March 13, 1930


On the order: Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion of Mr. Church for the second reading of Bill No. 8, an act to amend the Penitentiary Act.


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Dropped.

Topic:   PENITENTIARY ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR PAPERS

NATIONAL DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS STAFF

CON

Newton Manley Young

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. YOUNG (Toronto Northeast):

For a return showing, (a) the number of officers of each rank employed at headquarters, Department of National Defence, (b) number of other ranks so employed, (c) the number of civilians, temporary, permanent, (d) the total cost of maintaining headquarters for fiscal year 1929-1030.

Topic:   UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS STAFF
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TECHNICAL EDUCATION

PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT

UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. MICHAEL LUCHKOVICH (Vegne-ville) moved:

Whereas the discontinuance of the federal grant in aid of technical education has imposed a heavy liability upon the provinces, which they find it difficult to sustain;

And whereas the future industrial and commercial development of Canada depend iD large measure upon the creation of a well trained personnel;

Therefore be it resolved-that, in the opinion of this house, the grant should be continued at least for another ten years.

He said: Mr. Speaker, in proposing this resolution I am actuated not by any malicious desire in any way to embarrass or inconvenience the government, but once again to reopen a question that has been agitating the minds of a large percentage of our population for a number of years, and that has been very closely aligned with the future welfare and prosperity of Canada, namely, federal government aid to technical education as it affects our industrial development. You will notice, Mr. Speaker, that the latter part of the resolution calls for the continuance of the technical education grant for a further period of ten years, implying thereby the assumption that such a grant is or has been in effect.

And as there actually has been an act authorizing payment by the federal government of grants for technical education, it becomes essential, in order that hon. members to-day may understand the real import of the legislation. that some account' of the historical background and the main events leading to its final enactment as a Dominion statute should be imparted to the house.

Technical education has been a subject of Dominion wide discussion for the past twenty-five years, especially in those quarters where the need for skilled workmanship was found to be essential. It was therefore only a matter of time when this question would come up for discussion in the House of Commons. Indeed, the anticipated discussion in this chamber had reached such a high degree of intensity that something had to be done, and so a royal commission was appointed in 1909 to investigate the whole subject of technical education. It consisted of seven members, who visited many parts of Europe and the United States and held over one hundred meetings in the Dominion. When you consider, sir, that over fourteen hundred witnesses were heard in Canada alone, and that the total expense bill of the commission amounted to over $100,000, it will convey to you some idea of the tremendous task the commission had on its hand-a task that required three years of hard grinding work before a report could finally be submitted to parliament in 1913.

In 1914 the great world war broke out and the whole matter was left in abeyance until after the armistice. It was not long, however, before parliament took this matter up again with renewed vigour, which finally culminated in the legislation of 1919, now knownas the Technical Education Act. Thisact provided for the expenditure of an aggregate sum of $10,000,000 over a period of ten years, to be .paid to the provinces according to a graduated scale as follows: in 1920, $700,000; in 1921. $800,000; in 1922, $900,000; in 1923, $1,000,000; in 1924, $1,100,000; and a like sum for each of the five succeeding years ending with the fiscal year 1929. The sum of $10,000 was to be paid in each year to the government of each province, and the remainder of the appropriation was to be allotted and paid in proportion to the population of such provinces respectively as determined by the last federal decennial census. The money has been paid, the act is no longer available, and federal technical education grants have been relegated by the government over yonder to the junk pile of forgotten things.

Now, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) being in his seat, I should like to ask

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Technical Education-Mr. Luchkovich

him: Can the Prime Minister of Canada justify his refusal to continue these technical education grants on the ground that Canada does not at the present time need technical education? Or, if she does need technical education, that these schools can carry on effectively without further federal financial aid? If that is so, Mr. Speaker, I feel confident that loud reverberations of protests and disapproval from coast to coast shall reach him from every hilltop, dale, hamlet, town and city in our wide Dominion.

