March 11, 1937

LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

That also is absolutely out of order, and unfair.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
REC

Henry Herbert Stevens

Reconstruction

Mr. STEVENS:

There is nothing out of order there. You cannot put a gag on everybody in the house.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I think we agree that with respect to discussions on the budget the rules are framed so as to give the widest possible latitude. The general rule that when an amendment has been negatived the discussion shall not centre about it is a perfectly sound one, because otherwise there would be no termination to discussion at all. On the other hand during the progress of the discussion on the amendment, much of the debate was not referable to that point at all, and the deputy speaker indicated that in his judgment the budget debate had generally been regarded as the opportunity, shall I say, for hon. members to indicate their reasons for believing that all was not well in the state, and that the government had not done all that might be done. That I think is putting it correctly.

I wholly agree with the minister that a speech on unemployment at this time would not be within the rules, but surely freedom of speech in this house is so important that any hon. member who desires to do so may amplify and illustrate his point, and by analogy press it on the attention of the house in any way he pleases. The hon. member, I think, started out with the statement that he was dissatisfied with conditions, and he said: If you examine all these conditions you will find that ultimately they are traceable to a cause. And he gave that cause as unemployment. Now if he continued to discuss unemployment only, I would wholly agree with the minister, but when he is discussing the whole situation and mentions unemployment only for the purpose of indicating a failure on the part of the government to grapple successfully with other problems because this is the root problem, I am inclined to think that freedom of speech must permit of that being done. I say it with deference to the Speaker, but if we are going to apply a rule of order narrowly it should have been done some days ago.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

This

afternoon.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Quite so. On the other hand, to narrow it too much would destroy the whole purpose of the budget debate, namely, the right of the subject, through his member, to make known his grievances to the throne; that is to the government in this case. I am inclined to think that on recon-

The Budget-Speaker's Ruling

sideration the minister will agree that so long as a member is dealing with the whole subject matter he may amplify and illustrate his remarks in any manner he thinks desirable.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

As far as freedom of speech is concerned, I do not think I am one who could ever be accused of desiring to curtail it, and I very seldom raise a point of order, even though at times there might be occasion to do so. In this matter my right hon. friend is perfectly right in saying -that if the hon. member was simply alluding to unemployment and drawing some analogy nobody would think of raising a point of order against him. I also agree that in the budget debate one may refer to almost anything and everything. But when there has been an amendment on a special subject, moved to the motion, and full discussion has taken place on that special subject, and the amendment has then been disposed of, no hon. member has -the right to revive entirely the debate on the amendment and make a new speech on it. That is the whole point.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

With all due deference to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) I do not think he read the rule applicable in this case. He should have read paragraph 490 instead of 491. Paragraph 490 reads:

When an amendment for the Speaker's leaving the chair has been negatived, as it has been decided that the words proposed to be left out shall stand part of the question no further amendment can be moved thereto; though general debate on the main question can be maintained by those members who have not exhausted their right to speak to that question.

This does not rule out a general debate on the subject matter of the budget. I maintain that the hon. member is quite in order in making his remarks on unemployment part of his general comment on the budget.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

With a view to promoting harmony and letting us get on, I suggest that the hon. member for C-amrose (Mr. Marshall), might exercise a little diplomacy and save the situation. I recall in years gone by the hon. member for one of the Battlefo-rds had a resolution on t'he order paper in connection with a Canadian flag, and the hon. member for Huron North, I think at that time Mr. Spotton, insisted on making a stump speech on the tariff, on the motion. A point of order was naturally taken, and the Speaker ruled that he would have to keep his speech strictly in line with the resolution concerning the flag. The hon. member went on making his stump speech on the tariff, and whenever he saw the Speaker or some member rising

to protest he hurriedly said, "All in connection with the flag, Mr. Speaker," and that saved the situation. He made a regular stump speech on the tariff under that resolution. Of course, he carried it to an absurd and unreasonable extent, but he got away with it. So if the hon. member for Cam-rose would modify his statement by occasionally interjecting -that he is dealing with unemployment only in a general way, he would probably save a lot of the time of the house.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

David James Hartigan

Liberal

Mr. HARTIGAN:

I think an hon. member is perfectly entitled to discuss any item in a budget debate, even though he has spoken on an amendment to the motion which probably covered a vast range of subjects. All last week in the budget debate there was scacely any item that could be debated that was not debated. I take it that the member who was speaking was discussing unemployment from the point of view of departmental expenditures, and any member of this house is perfectly at liberty to discuss that matter. Right is right and wrong is wrong. I think if we put too many inhibitions and restrictions on the members of this house we will have good cause to worry as to what is to become of our parliamentary institutions.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

I should like to point out, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. member for Cam-rose (Mr. Marshall) had desired to speak on the amendment, but in order to expedite matters he agreed to wait until the main motion was called. He refrained from speaking previously in order to assist the house in getting on with its business.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I must say that the point raised by the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) is well taken. There is merit also in the point raised by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), and perhaps even more in the suggestion of the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill). I think perhaps the latter suggestion is about the best, and now that the hon. member for Camrose (Mr. Marshall) has commenced to make a speech on the budget perhaps he would try as best he can. not to speak about unemployment.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
SC

James Alexander Marshall

Social Credit

Mr. MARSHALL:

I wish to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your very kindly suggestion. I do not wish to transgress any rules either of propriety or of this house; I simply want to make a few general remarks, and I wonder if I would be in order if I used the word "employment" instead of "unemploy-

COMMON?

The Budget-Mr. Marshall

ment." It just happened that I was coming to something that really would touch upon the point that has been under discussion.

