January 23, 1939

CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I thought New Brunswick was missed.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I am glad my hon. friend mentioned that. This is a registration of those receiving material aid. For the last year-I may have to correct that and say the last two years, but I will make sure later- the province of New Brunswick has not distributed relief, and for that reason we do not get returns from them of material aid. All the other provinces do send in the returns. As these figures come in to the registration branch, which was transferred to the Department of Labour after the national employment commission was dissolved, they are

carefully collected and the information is assembled by sorting machines. This composes the report from time to time of registration statistics of those on relief. This information has been found extremely useful, and not only in connection with the government's publication of these figures and the separation of agricultural aid from urban aid; it has proven to be of considerable value to the municipalities and the provinces. The registration forms go through these other agencies which distribute direct relief.

I should like to place on Hansard, as I did last year, the results of the latest registration by regions in this country. As hon. members are all aware, this country practically divides itself into four regions, the maritime provinces, the central provinces, the prairie provinces and British Columbia. In setting forth these registrations figures last year I thought it would useful if I indicated the trend in each region. I may say briefly that in the two years from November, 1936, to November, 1938, the three zones other than the prairie provinces showed reductions in total numbers of persons on aid. The maritimes recorded a reduction of 43-7 per cent; central Canada of 43-3 per cent; British Columbia of 14-3 per cent, while the prairie provinces showed an increase of 12'5 per cent. In urban aid alone all zones showed a decrease: 44-1 per cent in the maritimes; 37-7 per cent in central Canada; 2-3 per cent in the prairie provinces and 14-2 per cent in British Columbia. In agricultural aid decreases were shown in other than the prairie provinces, where an increase of 22'5 per cent was recorded. Agricultural aid is not a large factor in the three other zones, however. In the two years to November, 1938. the dominion total of persons on both urban and agricultural aid reduced by 22-7 per cent; in the same period the dominion total on urban aid reduced by 29-2 per cent and on agricultural aid, by 6-1 per cent.

I want to take the house entirely into the confidence of the government with respect to these figures. They are given, I need hardly say, exactly as they come to us from the registration branch month by month; and during the past year, particularly in recent months, the figures have not been as encouraging as they were earlier in the year.

From November, 1937, to November, 1938, the prairie provinces showed 20-2 per cent reduction in totals of all classes on aid, while increases wore shown in the other zones as follows: Maritime provinces, 8-3 per cent; central Canada, 8-4 per cent; and British Columbia, 9-8 per cent. Comparing the changes in numbers on urban aid only as

The Address-Mr. Rogers

between the same dates, the maritime provinces showed an increase of 8-0 per cent; Ontario and Quebec, of 6-9 per cent; and British Columbia of 9-4 per cent; in this comparison the prairie provinces showed a reduction of 5-7 per cent. Agricultural aid showed a decrease in the prairie provinces from November, 1937, to 1938 of 26'4 per cent, but each of the other three zones showed increases in numbers on agricultural aid-though agricultural aid is not a considerable factor apart from the prairie provinces.

Net changes in the dominion totals in the year to November, 1937, were: a decrease of 7-7 per cent in the total of all persons on aid; an increase of 3-5 per cent in the totals on urban aid; and a decrease of 23'6 per cent in the total on agricultural aid.

To sum up: from November, 1936, to November, 1938, the grand total of all persons on material aid decreased by 22-7 per cent, and, comparing the same months in

1937 and 1938, there was a decrease of 7-7 per cent from 1937. Numbers on urban aid decreased by 29-2 per cent in the two years to November, 1938, although from 1937 to

1938 there was an increase of 3-5 per cent. Numbers on agricultural aid were 6-1 per cent more in November, 1938, than in November, 1936, but were 23-6 per cent less in November, 1938, than in November 1937.

If the house will permit me I should like to place this material on Hansard just as it is given, for the information of members, also tables which I think might be useful: '

. From the National Registration

Percentage Changes m Total Numbers on Material Aid from November, 1937, to November 1938, and from November, 1936, to November, 1938 '

Urban Aid and Agricultural Aid are Shown Separately

Mari times

Central Canada

Prairie Provinces.. .. British Columbia.. ..

Dominion

Percentage change November. 1937 to 1938

Urban Agricultural

aid aid Total+ 8-0 +22-3 + 8-3+ 6-9 +64-1 + 8-4- 5-7 -26-4 -20'2+ 9-4 + 13-0 + 9-8-f 3-5 -23-6 - 7-7

Percentage change November, 1936 to 1938

Urban Agricultural

aid *'igt iUUltUlcti aid Total-44-1 - 5-1 -43-7-37-7 -82-4 -43-3- 2-3 +22-5 + 12-5-14-2 -15-6 -14-3-29-2 - 6-1 -22-7

Dominion Totals on Material Aid

on Urban Aid

on Agricultural Aid

Total

*November

532.000

277.000

809,000

November

363.073

513,475

876,548

November

750,906

295,461

1,046,367

'Figures for November, 1938, are subject to revision.

So much for the past; so much for the

present,

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Before the minister gets

away from unemployment registration, might I ask him to make this clear, that there is not to-day outside of those on aid any registration of the unemployed, either transients or any other group of the unemployed. That is my understanding.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

My hon. friend is entirely

correct. The registration is confined to those who are in receipt of material aid, and who register for material aid. In fact, it is their registration that enables the figures to be got.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That was exactly the position I took the other day. The minister and

his leader criticized us very severely because we had no registration of the unemployed, and I pointed out that there was still no registration of them.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Oh, but there is.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Of those on aid only.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Of those on aid. But my

hon. friend did not say that.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Oh, pardon me; I made

that very clear.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

So far as the future policy is concerned I should like to indicate briefly now the principles which will govern this government in its agreements with the provinces during the next fiscal year, and I hope

The Address-Mr. Rogers

the house will grant me its indulgence if in order to avoid any error or misunderstanding I follow my notes rather closely.

1. Grants in aid. The dominion government is prepared to pay dollar for dollar with provincial governments for material aid (direct relief) up to a maximum federal contribution of forty per cent in each province. Under the maximum this would mean in general terms a forty-forty-twenty division of the costs of material aid among the three authorities, the dominion, the province, and the municipality. Under the proposed agreements the dominion government will provide for a sharing of the cost of aid given to transients on a fifty-fifty basis with the province.

