Hugh CLARK

CLARK, Hugh

Personal Data

Party
Unionist
Constituency
Bruce North (Ontario)
Birth Date
May 6, 1867
Deceased Date
May 13, 1959
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Clark_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=29d180a3-09d2-4ee1-bc3d-b43eab62d101&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
editor, teacher

Parliamentary Career

September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
CON
  Bruce North (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for External Affairs (October 21, 1916 - October 12, 1917)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
UNION
  Bruce North (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for External Affairs (October 12, 1917 - November 6, 1918)
  • Parliamentary Secretary of Militia and Defence (November 7, 1918 - July 1, 1920)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 21)


June 22, 1920

Mr. CLARK (.North Bruce):

Yes. While I should like to be able to support the amendment of my hon. friend from Slceena (Mr. Peck), I must say that this matter has been discussed on other occasions than during this session by the special committee. The Committee on Re-establishment last year discussed the question of loans at some length, and my hon. friend from West Lambton (M(r. Pardee) and the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. Redman) were anxious to have loans made toi students whose university course had been interrupted by the war. I think I am violating no secret when I say that that proposal tentatively carried the committee, but afterwards, the demands for loans for other classes-for fishermen, blacksmiths, dentists, doctors, engineers and others whose business had been seriously interrupted by the war-became soi numerous and insistent that we made up our minds that our course should be dominated by the policy of looking after the disabled and the dependent. If we had opened the door to one of these other classes we would have had to open all doors. I must admit that we have got away somewhat from the idea of assisting only the disabled and the dependent. We got away from it when we granted loans to returned soldiers to settle on the land, but primarily, as had been stated before, that was a colonization scheme. We also got away from it when we extended vocational training courses to minors-boys who enlisted under the age of eighteen. But outside of those two cases we have kept within the disability and dependent class. Iff we break away from that and grant loans to re-establish soldiers in the fisheries, as suggested by my hon. friend from Skeena and my hon. friend from Gloucester, still more doors will have to be opened, because inevitably there will be a demand that we should do for other classes what we had done for the fishermen. Therefore I shall oppose the amendment.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS AND REESTABLISHMENT.
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June 22, 1920

Mr. CLARK (North Bruce) :

That is right. Several members of the committee were in favour oif granting loans to university-students, to fishermen, and so on. I must say that my hon. friend from Skeena has been perfectly consistent. All the way through he hats taken the course that whether loans were granted to other classes or not, they should certainly be granted to the fishermen.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS AND REESTABLISHMENT.
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June 22, 1920

Mr. CLARK:

I have the very great difficulty in answering my hon. friend's question in that I did not hear a word of it. If my hon. friend will repeat it in a louder voice I will do my very best to give him as courteous a reply as I know how.

Turning to the merits of the question, 1 draw a sharp distinction in regard to an argument which has been touched upon by several hon. gentlemen. I draw a sharp distinction between farmers dealt with under the Land Settlement scheme, and fishermen or any other class of the community. Let me say in regard to the amendment in the first place that I do not think its drawing is very happy in this connection. The amendment asks us to give

subsidies to fishermen the same way that we have done to farmers. Well, Mr. Speaker, if I understand this question, -we have not given any subsidies to farmers; we have given loans to farmers, so that I take it my hon. friend would regard my criticism of the wording of the' amendment as well placed.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS AND REESTABLISHMENT.
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June 22, 1920

Mr. CLARK:

If that is what the hon. gentleman means I will not go. any further in criticism of the wording of his amendment. I was saying, Sir, that I draw a sharp distinction between farmers dealt with under the Land Settlement scheme and the fishermen or any other class in the community. I was perfectly clear in my own mind-listening to the discussion on the Land Settlement scheme when it was first introduced, as I have on every subsequent occasion it has been before the House -that the intention of the Government as expressed by the Minister of the Interior was to give help to soldiers, it is true, under the Land Settlement scheme, but their first and most primary consideration was that that scheme was a fine thing for Canada. In that view I thoroughly concurred, and the Land Settlement scheme has had my modest benediction since its inception. Sir, I used an argument in the remarks I addressed to the House on the Budget, supported by figures, which went far, in my judgment, to show that it is upon the development of the land, upon the possibilities of agriculture, in this country, that we depend not only for our financial success but for our financial solvency in the years that are immediately before us; and I said in the original debate on the Land Settlement scheme that I supported it not in the view that it was any great benefit to the soldier to begin with-and I spoke from considerable experience of what he is up against and what he has to go through-but that in my judgment, considering the fibre of the men we were going to have on the land, it would be a splendid thing for the whole country. That I think differentiated the farmer from the other classes concerned not so much in quality as in degree. The fisherman-to the extent that he pr <-duces-of course benefits the country just as much as the farmer does; but we must consider what are the possibilities in the way of developing certain industries, what are the financial results to come out of the support of those varying industries, and I

contend that my differentiation is well taken in that regard.

