February 5, 1963

NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Even before parliament met-

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Robert Jardine McCleave (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

Irresponsible.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

-every newspaper, every radio and television station was telephoning members elect and asking them what they were going to do about turning the government out. The members of this group made it abundantly clear before parliament met and after it assembled that we were not here just to turn the government out; that we were here to support any legislation which in our opinion would grapple successfully with the national and international problems confronting Canada. We recognized then, as we do now, that Canada faces a serious situation. As to the international monetary exchange crisis of last June, let me say that in spite of the Prime Minister's optimistic statement this afternoon I am not convinced it has entirely disappeared. There is the subject of economic growth and unemployment. There are the difficulties facing agriculture; the fact that we lag far behind other western countries in health and welfare programs. There is the need for new trade policies in the light of changing trade patterns throughout the world. We said that all these things demanded aggressive action and dynamic leadership. We said we were prepared to support the government if they produced this leadership and that we would vote against them if they failed to do so. Our votes have not been motivated either by a desire to get the government out or, God forbid, by a desire to get the Liberals in.

But I submit, Mr. Speaker, that having sat since September 27, because of the indecisiveness of the government and also, I think, as a result of a good deal of obstruction by the official opposition, this parliament has been reduced to a state of such impotence that the only answer now is to give the people of Canada an opportunity to go to the polls.

Let me just mention a few things we had hoped might be done during this session. We had hoped the government would grapple with the need to plan this nation's economy. I do not need to elaborate on that subject

Alleged Lack of Government Leadership because, fortunately, in the last 12 months everyone has apparently become converted to the idea of economic planning. But all we have had to date from the government is the prospect of four boards composed mainly of part time members meeting periodically in Ottawa; four boards reporting to four separate ministers without machinery for coordinating their efforts or their plans. In many cases their terms of reference overlap and, above all, no provision has been made for a national economic development fund without which these four boards are simply groups of men holding little meetings in a corner.

We are still faced with serious unemployment. The Prime Minister talked this afternoon about the growth in the gross national product, but the fact remains that this growth has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in employment. Unemployment continues to be a source of serious anxiety. The speech from the throne talks about providing one million jobs over five years. I have not seen anything in legislation which indicates how these million jobs are to be created, and if we do create them this would only take care of the young people leaving our universities, schools and technical colleges to enter the labour market during that five year period. We would still have to make provision for the half million or so who are presently unemployed in addition to those who may be displaced as a result of modem technology and automation.

The matter of trade is to the fore. I am convinced that Britain's application to join the European common market having been rejected, this country will find itself facing circumstances whose difficulty we have not yet begun fully to appreciate. I would have expected that during the past four or five months the government would have put forward some ideas about the future development of our trading program in the light of such events as the emergence of the European common market and the United States trade expansion legislation in order that Canada, one of the great exporting nations, might have some part in this trade revival and this changing trade pattern all over the world. But we have had no statement other than that there is to be a ministerial meeting of GATT.

The subject of medicare is to the fore in every province in Canada. The government announced the appointment of a royal commission in December, 1960, and we are told the commission is to report some time in June or July of this year. That is a long period of inaction. As a matter of fact, since the provision of health services lies within

3460 HOUSE OF

Alleged Lack of Government Leadership provincial jurisdiction the federal government already had all the information it needed in order to bring forward the kind of enabling legislation which would permit parliament to pay sums of money to any province which wanted to set up a medical care insurance plan, and leave it to the individual province concerned to determine the conditions and the type of plan it was ready to offer. I submit that the appointment of the commission has been merely a stall to avoid the necessity of facing this issue.

Action is needed with regard to agriculture. We were told this afternoon that the eastern farmers are to have feed grain. We were told there is to be a two-price system for wheat. These proposals are certainly not before us at the present time and nothing has been suggested as a remedy for one of the main complaints of farmers of every kind in this country, namely that all across Canada they find costs increasing while, on the average, the prices they receive are going down.

I see Your Honour getting a little restless and I would therefore suggest we call it six o'clock.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink

AFTER RECESS The house resumed at 8 p.m.


NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Mr. Speaker, when we adjourned for the dinner recess I was in the process of giving some of the reasons why we in the New Democratic party feel that the government and the official opposition have failed to give the kind of decisive leadership that will enable this country to cope with the major problems confronting Canada. I was just going to discuss the question of the acquisition of nuclear arms and the government's failure to give us any clear and decisive statement on this matter.

The government's constant delay in making a final decision ought not to obscure the fact that they have been moving steadily, step by step, toward the acquisition of nuclear arms. We have the Prime Minister's statement this afternoon that negotiations would continue with the United States so that nuclear arms would be available for the Bomarcs and the Voodoos. They may not physically be accepted into Canada until they are needed, but they will be available. From the statements which have been made in the last week or ten days there is no doubt that nuclear arms will be acquired by our NATO forces.

Mention has been made of the ministerial meeting of NATO in May. However, I would

remind the house of the statement of the former minister of national defence, one which has never been repudiated by the Prime Minister, to the effect that at the May ministerial meeting of NATO, should NATO reaffirm a nuclear role for Canada, then Canada will equip her NATO forces to discharge her obligations.

