July 31, 1931

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Not a dollar.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

We can pay any amount necessary to make up our share.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

On a certain scale.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

That can be done without authority from this parliament, and no limitation is imposed by that act. With these, illustrations before them, why should hon. members strain this point when it is recognized that there is a real emergency? We do not know what amount will be required; we are prepared to use the money of the country in accordance with the provisions of this bill to the extent to which it may be required. We have not named any amount, but neither did this parliament name an amount in the four or five instances I have cited. I would not dwell too strongly upon this, supposed breach of fundamental constitutional principles which has been argued so thoroughly in the house this evening.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Hon. W. R. MOTHERWELL (Melville):

Mr. Speaker, I find myself wondering more and more why the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) and his colleagues should bring down such a beneficent measure as this in such an obnoxious form. There is no need to do this. My right hon. friend knows that our leader has indicated that he would agree to any amount named, be it $50,000,000, $75,-' 000,000 or $100,000,000. As long as there is a vote to give visibility to the purposes for which the money is to be used, and the amount named should not prove to be sufficient, governor general's warrants could be used. There is absolutely no reason why such an objectionable precedent should be created. With such a wide open door, hon. friends opposite say that is the way to restrict expenditure. It seems to me that the whole

country will be wanting to get into this relief vote when they know there is no limit to the amount. [DOT]

There is no limit either upon the purposes for which this money is to be used. Almost anything but sheep stealing is to be permitted. There is no limit to the amount, scarcely any limit to the purposes, but it must stop on March 31. This afternoon the government was pluming itself because it was restoring to parliament certain rights in connection with the St. Lawrence, but this evening sacred rights are being taken away from parliament and given to the executive. Surely that is not a consistent attitude on the part of the government. If the record of this government during the last year had been such as to inspire confidence, it would not have been so bad, but there has not been a blunder between here and Makakanik which this government has not committed. Why should we allow them to adopt this course? True, it is not within our power to put them right; we will just have to let them go on their way, but not without a strong protest. They say grandiloquently: We dare not oppose it. We will not oppose it, but we will protest stoutly against it. As has been pointed out by the hon. member for Sheiburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston), there were colonial difficulties in old Canada. I have often heard my father speak of 1837, the clergy reserves, and what not. These difficulties are bobbing up again under our present status, and this is another one. I would think the government were trying to borrow trouble. I do not see how they expect to deal with this relief matter better than they did last fall, especially when they start wrong. When they get off on the wrong foot, how are they going to get off on the right one? They are beginning with an indefinite expenditure-it may be $100,000,-OOO, $200,000,000, anything under the sun. That is not the way to run the affairs of this country at this time. I should have thought this was the worst time to open the door to such extravagance as may be possible. There are no conditions either under which the money is to be spent. As I listened to the hon. member for Willow Bunch (Mr. Donnelly), I knew he was not exaggerating the situation in any respect. I know what happened last fall. There is no use in talking about that too much, but we should avoid it rather than walk blindly into it again.

At times I have wondered, and I have asked myself many a time: Has this government really gone mad? It has not such a great distance to go, and thi3 is the latest

Farm and Unemployment Relief

bit of evidence to that effect. I give the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) full credit for starting out on the first of July with fine intentions. He did well; everybody was happy and the goose honked high all over the chamber. Now he precipitates this row unnecessarily at this time when we should have the very opposite conditions prevailing among us with reference to a relief bill of this nature. I believe he wants us to oppose it, bu,t we are not going to. Let him pass it, but we are on record as protesting against it as strongly as we know how.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. E. J. YOUNG (Weybum):

I want

to draw the attention of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) to the situation as I see it in the west and to one feature in particular which I think should be drawn to the attention of the government. Only this morning I received from the west a letter, a copy of which has been sent to the Prime Minister, and which I should like to put upon Hansard. My reason for doing this is that it will bring home to the house, perhaps more clearly than anything else, exactly what the situation is out there. I do not think the house fully appreciates how desperately hard up the people are. This letter is written by a doctor who has made a personal inspection of conditions in my - constituency. I may say that the whole of my constituency is in the dry belt area and I do not believe there is a single crop in it. This is not the first year there has been no crop; for thfee successive years they have been dried out, and four years ago in a large part of that district they were completely hailed out. Hon. members can imagine the financial situation of any business man who would try to carry on for four years without any income, but that is the position of the farmers in that part of the country. This letter was addressed to the Prime Minister and a copy sent to me: Rt. Hon. R. B. Bennett,

Ottawa, Ont., Can.

