March 3, 1933

LIB

Charles Benjamin Howard

Liberal

Mr. HOWARD:

In January, 1932, the price of fish in Halifax was $8 per barrel of 205 pounds as against $13.12 in New York; in February, the prices were $8 and $12.30; in November, $4.75 and $11.48, and in December, $4.75 and $12.30.

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

John Thomas Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE:

I quoted Chicago and I defy the hon. member to quote anything different.

Some hon. MEMBERS. Order.

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

Martin James Maloney

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maloney):

I must say to the hon. member for East Lambton (Mr. Sproule) that the hon. member for Sherbrooke (Mr. Howard) has the floor.

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

Charles Benjamin Howard

Liberal

Mr. HOWARD:

I think it is only fair that these figures should be placed upon Hansard. I regret that the prices for our products are a3 low as they are and I am willing to give all the cooperation I can to the government to help raise the prices of our products. I say that in all sincerity and I think the minister knows I am sincere. However, I think the truth should be told and that we should not try to bluff the people.

Relief Act, 1933

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

John Thomas Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE:

I ask the hon. member to withdraw. I never quoted anything but 'Chicago and I defy him to change that.

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

Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ORROWN:

You did not quote any prices.

An bon. MEMBER: Chicago versus New York.

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

An hon. MEMBER:

The Maroons win.

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

Charles Benjamin Howard

Liberal

Mr. HOWARD :

Going back to government loans, there is just one more thing I should like to say. If the government is going to lend money to corporations and the Canadian Pacific Railway should be included, I ask that it be stipulated that they treat the employees in one of their shops, according to their seniority rights, in exactly the same way as they treat the employees in other shops in Canada-give Sherbrooke the same treatment as Vancouver.

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

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Mr. Chairman, I want to say just a few words about the general presentation which the minister made in introducing the resolution and deal with one or two matters in connection with which I presume the minister will be prepared to give information when the committee next considers this resolution.

In the first place may I say with all due deference that it was exceedingly hard for members of the house and the committee to get any intelligent and general idea of the broad outlines of the scheme which the minister was presenting. We had the idea that this government had started out with direct relief accompanied by a certain amount of relief works. We have heard subsequently, and it is always emphasized, that due to the opinion expressed by the provincial governments at the conference, the matter of public works has been abandoned. I submit that it has been very difficult to extract anything definite from the minister's statement the other day as to what the policy of this government is with regard to relief. The government is supposed to have been doing its best for the last three years to make good its election promises, or if not to make good its election promises at least to give some relief in the meantime. In spite of this we find the minister coming down with a hodgepodge, if I may so call it, or a patchwork in the shape of a policy consisting of a variety of disjointed and spasmodic spurts. All that has been done and all that has been proposed by this government is that we put an unlimited amount of money at the dis-

posal of the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Labour and that when somebody comes up for this or that thing, a hand will be dipped in the bag and1 the money handed out.

Let me give some idea of the variety of projects towards which this money has been devoted. According to the minister's statement the other night, the first thing he always mentions in making up his accounts against the provinces is the advances for the federal government's share of relief work. I submit that that item should not be in there at all because the federal government's share of relief work should not be charged to the provinces; it should be by way of a direct grant. Hon. members will remember that the other night the minister solemnly went through the formality of quoting about five or six cases. On the one side he charged up to the provinces the advance for the federal government's share of the relief works and on the other side he credited the expenditure which the federal government should make, and the net result was nothing.

One of the next items that he mentions in his charges against the provincial governments is the loans for the provincial governments' share of the public works. Those are the items which give a good deal of concern. The minister makes up his totals in two or three ways. In one breath he says: Last

year we paid out for direct relief something like $7,000,000. Then he says the total to date of accounts paid and credits against advances amounts to $11,207,874.72; and then he says that the total expenditure for federal relief will not exceed $25,000,000. But as was pointed out this afternoon, he does not include in that loans to provinces.

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

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

He never said that he did.

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

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

It is something we have to consider when we are finding out what is done under this act, because what is proposed under this resolution is that a bill which will be founded on it will extend the full provisions of the act as regards not only paying direct relief but making loans as well. Therefore we should have some sort of succinct statement showing the amount of these loans. My figures are only very rough, but I am giving them in order that there may be on Hansard a statement bringing together all the figures given by the minister in this regard. I took them down as the minister made his speech and, while they are subject to some correction, they give roughly

Relief Act, 1933

the totals of the net amounts loaned or granted to the different provinces. They are in round figures:

Prince Edward Island $ 14,630

Nova Scotia 213,000

New Brunswick 38,000

Quebec 1,389,000

Ontario 2,633,000

Manitoba 8,000,000

Saskatchewan 20,900,000

Alberta 6,178,000

British Columbia 5,800,000

In addition .to that there are the figures for the wheat bonus:

Manitoba $1,100,000

Saskatchewan 5,000,000

Alberta 5,857,000

In putting these on record, I do so with the statement that they were noted just roughly as the minister was speaking, and they may be subject to very substantial corrections, although I think the figures so far as I understand them represent in round numbers the amounts of money which have been advanced to the different provinces under the act by way of loan or advance.