In his speech the other day one member of the Liberal party pleaded eloquently for cooperation. I should like to ask that hon. gentleman what kind of cooperation he would like to have from the Social Credit party. From time to time we have made suggestions, some of which have been met with ribald laughter, and others with scorn and derision. In my opinion such conduct will not promote cooperation. To-day the Liberal party holds the reins of office in most of the provinces of the dominion, and they have 170 seats out of a total of 245 in this house. They have control of the central bank, and by this time they should have had control of currency and credit. The government have had at their beck and call innumerable commissions, yet they plead for cooperation from a few of us on this side of the house. It seems to me that instead of crying out for cooperation they should get on with the job entrusted to them-the solution of the employment problem. We are most anxious to assist, but I am afraid the cry for cooperation is nothing more than idle talk.

I have a suggestion to offer to the Liberal party to-night. I suppose it will be relegated like many others to the waste paper basket, but still I am going to make it. Last Sunday I was privileged to listen to a broadcast entitled " What Is Behind the News "?- sponsored, I think, by the life underwriters' association. In discussing some of the matters relevant to the situation prevailing at present the speaker was very definite in some of his conclusions. I have listened to him on many occasions, and apparently he has an excellent grasp of some of our problems. As he concluded his talk I wondered if it would not be possible for us to get that gentleman to give us the benefit of his knowledge. Then I thought of another individual who a short time ago went out to the province of Alberta, stayed a week or so, then came back and became an expert on conditions out there. This gentleman held the chair of economics at one of our leading universities, but lately he has been able to do a little better by writing humorous stories. Sometimes I wonder if he does not think that his teaching of economics is a joke. But could we not get hold of him and have him help us deal with this problem? Then I thought of a lady who has been writing very excellent articles in the Financial Post,

and who now holds a position in the employment commission, and I wondered why we could not get her to help us solve our problems.

It occurs to me, Mr. Speaker, that we should be able to form a commission to end all commissions, and I would suggest that this commission consist of the leading business men of the country. Why not try to solve these business problems in a businesslike way by the use of business methods? Why not form a committee consisting of economists like the governor of the Bank of Canada, the president of the Bank of Montreal, the president of the Royal Bank, two or three representatives of the mortgage companies and three or four representatives of business, and entrust to that committee the problem of unemployment? You can go on appointing commissions from now to doomsday without result, unless you provide penalties for their failure to carry through what may be given them to do. Why can we not run our government as a man runs his business, in a businesslike way? I venture to suggest that if we actually commanded these people to come to Ottawa and form a committee, and made them responsible and attached penalties for any failure to find a solution of this problem, we would solve it-and it seems to me that is the only way we will ever solve it.

I am talking from the standpoint of orthodox economics, not from the standpoint of the new economics. I would solve it in a different way if I were speaking on the problem from the standpoint of the new economics. I venture to say that if we adopted such a suggestion as I made we would solve the problem in a very short space of time. It would be the representatives of business against the forces of poverty and everything else that goes to degrade civilization. If those men and women did not solve the problem, they would admit they were unable to solve it, and would stand condemned in the eyes of all the people of Canada. In my opinion that is the way the problem can be tackled and solved.

Let me make a few observations on the railway problem. I ask the government this question: Why have almost two sessions been permitted to pass without tackling the railway problem? Are we afraid of it? If so, of what are we afraid? Is it not time that we did something about the problem? I say that if we appoint a committee of business men charged with the responsibility of solving this problem, with penalties attached, they will solve it.

The Budget-Mr. Turner

I was interested in a statement made last year by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid). I want hon. members of the Liberal party to listen carefully, because I really believe he touched the core of the problem. The hon. member is reported as follows, at page 3377 of Hansard for 1936:

Every member of parliament is aware of the heavy load which the country is carrying and the heavy interest charges which have to be met each year on the Canadian National railways, and in all our deliberations with a view to finding a solution of the problem, no one seems to have put his finger on the one spot which, if properly taken care of, might lead to a betterment of conditions and the bringing of our railways up to date. I speak of the labour element. Every attempt that has been made by either of the railways to amalgamate services has brought numerous telegrams and representations from every labour organization in the country, and rightly so, because they fear, the dismissal of the rail\vayiiieu. If more serious note were taken of this labour aspect of the question, and an investigation made into it as was done in the United States, where there is provision in all their railway mergers for compensating by way of pension the employees dismissed, if we similarly made provision or set up a commission to take care of the men dismissed-

There is the point.

If we . . . set up a commission to take care of the men dismissed in any amalgamation or merger of the railways, I believe we might find a solution of this great railway problem. But that aspect of the situation has never been touched. It is true the financial aspect looms largest in the minds of most hon. members. Nevertheless, every time we approach this problem we are met with the question: What shall we do with the men who are dismissed? I am strongly of the opinion that if we set up a commission to look into the possibility of taking care of the men so displaced, we might bring about a solution of our railway situation. I know that this question has been gone into in the United States and some such plan is afoot there.

Is not that the reason why we are afraid to tackle the railway problem at the present time? The suggestion I made in connection with the employment situation I make again in connection with the railways-that we appoint a commission charged with solving the problem, a commission not of those attached to any political party but rather one composed of business men, and attach penalties for their failure to solve the problem. Do that and we will get somewhere. If the appointed head of a business concern is not successful, he is removed without hesitation. But to-day when we appoint a commission they go on and on indefinitely, without any solution.

In closing may I say that these questions are of paramount importance to the people of Canada. They are not being solved. To use

an ordinary, common term the Liberal party to-day is passing the buck, and in the very near future will have to answer for its actions.

I hope and sincerely trust they will do something before it is too late.

From day to day I have heard nothing but talk about high and low tariffs. May I leave a thought with those hon. members who still consider that tariffs are the important factor in the solution of our problems? I would refer them to a sentence written by Abraham Lincoln, who said " I know very little about the tariffs, but this I do know, that if we buy rails from Europe, then Europe has our money; but if we buy rails in the United States, then we have the rails and we have the money, too." That is a fact I should like some hon. members to ponder over carefully. I earnestly beseech the Liberal party to get busy and solve these very important problems now confronting us.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

John Mouat Turner

Liberal

Mr. J. M. TURNER (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, I rise for the first time in this house, and wish at the outset to congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) on his able and early presentation of the budget. I have been told and believe that old wines improve with age. I understand that in that respect they are similar to the budgets brought down each year, because they too improve with age; each year they become better.

