January 23, 1939

CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I am a working man.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

The Liberal party came into being as representing the interests of the rising capitalist and trading classes of that time. The people who to-day form the second party in Great Britain did not even have the franchise when these things occurred. The leader of the opposition, speaking somewhere in eastern Canada, I think in Saint John, said that he thought the two-party system was good enough for Canada, and he would like the two-party system on the same basis as in

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

Great Britain. Well, he is likely to have it that way, but his party is not likely to be one of the two.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

His party will be the government party.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Which one goes out does not make any difference; when the interests they both represent are in jeopardy they will come together in an instant. The reason the Reconstruction party did not succeed was that there were already two Conservative parties in Canada and there was no room for a third. In the four western provinces the standing of the Conservative party and the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation is as follows:

Provincial Conserv- Cooperative Commonwealthlegislatures atives FederationBritish Columbia. .. 8 7Alberta .. 2 Saskatchewan. .. iiManitoba .. 16 726 25

In the dominion parliament there are for the four western provinces eight Conservatives and seven Cooperative Commonwealth Federation members. But there is this difference, that recent elections indicate the Conservatives are going and we are coming.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

The Conservatives going into power.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Oh, the hon. member can console himself with that for a while; it will not do any harm. It is like the optimism of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) in contemplating the unemployment situation.

In the two or three minutes remaining at my disposal let me say that the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Massey), in referring to the proposed amendment and. sub-amendment, said on Thursday last that he was supporting the amendment whole-heartedly, and then, as the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Barber) did to-day, he referred to the sub-amendment as being cleverly and adroitly designed to put the Conservatives "on the spot" as it were. I assure my hon. friends that it was not designed for any such purpose-I helped to draft it myself. It was designed to put content into the negative amendment moved by the leader of the opposition for his party. We can all agree that the Liberal party since it came into office has not done anything worth while. They have practically been, as someone said, on a sit-down strike ever since. I am surprised that the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe)

has not taken action against them. I could read sufficient proof from official documents, from statements of leading men in this house, that financial interests and industrial monopolists control the very life-blood of the Canadian people. And I am satisfied that no government can even pretend to do anything for the people of Canada until that government is prepared to take effective control over those things that exercise such power over the lives of the people. In every country in the world where economic improvement has been made, it has been made to the extent that governments have taken that kind of control. The hon. member for Greenwood in the summer of 1936 visited the Scandinavian countries. He spoke here in glowing terms of the graceful curves of the streamlined pigs in Denmark, produced under a social democratic government. He spoke of the wonderful things done in Sweden, yet in Sweden there is also a socialist government. The hon. member for Greenwood and the hon. member for Fraser Valley and all hon. members who are going to vote against the sub-amendment because it would mean socialism in this country are doing exactly what has been done all through the years whenever anything new was suggested. What social service have you to-day which was not branded as socialism when first suggested? Old age pensions, mothers' pensions, workmen's compensation; all these things were branded as socialism. Let me tell my hon. friends that they are going to make no progress when they go to the country if they indicate beforehand to the people that they are not going to take effective steps to control the interests that are throttling our economic life.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. E. J. POOLE (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, this being the fourth and probably the last session of the eighteenth parliament, as usual I should like to take part in this debate on the speech from the throne, or, in other words, in this verbal marathon. The speech from the throne has been dealt with, at least in part, by every hon. member who has spoken so far. I am not going to make any attempt to-night to discuss the details of that speech. Sufficient it is to say that it gives every indication that the Liberal party

The Address-Mr. Poole

has abandoned its ancient faith and relegated monetary reform to the land of hoary fallacies. I do not think any government that has been elected since confederation has had a better opportunity than this one to do something during its term of office. That it has dismally failed is evident to the people of Canada, and is shown by conditions that prevail throughout this country to-day.

