Mr. Ralph Maybank (Winnipeg South Cenire):
Mr. Speaker, the expression "swan song" is apparently of ancient lineage. It has been suggested that philosophers of very olden times came to believe in the idea that swans sang, by a process of deductive logic which ran like this: All birds sing; a swan is a bird; therefore swans sing. But no one has ever heard a swan sing. Hence these ancients squared their logical conclusion with the failure of any person ever to hear a swan sing, by asserting that since no one was ever about when the swan died, probably it was at the time of death that she burst into song. This idea apparently was accepted and 80709-138J
The Budget-Mr. Maybank gained great currency. Poets and writers have popularized it from that time onward. Only recently I was reading "The Isles of Greece" by Byron, and I ran across this line: "There, swan-like, let me sing and die".
The swan is a beautiful bird. The swan is about as graceful a creature as we have. Usually we picture her as pure white, and, indeed, she is taken as an emblem of purity.
I lack any and all of the attributes of a swan.
Again, according to lore, her song is a deathbed lament, or dirge. While I cannot foresee, being neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, I do not feel as though I am going to die soon. Because of my unswan-likeness, and the fact that I am still pulsating with life, I do not give the name "swan song" to my remarks today; but this will be my last appearance in the house.
Before bidding farewell, however, I should like to express myself on one or two questions that are before the house and the country at this time.
The first of these is old age security. We are engaged in, what for us, is a very large program of preparation for conflict, and we have the hope that preparation will avoid that conflict. There is no disagreement as to the essentiality of what we are attempting. But we must not allow ourselves ever to say that the essentiality of old age security is less than the essentiality of guns and ammunition.
I have been privileged to see a number of reforms since coming into this house. I have seen many old age pension improvements. I have seen love and appreciation for children translated into concrete legislation in their behalf. I have seen health improvement plans instituted, and I have seen them bring great benefits. I have seen unemployment scientifically attacked by unemployment insurance. I have seen enacted for veterans the best legislation known to the world.
For all this and more the governments and parliaments which did these things are to be praised, and I do praise them.
A good system of old age pensions such as is now proposed by the government can be the coping stone of the edifice so far erected. I hope and expect that will come about this year. I have worked unceasingly for such a measure, and I take pride in the knowledge that it is near. I adjure everyone to press forward the plans. Do not let the fabrication of war materiel be financed by continued penury of aged people.
Before us is another great humanitarian project. Its locale is outside the boundaries
The Budget-Mr. Maybank of Canada, but it will return to Canada incalculable spiritual, political, and economic benefits. I refer to that splendidly conceived program for the uplift of people who live in darkness, squalor, poverty and disease, and every kind of misery in south and southeastern Asia.
It is known as the Colombo plan, and I love the knowledge that it was born while I was here. It can signalize a new day for all the world.
In this scheme for aid we have come completely around the circle from the political ideas which obtained in and prior to the year 1776. At that time Adam Smith wrote that "beggar my neighbour" was the chief motive of government policy. Fortunately civilized people repented of that motive and broke away from it. Mankind came to hold it was not a good motive for government action; but a very bad motive. There, however, we stopped. We did not go on and declare that "uplift my neighbour" was a good maxim of government; and, of course, we did not frame policies to any such end. But lately mankind has begun to talk about the "interdependence" of nations, and this idea of interdependence is gaining wide acceptance.
With the advent of the Colombo plan, we in Canada, with a number of other nations, are proceeding to act upon the true interdependence idea. We are making the idea dynamic. We are seeking to uplift our neighbours.
Let me ask you for just a few minutes to look at the problem, the plan itself, and at the hoped-for results from it. In south and southeast Asia there are 570 million people. That number is one-quarter of the world's population. Their economic level is very low, but I would not say they are the poorest in all the world. Amongst the other three-quarters of the world population there are millions even worse oil than these. Even amongst the white race, which is a peculiarly favoured segment of the human race, we have great sections of poverty and suffering. On this continent we are a good deal like a rich suburb surrounded by slums. Neither this country, nor any other, can afford to have, within its boundaries, permanent slums. There must be clearance. Nor can the world continue to have vast slum areas. Either those at the bottom will be lifted up or those higher up will eventually be pulled down.