The constituency I have the honour to represent is one of the largest in Canada, and covers almost all of eastern Manitoba. At the north end of the constituency of Springfield is the central Manitoba mining area, a great gold producer. South of that are the large paper mills situated at Pine Falls. The company at that point has this year contracted to' take out nearly 100,000 cords of pulpwood from the surrounding dis- * trict, an enterprise which will be helpful to the farmers and settlers.

Continuing in a southerly direction we find five of the largest power plants in the province, all situated on the Winnipeg river, and supplying all the electric power for greater Winnipeg and other points in Manitoba. Continuing farther we come to the five municipalities of Lac du Bonnet, Whitemouth, Broken-head, Springfield and St. Clements, where a total crop failure has never been known. This area is noted for mixed farming, truck farming, and for its numerous beaches and tourist parks. Next we come to Beausejour, the largest town in my constituency, and the county seat, situated on the trans-Canada highway, where the farmers hold a semimonthly market. Here every two weeks one may see from 1,000 to 2,000 farmers trading and selling their produce.

The Budget-Mr. Turner

Next we come to the towns of Garson and Tyndall, where the famous Tyndall stone quarries are situated. This stone needs no introduction here, for the interior of this beautiful building is built of it. Just in passing, I may say that it makes very good tombstones, but I am not soliciting any orders at the moment. Lastly, we have East Kildonan, a suburb of Winnipeg. This is usually a great labour centre, but at the present time there are many unemployed in that municipality.

What we need to help solve the unemployment problem in Springfield is more mining roads and a greater development of our mining areas. I want to take this opportunity of thanking the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar) for the help he gave to this district last year. We need better rural roads to help our farmers and to increase the very important tourist trade. We need industries, such as sugar beet factories, to absorb our surplus man power as well as our surplus electrical power. I might mention that the provincial government of Manitoba has gone on record as being willing to guarantee the bonds of a sugar beet company to the extent of $600,000. We need the extension of our power lines to all important points in Springfield, for the two reasons I have just mentioned. We *want the federal government to specify Tyndall stone for all future buildings. This should be done on account of its well known qualities.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Leslie Alexander Mutch

Liberal

Mr. L. A. MUTCH (Winnipeg South):

Mr. Speaker, when I first decided to take part in this debate I had thought perhaps that I would be speaking shortly after the amendment, and I had intended to draw attention then to some of the things at which I was much surprised during the debate on the amendment. A stranger dropping into the gallery at that time might well have asked, " Where and when is the election "? Now that that thunder no longer shakes the edifice of government, perhaps a whisper from within may be heard for a few moments.

It is perhaps presumption on the part of one so new in politics to compliment the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) upon the splendid budget he has presented, but I do want to take this opportunity of saying that in spite of the fact that the paeans of praise that went across the country have died down, there is still in the hearts of most of the people, not only in my constituency but throughout Canada, appreciation for a job well done.

I do not propose to recount again the virtues of this government. All that they have done-and much has been accomplished

-is only what the people of Canada expected of them. It is not, then, of things they have done that I would speak at this time. In the few minutes allotted to me I would speak of the fights not fought, and of the campaigns as yet uncharted. Last summer I had the opportunity of travelling from Montreal to British Columbia. I made that journey in a leisurely way; I walked and talked with many of those who sent us here, and I brought back with me a picture which I would like to give to the house to-night. It is a picture which I hope we might all carry clearly in our minds during our deliberations.

The endless struggle to keep on an even keel while the world around us is reeling is taking its toll of our people. Young men are greying at thirty-five years of age or younger, and perhaps I am ungallant in mentioning that their women folk for the first time in two decades are showing their age. Even the great war failed to place its impress so clearly upon the faces of our people as has this depression. It has been said that anxiety is the architect of new lines on the faces of humanity. Anxiety and fear and want ride with us in these days and it is our task to find relief from their soul-destroying blight. War terrifies; but it also exalts. I would not. minimize the anxious horror of those who sent their dear ones into battle, but there was a veil of glamour about it which relieved even the starkest tragedy. For the combatant there is always the thrill of uncertainty and the chance af a sudden end. Add to that the exuberance }f perfect physical condition, and the singing soldier is no mystery.

But in the grim, relentless and' unrelieved struggle of depression there are no non-combatants, or at best very few. No glamour veils, even thinly, the raw stuff of failure, misery, want and hopelessness. No cheering muffles the sobs of women or the cries of children. No poet sings the praises of the worker who wages a losing fight with poverty. His failing hand holds no torch to fling to those he leaves behind. For him no cenotaph is raised. He will be known, if he is remembered at all, as a futile thing-a man who failed. Not daring, these men, with nothing to dare, are simply hopeless, struggling creatures just plodding along, their only motive spark the dim embers of their former enthusiasm for life.

Dare we in our deliberations put from our minds for an instant the real problem of these our fellow Canadians? No one realizes better than I do that appeals to fellow Canadians have been traded upon in this house, and yet I can frame no better phrase to describe them. We are most of us of a generation under whose

The Budget-Mr. Mutch

leadership the fruits of folly matured, a generation which, cannot even yet realize that the depression is the result of a combination, if you like, of those mistaken policies inherited and nurtured1

a generation which still believes that the depression settled upon us unheraldted, like the visitation of locusts in the Egypt of biblical times.

