March 2, 1933

CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I have nothing whatever to do with where these people go.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

That is all right, but as the federal government subscribes $200 for the settler it is a matter of interest to the Canadian House of Commons and one that it should discuss. If the hon. gentleman says he has nothing to do with it-

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

No, I said I had nothing whatever to do with the placing of these people on locations in the province of Quebec, or any other province. I have heretofore

Reliej Act, 1933-Mr. Pouliot

had a very high regard for those who are attending to the colonization work in the province of Quebec, and I am amazed at the statement being made.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Are you amazed?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Well the hon. minister is genial. I do not wish to be discourteous to him; I will tell him that in this matter we should all stick together in order to bring about some real relief. The minister cannot say he has nothing to do with that; if he has nothing to do with it as a minister his interest in it as a Canadian citizen should be equal to mine. I appeal more to the good Canadian citizen that is in him than to the minister. I do not wish to bewilder or amaze him, but I tell him plain fact and I do not put the responsibility upon anyone except those really responsible.

Now let me come back to what I have said already this session. In order to have a good settlement scheme in Quebec-I do not know how the other provinces might manage it-the matter should be left to the Trappist friary, the Clercs de Saint-Viateur and the Oblates. I am sure they would do very well. Wc are all agreed on the principle; people should go back to the land if they have the natural disposition and the agricultural experience, but they should not be placed on forest reserves; they should be given good farm land. .They should not have to find their way through stumps and underbrush; they should be provided with decent roads which they can use to transport their products. A chance should be given the young boys, also. This point was stressed by my hon. friend from Bellechasse, in l'Action Catholique, and I am under the impression that he spoke of it in the house last year. This is a very important point. I do not wish to hurt anyone, but when I speak as I have spoken to-day I do so as a representative of the people. I speak in the public interest and for the sake of my fellow citizens at large, with the hope that my words will be understood in the spirit in which they have been uttered.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. MICHAEL LUCHKOVICH (Vegre-ville):

The point brought out by the last

speaker, in connection with putting men from the city on farms, is of interest to me. I agree with him to a certain extent; if those men have had previous experience it is all right, but I do not believe men without experience should be placed on farms. If this is done they will be reduced in a short time to that " ideal " state which the hon. mem-

ber mentioned, the garden of Eden, bereft of clothes and wearing apparel.

I did not rise, Mr. Speaker, to deal with the back to the land movement; I rose to put myself on record in connection with the unemployment problem. During the last two or three weeks I have received many letters not only from my own constituency but from other parts of Canada asking what is the policy of the present government with regard to farm relief and the unemployment situation. I have received just as many letters asking what is the policy of the new Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party with regard to these same problems. I think the efforts of the government by way of continuing the provisions of the present relief act are highly commendable, but if they expect to do this by a policy of drastic economy their efforts may meet with serious criticism. Last fall I was amazed when the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gordon) told us that there were 800,000 men and women on relief, but just the other day he told us that at present we have 1,375,000 on relief. If this depression lasts much longer, at this rate the number of unemployed will be doubled, then trebled and finally quadrupled, and it will not be long until the great majority of Canadians are either receiving relief or applying for it.

With the situation as it now stands it will become increasingly difficult for the government to finance the relief, and the only solution we seem to have at present is that of drastic economy, in other words the laying off of more people, the reduction in salaries of civil servants and an increase in taxation, such as the sales tax, etc. Such a solution certainly has its limits, and in any case it does not get to the root of the present situation. What then is the remedy? For years this group has advocated substantial alterations in the Finance Act; they have advocated a bank of rediscount, monetary reform, planned economy and a managed currency. After all, the solution of the unemployment problem must be found in the solution of the financial problem, because men all over the world agree to-day that the present depression is due to the breakdown in our financial system.

For some days this house listened to a discussion of the pros and cons of the issue between capitalism and socialization, the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) taking the side of capitalism as against that of socialism. He believes the capitalistic system is all right; that all it needs is to be purged of some of its defects to bring about prosperity and make everything bright again. He considers greed a cause of the depression.