If the Prime Minister bases his refusal to continue these grants on the plea of economy, then I contend it is the falsest kind of economy. If he claims that the grant was never intended to be permanent but was meant only to help technical education get a fair start, then I submit that technical education has never been given the proper impetus because of the lack of anything like permanency or sufficiency of funds to carry on so important and so great a task. If the Prime Minister believes that payment of technical grants by the federal government might constitute an infringement on provincial rights, I again protest that there will be no such infringement. I think it was the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) who said the other day that these grants were grants of grace and not grants that were authorized by our constitution. That may be so. They may be grants of grace; nevertheless I think that this is one grant in respect to which the Minister of Finance will not be able to slip out from under. It may be a grant of grace, but if he does slip out from under he will do so, I should say, very gracefully. While this last argument concerning the possibility of infringement of provincial rights is fresh in my mind I should like to deal with it, Mr. Speaker, in order of priority. [DOT]

When in 1909 it was proposed to the then Minister of Labour, the present Prime Minister, to appoint a commission to look into the basis of technical education and industrial training, not only in other countries but also in Canada, the question of the British North America Act had first to be considered; for under this act education is one of the subjects exclusively assigned to the provincial legislatures. That being the case, it was considered advisable that the Minister of Labour communicate with the premiers of the various provinces to ascertain whether they respectively had any objection to the appointment of such a commission, and when the replies came in from all the provinces it was found that not one of the premiers had any objection to the appointment of such a commission. Nor have I, Mr. Speaker, during the ten years

[Mf. Luchkovich.]

that the Technical Education Act has been in force, heard of any protest on the ground of infringement of provincial rights.

While I know it is a very difficult matter to draw a distinction between technical education, as such, and the general or popularly understood definition of education, in view of the differences of opinion that might be entertained as between this parliament and the various provincial legislatures, I am, however, of the firm conviction that although constitutionally the federal parliament cannot deal with matters of education, as we understand it, in the public and high schools, it is nevertheless in connection with trade and commerce justified in promoting the cause of technical education. My own native province of Alberta will gladly welcome such a movement, and I can assure the Prime Minister that he can safely hand us a few million dollars without the least fear of a constitutional question preying upon his conscience.

There are two matters that I should like to refer to at the present stage. At page 1067, Hansard, 1909, the Prime Minister made two very pertinent statements. I have heard it said of the present Prime Minister that his knowledge of economic affairs is vastly superior to that of his famous predecessor, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and in view of this suggestion I was rather surprised, in view of what he said in 1929, to read these two statements in Hansard of 1909. The Prime Minister said this in reference to foreign competition in trade and commerce:

The other thing that may help us to meet this competition is the greatness of our natural resources, combined with the industrial efficiency of our own working people, and this industrial efficiency can only be brought about by the development on a general Scale throughout the whole Dominion of sound technical education, carried on by the authorities whose duty it is to do it. Only by the development of this system of technical education, so far as we can possibly carry it, will we be in a position to face the future with a confidence of success.

Further on, he said:

We cannot too often remind ourselves of the fact that society does owe something to the great body of working people who are obliged to begin life early, to begin to toil before their education is completed, that we owe something to them in the way of conferring an opportunity at least to each to realize the capacities of which his nature may be capable. Carlyle says, in one of his famous works, that for a man to die ignorant, who has capacity for knowledge, is a tragedy. Well, sir, if this be true, the crime must somewhere rest upon the heads of those who have it within their power to confer the opportunity and who yet withhold it.