Having failed to see and heed the warning signs, having been content just to wait and wait, serene in the belief that the storm would pass, people now at last fearful of a condition which they yet fail to comprehend turn like fear-stricken sheep to mass objectives and try to find in various "isms" collective courage and collective authority for change. They seek in collectivism the means to stem the tide of the affairs of men. I am persuaded that most of the "isms" of the world are bunk. They miss the vital truth that the actors in this world drama are men and women. We can never really face up to the problems of society until we learn to think and speak and calculate in terms of men and women. The weakness of every "ism"- I exclude Liberalism-is that it puts emphasis on the system and its machinery, and disregards the human factor. We must ask and answer this question: Are we men or are we puppets? If w.e are men, then it is we who matter and not the system.

We have sought too long a magic formula by the application of which we hope to restore society to the good old days that never existed. The world has given position and, power to men who promised, not a fuller life but a life which in retrospect seems all good. It gives ear to such men now. When will we learn to turn to ourselves, to forsake false counsel, to know what it is that we seek, and to seek it in the one place where it is to be found

in ourselves?

To the government front benchers I would say this: The opportunity for leadership is in this house. The qualities of leadership are not lacking. The courage of leadership will give to the men who exercise it opportunity and reward unparalleled in history. Moses the lawgiver has been remembered in brass and stone, but Moses the man who led his people out of captivity is enshrined as a living model in the heart of every man who would be free.

And now, Mr. Speaker, to be more specific -now that we are resolved to examine ourselves, first, in relation to our problems- where shall we begin? It seems to me that one great problem overshadows all others, and sir, I hasten to say it is not the problem of a balanced budget, although it is related to that. To me there is no problem

of a balanced budget. The determination of the hon. gentleman who presides over the treasury will balance the budget. There is no doubt of that, but at what cost remains to be seen. But we shall see, and the people will judge, and I for one, am hopeful that the result will not be a worse horror than an unbalanced budget. Most of the people by whose grace I am here have unbalanced personal budgets, and most of them are worried about it. But there is a great and ever-growing number of people who feel the hopelessness of their situation and, realizing that they cannot cope with the arithmetic of their misfortune, are entirely indifferent to the arithmetic of the Minister of Finance. But let that pass. The greatest problem is the problem of the economic emancipation of the individual. As always, misfortune begins at the bottom, and restoration begins at the top.

There are those who view this situation and cry out that socialism is the answer, that we should begin restoration by levelling down the top to the standard of the lower strata. I have said that to me the collectivism of socialism is nonsense. To many, debt adjustment seems to be the answer. Obviously a measure of debt adjustment was and still is essential to a program of recovery. But to me it is a means, not an end. It is much easier for me to go along with the Minister of Finance when he states that the real and abiding recovery comes from an increase in the national income. The government has realized in this matter that the critical thing is the problem of the reality of recovery. The immediate need can be, has to be, and will be, met.

We in Canada have been much concerned with the problem of keeping the farmer producers on the land. The Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act was drafted and is being administered to that end. While the act is far from perfect in its application, it has served, despite abuses, to effect some real relief.

So far no government has recognized by any action the plight of that great taxpaying body, our urban and suburban home owner. No other section of the Canadian public bears anything remotely approaching the tax burden borne by these people. They pay the biggest percentage of the property tax; they contribute generously to the income tax; in almost every centre in Canada t'heir school taxes are extremely high. As salaried men and wage earners they were the first to absorb the shock of the depression; as such they are likely to be the last to gain by any improvement. They are for the most part unorganized

The Budget-Mr. Evans

for their own defence; indeed they cannot hope to be otherwise. We have, on the one hand, capital, comparatively small in numbers, organized, compact, served efficiently by the ablest of advisers; on the other hand, organized labour, with a tradition of unity, the machinery of cooperation, and compact units based on mutual interest and mutual objectives. Contrast with this the great mass of urban and suburban workers in professional and clerical occupations; add to them the men and women on the farms, on small holdings, and in the villages. They are not, nor can they ever be a compact unit, socially or economically. If we in this house do not raise our voices in their behalf, they are voiceless, and it is our duty to see that these people, the same people who sent so many of us here, are not forgotten while the battle cages between those who would strengthen the present social order and those who would tear it down.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles Robert Evans

Liberal

Mr. C. R. EVANS (Maple Creek):

As one of the new members from western Canada, and having listened to the debate on both the amendment and the budget, I shall try for the few minutes of time that I occupy to keep as nearly as possible within the rules of the house.

First I congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) upon his presentation of the budget and his comprehensive survey of Canada's improved condition in world trade and in our economic and financial relations. While all these improvements may not be due to government policies, in a large measure they are so. The government has taken the lead in promoting world trade. Shortly after it assumed office in 1935 the Canada-United States trade agreement was consummated, and from that time on our government has extended the hand of friendship to all the nations of the world and has been successful in promoting and increasing empire and international trade. It has come to be widely recognized that the Ottawa trade agreement of 1932 was not sufficiently favourable to Great Britain, and that the lowering of certain duties might tend to expand trade currents not only in one direction but in both. The general effect of the new trade agreement should be to render more effective the policy of this government-to canalize more trade in inter-imperial channels.

The constituency which I have the honour to represent is entirely rural. Being primary producers we are naturally free traders. Therefore tariff policies mean dollars and cents to us. We are pleased with the reductions of

tariff put into effect by the present government, but look forward with the present tendency to freer trade to greater reductions in the future. Being primary producers we have to sell our products in open markets, while everything we purchase is bought in a highly protected market. That is a condition that cannot continue if farmers are to stay in business. Unless there is a levelling of the spread in prices of the articles we have to sell in relation to those we purchase, it will be difficult for the farmers of western Canada to carry on.

It is true that in the past six or seven years we have met with disastrous crop failures through drought and other causes beyond our control, but the fortitude and courage of our people through the period of drought and depression have been wonderful. Picture a farmer putting seed in the ground year after year, without ever reaping a harvest, while each year he sees his assets dwindle until he is finally forced to come to governments and other agencies for assistance, and then you may realize in a small measure the problems with which we in the drought area of the west are faced. It is encouraging to know that the federal government now recognizes the gravity of our problems and is taking steps under the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act to combat the ravages of drought and bring these vast areas back into production.