The one-quarter of the world's population now envisaged is not poor in natural wealth, but its potential has not been touched by the revolution in methods which in the last hundred and fifty years have catapulted the western world ahead. Poor even as they are in south and southeastern Asia, they export
nearly all the world's jute, and most of the world's natural rubber. From them we get three-quarters of the world's tea, two-thirds of its tin, and one-third of its oil and fats. Rice, cotton and sugar are likewise produced in quantity, but industrial production is negligible. The 570 millions cannot live on what is produced; indeed they can barely exist.
The situation is worse even than such a statement suggests. The 570 million are increasing. The count of mouths for food goes up, and ever up; the measure of food to fill mouths goes down, and ever down. When one thinks of the vast number of people of Asia, he will think of malnutrition and disease; of rickets and tuberculosis; of vermin and filth and squalor. All such abound. One will think of blindness and maimed bodies; of hunger and thirst to the point of chronic torture. Everywhere there is helplessness and hopelessness to the point of despair. There is not even clothing. In Pakistan people must make-do with no more than nine yards of cotton in a year. Of course, shelter is terrible.
Some people appreciate or apprehend a condition better from a statistic than any other way. For them some comparisons may be offered. Whereas Britain is served by roads to the point of 3-7 miles per thousand of population, in Pakistan they have one-tenth of a mile. As to telephones, the United States has 261 for one thousand people, Britain 98 and Canada somewhere between the two, but in Ceylon there are only 2-2, and only a small fraction of that in India and Pakistan. So, one could go on to give similar figures for all these commodities, the consumption of which is used to measure national welfare.
However we view it, the picture of the plight of these people is enough to break one's heart. But if the horror of it all will not break a man's heart, it ought to frighten him in his mind. Any man who looks at this sort of conditions with complacency is a fool. Widespread misery is bound to have its effect on others. As inexorable as the flow of the tides of the sea is the certainty that misery of this sort will destroy the wellbeing of people like ourselves. The island of luxury will be engulfed by the stinking flood of poverty around it.
We talk today as if communism were our sole foe. That is nonsense. Certainly it is our enemy, and we must stop it or perish. But do you think we shall be secure when we have destroyed that devil? Well, we shall not be secure then, and incidentally if that is the sum total of our aims we shall not deserve to be at peace and to be secure.
Anyway, we cannot stop communism with a gun. It is an idea, and guns cannot be sighted on an idea. Russian imperialism we can down, but to put down the idea which gives strength to that imperialism we have to remove the conditions which nourish it. We must remember that while we see tyranny as we look at Russia and her system, millions of outcasts see liberation from rapacity of overlords. They see a plan. They will believe that the plan may end their misery. Tyranny does not frighten them; that is all they have ever known.
The first important feature that strikes me about the Colombo plan is that it is co-operative; both the recipient and those who give are working together. Some of the beneficiaries will help others. No one will assert that merely doling out largess is the best way to help people. This is a fault sometimes found with the endeavours of the United States, sincere and charitably motivated as they are. It is always better to help people help themselves. The proposal under this Colombo plan is to spend $5 billion over a period of six years. Each commonwealth nation will subscribe its share. The nations which benefit will put up what they can. Our share is $150 million, which is $25 million per year. This comes to a little less than $2 per head per year for Canadians. Our share is no more than it should be, or could be. The Canadian people would willingly contribute more if they were made to see the need and the benefits. The world cannot suffer from too much benevolence.
