the federal government will have to invade, if it wants to make further progress. A great many people of limited means are surely deprived of medical care because they are unable, with their small income, to pay the very high cost of such services. Nevertheless, I contend that this sector of medicine is a field which the central government should not invade, for the reasons I gave a few moments ago.

I now contend that even the provincial governments should abstain from interfering. That field is too intimate, too personal; it is a temple too sacred to be violated by civil servants, to whichever party or group they may belong.

In his speech of the 24th instant, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Cold-well) said, after having discussed state-controlled health schemes-and I quote his very words:

We discover more and more that prominent physicians can be brought to see the necessity of such a program.

He quoted but one authority in support of his statement. One must admit that the list of prominent doctors referred to by the hon. m'ember is not very impressive, being limited to one person. Proceeding with his speech, the hon. member named the president of the association of Frenchspeaking physicians of America, Dr. Jean-Baptiste Jobin, as one of those doctors who could be persuaded that a national health insurance scheme was a necessity. As proof of this, he quoted a few words that Dr. Jobin is reported to have said at Laval university on September 23, 1952. I am referring to page 53 of Hansard of November 24, 1952:

Social medicine is a must if modern medical services are to be accessible to everyone.

From these few words, the hon. member hastens to conclude that the prominent physician referred to has allowed himself to be convinced of the need for state-controlled medicine.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot let this statement go unchallenged. Following the speech delivered by the hon. member, I contacted Dr. Jobin and here is the letter I received from him yesterday.

Quebec, November 25, 1952.

Dr. Raoul Poulin,

Member for Beauce,

House of Commons,

Ottawa, Ontario.

My dear Doctor,

I am glad to send you, in reply to your telegram about Mr Cold well's project, the whole text of my statement. You will see that I was misquoted by newspapermen who garbled my text.

Ever since I was played that mean trick by a newspaper whose name I will not mention, that paper's article has been reproduced everywhere by people who, ignoring my original text, have quoted me right and left as having said something I do not believe in the least.

At the closing banquet of the convention held at the Chateau Frontenac, in Quebec city, I made it quite clear that I was personally and categorically against state medicine, that I had been the victim of misinterpretation and that I favoured on the contrary private medical practice, in so far as is possible. You will see that such is the statement I made last September at Convocation hall.

I beg you to accept, my dear Doctor Poulin, the expression of my best wishes.

Yours truly,

J. B. Jobin

In my opinion, the only way of solving this problem would be to encourage the population to enrol in independent insurance plans with prepaid premiums, through various companies entirely independent from the different governments. It is well known, in that respect, that such insurance plans are becoming increasingly popular. In 1950, half the population of the United States was protected by plans of that type, while in Canada some three and a half million people were covered by private insurance plans. In the case of low-income people, the government of each province would pay the premium. That would increase the expenditures of the provinces, which, I know, would make the plan quite unwelcome to a few people who will hold that certain provinces are financially incapable of paying the cost of such an insurance plan. That brings us to another current topic which was debated at some length in the house by the Leader of the Opposition: the division between the federal government and the provinces, of the different fields of taxation, and the matter of provincial autonomy.

My point of view would be accepted in the province of Quebec, I think, since the premier is a determined partisan of autonomy, even if, on some occasions, he has let slip by some opportunities to consolidate its foundations. However, he made quite recently in this connection a statement which has made me very happy. He is reported as having said last week at a press conference that he will no longer accept the federal government's aid to universities and classical colleges. Being one of the very few members in this house who have challenged that recommendation of the Massey commission, I cannot help but be delighted at this new stand taken by the premier of Quebec, and I offer him my most sincere congratulations.

The provinces should be able to find the revenues they need to give the poor of the country the medical care to which they are

The Address-Mr. Claxton entitled, pursuant to the principles of Christian charity, and without having to resort to state medicine.

To this end, should the federal government return to some of these provinces the sources of revenue with which they parted more or less willingly I do not hesitate to answer that the interests at stake are certainly worth while.

Mr. Speaker, the problem of the medical care that should be given to the needy is too utterly human to make a mess of it by exaggerated partisanship.

I am convinced that there is not a single member of this house who is not ready to do his best so that the unfortunate may receive not only the assistance necessary to relieve their misfortune and their sufferings, but that they may receive that assistance fully in the most human and most comforting way possible. I believe, speaking in all sincerity, that governments can strive to attain this goal without intruding into the field of medicine.

(Text):

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence):

I should like first of all, Mr. Speaker, to congratulate most warmly the mover (Mr. Deslieres) and seconder (Mr. Schneider) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. Both the hon. member for Brome-Missisquoi (Mr. Deslieres) and the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Schneider) discharged their difficult tasks in a way which brought honour to their constituencies, and they deserve every congratulation. I am sure that the members of the armed forces, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force would be most appreciative of what those members, the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the member for Halifax (Mr. Dickey) have said about them in their speeches in this debate.

Ordinarily on taking part in a debate of this kind I would have felt it my duty to survey the international situation, particularly as regards Korea and the work of the United Nations to stop aggression there, and the development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its work to prevent aggression in Europe. Then, I would have endeavoured to give an account to the house of some of the main developments in our armed forces since we last met. There will be other opportunities to do that, either during this debate or later in the session, and I shall be glad to take advantage of those opportunities as they occur. Today I propose to deal with boots, forks and rugs.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

And neckties, too?

The Address-Mr. Claxton

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

I am not omitting neckties. My reason for taking this course is that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) made these articles and our extravagant expenditure on them, as he put it, the main basis of his attack against the Department of National Defence. These have been the subject also of some newspaper articles.

