April 10, 1934

LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

It would be fair to say then that up to the moment it is not a part of the policy of the federal government but merely a declaration by the government of Ontario on its own behalf?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Of course no province can adopt a course that will involve the dominion treasury without the matter first being discussed and agreed upon. While it may seem that there has been a very large amount of money spent from the federal treasury, if we had contributed all the money that all the provinces wanted I am afraid the picture would indeed be a romantic one.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

Has the government considered increasing the direct relief or any relief owing to the increase in the cost of living over the past few months?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

So far as direct relief is concerned-and in passing I am glad to observe that the hon. member for Vancouver South recognizes that very desirable condition of affairs, namely that there has been a rise in commodity price levels-the federal government has not up to date under the various agreements dictated to the municipalities or to the provinces what they should supply or the quantity. The question the hon. member has raised will be the subject of consideration because it is obvious that it could not be determined in a moment, having, as it has, its own complexities.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Following up the question asked by the hon. member for Rimouski (Sir Eugene Fiset) might I ask if consideration has been given to continuing direct relief for the provinces? The government had conferences with the provinces in the month of January before the session opened and I should like to know if any agreement or understand-

Relief Act, 1934

ing was reached at those conferences between this government and the provinces as to the continuation of direct relief, and if so, for how long a period.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

At the dominion-provincial conference in the early part of this year many phases of relief matters were discussed at great length. There was. considerable diversity of opinion among the various provinces, though not in an acrimonious way, with respect to what their responsibilities and burdens might be during the remainder of the winter and into the spring and early summer. Certain reports were made by the various provincial representatives giving their viewpoints, but no agreement was entered into as to the continuation of dominion contributions. It was merely a recitation of the views of the provincial premiers and representatives as to what the future would disclose with respect to the necessity of taking care of those who were unable to take care of themselves.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Was not the opinion expressed by this government that direct relief would be discontinued after April 1, or some other date?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

That hope was expressed.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Do I understand that there is going to be another conference between the provinces to settle this very question of direct relief?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I thought I had made it [DOT]clear a while ago that if this legislation passes and any of the provinces is unable to carry its responsibilities, then the dominion will have to avail itself of this legislation to assist such provinces; but it will have to be made clear that they are unable to do it themselves.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Then do I understand it will be up to the provinces to come and ask the government to help them in the matter of direct relief?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

We are not going to force it on them.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

No. It will be up to the provinces to come to this government and ask to be helped in carrying on direct relief.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
Permalink
CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Yes, they have done that each year.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Going back to the subject that I brought up a little while ago, and which apparently caused a lot of other members to speak upon it, I should like to ask for information regarding the Department of the Interior and the administration of the Yukon territory. The minister, if I remember aright, said that in that part of the country there is

Relief Act, 1934

a population of from 1,800 to 2,000 people, and that the amount of $20,000 odd was spent in the year 1930 for the relief of those people.

I should like to draw to the attention of the minister and the country at large the fact that this parliament is being asked to spend for the fiscal year 1934-35 very large sums of money for that part of the country. At page

II of the estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1935, I find an item of $9,500 for the Yukon territory, for miscellaneous expenditure, including salaries and allowances of court officers, and so on. Then on page 13 there is an item of $9,000 for the Yukon territory for the salary of the judge of the territorial court. Then, at page 50 there is the sum of $102,000 for the following items under the heading of Government of the Yukon territory :

Salaries and expenses connected with the administration of the territory, including surveys, $42,000.

Grant to Yukon council for local purposes, the construction and maintenance of roads and such other expenditures as the commissioner is authorized to expend by and with the advice and consent of the council or any committee thereof; and the accounts with respect to such expenditure shall be subject to examination and audit by the auditor general as provided by section 22, chapter 215, revised statutes, 1927, $60,000-Total, $102,000.

Then at page 58 under the heading of Public Works, chargeable to collection of revenue, there is an item in vote 255 of $108,000 for the Yukon system, main line telegraph and telephone lines. Last year that item was $116,500. We are being called upon to vote in the main estimates all these various sums to look after a population which the minister told us was between 1,800 and 2,000. I submit that the cost of government is too great for a population of that size and for the revenue which the government is deriving from that part of the country. I was astounded this afternoon when the minister stated that some $20,000 had been paid out in direct relief during 1930 for the small population in the Yukon. In spite of this we are called upon year after year to vote money for the construction of roads and other purposes. There cannot be many people in that part of the country who are out of work, because the whole population is only between 1,800 and