I should never like to be caught, and I should not like any Canadian government to be caught, in the way a certain rich man was caught when he went to heaven. He had difficulty, when he came to the gate, in thinking up data about his own charities. The admitting seraph was a little bit dubious about allowing him into the celestial regions; so he sought the advice of St. Peter. He reported that the only benevolence the rich man had been able to recall was a ten-cent gift, one time, to a beggar on the street. St. Peter was reading-probably one of the Winnipeg daily papers-and he looked up from the sheet. Laconically he addressed the angel and said: "Oh, give him back his dime and tell him to go to hell."
In respect of this matter and this project, sir, I should hope that it will be found, before the end of the story is written-as has been the case in many other instances-that Canada will be doing more than she has contracted to do.
It will be of value to glance at the uses to which the $5 billion will be put. The various
The Budget-Mr. Maybank benefiting nations naturally are proposing different ways of applying the money. Pakistan will use 32 per cent of her allotment in improving agriculture, and 20 per cent in improving transport and communications. One scheme is to build a great barrage across the Indus, in order to irrigate three million acres of land. Another project will irrigate 700,000 acres. Pakistan also proposes to develop industry and mining. Fuel and hydroelectric power will absorb a large part of the fund.
India with her population of 350 millions will spend the largest proportion in the improvement of industries. She will harness some of her great rivers and open up some of her rich mineral sections. Ceylon, Singapore, Borneo and other places will make appropriate uses of the money allocated to them.
As an end result of some of the developments to be undertaken we shall find such an increase in wealth creation as to be startling. At the present time people over there use, as I have said, only about nine yards of cloth per person a year. This can be increased to seventeen yards. They will have thirteen million acres more land under cultivation. Thirteen million acres more will be under irrigation. Food grain production will be increased by six million tons. Bear in mind that food consumption is of the low average of 2,000 calories a day. Twelve ounces of cereals per day is often the total supply of food for a man. Kilowatt hours of electricity will be increased by 1,100,000. Many more direct benefits will result. The accrual of indirect benefits will be almost endless.
As is said in a little booklet put out by the British government:
Help being forthcoming, there is real ground for hope that the peoples of these areas will gradually succeed in winning for themselves a higher material standard of living than they have known in the past. A long road lies ahead of them, and there are many difficulties and dangers to be overcome, but with the support and encouragement of the other free peoples of the world, they will surely prove equal to the challenge and achieve the measure of prosperity and well being which is their due.
Looking at the whole picture one can state with assurance that, because of what we now do, millions of people will enjoy a better standard of living than ever before in the history of these countries, and, further, that such a result will be an inspiration for other acts to be undertaken, so that this which shall have been done will be but an earnest of that which will afterward be accomplished.
Any who have a part in such a project are entitled to be proud. There is no higher form of service. Burke's studied panegyric
The Budget-Mr. Mayhank on Fox is the only rhetoric that comes anywhere near adequacy in describing actions of persons responsible for such a beneficence as this, as well its conception, its development, its enactment into law, and its execution. Burke spoke of Fox in terms of praise to a degree that probably no orator has ever equalled, let alone surpassed; and, after it would seem he had reached the zenith of his peroration, he coupled with the name of his then friend the House of Commons itself, in these words:
In confess I anticipate with joy the reward of those whose whole consequence, power and authority exist only for the benefit of mankind; and I carry my mind to all the people, and all the names and descriptions that, relieved by this act, will bless the labours of this parliament and the confidence which the best House of Commons has given to him who best deserves it. The little cavils of party will not be heard where freedom and happiness will be felt. There is not a tongue, a nation or religion in India which will not bless the presiding *care and manly beneficence of this house and of 'him who proposes to you this great work. Your names will never be separated before the throne of the Divine Goodness in whatever language or with whatever rites pardon is asked for sin and reward for those who imitate the Godhead in His universal bounty to His creatures. These honours you deserve, and they will surely be paid when all the jargon of influence of party and patronage are swept into oblivion.
