Mr. J. W. MURPHY (Lambton West):
Mr. Speaker, may I at this first opportunity compliment you on the high honour that has been conferred upon you? I am sure that you will continue to exercise that necessary degree of tolerance and fairness expected from you, especially to the new members who are not so familiar with the rules, and who rise for the first time, I can assure you, with some trepidation.
May I also extend my congratulations to the mover (Mr. Benidickson) and the seconder (Mr. Langlois) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne? My most sincere congratulations go to these two hon. members,
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because they chose to serve their king and country in time of war. I am sure that no member of the government or of the other parties to our left will forget that sitting in the ranks of the Progressive Conservative party are also distinguished soldiers, including two holders of the Victoria Cross. To these hon. gentlemen I cannot find words to express my gratitude. It is indeed an honour to be associated with them. It is a healthy sign to see so many young members in this House of Commons, men who are entering the political arena for the first time.
I am very proud to represent the riding of Lambton West, which includes Sarnia, not only because it has the largest oil refinery in the British empire, not because it has also the Polymer Corporation, commonly known as the rubber plant, but because I hope to be of some service to my riding and my country. That is the reason why I am here. I maintain that one must accept his responsibility or take the consequences.
I was sorry, Mr. Speaker, as a new member to hear some of the members to your right and to your left charging the Progressive Conservative party with being responsible for stirring up disunity in the Dominion of Canada. I think that sort of debate is beneath the dignity of this house. Of one thing I am proud, namely, that members of our party cannot be charged, as can the members of some other parties in this house, with spread>-ing the gospel of class hatred, distrust and discontent. Of all hatreds within a country, class hatred is by far the most dangerous, and to those who for political purposes are playing around with such high explosives, may I suggest that before it is too late they desist from such contemptible tactics, and that instead of preaching blue ruin and hoping for a depression so that they can stir up more class hatred, they act as real Canadians and stop selling Canada short. I maintain that our party preached national unity from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and that all would have equal rights, with no favourtism to anyone. Apparently some parts of this great dominion did not choose to take the chance of being treated on an equal basis.
We were elected as members of our respective ridings, but if we are to discharge our responsibilities as members of this house we must have a national outlook and consider that each and everyone of us represents a united Canada. I can best picture my thought by a simple illustration of nine men-I use the figure nine purposely-with their arms so tied and bound that they could not feed
themselves and yet had plenty on the table in front of them. They solved their own problems by each feeding the one to his left.
I should like at this time to emphasize that it. is a distinct honour for me to represent Lambton West in this house. In 1943 I contested the riding of West Lambton in the provincial arena. The ridings of Lambton West and West Lambton differ somewhat in their boundaries, and in the 1943 provincial election the riding of West Lambton was won by the C.C.F. party by a small majority. That was, as hon. members all remember, the time when the Polymer Corporation was being rushed to completion, and some 4,000 temporary workers from other parts of Canada were engaged in that construction. I may say they did not repeat it on June 4 in the Ontario government election, but ran a low third, the Progressive Conservative of course winning.
Most hon. members know that the dominion riding of Lambton West has been traditionally Liberal. It had a Liberal representative ever since confederation except for one term, when it was ably represented by the highly respected and recently deceased Mr. Le Sueur. It is with great satisfaction I say that the C.C.F. candidate lost his deposit, and thereby helped our Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) to the tune of $200; and if they ever find another C.C.F. candidate we shall assure them of the same generosity. So, Mr. Speaker, I have reason to be proud of being the second representative of our party for Lambton West since confederation.
I should like to quojte from one of Canada's most popular and highly respected newspapers, the Windsor Star of last Friday:
As the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives are the only two parties with any claim to national status, they are the parties who have to look to seats in all parts of the dominion. The other parties do well in this province or that, but they are not national parties. They are sectional groups, speaking for one area only.
To all those who are on the right of you, Mr. Speaker, and to my left, I wish to say, listen to this, and this will be my eulogy of my leader:
John Bracken is doing all right as leader of the Progressive Conservatives. He is the type of man who wears well and gathers strength as he rolls along. He is never spectacular, but he is impressive.
I wish for a few moments to dwell on the more material angle of my riding. We have heard some reference to sugar beets and the scarcity of sugar. Sugar stocks at Wallace-burg, normally a high production area, are reported as nil and have resulted in the
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actual importation of 2,000,000 pounds of cane sugar. This action was necessary to provide consumers and processors with even their very much limited ration. We did grow great quantities of sugar beets in Lambton county; and knowing the reasons for the lessened production I did not relish the billboard advertising of some months ago by the wartime prices and trade board, to the effect that there was plenty of sugar in the sugar bowl.
