November 5, 1919

UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

That may be a debatable point from the hon. gentleman's standpoint. So far as the evidence that came before the committee is concerned, we are convinced that the pensions provided by Canada are higher than those provided by any other belligeient country. As to gratuities, I do not think it will be disputed by anybody, that in so far as that feature of our work of re-establishment is concerned, and it is a part of our reestablishment work, Canada has gone further than any other belligerent country in the world, and very much further in some cases. As regards the provision we have made for soldier settlement, I think I am safe in saying from all the reading I have done and all the inquiries I have made, that we are miles in advance of anything being done by any of the other countries that took part in the war.

We are actually placing the men on the land and are getting results. It may be that in other countries they have lots of paper provisions, indulge in much talk, and intimate that they are prepared to do things. But as a matter of fact, in this country we have had for months now an organization that is actually ge'tting the men on the land, and that organization at the present time is being worked to the limit right through Canada, from ocean to ocean.

I need not refer again to the work of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment. I believe that every member of Parliament and the people of the

country generally recognize that everything should be done that can reasonably be done on behalf of the disabled men who are unfitted for their former occupations. That work has been undertaken by this department, and as has already been intimated, the country has provided, for that class of work to the end of this year, an expenditure in the neighbourhood of $57,000,000. I am sure Parliament will be prepared to vote the further sum required, about $50,000,000, in order that that work may be carried on.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. PETER McGIBBON (Muskoka):

Before the minister leaves that department, may I ask him if he is aware that the recommendation contained in suggestion 2 is a violation of the contract made by the Government?

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

On what page does it appear?

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON:

Page 49.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

I have a note on the point raised by the hon. member, ^ and I will come to it shortly. In referring" to the attitude of Parliament and our people generally towards this work, I should like to read the finding of the committee, which will be found on page 39 near the top of the page:

Summing up the whole situation, your committee are convinced that as regards the problem of re-establishment generally, the Canadian people and their representatives in Parliament as well as the Government, have always shown an earnest desire to meet any real need that has arisen or may exist. Parliament heretofore has not been parsimonious in voting money whenever and wherever the expenditures were shown to be necessary. Frequently, however, the opinion was expressed in Parliament that the greatest care should be taken to avoid any action that would tend to deprive the soldier of his self-reliance and self-respect. It was thought to be against the best interests of the soldiers themselves that they should rely unduly upon the State in the period following their discharge. Your committee concur in these views. After hearing all the evidence, they agree that the best policy towards the soldier is to surround him with conditions that will tend to strengthen his self-confidence and self-reliance.

Coming now to section B of the findings: Under this heading, Mr.- Speaker, the committee have endeavoured to place before Parliament a concise statement of the financial position of the country in relation to this question of 4'e-establishment. The task was by no means an easy one, but we have endeavoured to set out in the report sufficient details to enable the House to have something substantial upon which to base its judgment.

The committee have not attempted in any way to conceal anything from the House nor to exaggerate the situation. As regards our work, we endeavoured to get at the facts, and we had considerable difficulty in doing so, because, to arrive at the facts in connection with the exact financial situation of such a business concern as Canada is, is not by any means an easy matter. However, we have obtained certain figures which have been put into shape so that they can be presented to the House in order that it may get a proper view of the situation generally. On page 40 of the report the committee, in paragraph 3, take this view:

The question of the ability of Canada to rais; huge sums of money immediately-

Because, after all, that is what these propositions amount to;

-or during the next twelve or eighteen months, depends, in the opinion of your committtee, m two prime considerations.

The first of these considerations, under (a), is the possibility of getting the money itself; and the second you will find on page 42 near the top of the page; that is, the ability of the country to raise the necessary taxes to pay the interest on this sum should it be secured. In reference to the first consideration, I must ask the House to bear with me while I read the opinion of the committee, because it probably sets forth the situation much more clearly than I could state it myself. This is the finding of the committee:

From its study of the general financial situation of the country your committee have inevitably been forced to the conclusion that the vast sums of money suggested for re-establishment purposes cannot possibly be raised. The reasons for this must be apparent. The expenditures to which the country is already committed and for which estimates have been voted by Parliament for the present fiscal year, together with the expenditures which must be provided by Parliament for the next fiscal year, will necessitate the borrowing of money on the credit of Canada of as large an amount as the loaning resources of the country will permit, to say nothing of the effect on our credit generally of increasing our national debt, which now stands at approximately $1,900,000,000, by some hundreds of millions beyond sums required to take care of existing obligations.