The whole eulogy will well repay anyone's reading, and its terms, with appropriate changes for time, and place, and persons, apply to those who are today taking part in this magnificent beneficence.
I wanted particularly, Mr. Speaker, to speak of certain matters of public concern. I have done so. I have said what I intended to say upon matters of public importance. May I now be permitted to make some remarks of a personal nature.
This is my last opportunity to make public confession of my feelings towards my colleagues in this house and the many other pleasant and esteemed persons with whom I have been privileged to associate for all or part of sixteen years. I would emulate Art Smith of Calgary in expressing my appreciation to all those persons attached to this building in serving in one way or another the members of the House of Commons. There is no exception I could make in applying to men and women about us the adjectives "smiling, considerate and courteous."
Entering the front door of this building on either of two levels, one is invariably met with a cheery greeting. Post office employees offer help before it is asked. Down the corridors, in the carpenter shop, the barber shop, the mailing room, at the accountant's desk, everywhere, pleasantness is invariable. I have a special word of praise
for one, namely, the master of the keys. I am continually losing mine. As for the stenographic pool, as hon. members know, there one gets charm as well as friendship. I do not know what institution could be better served than we are by the messenger service we have; it is prompt, efficient and courteous. You do not have to make yourself believe you are dealing with gentlemen when you are dealing with one of them; you just know it the moment you deal with him. Gentlemanly service at all times is what you get.
I agree with what Mr. Smith said about Hansard, its reporters and its editors. I have never had the hardihood to do what he asserted he did. He said he read some of his own speeches and that Hansard had made them into good oratory. If they have done that with mine, I should like to compliment them now on being able to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
As to the officers of the house, the Clerks, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and the page boys-if we have bothered them, as we must have done many times, they have never shown that they noticed it. The impression I have always had among those who are about us in the house is that there seemed to be a vying one with the other to be of service to us.
Not all persons can be named in a speech of this kind, but I should be remiss if I failed to mention the purveyors of food. In the cafeteria and the restaurant everybody is so nice to us always that, if at any time one is low-spirited, he has himself mentally facelifted when he receives their service and their food.
After sixteen years I can do some reminiscing, and I should like to mention a few members who have been here in my time. I well remember R. B. Bennett, later Lord Bennett; and what I remember particularly about him was his astounding ability to fight and never stop fighting. I have heard him join issue on questions here as many as a dozen times a day, and always with great energy. We of the party to which I belong did not generally agree with him, but he was a great Canadian.
Jim Woodsworth was another-no question in my mind about that. I knew him for many years, long before I came to the house. I knew him well in the house. I suppose our disagreements with him were as great as they were with R. B. But he, too, was a great Canadian.
I remember with much pride my association with men like Mark Senn, Karl Homuth, Ewen Matthews and Lester Douglas, who left
here but lately, but whom I remember for a long time back * and it was a privilege to know them.
Going back further there was Sam Jacobs. He was a great and colourful commoner. He remarked philosophically at one time, when he was not appointed to the Senate despite the urgings of many Gentile friends that he should be appointed: "Oh, it is all right; I haven't any complaint. I feel I have been given Jew consideration".
There have been many good men, so many good men whom I have met here that I cannot begin to name them all. There is one, however, who is still living in British Columbia, in retirement, whom I should like to name; I refer to Hon. Grote Stirling. I have great respect for him. Mr. and Mrs. George Black, both of whom were M.P.'s, must close my list of celebrated people I have known in the house, but I feel guilty about the many I have failed to mention.
I have deliberately kept below cabinet level, in the main, as befits one below that level himself. Mr. Speaker, I should like to leave behind me a few wishes and hopes. I have mentioned the page boys, and in respect to them I have the wish and hope that the kindly guardianship of our respected friend from Fort William (Mr. Mclvor) will continue over them, and that they will accept him as their mentor. They can't go wrong on the advice of the lakeshead sky pilot.
I have some other wishes.