For a moment let us review some of the events that have occurred during the depression years. In 1930 the Liberal government was removed from office. Conditions prevailing at that time were conducive to change, and in that year there was elected a Conservative administration. The major plank in the platform of the Conservative party of that day was the abolition of unemployment. During the course of the five years during which the Conservatives held power, the Liberal party, being out of office, had a. wonderful opportunity to see what effect Conservative policies had upon the economy of this dominion. However, those five years have passed into history. In 1935 the Liberals were re-elected on the cry of "King or chaos," and the promise to issue credit in terms of public need. Since then another four years have passed, and the people who placed their faith in the Liberal party once again await an opportunity to remove from office those breakers of pledges, those who have broken their promises to the Canadian people. The abolition of unemployment was also mooted by the Liberal party then aspiring to office, but the conditions that existed four years ago still exist, and they are just as acute now as they were then.

Why is this? The hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis), speaking just before the dinner recess, referred to the two old-line parties. Permit me to say that there is no difference between a Liberal and a Conservative, except perhaps in some slight details. Once the Liberals were known as free traders, but to-day, under a Liberal administration, we have the highest tariff wall in our history. If in the old days there was any difference between the parties, that difference might have been found in the height of the tariff wall, that and no more. Both parties endeavour to maintain the status quo. Both are traditional parties. Both are unwilling to face facts and tackle the gigantic problems that confront a government in this country. Under the old-line party philosophy the economy of Canada is based upon foreign markets. Surely it must be evident to any child in the kindergarten that international trade, as it was carried on in the days that

have gone, no longer exists. We can no longer depend upon foreign trade to give us internal prosperity. It is true that we are passing through a period of rapid change. No longer are there unlimited markets to exploit; no longer is there the opportunity that once existed for the expansion of capital. The democratic nations of the world are fighting over the last great, important market, which is Great Britain. This has resulted in a great deal of criticism of the British government by the agricultural people of that country because of the low prices received for home products there, on account of competition from overseas.

Under the Conservative regime we saw the completion of the Ottawa trade agreements. We are conversant with the negotiations that were carried on between Canada and the other nations of the world, and we also know that in spite of those efforts conditions became increasingly worse. This government has now signed an agreement with the United States of America. I predict here and now that the common man of this country will obtain no benefit from that agreement.

Why do we arrive at the conclusion that international trade has broken down, that it is unscientific to base our internal economy upon it? Let us look at Europe for a moment. We find Germany expanding its economic influence throughout Europe, and as the troops march in, so do the salesmen. We turn to Italy and find that last year they had more land under cultivation for the purpose of growing wheat than at any time in their history. We turn to Japan; as the army advances into China, so they will industrialize that nation. They have already intimated that in future the China trade will belong exclusively to the Japanese.

We as a nation are dependent upon foreign markets; this government still holds out the hope, in almost every speech that comes from the opposite side of the house, that if we can only expand our trade conditions will become normal. I was surprised to hear the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) making excuses the other day for the failure of his government to improve conditions. In 1935 we had a wave of optimism. The other day in this house a responsible minister of the crown took us back to the days of 1914. He told us that conditions which prevail now prevailed then. I feel convinced that the Minister of Agriculture knows differently. He knows that there has been considerable technological progress since 1914. He knows that the markets of the world have contracted. He knows that the world is to-day more

The Address-Mr. Poole

heavily industrialized than it was then. Still they tell us, or at least, imply, that because we regained some strength 'and recovered somewhat from that economic epileptic fit, we shall also recover from this one.

I want to place on Hansard a timely article which appeared in the Western Producer in 1937. What was said then is more true to-day as the evidence comes more before us. I quote:

There are still those, and many of them, who believe that the good old days will again return. The good old days that is, of flourishing trade, with its favourable balances and accompanying large-scale foreign lending. How any such delusion can be nursed by intelligent observers, in view of the facts as they exist to-day. is difficult to understand.

What are the facts? One has only to read the papers. Take for the present purpose, agricultural products, which are much more difficult to develop and increase than manufactured articles. Over the past decade the increase in production of foodstuffs in hitherto importing countries is there for all to see. Only the other day it was announced that Italy, to meet a wheat shortage, had undertaken the greatest sowing in her history. She did that rather than buy the Canadian or any other surplus. That is merely a spectacular and recent instance. The same thing is going on in every country in Europe. There is a steady and persistent effort in each nation, and in the case of all products, agricultural and industrial, to reach as nearly as conditions permit and as soon as possible a state of economic self-sufficiency.

