December 16, 1960

LIB
NEW

Walter George Pitman

New Party

Mr. Pitman:

I do not think the people of this country are going to be very concerned about this continuous argument as to what we would have done if we were over there, and what you did when you were over here.

We have fought over very carefully, the 1930's and the Bennett regime, the 1940's and the Mackenzie King regime. But we happen to be in the 1960's, and there are 429,000 people, as 1 have said, who are out of work. My few remarks are these. The member for Cochrane (Mr. Habel), I think, last night gave a very moving address, because he brought this situation down to its basic element, and that is human suffering. Let us realize there is human suffering in Canada today.

I am very glad the hon. member for Van-couver-Kingsway (Mr. Browne) touched on this problem and its international implications. It is trite, extremely trite to say that Canadian democracy is on trial. I would suggest that if democracy is on trial it is losing its case in Canada in December, 1960.

What we have here is a suggestion that government can do nothing in our economy, in our western democracy, for unemployment; that somehow the people must receive from somewhere else the solution to their own unemployment problem. I suggest that every one of us was sent here to deal with the question of unemployment here and now, in December 1960. We were not sent here essentially to deal with problems arising 20 or 30 years from now; the government did not have a mandate from the electors to do that. I think it is time to forget about who did what in 1930 or 1940. We have only a few days left, and I suggest we should make progress. In a few days we shall be going back to the warmth and comfort of our families, but there will not be very much warmth and comfort in many family circles unless they receive some glimmering of hope as a

result of the debates in this chamber; some assurance that something will be done, and done soon.

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PC

Ernest James Broome

Progressive Conservative

Mr. E. J. Broome (Vancouver South):

This is the first time I have entered this debate. I have not spoken on any of the previous stages although I think I am more qualified to speak on this bill than perhaps any hon. member of the opposition who has spoken to date. I wonder how many jobs the hon. member for Essex East (Mr. Martin) or the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate (Mr. Pickersgill) have created?

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LIB
PC

Ernest James Broome

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Broome:

It was a rhetorical question, and I know the answer. It is, none. As a result of my background of industrial engineering I have had the job of setting up plants, of providing employment, of using capital, machines and men in order to build up or make a product which can be sold in the markets of Canada and the world. That is not an easy task, but it would have been easier if we had had the benefit of the facilities which are envisaged in this bill. I would recommend to the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate that he should visit a little place north of Oshawa where he would see an old barn where Robert McLaughlin built the famous carriages which bore his name. I have seen a picture of the working force there, some 12 men. Out of this group came a corporation with 15,000 employees. This is progress, though it also means unsettlement. The blacksmith lost his job, but 200 metal finishers found jobs.

This present measure is in my opinion one of the most important bills which will be introduced in this or any other parliament, because this bill points the way to co-operation between all sections of the economy and particularly between management and labour in order to construct an economy in Canada which will survive. This represents a means of co-operation by government with labour, with industry and with agriculture. It is something which we are attempting to do and which is already working in Europe, the United Kingdom and in the near and far east where there are over 30 productivity centres which have in fact increased employment, increased production, increased earnings, reduced operating costs and introduced new products, all of which this measure is intended to bring about.

The hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate quoted the Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr) as saying, on page 832 of Hansard:

This council will be dealing with the efficiency of productivity in industry, and employment will be a natural consequence of its work.

The hon. member for Bonavista-Twillin-gate said this was a fiction and a farce, and that employment will not be the natural consequence of the work of this council. I suspect that the hon. member, because of his recent literary efforts, may be called an expert on fiction. Maybe that is the cause of his bias against this word. I suggest he should go to Hong Kong. There he might see women carrying two wicker baskets over their shoulders moving earth. A good front end loader would take the place of 20 or 30 of them. This is the type of thinking which typifies the hon. member. It is rickshaw thinking, and rickety rickshaw thinking at that. I think we could call both those hon. members who sit on the front bench opposite the rickshaw twins from now on, because in their thinking they want to go back to the rickshaw.

By using machines you get more work done, and you get more pay. You take the drudgery out of the work. That is the aim of our western civilization. That is what we stand for. The standard of living in Canada depends on the productive efficiency of our industries and related services. The purpose of the proposed council is to stimulate this efficiency. Our products are sold in fierce competition on world markets, as the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway (Mr. Browne) said, and if we lag behind our competitors in our methods or technologies we shall certainly lose those markets and our economy will decline. Jobs will be fewer, wages will be lower and there will be that degree of distress which hon. members opposite seem to think would be the best thing that could happen, from the way they have been talking.

