CASTLEDEN, George Hugh, B.A.

Personal Data

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)
Yorkton (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
July 23, 1895
Deceased Date
April 25, 1969

Parliamentary Career

March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Yorkton (Saskatchewan)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Yorkton (Saskatchewan)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
  Yorkton (Saskatchewan)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
  Yorkton (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 763 of 767)

June 17, 1940


For a return showing: (a) list of all the

townships in Saskatchewan which qualified under the national emergency clause of the Prairie Farm Assistance Act; (b) a list showing the townships in the said province which qualified under the crop failure clause of the Prairie Farm Assistance Act, and (c) a list of the names of all individuals who have received acreage bonus on land other than in the townships listed, with a legal description of such land.

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June 14, 1940


I was quite pleased to hear the statement of the hon. member who spoke for the manufacturers' association. Apparently we have made a great step forward, and I am quite sure we are going to get some action soon. The minister stated in September 1939 that not one contract offered by the war supply board was accepted with the five per cent limitation. Perhaps the hon. member should explain the reason for that, or would the minister make a statement?

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June 14, 1940


I was quite pleased to hear the statement of the hon. member who spoke for the manufacturers' association. Apparently we have made a great step forward, and I am quite sure we are going to get some action soon. The minister stated in September 1939 that not one contract offered by the war supply board was accepted with the five per cent limitation. Perhaps the hon. member should explain the reason for that, or would the minister make a statement?

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June 12, 1940


For a return showing a list of all persons released in 1939-40 from internment camps in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario, together with the dates of release and reasons therefor.

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June 7, 1940


I was pleased to hear many hon. members sitting on the government side of the house speaking in favour of national health. It seems to me that makes it just about unanimous. Let us do something about the matter.

With regard to this matter of tuberculosis, I should like to draw attention to the splendid work being done in this field by Doctor Ferguson, head of the anti-tuberculosis league in Saskatchewan. That league has done splendid preventive tuberculosis work. I understand this work is so well advanced now that they can almost predict the stamping out of the disease within a fairly reasonable time in Saskatchewan.

In the dental field we are facing considerable difficulty. If a man has bad teeth, and that is all that is wrong with him, he finds trouble in having them attended to. But if he happens to have tuberculosis, then he can go to a sanatorium and have his teeth treated. They circulate a story out in our part of the country about a poor man who had been unemployed for some time. He was unfortunate enough to contract appendicitis. When he went to a hospital they told him it was impossible to operate because he had no money. Not feeling in a kindly frame of mind toward society in general, he went down the street and threw a stone through the nearest plate-glass window. He was arrested and sentenced

to thirty days' imprisonment. When he was taken to gaol they found he had appendicitis, so he was sent to the hospital and attended to. He got out in thirty days, a free man and with his appendix out.

I should like to ask two or three questions. What proportion of this amount is being spent on educational work throughout the dominion? It seems to me that educational work is the foundation of the whole scheme. Someone made the remark the other day that the proper way to treat these matters of health was to get after the grandmothers. I would point out that the women living to-day will be the grandmothers of to-morrow, so how about getting after their health now? What cooperation is there between the provinces and the dominion? What is the attitude of the medical association with regard to the nationalization or socialization of health? How do the various provinces rate in health standards? Is there a connection between the standards of education and the standards of health?

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre) r There is nothing in this particular vote for education work; that is provided for in other votes which will come up later. As far as health standards are concerned, I think there is no doubt that Saskatchewan leads the rest of Canada in the work it has done. The question of health insurance was discussed at considerable length last year. Several hon. members who are again in the house will remember the resolution moved by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Mclvor). I believe he has a similar resolution on the order paper this year. At that time the former minister went most thoroughly and exhaustively into the question of health insurance, not only as it might apply in the Dominion of Canada but with reference to other countries of the world. Hon. gentlemen will find on page 1573 of Hansard of last year, the report of a most valuable discussion of the whole question of health insurance. That debate was excellent in every way, and since that time we have received the report of the Sirois commission. I am sure most hon. members present have read their conclusions in regard to national health insurance. Their conclusions are that national unemployment insurance is and should be a federal responsibility, but they state most definitely that health insurance must be considered a provincial responsibility, with of course all possible cooperation by the federal authorities. The report of the commission states this at page 34:

This brief survey of the health activities of the _ municipalities, the provinces and the dominion indicates that despite the chaotic


situation as regards jurisdiction, each level of government is performing functions consistent with its proper role in the government of the nation. Jurisdiction may overlap, but there is in fact little overlapping of functional activities. Indeed, we were impressed by the inadequacy of health services, considering the need, rather than by the existence of duplication.

And again they say this:

Finally, there are pronounced regional differences in Canada in social philosophy which are bound to affect public health legislation. Centralization of jurisdiction might not, therefore, conduce to progressive action in public health, or to national unity in general.