Relief Act, 1933-Mr. Luchkovich

These are very fine words, but they would have been more effective had not the Liberal party succumbed to the greed of Beauhamois and the multiplicity of abuses involved therein. I do not think there is much use talking about greed unless you eliminate the causes of greed, that is, practice what one preaches.

I have suggested that there are two methods which may be adopted in order to solve this problem. One method is that being utilized by the government at the present time; the other is the method this group would apply. In all; my six years in this house, Mr. Speaker, I have not heard a debate that evoked such great interest and rapt attention as that which took place upon the resolution sponsored by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). While at times the debate on that question smacked of blind hostility on the one hand and fawning adulation on the other, at no time could one detect a lull in the concentrated attention to that very important subject. Now I believe that if that debate had done nothing else than to waken the conscience of hon. members on both sides of the house to a realization that the resources of the country should be utilized for the benefit of the great majority and not for the benefit of the view, it would have done a great deal to alleviate the present situation in Canada. In all our proposals with regard to the depression and with regard to relief of unemployment this group has been likened by people outside to a bumble bee ensconced on the back of an ox, gloating over its performance in helping to plough the fields. I do not know whether that analogy is right or not, but if this group had done nothing else with their proposals than to prod the ox-like lethargy of government on to more action it would have done a great deal to alleviate the condition in Canada as it exists at the present time. If that analogy is true so far as this group is concerned, could not this group with equal justice say that the protagonists of the present system are very much like the polar bear perched on an iceberg that is gradually melting away as it approaches the equator? And possibly that is why many of the protagonists are so angry when reforms of the present system are mentioned, angry when that small piece of ice on which the polar bear is perched is in danger of disappearing beneath him.

I do not agree with members who say that we, in making these proposals, are trying to scuttle the ship. So far as I am concerned personally, I am not trying to scuttle the ship at all; all I am trying to do is to take part in the navigation policy of that ship. That is what I am doing now.

I agree with the remarks made by the hon. member for East Edmonton (Mr. Bury) when he said that a good deal of our troubles emanated from the last war. I believe he made the most effective speech on the other side of the house, so far as argument is concerned. I agree with him; I agree that a lot of our troubles are due to external causes. They are due to war debts, war reparations and the loss of equilibrium in regard to gold, and I also agree with him when he says that our troubles in Canada are due to external difficulties such as the intense economic nationalism that is so prevalent throughout Europe at the present time.

There is going to be an economic conference somewhere in Europe some time this year. I hope the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett), if he goes there, or if he sends some delegate' from Canada to Europe, will do everything in his power to bring about those proper relationships without which Europe cannot have a return to peace-and we cannot have prosperity until we have peace. The war no doubt is responsible for a good deal of the ills from which we suffer in Canada at the present time. But the question then naturally arises: Who started the war? And the inevitable answer no doubt is, trade competition which is an inseparable element of commercial and international capital. So that no matter which way we view the problem the causes can all be traced back to one source.

The hon. member for Weybum (Mr. Young) mentioned technocracy with reference to this group; he said that we advocated a four hour day and an annual salary of $20,000. I do not know where he gets the authority for that remark but I can assure him that so far as the farmers in my district are concerned, all they want is the right to work, even if it is from sunrise to sunset. But they want this to be in conformity with a decent standard of living and a reasonable price for their products. As regards the three wives he mentioned, one for breakfast, one for dinner and one for supper, that may be his idea of an economic paradise, but I assure him that the farmers in my district are content to have one wife cook all three meals. I wonder how he gets that way.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

From associating with you

fellows.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

Even the Moslem

harems have been forced to reduce their personnel, and if things get worse they may be forced to give up their whole pulchritudinous concubinal flock, if not the three meals also.

