November 6, 1919

UNION

Levi Thomson

Unionist

Mr. LEVI THOMSON:

I do not think

the Government of this country has a right, under the present circumstances, to refuse to carry on and to do so in accordance with the wishes of this Parliament. Our men at the front did not find things always to suit them, but they carried on, and what would have happened to us if they had not carried on? The obligation to carry on is just as strong on the Government as it was on them, so that I hope we have heard the last of this threat, veiled or otherwise, of resignation.

Mr. MeMASTER: Why support the Government then?

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Levi Thomson

Unionist

Mr. LEVI THOMSON:

My hon. friend

is raising questions that are not pertinent to this issue. I am prepared and ready to discuss those questions when the proper time comes. My hon. friend has had some opportunity to know the reasons why the western farmers are taking the stand that they are taking, and he should not be asking those questions now after his experience.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Are the western farmers satisfied with this Government?

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Levi Thomson

Unionist

Mr. LEVI THOMSON:

Those questions are not pertinent to the matter which we are discussing. I am prepared to discuss them at the proper time with the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster). I would like to see this question settled now, and I believe that if the House is prepared to meet the representations of the returned men in a reasonable way, it can be settled now. I do not want any " Fenian Raid " style of doing things, rewarding the men after they are dead. I want these men paid as soon as possible whatever gratuities they are going to receive.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

What does the hon. member think they should receive?

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Levi Thomson

Unionist

Mr. LEVI THOMSON:

I have already given the figures, and if the hon. member was not in the House, I am not sure that I am entitled to delay the House in going over my speech again. My suggestion was this: That we are in honour bound to pay our private soldiers who fought in the

trenches an amount which, added to what they have already received, would make the total' amount equivalent to what ordinary labourers at home were getting. My hon. friend should know as well as I about what that difference would be. In saying what I thought the difference would be, I said that we were entitled to deduct from that the amount which was paid in gratuities. My rough estimate would be that it would be something less than $400 per man. I am satisfied that if we adopt and act upon this report, the question will not be finally settled; that we shall have to deal with the matter again and again, and that the sooner we settle it, the better. No matter of this kind in a civilized country like this is finally settled until the settlement is just, and with all respect to the committee, I do not think their report provides for a just settlement.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. EDWARD WALTER NESBITT (Oxford North):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. L. Thomson) says that he thinks the men should be paid the difference between what they were paid and the amount received by ordinary labourers. I think that is the substance of his remarks. He estimates the amount that they were paid at $400; and if I remember correctly, he estimates the amount that the ordinary labourer would earn at about $700. In the first place, let me say that that would be paying for service, and in my judgment it would be absolutely impossible in this or any other country to pay our men for the service they rendered, because no men would go through what they went through for payment in dollars and cents. I think that does away with my hon. friend's argument that the men should be paid for service, and I can understand his argument in no other way. To answer that argument, however, let me say this: He estimates that they got $400. They get $1.10 a day, which would be $401.50; they get their board, which would be $110, and clothing equal to $100, or a total of $611. It would not leave much, according to his estimate of what the ordinary labourer gets, if you take it on that basis. Of course, as an hon. member suggests to me, they got the gratuity. But I want to refer for a moment to what the committee recommends. It recommends, in the first place, that the same gratuity be paid to the R.A.F. man and other Imperial units as was paid to the C.E.F. men. We thought that nothing but fair, because, after

all, they were Canadians, no matter what service they were in. They were fighting for the defence of the country, whether they were in the direct service of Canada or in Imperial units, and this recommendation, I think, is only just. We also recommended that the transportation expenses of those who came home previous to the signing of the -armistice should be paid in order to put them on an equal footing with those who came home after the signing of the armistice and whose transportation was paid. We recommended, further, that free clothing in the Soldiers' -Civil Re-establishment hospitals should be given in so far as the management of those hospitals thought just. We recommended pay and allowances to trainees taken on the strength of the Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment and subsequently not approved. I may illustrate that feature of the report. Sometimes a man applied to be taken on the strength of the Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment in some of the outlying districts and afterwards his application was not passed by the head office in Ottawa. While we could not recommend that simply because a man made an application he should be paid, we did recommend that if he was taken on by one of the outside authorities and afterwards his application was not accepted by the head office at Ottawa, he should be paid during the time he was in service, which was not done before. We made a recommendation in regard to the sub-normal and neurological cases, in regard to which I personally found some difficulty in satisfying myself. They present a problem which no doubt must be met in some way by whatever Government is in power in the future, and I think that sub-normal and neurological cases must be treated whether they occur among soldiers or civilians. It is a menace that must be grappled with. How, we were not prepared to say; but in the meantime we authorized the Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment to take care of these men properly and see that they are housed, fed, given medical treatment, and so forth, and suggest that the necessary money be raised to do that work. We found that some of these sub-normal men had been taken on the strength by doctors when it_was obvious that they should have been rejected. In my judgment, it was more or less a crime for some of them to be passed into military service, and they are consequently thrown upon the country and we must take care of them. In regard to necessitous cases, it was brought to our attention that in some instances pensions were not quite sufficient