And again:

We think, therefore, that the present jurisdictional situation should not be disturbed, and that the public must rely on the good sense of public health officials and of political authorities concerned to effect cooperation and to work out an efficient and economical division of functions between the dominion and the provinces.

And further:

Whereas it is considered practicable in the case of unemployment insurance to adopt a uniform scheme that will apply to all provinces, it is not considered practicable in the case of health insurance, as the problems to be met are different.

A scheme of health insurance applicable to the large industrial provinces of Ontario and Quebec would not be applicable in provinces which are chiefly agricultural.

In contemplating a system of health insurance, consideration must be given to:

The topography,

The distribution of population,

The various age groups,

Distribution of members of the medical and nursing professions,

The location of hospitals,

Transportation facilities,

Number and class of industries, and a variety of factors that have a direct bearing on the type of health insurance that is practicable.

Doctor Weir, provincial health minister of British Columbia, appeared before a meeting of the dominion health council. That province has a national insurance act on its statute books, as has Alberta, but they are not in operation. He had this to say:

It would be a grave error for the dominion government, by amendment to the British North America Act to relieve the province of the major responsibility in health matters. The true role of the federal government in the health field, it seems to me, is to supply leadership, to assist in the promotion of significant health movements, to correlate-but not to legislate in health matters now falling within provincial jurisdiction.

The Right Hon. R. B. Bennett, had this to say in 1935, as reported on page 1156 of Hansard:

A national health policy involves consideration of several factors, among them being, first, the position of the individual himself-not the question of the municipalities or the provinces, but the position of the individual himself and herself.

Later in the same debate, he said:

We cannot, with one stroke of the legislative pen, wipe out of existence all the provisions made by the municipalities and the provinces to deal with this problem-their hospitals, medical service, taxation to maintain them in cities, towns and villages.

You cannot to-night, with all the power in the world, scrap the provincial services and impose upon them a federal service without the loss of millions of dollars.

That is as clear as anything can be. The difference between a national and a provincial scheme is quite simple, and I think the hon. member realizes that. The provinces have gone ahead and exercised their jurisdiction with respect to health matters, hospitalization and so on. Commenting upon Mr. Bennett's remarks, Doctor Weir had this to say:

In a word, I quite agree with the position of the present Prime Minister that the dominion government now has all machinery necessary to enable it to participate effectivelv with the provinces in the promotion of public health.

Those who have most strongly advocated health insurance in Canada have directed their representations to the provincial authorities. Just a few minutes ago the hon. member asked about the attitude of the Canadian medical association. The committee of economics of that association, on page 32 of its report on health insurance, expresses the following opinion:

The Canadian situation is such that social insurance legislation, of which health insurance is a part, must be initiated by the provinces. The dominion is free to make grants of money to the provinces adopting such legislation. This has been done in the matter of old age pensions.

The dominion could exercise considerable influence, if making such a grant, to secure the inclusion of the same desirable principles in all provincial legislation. The dominion, if contributing, would give supervision through the department of national health. Practically, health insurance in Canada will be provincial in legislation, organization and administration.

Several labour organizations made representations to their respective provincial governments. The British Columbia executive committee of the Trades and Labour Congress said this on November 2, 1937:

The government was strongly urged to give immediate effect to the health insurance act of 1936. The committee also recorded its favour for an act covering all persons irrespective of salary or other limitations.

The recommendation of the Saskatchewan executive committee of the Trades and Labour Congress, under date of November 30, 1937, is as follows:

The enactment of health insurance legislation was requested by the committee, the delegation endorsing the objectives of the state medicine league in this connection.


From the Manitoba executive committee of the Trades and Labour Congress and railway transportation brotherhoods, on January 4, 1938, I quote:

The committee expressed its view that the time was opportune "to recommend action looking to the establishment of a system of health insurance," and urged the government to "immediately take the necessary steps to formulate and adopt legislation to this end."

The Alberta federation of labour, on January 25, 1938, stated as follows:

In dealing with subjects of health, the federation's memorandum requested the bringing into operation of the section of the health insurance act providing for medical aid and hospitalization.

The Ontario executive of the Trades and Labour Congress recommended on February 8, 1938:

Enactment of legislation "to ensure full benefits of curative and preventive medicine to all citizens of the province irrespective of their ability to pay."

On February 8, 1938, the Ontario joint legislative committee of railway transportation brotherhoods, asked:

. . . favourable consideration to a health

insurance measure.

It is evident from the foregoing that in the provinces these organizations realize that any scheme of national health insurance in Canada must be based upon provincial jurisdiction, and the most effective contribution which should and will be made by the federal government is by financial grants to the provinces who must be responsible under our constitution for health insurance in Canada.

All that is exactly what is happening to-day in the United States in the scheme of social security which President Roosevelt has commenced in that republic, the essential jurisdiction of the states being recognized, and federal grants being conditioned upon the actual needs existing in the various states.

Topic:   G16 COMMONS
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