Relief Act, 1933-Mr. Luchkovich

Among some of the significant things said concerning this group have been objections on the part of hon. members in regard to the proposals put forward from this comer. We have been linked up with communists and socialists. Personally I believe in calling a spade a spade without any circuitous reference or allusions to instruments for purposes of excavating terra firma, or any other highfalutin rhetorics of that kind. I do not think it is necessary for me to-day to distinguish between communism on the one hand and on the other the proposition we have in mind. Enough has been said to prove that this group has absolutely nothing to do with the communistic movement. Even so strong a supporter of the present government as the Ottawa Journal has said that the leader of the C.C.F. group in this comer is not a communist but a socialist.

From the little study I have made of economics and history I have come to the conclusion that, judging from the trend of events and the comments of able minds throughout the world, the present harsh, avaricious, wasteful system that we aTe trying to employ at the present time to cure this cancer of unemployment must sooner or later give way to a more humane and constructive system of cooperation, without which I do not think we shall ever be able to solve either farm relief or the unemployment situation in Canada. I am quite right, I think, in my contention that what hon. members say on the floor of the house on grounds of political expediency and what they say outside in the lobbies are two different things. I have heard members speak about the dangers of competitive individualism, I have heard them speak about the dangers of socialism, but so far as I am concerned I believe that individualism and socialism will have to meet each other half way. If this depression is prolonged there is no doubt in my mind that within the next decade we will have a government or a system which will be neither capitalism or socialism, it will be some form of state socialism.

I hope hon. members will realize that everything I say upon this subject is said in all sincerity and comes from the depths of my heart. In referring to the lack of patriotism of some of the hon. members in this corner, another hon. gentleman a short time ago quoted some poetry. I believe in the sentiments of the poem he quoted, which was:

Breathes there the man with soul so dead

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!

I have, however, heard those words repeated by the sons and daughters of rich men,

the gilded youth of the land; I have heard [DOT]them repeated by college professors and I have heard them recited' in literary circles and by the smug, complacent self-satisfied citizen, but in times like this, when we are faced with the greatest depression in history, I doubt whether these words are uppermost in the minds of our youth of to-day. The lines that most likely run in the minds of the man on the street are as follows:

Breathes there the workless with soul so dead

Who never to themselves bath said,

When do we eat?

It may be all right for the men with large earning power, for the men with great acquisitiveness and the men of ability to uphold a system as it exists to-day, and of which they are the beneficiaries, but when the vast majority of red-blooded boys and girls of Canada are forced upon relief, I wonder who among us will be the gentleman? It may be all right for us ito claim that the so-called he-man who has got to the top of the heap, that so-called Tarzan of the north, the man who built our railroads and hewed our forests, that the man who started the wheels of industry humming, should advocate the present system, but in a world of vanishing credit and vanishing purchasing power, in a world of ever lengthening breadlines, I wonder how it is possible to do the things which they advocate. I believe that the extreme individualism with which we are trying to solve the problem of unemployment has within itself the germs of its own destruction. Extreme individualism is a product of the jungle, it is a case of dog eat dog, it is a process of mutual strangulation by means of which, as I have said already, the strongest remains on the top of the heap while the rest must wallow in the depths of degradation.

When we know that such is the case, why do we still continue to live in our fool's paradise, when we must realize how close many of us are to losing our rapidly vanishing pittance and swelling the ranks of the unemployed. I was much interested in the speech of the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) and his reference to the banking system under which we in Canada not so many years ago had twenty-five different banks but, because of mergers, this number has now been reduced to nine or ten. In making that statement, either wittingly or unwittingly, he indicated the folly of the present system of individualism being utilized to solve unemployment. It was a virtual confession of failure on the part of those banks being merged, that is, the failure of competitive individualism.

Relief Act. 1933-Mr. Luchkovich

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member should confine his remarks to the resolution before the house and should not refer to a debate of this session upon another subject.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of my speech I said that the method being used to solve the present unemployment problem is one of drastic economy and that unemployment could not be solved by such a method; I stated that in order to solve this problem we must get at the root cause. That is the reason I make a comparison between the system with which the two major parties are attempting to solve the problem and the system with which the group in this corner intends not only to solve unemployment but to bring about prosperity in this dominion. As we are speaking on the principle of the resolution, I think I am adhering to the subject.