I am glad the hon. member for Peterborough (Mr. Pitman) spoke. We have now heard three views on this question. That party was split with regard to the second reading; they could not agree how to vote. Two of its members are against any form of productivity, but the rest are for it. The hon. member for Peterborough says we have got to cure unemployment now, and that if we do not get these people back to work tomorrow we are no good.

All the members on the front bench on the other side have said that this bill will have no effect with regard to increasing employment. I do not know to what extent you have to spell out a measure. All I can say is that this lack of understanding must be due to the training, or lack of training, of members opposite. They should go to the people and find out what is happening. Productivity-the idea and philosophy behind it -represents a new step. It means that this is a joint effort by both workmen and management. The old idea was that management

Productivity Council

gave orders and the workers obeyed those orders. The more modern concept is that it is a co-operative affair. I would recommend to hon. members in the far corner of the chamber the words of Samuel Compers, the founder of the United States labour movement when he said that a company which did not make a profit was the worst enemy of the working man. New products mean expanded markets and greater trade. This is the background, and these are the objectives. This government has taken short term measures and it has taken intermediate measures to deal with this problem, but it is also the duty of a government to think ahead.

In spite of what the hon. member for Peterborough said-and this question is a rhetorical one; I do not want the hon. member for Essex East to answer it, because, of course, the answer is nothing-may I ask what measures did hon. gentlemen opposite bring forward when they first came to power? Mr. King did say "Not a five cent piece to help unemployment" though he qualified that by saying he would give five cents to provinces which had a Liberal government. What did they do about increasing aid to municipalities, about providing credits for exports, or aid to small business, or a winter works program, or the whole pantheon of constructive ideas which has been put forward by this government since it took office in 1957? This government has been a government of action. It has been a government which has done things. It has been a government of imagination; it has been a government that has won the confidence of the people, and it still has the confidence of the people.

I say that if hon. members on the other side cannot understand what this bill is about, then perhaps if they would go to some youth in the first year at high school he would try to tell them a few of the basic economic facts of life. I do not want to labour this too much. I suppose I should be taking the "more in sorrow than in anger" approach because the remarks which have been made on the other side are really pathetic. Hon. members over there just have not got any case; they have not got any ideas. That is why I say that this is rickshaw philosophy which has been brought forward-and I hope the hon. member for Essex East will not get to his feet on a point of order or a question of privilege; I expected it before this time, but I think it is strictly a good parliamentary description, and so those rickshaw twins had better get out of their rickshaws and get into the automobile age.

(Translation):

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PC

Jean-Jacques Martel

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. J. Martel (Chapleau):

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to take up too much of the

Productivity Council

time of the house because the bill now under consideration has been discussed thoroughly at the resolution stage as well as before the first, second and third readings.

I have a few remarks to make which are, I feel, of general interest and deal with the purpose of this legislation introduced by the Conservative government for the establishment of a national productivity council.

Before doing so, I should like to refer to a part of the economic report for 1959 where it is stated, contrary to suggestions made by opposition members, that the Conservative government, as soon as it came into power, has done its share to remedy the situation and intends to keep on advocating legislation calculated to relieve the situation still further and thus provide Canadians right now, and not only in a few years, with a solution to the problem with which we are faced.

And now, Mr. Speaker, let me refer to a review of the 1957-58 recession published in the "Canadian Economic Outlook, 1959". To save time, I shall quote only part of the conclusions of the report, and since they are in English, I shall read them textually. I quote:

(Text):

Review of the Recession in Canada.