2. Civic improvements. The dominion government is prepared to offer its cooperation to provicial governments which wish to enable certain of their municipalities to enlarge their normal programs of civic improvements as an alternative to direct relief. To this end the dominion government under its agreements with the provinces will contribute fifty per cent of the direct labour costs of such projects as have been submitted by municipalities and approved by the provin-ical and dominion governments, it being understood that the provincial government in the case of such approved projects will also contribute fifty per cent of the direct labour costs and the municipality will bear the cost of materials and supervision. In approving applications from municipalities for assistance to civic improvements, due consideration will be given to (a) the extent of unemployment in the municipality, and (b) the value of the proposed improvement to the community and the relative cost of materials in relation to the total cost of the project. The employment on approved programs of civic improvements will be supervised, at least in the larger municipalities, by a committee which shall represent each of the three contributing governments. This will ensure that the expenditures on civic improvements will have their maximum effect in reducing relief rolls, and will reduce at the same time the expenditures of the several governments in the municipality for material aid to the unemployed. This form of assistance to civic improvements will not be available to municipal projects which are accepted for another form of federal aid under the Municipal Improvements Assistance Act.

3. Single unemployed persons and transients.

(a) Youth training. Proposals will be

submitted to parliament to increase the usefulness and efficiency of this project by ensuring its continuity over the next three years. On the basis of the existing federal

appropriation, an annual sum of S3,000,000 is now available through joint contributions for the dominion-provincial youth training program.

(b) Other projects. As announced in the speech from the throne, the assistance given to forest conservation will be extended to other work of national importance in order to provide an opportunity for useful work and national service to single unemployed men. It is intended to develop both federal and dominion-provincial projects in order to extend the employment and training available to single unemployed men under the forest conservation and farm employment plans now in operation in British Columbia and the prairie provinces.

4. Public works. It is proposed to continue, and in some cases to extend, the various projects of conservation and development which have been placed before parliament in special supplementary estimates at previous sessions. These projects include-and I think it is only fair to emphasize the range of them- aid given to trans-Canada and tourist highways, mining roads, national parks, historic sites, airports, water conservation, rehabilitation of drought areas, elimination of level crossings, and harbour developments. Particulars of these projects will appear in the supplementary estimates.

I am afraid, Mr. Speaker, that my time has almost expired, but I felt it of particular importance not only to this house but to those outside that there should be as early as possible this statement of the principles that will guide the dominion government in its agreements with the provinces during the coming fiscal year. May I say that these are policies laid down in pursuance of the experience gained by us in dealing with this problem during the past three years. There is in these policies, I believe, not only the means through which the municipalities which have suffered under a very considerable weight of taxation in recent years will be relieved of a measure of that burden, as we relieved them before, a few months after we came into office; we believe that these, with other measures taken to stimulate the building industry, will lead to a still further increase in building construction in this country during the forthcoming year.

So far as civic improvements are concerned, because of the condition of the municipalities in recent years,- there is no doubt whatever that there is now a very considerable body of deferred works which could usefully be done for the advantage of our people. I am not going to specify particularly any kind of a definition which will confine these civic

The Address-Mr. Rogers

improvements under these plans; but broadly speaking I would hope that under this plan it would be possible for us in this country greatly to increase our facilities for parks and playgrounds and swimming pools, and those things which will not only contribute as an aid to unemployment but assist also in the greater health and happiness of our people, particularly in slum areas.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

May I ask the minister if housing would come under that category?

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I do not believe that

housing would come under that category. But the dominion government has, under other legislation, dealt in a very comprehensive way with housing. Under this legislation, however, very useful work could be done in clearing away condemned buildings as a means of opening the way for housing plans under part II of the National Housing Act.

Apart entirely from what has been indicated here, I should like once more to stress the importance of this government or any government receiving the broadest kind of cooperation from employers generally throughout this country in doing what they reasonably can do, even at some risk, to increase their working staffs during this coming year. I have 'been told sometimes of employers who have done this and who have received a large measure of satisfaction from knowing that in this way they were making their own contribution to the problem. Because-let us make no mistake about it-if private employment is not able to take up the slack; if private industry acting with governments, and having a knowledge that governments are doing their part, does not itself do its part toward that objective, there will be thrown ultimately upon democratic government such a pressure of opinion in favour of public employment that government itself will be asked to undertake burdens which it is not equipped to bear. I think we should remember that.

Attention is given from time to time to figures other than those that I have quoted. The other day my hon. friend quoted from the Canadian Welfare. Council bulletin that some $900,000,000 has been spent since 1930 for relief in this country. I am not sure what purpose my hon. friend had in quoting that figure. I am not suggesting for a moment that he used it as an indictment of this government; because as a matter of fact if it was an indictment at all, five-eighths of the indictment belongs to the late administration of my hon. friend and only three-eighths of it to us. But that figure, I should 71492-15

like to point out, does not represent, to my mind at least, money wasted; it represents rather what this country with other countries has had to do in critical times to conserve it3 population and sustain them in a period of unemployment. One might as well figure the costs of education, of public health, of veterans' pensions and of other services and say, what is there to show for it? There is this to show for it. Apart entirely from the fact that a part of that $900,000,000, possibly forty per cent, includes money spent on useful works under both administrations-I am not confining this to our administration- surely we can say that this expenditure is one which was called for by the circumstances, and any government having a sense of its responsibility is bound to deal with it to the best of its ability.

Other figures were quoted by my hon. friend from the bulletin of the Canadian Welfare Council. He quoted figures, which up to now I have not been able to confirm, with respect to the numbers of youth unemployed in this country. I wish I had time to go into that question-I shall have another opportunity later-because there is something there which needs to be cleared up; and some of our papers in this country would, I think, be wise if before they published those figures they would allow those in authority an opportunity to make comments upon them.

There is no reason why we in this country should adopt a policy of discouragement or defeatism with regard to this or any other problem. The figures which I gave a moment ago, and which will be placed upon Hansard, represent I believe more progress relatively with respect to unemployment than has been made either in Great Britain or in the United States in the same period. As a matter of fact my hon. friend, if he had read down a little further on the bulletin of the Canadian Welfare Council, would have found this statement, that in the United States at this time there are 21,000,000 on relief. The population of the United States is about ten times that of Canada. If we had an equivalent number on relief here, we would have more than double the number which we actually have at the present time. My hon. friend would also have found this statement, that in the last year some 400,000 more unemployed have gone on the unemployed lists in Great Britain than in the previous year. I take no satisfaction in the fact that this situation exists in other countries, but I deplore the kind of attitude in this country

The Address-Mr. Rogers

which is willing to turn its back on the sunlight and think of this question only in terms of discouragement.

I should like to assure this house that this government from the beginning, although at times its progress may have seemed slow and at times perhaps it may have been open to the charge that we were taking too much care before we proceeded in a given direction, at all events has proceeded resolutely upon lines which we felt would lead us utimately towards a sound solution. There is no defeatism here; there is no discouragement; and although there are times, I confess, when one encounters reverses, let us remember that this battle of unemployment is not fought on one front alone; it is fought on a long battle-front, and sometimes we may have to retreat on one sector, sometimes we may have to consolidate our position along the whole line; there is not always an advance. But I believe that, given the kind of cooperation, the kind of enterprise and initiative that exists in this country, at least potentially, it is not beyond the powers of government, and citizenship, to make steady progress towards the solution of this problem of unemployment.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. J. BARBER (Fraser Valley):

Permit me first to tender congratulations to the two hon. members who have been chosen as members of the privy council. I think I can safely say that I can count them both among my friends in this house, and I am sure they will fill their respective positions to the satisfaction of the party to which they belong.

The announcement in this message to parliament that Their Majesties King George and Queen Elizabeth have graciously decided to visit Canada this spring has been received with rejoicing in British Columbia. The people of the Fraser valley, Mr. Speaker, will give their majesties a right royal welcome.

It is not my intention to deal at length or in detail with the several matters that appear in this message to parliament. I shall try to confine my remarks to what we in this country have come to realize is our greatest problem, that of unemployment and relief, a matter upon which we have had-I was going to say-during the last forty minutes a very informative address by the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers): I will qualify that, and say that at least part of it was informative; the other was a criticism of my leader and a request for cooperation not only from manufacturers but, I believe, from members of this house in connection with this great problem.

Speaking of cooperation, those of us who sat in this house from 1930 to 1935 realize what cooperation the government of the day received from the followers of the present government when they were seated in opposition. Every measure brought down which tended to improve conditions in this country was held up and criticized for days. At no time during that five years did we receive any cooperation whatever from the members of the then opposition; they played party politics all the time.

I quite agree that the program announced this afternoon by the minister, indicating the several projects that are proposed, will be of some benefit, and will, or at least should, relieve to a certain extent the conditions that now prevail. But by no means will that program solve the great problem that faces us. The minister has repeated the paragraphs in the speech from the throne which inform us about what the government has done in the past and for which great credit is claimed. And he has also told us what they propose to do this session. I do not think he quite completed that program, and it would be only fair to the house and to the country that I should fill in this government's record in the handling of the problem from the year 1935.

What have my hon. friends opposite done to correct the condition? We are told to-day of the only proposal which they have to remedy the situation. Let me first remind the government that the Liberal party was returned with a clear mandate in 1935 to deal with the unemployment problem. In this regard I cannot do better than quote from an editorial appearing in this morning's issue of the Ottawa Citizen. It puts the matter better perhaps than I can state it:

The Liberals came into office in 1935 under circumstances as favourable as any party could desire. They had escaped the responsibility for conditions of depression in the five years from 1930. The blame had been fastened heavily upon Mr. Bennett. During the years without the responsibility of office, the Liberals had enjoyed ample opportunity to profit by the mistakes made in government policy. They persuaded the electorate that, with a clear majority in parliament, Liberal policy would correct the conditions of unemployment, transient youth and general insecurity. They were given an absolute mandate.

The people took them at their word and returned them to power with a majority larger than that given to any party in the history of this country.

The minister has told us about housing, about youth training, about assistance to agriculture, and something about forestry. May

The Address-Mr. Barber

I take the house back to 1936. If hon. members will read the speech from the throne presented at that session they will find in it a paragraph informing the house that the camps for unemployed single men were being transferred from the Department of National Defence to the Department of Labour and that at a very early date they would be closed. Of course the camps were never transferred from one department to the other, but they were finally closed. The equipment was carefully sorted, graded and packed, and finally camps and equipment were disposed of. The minister, speaking of these camps at the time, said:

They cannot be supported on grounds either of social utility or of government economy . . . to continue them would encourage an attitude of hopelessness on the part of those for whom they were designed.

Well, within three years the camps were reestablished in British Columbia.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

But on a different basis,

if I may say so.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

They are just about the

same, no matter what basis they are on. There are some twenty-two in British Columbia to-day, and before leaving for the east I was informed that there were 1,900 men in the camps and about 2,000 on the waiting list. The minister says that they are on a different basis, but if you look at the speech from the throne you will find that provision is being made not only for the maintenance of these camps but also for their extension to other work. I wonder if the minister has decided, on the grounds of social utility and government economy, to return to that system.

Talking about camps, perhaps I had better tell a little about one of them. I have here an editorial that appeared on January 11, 1939, in a weekly publication, one of the best weekly papers in Canada, published in my district. This is what the editor has to say:

The story of the forestry camp at Cultus Lake since early in November, the closing chapter of which is, we hope, about to be written, is another illustration of the futility of the country's method of dealing with the problem, and- single transient unemployed particularly; of the wastage of public funds, and what is infinitely worse, the wastage of human fibre.

Arrests for misbehaviour in the camp, in the city, and elsewhere have placed some 16 of the men in jail where they are kept at the expense of innocent ratepayers of organized communities. Others have been dismissed and turned into the highways to roam where they may. Brawls 71492-155

have taken place, women insulted, and generally a state of apprehension created as rumour followed rumour of planned outlawry.

The camp here is not an isolated case. And this is the character of the fruitage after nine years of effort and an expenditure of $900,000.000. If this is democracy, what is worse? might well be asked.

This canker of unemployment, aided by a clashing of jurisdictions, and the apathy of many, is sending out its tentacles in unsuspected directions. There is no question about it but that it is threatening the vitals of democracy and Canadian well-being. Yet the country fails to come to grips with the issue.

That gives you a fair idea of what the camps are. They have all the bad features which the minister complained of in the previous camps. Following the closing of the camps the minister had the bright idea of putting a large number of these men to work. He said he had made arrangements with the railways, through the minister in charge of that department, to take on some ten thousand men on what is known as deferred maintenance work. We find that less than eight thousand men stuck out the season, and the cost to the country was something over $2,300,000. We have not heard any more of that particular kind of project for the employment of those who are out of work to-day. Then we come to the appointment of the commission. We were advised of this in the speech from the throne in 1936. Provision was to be made- . . . for the establishment of a representative national commission, which will cooperate with the provinces and municipalities in an endeavour to provide work for the unemployed, and the supervision of unemployment relief.

From that one would naturally take it that the commission would be clothed with administrative powers. I think that was generally understood by parliament, that they would have power to travel throughout the country, arrange matters on the spot with municipalities and cities, and supervise the paying out- of relief. But we found that the powers of this commission were simply of an advisory nature. The chairman was an outstanding Canadian who undertook the work without pay or expense, solely in the interests of Canada, and I think all who have followed the commission's work and studied its report will admit that he was the brains of the commission. One member was a labour man; the rest were fairly representative of the Liberal workers in this country. They were brought down to Ottawa, furnished with offices and paid the handsome living allowance of $30 a day along with their travelling expenses. One thing that the government did themselves, and did not leave to the commission, was to keep these particular people off relief.

The Address-Mr. Barber

For two years this commission collected information and finally filed a report with statistics and recommendations. Did the government act on those recommendations? I think we can credit them with having acted on some of the minor ones, but on the major recommendation no action was taken and we hear no more of the report of this commission. After all these efforts, coupled with those of which the minister has told us to-day, in addition to the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars, this government has not even come to grips with this great problem of unemployment and relief. What have we today? The minister has told us that we have still a large number of unemployed. Among these there has grown up a class of shiftless, rudderless men, some at present concentrated in camps, others roaming the country and others walking the streets of our cities. That group has increased materially since 1935. There has grown up another class, hundreds and thousands of noble men and women who have struggled to keep off relief, a large army of Canadians who, depending on one or two days' work a week, support themselves and their families. Many have lost their homes; their little savings have disappeared. That class has greatly multiplied since 1935. Then we have the .other class, those on relief. The minister told us, and we are also told in the speech from the throne, that there are fewer drawing relief. I am not inclined to give the government full credit for this; Mother Nature played a large part. Last year we had crops where there had been none for some years before; in many other districts crops were better than in recent years, and this went a long way towards relieving the situation. But let me point out in connection with relief that many of our people have become dole-minded; do not want to work; take the attitude that the country owes them a living. In 1935 that class scarcely existed. So that in spite of the statistics the minister gave, this problem seems to me to be much more serious than it was in 1935.

I warn this government that the people of this country have been looking to Ottawa every session since this government took office, remembering the promises and the slogans of hon. gentlemen opposite. There is no doubt they recall that speech of high resolve that the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) made on the night of the last election. Someone said it was a bleak October night. It may have been bleak for a number of Conservatives. My leader has already quoted, but I think it will do no harm for me to quote again-in fact I think hon. gentlemen

opposite would like to hear this-the words which the present Prime Minister uttered that night:

In the new era which dawns to-day the struggle for the rights of the people will, in the realm of economic liberty and security, be carried on as never before. Poverty and adversity, want and misery are the enemies which Liberalism will seek to banish from our land. They have lain in wait at the gate of every Canadian home during the past five years,-

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And since then they have got inside.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

-and their menacing mien has served to destroy the souls, as well as the minds and bodies, of an ever increasing number of men, women and children in our land. We take up at once, as our supreme task, the endeavour to end poverty in the midst of plenty; starvation and unnecessary suffering in a land of abundance; discontent and distress in a country more blessed by Providence than any other on the face of the globe, and to gain for individual lives, and for the nation as a whole, that "health and peace and sweet content" which is the rightful heritage of all.

Almost four years have passed since that speech was delivered. We are reaching the end of this parliament; it is now the eleventh hour. Still we have with us poverty and adversity, want and misery; the announced enemies of Liberalism are still abroad in the land.

I do not want to appear to be altogether destructive in by remarks. It is my privilege to criticise, but I also consider it my duty as a member of this house to support and cooperate as far as possible in measures which I consider would tend to relieve the serious condition in which many of our people find themselves. In the works which the minister has announced to-day I am sure members of this party will cooperate, for the reason that such works will tend at least to relieve the situation. We are told in the speech from the throne as well as by the minister to-day that the government intends to provide a program of public undertakings. We have not the details yet, and the extent to which it will help depends on the nature and extent of that program. I doubt whether it is wise to spend millions on large public buildings. These huge structures may be very nice to have, but it always appears to me that the expenditure involved is not warranted by the employment given. And there are very few of them that are revenue producing; in many instances they are simply a luxury we cannot afford.

There are works of a revenue producing kind, and in this category I would include

The Address-Mr. Barber

the construction and improvement of highways. We need highways and better highways in many sections; we might well divert some of the millions now going to relief to useful work of this kind. I have in mind some in British Columbia that might be taken over as federal undertakings instead of on the fifty-fifty basis, which would relieve the provinces and the hard pressed municipalities. I understand that the trans-Canada highway is already a federal undertaking. It should be pushed to completion. I would suggest that the portion paralleling the Fraser canyon should be improved and that safeguards should be placed at those points at which a number of fatal accidents have occurred during the last year. Then there is what is known as the Monkman pass. I think the Liberal party are pledged to an outlet for the Peace river district, and I would suggest to the government that this outlet be constructed. A number of noble citizens have been working on that construction themselves, and have been seeking the assistance of various public bodies and governments. I believe this should be given consideration. Then we have what is known as the Hope-Princeton highway, on which a good deal of construction work was carried on at both ends through federal assistance some years ago. Of the ninety miles I should say one-third remains uncompleted. If the government would undertake to complete that it would not only provide considerable employment to people in that section but also open up the southeastern section of British Columbia and bring the rich Okanagan and Kootenay districts within a few hours of the coast cities. Indirectly it would be a revenue producer, not only from the standpoint of the better facilities it would give those living in that district but also in connection with the tourist trade. Then north of the Fraser we have the proposed Agassiz-Haig section, the completion of which would connect with the Hope-Princeton highway and the trans-Canada highway, thus offering a direct route along the north bank of the Fraser to Vancouver. I mention these in particular because I think everyone will realize that in British Columbia road construction is very expensive, and means a tremendous burden on a province with such a small population. I also urge the government to take over these projects as federal undertakings, because 1 believe great revenue would be derived from the tourist traffic through the construction of highways in that province.

There is just one other matter I should like to mention. I drew it to the attention of the

Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar) last year, and he promised to look into it. That is a highway from the port of Huntingdon, from the international boundary line to the trans-Canada highway. It would involve only one mile of construction. Last year we had a measure before parliament providing quite a large amount to be expended in order to encourage the tourist industry. Huntingdon is the fifth largest port in Canada. As soon as the United States tourists leave the boundary line they come to what is known as a rough gravel road, over which they must travel for some miles before they reach the paved trans-Canada highway. The construction of a road a little over one mile in length would give direct connection with the trans-Canada highway, and I can assure the government that any money spent on that small section would bring great returns from visitors coming from the United States. All these works would provide useful employment, and indirectly would produce revenue and bring new money to this country.

We hear a great deal to-day about world trade which, according to the Prime Minister, would solve our unemployment problem. We are told that wider markets would do the job. Last year the speech from the throne boasted of increased trade, but we find no mention of that in the speech this year. As has been stated already in this house, the fact is that our export trade has diminished by some $200,000,000, with a decrease of $90,000,000 in our imports. It is true that during the last few years we have built up an enormous export trade in raw materials. We are taking our resources out of the ground, shipping them out of the country and boasting of our export trade. We are exporting our raw materials and buying back commodities fabricated from those materials. Will that solve our problem? No. This vast export trade is not doing anything compared with what could be done for the relief of unemployment in Canada if we were fabricating that raw material here and giving employment to Canadians. To-day the minister pleaded for the cooperation of industry. I wonder if he will give industry in this country a chance. The policies of this government up to the present time have made conditions in Canada so uncertain that industry is not in a position to expand and employ more labour. Yes; I am favourable to trade, if that trade means the selling of the products of the farm and of our primary and secondary producers at prices that will bring them a fair return for their labour; I am in favour of trade that will increase the employment of Canadians.

The Address-Mr. Barber

I have mentioned two proposals that have been put forward by the government, a program of public works and efforts to increase trade. There is just one other matter to which I should like to refer. It is the opinion of many Canadians, and, I think, of some members of this house, that if Canada is to survive some changes must be made in our capitalistic system, that there must be something in the way of reform. With this I think many agree. Unemployment insurance is mentioned as a remedy. That is very good, but we shall not get any immediate relief from that. Reforms of various kinds have been discussed in this house; some very able followers of the government have urged that certain changes be made. Monetary reform has been put forward as a remedy for our ills. The Prime Minister himself told the electors that he was going to wage a war against the money power. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie), while occupying a seat on this side of the house, had a very bright idea which I am sure we all recall. He reminded us that we had $170,000,000 in gold and that we could manage on a coverage of 25 per cent. Then we would have sufficient money to pay off our debt, at least in part, and provide for great public works. This would be done, he said, if the Liberal party were given a chance. Well, the Liberal party is in power; the hon. gentleman has a seat on the treasury benches, but we have heard nothing more about this scheme to give us money with which to clean up our debts and carry on a public works program. If our problems can be solved, if happy days can be brought back by the adoption of 6ome sort of economic monetary reform, let us have it. The government has at hand all the necessary instruments to work out any such reform. It has trained technical men in the treasury department and there is our national institution, the Bank of Canada. Apparently nothing is to be done about monetary reform; there has been no mention of it or of any other reform on the part of the government this session.

We have now reached the fourth session of this parliament. Almost four years have passed since the present government took office, but wc find that poverty and adversity, want and misery, which Liberalism sought to banish, are still with us. After four years of Liberal rule the great problem of unemployment has not been dealt with, much less solved. The Prime Minister admits that he cannot do anything about it. He says that a conflict of jurisdiction stands in the way. Constitutional impediments and a conflict of jurisdiction are the reasons given for not solving the

problem. If that is what blocked the solving of this problem, why have almost four years passed without an attempt being made to get together a representative national conference? Why was there a delay of two years in the appointment of a royal commission on dominion-provincial relations? Almost another two years have passed since that commission was appointed, and we are now advised that its report will be filed some time this session and will be passed on to a national conference. This means that no action can be taken this session and probably not before an election.

The truth is that in connection with this and other problems the Prime Minister and his government have refused to assume responsibility. Matters that should have been dealt with have been passed on to other bodies. Royal commissions have been very popular with this government. Someone has said, I believe quite truly, that royal commissions are appointed to find out something that we know already. I think that is particularly the case with the commission we have been talking about to-day.

We have heard a great deal about the responsibility of parliament. I was surprised when the Prime Minister told us the other evening that this and other problems rest with parliament, that parliament is responsible for what is done with public funds raised by federal taxation. It is true that parliament votes the estimates presented by the government, but let me ask this question: When did members of parliament have the power to increase a vote? When did a private member have the right to bring in a measure providing for the expenditure of public funds? Parliament has no such power and parliament as a parliament has nothing to do with the shaping of policies to deal with any particular problem. Under our parliamentary system action must come from the government, the Prime Minister and his cabinet. Responsibility rests with the Prime Minister and his cabinet, and the Prime Minister assumed that responsibility when he took over the reins of government in 1935.

Ever since this government came into power it has shirked responsibility and followed a policy of drift, extravagance and high taxation that has done much to cripple industry. It has followed a policy that has created in this country an atmosphere of uncertainty. If our problems are to be solved, if democracy is to survive in this country, there must be a reversal of this policy, from one of drift to one of action, from one of shirking of responsibility to one of assuming responsibility. If

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

Canada is to remain a united Canada instead of nine Balkan states, then we must have a strong central government. We must have a government that will give leadership to the Canadian people. Then and not until then shall we be on the road to solving our problems.

In conclusion, let me refer to the amendment to the amendment. One of my colleagues has already referred to it, but I think it would be well for me to touch briefly upon

it. It reads:

We are of the opinion that these conditions can be remedied only by the effective control of financial institutions and monopolistic enterprises which are exploiting the Canadian people.

This has been looked upon as a trick amendment. Any one who does not vote for it is likely to be branded throughout the country as being favourable to control by financial institutions and monopolies. Like the other members of my party, I am bitterly opposed to monopolies and to control by financial institutions. But what remedy do our friends of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation offer? According to the policy they have been advocating, I take it that their remedy would be to scrap the present system and set up a socialistic state. I fear the remedy would be much worse than the disease. As I am utterly opposed to socialism or any pink shade of communism, I must vote against the amendment to the amendment.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, despite the speech of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers), I regret that in taking part in this debate my first word must be one of criticism. I regret that there is in the speech from the throne so little from which the hard pressed people of this country can draw new hope and new inspiration. The minister suggests that we should be optimistic. It is easy to be optimistic in this House of Commons. It is easy to be optimistic when you know where your next meal is coming from. It is easy to be optimistic when you know that you can go home at the end of the day to a good meal and a cheerful fireside. The people whom I have met in large numbers during the recess do not have those comforts, and consequently they cannot be as optimistic as my hon. friend the Minister of Labour. At this time people are particularly in need of something to bolster up their courage and determination.

The reason is this: During the past few years until midsummer, 1937, we were slowly getting out of the depression. Many of those who were unemployed in 1933 and 1934 had work in 1937, but they now find themselves slipping again into the depths of another

depression. Consequently they are becoming hopeless and desperate. As I said before, they are not in the fortunate position in which the Minister of Labour, the members of this house and the members of the privileged classes in this country find themselves. They have a right to expect something more from the government than they can find in the speech from the throne. If ever there were a time when a strong frontal attack on economic conditions was necessary, it is now.

It must now be abundantly clear, and I believe it is becoming more clear to the Minister of Labour, that private enterprise can no longer assure sustenance for the masses of the people, let alone a decent standard of living and economic security. This government has sufficient proof of that fact, and the time is overdue when it should begin in a planned way to help the people to extract from the abundant resources of the country a decent living for the present and economic security for the future.

It is not my intention to touch on all the points mentioned in the speech from the throne. The royal visit has been mentioned by nearly all those who have spoken in this debate. I do not think it is necessary for me to say any more than that I associate myself with much of what has been said already in regard to the visit of the king and queen. However, I am convinced that if this government had shown as much energy, enthusiasm and thoroughness in improving the economic 'conditions of the Canadian people, who must remain in this land for fifty-two weeks in every year, as they have shown in preparing for the three week visit of the king and queen, there would not be as much misery, distress and want as one sees now on every hand.

The speech from the throne stresses the need of increased armaments and the determination of the government to meet that need. As the subject of defence will be discussed on another occasion, it is not my intention to say very much on that point at the moment. It does, however, seem strange that this government, which claims to be so much concerned over the defence of our country, should still continue to supply aggressor nations with war materials to carry on their aggression. Not only that, but as I pointed out in the house last year, while the government of Canada supplies the aggressor nations, Germany, Italy and Japan, with all the materials they are willing to buy from us, it maintains an embargo on materials for the loyalist government in Spain, thus helping Italy and Germany in their acts of aggression. While helping to arm the aggressor, and

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

a potential invader, if we are in any danger of invasion, we refuse to sell to the legally constituted government of a friendly country the means by which she might be able to defend herself. As one travels through this dominion and realizes the sentiment of the people on this question, one wonders what influence behind this government compels it to follow such a stupid and undemocratic policy.

There have been expressions of congratulations and thankfulness on the signing of the Munich pact of last September. All peace-loving people were undoubtedly relieved that a clash was averted at that time; but we in Canada should hang our heads in shame when we contemplate our share in the disaster of Munich, for Munich was a disaster. War, of course, might have been a greater disaster. But no sooner was the pact signed than Europe began to realize what its real implications were and are. Daily the dictators are becoming more rapacious, and bolder in their demands. Yet Munich was not an accident, nor did it come upon the world suddenly. It was the logical and inevitable sequence in a chain of events-Manchuria in 1932, Abyssinia in 1935, Spain in 1936, China in 1937. Even Prime Minister Chamberlain realized that Munich did not mean peace; for in the very speech in which he extolled the pact to the House of Commons he asked for more and greater armaments, and since that fateful occasion every country in the world has intensified .its armament building program. Consequently it is sheer humbug to represent Munich as in any way making for peace.

In my opinion, however, the most amazing comment on the Munich pact came from the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), who was attending the sessions of the League of Nations at the time of the crisis. He is reported as having said on his return to Canada that Chamberlain by his action had saved civilization. Now it is conceded on all sides that Munich was a victory for the European dictators, a victory for the rule of force over the rule of law; and if the Minister of Justice implied that any process in that direction is a process that is going to save our civilization, it is certainly amazing to me. I am sorry the Minister of Justice is not now in his seat. I can remember him referring in this house to dictators as gangsters and madmen; evidently then, the civilization that was saved at Munich was a gangster civilization.

As I have said, the Minister of Justice was attending the sessions of the league at Geneva during the crisis. The league, the only hopeful and good thing that came out of the last war, was organized to deal with just such

situations as had led to Munich. But while the league's delegates at Geneva sat impotently twiddling their thumbs, four men sat around the table at Munich, two of them at least with their guns on the table, deciding the fate of a country, without a representative of that country being present or having an opportunity to be heard. That is gangster rule with a vengeance. That was the precedent set at Munich for the settlement of international affairs. And that is what the Minister of Justice called saving civilization!

I am glad to be supported in this opinion by at least one Liberal who has the courage to face realities and speak her mind. In a statement on the world situation issued to the press on Sunday, October 2, 1938, Senator Cairine Wilson, president of the League of Nations Society in Canada and vice-president of the International Federation of League of Nations Societies, had this to say-I shall not take time to read the whole of it but cite only one or two passages:

We are rejoicing as a people to-day that there is peace, but there are some brutal truths which should be remembered, and which I hope will lead to a thoroughgoing examination by Canadians of the peace problem and thence to a more determined and comprehensive drive than ever for a world peace system based on law. Because of the expansion of Germanic power already effected or now to be expected, an even greater responsibility than before rests on the people of this continent.

The first brutal truth is that while great advances have been made towards the goal of a world peace system, and that while the world last week may well have been on the verge of embracing such a system, our leaders continue to subscribe to a concept of anarchy which actually permitted the world war of 1914, and which might well have permitted its repetition in the last few hours. The dread of a general conflagration is still with us. and will remain until an alternative to anarchy is effectively established.

The second truth is that under the threat of naked force in the hands of an unscrupulous dictatorship heretofore recognizing no obligation whatsoever to the world community, we have been obliged to make a surrender which is almost complete, abandoning in the process a nation which stands among the staunchest defenders of liberty and democracy; we did not even give Czechoslovakia an opportunity to plead its case in any of the tribunals' or assemblies created by the world for the pu rpose.

A fourth truth is that the new barbarism represented by Germany , may now be free to extend to the Black sea and to other continents.

Mr. Speaker, I unreservedly support the statements made by Senator Wilson, and I am convinced that no amount of arming to-day can save Canada or the world from the horrors of a war, which was only postponed last September, unless we make collective security effective in the international sphere

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

as we have already done in our community and national life. National defence must of necessity have some relation to foreign policy, and until we know what the foreign policy of this government is, we should not be asked to vote for its defensive measures.

I come now to unemployment. In dealing with unemployment this government has failed, and failed miserably. They have done that despite anything that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) may say. What is more, the government will continue to fail as long as it continues to show no more understanding of the causes of unemployment than the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) indicated when he spoke in this debate. I was amazed to hear him make the following statement the other evening on the causes of unemployment. I quote from page 59 of Hansard:

May I come now to the matter of unemployment. As I said a moment ago, the problem of unemployment is not a new one in this country. It became a serious problem nearly nine years ago. It was worse during the period when hon. gentlemen opposite were in office than at any time. It has continued to be a most difficult, perplexing and baffling problem -and why? For the reason that it is a -world problem. . . . It is a problem with which

every country in the world has been confronted in recent years,-and why? Because of the policies that are being made to prevail in certain parts of the world, those policies of economic nationalism which, instead of bringing nations closer together and permitting more and more in the way of trade, are putting countries, as I said a moment ago, into isolated compartments where their dealings with each other are narrowed down to small margins, and where, as a result of the shrinkage of trade throughout the world, there has been a consequent and inevitable shrinkage of employment as well.

To give that as a cause of unemployment is sheer nonsense. No one who has made even an elementary study of the capitalist system could agree for a moment with that explanation. It is nonsense because, as the Prime Minister himself said only a few moments earlier in his speech, unemployment had become a serious problem nine or ten years ago, when industrial, commercial and trade activities were at the highest peak in history. Let me read from the speech from the throne of 1930. The present Prime Minister in that year also was Prime Minister. In the speech from the throne as reported in Hansard, volume 1, page 2, I find this statement:

It affords me much pleasure to greet you at the commencement of another session of parliament. and to be able to congratulate you upon the continued prosperity of the country. The year 1929 was the most productive year in the history of Canada. In industries, other than agriculture, employment reached the highest point on record: new construction was the

largest known. Mining production was of unequalled value. Manufacturing production surpassed all previous records. There was vast increase in the development of hydro-electric power. The products of our fields and our herds reached higher standards of excellence and quality than at any previous time. The dominion is already recovering from the seasonal slackness evident at the end of the year, and it is not to be forgotten that the bulk of the 1929 wheat crop still remains in Canadian hands for final disposition.

Evidently the economics of 1930 do not fit in with the economics of 1939. We do not rejoice to-day when the bulk of one year's crop is waiting to be disposed of in another year. The seasonal slackness has continued into 1939 and is getting worse again. The dominion did not recover from what the Prime Minister was pleased to call seasonal slackness. Unemployment struck this country, although the Prime Minister did not say so, when he was in office, but it was severe a long time before that in Great Britain and on the continent of Europe. Indeed, unemployment had been chronic in Europe for many years previously. Economic nationalism, the term which the Prime Minister is so fond of using, had made but little progress prior to that time. But let me say that economic nationalism is not a cause of unemployment. Unemployment is a cause of economic nationalism. In 1919 the Liberal party held a national convention, and one of the planks of the platform adopted at that convention, and of course forgotten immediately afterwards, was a plank pledging unemployment insurance. That fact alone is sufficient proof that unemployment is not a new problem, is not one that has come upon us suddenly in 1930 to 1939. It is true that it has become worse during that time, but as the Minister of Labour said to-day, hundreds of people were unemployed in this dominion long before that. But as long as they were able to carry themselves from one job to another, no matter how hard the times might be, unemployment was not considered a problem; in fact it was considered a good thing, because employers could thereby get their labour power cheaper than they could if everyone were employed.

The cause of unemployment is not that there is no work to be done nor that there are no willing hands to do it. The cause of unemployment is that work cannot be done profitably, that is profitably to those who own the means of production in this and every other country. When we put our economy on a basis of use instead of profit there will be plenty of work to do, and should this work give out, unemployment will not be the curse it is to-day, it will change to

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

leisure. To listen to the Prime Minister one would think that we were living in a static world, that the world began with Gladstone and that it will continue just as it was then, time without end. Such, however, is not the case. To-day we are living as for many years we have been, in a world economy which is dynamic in the extreme. For untold centuries man got his living without tools or with very simple tools. But about 1776 a Scotsman in Glasgow found that steam could be used to drive machinery. Later other motive powers were discovered. A new age had dawned. The old order of hand production disappeared. The simple tool became a complicated machine. Wealth undreamed of before the advent of the machine became available. This great production and accumulation of wealth, however, has not turned out to be an unmixed blessing. With the increase of wealth came an increased centralization of wealth. I have not time to enlarge on this subject, but if there are any in this house who are interested in the centralization of wealth in Canada and its effect on the social and economic life of the country I would suggest that they go to the library of parliament and get a copy of the report of the price spreads and mass buying commission. If anyone should find the price spreads and mass buying report too hard to concentrate on, he or she can find the same result, put briefly but more poetically, in the broadcast made by the Prime Minister on October 14, 1935. I referred to this paragraph of that broadcast in a speech last year, and it has been quoted in this house several times during this session. But not only am I going to quote it, I am going to analyze it. I am going to point out just what it means. The Prime Minister, speaking on that occasion, said:

We take up at once as our supreme task the endeavour to end poverty in the midst of plenty, starvation and unnecessary suffering in a land of abundance, discontent and distress in a country more blessed by Providence than any other on the face of the globe, and gain for individual lives, and for the nation as a whole that "health and peace, and sweet content" which is the rightful heritage of all.

Let us see just what this means. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion), when he spoke on the address, made reference to the fact that Conservative and Liberal governments have been the governments of this country ever since confederation. The hon. gentleman may take whatever comfort he can out of that fact; but when I point out what

the Prime Minister's statement means, it will not afford him much comfort. The Prime Minister said:

We take up at once as our supreme task the endeavour to end poverty in the midst of plenty.

What does this mean? It means that in this country we have plenty and it means that we have poverty. Who has the poverty and who has the plenty? The people who have the poverty are in every instance the people who produce the plenty, and the people who have the plenty are the people who own it.

He said: "We take up as our supreme task the endeavour to end starvation and unnecessary suffering in a land of abundance." Again, I say that this indicates that in Canada we have abundance and that side by side with that we have starvation and unnecessary suffering. Who are suffering, and who are starving? Every time, those who produced the abundance. And who have the abundance? Those who own it.

Then he goes on: "to end discontent and distress in a country more blessed by providence than any other on the face of the globe." May I ask, if providence has blessed Canada more than any other country on the face of the globe, who has cursed it so that we have poverty in the midst of plenty, starvation and unnecessary suffering in the midst of abundance, and discontent and distress? Possibly the leader of the opposition, who drew attention to the fact that the Liberal party and the Conservative party have governed Canada for the seventy years since confederation, can get some comfort out of what I have read. But if they are not responsible, if they cannot accept or do not accept responsibility for the state the country finds itself in to-day, they must say that governments have nothing to do with and have no part in either making or destroying the welfare of the people. They cannot have it both ways.

Let me now touch on unemployment. The figures for fully employable persons on relief in the first ten months of 1938 show a reduction of almost twenty-five per cent from the same period of 1937. I know that the government takes credit for this reduction. However, we find that when the figures are analyzed there is not much credit due the government. They constitute a damning indictment of the whole policy or lack of policy on the subject. Taken in conjunction with the figures of dividends and interest payments, they are also a perfect illustration of the class character of our society. While the figures of employables

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

on relief were coming down, the figures of unemployment among wage-earners were going up. January, February and March, 1938, showed an improvement over the same months of 1937, but after that every month got worse. These are the figures:

Increase in unemployment

Month among wageearners Per cent

April 7-3

May 22-0

June 31-6

July 46-9

August 47-7

September 53-7

October 56-1

These figures are based on a report of

the bureau of statistics.

I wish now to discuss for a moment a serious situation in my own city, Vancouver. In a report from the chairman of the social service committee of the city council and the director of the social service department of Vancouver, made to the city council on January 9 of this year, I find that the situation there is worse than it has been at any time since 1932 The total number on relief, that is, the total number of cases on December 31, 1932, was 11,412. This was the peak of relief in Vancouver. In the following years, there was a gradual decrease until, on December 31, 1937, the total was down to 6,011. On December 31, 1938, however, the number of cases, not counting dependents, was 9,972. The total number of persons on relief has increased from 15.553 in December, 1937, to 20,130 in December, 1938.

This shows a desperate situation. It is an irrefutable demonstration of the failure of the policies of this government in regard to unemployment relief. The situation is becoming desperate for Vancouver. So far they have been able to supply bare subsistence, food and shelter, but clothing is now becoming a matter of the greatest urgency. At present about $10,500 is spent monthly on clothing, but the director of social services has pointed out that the bulk of it goes for children's shoes, necessities for indigents, and a little for special cases of need among relief recipients. There is nothing for the great mass of the unemployed. He said it would cost between $50,000 and $60,000 a month to provide the unemployed with clothing, and the city is not able to furnish as much as that.

This is an urgent situation which the city of Vancouver cannot meet. As one aider-man said when the matter was discussed, "We are killing these people morally as well as physically": and I say we are sowing the seed that will some day spring up in a 7X492-16J

violent demonstration of discontent. This is not a situation that prevails only in Vancouver; it is general in the cities throughout Canada. I received this morning from a labour councillor on the town council of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, the following telegram:

Conditions among Nova Scotia workers deplorable. Rapidly becoming unbearable. Streets filled with hungry unemployed. Actual starvation among part-time workers. Miners working one or two shifts weekly. All business suffering accordingly. No prospect of improvement.

The new leader of the opposition has had something to say about third parties. It would appear he does not like third parties. He is rather contemptuous of them; they irritate him. I suppose that is natural in one holding his position; yet I doubt whether the irritation on this occasion is a bad thing for either the leader of the opposition or the Conservative party. Having no policy, no program, it gives them something to talk about. The hon. gentleman's misconceptions in regard to political parties are simplv amazing. To hear him talk one would think that the way to form a political party is for a few people to get together and say they will form a new party. Let him ask the hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens) if that is the way political parties are formed. Political parties always represent economic interests. Political parties are merely the expression of economic interests. In this country we took the names of the major parties from Great Britain at a time when the words "Conservative" and "Liberal" meant something. The Conservative party came into being as representing the economic interests of the aristocracy and landed gentry of Great Britain.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

And the working man.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

They tried for a time to make the working men believe that, but they did not succeed.

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January 23, 1939