for widows, and widows with children, and we recommend that the proper department should look into these cases. We recommend also that the cheques of the men who served in the Imperial forces should be cashed at par, for the reason that I have given before, that they were fighting for the country notwithstanding the fact that they were in the Imperial service. It must be borne in mind, too, that the reservists were to all intents and purposes Canadian citizens who answered the call. Another suggestion has reference to loans to retrained disabled men and to provide for tools and equipment. The reason for the restrictive nature of this recommendation is the fact that it was absolutely impossible, at all events in our judgment, to make a loan to every one who might want to be re-established in business, because in many cases the applicant might know nothing whatever about the business for which he wanted the loan, and it would only mean a loss both to himself and the country. These men who have been undergoing vocational training are the disabled soldiers and not sound men; and for that class of men, who might want to start in some small business, we recommend a loan repayable in five years, in order to enable them to buy necessary tools. Then we come to the vexed question of the care of the unemployed during this winter. It was stated very definitely that there might be a certain amount of unemployment in some sections of the country during the next winter, with consequent hardships, and to cover this problem we recommended that a sum of $40,000,000 be provided; we recommended for gratuities for the R.A.F. and other Imperial men, $9,000,000 and to provide for transportation for the dependents of man who returned previous to the armistice, $1,000,000, making a total of $50,000,000. The interest on that $50,000,000 at 51 per cent has to be added to the interest that is to be paid yearly by this country. Now, we thought that we should take care only of those of whom it was absolutely necessary for us to provide for during the coming winter. We did not propose, as some people suggest, that every one who applied should be taken care of, but we recommended that the money should be used for the benefit of dependents and for the assistance of men who could not get employment. The basis of the success of the country is after all the workingman, whether he works with his head or his hand. And every man who can get employment and support himself should be afforded the opportunity to do so. It

is not in the interests of the country-and I say this with all deference to any one who may say anything to the contrary- that any man should be encouraged to be idle if he can get employment. Notwithstanding what has been said to the contrary, we did give a generous gratuity to the men. It was said this afternoon that Australia had done better for its returned soldiers than we have done. But we have looked into that question carefully and we are convinced that no other country in the world has done as well for its returned soldiers as Canada has done. No other country has given as generous pensions to disabled soldiers as we have given. We had the comparative tables of pensions before us in the pensions committee last spring and this fact was established. It is quite true that in estimating the pensions in England they are a little more generous in some respects in regard to disability cases. I am not speaking of death pensions, but of disability pensions. They are a little more generous in classifying than we are. But in every case, though their classification may be higher, our allotment is very much more favourable. I have the tables in my desk, and if I had thought that I would be speaking on this subject this afternoon I would have brought them in order that they might be incorporated in Hansard.

We did give a gratuity. What for?-For the purpose of allowing men to become reestablished in civil life. The object of the gratuity was to carry the men for the period ' between when they were discharged and when they were re-established in civil life. All the men who carefully used that gratuity have become established in civil life as far as I know.