Canada along with other democratic countries is slowly but surely going to be drawn into that orbit of economic nationalism. Many people in this dominion are losing respect for parliament, the reason being that in spite of criticism of dictator nations they see that at least those countries can show more common sense results than we can. To-day in Germany there are only 280,000 or thereabouts unemployed, whereas in 1932 there were 6,500,000. They are producing more to-day than at any time in the history of that nation. There is an acute shortage of labour in most trades. They are making inroads into markets that at one time were almost exclusively British.

I have a high regard for a government that keeps its promises to its people. Democracy is a wonderful ideal, but it is unfortunate that it has never been tried in Canada. Our people have the right to vote, but they have never yet had the right to get the thing they voted for. In 1935 the people of this country voted for monetary reform. They sent the Liberal party here to issue credit in terms of public need. The public were not in any position to go into the technical details of how these things were to be brought about; that does not matter, but they did instruct parliament

to bring about that condition. It seems that once a party gets into power it does not matter any more if it fails in its promises. After failing to solve these problems over a period of four years, this government is now endeavouring to divert the attention of the people from the thing they really want to something else.

A new cry has arisen, the cry of national unity. It is on this question that I want to say a few words. National unity! It is a great thought; it is a great ambition, but you cannot build national unity with lip-service. The farmers of the west have been accused of desiring secession. Who can blame them in view of the volume of evidence we have that the west is not getting a square deal? What privileges has western Canada in the eastern market? Where does the east buy its coal? Where does the east buy its oil and gasoline? In the constituency I represent there are many unemployed miners and there are many others who would be better unemployed because they are employed only one day per week. This state of affairs has continued over a period of four years. We ship into Ontario and Quebec coal from Pennsylvania and from Great Britain; in other years coal has been shipped in from Germany and Russia, but when it comes to western coal there is no market.

The same applies to oil. We have in western Canada possibly one of the best oil fields on this continent; yet we have a proration below thirty per cent. What inducement is there for western Canada to continue under the power of this government? Oil is shipped in from Peru and from the United States, but western oil can stay in the ground and the oil workers can continue to swell the relief ranks. It is from the east that you hear this cry of national unity. Let us have national unity by all means, but let it be composed of economic cooperation and common sense. Let us realize first of all that charity begins at home. If we have anything to buy, let us buy it from our own people and employ our own workmen. This question of national ynity has been discussed many times in the house, and I have heard many after dinner speeches and read many reports in the press on the same subject; but I wonder if the people of Canada know just how much it costs the people of the west to be a member of this confederation.

Let us for a moment consider freight rates. Do you know, Mr. Speaker, that it is an impossibility for the people of western Canada to industrialize that part of the country? Do you know that there has been a discrimination against the west through the

The Address-Mr. Poole

tariff structure, over a long period of years? Do you know that a commission was set up in 1922 to investigate these questions? But sincp that time nothing has been done about the matter. The people of the west are a positive people. They like positive action. We are tired of listening to maudlin sentimentality about national unity in the face of the facts as they present themselves to us in our daily lives out there. Everything we buy we buy from eastern Canada, while eastern Canada purchases nothing from us- nothing. Even in the recent trade agreement with the United States we have been deprived of the preference we had for our Canadian wheat in the British market. It seems as if the west were used simply as a pawn in the game of trade negotiations. On the subject of trade agreements I should like to make this point, that I do not see what hope there is of any government making a satisfactory trade agreement unless the people who are to be affected by it are represented in tJhe negotiations. There should be a board set up representing each and every province, and before the negotiations are completed the views of this board should be sought so that the people of the west would know whether, when the agreement was completed, it would be in the interest of Canada as a whole, and not simply in the interest of eastern Canada.