There are two reasons why Lambton county produces less sugar beets than formerly. The first one is common to sugar beet producers >n. all parts of Canada; that is, the government's much-muddled man-power system or, should I say, lack of system. The second is a serious menace to the sugar beet industry in our locality. It is a fact not known to many hon. members, but I am assured it is known to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner). This disease is a nematode, affecting the sugar beet. The entomologists of the Department of Agriculture are well aware of this menace and have made some surveys concerning it. The disease is considered so injurious to the industry that farmers in certain areas are not permitted to ship their beets by truck to the factories but are compelled to ship by railroad. It is feared that in shipping by truck beets may fall off and spread the disease. This same nematode is what created such havoc among the sugar beet growers in Utah. The disease has already spread elsewhere in Ontario. It is a serious situation, and every effort must be made to control and eliminate it entirely; otherwise I fear for the sugar beet industry in Ontario.
Some months ago representation was made to the Minister of Agriculture to take further action, and at the same time representation was made to the minister of agriculture of Ontario. Two creeks, or rather small rivers, which drain thousands of acres of land in this area empty into lake Huron. I have known there to be as much as four and a half feet of sand washed into the mouths of these creeks or rivers, thus preventing proper drainage. As a result of this, vast areas are sometimes under water, which simply means that it accentuates the spread of the disease to other lands. Engineers have suggested that the only way to keep the mouths of these creeks open is by constructing breakwaters at the mouths. The mouths of these creeks are subject to dominion government regulation, and the dominion government is the only agent that can legally rectify the situation. The minister of agriculture of Ontario, realizing the seriousness of the situation, agreed to pay one third of the cost of these breakwaters
if the dominion government and the drainage areas paid the balance. It is my earnest desire that the minister will again look into the matter and cooperate to, preserve the industry, since not only are all sugar beets subject to infection, but also table beets, carrots and other vegetables. The market gardeners are very much alarmed, and in my riding, owing to boat shipping facilities, market gardening is an industry of no mean proportions. We have many hundreds of acres in Lambton West used for no other purpose than raising vegetables.
At a later date I may have something further to contribute regarding the sugar beet industry, and I may not confine my remarks to the production of sugar beets.
The other subject which I wish to discuss for a few moments is the greatest potential industry in Canada-and I do not purpose to qualify that statement-that is, the tourist industry. Sarnia is within one day's automobile drive in the United States of America of as many people as are in the whole Dominion of Canada. It is little wonder, therefore, that I am and will continue to be interested in the tourist industry.
I have heard with interest of the scheme to beautify the nation's capital. I am in hearty accord with the idea of beautification, and suggest that at. Sarnia, where, as I said before, we are the front gate to so many millions of Americans, much could be done as a dominion government undertaking as part of the programme to promote and increase our tourist industry. Every port of entry into Canada gives the tourist his first picture and impression of our country, and I think the federal, government could and should lend its aid to the provincial and municipal authorities in the beautification of all these ports, through which flow these great streams of wealth, so essential to our national interests. We are fortunate in having courteous customs and immigration officials who faithfully accept their responsibilities and are a credit to the service. They are the first officials to greet these tourists. Might I at this juncture emphasize and endorse a plea for these competent men, that they receive a wage or remuneration commensurate with their duties and responsibilities. I am advised that they have not received the consideration to which they were and are entitled to monetarily. I believe I am right in saying that their scale of wages has not been raised except on a much too modest scale since 1925. Surely since the depression these men should receive decent wages. I maintain here and now that- a man qualified to enter
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the customs or immigration service should start at not less than $1,800 a year and not $1,200 or thereabouts, and that his increases should be on an equitable merit system.
For those hon. members who do not know, we have in Lambton West some ninety miles of shore line-partly along the St. Clair river and about sixty miles along the shores of lake Huron; a paradise for the American, and it is the American who is developing the shore line. Sarnia is less than sixty miles from Detroit. In 1939, 312,564 cars crossed the Blue Water bridge between Sarnia and Port Huron. Since that time, owing to the war and restrictions, the traffic has been less. But that will give the house an idea of what we may expect by considered planning.