Technical Education-Mr. Luchkovich

These statements were made by the Prime Minister, as I have already mentioned, in the year 1909. When the resolution asking for a commission was introduced by the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie), in 1909, the Prime Minister very warmly congratulated the mover of the resolution for the exceptionally able, forceful and comprehensive manner in which he had introduced it, all the more so because he thought this matter could not be viewed in any other light than as one of great national concern. I have read the speech of the hon. member for South Wellington and I have also read the speech of the Prime Minister. If I can be as consistent in my advocacy of federal grants to technical education as the Prime Minister was in his speech, I feel absolutely confident that this government will not and cannot refuse aid for a further period of ten years; for I defy any member of this house to read the Prime Minister's speech of 1909 and prove to me that any other construction can be put upon it than that of an ardent advocacy of federal responsibility in matters of technical education. It was, as I have already intimated, a wonderful speech. I think it is the best speech I have ever read on technical education in relation to the desirability of government aid in that direction.

In view of the Prime Minister's refusal to continue these grants, I would again ask the question, Mr. Speaker: Do the statements I have read not sound like the bitterest irony? What could have prompted the Prime Minister's sudden change of front? Was it economy? Was it political expediency? Or was it mere thoughtlessness? If it was political expediency, I wonder whether it was the sort involved in the case of a very homely but very influential old maid who was approached by a campaigner during election time? In other words, did the Prime Minister outwardly extol technical education and inwardly condemn it? If he did, his action was similar to that of the election campaigner; for would it be expediency for the Prime Minister to refer to the eyes of this old battle-axe as "those big, wonderful, beautiful, expressive windows of the soul," when all the while he felt that never were eyes so harsh and fishy and dead? Would it be expediency to refer to her teeth as "those wonderful regular, pearly ivories," when deep down in his heart he knew they looked like the pillars of Hercules; to say that her feet were like Cinderella's when in reality they were as big as clodhoppers; that her nose was perfectly refined and well chiselled when in truth it looked like the leaning tower of Pisa; or that her general

make-up was a modern replica of classical Venus when in actuality she looked more like a scarecrow caricature? I ask, Mr. Speaker, is it consistent in one breath to laud these grants to the skies and in another to claim that they are preposterous and unfeasible, and all in the name of political expediency? Possibly my analogy is a little far-fetched and somewhat gross, but it is no more gross than the refusal of the government to give technical education grants in 1930, after extolling them to the skies in 1909. In respect to the Prime Minister's reference on that occasion to Carlyle, I can assure him my regard for Carlyle is just as high as his, yet I cannot help but wonder what poor old Carlyle thinks if he has any means of hearing what we say in this house, and what he would think of any such gross misapplication of his gems of wisdom as has been exhibited in the government's refusal to make these grants for technical education. Certainly, if I were in Carlyle's place, the peace and calm of paradise would have absolutely no interest for me. If I were to paraphrase the Prime Minister's remarks wherein he said:

Carlyle says, in one of his famous works, that for a man to die ignorant, who has capacity for knowledge, is a tragedy. Well, sir, if this be true, the crime must somewhere rest upon the heads of those who have it within their power to confer the opportunity and who yet withhold it.

I would say that for the Prime Minister to refuse these technical grants, that he so eloquently advocated and are within his power to. grant, is worse than a tragedy; it is a colossal national travesty on justice and consistency.

I have several letters which I received this year with reference to my resolution on technical education, and I am going to read two or three of them. The first of these letters is from Mr. William I. Reid, manager and secretary of the Westminster Iron Works, Limited, who writes as follows:

Dear Sir;

It has come to the writer's attention that you propose to move a resolution in the House of Commons, requesting the government to consider the advisability of the continuance of the technical education grant for a further period of ten years.

We wish to express our appreciation in commendation of your action in this matter.

We have a technical school in our own city and the nature of the service rendered and the education that the young men receive is very valuable indeed to local industries. We can say from personal experience in our own business, that we have been employing graduates from the technical school for four or five years, the boys come to us fairly well trained, having

572 COMMONS

Technical Education-Mr. Luchkovich

an idea of the technical nature regarding industry, and become real good mechanics at the expiration of their apprenticeship period.

We think it very important that this matter be given full support by all the members of parliament, so that the government will continue further financial support.

We trust that your efforts will be crowned witli success, and that the government in its wisdom will see fit to extend this financial aid for a further period of ten years.

