February 19, 1937

OFFICIAL REPORT

SECOND SESSION-EIGHTEENTH PARLIAMENT 1 GEORGE VI, 1937 VOLUME II, 1937 COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM THE NINETEENTH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1937. TO THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF MARCH, 1937, INCLUSIVE BEING VOLUME CCXII FOR THE PERIOD 1875-1937 INDEX ISSUED IN A SEPARATE VOLUME OTTAWA J O. PATENAUDE, I.S.O. PRINTER TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY 1937 CANADA


21 a use of Commons



Friday, February 19, 1937.


PRIVATE BILLS

FIKST READINGS-SENATE BILLS


Bill No. 24, for the relief of Joseph Neilson Blacklock.-Mr. Golding (for Mr. Plaxton). Bill No. 25, for the relief of Francis Hector Walker.-Mr. Beaubier, (for Mr. Hyndman). Bill No. 26, for the relief of William Edward Connor.-Mr. Leader, (for Mr. Jacobs). Bill No. 27, for the relief of Annie Nemchek Cohen.-Mr. Johnston (Lake Centre, for Mr. Jacobs). Bill No. 28, for the relief of James Gordon Ross.-Mr. Johnston (Lake Centre, for Mr. Jacobs). Bill No. 29, for the relief of Florence Anna Iverson Salberg.-Mr. Johnston (Lake Centre, for Mr. Jacobs).


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

DATE OP BUDGET-CANADA-UNITED KINGDOM TRADE AGREEMENT


On the orders of the day: Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): In response to questions on various occasions from the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) and other hon. members, I am now in a position to state that I expect to be able to bring down the budget on Thursday next, February 25. It is the hope and expectation of the government that the new trade agreement with Great Britain will be signed before that time, and if it is, the trade agreement will form part of the budget.


SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE


The house resumed from Thursday, February 18, consideration of the motion of Mr. Dunning that the house go into committee of supply, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. MacNeil.


SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, continuing my remarks of last evening, let me declare that I personally long for peace. The social credit movement is a movement designed to obtain peace. Many ardent social crediters are so strongly imbued with the doctrines of peace that they feel that my stand in support of defence is contrary to the ideals of social credit. It is largely because I see in social credit the means of so reorganizing the economic systems of men that peace can become a permanent reality on the earth that I have espoused so fervently the cause of social credit. We are earnestly striving toward a great and glorious ideal; but we must not forget, while looking to the future, that the present has its urgent needs. One of our most urgent needs for the immediate present is more adequate means of defence.

I deplore the misdeeds of the past that have forced us into this situation. In so far as the present government is neglecting its duty in the matter of economic and social reform, I cannot and will not condone its errors. But now that we are in this exigency we must, I feel, comport ourselves wisely.

I appeal to the present government with all the earnestness of which I am capable that they set about reforming the present system. The disgraceful suffering, as inexcusable as it is distressing, which obtains throughout this land should not be allowed to continue. If one year from now I do not see distinct evidence of redress, and if at that time the present government is not showing signs of adopting policies more modern than the outgrown and discredited devices which thus far they appear to have depended upon, then I must say they will have made it extremely difficult, if not intolerable, for me to continue to support them. I believe they want to do the right thing, but they are tiying to do the right thing in the wrong way.

For this year, however, because I consider it to be in the interests of Canada to have greater defence, and because I feel it my duty as a member of the parliament of Canada

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National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

to help the government in its efforts toward defence, I intend to support the government and to oppose the amendment.

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING

(Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, on Monday last in order that the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) might present to the house the defence estimates for the coming year, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) moved that the house go into committee of supply. That motion was met by an amendment moved by the member for Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil). Although hon. members are already familiar with the terms of the amendment, its true significance should once more be pointed out. The amendment of the hon. member is in the following words:

That all the words after the word "that" in the motion be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"This house views with grave concern the startling increases of expenditure proposed by the government for the purpose of national armament in contrast with the inadequate provision for the social security of all sections of the Canadian people."

In the form in which it has been moved, the amendment expresses want of confidence in the government. From an examination of its wording, it would appear that hon. members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation had had some difficulty among themselves in agreeing upon something they would all be able to support, something which would appear to condemn the expenditures on defence but which at a later time, should the occasion render it advisable, would enable them to shelter themselves under the statement that they had not in fact opposed the defence estimates as such.

Let me again draw attention to the wording of the amendment:

This house views with grave concern the startling increases of expenditure proposed by the government for purposes of national armament in contrast with the inadequate provision for the social security of all sections of the Canadian people.