The Maple Creek constituency produces great numbers of cattle, sheep and horses. In the year 1936 we shipped out of this constituency 36,000 head of cattle of all classes. In passing, I would mention that the feeder policy of the government increased by about

10.000 head the shipments of feeder cattle out of our district. We also shipped around

22.000 sheep and lambs, and about 2,700 head of horses.

I desire to draw to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) the importance of stimulating in some way the horse industry in the south west country. For the information of the house and the people of Canada generally. I would point out that the Maple Creek and Willow Bunch constituencies produce perhaps more horses than any other district in the dominion.

It is encouraging to note the increase in the exports of cattle in 1933 over 1935. The total exports to the United Kingdom in 1938 were approximately 39,000 head, as compared with about 7.000 head in 1935, while to the United States in 1936 we shipped approximately 225,000 head, as compared with about

106.000 in 1935. Exports for the twelve

The Budget-Mr. Hay hurst

months of 1936 showed the heaviest volume in many years, reaching a total of 264,000 head, as compared with 116,000 in 1935.

The other day, in the course of the debate, the hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Thompson) made references to the vast amount of new wealth which had been created in western Canada in the past fifty years, and he -went on to say that had it been properly handled that wealth would have been sufficient to tide the western provinces over any ordinary difficulty. At page 1453 of Hansard he is reported as follows:

Ontario and Quebec, where the great majority of these protected industries are located, pay seventy-five per cent of the taxes collected in Canada. I ask this house: How long are

Ontario and Quebec going to remain a pair of placid milch cows to be stripped dry to pay the bills of provincial governments over whose expenditure they have no control? ... In all fairness I say it is high time that these western provinces were told quite frankly that they must put their own houses in order to balance their budgets and live within their means.

The hon. gentleman's criticism is in order, no doubt; but if he would consider what became of the great wealth that we made in western Canada during, say, the past thirty years, and consider where the feed came from that kept those cows, he would realize that if it had not been for the wealth we poured into the industrial centres of eastern Canada to the extent of millions of dollars each year through tariff duties, those placid cows he talks about would have been dry long ago.

It is true that we did produce a vast amount of wealth, and it is equally true that the provincial governments in the west find it difficult to-day to carry on, with the financial problems that face them. But there is a story behind the provincial problem in western Canada, and I should like to put it before the house for consideration. In 1905 our province was formed, and from 1905 to 1929 we had a Liberal government in power; and during all those years that Liberal government never once failed to balance its budget. At the end of 1929 the public debt of Saskatchewan was $66,000,000. What did we receive for that $66,000,000 of bonded debt? We got all the services which a new and growing province demands, such as parliament buildings, gaols, sanatoria, mental hospitals-and by the way we have built one at Weyburn-a system of highways, bridges, the university, three normal schools, court houses and many other services that are required to carry on the functions of government. In 1929 a change of government took place, and after five years of Conservative administration we found that our public debt

in Saskatchewan had increased to $154,000,000. True, $18,000,000 of this was spent for relief, but the rest has been spent extravagantly on commissions and many other unnecessary investigations. During their five years of office the Conservative government did not at any time balance its budget, and I would point out to the hon. member for Lanark particularly that that is the reason why the province of Saskatchewan to-day is in financial difficulties.

Last July I made a survey of the constituency I represent. I interviewed municipal and urban councils, school boards, live stock associations, farmers' organizations, and also held public meetings in order to get first hand information as to what our people thought would be the best means of giving to the needy assistance until such time as crop conditions improved. In every instance a works program was suggested whereby our people might be able to earn a living, instead of being demoralized by direct relief. Suggestions were made that the federal government cooperate with the provincial government in the construction of highways, the hard surfacing of main highways, the elimination of dangerous level crossings, increased activity in our water conservation program and improvements in our provincial and national parks.

This afternoon the hon. member for Rose-town-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) referred to the stand which the federal members in western Canada took with regard to the action of the government last summer. I made one statement which I wish to confirm in this house to-night. At a meeting I attended, on invitation from many of my constituents, I said that I felt that the dominion government should have continued the operation of the wheat board during the crop year 1936-37, and I still think so; but I qualified my statement by saying that I was not in favour of governments being in business because that was the first step towards state socialism.

Let me say this in conclusion. The people of western Canada face the future with optimism and confidence, believing that nature will this year supply sufficient moisture once again to produce a bountiful harvest.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
SC

William Hayhurst

Social Credit

Mr. WILLIAM HAYHURST (Vegreville):

The keynote of the budget speech of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) was one of cheer and confidence, or cheer and challenge, I believe the actual words are. These two words evidently influenced the general tenor of his speech, the peroration of which was dramatic. No problem, he said, is insuperable.

1/10

The Budget-Mr. Hayhurst

Seeing that the minister is so optimistic, I should like to mention the subject of slum clearance. I suggest that the government should start in the near future an active campaign for slum clearance. Most of our cities must be subjected to some type of slum clearance, because there is much overcrowding, and the people in these districts have to put up with living conditions that should be abolished. In England Sir Hilton Young called these areas in the centre of the cities the bad old cores of the inner areas of our great towns. We find these bad old cores in the inner areas of all our cities in Canada. We feel, Mr. Speaker, that every family should have such housing as is essential for decent and healthy living. The whole country is sadly neglected in this respect. So a strong effort should be made by the dominion government to bring about slum clearance. This subject has been before the house in a resolution, and I mention it here merely to drive home to the government, if possible, the gravity of the situation. It cannot 'be too often reiterated. Bad housing conditions are the supreme social evil of our time, poisoning life from infancy, and undoing much of the good results which education and medical science would otherwise achieve. Thousands of our young people have no home in any real sense of the word, but dwell in these ill-constructed, vermin-infested, insanitary old houses, in foully overcrowded districts. If this malignant growth is not excised it will drag us down as a nation in body, mind and soul. Slum clearance, of course, involves planned development, and team play amongst owners, architects and the government: but planned housing in some form must come if the bad conditions brought about by present happy-go-lucky methods are to cease.