1 have another letter from Mr. Edwin Tomlin, managing director of the British Columbia Cement Company, Limited, as follows:

Dear Sir;

As chairman of the British Columbia division of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, and also as one engaged in the manufacture of cement, I should like to thank you for the action you have taken in supporting the continuance of federal aid to technical education. I regard technical education for our growing boys of the utmost importance, as in the event of their failure to receive same, it will place them at a disadvantage in the struggle for a livelihood, and also be detrimental to the development of the Dominion of Canada, as unquestionably a country will suffer if its citizens lack proper education.

I have a third letter from Mr. W. G. Carpenter, principal of the Calgary Technical School. The letter is as follows:

Dear Sir,-

It was very gratifying to receive your letter of the 6th inst., expressing interest in the progress of technical education for the province of Alberta with particular reference to the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art, located here in Calgary.

I am sending you under separate cover, half a dozen copies of our latest announcement in which you will see the details of the course we offer. You might like to give these to some of your fellow members who might be interested.

We are doing a unique work in Canada. Our courses are selected in the light of the possible use in our province of the services we give, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to say that to date the majority of those who [DOT] have taken courses from the institute, have found employment within the province. The average age of the student body is between twenty and twenty-one years. The seventy per cent of our enrolment comes from outside Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, and Red Deer, from which it will be seen that our courses are particularly appealing to those living outside the cities. You will also note that a number of our courses are designed to eater to the making of farm life more attractive. We offer courses in gas engines and tractors and farm machinery, black-smithing, farm carpentry, brick, cement and mortar and in motor cars. We handle more students in our tractor and gas engines department than any other in the institute. The electric department is limited in its accommodation. We take only 60 new students each year, and for the past year we have been under the necessity of refusing admission to over 100. We make no academic requirement for admittance, and have some with university degrees

and teacher's certificates on our lists while there are others who have very low standing, too low in some cases to really profit very much. We try to make our shops as close a duplicate to an industrial unit as it is possible, and the material with which we work is largely material which we get from the outside which goes back into use when it has been put into running condition in our shops.

At the back of the calendar I am sending, you will find the attendance graph. I might elaborate it here by saying that we had 888 enrolled during the year 1925-26, 1,273 for the year 1926-27, and to date with three months yet to go, we have on our books, 1,690 enrolments which is about 34 per cent increase. Included in this 1,690 are 275 in correspondence courses for steam engineering and for mines certificate, fireboss, pitboss and mine superintendent, 644 in day courses, 720 in evening classes, and 51 in a summer school which vre held last summer. Another index as to the increase in our work is the student hours as taken from the registers for January, this was 56,730 as against 40,529 for January, 1927, which is an increase of 42 per cent. You will note by comparing these figures with the graph referred to above, that the student hours for January, 1928, exceeded the eight months attendance for 1920-21, by 16,405 and that it is just about the same for the full eight months of 1921-22.

We do practically no advertising excepting what the students who have been with us tell their friends when they go home. If we were to advertise we could double our enrolment if we had room to accommodate them.

The withdrawal of the Technical Education Act in 1929 will retard very seriously our development. The west has not been in a position to avail itself of the grant since 1919, as was the east particularly Quebec and Ontario. These places got started early with their programs which have made interesting progress. In the west it has been slower and the non-continuance of the Act will mean a hardship in many respects.

I am very sure that there is an important contribution to be made both toward the correcting of certain defects in our general education system and in developing of intelligent people who may profit by the great resources of this magnificent province. A little assistance at this critical period will be very material and the further extension of the Technical Education Act it seems to me one of the best uses that some public money could be placed to at the present time.

Thanking you very kindly for your letter and your interest,

Very sincerely yours,

(Signed) W. G. Carpenter,

Principal.

Those are only a few of the many letters which I received in connection with this matter.

