Mr. H. E. WILTON (Hamilton West):
I should like to say just a few words before this bill receives third reading. I am quite in sympathy with what has been said by my hon. friend from Broadview (Mr. Church) with regard to the burden of debt that has been imposed upon the municipalities. I speak from personal knowledge, having had several years of experience in municipal administration; I do know that municipalities have been burdened beyond the point where they can carry on. But I do think at this time there should be no division of opinion in regard to the necessity of solving the-problem of unemployment, because the solution of that problem will mean the solution of the problem which confronts every municipality in regard to small home owners, many of whom are being forced out of their homes because of the heavy taxation imposed upon them by the municipalities due to their need of extra revenue.
I am only sorry, Mr. Speaker, that I cannot agree with the proposition to leave the solution of this problem to a commission. To me that seems to be simply putting oil the evil day. To my mind it is the direct duty of this government and this parliament to take such action as will lead to an immediate, or as nearly immediate as possible, solution of this problem. If this matter is passed on to a commission no doubt, as commissions usually do, it will take a considerable length of time to bring in its finding, and even after that report has been made probably months will elapse before anything definite is done. Looking at the whole question from the point of view of the people we represent I cannot get away from the thought that the people of Canada look to this parliament itself to settle such questions as that of unemployment. It seems to me that if we have to appoint commissions to carry out everything we want done the people had better elect commissions and do away with parliament. We are sent here to do the business of the country, but we pass that duty on to someone else.
Every speaker has agreed that it is necessary to solve the problem of unemployment and much criticism has been offered, but so far I have heard nothing in the way of a solution. It seems to me that in handling our financial affairs with regard to unemployment we simply go deeper into the mire every time we attempt to do anything, because we follow the vicious system of borrowing money with which to repay borrowed money. No matter what is done our national debt is increased, and we are creating a tremendous burden which will have to be borne by the next generation.
Instead of continuing this vicious circle of borrowing and using the same money over and over again in order to carry on, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me the best solution is to find some new source of revenue. By that I do not mean some new source of taxation but some new source of revenue which will bring relief to the overburdened taxpayer and which will help the small home owner to retain his property. I believe this government should adopt some ways and means of developing its own natural resources, thereby creating new wealth which may be used to reduce the national debt and relieve the municipalities of the need for the additional revenue they have had to find. In turn the municipalities would be able to help the home owners who are already overburdened with taxation and debt. It seems to me something along that line would be a very constructive step to take, since it would open up a new source of revenue without any additional taxation.
Let me repeat, Mr. Speaker, that in regard to the solution of the problem of unemployment I do not think there should be any division of opinion in this house except, possibly, as to the means to be adopted. My feeling is that this question should be handled directly and immediately by this parliament instead of being turned over to a commission which will take months to prepare and bring in a report, and in all probability after that report is brought in we will find ourselves back where we are now.
Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.
Sub-subtopic: ASSISTANCE FOR AGRICULTURAL SETTLEMENT AND REHABILITATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL AND OTHER RESOURCES