Let me go back for a moment to the question of wheat and the future of the west. Premier Bracken, speaking quite recently, was quite pessimistic with regard to the future of the west, and no one can blame him. At the present time we have a minimum price of eighty cents a bushel for our wheat, but we also have the greatest world's carry-over of wheat since 1932, and with even a normal crop next year the price of wheat in the markets of the world will fall. There are those who say: Well, the United States government is purchasing wheat and taking it off the market. But so long as we are living under a system of cannibalistic competition which we describe as the law of supply and demand, the very fact that this large carryover of wheat is in existence makes it, no matter who holds it, a drug upon the markets of the world, and the question I should like to ask this government or any member of it is this: What is our policy in view of the conditions which I have briefly outlined? The Liberal party has already discarded the major plank in its platform, monetary reform, and the evidence of contracting markets is before us for all the world to see; yet we continue to operate under a system that makes the country depend upon external markets for its

internal prosperity. I notice, Mr. Speaker, that the members to your right are conspicuous by their silence just now. It is no use going to the country and asking the people to return you to power because you believe in national unity. However well that story might go in some parts of Canada, it will never go in the west because we are tired of talk; we are looking for action.

One other thing I would urge, Mr. Speaker, is that there should be a change in parliamentary practice. I do not think a government should be subject to defeat simply because a majority of its own supporters have voted against a measure which the government has introduced into the house. Such a practice makes members vote against their principles. It makes the party supreme over the nation. It means that men will vote to support their party while at the same time voting against their conscience. That has been evidenced in every session here. If that practice were changed, and the government were not to be considered defeated because of the defeat of some measure which it had introduced, the government's supporters could vote according to their conscience, and then we should have some really honest legislation.

We are on the verge of war; it is almost upon us. It is astounding to me that maybe in a few short weeks those in this country who have received the least attention, those who have been considered as units and dealt with as units rather than human beings, will for the first time in possibly nine years wear a suit or uniform. I venture to say, when that day comes, the question of where the money is to come from will never be raised in this house, because a national crisis will be upon us, and there will be no dispute; every member will join in raising the money. For the last nine years we have had an enemy within, that greatest of all enemies, that great demoralizer of the human family-poverty. But poverty was not looked upon as a major crisis that money must be found for. No; men could rot in the bread lines of this country; men could walk the streets; the very temper of a man's soul could be destroyed. While we all expressed sympathy for him, it was too bad but we simply had no money for him.

Democracy has passed away in many nations. In Canada democracy has not yet come. We have had a dictatorship masquerading under the name of democracy. We have elected parliaments which did not have the power to do anything when they got into power. They were made up of men who were ambitious for themselves; others of them did not seem to

The Address-Mr. Poole

care, and those who did must have left this house at the end of every session despairing that anything of a really concrete nature would ever be done. In this country we are not twenty years from an open dictatorship. Nothing will kill the chances of a democracy faster than hypocrisy. The government must be honest with the people. Either it must give them monetary reform, or it should tell them, "We have no intention of putting , in monetary reform." Let the people know exactly where they stand, and let them judge.

In the last nine years we have been destroying rapidly the greatest asset this nation has, the joy of life in the hearts of men and women. There are men twenty-nine years of age who left school in, say 1928, who have never yet had a job. To-day we are training men in training centres who will never have an opportunity to embark upon a career. We have provided no places where they can be absorbed. I have asked this government many times in the last two or three years what percentage of its supporters in the house have paid a visit to these camps, soup-kitchens and relief offices. I venture to say that ninety-five per cent of the government's supporters never saw the inside of any of these places and have never bothered to find out the conditions under which people are living. If one must be a legislator, to do the best by the people it is necessary to be conversant with the conditions under which the people are living. To live here until the end of the session, to wait until parliament is prorogued, or dissolved, and then just wait until the next session rolls around, is not being a legislator. At my home in the west an average of ten farmers a day come to me with their problems, problems of debt, and I have no option but to tell them that nothing can be done about the matter. Their debt condition is such that they will never in this world pay what they owe. Those who once were the proud owners of land are in a worse position than the tenant farmers of feudal times in England; they have the responsibilities but not the fruits of ownership. They are responsible for the debts which have been shackled upon them, while we just sit here and wait. A chap said to me the other day, "What is the Liberal party doing down there?" I said, "As far as I can see, they are just waiting for Santa Claus-for something to happen."