Note the words "views with grave concern" the increase in the estimates. Mr. Speaker, we all view with grave concern increases in expenditures for purposes of defence, but that is only a reflection of the concern which world conditions have created in the minds of people in all countries throughout the world. It is not singular that this house should feel concerned at the necessity at this time of adding more by way of defence. When one realizes what the conditions in Europe have been during the last four or five years; when one views the present situation in Spain; when one sees the nations of

Europe doing their utmost to prevent what is now a terrible civil war becoming part of a great international conflict, there is reason for concern. But that concern is something which all of us feel quite as much as the hon. members who have moved and seconded the amendment.

Note, however, that the concern the amendment expresses is not with the increase in the estimates. I desire particularly to draw the attention of hon. members to that fact. There is nothing in the amendment which says that hon. members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation oppose the estimates to be presented to the house. The concern is over the contrast between the amount to be voted for defence and that to be voted, as they say, for purposes of social security.

May I make one observation in regard to social security. I should be inclined to believe that the security of one's country would rank as the first among all social securities. If through invasion, or aggression in some other form, anything should happen to Canada, I am afraid that what else we may have in the way of social security would, at least for the time being, go pretty well by the board. It is an entirely erroneous conception of the meaning of words to say that social security should be confined only to certain social services some hon. members may have in mind and which could not be carried on at all unless there were social security for the country as a whole.

Let me now speak more specifically about the contrast. I wonder if hon. members responsible for the amendment have ever made a comparison between what is spent in other countries for purposes of social security and for defence and the corresponding sets of expenditures in Canada. If they have, they will have found that in comparison with what Canada is spending for social security, she is spending relatively much less for purposes of defence than is the case with any other country of importance in the world.

Hon. members are most unfair when they draw comparisons between expenditures voted for purposes of defence by this house, and the amount that is being voted for social services by this house. I say "by this house" because of the money of the taxpayers of this country they are taking account only of what is being voted by this house. But hon. members know very well that while there are certain obligations which rest upon the federal treasury, there are also some which rest upon the provinces and upon the municipalities. They have carefully avoided making any mention of what comes out of the taxes of the

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

people of Canada for social services in the provinces and in the municipalities. They touch as respects social services, only upon what comes out of the people's pockets through amounts voted by this chamber.

They have not been fair in a further particular. While ignoring altogether amounts paid out on social services by provinces and municipalities in addition to expenditures from the federal treasury, they have not pointed out that the burden of defence for the whole of Canada must be borne by the federal treasury alone. That portion of the public expenditure is not divided between the provinces, the municipalities and the dominion; it is an exclusive charge upon the Dominion of Canada. That is a very important fact to be kept in mind, because it was one of the considerations in the minds of those who framed the constitution of our country when they assigned certain social services to the provinces and to the municipalities, largely freeing the dominion from payments on that account, but charging the dominion exclusively with the obligation of expenditures for the purpose of defence.

May I point out that the amounts being asked for to meet the defence needs of Canada are not merely for the protection of our shores and harbours; they are for the protection of all of Canada, of all the provinces and of all the municipalities. With respect to what may happen in a time of actual or apprehended danger of war, this federal government is expected to have responsibility for the defence of the entire dominion. The provinces are not being looked to to make any special expenditure to protect their harbours, their bridges or their highways; that is all part of the federal obligation in time of war, in time of possible invasion or emergency. There is no specified obligation upon the municipalities with regard to protecting their water mains, their sewers, their gas mains and the like; all this obligation so far as it arises out of a condition of war falls upon the federal treasury. With warfare what it is likely to be in the future, with possible air and submarine raids and all else that is to be feared, the protection of our great municipalities against the dropping of bombs or the sowing of mines which might disrupt the whole life of a municipality, becomes one of the most serious obligations under the heading of present day defence.

The amendment in other particulars is unfair. Is it a fact that relatively little is being spent by the federal government for purposes of social security? I have had prepared by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Finance a comparison of the estimates of expenditures for social services and national defence

3im-66i

during the last five years. During that period much was expended for social services, to the neglect of what should have been expended for the purpose of keeping the defences of our country up to the standard to which they should have been kept. We get a much better view of the entire picture by taking a period of five years than by confining the comparison to any one. I shall, however give as well the average yearly expenditures