It is not necessary that hon. members be told by me that we live in the best country in the world and that its changing beauty from east to west or north to south is unending and unequalled in its entirety. Nature has largely endowed our land with everything for the contentment and the happiness of our people and for those from other lands and climates who come to visit Canada. Canada must compete with the tourist attractions of other countries which are at all times being expanded and improved. One pre-war year alone, it is estimated, 16,000,000 United States tourists came to Canada, leaving in the country about $300 million. Ninety-five per cent of United States tourists came to Canada on "rubber tires".
We must be prepared not only for a return of this traffic in increased volume but also for those using the even more modern method of transportation, the aeroplane, which will open up our country to those even further removed from our boundaries than those to whom I have already referred.
The tourist traffic is valuable to our national life to a large extent and it might not be amiss to consider 1938 as a normal pre-war year. In 1938 Canada's credit balance of international payments amounted to $184,800,000. A favourable balance in the tourist trade amounted to $145,000,000, or 78-5 per cent of the total credit balance of international payments. If it had not been for the tourist trade. Canada's credit balance of international payments would have been negligible.
Much care and consideration is given by the government to the gold mining industry. Canada's credit balance in gold shipments amount to $156,500,000, or about nine per cent more than the tourist industry.
The Canadian government has established trade commissioners in many foreign countries to sell Canadian products. The credit balance
in the tourist trade as mentioned above amounted to $145 million as compared with $180,500,000 credit balance in the external trade, of all merchandise shipped from Canada, including agricultural products.
In 1938, Canada's tourist trade was of greater importance to Canada's national economy than any other single industry, with the exception of gold mining.
As a result of the Atlantic charter a great deal of consideration is being given to foreign trade. To offset this there will be a natural desire on the part of countries to be self-contained, particularly with regard to strategic materials.
Canada will continue to need foreign currency. As in the past one of the greatest sources of this currency will be tourist travel into Canada.
Canada has more at stake per capita in foreign trade than any other country in the world. Foreign travel in Canada, because of its advertising and educational value, could be used to create more foreign trade.
Advertising, better understanding, and a proper interpretation of Canada and Canadians, to foreign countries will be invaluable.
Canada is a large country populated by a relatively small number of people. There are several distinct population centres. Such conditions tend to create misunderstanding, resulting in local discontent and sectional prejudices. There is nothing which will counteract these unhappy conditions more effectively than travel.
The tourist traffic will compare more than favourably with any other industry in the amount of employment produced per dollar expended. Not only is there a direct benefit to farmers, retailers, purveyors of lodging and food, to travel systems, to gasoline and to other entrepreneurs, but this money creates much indirect employment because it passes through all channels of human enterprise. Even as the tourist traffic has become of primary importance to Switzerland, so the tourist traffic could be made of utmost value to Canada's national economy.
Canada abounds in natural attractions. From the Cabot trail in Cape Breton to lovely Victoria, every section has its own national appeal. Much can be done to exploit this.
Canada's facilities for recreation must be regarded as a natural resource to be developed under wise guidance for the benefit of the greatest possible number of people. They are a natural resource, just as our mines, forests, and farm lands are natural resources. They possess only one outstanding difference; they are not exhausted by use. Scenery,
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climate, and environment can be "sold" over and over again; can be drawn upon in perpetuity without any impairment of the original capital.
Development of Canada's recreational activities as a post-war enterprise has another important advantage over the production of material goods; there is practically no possibility, under reasonably prosperous conditions, of oversupplying the market. Aside from catering to the recreational needs of her own population, Canada has the advantage of lying alongside a great and populous country, perhaps the most travel-minded in the world, well disposed toward Canada and eager to make closer acquaintances. Development of Canada s recreational possibilities on a scale comparable with those of, say, Switzerland, would easily attain a monetary value in excess of a billion dollars a year.
For the past six years Canada has had a great corps of ambassadors all across the world, in the persons of those serving in His Majesty's uniform bearing Canada's name. These men and women have done much to advertise Canada abroad, although that was not their primary objective, but it should be the primary objective of the government of Canada to capitalize on their good work and foster the tourist trade to help make Canada a better country for these returned heroes to live in and as a lasting memorial to those who did not return.