I realize that my time is passing very rapidly, but there are a few things to which I should like to refer before I close. I should like to see a little more attention given to the reasons advanced in 1909 by the Prime Minister of Canada when he was speaking

Technical Education-Mr. Luchkovich

upon technical education grants. The fust reason he gave for extending those grants was:

It seems to me there is a great need for the development of a system of technical education in Canada. This need has been demonstrated in half a dozen different ways. First of all, it has been demonstrated by comparison of conditions in this country with conditions as they are in Germany, in France, in England, in Switzerland and in the United States.

And then further on he says:

All these countries are competitors of Canada, and are doing a great deal to equip their army of workers and enable them to take their part in this world wide competition. And were there no other reason why the authorities of this country should do their part in promoting the work of technical education than that our competitors are doing so that of itself would be a strong reason why much should be done.

That is the first reason.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I do not think the hon. member wishes to mislead the house, but he continues to refer to my remarks of 1909 as having reference to grants in aid. If the hon. member will look at the Hansard for that year he will find that the subject I was discussing at that time was the advisability of appointing a royal commission to inquire into the question of technical education; it was not a question of making grants from the federal treasury.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

That is very true, nevertheless in those remarks the Prime Minister of Canada expressed his ideas with respect to the principle of federal aid for technical education.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

If the hon.

member will pardon me, I made no reference at that time to federal aid. I was speaking about the desirability of gathering information upon technical endueation, which information was to be placed at the disposal of the provinces and the Dominion.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

The subject under

discussion at that time was whether or not the money should be expended for a commission to investigate this subject of technical education, and when I read the remarks of the Prime Minister made at that time I came to the conclusion that they expressed his opinion with regard to government aid for that purpose. It is true that at that time he was not speaking upon the subject of making grants for technical education, but rather upon the subject of the appointment of a commission to look into this matter, but after reading the Prime Minister's remarks the idea conveyed to my mind was that he was very favourably impressed with

the necessity of more aid to technical education, and I repeat again that I think it was the best speech upon technical education I have ever read.

The second point made by the Prime Minister was as follows:

Employers of labour in this country are crying out for skilled workmen. We all know that this demand comes from every part of the Dominion, one industry after another complaining that they have not enough skilled workmen.

Then the Prime Minister continued:

Why is this? It is not because we have not in Canada men who are capable of becoming skilled in scientific knowledge, and of carrying on any industry after the most modern scientific methods, but it is because we have not in Canada a sufficient number of institutes to enable our artisans and workingmen to qualify for these high positions the number of which is daily increasing.

Further on he gives as his third reason, the following:

And sir, there is another reason, much akin to the one which I have already mentioned, and that is the need at this time for a better system of apprenticeship.

In discussing this subject he said:

That being so it seems to me there is a greater need for some system of education which will make intelligible to the man who has the work to do the part which he is performing in industrial development and that service might be performed by an extension of the system of technical education throughout the country.

There is a further feature which I think should be considered in this connection and it is the obligation which society owes to workingmen to enable them to realize the best of the capacity which they have within them.

It is in this connection that he draws support from that famous author Carlyle, but I think similar support might be drawn by myself in regard to the present resolution. I repeat what the Prime Minister said:

that for a man to die ignorant who has capacity for knowledge, is a tragedy. Well, sir, if this be true, the crime must somewhere rest upon the heads of those who have it within their power to confer the opportunity and who yet withhold it.

Upon the strength of that gentleman's wisdom, I repeat that it is up to the government to continue these grants for a further period of ten years. I think Carlyle was a very wise man, and I will go so far as to say that our present Prime Minister is a very able man. I think he compares favourably with any prime minister we have had in Canada, and I am inclined to believe that the remarks made by the nine or ten prominent men who spoke to me regarding his great knowledge as to economic questions were correct. The Prime Minister is able to do things, and not

