John Horne Blackmore
Let the people of Saskatchewan and the people of Canada as a whole have their productive capacity liberated by a sane financial and credit system and there will be such a superabundance of virtually everything you could name that this country can produce that people will be at their wits' end to know where to market their goods, which indicates beyond any shadow of doubt that we are in an age and a land of abundance.
The national credit of this country can be used to distribute this abundance, but unemployment insurance is not one of the methods for carrying out that distribution. It is therefore only a palliative and will be found to be a disappointment. People will begin to realize the seriousness of that disappointment just when there is the greatest need for something of real value.
If we face things realistically we all recognize that to-day our greatest need is more purchasing power in the hands of the people. We need that extra purchasing power right now, first of all to raise the standard of living of our people from one coast to the other. Everyone recognizes that the standard of living is shamefully low. That is abundant evidence that we need more purchasing power
in the hands of the people. If we could get that purchasing power into their hands so they could buy more, we would immediately encourage the production of butter, cream, milk and every other commodity which we can produce so generously in this country. If w'e could so increase our production, unquestionably we would increase our national income; for production is the thing that makes real wealth. If we could increase our national income, beyond question we could increase our national revenue; for you get national revenue from national income and you get national income from production and you do not encourage production by taxing it or by limiting the purchasing power in the hands of the people.
This measure proposes nothing more or less than a new tax on top of the painful ones imposed yesterday. I say " painful " without committing myself either to approval or disapproval of the budget. In the last analysis we are not going to tax all the people because all the people are not employed. As the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) said, we can never possibly reach all the people. We will be least likely to reach those who are suffering the most. Consequently this proposal is exactly the opposite to what we ought to have.
We need not unemployment insurance but employment insurance. Employment insurance could be obtained by giving the people work. People would be able to obtain work once there was an abundance of production. Therefore, we should be devising ways and means of increasing production in this country. Then employment would take care of itself and so would unemployment insurance. How to increase production is the problem we should be wrestling with in this house. If we could manage to extend credit in such a way that the producers could produce freely and expand purchasing power so that the people could buy that production freely, then there would be immediate employment. I submit that it is along these lines that the real solution lies.
May I turn for a moment or two to the question of centralized control. Parrot cries have been heard from one end of the country to the other, apparently actuated by some inspirer behind the scenes, all clamouring for centralized control. The idea seems to be that if you take five, six or seven families, any one of which cannot make a living by itself, and put them all tightly together so that some one can control their every movement, you are going to have every family succeed. Such is not the case and such will not prove to be the case in Canada. We do 95826-71J
not need a strong centralized government. Do hon. members wonder why we never heard anything about this need for a strong centralized government until the last ten or fifteen years? Why was it that this country got along very well for many decades? There was no disagreement between the central government and the provincial governments until the depression came along.