Mr. FOURNIER (Translation):
I have but one suggestion to make before I close my remarks, and it is not a personal one. I came to the conclusion, after the election of July 28 last, that I had certain responsibilities to discharge which I had not previously to that date, and I have endeavoured in the
meantime to obtain information. I am one of those new members who have much good will but little knowledge of politics, however, I hope to acquire some before my mandate ends, and I shall fulfil my duties to the best of my ability. I think that, during the period of prosperity that we have enjoyed of late, it would have been wise to teach economy to (the people tundler the influence of manufacturers, industrial firms, speculators, advertisements, by campaigns known as "high pressure salesmanship ' and by other means, conditions were so upset that the people, the workers who had plenty of work did not restrict themselves to their budget but spent extravagantly. I think it behooves men in public life to teach the people to develop in family life the spirit of thrift and to teach them to live according to itheir means. If family life is on a solid foundation in a country or city, you may rest assured that the city itself will have a wise and economic administration. And to carry this a step further the well administered city will help toward improving the administration of the province and so on until we reach the government of the country. However, I do not think that it behooves only men in public life and the government to carry on this education. It behooves the business man to do a little of this education among his employees. I am perhaps wrong, but by what I gather from the newspapers, heads of industries, manufacturers and business men seem to have one aim in view, that of producing and selling so as to draw dividends at ithe end of their financial year-and dividends as large as possible. They endeavour to increase their turn-over, forgetting the human element which enters in their various industries and especially having in mindi-in a selfish manner, their capital, which is to bring them large returns.
I do not know whether Henry Ford is persona grata with the members of this house, however, he sometimes says things which are full of common sense. Some time ago, I cut out the following passage from one of his articles:
The foundation of prosperity is the family. Each family is, or should be, its own business manager. The material affairs of a family are as much a business as the affairs of an industrial corporation.
He added that many families understand this but that the number is not sufficiently large.
And, further on, another passage of this article strongly drew my attention:
The people can be no more extravagant than business reduces them to be; they can go no
The Address-Mr. Fournier
farther into debt than business permits them to go; they can gamble only when business- or something that passes under that name- provides the opportunity.
That is to say that it places on business men the responsibility of not giving the people the necessary education in prevision of. years of depression. I think that this
situation will always exist in the world; periods of depression will follow periods of prosperity, and if the people are well prepared by educational campaigns, we shall have accomplished a great step towards the general welfare of our country.
I do not wish to further delay the house. I have a few words to add in support of the remarks of my colleague from Ottawa (Mr. Chevrier) with reference to the civil servants. During the Liberal government regime, all seemed quiet in this circle of society. The civil employees carried on, assured that their salaries would be paid, and that at the end of the year they would be given their statutory increase. They lived in peace of mind which, of late, seems to have been disturbed. The present government, I do not know whether it is in a spirit of economy or whether with a view of replacing the staffs of some departments-allow certain information to leak out to the effect that three hundred temporary employees in some departments only, will soon be thanked for their services. I do not know whether the government will do so. I openly state that this will in no way help in the good administration of the various departments and in no manner will it help to relieve unemployment existing in our district.
There is also talk of retiring those who have reached the age of 65. It is sometimes among these persons that the most efficient employees are to be found, owing to their long experience. I think that one should move slowly in this connection. I am told-
I have no personal knowledge in this matter -that already a deputy minister who had reached the age of 65, has been retired, and, by the irony of fate, he was replaced, it seems, by a person who has reached 70 years.
I question whether it is for the better administration of that department.
The suppression of the statutory increase for all those who receive more than S2,500, is talked about. I shall point out that the more the salary of an employee is high, the greater his obligations to society, both as regards to his family and himself. I do not think that the time is ripe to economise-in salary increases and especially to retire persons who can still render great services to the country owing to their knowledge and experience. As
long as I have a seat in the house, I shall closely scrutinize whether the dismissals are really justified.
I might, moreover, discuss the threats of dismissals made to postmasters and some employees of my riding, but I think that later on I shall have the opportunity of debating these questions.
In closing my remarks-as my leader so soundly stated last week-I believe that in a government, there is not only the material side, the practical side of affairs to consider, but there is also the brains, the intelligence and things which pertain to the mind. Our aim is to have a country as great and beautiful as any country in the world, composed of two great races which will one day love one another if they learn the two official languages of the country, and all my efforts will be directed in that direction.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS IN REPLY