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Technical Education-Mr. Luchkovich

only can he do things but he is able to slip out from under things which he should but does not wish to do. I think the Prime Minister has slipped out from under the duty which should of right devolve upon this government.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I repeat again that the government should make every effort to bring technical education within the reach of our working people, as was stated by the Prime Minister in his speech of 1909. I know that modern economic demands are greater than they were during the last twenty-five years, that intellect and training of the highest quality are required for those engaged or to be engaged in trade and industry, but that is all the greater reason why it should be the duty of the federal government to see that the workers of Canada are provided with education which is as sound and as broad as that provided for the clerical callings. I have always thought that out present educational system is concentrated too much upon the producing of trained' men for professional life and too little upon the producing of those who in the future are to take up industrial vocations. Should the government decide to continue for another ten years the making of these grants for technical education I believe it will be of considerable help to the working classes of this country.

Much has been said as to the constitutional aspect of this resolution, but I believe that is a bugbear; it is a fantastic thing. I see no reason whatever for conjuring up this fantastic question at this time. If the Prime Minister clings to the idea that this matter brings up some constitutional question, I would refer him to the Royal Military College at Kingston. If these technical grants are unconstitutional, as he claims, the grants that we are making to maintain the Royal Military College at Kingston are also unconstitutional. When the government bring down their estimates they will find in them many items that are unconstitutional. Dozens of the items in the estimates will be found to be for undertakings purely local and within the jurisdiction of the local legislatures. We have been doing, according to this unconstitutional bugbear that we hear so much about in the house, things that are just as unconstitutional as grants to technical education. For ten years we gave the different provinces grants to aid their technical schools, and nobody raised the constitutional question, therefore I see no reason for bringing it up again. In the United States they spend about $1,000,000,000 a year upon technical education. What is our government doing in Canada in comparison with that? Very little.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Does the United States

federal government spend $1,000,000,000 on technical education?

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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

For education. A

large portion of it is for technical education.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

The United States federal government?

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

Yes. Indeed in the United States they have a statute called the Smith-Hughes bill. In 1917 they passed a bill providing a cooperative scheme with the various states for carrying on technical education. The United States grant is probably entirely for the purpose of providing salaries and for training instructors. That is precisely the same thing I am asking for in this resolution. I think in the final analysis the government's chief aim is the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people. The government should remember that the greatest portion of our people are, whether we like it or not, the working classes who must earn their living by work other than clerical, and it is up to us to help this preponderating proportion.

There is one more matter I wish to deal with before my time is up, and that is what Germany is doing. Germany is doing a great deal for technical education. The Germans in this respect have greater vision than we have in Canada.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

The hon. member for

Vegreville (Mr. Luchkovich) has referred in such complimentary terms to some previous speeches of mine on the subject of technical education that I feel I ought at the outset to thank him for his kindness in so doing. May I also congratulate him very cordially on the speech which he has made this evening? I think my hon. friend has presented his statement in an admirable way and with great lucidity. The chief exception I have to take to what he has said is in regard to what I fear was an attempt,-whether intentional or unintentional I cannot say- to misrepresent the bearing of my remarks in the speeches from which he quoted. 'The question I directed to him would make clear the difference between us. When some twenty years ago I was making the speech on technical education to which he refers, I was speaking on the question of technical education generally and its importance to any country, and to this Dominion in particular. I was not speaking at all on the question of grants being made from the federal treasury to the provinces for the purpose of technical educa-

Technical Education-Mr. Mackenzie King

tion. My hon. friend, when I drew his attention to the circumstances, admitted that such was the case. I am rather surprised that, knowing that such was the case, he persisted, from the beginning almost to the close of his speech, in seeking to emphasize as a fact that I had been advocating very warmly grants from the federal treasury to the provinces when, as a matter of fact, I had done nothing of the kind.