Is there any indication in the speech from the throne at this fourth session of the eighteenth parliament that the government is going to do anything? Is there any real

release from the anguish which the youth of this country have suffered in the last nine years? Or, as has happened before, is it expected that the Canadian people, assuming they do not support the Liberal party, will turn back to the Conservative party? What a hopeless mess is this thing we describe as a democracy! Unless we discard our traditional way of trade as a way of life; unless we face the facts of superabundance; unless we practise the altruistic principle of economic security, commensurate with our intellectual, physical, spiritual and material resources; unless we coordinate our energies and loyalties for the common good of Canada, democratic and economic freedom will pass into that isolation and solitude aptly described as oblivion.

When I came into this chamber to-night it was most difficult to get a quorum. At other times I have listened to speakers here when the house was almost empty. I have heard men laugh when I described the poverty of the people-the laughter of members of this parliament who were sent here with a sacred mandate to legislate the people out of poverty. Did they succeed? If not, why? Now, in the dying days of the eighteenth parliament, we are going to divert attention by raising a new standard, the standard of national unity. Well, when government supporters come to the western country, at least to the part where I live, that will not be good enough. The people who elected them gave them a job to do when they first came to Ottawa, namely to issue credit in terms of public need. For four years the group to which I belong has endeavoured honestly to place before parliament a monetary system which would lift us beyond the realm of poverty. The only criticism which came from the opposition was, "it is inflation." They never gave us any evidence of it; they discarded all ideas of a discount rate, just prices, and the like. Yet we find that under a dictatorship in Germany they are operating with money, labour money issued on the ability of the people to labour.

The effects of this iniquitous and cruel monetary system are that it is driving the people of this country to distraction. I know that so far as the farmer is concerned he has abandoned hope. Men who purchased land when the price was high and bought implements at exorbitant prices are to-day being squeezed dry by mortgage and implement companies which demand not only their pound of flesh, but blood also; they must have interest, and compound interest. To these exploiters this government has been genuflecting for years. You cannot have on the one

The Address-Mr. Maybank

hand unlimited exploitation and on the other prosperity for all; the two do not work together.

I do not accuse members of the Liberal party of being less desirous than I am of doing something for this country, but one thing we must do is to find the source of campaign funds for the old-line parties. We must find out where these thousands of dollars come from. There is a suspicion that they come from big industry, and big industry has never been known to give anything unless it got twice as much in return. Parliament must be free, unfettered and courageous, depending upon no outside interests. When a member steps into this chamber, it is to legislate in the interests of the people, not of groups and individuals.

So there are two things which I have brought to the attention of the house to-night. One is that we should change our practice in this house of defeating a government whenever a government measure is defeated. I think we should replace that practice with a method whereby a government might lose on a measure introduced in the house and still retain office. This would give an opportunity for members on the government benches to oppose according to their conscience. The other is this: We must find some method of financing elections in Canada without depending upon big business interests. These are two things that must be done in order to remove some of the debris that stands in the way of progress.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but his time is up.

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

With the permission of the house I should like to finish the sentence.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

By unanimous consent of the house.

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

In all kindness to the government I would say that we must concentrate our attention and energies on the internal problems of the country, because that is where the solution lies; for if we continually depend upon export markets as the measure of internal prosperity, this will lead us only into chaos and as a nation eventually into oblivion.