About six months ago I changed my sartorial habits; I began to wear bow ties. This change occurred through the generosity of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson). He began to pass on to me the ties he was discarding. Now that I am leaving these parts, I wish he would distribute his old neckwear to the members generally. I used to wear them in order to acquire an air of distinction. He need not give any to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent); that gentleman is distinguished enough already.
It will not surprise anyone when I say I wish well for the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew). Although we have not always seen eye to eye, I have for him feelings of regard and esteem. I am pleased to say publicly, as I have already said to him privately, how much I appreciated his sportsmanship and good humour when, at Christmas, after the general election, he sent to all of us a bit of rhyme in which he sort of joked at his own expense over his not-so-good election fortunes. I considered it very sporting; it showed his head was bloody but unbowed. I wish him every success. I mean, of course-and I know he will take no
The Budget-Mr. Maybank offence over this qualification-I mean every success as leader of the opposition. May he long be spared to lead His Majesty's Loyal Opposition.
To the other groups in the house, and to their leaders, I also express my best wishes. I have no objections to the existence of a threat on the flank; I think it is a good thing, but I am not in favour of its developing to anything more than a threat.
I wish the Secretary of State for External Affairs would do something about making the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Thatcher) another parliamentary assistant in * his department. This is because that member can get fast action in foreign countries. Newspaper headlines about a week ago said two things: No. 1, "Thatcher attacks General MacArthur"; No. 2, "Truman fires
There is a member on this side of the house respecting whom I should like to say something, and to whom I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to direct your attention. Our
member for Dauphin (Mr. Ward) has started to catch and process whales. The steaks from these whales are valuable in more ways than one. First of all, they are good substantial food. Secondly, this meat is filled with hormones-or "hormonees"; I am not sure as to the correct pronunciation. It is said even to be an aphrodisiac. When whale meat is fed to male minks their potency is greatly increased; and when it is fed to female minks their litters are larger. I wish success to the hon. member for Dauphin, and I hope he distributes his product widely. He will relieve much pressure from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Harris), if he does. After this plug by me, I think the hon. member will experience a terrific senatorial demand for whale steaks.
After the turr debate a little while back, I heard someone speak of men from the big eastern island as "turreadors." No offence is intended. For all of our brethren from Newfoundland I wish that they would come to my province and we will let them shoot all the grain-fed duck, prairie chicken and partridge that they may wish. They are better than turrs. If there are any interfering laws in Winnipeg, Newfoundlanders need not worry. They are grand people and we will not enforce the laws where they are concerned.
I did not mention the press when I was paying my respects to the various people here who serve us. I wish to say now how well the fourth estate has always behaved towards this House of Commons. With the thousands
The Budget-Mr. Maybank of reports made and articles written, doubtless comprising millions of words, it is a matter for special remark how seldom anyone has to claim misquotation. I take pleasure in testifying that I have always and everywhere been treated by the press, not merely with fairness but indeed with generosity. It is not amiss I think that I should offer a wish for the gentlemen of the gallery, in addition of course to the very natural one that springs to mind immediately, of continued good relations with this house.
The fraternity has had some domestic trouble lately, and one would wish for them that there should be no more. It must be very sad for this family to be struck at, even if not struck down, from within their own midst. Let us hope that iconoclasts will find other icons to topple over rather than the fourth estate itself. With all the trouble of dealing with this government, this opposition, these opposition groups, and all these members of parliament, the men of the press have a sufficiently heavy "Cross" to bear already.
Facetiousness aside, let me express to all in this house, with some particularity, and generally, the sentiments I entertain. For you personally, Mr. Speaker, it is difficult for me to adequately express my admiration. Comparisons are invidious, and I shall make none, but I will say that it would be impossible to find a presiding officer of any deliberative or legislative assembly who could rise above yourself in all those qualities which we attribute to the ideal Speaker. I know that as long as you grace the throne here we will have dignity in the house, debate will be decorous, and good humour will prevail.