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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

What did the Prime Minister mean by his remarks with respect to Carlyle?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The quotation from Thomas Carlyle, as I recall it, was to the effect that for any man to die ignorant who was capable of knowledge, constituted a crime for which those to whom this neglect might be due, should be held responsible. That remark of Carlyle, it seems to me, applies primarily to ordinary education, rather than to technical education; applies to the kind of elementary education we have in mind when we speak more particularly of a man being able to read and to write. That any man who has the capacity for reading and gaining knowledge as it is possible to do from books should be denied that right or opportunity, is I believe, a crime for which some will some day be held responsible. I have no doubt in the world that it was just this that Carlyle had in mind, namely, the ordinary education as happily it is provided to-day for boys and girls in all parts of the Dominion, but provided by the public schools and colleges of the provinces and not by any system of technical training carried on through Dominion grants in aid of technical education.

Technical education is one form of specialized education, I admit a most important form, and I think it is of importance that the widest opportunities Should be given for men to be properly trained in industrial pursuits and to be possessed of the highest technical and scientific knowledge. But to make that statement is one thing; to say that they should be so trained by federal money rather than by money raised by the provinces themselves when the provinces are assigned primarily the duty of education, is quite another thing.

I have under my hand a copy of the order in council which was passed in 1910 when I was Minister of Labour in the government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. I personally recommended to the government and to parliament the appointment of a royal commission to go into the whole question of technical education. Perhaps I cannot do better by way of indicating what I had in view in so doing and what was the purpose of the government than to read the words of the order in council itself. It was approved by His Excellency on the 1st of June, 1910. It reads:

On a memorandum made May 28, 1910, from the Minister of Labour, stating that industrial efficiency is all important to the development of the Dominion and to the promotion of the home and foreign trade of Canada in competition with other nations and can be best promoted by the adoption in Canada of the most advanced systems and methods of industrial training and technical education.

The minister further states that the premiers of the several provinces of the Dominion have expressed on behalf of the governments of their respective provinces, approval of the appointment by the federal authorities of a royal commission on industrial training and technical education.

The minister recommends that authority be granted for the appointment of a royal commission to inquire into the needs and present equipment of the Dominion as respects industrial training and technical education, and into the systems and methods of technical instruction obtaining in other countries; the said commission to be appointed pursuant to vote No. 477 of the supplementary estimates for the fiscal period ending March, 31, 1910, and to consist of the following gentlemen, viz:

James W. Robertson, Esquire, C.M.G., LL.D. of Montreal, Que., Chairman.

Hon. John N. Armstrong, Esquire, of North Sydney, N.S.

George Bryce, Esquire, LL.D., F.R.S.C., of Winnipeg, Man.

M. Gaspard de Serres. of Montreal, Que.

Gilbert M. Murray, Esq., B.A., of Toronto, Out.

David Forsyth, Esq., M.A.. of Berlin, Ont.

James Simpson, Esq., of Toronto, Ont.

The minister further recommends that the said commissioners be instructed and empowered to pursue their investigations at such localities as may appear necessary, in the Dominion of Canada, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the United States of America, France. Germany, and, subject to the approval of the minister, elsewhere on the continent of Europe; also that the purpose of the commission shall be that of gathering information, the information when obtained to be carefully compiled, and together with such recommendations as it may seem expedient to the commission to make, published in a suitable report to be at the disposal of the provinces and available for general distribution.

The minister further recommends that the commissioners be appointed under the provisions of the statute respecting inquiries concerning public maters, and report the results of their investigations together with their recommendations to the Minister of Labour.

The minister further recommends that Mr. Thomas Bengough, of Toronto, be appointed secretary and reporter to the said commission.

The committee submit the same for approval.

(Signed) F. K. Bennetts, Asst. Clerk of the Privy Council.

That order in council makes perfectly clear that the purpose of the commission was to

576 COMMONS

Technical Education-Mr. Mackenzie King

gather information, which information was to be placed at the disposition of the provinces. I well recollect the discussions that we had at that time in the cabinet and in this house as to how far the Dominion would be justified in venturing into the field of technical education at all. I took the position very strongly that to gather information on any subject was a matter which the federal government had a right to pursue at all times.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONTINUANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT
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March 13, 1930