February 20, 1961

LIB

William Hector McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMillan:

The Prime Minister and the premier of Ontario met in Toronto not long ago and a spokesman at the meeting said:

The party feels that the government has had a good program but we haven't sold It.

The Prime Minister said that the Conservatives plan to mobilize in every part of the country and to expand information services to furnish data on the courses of action taken by the government and how it has fulfilled its promises. "We have just begun to fight", the Prime Minister said, in an apparent reference to the next election. He said that the Conservatives would expand their information services. This is another way of saying that the government feels it has not been able to get through to the public in the way that it would like to. It is another way of saying that the image is not in sharp focus.

This may be a little out of order, Mr. Speaker, but this is just another aspect of the hard sell. From this I can detect that the Conservatives are aware of something sinister and they seem to lament that you cannot sell something that is unsalable.

The hon. member for Parry Sound-Muskoka (Mr. Aiken) said that it was time to take a good look at our economy. He enumerated different items and all his comparisons were made with last year or the year before which were also Tory years. I have made a tabulation of different aspects of our economy. Our fiscal policy, while not the sole cause, has

Government Monetary Policy had an adverse effect in producing these effects: 1. Unemployment is reaching new post-war peaks every month. 2. Carloadings are generally down over corresponding figures of previous years. 3. Business failures are away up so that the press compares them with those in the days of R. B. Bennett. 4. Steel production, the indicator of business, is away down. 5. Mortgage money is so high in cost that many people cannot afford to buy a very modest home. 6. Taxes at all levels of government are year by year reaching new peaks. 7. Hungry people are walking our streets. 8. According to articles in the press, our prestige abroad has dropped, and according to the article, "Canada, A Nation Without a Face", in the current issue of the Financial Post, our prestige is reaching new lows. I do not see how anybody can come to any other conclusion but that our prestige is going down. I hope this is not right. I hope that the government will not expect the governor of the Bank of Canada to take any responsibility in connection with these matters.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

You differ with your leader.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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LIB

William Hector McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMillan:

9. Our bonds have sold among the lowest of the western free world and foreign financial papers, including those in London and elsewhere, criticize our fiscal policy and say we are in trouble. 10. The cost of living is at or near the all-time high. 11. Through lack of decision in the cabinet we maintain interceptor aircraft under NATO in Europe and at home in Canada that are not fast enough to intercept an ordinary commercial jet aircraft.

The people of Malton were building a plane, the CF-104, of which the people of Canada and in the industry could be proud. No matter whether Canadians disagreed with the breaking up of that industry, I think they all lament that the three or four planes at or near completion were put to the blow torch and cut up into little pieces so that nobody could see how good the planes were.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I cannot see that this is material to the debate. The Avro Arrow was as outdated as manufacturing horse collars would be today as far as the agricultural economy is concerned. What has that to do with the debate?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

After the speech you made, you should be the last one to raise a point of order.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Hector McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMillan:

Apropos of this, Mr. Speaker, I notice in a letter-the writer being

Government Monetary Policy from San Diego, California-it is stated that most of our aircraft workers who went there still recall the anniversary of Black Friday.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
PC

Charles Edward Rea (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Rea):

Order. I think I have allowed the hon. member to get into a discussion of the aviation business quite far. Perhaps he should now come back to the subject.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Hector McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMillan:

I will try to return to a discussion of the economic situation in this country.

After listening to the hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Nielsen) the other day I really felt that the great northern vision had disappeared or became a fleeting mirage.