I have listened with a great deal of interest to the discussions in this house and in this debate on the budget, of the problems which face western Canada. I noticed that sometimes the wheat problem was discussed when we were speaking of unemployment. The wheat problem of the past few years, the wheat problem of the future, and the present problems of the farmers are vitally important. I was very much interested in the remark of the previous speaker that western Canada had produced such enormous quantities of wealth in the last few years. To-day and yesterday something was interjected into the debate regarding the wheat marketing schemes of the present government and the preceding government. I have in my hand a pamphlet published in Calgary in February 1936. by the former chairman of

the wheat board, Mr. John I. McFarland. That is over a year ago. Sometimes we hear it said that the wheat marketing situation had not been thoroughly- discussed prior to the present government taking office. I should like to read a short paragraph from this pamphlet, to illustrate what the previous speaker has mentioned about the great amount of real wealth which western Canada has produced in recent years, and in relation also to the marketing of this our greatest primary product. Mr. McFarland said:

In the years before the depression our public men were proud to describe Canada as the "bread basket of the empire." From November, 1930, until 1931, the whole world had become a bread basket, but, despite that obstacle, Canada supplied more bread in the past five years to the great consuming centre of this empire than we did prior to 1930. From 1930 until 1935 inclusive, this dominion produced over two billion bushels of wheat. The farmers have marketed their surplus from these crops and have received prices which have been denounced as higher, and much higher, than so-ealled "world prices." Broomha-lil and others have recently made the statement that our carry-over next fall will be down to normal or near normal. Why? Simply because Canada is now the only country from which import countries of Europe can secure supplies except for a moderate quantity from Australia.

When Mr. McFarland wrote this pamphlet the Argentine had suffered from drought and its crop was already harvested, or at least most of it. They knew at any rate the amount of wheat available in that country. He goes on:

The scene has now so changed that until another crop is harvested Canada is, in large measure, the "bread basket" not only of the empire but of the world. In the face of these facts the Winnipeg Free Press maliciously refers to me as the man who says, "Don't Sell Wheat." I ask you, is that fair play?

This prediction by Mr. McFarland in February 1936 came to pass. The world to-day is facing more or less of a shortage of wheat, owing to successive bad harvests in various countries. I did not bring with me to-night a copy of the Manchester Guardian which I had, containing an article written just about that time. The article said that the British crops in February last year were very badly damaged, as were the French and German crops-that is the winter crops-through too much precipitation. This would suggest that the main areas of Europe which need large importations of wheat were then realizing that their crop conditions were bad and that they would probably harvest a smaller crop than usual.

It is not only western members who should be interested in the wheat situation. Practically every farmer realizes that some just price-and when I say just price I mean a price which will give to the farmer the cost of production-must be accorded to the farmer not only for wheat but for dairy products and cattle, hogs and other products. The trouble is that for all the goods which the farmer has to sell he must accept the price offered by the buyer, but for everything he purchases he must pay a stipulated price which is based upon factory cost, plus the profits of wholesalers and retailers. It is evident that during periods of depression farmers' prices are below the cost of production; therefore a just price must be established for farmers' products which will give them at least the cost of production. The great majority of farmers in this country are most eager to obtain the economic equivalent of what the tariff gives to industry. That means that the farmers not only of eastern Canada but western Canada should have the prices of their goods to some extent stabilized, because the prices of factory products are stabilized through tariffs and through selling organizations. Farmers in western Canada are severely handicapped by reason of the fact that machinery costs them so much more because of the tariff. The investigations that are proceeding at the present time would seem to indicate that the tariff is not the only factor, and that selling organizations and factories seem able to put up prices to their own satisfaction.

When the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thorson) was speaking the other day he quoted figures regarding Switzerland and other European countries in an endeavour to show that the Bennett administration had lost our European markets. Of course, the hon. member was not really analysing the entire European situation. He knows, as all hon. members know, that a period of economic nationalism, brought about by fear, affected the entire import and export trade of every European country. At one of the conferences held by the international wheat committee a delegate from Switzerland remarked that wheat in that country was grown at altitudes much higher than was the case in other countries, and in very poor soil. Naturally the wheat was of very poor quality. But the Swiss government subsidized the growing of this wheat, just as the French government and the governments of other European countries subsidized their home products. In regard to the 31111-108

The Budget-Mr. Hayhurst

subsidy on Swiss wheat a British expert composed the following verse to illustrate the conditions that existed in most European countries:

Red is the wheat, denatured,

On which the fowl is fed;

Red the impending ruin About the farmer's head.

Red glow Helvetia's harvests Amid the glaciers cold Where every frozen wheat ear Has cost its weight in gold.

In 1934 even South Africa produced a surplus of wheat amounting to about 860,000 bags. In other words, the nations of the world, whether belonging to the British Empire or in Europe, were intent upon raising more of their own products and becoming as self-sufficient as possible. Because of the change in economic conditions and the determination of importing nations to become as self-sufficient as possible, flour milling standards were altered very radically; lower grade wheat was used, and other foods were substituted for bread. Prohibitive tariff walls agaiiist foreign wheat and the ever-increasing domestic production enabled. European countries so to reduce their import requirements that the entire world situation was affected. I should like to place on Hansard figures of the wheat imported by all European countries from 1930 to 1935:

1930- 31....

1931- 32....

1932- 33

1933- 34 ;; ;; ;; ;;

1934- 35 (to June 30, 1935) . . . !

Bushels

786.000. 000

770.000. 000

615.000. 000

523.000. 000

525.000. 000

The importing countries of Europe were endeavouring at all costs to become self-sufficient, and the high grade wheat of western Canada, which formerly commandied high prices because of its quality, became more and more ignored. At the same time cheaper wheats of lower quality from other countries were being substituted on a larger scale. This resulted in the building up of a huge surplus in Canada, but practically all political economists were agreed that the day would come when this surplus would be needed.