Suppose we grant the demands of the returned soldiers in one form or another, suppose we give greater gratuities at the present time, what guarantee have we that those who wasted those gratuities will use future gratuities to any better purpose than they did the last? What guarantee have we, if we grant $2,500 apiece that they will not come back? Some hon. gentlemen who have spoken this afternoon said that this was not the end. I doubt if it will be the end. It should be the end. We are taking care of the men who cannot get work this winter and we are recommending. that the Government should provide some further machinery to take care of the men who cannot get work. Is there an hon. member who will say that the returned soldier, or any other man, should not get

work if he can? If he can get work, he independent and be a man again, I see no reason why any Government should be paternal and keep him longer than is necessary to keep him until he can get work. Although there may be many places in Canada where men cannot get work this winter, the province of Ontario to-day can employ all the men who are unemployed in this country and it will be glad to get them. Factories in Ontario from one end of the province to the other are looking for men and they will be glad to get them. There is not a factory manager anywhere in Ontario that will not give the preference to returned men. There is a great deal of talk but after all it is talk.

As to the means of raising more money, we have shown you what the commitments of the country are by these tables that are contained in the report. These tables are as carefully worked out as it is possible for any dozen or twenty men to do it. We went into this question just as carefully as we possibly could and there is no misrepresentation that I know of in the tables. We show you that, over and above the present indebtedness of the country, we have to raise during next year, including the present Victory Loan, $529,000,000 in round figures. We have absolutely been committed. There is the Grand Trunk Pacific deficit and provision for credits to Great Britain. We have to raise these credits. Somebody said the other day that it was to provide for the sale of manufactured goods to Great Britain. Of all the loans we have given to foreign countries and Great Britain not ten per cent is for manufactured goods. It is for foodstuffs that these loans are made. Including these loans the deficit on the Grand Trunk Pacific and the housing scheme that has to be carried out, we will have to raise in round figures $700,000,000. We have to pay the interest on that added to what we have already to pay and that amounts to about $102,000,000. Then we estimate our ordinary expenditure for this year at $270,000,000 and our ordinary revenues at $244,000,000. We still lack a good many millions of dollars and all these small taxes suggested by the hon. member for East York (Mr. Foster) here to-day would be eaten up in a month, they would not fizz on the amount that would be required to make up the ordinary revenues of this country. Then we add to this $700,000,000, $37,500,000 for next

year and we add the $50,000,000 that we recommend. Then, there is another $22,750,000 or something like that to be added.

We add $40,000,000 to the ordinary expenditure and only about $100,000,000 of the ordinary expenditure is on ordinary account.

It is impossible to avoid this expenditure. It is all right to be generous and it is all right to talk about what we are going to do and to say that we are all willing to pay our taxes. Of course we are, but is there not commonsense when we come to speak of what we can do? After all, is there not a limit to what we can do, just as there is a limit to the taxes that we can pay no matter how willing we are to pay them? It is quite true that a great many people drive around in automobiles and that a great many people live more expensively perhaps than is necessary. But that is none of my business and it is none of the business of anybody in this House as far as I can see. If people pay their way it is nobody's business. There are people who buy automobiles -who should not but that is none of my business so long as they do not buy them from me and ask me to trust them. I am free to discuss these things, and discuss them frankly because I have not increased my expenditure any more than the Lord made me since the war started. When I say " any more than the Lord made me " I mean that I had to pay more because of the advance in the prices of the things I had to eat but I paid no more than I had to.

The suggestion has been made that a part of the money to provide for this grant to the returned soldiers should be raised by imposing a land tax. It is easy for my hon. friend from the West to say that the West is perfectly willing to. submit to a land tax. What authority has he to speak for individuals in the West any more than I have to speak for the people of North Oxford on this question? I can only judge by what I know. I know that people are not anxious to increase their taxation. Nobody that I know of is.

If we sat here and discussed this question for a month, as we did in the committee, we could not give it any graver consideration than we did in the committee; it would be absolutely impossible. No matter how many there were here to discuss it, it could not be considered any more gravely or earnestly or in the interest of the country and the returned soldier than we considered it. We all recognize that it is impossible .to pay the returned soldier. There is no use talking about compensating him for all he went