Reference has been made to the Nassau agreement. It seems to me that this is sheer window dressing. There is no likelihood of France's agreeing to making NATO a multilateral nuclear power. I would further add that making NATO a multilateral nuclear power is certainly one of the most serious ways of increasing the membership of the nuclear club.

I say that the government has not given us a clear statement. If the Prime Minister or any member of the government had come into this house this afternoon and told us that the government was prepared to negotiate Canada out of that nuclear role in NORAD and in NATO I think we would have been able to take a different position with reference to this whole question of confidence in the government. However, they have not done so. We feel that the only difference between the Conservative government and the Liberal opposition is that the Liberal opposition are prepared to accept nuclear weapons now, whereas the government is delaying the final acceptance of them but is undoubtedly committed in that direction. As was said by the former minister of national defence, it probably means a delay of only some four months.

In supporting a motion of no confidence in the government we in this party wish to make one thing perfectly clear. This does not involve a vote of confidence in the official opposition. They speak of decisiveness. One has only to look at the amendment which they moved. They have refused to take a definite stand of any sort on any question of policy. They have refused to put forth any constructive proposal. Instead, they have contented themselves with negative criticism. The fact is, of course, that the Liberal party have never taken a stand. They always believe that a moving object is harder to hit. They are in favour of medicare in Ontario; and in Saskatchewan, where the government are trying to put medicare into operation, they fought it tooth and nail almost to the point of civil insurrection. In the province of Ontario they are in favour of progressive labour legislation and in Newfoundland, under a Liberal government, they have the most repressive labour legislation that has been passed in this country in half a century. The same thing is true of their stand in reference to nuclear arms.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

But you are going to vote with them.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
NDP
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

The hon. member for Trinity (Mr. Hellyer) this afternoon said they had a leader who is not afraid to take a stand. The obvious answer, Mr. Speaker, is "for how long?"

A bulletin put out by the Canadian committee for nuclear disarmament quotes a statement by the Leader of the Opposition in January of 1961, when speaking to the Liberal men's club of Vancouver, as follows:

Canada must remain a non-nuclear power. By doing so, Canada can lead the middle powers m the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons and eventually all armaments. I don't believe we need the Bomarc, which is not an effective defence in any sense, and will probably be scrapped by the U.S. one of these days.

There is no suggestion in this statement that we have commitments which we must honour. There is no statement there that, since the government has committed us to nuclear weapons, we must accept them. When the Leader of the Opposition made that statement and other statements we were just as much committed as we are at the present time.

The Leader of the Opposition this afternoon tried to drag a red herring across the trail. He said that we do not want to leave our forces without effective weapons. But, Mr. Speaker, anyone who listened to "Viewpoint" last night and the talk by Paul Simon of Toronto knows that he quoted from the military journals of the United States and the textbooks of the Pentagon to show that in the case of the Bomarc, the Voodoo plane, the Honest John rocket and the F-104 all of them can use conventional weapons, as well as nuclear weapons, with deadly effect, and that it is simply beside the point to argue that we are leaving our forces without effective weapons. This is merely swallowing the propaganda of the military-industrial complex which has terrific propaganda power on this continent.

Since under the rules of the house we must take a vote in a few minutes, I want to say that as far as this party is concerned we feel that the time has come when the people of Canada should have the chance to elect a new government and a new parliament. We in this party hope to give them the chance to elect a government that will so plan the economy of this nation that the major economic decisions affecting the people of Canada will be made by the people of Canada themselves, to so plan the economy of this country that we will have economic growth and that the increased production will be used to raise the living standards of the people of this country, to elect a government that will bring this country into line with the high standards of welfare, health and federal assistance to education which have already

Division

been undertaken by some of the other countries in the western world. Above all, Mr. Speaker, we need a government which is prepared to pledge itself to a non-nuclear role for Canada so that this country can make its contribution to world peace by strengthening the United Nations, by giving of our personnel and our resources to raise living standards throughout the world. Mr. Speaker, we suggest that the hour of decision has come. Let the people decide.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. It being 8.15 o'clock in the evening it is my duty, pursuant to section 4 (d) of standing order 56, to interrupt these proceedings and put forthwith the question on any amendment before the house.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I declare the amendment to the amendment carried. The question is now on the amendment as amended. All those in favour of the amendment as amended will please say aye.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Aye.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

All those contrary will please say nay.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Nay.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I declare the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Call in the members. Is it agreed that the members are in?

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Is the house ready for the question?

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Question.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

The question is on the amendment as amended, which reads as follows:

This government has failed up to this time to give a clear statement of policy respecting Canada's national defence, and has failed to organize the business of the house so that the 1963-1964 estimates and budget could be introduced, and has failed to outline a positive program of follow-up action respecting many things for which this parliament and previous parliaments have already given authority, and does not have the confidence of the Canadian people.

All those in favour of the amendment as amended will please rise.

During the taking of the vote:

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO PAY REVIEW FOR CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink

February 5, 1963