Now, the purchase of clothing and barrack stores for the armed forces is a matter of the most serious concern to this house and to the country. It involves very large expenditures of money, and must be done with all possible economy. If anyone can point to any way in which greater economies can be effected, the Minister of Defence Production (Mr. Howe), myself and the officers of the armed forces will be the most pleased persons in the world, because we want to get the most value we can and have the biggest defence forces possible for the tax dollar.

This matter, therefore, is of grave concern. As it happens, it is a matter on which the special committee on defence expenditures set up by this house spent most of its time. Hon. members have available to them, even though they may not have looked at them, the proceedings of that committee as they are in the papers and official records of this house. They will see there spread out information bearing on most of these subjects. I suggest it would be useful if, before making sweeping assertions about these subjects, an hon. member would at least look at the published records of the house to see what the facts are that have been brought out.

Clothing and barracks stores are required for four purposes. First, there is the original issue to a man or an establishment, to the man when he joins the armed forces or to the establishment when it is set up. Second, there is the replacement of articles worn out through use, that is, maintenance. Third, there is the establishment of sufficient stocks in depots and other stores to meet normal demands as well as sudden requirements that cannot be anticipated, and also to provide for the varying sizes of the people who have to be outfitted. Anyone familiar with retail practices will know what I mean by this. It is usual to provide something in the nature of 25 per cent extra for size, that figure depending on the article concerned. Fourth, and finally, we want stores and clothing for mobilization.

I announced in the house on February 5, 1951, the expanded defence program and I said that it would make provision forthe administrative staff, training establishments, depots, stores, clothing and equipment to provide for rapid mobilization in a total effort.

(Mr. Claxton.]

Let me deal with each one of these four purposes for having clothing and barracks stores, in the order I have given.

First, initial outfitting. Every man entering the forces is provided with an outfit of clothing which is personal to him. The average cost for a man in the active forces is $369. In other words, for each man joining the active forces the clothing issued to him costs $369, not an excessive sum. At considerably less cost a much less elaborate kit of clothing is issued to men joining the reserve forces, the university training plans or the cadet services.

In the period from April 1, 1949, to October 31, 1952, we have enlisted in these various categories a total of 227,000 personnel each of whom had to be initially outfitted. Here I begin to mention figures that I am sure will strike the house with their magnitude. There have been 227,000 new outfits for officers and men of the active and reserve forces and the cadet services since April 1, 1949. Provided a man serves a minimum of 90 days in the active forces, and a correspondingly longer period for the reserve forces and cadets, he is entitled to retain part or all of his clothing on discharge. It will be seen therefore that initial outfitting alone calls for a very substantial number of garments.

Second, we have maintenance in respect of the replacement of articles consumed by use and by wear. Every effort is made to assure that we get the utmost possible wear out of each article. Many hon. members have visited No. 26 ordnance depot at Plouffe park and have seen there the workshops where this work is carried on. They have seen the thoroughness with which boots and shoes and other articles of clothing are completely rehabilitated by expert service and civilian workmen.

As of October 31, 1952, the strength of the active forces, reserve forces and the cadet services was 248,000. Rates of wear of military clothing for these various categories will obviously vary considerably between the extremes of the soldier engaged in active combat and one engaged in more sedentary work such as the signal system. But even so 248,000 men and women wear out a considerable number of garments in the course of a single year.

Third, we have the necessity of establishing stocks. Oyer and above those out on initial issue or those required for maintenance, we must have stocks to meet needs that can be anticipated and also to provide for sizing and distribution. When you consider that there are 1,402 units of the active and reserve forces, quite apart from cadets, at most of which issues are made of clothing, you can

appreciate that we need quite a considerable quantity of articles of each type in stock so as to provide for distribution and sizing.

There has been a very considerable increase in the size of the forces since the outbreak of hostilities in Korea. The total number has increased in the active forces from some

47,000 to over 100,000, that figure having been reached on the 6th of November last. To meet that increase we have had to add to our stocks, but that having been done we do not need to do it again. Once you establish stocks for distribution and sizing you do not need to do that operation again.

Finally, we need clothing and equipment for mobilization. Some hon. members will recall the situation that faced us in 1914 and all hon. members will recall the situation that faced us in 1939 when large numbers of men had to be mobilized, and the resultant difficulties in having men proceed with realistic training or even with guard duties through lack of proper military clothing. The next mobilization, if it comes, will in all probability be far more urgent and far more serious because we now face for the first time the possibility of a direct attack upon the land of Canada. Accordingly I announced the policy of acquiring mobilization stores when I announced the expanded defence program in the speech of February 5, 1951, from which I have just quoted.

At that time no member of the opposition and, as far as I know, no newspaper in Canada took any exception wnatever to the policy then declared. So far as I know, no member of the opposition and no newspaper has yet taken a position of opposition to the policy then declared. All countries acquire stocks for mobilization, stores for mobilization, stores with which to equip the men they have to take on strength to meet the challenge after it occurs. I came across a very interesting and helpful observation by the hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness). Speaking in the house on November 11, 1949, he said, as recorded at page 1691 of Hansard:

I remember that when we were mobilized in 1939 the men of my unit went around without uniforms for a considerable length of time. There were no uniforms for them at all; and this condition was not corrected until the first issue of battledress came along in November, I believe it was, 1939.

The hon. member for Calgary East goes on to say-and this is the policy we are pursuing:

There should not be any repetition of that; there is no need for it, particularly with the large amounts spent for defence purposes at the present time.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

There is no need to go to extremes either.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink

November 27, 1952