Development of a recreational industry on a large scale will help to solve that problem by bringing a foreign market for our goods to Canada, instead of taking the goods to a foreign market over such obstacles as tariffs, exchange differentials and highly organized and well financed competition. Tourists are good spenders. They will consume substantial quantities of our agricultural products and will buy goods which have a Canadian flavour-maybe a Scotch flavour too-whether of handicraft or factory production, to take back home. They will furnish employment to large numbers of Canadians, who, in turn, because of their increased prosperity, will become greater consumers of Canadian products. They furnish increased revenues to transportation companies, hotels and all enterprises catering to the travelling public, to the wisespread advantage of Canadian economy.
Preservation and promotion of the health of the people must also occupy a prominent place in post-war planning. It would be a natural conclusion that residents of a great country like Canada, blessed with a healthful climate, descending from vigorous antecedents, with pioneer blood still in their veins, would rank high among all nations in the matter of
general health. Any such pleasant conclusion has had a severe shock from the facts revealed by medical examination of recruits for war services. It appears, indeed, that Canada needs to take serious counsel with herself as to what she is going to do about the national health.
In a country like Canada, a land of great area and small population, and with even that small population clustered in distinct geographic groups, it is in the national interest that people should travel back and forth to become acquainted with each other, to see each other's problems and circumstances, to form friendships, to acquire the national rather than the parochial point of view.
What is true of the development of a real Oanadianism in Canada is equally true in the promotion of friendly foreign relationships. The good will toward Canada felt in the United States has undoubtedly been fostered by the great exchange of travel which in normal times occurs between these two countries. The extent to which that good will has prospered the cause of the united nations in the war would be hard to estimate. At present the interests of the two nations seem to be identical, but it may not always be so, and good will will be needed to assure cooperation and generous attitude on both sides toward issues which may arise in the future. What is true of relationships with the United States is also true, if in lesser degree, of relationships with the other American countries, and with the world as a whole. 'Making Canada the travel centre of the world after the war will pay dividends in international relationships, including opportunities for international trade, which probably could not be acquired by any other form of investment.
But people will travel. The money poured into the manufacture of munitions and supplies has transformed a large working-class population into a class of people with money to spend.
The tourist industry needs to be retooled and remodelled, to be put on as practical a hard rock basis as any manufacturing industry or service organization, for there is no real difference between them; in tourism we shall get customers only to the extent that our goods are better than those of our competitors.
Tourism to-day is no longer a parochial question. It extends beyond the confines of any one province, for each and every part of our vast dominion is beautiful and attractive. Each of the nine provinces that form our land has its own special attraction and charm for the visitor, and we should all work together, for the common good of the country, to bring about unity out of this very diversity.
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Speaking more specifically on the tourist industry and what it means to my riding, I said before that we had ninety miles of shore line. There are at least sixty miles of shore line between Sarnia and Grand Bend on lake Huron which to-day could be developed, as well as some thirty-five miles between Sarnia and Port Lambton along the St. Clair river. Some of it is now owned by Americans who have homes costing upwards of twenty-five thousand dollars. Right here let me emphasize that we welcome the United States tourist who comes even for a few hours; the one who comes for two weeks is worth more as is also the family who come for the season and it is they with whom my riding is chiefly concerned. We appreciate the travelling tourist and every effort should be made to have him return, and ultimately buy a piece of property and build a summer or semi-permanent home. In some parts of Canada, he is of greater value to us nationally. Let me now specify how important this type of tourist is to my riding in particular in that ninety miles of shore line, and the same can no doubt be said of other parts of Canada, but very few places in Canada are so fortunate in having so many so near. There is room for, say, in fifty miles, at least ten thousand homes, assuming it was highly developed and with fair-sized lots, and none of them more than four hundred feet from the shores of lake Huron or the banks of the river St. Clair. The property purchased would be in the neighbourhood of ten million dollars; the total building costs in the neighbourhood of fifty million dollars, and I have reason to believe that every American with a summer home spends on an average one thousand dollars annually. This in round figures is ten million dollars a year in our riding alone. The Americans will also buy many items of British manufacture in addition to Canadian-made goods. This extends our trade with Britain, and by these purchases we readily obtain foreign exchange including sterling so necessary in international trade. No other industry can compare with this. This is Canadian material used and made by Canadians and a means to-day to employ thousands of returning veterans, and in addition I say that the quicker we have the materials, the sooner we develop our greatest industry. We all agree that about eighty per cent of the cost of a frame house is labour, lumber and cement. At the moment we have a shortage of many building materials, including lumber.
May I submit that we need not have discovered ourselves in this position if the manpower of the nation had been properly used,
and if our bifocal army-the term I borrowed from the hon. minister from Vancouver-Burrard-
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY