Still my point has force, that we have a class of workingmen in Canada which is not organized, a class which finds itself in the queue at the soup kitchen. These
men are large in number, but they are not organized; they have no means of making their position felt in the house; they have no one to lobby for them in Ottawa.
The unorganized classes, whether they be farmers or labourers, must learn a lesson: that there is only one way in which they can get justice from the powers that be, namely, through organization. I see very little hope of the unemployed receiving consideration from any government until they become organized so that their diffused power may be focused. There is a good deal of inertia to be overcome among all classes in this country.
A few years ago a prominent public man in the United States said that if ever that country had a revolution it would be produced not by the bolsheviks but by the boneheads. The bonehead constitutes a very large class in any industrialized country, and that class is made up of many varieties. One variety is composed of people who are moved by crass stupidity in regard to social and economic matters. I have actually heard pious people quoting the Scriptures in order to prove that the solution of the unemployment problem was hopeless because the Author of Christianity once upon a time said that the poor will always be with us. That is one kind of attitude which still obtains in almost every industrialized country-a hopeless, stupid outlook upon this question. There is also what I would describe as the Pharisee in modern economic life, the man *who says: If a man is unemployed he has nobody to blame but himself; it is his own fault. Does anyone deny we have that class in Canada? You can find in every city and town the man who, with a superior air, says that if a man is unemployed it is his own fault. I remember years ago reading the life of Will Crooks, one of the first labour members at Westminster. That story of Will Crooks' life cured me of that attitude. He was a man representing the best type of British workman who in his young married life walked the streets of London day after day, and only by an extraordinary amount of will power saved himself from going over the precipice and becoming one of London's unemployables.
There are other attitudes which have been taken. There is the attitude taken by the Prime Minister the other day. I know the Prime Minister is not a stupid man; I would not classify him with people who are labouring under traditional views on this question, but just the same his speech was a real disappointment to me, a disappointment all the keener because some of us saw that speech on the background of the Prime Minister's
own mind, a mind that is illuminated with modern economic truth; and I say that a speech such as he delivered the other day was on that account all the more lurid in its deficiency. As I analysed the speech as he went along, I found he gave seven arguments against doing anything immediately for the unemployed in this country. Each of those arguments individually was to me very unconvincing. Collectively they lacked logical coherence; there was running through them no thread of reason. I have not time tonight to refer to them in detail and if I had it would possibly be superflous, because others have adequately dealt with them. Some of those arguments were very far-fetched. For instance the Prime Minister said that stressing unemployment conditions would act detrimentally upon the flow of capital to Canada. That is a far-fetched argument; it is an unworthy argument, because, after all, capital does not enter into the same category with suffering human beings. But from another standpoint, as someone said this evening, it is not right, it is not safe, to hide an evil. It is not safe to talk in quiet tones about something that , is festering in the body politic. When the Prime Minister said that, he reminded me of the refined old lady who died of gastric trouble. The reason she died was because she always told the doctor she had a pain in the chest; she was ashamed of saying where the pain really was. If we Canadians get into the habit of covering over, glozing over, the social evils that are corroding our national life, the possibilities are that those evils will presently become a focal point that will gradually poison our social life. A labouring class-and I dislike using that term-that is well taken care of, that is relieved of its fears, is in any country one of the things that will attract not only capital but everything else we desire to have as a country.
Some of the Prime Minister's arguments were, if not far-fetched, plausible. I am not going to enter into a discussion in regard to the British North America Act because I think that has been very well dealt with. But there was one argument that struck me as being altogether misplaced and it was this: the Prime Minister said: If we yield to this
plea it will mean favouring one class of the community, namely, the labouring class, but the farming class and the professional class will be left out in the cold. I have only one way to answer that and it is this: that the attitude, the spirit, that is out to readjust industrial conditions in this country is the attitude, the spirit that will ultimately adjust
farming matters. Fundamentally the farmer and the industrial worker stand upon common ground. Any attempt to divide their interests can be successful only so long as those two classes do not understand wherein their interests lie. In fact, I cannot see any hope for either the farmer or the industrial worker until they understand the common ground upon which they stand. The spirit in which we in this comer are supporting the industrial worker is identical with the spirit in which we support the producer. After all, it is the attitude, the spirit, which counts.
As to responsibility, the Prime Minister, while recognizing the problem, tried to escape the responsibility. As I view the matter, as I have heard the causes of unemployment discussed in this debate, every cause of the condition we have been referring to points to the national parliament. The problem is a national one, in the only sense in which the word "national" can apply. I am not going to enumerate to-night the causes of unemployment because I would be merely going over ground that has already been traversed; but each cause that has been discussed during this debate resolves itself into a question of policy that belongs to the federal parliament. I do not know of any single cause of unemployment that belongs to any particular section. Take it, for instance, from the point of view of the Conservatives to our right. They say that unemployment is due to the policy of low tariffs that is formulated in this house. It seems to me that a Conservative government when in power would, by the very force of its own position, have to formulate a policy for unemployment. They recognize the unemployment problem as originating here. But the same logic applies to my friends the Liberals. However much they try to shirk the inference, we know that the enactment of a fiscal policy either one way or the other will displace labour in this country; there is no question about that. This house wields an instrument which is potent for good or ill to the labouring men. If you raise the tariff, you certainly put men out of work. If you lower the tariff, you certainly put men out of work.
Topic: SUPPLY-UNEMPLOYMENT AMENDMENT OF MR. HE.APS TO MOTION FOR COMMITTEE