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LIB

Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. RALPH MAYBANK (Winnipeg South Centre):

I have just listened to the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Poole) speaking as though he thought that from time to time, and I inferred from the way he spoke that he believed it occurred quite often, there was a violation of the dictates of conscience on the part of those of us who support the government. I do not know for how many I

speak, but I think I speak for most when I say that I have not at any time been conscious of outraging my conscience when I have desired to support the government, and I have never supported the government unless I have desired to. Since coming to this house I have always felt that I could criticize this government-and in one or two respects I propose to do so to-night-with complete freedom. I may assure the hon. gentleman that whenever I believe the policies of this government are sufficiently far off the track to fail to enlist my support, I shall be voting against them, just as he will. He may be voting against them because it is the usual thing for him to do, and it may be that we sometimes support the government when we are not wholly in accord with them because the particular matter involved may not be sufficiently important to justify us in disagreeing. But the hon. gentleman need not worry about the virtues of those who support the government. By and large he will find that those members on this side of the house, or on the other, supporting the government, are just about as virtuous as are members within the social credit party. It is an entire mistake for anyone to get the idea that in his party there is a monopoly of virtue.

I had wished that my first words this evening should be words of congratulation to the two ministers of whose appointment we were advised this afternoon. I desire to convey my very hearty congratulations to the hon. member for Essex West (Mr. McLarty) and to the hon. member who has until a short time ago been my neighbour over here, the hon. member for Edmonton West (Mr. MacKinnon) . I am glad that we knew these gentlemen before they were elevated because naturally it is a little easier to get to know a fellow when he is a back-bencher like yourself than it is to get to know a man when you meet him for the first time in the exalted position of a minister of the crown. We feel with reference to these two gentlemen that for at least six or eight months we can meet them on almost the same terms as heretofore.

This section of the house has been referred to as the "rump"-these thirty-eight or thirty-nine or forty seats on the immediate left of the speaker. It was my roommate, the hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Leader), who so denominated this Liberal section of the house. I may be wrong, but if it was not he, it was some other good farmer or butcher who knew that the best part of the meat is to be found on or near the ramp. That is why he gave that name to this particular section. The Prime Minister (Mr. The Address-Mr. Maybank

Mackenzie King) is not in his place at the moment, but I wish to suggest to him through the pages of Hansard that he made a mistake in naming the hon. member for Edmonton West minister without portfolio; that hon. gentleman should have been designated Minister of the Rump. At any rate, although we lose him from this section of the house we are certainly all gratified at his elevation. I need not say that we are also pleased that the hon. member for Essex West has been similarly elevated.

I want in particular to speak to-night on the subject of employment and unemployment, but before doing so I wish to make a suggestion with relation to the royal visit. I must confess, at the outset, the suggestion is not entirely my own, and later I shall tell exactly where it came from. Ever since the accession of Victoria the Good, the British Empire has been blessed, I believe, with a royal family that has been preeminent among all the good monarchs of the world, and I think the virtues of the Victorian succession have been particularly well exemplified at all times by our present king and queen. It seems to me that the outstanding quality of this reigning house and of our present king and queen has been a thoughtfulness, a regard, and an affection for the common folk of the empire, and therefore I wish to make this suggestion-in fact I urge it most strongly -that at some time during this Canadian visit we try to give to their majesties that kind of pleasure which would go direct to their hearts. I suggest that we try to arrange that they visit some of the humbler homes in the country. For example, suppose we could arrange in Winnipeg-and that would be a very appropriate place-a visit to the home of someone among the humbler people of the community, the home of some man in the medium income brackets, a man receiving, say $100 a month, a man in whose home there are children, and whose wife does her own housekeeping. How excellent it would be if their majesties could visit a home of that sort and could have tea, or lunch, there. It does seem to me that it would give them an opportunity to become acquainted with the real Canadian people. They would in that way get to know more about the Canadian people than they could ever learn by all the garden parties, state receptions, soirees and that sort of thing that might be arranged.

Now I said that the idea did not originate with me. As a matter of fact a member of the press gallery came to me and made the suggestion, told me it was the idea of his own paper. And that paper, the Winnipeg Free

[Mr. Maybank.)

Press, carries a story to-day advocating such a visit. I know that if this government would indicate consonance with the plan, the Manitoba committee would arrange the details as far as the city of Winnipeg is concerned, and I believe that committees in other provinces would act in a similar fashion. We have noticed in the papers from time to time accounts of such visits in the old country by royalty, and we know that nothing has endeared them to the hearts of the people more than their activities in that regard. It seems to me that visits of that kind would be entirely in keeping with the desire of their majesties.

I desire mainly to speak now upon the subject of employment. At once I wish to turn my attention towards a point that was raised by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) in his speech and another point which arises from what he has written in his book. The leader of the opposition lamented in this house that his party had been attacked here and had been thrown out of power by reason of the fact that they did not cure unemployment. But the hon. gentleman is in error in such a statement. It was not because they did not cure unemployment that they were attacked, but because they had promised to cure unemployment, and not merely failed to do so, but aggravated the condition. If they had not promised themselves into office, they might not have been thrown out so hard. I would also draw his attention to another error which is properly chargeable to him, in this case an error of omission. It does not refer to what he said in this house but to what he wrote in his autobiography. He was giving certain reasons for the defeat of the Conservative party; prominent among them was the action he charged against the hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens). But he failed to indicate one of the chief and very cogent reasons, one peculiarly related to himself. He was Minister of Railways during those five years, and during those years the Canadian National Railways were systematically sabotaged. The people of this country feared amalgamation. He undertook to amalgamate the telegraph lines and the express business, and it was naturally felt that this was a forerunner of complete amalgamation.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I just wish to contradict that statement, without going into details at this moment.

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LIB

Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

I might draw to the hon. gentleman's attention that I do not think he had any right to rise and contradict me in

The Address-Mr. Maybank

that fashion. If anything is said which is clearly an error of fact in some definite way, he may perhaps have the right to rise and contradict it. But to rise and make little short speeches of that sort, surely he has no right to do. I have a right to draw an inference from his conduct. I draw the inference from his conduct as Minister of Railways that the systematic- sabotaging of the railway that went on during those years was largely attributable to him.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That statement is absolutely untrue. There was no sabotaging of the Canadian National Railways at any time.

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LIB

Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

It was sabotaged from the day the late government came into office until the day it went out.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That is not true.

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LIB

Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

It is absolutely true. I do not say that the hon. gentleman went out and took up the rails and carried them home. I do not say that he himself told the railway people not to go out and look for business. But from the moment he took over that portfolio the manner of carrying on the business of the railroad was changed. We know that the men who were working for the railway during those five years were trembling every day that he went to his office as Minister of Railways. Certainly what I said in regard to telegraph and express business is true, and in the light of that it is a reasonable inference to draw that this was the first step towards complete amalgamation. If he was not responsible for it I should like to know who was; he was Minister of Railways and stayed with the government which was doing it. A few days ago he attempted to indicate to us that we ought to know what went on in the council at that time, meaning to hint that he did not agree with that policy. We have no record of that sort. I say that when he undertakes to revise his book he had better say that one of the chief reasons for the defeat of the Conservative party was his handling of the railway during that five years.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That is a misrepresentation.

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LIB

Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

I object for two reasons: the first, a point of order, and the second, that the hon. gentleman is unparliamentary in his language. I know there is not much more chance of stopping him jumping up like that than there is of preventing the soda from coming out of the bottle too quickly when you shake the bottle, so I suppose I can do nothing more than register my objection. I again respectfully suggest to the hon. gentleman that if and when he revises his book he should

insert the statement that one of the chief causes of the defeat of the Conservative party was his own handling of the railway question while Minister of Railways, because unquestionably that did contribute very greatly to their defeat.

I am not going to imitate the hon. gentleman in failing to take notice of anything which may be unpleasant. I do not for a moment suggest that conditions in the country are all as they ought to be. Frankly, I think my own party has been in some measure to blame. I think it is to blame as far as it has imitated Conservative methods in the handling of this employment and unemployment question. I am going to say what I think at any time, without either fear or hope of favour.