through. All we can do is to use him justly and to see him reinstated in civil life. Our soldiers were a credit to this country when they were fighting in France and they equally may be a credit to this country now that they have returned by getting to work when they have an opportunity of getting to work and showing the manhood that is in them. They have the opportunity now that they have returned. There is nobody in this country that I know of who will not give the preference to the returned soldier in connection with any work that it is possible for him to do. That is the way. and the only way, they can show the stuff they are made of as they did in France. I do not believe that there should be any unemployment this winter. Let me repeat that if there is any unemployment in the West and the Government will pay for the transportation of those unemployed men to Ontario, we will welcome them with open arms and give them work, regardless of their previous occupation. If they get work, and are independent, does not that make them much better citizens of this country? It is quite true, as my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) said yesterday, that gratuities were given for the Northwest Rebellion, the Fenian Raid and the South African War, but none of those gratuities compare in any way, manner, or form with the gratuities granted by Canada for the great European War, which gratuities were given to help tide the soldier over the period between his discharge and his re-establishment in civil life. It is said that a great many of these men returned home unfitted to immediately reenter civil life. We all know that. All the employers that appeared before the committee recognized the fact, and said they were perfectly willing to give the returned soldier an opportunity to get his nerves steadied. How many men, within the knowledge of each of us, came home, got their discharge, doffed their military clothes and went to work next day. I know dozens of them myself who went to work and asked no favours from anybody. That is the opportunity I think we should give' them.

A great many suggestions for raising money in the form of taxation have been advanced. Every method of taxation that we can employ during the next two or three years will be needed to supply funds for ordinary expenditures that we cannot possibly avoid, meeting the interest on our debt, maintaining the pensions to soldiers, and providing money for Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment and other organizations that

we have created. Every dollar that we can possibly raise by any kind of ingenious taxation that is not a detriment to the country will be needed for these purposes. There is no use in our putting on taxes that will be a detriment to the progress of Canada. It is nonsense to talk about taxing a manufacturer to an extent that will force him to go outof business in thiscountry. That stops the wheels of industry and then there is no employment. We want to keep the wheels of industry in operation and provide employment for industrious men and women, m this country-industrious people are the kind of people we want in Canada. Some hon. gentleman to-day advocated taxing the wages of the alien. How would you tax him? Would you send a constable around, seize him by the scruff of the neck, and take the money from him? And even if you did tax him, he would not pay it. In the case of the alien in Ontario it would be easy for him to evade payment by walking across the suspension bridge at Niagara or at a cost of 5 cents taking the ferry at Windsor. In the West he does not need to do that; if you tax him he simply won't work for you. There is a certain ainount of rough work that has to be done in this country and vce have got to employ aliens for the purpose-Canadians will not do it. Therefore, what is the use of chasing them sense about these things.

Reference has been made to the land grants made to the Fenian Raid veterans. There was a grant made of 150 acres of land up in Northern Ontario and my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) told us last night that in one case a man got $15,000 for his land. That would be for a mineral prospect or mine.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

Did the committee give any attention to methods of economy? Did they study how we could *save money by reducing the present expenditures of the Government and so adjust our accounts as to have them in better shape than they now are?

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. NESBITT:

Yes, the committee gave every possible attention to that subject and when I tell my hon. friend that our controllable expenditures, including those for public works, do not amount to more than $105,000,000 yearly, or somewhere in that neighbourhood, he will see how absolutely impossible it was in the committee's judgment to make any curtailment. We were committed owing to the war to warious expenditures that we cannot possibly avoid, and that is why we do not want to enter

upon any further obligations beyond those recommended in this report.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

Are we to understand it is not possible to do anything in the direction of economy and that all these expenditures that are proposed will have to be carried out?

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. NESBITT:

Yes, the expenditures that we are committed to will have to be carried out; I see no way of avoiding them. Nobody in this House or in this country is more opposed to unnecessary expenditure than I am. I do not care whether they are incurred by a government or by an individual, I am opposed to unnecessary expenditure. My early training taught me that when anything was put on my plate I had to eat it, it was waste to do otherwise, and I carried that idea into my ordinary life. The committee did not see where they could recommend that the expenditures could be curtailed in any respect. But that is carrying us into questions which should be threshed out when we are debating the Budget, and I do not want to enter-upon any Budget debate this afternoon. Some hon. member made a complaint as to how the returned soldiers that settled on the land were treated. I think it was my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) who said they could not sell a chicken, a pig, or any other animal without the consent of the Soldiers' Settlement Board. It was absolutely unfair to make a statement of that kind, which will in all probability be reproduced in the press and spread broadcast through the country. Far from being limited in any such way, these men have every opportunity afforded them of selling their products; they are encouraged to raise everything they possibly can, and sell it. It is quite true they are not allowed to " peter out " the stock and implements that the Government have paid for, but they are allowed to sell their surplus just as it is open to any other farmer to do.