I have before me a short article which I think is very pertinent. It involves our flag wavers, the loud patriots. It reads:

All Velvet

The truth is that the only people on this continent who are profiting from the discount off our dollar in New York are a limited number of Canadians themselves. Hundreds, probably tens of thousands, of Canadians hold bonds-the bonds of Canadian municipalities like Calgary-that are payable in either Montreal or Toronto or New York. It is a matter of choice. If these Canadians elected to take payment in either Montreal or Toronto they would be paid in Canadian funds, and the municipality concerned would escape paying a premium. That, however, is not what is happening. What is happening is that the Canadian holders of these bonds are taking either their interest coupons or their maturing bonds to Canadian banks and asking them to send them down to New York to be paid in United States funds. In other words, they are taking the profit of the premium on the American dollar.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVIICH:

Mr. Speaker, before recess I was discussing the question of drastic economy as a method of approaching the problem of unemployment. I said that it did not go down to the root of the trouble and that it was therefore ineffective as a method of settling this cancerous growth with which we are to-day confronted in Canada. To settle this question we have to go down to root causes and to do something more fundamental than we are doing at present. Whilst my remarks may at times have bordered on irrelevancy, nevertheless I feel that to speak of

unemployment without taking into consideration matters of currency, is impossible. The two go hand in hand; you cannot discuss the one without discussing the other.

I read to the house a quotation in which something was said about Canadians asking that interest on bonds be paid to them in New York funds. If we are to launch out on a policy of drastic economy, nothing of that sort should be allowed in Canada. I think it was Lincoln Steffens who asked Albert Einstein, scientist and philosopher, how he had ever been able to discover anything new, and Mr. Einstein retorted that it was by challenging an axiom. I therefore feel that unless we do a little challenging, so far as our currency system is concerned, we shall not go far in the direction of settling our present ever-growing unemployment problem.

I have heard members mention certain palliatives, such as social legislation, old age pensions, mothers' allowances, unemployment insurance and so forth. These are only palliatives that merely touch the surface; they do not go down to the root of the trouble; by applying them one is merely putting money into one's pocket with one hand and taking it out with the other. I believe, however, in a graduated income tax. If we intend to stick to this policy of drastic economy, a graduated income tax would do a great deal towards increasing the public revenue and would therefore enable us more effectively to carry on unemployment relief. The most fundamental question with which we are faced is that of harmonizing production with distribution, and as we all know, the question of distribution is tied up with that of currency and finance. Just before recess I referred to the remark that greed was largely responsible for the situation in which we now find ourselves and that unless that greed were eliminated from our system, it was not likely we would make any progress, especially in the direction of unemployment relief.

(Most members predicate their opposition to the policy of this group with respect to unemployment relief, currency and other matters, on the ground that men's natural acquisitive motives cannot be subordinated to social motives, but I think they can by legislation. If it were not for the legislation we have on our statute books, men would be getting away with more murder and crimes. I see no reason why this house and the government cannot control a certain class of people better known as financial racketeers and make them pay their due share towards defraying the expense of the relief of unemployment and other measures. There is no reason why we cannot

Relief Act, 1938-Mr. Luchkovich

put on the statute books of this country legislation that will curb their activities. I have absolutely nothing against the industrialist,-he is a necessary person in Canada, -who by dint of perseverance, integrity and ability has built up an industry, but I certainly am opposed to