The people have lost confidence in our government-

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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PC

Charles Edward Rea (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Rea):

Is the hon. member for Yukon rising on a point of privilege?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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PC

Erik Nielsen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

On a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker. I do not think the hon. member from Welland intended to refer to me when he did. I think he must have mistaken me for someone else.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

What is your point of privilege?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
PC

Charles Edward Rea (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Rea):

Could the hon. member tell me what the point of privilege is?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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PC

Erik Nielsen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

The hon. member from Welland referred to something attributed to me which I did not say.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

It is on the record.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Hector McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMillan:

Because of the fiscal policy, people have lost confidence in this government which has promised to do much but has done little. If the government would only say what it means, and mean what it says, there might be some return of the confidence required for a healthy economy in this country. If the government would say less about its politics and would remove itself from indecision we would all have less to criticize it for, and would not have to ask then, Mr. Speaker, are they men or are they mice.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just sat down said he would answer a question when he was finished. I should like to ask that question now. Is it true that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson), all through the 1958 election campaign and just recently, said that in order to cure unemployment in Canada he would finance on a deficit budget?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Hector McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMillan:

That is right, but those opposite seem to forget that if you spend perhaps $600 million or $800 million to stimulate

the economy the returns from increased income tax and increased sales tax would offset the deficit to a considerable extent.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
Permalink
PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. H. Horner (Acadia):

It is customary on a supply motion for the official opposition to move an amendment and to state that the country has gone to pot, and that they no longer have confidence, like the people of Canada, in the government. This is, as I mentioned, a customary motion, and it is the official opposition's duty to choose the subject for debate. Naturally one expects the official opposition to choose the most important subject at the time the supply motion is brought before the house. They have chosen monetary and fiscal policies, as I understand it.

We have now dealt with just about everything in respect of monetary and fiscal policies as well as anything else that can be tied in with them.

I came to this house perhaps a little naive in respect of management by government, the duties of the official opposition and so on, but have always been willing to work, and have listened to a great many subjects. The official opposition has made very determined efforts to speak on unemployment and to give us suggestions as to what should be done. I have had a great deal of difficulty in deciding when the official opposition is serious and when it is actually only making political comments. The previous speaker suggested that this government forget absolutely everything political and get down to business. I would suggest that this would be good reasoning for the official opposition to follow.

I have listened on a number of occasions to discussions in respect of this unemployment situation but have failed to comprehend any concrete solution that the opposition have put forward in regard to this problem. They suggested at one time that the government should get labour and management together. When the government announced that they were going to set up a national productivity council, the official opposition spoke against the measure, yet the council's main work would be discussions with management and labour in regard to creating greater production and thereby greater employment.

We have heard the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson) speak today about tight money-money loaned out since this government took office-in comparison to the policy of the previous government. He did not mention any figures or go into any great detail concerning what we should be doing which we are not now doing. He did not suggest that we had not lent more money than the previous government because he knows full well that we have. He must realize that we have made money available to small towns.

I might say at this time that this money has been very welcome to a number of small towns on the prairies. We have also increased the number of loans and the amount lent for the purchase of farm lands; we have increased farm improvement loans by more than half as much again. We have also made arrangements for government guaranteed loans to small businessmen.

All these increases have been put into effect since this government took over and yet the official opposition continues to say that we have brought in nothing but tight money policies. We have lent money in respect of winter works projects; we have increased grants to universities. Universities in the province of Alberta receive from the federal government up to $300 per student. We have granted money in respect of university residence construction, for sewage disposal projects, and as one hon. member mentioned in the debate today, we have increased old age pensions by $9 although he did not feel this was much, even though it amounted to some $100 million. He suggested it was nothing to crow about. I think it is evident now that those hon. members who support this view wish now that they had increased the pensions by $9 rather than by $6. We have heard a great deal of discussion about the unemployment insurance fund. No one on the other side of this house has mentioned the increase in the number of days for which an individual can collect unemployment insurance. This is one of the steps that President Kennedy has suggested should be taken in the United States.

A great deal of the discussion has related to the cost of living index. I have here the Canada year book for 1960 which gives the cost of living index for each year. The member from Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Benidick-son) said it had increased from 121 point something to 129, a rise of 8 over a period of approximately four years. Where he found these figures I cannot say.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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L L

William Moore Benidickson

Liberal Labour

Mr. Benidickson:

The Bank of Canada statistical summary.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT MONETARY
Sub-subtopic:   POLICY AND DEBT MANAGEMENT
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February 20, 1961