Now, that brings me to the consideration that after all, Mr. 'Speaker, in regard to a loan we are reduced in the last analysis to the elementary fact that two parties are concerned-one is the lender, the other is the borrower; and if the lender has nothing to lend, the borrower naturally goes out of the question, and the lender keeps out. We have the assurance that up to the present time, with the expenditure on the land settlement scheme and the other immense expenditures involved in the aftermath of the war, the country is strained to the utmost possibility of its finances. Faced with that condition of affairs, I come to the argument which I think is absolutely sound, that if you consider the case of the fishermen you must consider also the case of the man who wants to start a small business -in a word, you must consider any other class in the community who may have reasonable claims on the Government, the Parliament, and the people of this country for their war work. And if we considered this amendment we should be undertaking the first step in a whole series of financial commitments which would lead us to a point where I do not think the finances of the country could stand the strain. That is how the question looks to me up to the present moment.

There is only one point I have further to make, . Mr. Speaker, and it is this. I do not take it that the report of the committee closes the door on further consideration of any soldier's case. I modestly offered to the House when the question of subsidies was up before a suggestion along the lines of my hon. friend from South York (Mr. Maclean), which I would have accompanied by the consideration that both parties to the bargain would regard the matter as closed-

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS AND REESTABLISHMENT.
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June 22, 1920

Mr. HUGH CLARK (North Bruce):

Mr. Speaker, the chairman of the committee (Mr. Cronyn) has been so much extolled that I need not add anything to the observations that have been made by the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Belaud) and other members who have spoken in that regard. I should like to refer to the concluding paragraph of his speech in which he made reference to the attendance of the members of that committee and their attention to the work of the committee. A deliberate and apparently organized attempt had been made to make it appear to the public mind that the members of the committee were indifferent, if not hostile, to the needs and wants of the returned soldiers. There is an element that has never quite forgiven this Parliament for not granting gratuities to all soldiers. I for one opposed the granting of further gratuities to soldiers, and I am more opposed to that to-day than I was then. I can take the the view to-day that the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) expressed last year, namely, that if we had in the treasury a million dollars that we did not. know what to do with, I would not hand it out by way of indiscriminate gratuities, for the reason that to do so would work a positive disadvantage, not only to the returned soldier, but to the country as well.

I cannot, however, understand the reason why an attempt should be made to prejudice the public mind against the parliamentary committee that was discussing the question of pensions and the question of re-establishment. I have never seen any disposition on either side of the House to do anything except that which was to the advantage of the returned soldiers, and I have never seen any prejudice on either

side of the House against returned soldiers. I have seen nothing but a desire to do the very best we could, and the very best the country could afford to do for the returned soldiers. Why any organizations of returned soldiers should endeavour to make the public believe that the committee was indifferent, if not hostile, is more than I can understand. As the chairman has pointed out, the fact of the matter is, that no other committee had as little difficulty as this committee had in obtaining a quorum on every occasion except one, and that was when we sat in this House until 7 o'clock in the morning of the day the committee was convened. In order that the members might attend that committee regularly, we all had to neglect our primary parliamentary duties, and as a result of that we lost track of what was going on in the House, because the committee met in the afternoon and at night while the work of the House was in progress. It seems to me, Sir, that if the idea be still in the public mind, that the parliamentary committee was not disposed to do the proper thing for the returned soldiers, that idea ought to be dispelled by the report which was laid on the Table yesterday. When this legislation goes into operation, our pension list will be the largest in the world. For instance, under this report when given effect to a single man, if totally disabled will get in Canada, $900; in Great Britain* $506.13; in Australia, $379.60; in New Zealand, $506.13; in South Africa, $379.60; :n the United States, $1,200; in France, $4880; in Italy, $243.33. Let me point out that while the scale paid to a single man by the United States' Government is larger than ours, yet it remains the same all the way through the list. In the United States a single disabled man gets exactly the same amount as a disabled man with a wife and three children, or, for that matter, with, ten children. I do not suppose that any person in the Dominion of Canada would approve any such law as that. I understand the United States have discovered their mistake, and it is just possible they may revise their pension list so as to get it more in line with outs.. In Canada a man with a wife gets $1,200, exactly the same as in the United States. A man with a wife and child in Canada gets' $1,380, in the United States $1,200. A man with a wife and two children, in Canada gets $1,524, in the United States $1,200. A man with a wife and three children, in Canada gets $1,644, in the United States $1,200. In Canada there is an allowance of $120 for

each additional child, while in the United States there is no such provision; it is simply a flat pension of $1,200.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS AND REESTABLISHMENT.
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