The estimate of expenditures by the dominion government on social services for the five year period, 1932-33 to 1936-37, totals $681,000,000. The average yearly expenditure amounts to $136,200,000. The estimate of expenditures by all provincial governments on public welfare and education for the five year period 1932 to 1936 amounts to $506,000,000 with the yearly average amounting to $101,200,000. The estimate of expenditures by municipalities on public welfare and by school boards for the five year period 1931 to 1935 totals $612,000,000, with a yearly average of $122,400,000. The total expenditure for five years on social services by the three governing entities mentioned amounted to $1,799,000,000 or a yearly average of $359,800,000. Let us now consider the total expenditures by Canada for national defence purposes.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Are we to assume that these figures include expenditures in the dried-out areas for relief and so on?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I will give my hon. friend the details if he wishes them. The total expenditure by Canada for defence services during the five year period, the fiscal years 1932-33 to 1936-37, amounted to $76,000,000, or a yearly average of $15,200,000. In other words the total expenditures in Canada for social security purposes amounted to $1,799,000,000 odd as against $76,000,000 odd for defence purposes during the past five year period, or a yearly average of $359,000,000 odd as against $15,000,000 odd. I submit that that is the only fair comparison to make when one is estimating what is being spent on social services in comparison with defence. All of these amounts came out of the pockets of the Canadian taxpayers.

May I point out that the provinces would not have been able to carry on their social services but for the grants and subsidies which have been paid to them out of the federal treasury and the money lent to them by the federal government. That is what enabled the municipalities to carry on their social services. I wish also to repeat that while the federal treasury has been drawn upon for

(042 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

loans and grants and subsidies to the provinces to enable them to carry on their social services and for much in addition in the way of special contributions for relief, the dominion

has not been able to look to the provinces or to the municipalities for any contribution to help it in its work of defence.

The figures in tabular form are as follows:

Comparison of Estimates of Expenditures for "Social Services" and National Defence (Prepared by Dominion Bureau of Statistics and Department of Finance)

Total for _ five years

Estimate of expenditure by Dominion government on social services

for five-year period, fiscal years 1932-33 to 1936-37 $681,000,000

Estimate of expenditure by all provincial governments on public

welfare and education for five-year period 1932-36 506 000 000

Estimate of expenditure by municipalities on public welfare and by

school boards for live-year period 1931-35 612.000 000

Total $1,799,000,000

Total expenditure of Canada for National Defence services for ___ '

five-year period fiscal years 1932-33 to 1936-37 $76,000,000

Average for one year

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) seemed to be anxious to have details. I shall give him some. The expenditures by the dominion government during the last five years on account of unemployment relief, which is a social service-I want hon. members to keep in mind that during the same period the dominion spent only S76.000.000 on defence- amounted to $254,871,231. For special public works and undertakings for the relief of unemployment, the dominion government expended $38,253,127. For old age pensions the total sxpenditure during the five years period amounted to $78,033,081. During the last five years more money was spent out of the federal treasury to provide old age pensions than was spent for the purposes of the defence of Canada. A total of $620,251 was spent on technical education while $750,000 was spent in the administration of the Employment Offices Coordination Act. A total of $2,381,922 was spent in the administration of the Annuities Act, the Conciliation and Labour Act, the Fair Wages and Inspection Act, the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act, and the Limitation of Hours of Work Act. On national health we spent $3,752,895 and a total of $468,950 was paid out by way of grants to private institutions for social purposes. In the administration of the Employment and Social Insurance Act a total of $93,862 was expended. In the administration of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act a total of $1,532,266 was expended. A total of $22,691 has been expended in connection with the Dominion Housing Act. In connection with the social services I have enumerated there has been a total expenditure of $380,780,276 during the last five years.

In addition to these outlays which will be quickly recognized as for social services there have been other outlays assumed by this

government which were also in the nature of social service contributions. I might begin by directing attention to the fact that after the great war the dominion assumed the whole obligation of expenditures arising out of the war with respect to the treatment and after-care of returned soldiers, the total of the European war pensions and other like outlays. The question was never raised as to whether or not the provinces should carry a part of that load. The load was assumed at once and in its entirety by the federal government notwithstanding that theretofore the provinces had been regarded as the appropriate authorities to assume responsibility on account of social services. Here are some of the additional figures: Treatment and after-care of returned soldiers, $51,450,929.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Is the Prime Minister putting that in with social services?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am putting it in as an additional outlay on account of social' services. If the after-care of a returned soldier is not a social service, I would- like to know what is.

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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

Do I understand the Prime Minister to say that the after-care of a returned soldier is a social service?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I most certainly say so, and I not only say that, but I say it is one of the very first of the social services that ought to be performed. It is a social service which has been undertaken by this federal government. The provinces or the municipalities have not had a corresponding obligation.

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February 19, 1937