February 21, 1934

LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

I would sooner talk sense than sit over there and talk nonsense. I do not know why, when we appeal to the government for unemployment insurance, they should loll in their seats and take no definite stand in the matter. Not one minister has spoken, though this same government has put sixty-five thousand railway men out of work since they came into office.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

You put one out of work every summer.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

I did that for a purpose;

I did it to be unique. I wanted to be known as the only man that the Bennett government ever put into overalls.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

You are unique all right.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

What does my hon. friend do between sessions? Does he just loll in his seat as he is doing at the present time, and do nothing; does he go back into a law office or a doctor's office; does he go on the farm or into the factory; does he just clip coupons, or what does he do? That same suggestion has been made here once or twice before. It is a peculiar thing that our doctors, lawyers, merchants and coupon clippers who go back into their offices between sessions pick on the only man who goes back into overalls. It must be wrong for me to do that, but I am not a bit ashamed. I am proud, and I thank God I am able to do it. It is honest toil, and because of it I am more able to speak for the labouring men of this country than are my hon. friends who sit lolling in their seats and will not take part in these debates.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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CON

Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROWN:

I want to protest against

the hon. member's statement, that he is the only member who goes back into overalls.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

I said the only member

who went back into overalls to make an honest living.

While I am discussing the question, Mr. Speaker, I should like to point out the importance of this kind of legislation. At page 42 of the Labour Gazette I find the following:

The number of man-days worked on state-aided projects on a wage basis numbered 1,157,559 during the first eleven months of 1933, while to those employed on useful works in return for subsistence and a small cash allowance 8,494,212 man-days' work were given. This was a total of 9,651,771 man-days of employment afforded in 1933 up to November 30. During 1932, the man-days worked on "a wage basis numbered 7,700,709.

There is something wrong here; these figures have not been completed, or if they are complete there is only one thing we can deduce from them. It is that the men who performed the 7,700,709 man-days of work on a wage basis in 1932 were put on a subsistence basis in 1933. I am sure the government must be proud of that record; in 1933 they gave 8,494,212 man-days of work for subsistence and a small cash payment. In the government returns these men are counted as employed; this government does not hesitate to include these men in the aggregate as employed persons, yet they give this note here, which is not sufficiently complete to assist in analyzing the situation from one year to another, in which they say the men are working for their subsistence and a small cash allowance. I am sorry they had the nerve to include in a government report the statement that this government provides for 8,000,000 days'-work in a year, on a subsistence basis. In the summer time in northern Ontario they pay $5 a month, and their board. Of that $5 this government contributes $2.50. If one were to analyze these figures and direct them to the number of days worked, I do not know where he would come out. Hon. gentlemen across the way talk about the five cent speech. They throw remarks across the house about five cents which was mentioned one day in this House of Commons. But they are not giving even five cents; they are giving only one cent. I have in my pocket at the moment a cheque for one cent paid out to a man in the province of Ontario-and he is a white man at that. It appears to be the pay for a month's work, evidently after he had paid for small pieces of tobacco, and supplies of that type. When he had made these payments he had one cent left. The only redeeming feature about it, as I said before, is that the cheque was made out to a man called Caesar. Evidently the government have been reading the

816 COMMONS

Unemployment Insurance-Mr. Heenan

liolv book and have come across the passage directing them to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. So they gave to this working man not five cents but one cent.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

Did he get the cheque cashed?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

No, I have it, and I have not got it cashed. I am going to take it with me and use it during the next campaign.

Then, I have another one for seventy cents. The person involved in this instance is a y.oung man who went through university. All this government can offer him is a pick and 'shovel so that he may work in a camp in liothern Ontario. At the end of the month after he had paid for a few knick-knacks which he required around the camp he had only seventy cents left. Then, I have another one for nine cents. In this instance I know the boy very well. His father equipped him with new boots, a new suit of overalls and new gloves, and he went out ready to work for the great and glorious Tory government which we have in the province of Ontario. At the end of the month's work he had nine cents coming to him.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

How much did he spend on knick-knacks?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

All that he got, with the exception of nine cents.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURY:

What was the balance left after paying for the knick-knacks?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

It was $4.91, if my figures are correct. That is about the price of a visit to a doctor's office. If anything had happened him he could not have been taken to an undertaker. Coming home at the end of the month he had the soles out of his boots from walking on the rocks. So he got nine cents and lost his "sole" working for the Ontario government. Any man who would vote for a government which would treat a Canadian in that way ought to lose his "sole." It is sad to think that that is all this government has done for the young men of Canada, after three and a half years in office. It is even sadder to think that some of the ministers sm'ile and laugh at the misery of these young men.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

That is cheap.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

It is cheap to smile; of course it is.

(

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

No, it is cheap for you to say that.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

That is all they do, smile and laugh and humbug. This government has been in office for more than three years and it is destroying the youth of this country.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

I am surprised at you, Peter.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

They have gone on deceiving the people for over three years by bluffing, blundering and blasting. They were going to do something at the economic conference, yet to-day our railroads are rusting. Sixty-five thousand railway men are out of work. In 1931 the railway men of Canada earned $74,000,000 less than they did in the last year of the Liberal regime. In 1932 they earned $120,000,000 less than the last year we were in office, and in 1933, $130,000,000 less. I want to tell this House of Commons that the railway men of Canada have paid an awful price for having a Tory government in power. Instead of a scheme for unemployment insurance we have provisions which will bring about greater unemployment. We have a wheat agreement which will provide for the sale and export of only half of the wheat crop of Canada. If the government makes any more agreements we will not need our railways. They talk about building deep waterways, despite the bad condition in which our railroads are to-day. That is all we are getting from this government.

I am sorry it is about six o'clock because there were further points I should have liked to have made in regard to this subject. If I have spoken with greater warmth than is my custom it is because I feel the government is carrying on a humbug of continual promises; it is playing hot one day and cold the next. We have one minister saying one thing in one part of the country, and another minister saying another thing in another part. But when they face this House of Commons they say, "I was speaking only for myself." One good feature I see is that some of the ministers are at last able to speak for themselves. They have sat for more than three long years, none of them daring to utter a word, except on occasions when they have received a nod or a wink from the gentleman who is the whole government of the country.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO ADOPT SYSTEM NATIONAL IN SCOPE
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At six o'clock the house adjourned without question put, pursuant to standing order. Bank Act-Mr. Rhodes Thursday, February 22, 1934


February 21, 1934