This gives us a picture so far as the provinces are concerned. Now let us return to the different projects for which this money was paid. The minister says that direct relief was the headliner and the main avenue through which unemployment was to be assisted. As regards direct relief, he says in his speech that we spent something like $7,851,000. But, as he said, there were many other projects besides that, and he elaborated at great length the back to the land movement which had been inaugurated. If I am correct, the total amount spent on the back to the land .movement for all the families that had been put back on the land and assuming that they are all settled properly, is less than half a million dollars in comparison with advances, loans and everything else amounting to something like $55,000,000.

Another item that he spoke on was the Banff-Jasper highway, the total amount for it being $367,000. Then there was flood prevention on the Assiniboine river, $5,000, and a small sum, only $3,000, through the Department of Agriculture for fitting up boats in connection with the export of cattle. The total amount for a much heralded scheme by the Department of National Defence for the building of airways across Canada was some $93,000. Therefore when one comes to look at the whole picture the direct relief item is the big one. Summing up the projects, big and little, in this confused policy: there is the land settlement of which I have already spoken; advances for homeless and single

men; the Saskatchewan relief commission, area "A" and area "B," the amount for which is included in the sum I mentioned for Saskatchewan; amounts for seed grain; for New York commitments, which means advances to make up deficiencies of exchange on provincial commitments payable in the United States-these are all under the unemployment relief act which he proposes to extend this year-wheat bonus; relief camps; Banff-Jasper highway, which I mentioned a minute ago; Manitoba dykes, the airways, and items called non-recoverable advances. They are all under the relief act, and they justify what I said a minute ago that whenever money was wanted for some particular purpose the thing to do was to go to the government and the government reached into the bag provided by parliament and handed out the money under the act called the Unemployment and Farm Relief Act. There was also something like $200,000 for moving Nova Scotia coal and a small amount for repatriation.

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

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON (YTork-Sunbury):

Does the

hon. member oppose the item for moving Nova Scotia coal?

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

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I am not opposing any

of these items; I am simply trying to get before the country in intelligible fashion the expenditures which have been made and the objects to which they have been devoted, in order to show that this is a somewhat important bill and that the committee is entitled to all the information it can get with regard to the classification of expenditures which are to be made.

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

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

May I interrupt my hon. friend for a moment? Was the item of the wheat bonus, which was quite considerable, not under separate legislation? Just as a matter of accuracy, I think it is.

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

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

AH I am saying is that

the Minister of Labour referred to it in his speech, and I took it to be under this legislation.

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I think it is under separate legislation, but I referred to it in passing.

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

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I took it to be that the

amount had been spent under this measure.

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

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Under separate legislation.

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

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Then there are other

matters. The hon. member for Sherbrooke mentioned one of them. Quite a number of things have been done under the power given the government by this act. One is the advances to the Canadian Pacific Railway. I presume the guarantees which have been

Relief Act, 1933

given in connection with the Beauharnois project have been made under this legislation. The committee has a right to find out what has been done in connection with that. There is also the matter of the "flyer" which was taken by the government in wheat futures and which has been referred to by the hon. member for Sherbrooke. Provincial highway construction has also played some part in connection with unemployment relief work. These are matters in connection with which the minister should be prepared to give us information.

I want to say a word with regard to the attitude the minister took this afternoon as to the request of the hon. member for St. Boniface. The minister technically is quite right in stating that he administers the matter through the provincial government and then through the municipalities. But I submit to him-and I submit it to him perhaps more forcibly because I have in my own constituency some cases which are in somewhat the same position as that in the constituency of the hon. member for St. Boniface-his pledge to the people of Canada was that this government would see that the people would not go without food, shelter or clothing. That was a pledge made by the federal government. There was nothing in that which indicated that one would have to apply to the municipality, the municipality to the province and then the province to the federal government. If a situation arises where a province falls down or a municipality does not do the proper thing by its people, my hon. friend in carrying out the obligation he has assumed must see to it that direct relief is furnished if necessary. He has not done his full duty by saying: Why do you not go to the provincial government or to the municipality? The people are starving; they need this food, shelter and clothing which was promised them, and he has no right, particularly when he knows the provincial situation which was brought to his attention by the hon. member for St. Boniface, to ask them to wait until some time in the future and after application is made to the Manitoba government. I have the same condition in my constituency. Individuals there, not groups, are writing me from time to time. I just happen to have a letter here which I brought with me to the committee, written on February 13, complaining bitterly with regard to conditions in the district of Shag Harbour, Shelburne county. My correspondent is a man by the name of Waybret, who says:

What the poor people want to know or if they have made any allowance what a poor person should have for a month's food. That is. a person that has nothing. We have poor

people here who have nothing, not so much as clothes. But the poor pepole are not particular what variety of food they have as long as they can get enough to keep from starving till they can go to fishing again.

I shall be glad to read the whole letter to the committee, but the important part is this:

Just imagine what you can get for your dinner for two cents and a quarter, three-quarters of a loaf of bread for twenty-four hours, what it amounts to, and the people can't no way live on it, and there is lots of people going hungry for want of food.

He encloses a list of eight people, giving their names, who he says cannot live on seven cents a day.

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I have never yet heard

since I have been in the Labour department of any place in Canada where the municipality or the province has a schedule as low, or anything like as low, as seven or four cents a day.

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

March 3, 1933