My hon. friend (Mr. Currie) wants to raise money by customs taxation. Well, that was more or less selfish. He did not refer to The Income Tax or the Business Profits Tax, but he takes up customs taxation, because, I suppose, it is along the line of protection. The hon. gentleman should remember there is a feeling in this country that the customs tariff is already quite high enough. Ilf you unduly raise the customs duty on an article you do not get a revenue, because that duty is prohibitive in its effect. So there would be no particular revenue from the source the hon. gentleman

proposes, so far as I can see. But all the suggestions to which I have listened in the last few days, having for their object the raising of additional money, will not yield us the revenue that we require next year, will not do more than meet our ordinary expenditures, regardless altogether of -any further liabilities.

So what is the use of trying to add three or four hundred million dollars or a billion dollars to that expenditure? If it was needed, and if it would do the returned soldier any good, I would be the first one to vote for it, but in my judgment it will not do him any good. You cannot pap-feed men and have a country or a civilization to be proud of. There is a limit to what we can do, and in the judgment of the committee we reached that limit. We believe that we recommended everything that was absolutely necessary in the interests of the returned soldier. The reason why we did not recommend loans to students, to -carpenters or to other mechanics whose studies or industries had been interrupted by the war was simply because it would necessitate such a large expenditure that the country could not possibly meet it. I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that many members of the committee were very loath to turn down that proposition, but it was in our judgment an absolute impossibility to raise the money. Therefore the basis of our recommendation is not assistance to the sound man, but assistance to the man who has been disabled. We recommend that everything be done for the disabled men regardless of expense, and we think that everything should be done for the disabled men regardless of expense; on the other hand we think that the able man should get busy-at least I do; and that is the substance of the basis of our report. The able man should get busy, and the country at large-every employer of labour and the Government-should give the returned soldier every possible opportunity and every preference to enable him to get busy. And I am sure that I voice the views of the great mass of employers, whether they be manufacturers, farmers or merchants, when I say that they will from one end of this country to the other give the returned soldier the preference. I ask the returned soldier not to continue seeking further gratuities from the Government, but to get busy, to find out whether he can get work or not. If he cannot get work, then let him apply to somebody with influence in his locality who will endeavour, I have no doubt, to find him work that will be satis-

factory to him, if he is willing to wqrk, and that will also pay him well for the effort he puts forth.

Now, Mr. Speaker, so far as I am concerned, if I were to debate this question for a month I could only say what I have already said, that we have-I do not use the word sympathy, because to me that is more or less an insult-we have every feeling that the returned soldier should be used like a man. You cannot use him better than to treat him as you would use your fellow-man, no matter who he may be, and I believe that the people of this country are willing, aye, ready to use the returned soldier just as well as it is possible for them to use him and to do him every justice; but I do not believe that the mass of our people are willing to do more than justice,-are willing to continue paying gratuities after men refuse the opportunity of becoming re-established in civil life. If our returned men will accept that opportunity, then every one in this country I believe is willing to do everything he possibly can for those men. What more can they ask? Did they not go overseas for the sake of patriotism, to serve their country? It is an insult to the returned soldier-at least to many of them that I know, to say that they went for the sake of getting compensation after they came home. No country could possibly pay such compensation in the measure of the sacrifices made; this country cannot, and we cannot afford to keep men who refuse to work when the opportunity is presented to them. If they are sound in body, give them the opportunity to earn a living. But if they will not work, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to continue to pay out money? I think not. Many people have said that this will not be the end of this matter. I doubt if it will.. But it will be the end if we are sensible members of Parliament. That is what I think, anyway.

I have only to say once more, Mr. Speaker, that if ever a committee worked absolutely honestly on the job that they were set to do, it was the committee whose report is before the House. And let me repeat again, that if the House were to sit here as long as the committee sat and discussed this question, I do not believe you could come to any other conclusion than we came to,-that the country cannot afford to pay further gratuities, and that it is not in the interests of the soldier that it should.

At six o'clock the House took recess

After Recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock. OBSERVANCE OF ARMISTICE DAY. MESSAGE FROM HIS MAJESTY THE KING.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER (Acting Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, before we proceed with the debate I should like to read a telegram from the Secretary of State for the Colonies to the Governor General, as follows:

London, November 6, 1919.

Urgent.

