June 15, 1931

LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD (Translation):

They

wanted it to be so.

Mr. ST-PERE (Translation): How numerous were, the pledges made by this government in order to obtain office! They delight in spreading among the people the ill founded truth of statistics. A great economist wrote that statistics were sometimes "errors printed in figures."

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD (Translation):

Which

makes truth lie.

Mr. ST-PERE (Translation): With regard to unemployment statistics, one of our most

prominent officials of the Labour Department, as did the Labour Secretary of the United States, stated that it was impossible to gather exact figures as to unemployment. Allow me, sir, to tell you, where I find these statistics- and I am speaking not only from the viewpoint of the workman, but from the economic . viewpoint.

I gather them from the small shop-keeper, the small dealer, the barber, the mills of my constituency, and I draw my conclusion as to what is the real situation in our country. Economists again tell us that prosperity awaits us at the street corner. I have sought for it everywhere, at every corner in my constituency, and I regret to state, sir, as a true Canadian, that I cannot find it anywhere in the province of Quebec.

You now wish to know what would be the true remedy to unemployment. I do not find that remedy in last year's appropriation to relieve unemployment. No doubt that appropriation may have been of some assistance to our unemployed. However, what our unemployed ask, what they demand to-day from the large industrial establishments which, there is no denying it, has been the greatest agent and instigator of the present crisis. What our unemployed want to-day, is not the help of the government, it is not this material aid which Count de Mun described in the French parliament as charity grudgingly received by the unemployed. Private charity implies looking up to others. Our unemployed are not lazy and I wish to testify on behalf of those of my constituency-in fact on behalf of all those in Quebec who have nothing in common with communism-I testify as to their good character. These unemployed do not ask for help, they seek work, and I state with all the great economists, I state with Mr. Chadbourne who recently was able to promote an international understanding for the sale of sugar, I state that the settlement of the unemployment problem rests with our large industrial establishments which should grant higher wages. Many heads of large industries have advocated such methods in the United States.

One word, sir, on communism. Communism does not enter this country wrapped up in sable furs or hidden under the bark of a cord of pulpwood. Communism sprang up in Russia as a result of the exactions of czarism, as a result of the negligence shown by the Russian intelligentzia towards the masses. When the reaction took place under the leadership of Kerensky, Lenine and Trotzky, the walls of the Kremlin shook. The masses, siding with atheism or antiatheism decided, in that country of ideals, to eliminate religion from their

Peace River Outlet

social problem. As a liberal representative of the province of Quebec, I confess that the theories of a Lenine, Trotzky, Yiviani, Liebnecht and other famous socialists of the same stamp, I confess that their doctrines horrify me. I take this opportunity to state that the only remedy to the social problem lies, as I stated last year in the house, in re-ehristianising industry, in introducing justice and charity, and in the dealings of capital with labour.

In concluding my remarks, I wish to express the hope that the policy at present advocated by the government will succeed. All good Canadians express that hope. However, I am sorry to say that 1 cannot see in this doctrine of high protection a remedy to all the ills of which humanity at present suffers. Mr. Chadbourne, as I said a few moments ago, the promoter of the international entente for the sale of sugar, stated a few days ago that only (he removal of individualism and economic selfishness will solve these problems. Let Canada abandon her policy of high protection; let her appeal-we form part of the League of Nations-to all men of good will, to all those who believe in the mutual dependence of nations, and I feel certain that from that day on capital will expand, the return to high wages will be assured, finally peace will reign on earth, everybody will live more happy, prosperous and more in keeping with the greatest and the first of God's commandments, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Love thy neighbour as thyself."

That covers the law and what the prophets wrote.

On motion of Mr. Gagnon the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Guthrie the house adjourned at 10.45 p.m.

Tuesday, June 16, 1931.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

June 15, 1931