I have always believed that in times of special need the right man is found for a country, and I can confidently appeal to history to support me in this belief. Churchill and Roosevelt are two names that come to mind at once to bear witness. Canadian experience will also supply us with several examples, but no example is better than the one before us today in the person of the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. St. Laurent). We are in times that require the highest qualities of heart and mind, times that need profound understanding of all kinds and sections of the population. This and much more we have in our first minister, and J have been and am happy and proud to call him my chief.
But at once I think of the opposition, and I have a word for them. I should like in humility-a quality in which I admit I do not excel-and in all sincerity-a quality which I can claim-to thank all sections of
the opposition, and all members of the oppositions, for their treatment of me in the many years I have faced them across the floor of this house. I know I am truculent, though good humoured enough when I am not fighting, and that I am provocative. I feel I am provocative to a degree that may often have been objectionable. No fight, however, has left continued anger, or appearance of anger. I have never been unfairly treated by opponents, and I wish to express appreciation to members of all oppositions for the way they have treated me at all times throughout the years.
I depart from this chamber with deep regret. I have always enjoyed what I was doing. Words of John Ruskin which I read long ago come to my mind:
If a man is rightly employed his amusement comes out of his labour.
I always felt rightly employed and my employment was my recreation.
I have not read any newspaper articles or stories about my retirement, but I have been told that some writers have suggested that I am dropping out of parliamentary life because of frustration, or disappointment, or something of that sort. Any such explanation is wide of the mark. In fact, such an explanation is so wide of the mark that it is not even near the target. I would have been quite content to keep on working here, either at today's level or at the level of former days. I should have continued had it not been for what I shall now state.
The simple truth about my retirement is that I have a wife and three sons to whom I have been only a part-time husband and part-time father for 21 years. In addition to the 16 years in this chamber, I was 3 years in the legislature of Manitoba and 2 years an alderman on the Winnipeg city council. I feel that the condition I have just described should be remedied. My sons are very decent towards me-so is my wife-and have been good enough to say that they would like to have me around more than has been my custom. In fact the youngest one told me not so long ago that he regretted sometimes that I was not handy always, as he put it, because on several occasions he had problems or questions which he had wanted to talk over with me. I want the enjoyment I can get from being in my own home. "Reunion in Winnipeg" is the name of the play on which the curtain rises today. What I have said is the alpha and omega of my decision. It is just as simple as that.
I have been associated with several ministers in departmental work. I could very well be called the peregrinating parliamentary assistant. I fear I did not give them full
assistance at times. I record my gratitude to them for their consideration and forbearance. This particularly applies in the case of the minister with whose name my own is coupled at the present time. He has not had much from me in the way of assistance. I, on the other hand, have had great help from him. The Minister of Resources and Development (Mr. Winters) is one of the truly outstanding persons in Canada's cabinet galaxy. I predict great things for him and that he will go far in continued advancement in this business of government.
I am glad that the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) is absent from the chamber today. It leaves me freer to speak of him. He was good enough to say some kind things about me at a certain meeting in Winnipeg, and I had no opportunity of speaking in reply. Among other things, he said I had always given him loyal support, and he extolled me for it. He said I had always given him good advice. I do not know about the advice, but the other statement was factual, I admit. And why would I not be loyal? He earned loyalty. People nearly always invite the treatment they get. The Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) has always acted towards his colleagues, and to me in particular, in a way to deserve loyal friendship. Any loyalty from me to him was no more than his due, and I would have been an ingrate if I had acted differently.
I repeat that I leave this house with much regret. As I have said, I have always enjoyed what I was doing. I enjoyed the association with all of you. There is a camaraderie here that would put anyone in thrall. I cannot express my desires for you, to you, in the way I should wish. There is, however, a famous character in fiction whose words come to mind and help me. I adopt them, slightly paraphrased, and apply them to all of you. The famous character is Tiny Tim, and with him I say: God bless you every one.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE