March 14, 1938

CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

Why do hon. gentlemen not start their own bank in Alberta?

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SC
CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

Let them start their own bank and make their own money.

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

We may start a citizens' bank, but not a government bank.

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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

We will give the hon. member's party a charter.

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

We may take the hon. member up on that.

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CON
?

An hon. MEMBER:

It would be only

another bank.

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

If you give us a charter we want to make our own terms of operation.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB
SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

Not your terms. The platform upon which this group was elected was one of monetary reform. The platform upon which the Liberal party was elected was that of monetary reform; yet now we find the Liberal party in power denying the right to a province to carry on the mandate which they themselves told the people of Canada they believed in. It reminds me of how Liberals in Alberta appeal to the people. They have two catch

phrases: One. "Down with Aberhart"; the other one, "Put good, sound business men in government." Turn for a moment to the history of "business" administration in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Taking first our own province, lo and behold we find that the government debt alone of Alberta amounts to $168,000,000, which debt was created by these same "sound" business men. We turn to Saskatchewan and find the same condition. It was not Aberhart, but these sound business men, who were responsible for that; and now they expect the people to be so stupid as to believe that this sound business policy of sound business men is all that is needed. They should have learned by this time that there is a big difference between private business and public business. When industry wants to reduce its expenditures because it is selling a smaller volume of goods, it fires its employees and assumes no further responsibility for them. But a government cannot do that. When these people pour out of the back door of industry they come to the front door of government. That is the important difference.

So the western country is insolvent, and, according to the brief submitted by Saskatchewan to the Rowell commission, the indebtedness per acre is greater than the value of the land itself. We find the debts of the municipalities pyramiding year after year. We find the debts of the provinces increasing. Yet when someone in this corner of the house mentions monetary reform, the issue of money in terms of public need, he is held up to ridicule. Well, I believe that the times and the circumstances of the times are with us. The Liberal party may win a few more by-elections; no doubt it may and it will express many platitudes and much sympathy for the people of Canada. But winning by-elections and singing sweet praises of "our industrious people" are not enough. The day is past for that kind of thing. What the people want is action. They do not want platitudes; they demand economic planning. The youth of this country are asking for a chance; they want life and opportunity. If they do not get these in a few years from now they will not ask this parliament any more; they will do as they have done in Germany; they will throw our opponents out where they should go if they do not get on with the job. These are the facts.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh. oh.

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SC
?

An hon. MEMBER:

The hon. member

ought to know.

Use of Canada's Financial Resources

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

It is too serious a matter

to laugh about. I shall express my feelings plainly: it is all very well for hon. members who are getting four, six and ten thousand dollars a year to smile and giggle; but two or three hundred yards from this building they will find, in the homes of the poor, young men deteriorating while the Liberal government goes on. It is no laughing matter. Hon. members should be ashamed of themselves. An attitude of levity is not the proper attitude for parliamentarians to take. I hope a certain hon. member will groan to an entirely different purpose before very long; and when the Minister of Finance goes out to Edmonton, as I trust he will, let him tell the people there all that this Liberal government has not done.

The world to-day is a small world; people everywhere are turning their minds to the question of money. They recognize that it is the key position to the solution of many of our social evils. They know, as indeed any boy in kindergarten knows, that if a nation can produce plenty there should not be starvation. I wonder if they taught that in the Liberal school. Even an ass when he is hungry will not pass a pile of hay without taking a nibble; but human beings are deprived of that privilege; if they go into a restaurant and get a meal for which they have not the means of payment they are put in gaol and termed communists or classed with disreputable people. But when war comes, that evens everything up. The thin shoulders of the poor snap back; they are the first to have a uniform; then they get a dollar ten a day and are treated as Canadians, taking their place in Canadian society.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

That is true. It is a true picture.

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

It is a true picture, and hon. members cannot laugh it out of existence. These are some of the A plus B theorems as I know them. To-day all the people of the British Commonwealth of Nations are turning their attention to this thing called money. They want to know the nature of it. History tells us that in the past most parliamentarians knew nothing of money, and the situation has not changed much since. Listen to men who have passed on, men who made great contributions to their country. For instance Thomas Jefferson said:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.

F. G. Bonfils, former owner and editor of the Denver Post, said:

All gold produced in the world in 428 years would make a block thirty-eight feet square. Nearly two billion people are tied by the leg to this golden fetish.

Mr. S. P. Chase, secretary of the treasury from 1861 to 1864, chief justice of the United States supreme court from 1864 to 1873, said:

My agency in promoting the passage of the National Bank Act was the greatest financial mistake of my life. It has built up a monopoly which affects every interest in the country. It should be repealed; but before that can be accomplished the people will be arrayed on one side and the banks on the other, in a contest such as we have never seen before in this country.

Now let us review for a moment the latest campaign in the United States when seventy-five per cent of the press was against President Roosevelt because his battle was against money, a battle for the liberties of the people. With whom do we find the press aligning itself? Exactly the same thing happened in this country with social credit in Alberta. People who fight against the money power can expect no mercy and no justice from the press. I am glad to see that some men in the Canadian parliament have seen the difficulty which faces us. For instance, the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) said:

Canada on the dole is like a young and vigorous man in the poorhouse. The dole is a condemnation, final and complete, of our economic system. If we cannot abolish the dole we should abolish the system.

With that I agree. Men are not made for systems; systems should be made for men to use. That, I contend, is the duty of this government. The time for apathy, for political manoeuvring and bickering in thii Canadian parliament should be past. An engineering problem confronts us. It makes no difference where the suggestion comes from, or from what party, we should all be associated together in grappling with this problem. I turn to the ministerial benches; I ask the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) this question, Have you any solution within the framework of the present monetary system to provide employment for the unemployed in this country?

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SC
SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

Without causing inflation? I turn to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Howe) and ask him, Have you any method of dealing with the railway deficits under the present system? I turn to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) and ask him, Can you give the ex-service men of this country an

1328 COMMONS

Use of Canada's Financial Resources

adequate standard of living commensurate with the services they rendered to this country and the productive capacity of the country? And they answer, We have no money. We find that money is the root of the whole thing. Splitting hairs over irrelevant matters will not bring us one step nearer the goal. It has been said by the leader of our group that we are not a political party; that we are an economic group. We believe that the duty of parliament is to call in experts to carry out the mandate given by the people. Parliament should place upon the statute books the necessary legislation to carry out the mandate of the people. It is from the people of Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific that we get our power; it is their wishes that we come here to fulfil, not some pet theory of the Minister of Finance.

Many people are taking an interest in monetary reform. Let us turn for a moment to the church; let me quote from a letter from the Very Rev. Paul Stacey, of Coventry, England:

In the past they have endeavoured to link the need for monetary reform with an understanding of Christian values, and to obtain united Christian support. This policy has caused many misunderstandings, but it is now generally realized that we have been working along the right lines.

Commenting on a statement issued by various churches concerning the need of monetary reform, a United Christian petition campaign is being started, and a petition to parliament prepared, similar to the petition to the king in council, to be used simultaneously in England and the dominions. The object of the parliamentary petition is to enable the dominions to bring pressure to bear upon their parliaments while cooperating in the empire petition to the king, and to enable Christian people in other countries to join in the united action by petitioning their legislative bodies and arousing public opinion. The relation between the monetary reformer and the Christian petition movement is obvious. The petition is an instrument for mobilizing public support which will enable the new economies to be given a fair trial. The statement of the various churches referred to maintains that:

The notion that our souls may find salvation whilst we are indifferent to the needs of our brethen whose souls are warped through living under evil social conditions, or, on the other hand, through amassing great wealth by methods injurious to their fellow' men-a condition contrary to Christian teaching and to common sense.

Widespread poverty in an age of abundance, and the inability of great nations to find employment for hundreds of thousands of their citizens-except when they are preparing for war-are the major symptoms of the general disorder.

One of the primary functions of the state is to safeguard and foster the material and

spiritual wellbeing of the individual and the home. As long as the state fulfils this function it is entitled to respect and has a rightful claim on our loyal allegiance.

The church must reject financial dictatorship, because it treats man as a machine, whereas in fact he is a child of God.

Under the leadership of the Pope and the Archbishop of York respectively, a group of leading men in both churches have declared that we must work to suppress the private monopoly of credit. And both are explicit as to the means and objective.

I could read dozens of quotations from prominent church people. When I spoke last in this house I challenged the ministers of the crown for just one hour in their busy lives to put aside their parliamentary duties and go and see how the other half lives. Go down to the soup kitchens; see these men shovelling snow for relief. The press accuses them of cheating and chiselling. It is a crime the way we are making cheats and chisellers of the poor. We make them sign an affidavit that they have not earned $2 outside their relief. A man has to choose between swearing a false affidavit or buying a child a pair of shoes, and like a Christian he swears the false affidavit and buys the shoes. I could go on and on, but I wonder whether anyone will ever rise in this house and make an impression upon the government as to what faces them. I wish hon. members would lose their incomes for a while; I wish they were cast adrift like thousands of Canadians; then they would get a more complete education in six weeks than they have had in the last twenty years.

The Minister of Finance, again speaking in Edmonton, told Alberta that if it voted against the Liberal party it would be a clear indication that it wanted to remain away from the other provinces. Well, just a moment; since when was there such unity among the Liberal governments of Canada? We find a motion introduced in the Manitoba legislature by Mr. Turnbull calling upon this government to bring about monetary reform, and that resolution was adopted. We find some disagreement between Mr. Duplessis and this government; we find some disagreement between Mr. Hepburn and this government, and I have a suspicion that even the members of the party in this house do not all agree.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in conclusion I should like to say a few words about western Canada.

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March 14, 1938