In their mad desire to become self-sufficient, practically every European country subsidized its farmers; and improved methods of land fertilization brought about increased yields. Even Sweden had a surplus of wheat of inferior quality, which was sold on the English market. Our highly developed and efficient wheat producing areas in Canada were competing with Poland, Russia, the Argentine, Australia and Roumania. In addition, we were met with bounties on wheat in Great Britain,

The Budget-Mr. Hayhurst

!

one year and compare it with the corresponding period in another year. In order to be fair, I think the hon. member (Mr. Brooks) should have followed the same procedure in giving his figures. When he gave the figures for October, 1935, he should also have given the parallel figures for October, 1936.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROOKS:

I stated that the latest figures I was able to get were for February, 1936.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

I quite appreciate that the hon. member made that statement. I should like to give the house the correct figures so that it will have the true picture before it of unemployment in our section of the country.

The hon. member stated that in October, 1935, there were 14,438 on relief in Nova Scotia. Those are the figures submitted to me by the unemployment relief branch. They are divided as follows: 2,804 heads of families and 11,634 others. The figures for October, 1936, show 6,171 unemployed, made up of 1,396 heads of families, and 4,775 others. There is a marked difference. Hon. members will see the decided improvement which has taken place when the figures for October, 1936, are compared with those for October, 1935. I know the hon. member had no desire of presenting these figures in an unfair way, and I hope he will pardon me for making this correction.

I turn now to the budget. It was my privilege during the past ten days to make a visit down east. When I travel on a train I do not make a habit of using a drawing room; I like to mix with people from whom I am likely to gain information. I go from the smoker to the first-class coach, and then into the pullman, and so on, and so I was able to get, in an interesting way, the reaction to the budget presented by the Minister of Finance. The reaction was such as to give me as a business man a lot of encouragement to carry on.

This afternoon the hon. member for Waterloo South (Mr. Edwards) said that he wanted to deal with the budget in a strictly businesslike manner. I desire to speak, not as a representative of one of the important centres of eastern Canada, Halif ax; nor as one who has always taken an active interest in board of trade matters in the city of Halifax; nor do I desire to speak as a business man; I desire to speak simply as a citizen of Canada and to express my appreciation to the Minister of Finance for his very able presentation of the budget. There are many pleasant things from a business standpoint disclosed in that budget. Not alone should the Minister of Finance be complimented; I believe some of the credit

belongs to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the members of his cabinet, who by their cooperation in concluding trade agreements with the United Kingdom and our neighbour to the south have made it possible for the minister to present a financial picture which certainly should, to use his own words, bring cheer and prosperity to the whole nation.

I am going back a few years to review the financial structure from the time of the golden era which began in 1896. In 1897 a budget of $38,000,000 was presented by the late Hon. W. S. Fielding, that Nova Scotian who stood so high in the esteem of the people of Canada. In 1913 a budget of $112,000,000 was presented by Sir Thomas White. Passing along to the year 1932, we find that the budget was presented by the Hon. E. N. Rhodes, who estimated revenues at $311,735,000. Finally we come down to the Dunning budget of 1936, amounting to $452,123,000. I wish to show that the present budget represents a surplus this year. In doing so, I would mention that in 1932 the total revenue was $311,735,000, and ordinary expenditures $354,643,000, showing a deficit for the year of $42,908,000. Turning to the picture to-day we find an estimated revenue of $452,123,000, and an expenditure of $391,860,000, leaving a surplus of $60,307,000. Over the short period of four years there is a change in the financial picture from a deficit to a surplus representing a turnover of $103,171.000. Surely the people of Canada placed their trust in the right man as Minister of Finance when they sent to parliament the Hon. Charles A. Dunning.

Hon. members on the other side will immediately turn their thoughts to where the revenue comes from. I admit it comes from the pockets of the people. You cannot get it otherwise than through taxes. If you are going to spend a certain amount in business you must take it in before you can spend it if you are doing business on sound lines.

May I point out one or two items which naturally will come to our attention. First, there is an increase in income tax from approximately $82,000,000 to $102,000,000, and in sales tax from $77,552,000 to $115,500,000. It seems to me that this increase is necessary if the government is to carry out the request made to the Minister of Finance by the Canadian chambers of commerce that no unnecessary expenditures should be undertaken and that a closer relationship be established between revenue and expenditure, even if this necessitated increased taxation. That request was made last year. But what do we find this year? Not a single tax has been added,

The Budget-Mr. Isnor

and yet a very much brighter financial picture is presented to the Canadian people. I believe that business men throughout the dominion will welcome this budget and will regard it as having done much to restore confidence in our business institutions.

The hon. member for Waterloo South (Mr. Edwards) questioned to-day the wisdom of restoring the five per cent salary cut to the civil service employees. I take an altogether different view. I believe it will be accepted generally throughout the dominion as a move in the right direction. It will release something like $3,000,000 of purchasing power, to be disposed of by large numbers of people who are not hoarders of gold but who will put into circulation their increased spending power. On the whole, from a business standpoint, instead of being criticized the government should be commended for restoring the cut. I am reminded of some words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox which I copied from the wall of a restaurant the other evening, while waiting for my meal:

Don't look for the flaws when going through life, And even when you find them

It is wise enough to be somewhat blind And look for the virtue behind them.

I commend the thought contained in those lines to hon. members opposite who during the last ten days have persisted in looking for flaws and searching for omissions in the trade agreements, rather than recognizing the benefits to be derived through them in increased business and employment.

May I briefly touch upon the matter of grants for assistance to the prairie provinces, and more particularly to the agricultural interests, as compared with the amounts provided to help the fishermen or the fishing industry. I have the figures since 1920. but I do not propose to read them all. For instance, in 1920-21 we find that $1,275,000 was devoted to fisheries; as against that we spent $3,903,000 on agriculture. Right down the line one finds very little variation in the votes so far as fisheries are concerned, until in 1936, as compared with 1935, we find a decrease instead of an increase. In 1935-36 the amount voted for fisheries was $1,753,012, and for 1936-37 the amount was only $1,407,900.

