March 22, 1933

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The minister seems to take exception to my words because they suggest a nationwide scheme, and he says he assumes that I had in mind what has been proposed from this side as a national commission that would co-operate with the provinces and municipalities in an endeavour to deal with this great problem of unemployment relief. What I had in mind was what the government announced in the speech from the throne on March 12, 1931, as the policy which it intended to put into effect. On that date the speech from the throne made this announcement:

The operation of The Unemployment Relief Act, 1930, has proved equally beneficial. While the grant authorized by this act could not immediately have checked unemployment arising from causes of which you have full knowledge, yet its careful administration by my ministers, ably aided by the provincial and municipal governments and the two great railway systems, has resulted in the institution of a nation-wide program of public undertakings, each one a unit in a scheme of national development, which have collectively provided work for the greatest number of men who have ever been employed through the direct efforts of the federal government.

That was the announcement of the government's policy-a great national scheme of development as a means of helping to solve the problem of unemployment-and to-day the minister tells us that to speak of a nationwide scheme is only to try to introduce something that will embarrass the whole situation. I just want to make clear to him that the government did begin by announcing its intention to deal with -the problem in a nationwide fashion in order to help to solve the problem, but it has thrown that policy to the winds and the only policy it now has is that of the dole. It is not in a position at the moment to announce anything in the shape of a comprehensive, coordinated, constructive plan of dealing with this great problem.

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

With reference to the

observations of the right hon. gentleman, at the time of which he speaks there was a plan that contemplated the projection and anticipation of public works that were contributed to by this government, by the provinces, by the municipalities and by the railway systems, and which ran into huge figures. The soundness of that plan could perhaps be measured, in a way at least, by the duratior of this depression, because it was obvious then, as it is now looking back, that such schemes could not be projected year after year. But it was carried on as the speech from the throne then indicated it would be. In my judgment all that the state-by state I mean the municipalities, the provinces and the dominion-can afford to do is to take care of those who for any cause are unable to take caTe of themselves. Suggestions have been made that we should build a factory here or a warehouse there, the claim being made that the amount granted to such a project would soon be eaten up in the granting of direct relief where nothing would be left to show for the money expended. The fact is that the money spent upon the erection of a factory, a dock or something else would employ perhaps only fifty or one hundred people upon a wage basis whereas the same money expended in direct relief would provide food, fuel, clothing and shelter to perhaps ten times that number of people and for a longer period of time.

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

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Haileybury wharf.

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

When we are embarking

upon any nation-wide scheme we must of necessity look to the treasuries of the dominion, the provinces and the municipalities. The hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff) has interjected with "Haileybury wharf."

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

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Yes.

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I wish the hon. member would get out of the atmosphere surrounding the docks in his own province and come up to my riding to see that little bit of airport breakwater to which he has referred several times. He would then be able to see the number of aeroplanes engaged in the mining industry in the northern sections of Ontario and Quebec. When he sees the service granted to tens of thousands of those engaged in the mining industry I am sure he will commend me for what I have done.

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

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I thought perhaps the minister was admitting his mistake in spending money for no useful purpose.

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

That dock was built on a strictly relief basis.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANOE:

When a relief commission, say in Saskatchewan, issues a cheque in connection with direct relief is there any indication upon that cheque to show that it

Relief Act, 1933

is being expended for direct relief? When a cheque is issued for the payment of material used in the construction of some public work under the relief measures, is there anything upon the cheque to indicate for what purpose it is issued?

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I am afraid I have not the information with respect to those details.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

I will tell the minister my reason for asking these questions. I know of an hon. member who received a cheque which had inscribed diagonally across it the words "Relief No. 1."

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

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

W'e might all need it after a bit.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

This member received

such a cheque from the relief commission of Saskatchewan.

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Is the hon. member sure it was not an indemnity cheque.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

No, it was not. I received that cheque, and I will tell the committee why I received it. The province of Saskatchewan has been building a number of highways and I had the good fortune to have one built right through my farm.

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

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Shame.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

Certain land was expropriated and settlement was made upon the basis of 130 per acre. Five acres and a fraction were expropriated and I received a cheque from the province of Saskatchewan for $165 and some cents. Written across the face of that cheque were the words " Relief No. 1." I should like to know how many such cheques are included in the expenditure of $115,000,000 for unemployment during the past year.

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

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The Dominion government does not contribute to the expropriation of lands. I have no idea how the good fortune fell upon the hon. member for South Battle-ford (Mr. Vallance) but I assume that the province of Saskatchewan surveyed the field very carefully and came to the conclusion that the hon. member for South Battleford was entitled to relief No. 1.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

It is all very well for the minister to make such a glib reply, but the people of Saskatchewan would like to know how much money has been spent in that manner. That particular highway ran for seven or eight miles and the necessary land was expropriated. The whole highway was built with rented equipment and if the matter was probed into I have no doubt it would be

fMr. Vallance.]

found that less than ten per cent of the whole expenditure went for real relief.

Resolution as amended reported, read the second time and concurred in, on division. Mr. Gordon thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 55, to continue in force the provisions of the Relief Act, 1932, until the 31st of March, 1934.

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

Motion agreed to, and bill read the first time on division. On motion of Mr. Gordon, the house adjourned at 5.50 p.m. Thursday, March 23, 1933


March 22, 1933