I am commanded by His Majesty the King to send you for immediate publication the following message, which is addressed to all the peoples of the Empire.

" To all my people:

" Tuesday next, November 11th, is the first anniversary of the armistice which stayed the world-wide carnage of the four preceding years, and marked the victory of right and freedom. I believe that my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that great deliverance and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.

"To afford an opportunity for the universal expression of this feeling it is my desire and hope that at the hour when the armistice came into force, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities. During that time, except in the rare cases where this might be impracticable, all work, all sound and all locomotion should cease, so that in perfect stillness the thoughts of every one may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.

"No elaborate organization appears to be necessary. At a given signal, which can easily be arranged to suit the circumstances of each locality, I believe that we shall all gladly interrupt our business and pleasure whatever it may be and unite in this simple service of silence and remembrance."

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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"GEORGE R.I."


This will be published in the Press here tomorrow morning. Arrangements are being made for the general observance of the two minutes' silence at eleven o'clock next Tuesday. Trains will be stopped on the railways, traffic on the streets, ships as far as possible at sea, and every effort will be made to get work suspended everywhere in schools, shops, mines, and factories and to ensure complete silence. His Majesty hopes that your ministers may be willing to arrange a similar observance. It is of course, impracticable owing to distance that the ceremony should synchronize throughout the Empire. It is therefore suggested that eleven a.m. local time should be adopted everywhere. Similar message being sent to India' and lo every Dominion and Colony in the Empire. Milner.


COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.


The House resumed consideration of the motion of Hon. Mr. Calder for concurrence



in the fourth and final report of the special committee to which was referred Bill No. 10, to amend the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment Act, and the amendment of Mr. Andrews thereto.


UNION

Robert James Manion

Unionist

Mr. ROBERT JAMES MANION (Fort William and Rainy River):

of dollars to purchase the Grand Trunk railway. The Government is taking over the bonds and paying the interest, but it is not putting up hundreds of millions of dollars. Those are instances of false statements made-thoughtlessly, I know, because I do not mean to bring personalities into this debate-and such statements, being spread throughout this country, help to increase the unrest caused by misunderstanding amongst the soldiers.

A third reason for unrest amongst the soldiers is to be found in the inequalities of sacrifice which have taken place in this war. There is a feeling, and a just one, that while some men were giving their lives or limbs at the front, others were remaining at home and making vast sums of money. For example, a man with one leg off is going down the street on his crutches, and he sees whirling by him some chap who, he knows, did not serve at the front and who, he knows, cleaned up a great deal of money through some industry with which he was connected during the war. The man with the leg off natmaly feels that there is something wrong in the system that permits such an inequality of sacrifice. It is simply an exaggeration of the condition that has existed as long as we can read hack in history. The same condition exists when some old workman, who has worked earnestly and soberly and hard and yet who has through some misfortune, but not through his fault, reached the stage where he is depending upon charity for a living, sees, perhaps living in the same block with him, some man who did not work so earnestly or soberly or hard, who has, through some good stroke of fortune, fallen into the lap of luxury. I believe that both those conditions are wrong; that the world has changed a great deal in this war; and I do not believe that the people either of Canada or of any other country in the world are going to be satisfied so long as those inequalities exist. Apparently the same condition exists in England as exists here. I have noticed very recently in the press reporting news from England that propositions are being put forward there toy -prominent statesmen that fortunes, which have been made directly or indirectly through the war should be very heavily taxed or altogether confiscated. There are *many objections offered to such a proposition as that. I am not at alf sure that it will be adopted in England; tout if it should be adopted there, I have no doubt that most of the people of this country will not he satisfied with less in this country.

The Government must supplement the recommendations of this 'Committee. This winter at least, no man who has served at the front, nor his dependents, must need the necessaries of life. This Government must, as far as it is able, supply employment for the men who have served at the front. I know there is a very strong cry in this country to retrench, and with that cry I agree as long as it applies to unnecessary works, tout there is certain necessary work which must be done if this country is to remain in a settled and contented condition. The hon. member for Oxford North (Mr. Nesbitt) stated that there was plenty of work for every man in Ontario at least, and I have no doubt that generally speaking he is correct; but we all know that there are times when there may toe plenty of work for men in Toronto and none in Vancouver, or plenty of work in Port Arthur or Fort William and none ip Montreal, and vice versa. Therefore, if there is unemployment in some of those centres, it is better for the Grovernment to consider doing necessary work that may help to lessen the unemployment than to pay out unemployment insurance; but the unemployment insurance must be given when the work cannot be supplied.