My time is somewhat limited. I stated at the outset that we in this corner of the house have certain policies which we think would be effective in relieving the present depression and solving the problem of unemployment which now confronts us. There are many who think that we, through lack of homogeneity, are unable to bring about the reforms necessary to the creation of that happy condition I have mentioned. In spite of what has been said about us, we have that homogeneity. It is true we have a leader, the so-called leader of the United Farmers of Alberta, and there is a leader in this group, the leader of the Labour party, but in all essential matters we have the necessary homogeneity, the necessary unity. In all non-essentials we have liberty of action, and we are certainly trying to have charity towards not only each other but other members of the House of Commons. It is possibly true that we are as was pointed out by the member for Comox Alberni (Mr. Neill) like David, that Hebrew of old, who went to the cave of Adullam to escape the wrath of Saul. In those days David was an armour bearer and also a musician. His doings were extolled beyond those of his master, and this made Saul jealous. To escape Saul's jealousy and wrath, David hied to this so-called cave of Adullam. All the oppressed and heavy laden went there, and he formed the nucleus of an army four hundred strong. This grew into a very large army, through the instrumentality of which David was enabled to build up the greatest of the Hebrew kingdoms. Pushing this analogy to its logical conclusion and comparing it with the so-called cave of Adullam on this side of the house, you will agree with me that if we have as much success as David had in his cave of Adullam, it will not be long before this group is leading the way not only in this house but throughout the country.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

It will be recalled that David was chosen of God. Is there any evidence that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre has a halo around him?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

How can the hon.

member say that he is not the chosen of God?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I did not say that.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

That is the tmly

answer I have for that. It is very hard to visualize the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre with a saxaphone under one arm and a cannon under the other, but if the analogy is, as I have already said, pushed to its logical conclusion, it may be that some day this group may be performing a very useful function not only in this house but throughout the country.

The question, as I have already indicated, is a financial one; the unemployment problem is connected with that of currency. In order to solve the problem of unemployment we must first solve the currency problem, and that is the one that we in this corner are endeavouring with all the energy we possess to solve.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (East Hamilton):

Mr. Speaker, I want to make

just a few observations on the resolution before the house. This parliament is not unmindful of the fact that we are at present in the third and entering the fourth year of the most intense industrial depression in the history of this dominion. That brings to my mind a news item of recent date I saw in the Toronto Mail and Empire. , It is under the heading, Gloomy Picture by Chamberlain, followed by the expressions:

Says it will take ten years to appreciably reduce idle. Churchill shocked.

The text of the article is, in part, as follows:

Neville Chamberlain, Chancellor of the Exchequer, told the House of Commons to-night reduction of unemployment to comparatively small figures could not be anticipated within the next ten years . . . the Chancellor's remark that it would be ten years before unemployment would be reduced to any great extent drew from Winston Churchill, former Conservative Chancellor, a heated rejoinder that such a prospect was "ghastly" and that if this were the government's last word the outlook was very grave and lamentable.

I come from a city with a population of about 160,000. At the present time in that community there are 35,000 men, women and children on relief. I hold in my hand the

Relief Act, 1933-Mr. Mitchell

report of the relief officer of that city for the week ending February 2, 1933, which reads as follows:

City Relief Department Relief granted during week ending January 28, 1933

Groceries (orders) .. .. .. 3,932 $25,162 00Milk (pints) .. 22,120 1,106 00(quarts) . 26,549 2,389 41Bread (loaves) .. 59.832 3,589 92Coal (orders) .. 312 1,984 65Coke (orders) . 1,768 8,398 00Wood (orders) .. 37 193 10Shoes (pairs) .. 1.100 2,774 50Single men's (pairs) .. . . 147 421 85Shoe repairs 263 80Rentals (eases) . . 51.6 4.182 50Gas (cases) .. 175 257 45Lighting (cases) .. 236 439 71

Summary

No. of

families Amount

1932

4.099 $24,851 851933

7,940 51,162 89Clothing Centre Cost of clothing 1,502 19Lion's Club Kitchen 37,114 meals 2,969 12

J. H. McMeneny,

Relief Officer.

Since the issue of this report the figures have increased so that instead of 7,940 families on relief there are at least 8,000 families on relief at the present time.

At this point I should like to draw to the attention of the house a report concerning unemployment relief in Ontario from 1929 to 1932. This report was prepared under the auspices of the honorary chairman W. F. Nickle, K.C., who was at one time a member of this house, chairman E. D. MacPhee and secretary and director of research H. M. Cassidy, B.A., PhJD., assistant professor of social science at the university of Toronto. I recommend this report to the perusal of all members of parliament. In my view it is the most comprehensive study of unemployment relief and its effects on the population of the province that could be prepared. The report goes into many details. I think the most astounding feature of the report is that part which deals with the influence of unemployment upon the lives of men and women, and particularly children, in the province of Ontario.