On duration, some indications of weakness became apparent earlier in Canada than in the United States. This was most apparent in unemployment, where the increase in employment failed to keep pace with the rise in available manpower after the summer of 1956, while unemployment began to increase in the United States only in the spring of 1957. The United States recession was checked in April, 1958, (with the nine month recession being unusually short by historical experience) and significant and persistent increases began thereafter. In Canada, the stimulative effect of federal government fiscal changes and assistance to housing temporarily offset the weakness in other areas during the second quarter. However, renewed widespread weakness reappeared during June, July and August, and this can be seen in industrial production, retail sales, bank debits, freight car loadings, exports, imports,-

And so on. I continue:

Although government measures contributed to the early strength, the weakness still present was reflected in an irregular period of consolidation, with a suggestion of a "double bottom". (Translation):

Such was the situation of the recession in 1957-58. The report goes on to say:

(Text):

The two main factors contributing to the milder recession in Canada than in the United States were the differing role of international trade, and stronger government measures in Canada.

(Translation):

And please note this sentence:

(Text):

. .. stronger government measures in Canada.

(Translation):

At that time, the government took action to stop the recession which had started under the former administration. And I am sure that the government intends to take the necessary steps to relieve unemployment and also to continue to remedy the situation in the best interest of all people in Canada.

Now I should like to add a few remarks of international nature, somewhat along the line of those made earlier by the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway (Mr. Browne). (Text):

It was announced recently, Mr. Speaker, that the Russian government will devaluate in January of next year its money by some 56 per cent. That will intensify, I believe, the economic war the communist countries are waging against the west or what we know as the free world. Canada being a country which produces and exports large quantities of raw material, we will be caught in a squeeze, since communist Russia also has tremendous resources and exports raw material for economic or cold war purposes.

Improved productivity, therefore, is a very logical aim and that is what our government is trying to achieve with this new bill we are now about to approve. Improved productivity and a better product are certainly the long term solutions to these problems but as a result of Russia's action to devaluate its money we may have a rough time in the months ahead or even in the next few years.

Communist countries, as we all know, have been unfair competitors in many instances and for numerous products, so we can wonder how it is going to be in the months ahead if in addition to underquoting us all the time all over the world they further use devaluation of their money to invade not only all the markets of the world but our traditional markets as well. (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I just want to add that this legislation is most timely. Indeed the national productivity council will set up a program that will prevent our industries being placed in an unfavourable position and will curb the unfair competition to Canada on the part of the other countries, particularly in the case of raw materials. The interests of Canadian exporters will be protected, which should result in an improved economy for the country as a whole.

I feel that this legislation will achieve its end, considering the following which is to be found in the preamble:

In order to provide expanding opportunities for increased employment and trade and rising national standards of living, it is in the national interest to promote and expedite continuing improvement in productive efficiency in the various aspects of Canadian economic activity:

Mr. Speaker, in closing may I say that, to my mind, some planning in our economy will be necessary in the years to come-not any arbitrary planning imposed by the government, but rather some clear guidance and adequate information that would help private enterprise survive in this complex world, without handing over to the state or to self-styled experts, to civil servants or bureaucrats, the freedom of action of our privately owned concerns and industries. Those famous experts who are constantly expounding new theories, without always being able to put them into practice, often change their minds according to the times. The case of the present head of the Bank of Canada was a striking instance of the fact.

Indeed, he is advocating devaluation of the Canadian dollar, something he has never mentioned before.

Therefore, while indicating the best path to follow, on the basis of serious and practical studies and with an eye to the future, the government, through the national productivity council-which may also be used to achieve a certain amount of economic planning-must be particularly careful not to impose its views in socialist fashion, in an attempt to control and regulate everything. We are not here to add more controls, we have enough of them already. We do not want to destroy, we want to build. We are here to help the Canadian nation, by finding means to provide more jobs for the people of this country.

(Text):

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PC

Walter Franklyn Matthews

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. F. Matthews (Nanaimo):

Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to speak on Bill No. C-52 but the opposition has followed certain tactics in trying to delay the bill and I thought I might as well get up and say a few words too. I am quite disappointed to see that the Liberal party continues to throw cold water on bills which at this time of the year are intended to help the people of Canada. I do not know why they continue to throw cold water on them.

In the first speech I made after I became a member of the house I referred to the department of gloom the Liberals had set up and how it was certainly not good for the people of Canada at any time, let alone at a time when changes are taking place in all countries. It is very disappointing to see these so-called leaders of some time ago sit here with their sour faces. I suppose it is the outcome of the 1957 elections when the cream of the Liberal party were completely whipped. All we have left now is skim milk and it is terrible to see that skim milk now going sour. I think one of them said something the

Productivity Council

other day about an election. Apparently he would like to go through the separator again but I do not think it would do him a bit of good.