I submit, Mr. Speaker-and this is only my personal opinion-that what the men really desire is employment; they do not desire doles or charity, but work, in order 'that they may once more be established in the self-respecting and self-reliant position which they occupied before the w-ar. I have conversed with dozens of returned men in my own home city-and I may say that some four thousand men went from my district to the front-and most of them, with very few exceptions, express a strong desire for employment and seem anxious to be given an opportunity to get back to a pre-war basis. My returned men are moderate and fair. I have heard very few complaints in any shape or form from the returned boys in my part of the country, and. generally speaking T believe that they are typical of the soldiers throughout the country except in places where agitation is created by some extremist. Mr. Speaker, I have faith in the heroes who went to the front, and I do not believe that they have any intention of holding a pistol to the head of this or any other government and demanding impossible financial achievements. But they do demand justice, a fair opportunity, and employment.

Now, before I offer any suggestions to the House, I desire to deal for a few ino-

merits with the amendment which has been submitted. If I construe that amendment correctly, and I think I do, it proposes that this report be referred back to the committee for further consideration, with a recommendation. I will read just that portion of the amendment that is pertinent to my argument:

-with instructions that they have power to amend same by striking' therefrom certain clauses and substituting therefor the principles of the plan of re-estahlishment as set out in appendix 1 in the said report.

Now, the plan suggested is one which the committee say represents an expenditure of $400,000,000, although those who put it forward claim that it means an expenditure of only $200,000,000. But suppose we make a compromise and say $300,000,000. This Government has distinctly stated that it cannot see its way clear to offer any general gratuities in addition to those they have offered up to the present time. The hon.

[DOT] member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Thomson) today criticised the minister (Mr. J. A. Cal-det) rather severely I thought for what he regarded as a threat to resign. I do not think that the criticism was entirely just. This Government has thoroughly looked into the question before us, and the committee have given equal consideration to it, and both have decided that at the present time it is impossible to raise so vast a sum of money as $300,000,000 or $400,000,000. The minister and his colleagues have discussed the question minutely, and have come to the conclusion that it is so utterly impossible that so far as they are^ concerned they cannot attempt to perform the feat of raising the money. The minister has therefore been very frank and has intimated that if the Government were called upon to undertake the task they could not do so. That is an honourable position for them to take, and while I do not think there was much justification for such a threat to resign as was referred to by the hon. gentleman-I was in the House on the night in question and I must confess that I did not like it at the time-in this case it must be obvious that a very large and important question is involved. The question in the former instance referred to was comparatively a trifling one, but this, I repeat, is a grave and highly important matter, and I think that the minister's position is properly taken, for I have no doubt that the Government feels it could not possibly attempt to carry out the suggestion put forward in the amendment. The amendment asks that the report be referred back to the committee.

If that- is done, one of two things must happen. Either the committee must reject the proposal contained in the amendment and come back to the House with the same report as they have already submitted, which would appear to be their logical attitude, or they must recommend that the amendment be adopted and this '$300,000,000 or $400,000,000 raised and expended by the Government in gratuities. Very well. Suppose we take the optimistic alternative from the soldiers' standpoint, that of raising the money. Then the Government, to live up to its word, would simply have to go to the country. Then an election would be called. It could not be held before January, and no one knows what might happen in that election.

Some hoii. MEMBERS: We do.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

Robert James Manion

Unionist

Mr. MANION:

My hon. friends opposite laugh, but I am quite sure that they have no more idea than I have as to what would happen, and I have none. Suppose that an election were called. The soldiers might vote to get candidates elected who would favour the giving of the gratuity. There are only two prominent public men whom I have known recently to take the stand in favour of this gratuity on the eve of an election, namely, Sir William Hearst and Mr. Hartley Dewart, and I have not heard that the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario has called on either of them to form a government. However, suppose a parliament were elected in January, which would be as soon as the election could be held, at least in my opinion, and suppose the majority of the members returned supported the gratuity proposition. Out of this group some one would be called to form a government, and he would proceed to call Parliament together. That session would probably be called a month still later. By the way, I observe that Mr. Drury, the provincial premier, was elected three -weeks ago, and has not as yet formed his Cabinet. But, as I was saying, suppose the parliament, in the hypothetical case I am putting before the House, were called a month after the election, the session would begin in March. Suppose, further, that the first thing it dealt with, almost before the Budget, were the question of gratuities. Very well, that would be in March, and the very soonest they could put a loan on would be at least in two months' time, for it would take that time to advertise it. That brings us to May, and we are not at all sure that within six months of one loan you could raise $300,000,000-most of which, by the way, I un-