After all is said and done, in my view there might be some excuse for the difficulties facing men and women, but there is no excuse for the very extreme difficulties facing the Canadians of to-morrow. These boys and

girls will have to take their places in industry and commerce and on the farms of our country. I remember that during the war Lloyd George, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, made the observation that you could not make an A-l army out of a C-3 nation. If the foundations for the report are true it is perfectly obvious to me that we cannot expect an A-l Canada if at least we do not take some steps to ameliorate the conditions under which many boys and girls in the province of Ontario are living. The following concluding paragraph shows the effect of unemployment on the general iife of the community:

Unemployment has also interfered with the normal mode of life of the unemployed in a dozen and one other ways. It has made for fewer marriages and fewer births, and probably for a greater proportion of illegitimate births; for a greater number of suicides, for wives working and husbands staying at home; for discontentment, unrest and the development of bad habits among boys and girls of the school-leaving age; for over crowding in the home, for family friction and disagreement; and for an increased number of deportations and the consequent disruption of the plans and aspirations of immigrant groups. It has induced attitudes of discontent, unrest and suspicion of established institutions in many people. The faot of drawing relief over long periods bids fair to develop in many an attitude of dependency. The effects of unemployment upon the unemployed and their families must be to make of them poorer citizens and poorer workers. Our most precious asset, the good quality of our population, is threatened with serious deterioration if unemployment continues.

May I make this observation: I am not unmindful of the onerous duties resting upon the shoulders of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gordon); indeed I believe they have reached such a proportion that the many portfolios under his charge might well be divided among a number of cabinet members. In my view the portfolio of immigration alone is of ample proportions to merit the direct supervision of one minister. Further, the general duties in connection with the Department of Labour and more particularly the direction of relief for the dominion are sufficient in themselves to occupy the whole time of one minister of the crown. Then of course we have the portfolio of mines added to that. In the course of his remarks he said that hard times have changed both the official and the public attitude towards the responsibilities of government. I agree with that. I think we have made great strides towards a realization of the obligations of the state to those 'who through no fault of their own are unable to provide for themselves. But may I make another quotation in connection with that observa-

Relief Act, 1933-Mr. Mitchell

tion of the minister. This is from the report of the Ontario commission on unemployment in 1916, under the chairmanship of Sir John Willison. Referring to the need for vigorous public policy in regard to unemployment the commission said:

If the state wishes to secure the fullest loyalty and efficiency of its citizens, must it not assume a larger measure of leadership than in the past?

That was said in 1916, I believe it is equally true in 1933. This afternoon my colleague from North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps), referring to unemployment insurance, said that possibly it is not practicable to introduce a scheme of unemployment insurance at this time. But I am of the opinion that steps should be taken immediately towards the introduction of a system of unemployment insurance in this dominion. Considerable preliminary study and investigation will have to be made with a view to developing a scheme to suit the peculiar needs of this country. I believe that a thorough study should be made of all systems of unemployment insurance now in existence in the world, and if necessary a committee or commission should go and meet the people charged with the administration of such systems, and who have made the necessary research for the introduction of such measures in the different countries. I believe that an unemployment insurance measure could be got under way even at the present time, though possibly it may have to be restricted in its coverage; but valuable information and experience could be gained through the necessary trial and error that would take place in its development. I leave that thought with the government, notwithstanding the fact that apparently no agreement could be reached on the matter at the recent interprovincial conference. We are going to have unemployment insurance in this country whether we like it or not. In my judgment it is a necessary part of the social machinery of any modem industrial state. We have deliberately set up an industrial structure alongside our agricultural structure. With the growth of industries it is the logical thing that we should meet the problems that other industrial nations have met. As twenty-nine other nations of the world have felt it absolutely necessary to have such insurance as part of their social machinery in connection with large scale industry, so in my judgment it is necessary that progress in that direction should be made here, and that at this time when the psychological conditions are favourable we should set ourselves to get such a system under way. We may pass out of this depression, have a few more years of, shal'

I say, normal times, and then enter into another period of depression without any machinery to meet the pressing problems of unemployment. However it may be in Great Britain, I question very much whether this country can stand ten years more of unemployment in its present proportions without the necessary machinery to deal with abnormal conditions.