Dear Sir:-

Permit me to address you personally, re need of immediate relief in this particular part of the west, i.e. the rural municipality of Souris valley No. 7, in the constituency of Weyburn, Sask.

Should you read this, let me apologize for adding to your troubles, and also, thank you.

This municipality by the late census shows 2,200 people, about 420 families.

A day ago in company with our member for local house, Mr. R. S. Leslie, I visited in the short time at Mr. Leslie's disposal, foul-families adjacent to our hamlet.

At family No. 1, the conditions were; nine children, 12 years to 1 month old, children half clad, but all the clothes they have, for food.

two-thirds of a sack of flour, a little milk from two cows but the cows are now drying up as there is no feed, no fuel, no money, no crop, nothing to sell, this last sack of flour obtained from local municipality. To question "How do you expect to obtain coal and flour this winter?" they replied, "We do not know."

At the next neighbour 1) miles away, there are six children, seven years to two months old, also on last sack of flour, no potatoes, a little milk, no feed, no crop. Children will not be able to go to school after holidays for lack of clothes. Mother says she has made summer clothes for them out of flour sacks and pillow covers. Mother in her bare feet, has a pair of shoes but wants to keep them for church, shoes produced, were broken down and worn out. They put in 160 acres of crop, nothing in sight, potatoes will not grow, to question, "What do you expect to do this winter?" answered, "We do not know."

Third family, nine children, 19 years to 3 months, father 60 years of age, one of the pioneers here, hard workers all their lives, house and children neat and clean, have enough food to carry them along for about three weeks, after that they do not know what they will do, have never applied for help before, but they have no money, no credit, no crop in sight, no feed, for stock. Children have three miles to go to school, will have to stay home for lack of clothes this winter.

Fourth family, six children, nine years to six months, children not doing well, the mother says, thinks they do not get enough food, all dressed in old overalls made over from old pairs of the father, no crop in sight of any sort, do not know what they will do for the winter.

Thirty-six in these four families, all within radius of three and one-lialf miles, and out of 420 families in this municipality there are at least 300 of them in like position.

Have practised my profession in this municipality for sixteen years. I know the people and that they are honest, sober, and industrious.

Through no fault of their own they have reached this dire necessity.

Something must be done now. Flour and coal and food must be put in their possession at once, before -winter is on them, or there will be such a calamity as will be a lasting disgrace on all governing bodies of Canada.

Meetings of ratepayers are being held often, they get together and talk, and get nowheres. they are lost and desperate, and ready fuel for the agitation and the Red.

I realize what a difficult position the government must be in.

I realize living among these people in this stricken area much better than the government what we are up against.

And so I am begging you to strive for immediate action, that will result in something concrete, not promises.

Thanking you again for consideration of this letter.

Yours truly,

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Does the hon. member

think that letter was written to me for the purpose of having him read it to the house?

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

No, I do not.

Farm and Unemployment Reliej

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Does the hon. member

think that a right thing to do?

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

1 received the letter with

the request-

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

To put it on Hansard

to embarrass the government.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

I received the letter with

the request that I bring it to the Prime Minister's attention.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I have the letter.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

I know. The writer toid

me the Prime Minister had it.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

It is now eleven o'clock

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

If the house thinks we

could have the second reading of the bill, I should be very glad if it would consent to remain for another half hour. If not, I am in the hands of the house.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I may say to my right hon. friend that one or two hon. members mentioned to me that they wished to speak on the second reading. They have left the chamber expecting that other speakers would take up the time to eleven o'clock. I know there are at least two or three who have that desire.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Then the Saturday sitting will not help the situation.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

We were going to sit

to-morrow, but it is quite clear we cannot get through to-morrow. The matter is in the hands of the house. As far as I am concerned I am prepared to sit for half an hour and have the second reading passed: but if hon. members desire to speak on the second reading, they have that privilege. If Ihey have left the chamber on the understanding that other speakers would take up the time till eleven o'clock, we cannot go on.

Topic:   FARM AND UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   POWER TO DEAL WITH AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS AND LABOUR SITUATION'-MAINTENANCE OF ORDER
Permalink

July 31, 1931