Harry Rutherford JACKMAN
JACKMAN, Harry Rutherford, LL.B.
- Progressive Conservative
- Rosedale (Ontario)
- Birth Date
- November 5, 1900
- Deceased Date
- November 22, 1979
- lawyer, manager
- March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
- NATRosedale (Ontario)
- June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
- PCRosedale (Ontario)
Most Recent Speeches (Page 9 of 538)
March 17, 1949
Not even interested.
Subtopic: CONTINUANCE IN FORCE UNTIL SIXTY DAYS AFTER OPENING OF FIRST SESSION OF PARLIAMENT IN 1951
March 16, 1949
As to what happens when you give power to these various boards, they distort the purpose for which they were originally intended and place additional burdens upon the backs of the taxpayers of Canada. In 1939 the total personal income tax was only $50 million.
March 16, 1949
I think my statement is very clear. Where there has been a continuing need for housing, such as there has been for the last five years, there should have been some control here in Ottawa. I shall not go on to describe some of the conditions that have been brought about and the hardships that have been created because of the failure of the government to act. They are not going to be able to get away from rental controls for some time, because they have not done anything yet to break the jam. They have failed to produce houses for our people. According to the minister who is looking after housing, last year 83,000 houses were erected but 80,000 new family units were created, which meant a net gain of only 3,000 houses. Everybody knows that there is a need at the present time for 200,000 or 300,000 houses, and yet this government does nothing. Let us get ahead with housing so that we can get rid of rental controls. The people want to get rid of them as soon as they can.
I suggested the other day that the way to solve the housing problem was to produce more builders' supplies and other materials going into housing. The immediate shortage is not labour, it is materials of one sort or another. At that time I suggested certain methods which might be adopted. I had a few remarks to make about steel but time will not permit me to go on in that particular field except to say that the powers which exist today in the hands of the bureaucrats are too loose and undefined. If we are to protect the liberty of the subject, not neces-
sarily under this present government-you can trust some people with your fortune, but there are other people you do not want to trust, whom you cannot trust-laws should be made that are workable, no matter who is working them.
I have a few things to say about sugar, which is one of the items covered by this particular bill. I wonder what the reasons are for including sugar and molasses in this control measure? What is the national emergency which arises out of the war? I fail to see any emergency in that connection. I ask hon. members whether the government has demonstrated that any sugar emergency has arisen out of the war.
Let me mention just a few facts in connection with sugar. The price is down to a reasonable figure. I have not heard of any complaints in that regard. The large sugar producers in the tropical countries got about five cents per pound last year but in the present crop year they will be lucky to get four cents per pound. I believe the last price mentioned was $4.15 per one hundred pounds. It certainly is not an expensive commodity. All the sugar companies are having a difficult time just now. Let me read just one item in reference to molasses, which is still under control. This appeared in the Wall Street Journal and has reference to the South Porto Rico Sugar Company. It reads:
The market for blackstrap molasses, a sugar byproduct which contributed substantially to profits last year, has collapsed, and revenues from this source may prove nominal. South Porto Rico reported it realized an average of 21 cents a gallon on its blackstrap sales last season. The indicated market price today is about four to five cents a gallon.
What is the reason for continuing the control on sugar and its by-products? Is it that we are being dictated to by the United Kingdom from whom we are buying our sugar? Is it that they are insisting on state trading? Most of us in this country are against state trading. When I present facts such as these I think the government, and particularly the minister in charge of the resolution, is called upon to answer them, if not to refute them.
The wartime prices and trade board is another item which comes under this omnibus resolution, and fruits and vegetables are included, certainly the imported ones. I should like to know how those commodities are linked up to a national emergency arising out of the war. It seems to me to be difficult to find any connection between them. Certainly one cannot find a connection through the foreign exchange control board, because we are now in a reasonably satisfactory situation in regard to our holdings of gold and United States dollars.
Transitional Measures Act
We had a committee on prices which had to justify its existence. That committee found that once the embargo was put on fresh imported fruits and vegetables some wholesale dealers and others in the trade made what might be considered exorbitant profits. No doubt they felt that they should get what the market would bear for the stocks they had on hand, because soon they would be able to get no more imported goods and would perhaps be out of pocket. Rightly or wrongly, they took advantage of what they could. But the government felt that they had to find some little wheat in the investigation; and, as far as I can see, the only reason for keeping on fruits and vegetables controls is to create some justification for the great expense to this country of the prices committee and the royal commission which followed it.
The Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) had a few remarks to make about inflation as a result of the war and the need to control prices and other things until all the inflation had been squeezed out of the sponge. Let me point out to him that we are all perfectly aware that there has been inflation since the war. I suggest to him that we should be very unhappy if much of the inflation does not remain with us as a permanent condition. Whatever situation we may be in now, if we go too far the other way, if our commodities such as wheat, butter, livestock and other things go down in price, we shall find ourselves in a sorry mess indeed.
How does the minister expect that we shall ever be able to support our present national debt unless we have fairly high price levels? We cannot go back to the 1939-equals-one-hundred days because since 1939 our national debt has increased from $3,000 million to $13,000 million. We must have some increase in our 1939 price level, for we only have twelve million people to shoulder the debt, and it is a very substantial amount. By the same token, how does the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) expect to pay for all the social services and all the other extraordinary costs of government that we have today? If he looks at the revenue for 1939 he will see that it was a paltry $500 million. How far would that go? Family allowances are $300 million. If we return to price levels anywhere near to what they were in 1939 we are going to have in this country problems which neither the Minister of Justice nor I would care to face. As against revenue of $500 million for the government in 1939, today we have $2,500 million, five times as much. You cannot support that with the same population unless you have vastly higher price levels.
Transitional Measures Act
I should now like to say a word or two about the foreign exchange control board. That was a measure of control which was enacted to control exchanges, and yet we find how easy it is for bureaucrats to deviate widely from the original purpose. When the foreign exchange control measure was put through, the Minister of Finance said that it would never be used for anything but exchange control. We found in very short order that it was being used for price control, and it was like using a fine chisel to do the job of a woodsman's axe. We also find that the foreign exchange control measure is used to control trade, and not just to control our exchanges.
May I point out another matter of some interest to the taxpayers of Canada who must bear the burden of all these costs? The Foreign Exchange Control Act is a measure to control exchanges, and if you want to let it go further it can control these other things I have mentioned, control prices and control the direction of trade, et cetera; but it was never meant to be a taxation measure. Once you put this great power in the hands of bureaucrats, what becomes of it? They do exactly as they please; the more revenue they produce the bigger they can expand their departments, and the more important they can become. Just think of a Minister of Finance who has a foreign exchange control act on the books which is to do a simple job of controlling, and yet when the controller comes to him at the end of each year he reports profits like these, in 1941, $8,900,000, and then $9,200,000, $11,200,000, and last year $10,832,697 by way of profits from the operation of the foreign exchange control board. It is not as if these profits were just pulled out of the air.
March 16, 1949
You cannot function unless you offset the claims of industrial and commercial building and thus remedy the housing
deficiency. A director of one of the large motion picture companies in the United States visited Toronto, where they have interests, and remarked that in no comparable city in the United States had so many motion picture theatres been constructed as in the city of Toronto.
March 16, 1949
If the Minister of Labour had been listening he would have heard me say that it was no use for the federal government to pass over the control of permits to the cities because if one city would not grant a permit another one would. It was necessary to have a central control here if it was going to be made effective.