I come from a city where not only the industrial workers but the so-called middle classes are sorely tried by the effects of this depression. Our problem has been intensified by the lack of the necessary machinery to deal with it. With the individualistic attitude oi the average man and woman in this country, the fact that they have had to go down to the relief office for relief has struck sorely at their pride-I mean genuine pride, pride that is necessary in any nation, notwithstanding opinions to the contrary. The recent imperial conference was to have brought about the millennium, and now the people of this country are to expect it from the world economic and monetary conference .that is to meet in London during the coming summer. Make no mistake, that will not be the way out of the difficulty. You have already, I understand, the official statement of the United States government that at that conference tariffs will not be discussed. You have the attitude of France, so keenly conscious of the necessity for security, a country which has not adopted the idea of mass production to the extent that we in Canada have and also of Great Britain, Germany and the United States. The people of Great Britain, are free traders at heart, notwithstanding that they have recently adopted a different policy. Then we have our own position. My colleague from North Winnipeg spoke about free trade and protection. Well, if free trade were the solution, the United States would be the most prosperous nation in the world to-day. They have almost unlimited possibilities for the attainment of a self-supporting condition, yet notwithstanding that you have there the largest unemployment problem in the world. So far as Canada is concerned, who is going to reduce these tariffs? Which side of the house will do it?

Mr. LaVERGNE: Which side of the world?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

The tariff is like a suit of clothes; you do not need the same suit in Florida as in Canada. But we must have some form of protection for the men and women of this country. It is a practical question. I have been to India; I know that

Reliej Act, 1933-Mr. Mitchell

in Bombay, as long as they have enough sense to keep their fingers ouit of the machinery, they can operate the most complicated machines, as in the textile industry to-day. You see these machines being operated by men and women in Bombay as efficiently as they are operated in Canada. With their wage rates what chance would our people have under a system of perfectly free trade?

I did intend to analyse the growth of industrialism in the Dominion of Canada, but I do not think I will have time now to do so. The tariff is the logical outcome of mass production. I sincerel}' believe that we are in for a lengthy period of economic nationalism, notwithstanding opinions to the contrary, and that we shall have to work out our own destiny, and solve our own problems, largely within our own borders. I believe that applies to almost every country in the world with the possible exception of Great Britain.

Last week when the minister introduced this resolution he spoke of the back to the land movement and said that a very definite start had been made. His words were:

A very definite start has been made, 1,651 families with 6,906 dependents have already been approved and placed on farms. This in my judgment warrants the belief that the whole quota of 6,923 families for whose settlement provision has been made will be placed on farms before March 31, 1934, at which date our agreement with the provinces expires.

Then the minister goes on to give the cost of what has been done. One thing is sure; this will not even make a dent in the problem of unemployment-the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) says even if it is successful. It would not make much difference in the unemployment problem in the city from which I come, which has 8,000 families on relief and 35,000 individuals being cared for by the city. I am not unmindful of the fact that some little relief may be given by this policy, but last week I met a man who had been a newspaper reporter and who went to northern Ontario because of the unemployment condition in the city in which he lived. He has been there for years; lately he has been cutting pulpwood and trading it for food. Last week end he came to the city on one of the cheap excursions and said it was absolutely necessary for him to get work in the city for a couple of weeks in order to get his wife back among the surroundings to which she was accustomed or she would go insane with loneliness.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Where was he?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

In northern Ontario,

north of North Bay.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

And he was a newspaper

reporter?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION FOR ONE YEAR OF PROVISIONS OF RELIEF ACT, 1932
Permalink

March 2, 1933