The Liberals formed this department of gloom and now they have turned around and formed a new one which I would call the department of cold water. Each one of them seems to be equipped with a bucket of cold water which they like to throw on everything that is good for the people of Canada. It is quite apparent that that is what they are doing and I say right now that if Canada ever has frozen assets it will be because of the cold water the Liberals are throwing.

I was quite surprised when I heard one former cabinet member refer to the bill as a farce. I have also noticed a headline, a paid advertisement by this Liberal party in which the bill is referred to as a farce. It is a funny thing to me that a headline should appear in a paper terming this bill a farce because it certainly is not.

I do not want to take too much time but I have a bone to pick with the Liberals and have had for a number of years. It dates back to the time when I came out of the air force without any money and tried to get a job in Canada. I approached some members of parliament and some of the members of the provincial legislature. I was promised jobs but I was given the runaround. At that time both the provincial and federal governments were Liberal. I thought some of these members were friends of mine but they certainly were not. I even tried to borrow $250 to buy a JN-4 Curtiss aircraft and go barnstorming but I could not get it. So, like a lot of Canadians at that time, I left this country to try to find employment because the government of that time was doing nothing to encourage young people to stay in Canada where they belonged. I went to the United States and I got the $250 for my Jennie. I stayed there 10 years but I came back again because I could see possibilities on the horizon that a good government would come back into office.

I am very disappointed at the way some of these Liberal strong men of the past carry on in the House of Commons. It made me really sick and tired when I heard the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate (Mr. Pick-ersgill). When I first came to the house I thought he was a good speaker and that I would really hear something. However, I did not. The hon. member referred to the Prime Minister and what had been said at certain meetings. I was quite interested to read an article in a Vancouver paper, or it may have been a Victoria paper, which dealt

Productivity Council

with a meeting in Victoria to which the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate drew 75 people.

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PC
PC

Walter Franklyn Matthews

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Matthews:

You have not heard it all. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson) was here in Ottawa and when he heard there were 75 people at the meeting he asked for a recount. He certainly could not believe it because he was billed to go out there in two months' time and he figured he was going to draw those 75 people. Half the people who were there were there because they thought the new member for Niagara Falls (Miss LaMarsh) would be there, and I can certainly understand their interest. The other half just went along for the rye.

Some of them who were there must have thought it was a leadership convention. Six little green men knocked on the door and they said to the doorman, "Take me to your leader". It stumped the doorman but it did not stump the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate. He had been on the stump so long that he had started to look like one. I will give him credit. He got off the stump but he went out on a limb. He said, "Bring them in, I am the leader". He has been out on the limb ever since. He has become pretty good at hanging by one hand. After all, you need the other once in a while to scratch yourself.

At about the same time I noticed in the Vancouver Sun that the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate had written a book. I am not sure whether I have the article here because sometimes I throw stuff away. Yes, I have it here. I am not going to take very much time on this but the article in the Vancouver Sun of October 27 last reads in part as follows:

The Mackenzie King Record, by M.P. John W. Pickersgill, is pretty dull reading.

That is a fact because here was an attempt by a man to put something into circulation which people would buy. He did not tell them that it would drive them crazy. The article goes on to say:

Nobody will buy Pickersgill's Mackenzie King Record; its only place is on the stuffy shelves of reference libraries, to which it will add more stuffiness.

I know now where he gets his speeches.

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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I suppose the hon. member is leading up to the effect which the new productivity council will have on all these things he has been speaking about.

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?

James Ewen Matthews

Mr. Matihews:

Mr. Speaker, actually I had no intention of speaking. After listening to the gloom, this is simply an attempt on

my part to introduce a little fun and something of the Christmas spirit. I am quite happy to see members of the opposition laughing and enjoying themselves. I think they are very fine fellows. I said that without giving it much thought, however.

Many times in the past we have heard predictions from the Liberal party and I should like to deal with one for a few minutes. This weird prediction came from the Liberal department of doom. Ever since they went out of office in 1957 they have claimed for Canada and Canadians all types of ruin and destruction. None of their predictions have come to pass or are they likely to come to pass. A few weeks ago the Leader of the Opposition put one prediction into orbit across Canada that tops them all. He told his party followers that the Liberal party would soon be in power again. That is just more gloom, and to help them on their way I would suggest an old theme song to them: I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air, and you know what happened to those bubbles.

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PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. F. J. Bigg (Aihabasca):

Mr. Speaker

it is trite to say that democracy is on trial- I have heard this from our latest and learned friend in the corner. Communism is also on trial and has been condemned by freedom loving men wherever it has reared its ugly head. Socialism is nothing more than a wooden horse within which are red soldiers. All I ask is that Canadians take a good look at this monstrosity outside our walls before they welcome it within.

I should like to see this measure go to a vote but I cannot allow this new voice to go unchallenged. I had expected more from our newest member than the usual emotional balderdash. I had expected dynamic plans for solving the unemployment problem. What do I hear, however, but the usual defeatist propaganda? Now, we have nine gods on the socialist Olympus full of thunderbolts and wind. They are ready to share the results of other people's labour but have no suggestions as to how to create more wealth to share. I appeal to labour to help produce this new wealth, and I appeal to our newest member to add to our efforts or show a modicum of wisdom by waiting until he has some constructive criticism to offer before wasting the time of the house.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Chairman, on December 6 I addressed a question to the Minister of Finance in the following terms:

I wonder if I could ask the Minister of Finance whether he expects to be in the house between now and the Christmas recess to justify the supplementary estimates.

To that question the minister gave the following reply:

I do not expect to be in the house constantly, but I can assure the hon. gentleman that the supplementary estimates are fully justified and that the ministers of the various departments will be here to deal with the estimates pertaining to their respective departments, according to the usual practice of the house when supplementary estimates are considered.

I note that the hon. lady who presides over the department whose estimate has now been called is not in the committee at the present time. I would suggest that the minister allow this item to stand and proceed to the department of some minister who is in the committee, in accordance, in his own words, with the usual custom.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinlon):

Of course, this is a nonsensical observation, as no one knows better than the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate. In this particular case there is a spokesman here. The parliamentary secretary will be here to speak for the department concerned and information that is sought in relation to the estimates concerning that department will be forthcoming.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Chairman, I would just like to recall to the mind of the Minister of Finance, who seems to be suffering from amnesia in this matter, that on one occasion when the previous government was in office his then leader, Mr. Drew, took the strongest possible exception to proceeding with the estimates of one of the departments because the minister happened to be absent, notwithstanding the fact that the parliamentary assistant to the minister of fisheries was there. Quite a scene was made about this until I happened to come into the chamber-[DOT] I was acting minister-and there was no longer any substance for this contention.

If the Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration-who I believe is the Minister

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration of Justice, unless some change has been made-is present and willing to speak for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, or at least to throw his cloak over the parliamentary secretary, in accordance with the rule laid down by Mr. Drew, that would seem to be an appropriate thing to do. Otherwise I think the usual practice, as the minister told us on December 6, ought to be observed in the committee on this occasion.

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Chairman, just for the record I think it is important to state that the absence of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration this afternoon is due to illness.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Perhaps the Minister of Finance will explain to us what he really did mean when he said:

-the ministers of the various departments will be here to deal with the estimates pertaining to their respective departments, according to the usual practice of the house when supplementary estimates are considered.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinton):

1 think it is a perfectly obvious comment. I would not undertake to be a reader of the mind of the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate.

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?

An hon. Member:

Do not do that.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinton):

We have had some discussion in times past about the handling of the final estimates, those that are normally introduced in the month of March and which are often left to the Minister of Finance to pilot through the committee. The reason for that is that those are normally what are called clean-up items; they are not items that normally introduce any new principle, but simply involve what are called further amounts required for purposes that have already been approved by the house in the normal appropriation act which in ordinary years would have been passed some months in advance of that particular time.

What I meant when I made the remark last week in reply to the question of the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate is, I think, quite clear. I meant we would follow the usual practice in a case such as the one we have now, but the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate thinks he can score some advantage, by reason of the absence through illness of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and impede the work of the committee.

I just point out that the parliamentary secretary to the minister is here and is prepared to answer any questions in relation to these several items of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, so that the work of the committee will not be impeded. The information that any member requires

[Mr. Pickersgill.l

will be forthcoming as long as the hon. member opposite does not seek to impede it by this ill-founded observation.

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December 16, 1960