derstand, is already owing to the banks within six months, I say, I doubt very much if we could raise another $300,000,000, or $400,000,000, as a soldier loan. But I am looking at the optimistic side of the question, and am supposing that we could raise the amount. We could not get the money before May, or six months from to-day. In the meantime what is to happen to this report of the soldiers' committee? Of course, it goes by the board, and the hardship cases and unemployment problem and disabled cases for the rest of this winter would_ receive no attention.

I do not see that we could both reject the report and adopt it, and if we rejected it, it would mean an election. .That is what it amounts to in plain English, although I wish it understood that this is entirely the personal opinion of an ordinary member. I have not the ear of the Government, and never have had. However, in the meantime various cases of hardship would go without redress and I do not therefore see that the amendment could possibly do anything but harm to the soldier boys whom this report deals with. For this reason, Mr. Speaker, I cannot support the amendment.

Now, Sir, having cleared the air so far as I am concerned in regard to that amendment, I wish to say that I have no desire to attempt to prophesy what might happen in a couple of years from now in regard to a gratuity for the soldier. 1 do not know what may be in the minds of the people of the country after they have cleaned up the Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, the Soldiers' Vocational Training, Land Settlement and a number of other large expenditures which total, including the public works, etc., which are being carried on this year and part of next something like $800,000,000 in conservative figures according to this report. As a matter of fact, the total is $900,000,000, but they subtract $100,000,000 in order to be conservative. As I say, after this $800,000,000 is disposed of I do not know what the country may consider advisable to do in justice to the boys who served in Europe, and I will not attempt to look into the future. If I have to choose between the amendment and this report, I choose the report. _

I am going to sum up what I wish to say and the suggestions that I have to make. I consider that this report, as far as it goes, is an excellent report but I say that with the expectation that the Government will, in dealing with this question, supplement the report in many differ-

ent ways. For example, the Government must give employment to those who require it. In the second place, the Government must relieve all cases of hardship that are found to exist in this country and it must 'perhaps begin to work out some system of loans in extension of the system of loans that is mentioned in this report. They have suggested loans only to the disabled.

I personally cannot see why it should be absolutely impossible to work out a system of loans which would be extended to the needy as well as to the disabled. My hon. friend from Vancouver (Mr. Cooper) makes the statement that they would all be needy. I do not admit that. I think there would probably be 200,000, or half of the soldiers who came back from the front, who would be looked upon- as not demanding a loan made to men who absolutely needed it. My hon. friend from Vancouver, my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Griesbach) and I are all returned soldiers and we would be amongst those who would not under any circumstances touch a loan of that kind. I submit that at least half of the men who have returned from the front, who would have decent employment, who would be earning a good livelihood, would under no circumstances be able to demand that loan on the ground of need. I am merely offering this as a suggestion. I may be wrong but still it is something that I should like to have the Government consider. If 200,000 men asked for a loan of $500 each, these being needy cases, it would only amount to $100,000,000 and it is not impossible to raise that $100,000,000 in this country.

I do not admit with the committee that $50,000,000 represents the limit of the possibilities in the matter of raising money in this country. My hon/ friend (Mr. Hugh Clark) says that the committee does not say that. The committee implies that the limit is $50,000,000, or at all events, I have inferred that from the fact that it mentions that amount. I may be wrong about that, however, and I will withdraw that suggestion. I say that $50,000,000 is not the limit of the amount that Canada can raise, and I have assumed in my remarks that perhaps Canada can raise $100,000,000 for needy cases. There may not be as many needy cases but I have estimated that half the number of returned men would come within that category. It may be that my estimate is too high. I would say that it should be confined to cases of real need.

The third proposition which I have to make is in regard to life insurance. The

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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November 6, 1919