The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Stewart (Leeds) for the second reading of Bill No. 113, to provide for the construction and improvement of certain, public works and undertakings throughout Canada.
Mr. CAMERON R. MeINTOSH (North Battleford): Mr. Speaker, before Bill No.
113 is given its second reading, I should like to make a few observations with regard to its negligible operation in the northern part of Saskatchewan. I recognize the principle of a public works program in the curtailment of unemployment; I believe that is a generally recognized principle on and off this continent. I recall, I think it was in 1928, the Senate of the United States appointed a special committee to investigate unemployment and to report thereon. If I remember correctly, about the same year a committee of the House of Commons in Great Britain was appointed to investigate unemployment conditions and to report thereon. In both those reports the principle of a public works program was accepted; I might say that it was only accepted as one factor therein because it was not the only solution put forward for the relief of unemployment. Another principle was education; another, immigration; another, monetary reform; still another, industrial reorganization and, lastly, freer trade. But we are dealing to-night with a program of public works and I would like to speak briefly in a general way for Saskatchewan and in a particular way for the constituency of North Battleford.
I would like to deal with three points and, as I said, somewhat briefly. First, in looking at the preamble of the bill I notice that the argument is put forward that the construction program outlined therein will be for the general advancement of the country and to accelerate recovery. Possibly it may accelerate recovery; I believe it will to a certain extent, but this acceleration will be only sectional and not national. Consequently I fail to understand why the word
Public Works Construction-Mr. McIntosh
"national" is used in the preamble, because it seems very evident that the legislation is in a paramount way sectional and not national.
If we look at the bill from the standpoint of a percentage basis, what do we find? We find an approximate appropriation of $39,000,000 for Canada and as Canada has a population of slightly over 10,000,000, that means about $4 per capita. Saskatchewan has a population of approximately 1,000,000, so at $4 a head we ought to have on a mathematical or percentage basis about $4,000,000 spent in the province. How much is to be spent in that province? We find that the only amount to be spent in Saskatchewan is $675,000, or practically one and one-half per cent. There- * fore, if we look at the problem from the standpoint of population, the proportion ought to be around at least ten per cent, which would mean well over $3,000,000 or $3,900,000 odd.