I should like the House to follow me while I go through the table which is submitted, because it is very largely the crux of the wh'ole situation. We are told that there should be no difficulty in raising $400,000,000. It is said: "You have done it before, and can do it again, and there should be no difficulty about it." During our inquiry we had to ascertain the amounts for which the

country was already committed and that had to be provided, and those amounts are set out in this table at the bottom of page 40. The first part of this table, from No. 1 to No. 15, represents sums of money that were actually voted by Parliament last session, and a very large part of which has already been expended, with a possibility that very little of that money can be saved. That is to say, it must be expended within the course of the next few months. The first item is Public Buildings, $3,000,000. That does not include the estimates that were made for large buildings in places like Toronto, Hamilton, London, Calgary, etc. It includes only expenditures on the Parliament buildings at Ottawa, and, I think, $100,000 for another building here.

These are expenditures which are going on, they are expenditures which will be made, that every member of the House expects to be made and is anxious should be made in order that we may get into proper quarters for the discharge of the public business. The second item is:

Welland, Trent and other canals. .$4,550,000

These are estimates that have been passed and the expenditures have very largely been made. I doubt very much if any material saving could be made now in that item even if we wished to make it. The appropriations made for the Welland canal have practically been exhausted. I dare say the same is true of all the other items included in this estimate.

Harbour and river improvement.. $3,201,800

Improvement of St. Lawrence

channel 623,167

Shipbuilding 4Q,000,000

There may be differences of opinion as to whether or not the expenditure of that $40,000,000 is advisable. There may be marked differences of opinion in this House as to whether or not Canada should provide money for building ships. Nevertheless the contracts have been made, the work is under way, millions have been expended and millions further will be expended.

Let me digress for a moment. My right hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) and myself heard a deputation the other night as to requirements for shipping in the St. Lawrence channel at the present time in order that certain agricultural products might go 'out that way. It was represented to us that the ships coming up that channel are charging, we will say, from one-third to one-half more than ships sailing from certain ports on the American seaboard and that they

I Mr. Calder.l

cannot get ships to take produce from this country and carry it by way of the St. Lawrence route. Are we to drop the idea of providing the necessary shipping to enable the products of the industries of this country to be exported? That is a question for Parliament to decide.

Intercolonial Railway-Construction

and betterments $11,121,681

Most of that has been, or will be, expended.

Quebec, Saguenay railway-Betterment and construction $ 550,000

That is all expended or will be.

Branches - Intercolonial railway

-Purchase price $ 292,000

A small item perhaps but the House will remember that provision was made for acquiring certain branch lines in the Maritime Provinces.

Edmonton and Dunvegan railway-

Subsidy [DOT][DOT]$ 258,797

Transcontinental-Purchase, right of

125,000

That is, right of way which had been got, the tracks laid down upon it but not paid for and it must be paid for.

Hudson Bay railway-Construction 400,000

Perhaps the hon. member for Nelson (Mr. Campbell) thinks that is not large enough and that instead of $400,000 there should be a larger expenditure made.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

John Archibald Campbell

Unionist

Mr. CAMPBELL:

That is not being used for construction.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Air. CALDER:

None of it at all?

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

John Archibald Campbell

Unionist

Air. CAMPBELL:

Not for construction.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Then we come to some large items:

Rolling stock, equipment, supplies and matrials for National and other railways $35,000,000

I understand that a large part of that is being expended and necessarily expended.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

Is not that an operating charge?

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

No, it is not an operating charge.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

It should be.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Then we have item No. 13:

Canadian Northern railway-Construction, betterments, maturities, interest and other charges.. ..$35,000,000

Every dollar of which is or will be needed this year, and possibly some more.

Soldiers' Land Settlement $ 45,000,000

Demobilization appropriation-War activities, demobilization, transport of troops, promotion of trade and other expenditures in consequence of war, including gratuities, etc 350,000,000

Every dollar of that will be required for the purpose for which it has been voted. These estimates were actually voted at the last session of Parliament. The expenditures are being made and as far a0 the evidence shows there is very little indication that there can be very much saving on the total estimated expenditure of $529,122,445. Every dollar of that must be borrowed from the people of Canada through loan. There should be added to these figures which are not included in the estimates an estimate of $15,000,000 to take care of deficits on the Grand Trunk Pacific:

Grand Trunk Pacific Receivership-

Interests and deficits in operations $15,000,000

It is estimated that for credits to Great Britain and Allied countries $125,000,000 will be required.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

That is an asset.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

That will be an asset.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

Except what we give to Roumania?

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

Why does the minister confine himself altogether to the Grand Trunk Pacific? Does he assume that there will be no deficit on any other of the Government railways?

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sinclair) will look at item 13 he will find:

Canadian Northern Railway-Construction, betterments, maturities, interest and other charges. .$35,000,000

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

Including deficits?

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Including interest and

other charges.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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November 5, 1919