Let us compare that with the increases for agriculture. In 1921 we spent $3,903,000 on agriculture, and last year $7,117,341.39. If there is need for this amount of money I have no objection. I am not one of those who believe in bonuses and subsidies as a rule, but if the prairie provinces need the assistance then I say it is good business. But if you do it in the one case, it is also good business to do it in the other, when our fisheries show

such a decline in production. We do not ask that these moneys be given to our fishermen m the form of a dole or relief. What we do ask, what we press for-and I support the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth-Clare (Mr. Pottier) in his plea-is enlarged markets. We believe that if the government makes provision whereby we can secure enlarged markets then the fishermen will take care of themselves.

Possibly we in the maritime provinces have not said enough; perhaps we have not said as much about the fisheries as the prairie provinces have said about wheat. We may be to blame in that regard, but this year we are united. We are demanding of the government more serious consideration for the maritime provinces in the east, and that applies also to the maritime province in the west. We are asking for serious consideration, and if markets are provided for us we will take care of ourselves.

Just one more figure in connection with agriculture. I find that including the special supplementary estimates, the .sum of $10,090,-4S1.65 is to be expended this year on agriculture. What do we find in connection with the fisheries? Compare $10,000,000 for agriculture with $2,194,582 for fisheries, including the fishing bounty and the supplementary estimate. And when the $500,000 is brought forward in the special supplementary estimates for promoting the fisheries of the maritime provinces, the statement is at once made: Once again the maritimes are digging into the treasury. These figures will show what we have to contend against. We have no fault to find with the west, but we do ask in all sincerity that the west give us its support.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

We have been keeping the east too long.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

Somebodv says, "We have

been keeping the east too long." I do not know who said that, but I dare him to stand up and repeat it. All I can say is, I am glad he is alone on the other side, for I do not believe his colleagues share that opinion. I am surprised that any hon. member should take the stand in this house that we in the east have been treated in too friendly a manner, that we have been treated too kindly. Surely the hon. gentleman who made the remark cannot mean that. Where would the west be if it were not for the east? We have sent able men from the east to every part of Canada. We, in the east, are not conceited, but in years gone by we did send the brains of the country to different parts of Canada. I hope the hon. gentleman will read a little history and become acquainted with what the east has done for the rest of Canada.

The Budget-Mr. Isnor

I should like to discuss the railways and die national harbours board, but I will leave that until the appropriate estimates are before us. I believe, however, that it is very necessary, as one member said this evening, that we should face the problems of the railways and taxation.

Before getting away from the budget I wish to refer to a matter I discussed when the post office estimates were before the house. Looking at the expenditures tabled by the Minister of Finance, I find a surplus shown in the Post Office Department. I repeat, that until we have a true financial picture showing on one side of the balance sheet the total revenue, derived from all sources, credited to the Post Office Department, and on the other side the total expenditures, including all rentals and all incidentals, the people will not have a proper idea of the financial standing of this branch of government. If it is necessary to set up, as has been done in the public accounts, a balance sheet reflecting the affairs of the dominion as a whole, then I suggest that each one of the departments should be shown in a similar manner so that we might know whether a particular department was paying its way or not.

On behalf of the people of Halifax I extend to both the former and the present administration their thanks for the splendid new building recently erected in our city to house the post office and other government branches. So often we fight for some particular project, and then forget to thank those who provided us with that facility. In Halifax we have a very fine building. It was badly needed, although I doubt very much whether it will be large enough; but in any case I wish on behalf of the people to extend our thanks for it.

On behalf of the people along our rugged coast line I should also like to thank the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Cardin). A great many members do not realize the hardships, which the fishermen undergo. This has been touched on upon more than one occasion, but I wish that hon. members could travel with me along those rugged shores of Nova Scotia. I was privileged last summer, when the Canadian Bar Association held its convention in Halifax, to welcome several members of this house and to show them some of what we at any rate regard as scenic beauty spots in our province. I should like to take hon. members into the fishing villages, so that they might see for themselves just how our fishermen exist. The conditions were described by the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth-Clare yesterday.

I mention this to bring home to the Minister of Public Works the fact that in providing breakwaters for these people he and the government have on more than one occasion saved the life savings of the fishermen of these communities. Let me picture a small settlement of perhaps fifteen fishermen. Gradually a wall has been raised which closes them in with the exception of a very small opening through which they sail out to the fishing grounds. I can point to any number where there is just enough space to enter and leave that shelter. I particularly stress this, in order that when we make a request on behalf of these people, the minister may give it very favourable consideration, not looking solely at the dollars that it is going to cost, but rather to the effect it is going to have in making it possible for those people to continue to provide for themselves and their families. I wish to express my thanks to

the minister for what he has done, looking also to building in the future those breakwaters that are so sorely needed along certain sections along our coast line.

I have mentioned one distinguished Nova Scotian this evening, the late Hon. W. S. Fielding, and I should like now-and I know I am speaking the thought in the minds of many hon. members-to express our regret at the illness of a former Minister of Finance, Hon. E. N. Rhodes.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted again to express appreciation to the Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister, and the members of his cabinet for a budget which I believe signifies great progress towards the solution of two great problems, those of reducing the annual deficit and lessening the need to expend huge sums on unemployment. I would ask that further consideration be given to these two subjects during the present year, as unless we find a solution for them we shall not see the happy and prosperous days that we hope are before Canada. Even a partial solution of these two great problems would give great hope to the taxpayer and a sense of cheer to all Canadians. I believe a door of hope and cheer has been opened by the Minister of Finance, and I congratulate him upon his splendid forward step in the direction of recovery.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

March 11, 1937