2,000. Apparently nearly everyone, both old and young, has been given direct relief. These great expenditures are one of the causes why the people are exasperated. They see this duplication of government services and realize that we are over-governed and spending too much money for the administration of a small part of the country. When the redistribution [Mr. Casgrain.l

bill was up last year I referred to this matter and directed attention to the fact that a member of this house represented a very small population. The territory he represented might be large in area but the population did not compare with that of the district I represent, which amounts to over 55,000. I believe the administration of the Yukon costs more each year than is spent in the district which I represent. Last year and the year before when we were discussing the estimates for public telephone and telegraph services I asked for a vote to repair the telegraph line running from Saguenay to Newfoundland. This has been carried on each year little by little, we have a vote of $15,000 one year and then perhaps $25,000. That is all we can get but yet this other district with such a small population is able to get the large amounts which I have mentioned. The expenditures which have been made should be scrutinized fully. We should have full details of the people who have been on direct relief. Considering the small population of the Yukon, everyone must be either an official of the government or else working for the contractors building these roads. I am surprised to hear that we have to spend $20,000 for the relief of such a small population, when in addition large sums of money are voted every year for the maintenance and support of the government which they have up there.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Another angle to this

question has been brought to my attention by statements accredited to the premier of New Brunswick which appear in the Telegraph-Journal of Saint John of April 9. In my opinion the premier has not been correctly reported. The dispatch reads:

Commenting upon matters discussed at Ottawa, the premier stated: "Among other

matters, we took up the question of the agricultural school to be established at the Fredericton experimental station and the training of single men in the relief camp at Sunbury in woods operations. It is being brought to my attention," he continued, "that a number of the younger men, who came of age recently, know little or nothing of the lumber industry and would have difficulty in obtaining employment in the woods.

I requested the military department to appoint supervisors to train these young men in the cutting and peeling of pulpwood and the cutting of long lumber while they are preparing the military range. This the department has promised to undertake."

This must be a misquotation because I cannot understand the premier or anyone else in New Brunswick asking the Department of National Defence to train young men for the peeling of pulpwood and other lumbering

Relief Act, 1934

operations. The main problem which we have to face in that part of the country is the giving of employment to men who have spent their lives in lumbering operations. If such representations have been made to the government, I would ask the minister to consult with the representatives from that province who sit to the right of the Speaker before undertaking the expenditure of money to train young men for the peeling of pulp-wood and the cutting of lumber. The unemployment problem is acute in New Brunswick and many men who have spent their lives in lumbering have not been able to adapt themselves to other callings. I know the minister will say that unemployment is a matter which must be treated locally, but I contend that it should be treated nationally. Some of the provinces and most of the municipalities cannot afford to spend any more money to take care of their unemployed. Their credit has been exhausted and thus this matter becomes a national problem and should be viewed in that light. Instead of training young men to peel pulpwood and cut lumber they should be trained along other lines. As long as they remain in lumbering operations they will always be on the unemployed list and will have to be taken care of by the public. Instead of spending money in this way, it should be spent to help these young men establish themselves on the land. If there is to be cooperation between the dominion and the government of New Brunswick, the provincial government could well afford to supply the land while the dominion government could undertake to provide for the erection of houses and barns and the providing of the necessary agricultural machinery. If this were done within two or three years these men would become taxpayers. They would be able to support not only themselves but their families and would no longer be a charge upon the community. Unless some plan of this kind is adopted the unemployment problem will not be solved, [DOT]and I do not think that the solution will be found in any amount of money that may be spent for temporary work such as road building, road repairs, training men in camps, building military ranges, peeling pulpwood, sawing lumber, and so on. That is not the solution of the problem, and I submit to the Minister of Labour that in some of the conferences which he may have in the future with representatives of the provinces he should advance the proposition of trying to solve the problem permanently by means of proposals which I am sure his supporters in this house will strongly approve, and which I have no doubt would bring an end to the situation

which is acute and which cannot be in any way remedied by the methods now being followed.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

I notice in the statement of disbursements in connection with relief legislation tlhe sum of $10,663,000 for the Saskatchewan relief commission. Is this all the money that the Saskatchewan relief commission spent?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

In 1931 the Saskatchewan relief commission received $5,372,971.30; under the 1932 legislation, $4,459,919.11; under the 1933 legislation, $830,269.16, making a total of $10,663,159.57.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
Permalink
LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

On the next page we find

a summary of loans and advances outstanding, including the Saskatchewan relief commission, $22,579,078.16. Does that $22,000,000 owing to the government by the commission include the $10,663,000 odd?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

As well as the $10,000,000

which represented moneys disbursed by the Saskatchewan commission, loans were made to the province and to the relief commission. I have not before me the details showing how it is divided, but before this measure goes through I will get a detailed statement.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
Permalink

April 10, 1934