But it is idle for the hon. gentleman to suggest that conditions have not improved since the time he left office. Instead of peonage in labour camps we have at least managed to put some 20,000 of the younger men happily out on farms. We have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 35,000 who have been helped by the youth training policies. The general trade policies of this government have resulted in increased employment, whereas the economic nationalism of the hon. gentleman's party led directly to unemployment. Millions of dollars have been supplied to municipalities for work which they can undertake. The construction industry has undoubtedly been stimulated by the housing act, to the amount of about $28,500,000. When the former government was guiding the country's affairs we had nothing of that sort. True, an act was passed, but no machinery was set up for it to work. The home improvement plan was a simple and effective way of aiding the construction industry, and some $25,000,000 has been spent under that to aid employment. The former administration, it would appear, was more in favour of passing nugatory and invalid labour legislation which never did march and probably never was intended to.

Again, I do not think the late government was criticized so much for not having accurate records. Rather the criticism was that it had almost no records at all. Consequently it followed a hit-or-miss policy with respect to unemployment and employment; it was a hit-and-miss policy in the beginning, a hit-and-miss policy in the middle of its term and a hit-and-miss policy until the very end. But we did find that there were in the neighbourhood of a million on relief in the September following our return to power, and it was more than that when we started. By September of last year that figure had been reduced to a little more than half a million.

The Address-Mr. Maybank

Urban unemployment, at the time the count was first made, was about 700,000, while two years later it was reduced to 444,000.

Many other comparisons could be made, all to the disadvantage of the administration of which the hon. gentleman was a member. I am not at all satisfied with present conditions, but I think the hon. gentleman does himself less than justice by merely gibing and jeering, and suggesting that there has been no improvement since we started to drag ourselves out of the hole into which they got us.

I am going to state seven propositions by means of which I think the government could improve the situation at the present time. In the first place I think the federal government should assume a bigger share of the relief needs of this country. This afternoon I heard the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) indicate that a greater share would be assumed, and he fixed that share at forty per cent, which would leave forty per cent to the provincial government and twenty per cent to the municipality. I might as well say at once that I do not think that is adequate. I think it might have been adequate if it had been done in 1930, but now, in 1939, it comes after the municipalities have become pretty well bankrupt. And I do not think it is fair to place a burden of twenty per cent of the cost, plus administration costs, upon the municipalities which can raise money only by direct taxation, almost entirely upon real estate. As a matter of fact, in the past many municipaliites have had to pay from thirty to fifty per cent of the total relief costs. I still think the central government, which has an unlimited field of taxation, should assume a larger share. I should point out, however, that I realize that when this government assumes forty per cent of the cost it will be an improvement.

In the second place I should like to suggest that this government institute and do everything that can be done to make effective a policy of no relief without work. I believe that can be done to a very considerable extent. We should give work, not a dole. If that cannot be accomplished one hundred per cent, let us get as near to it as we can. Certain plans that have been put into operation in Manitoba point the way. Men have been working for their relief out there, and they have been allowed to work one-eighth more than the extent required for their relief. Just in passing I might say that the men on relief came out and did that work willingly. I am not suggesting that it should be done in exactly that way, because that is payment in kind instead of in money, and I am not in favour of that at all. I think a man who

works should be paid in money and not in hand-outs of food. I believe we could have people work to the extent of their relief plus 25 per cent, and the same could be extended to the men who are not on relief but may be near to it. At the present time we spend a million dollars for relief and get nothing for it. We could spend a million and a quarter and get value for that amount of money.

Another point I should like to make is that if work is to be done in order to relieve unemployment, it should be done where that condition exists, not in some remote place. W'hen you undertake public works, presumably in order to relieve unemployment, and carry them out where there is no unemployment situation, it savours too much of pork-barrel spending. In saying this, I do not mean to criticize the building of mining roads, for example; on the contrary, I believe they are excellent projects which will create much future employment, and which indeed have justified themselves already in that regard. Nor do I mean that I am at all critical of tourist roads, if they are properly designed and located. That leads me to say this, that we as a federal government should get ahead with the cross-country road. That should be carried on as a national undertaking. Some person may object that there is some difficulty about the route; that Ontario has not made up its mind. There is one way to cure that, I suggest; that is, to make the announcement that the road will be built. Before morning the route will be indicated.

Then I think much more should be done in the way of youth training. I do not intend to speak at length upon that subject, but will reserve what I have to say until some time later, when the minister is [DOT] dealing directly with that matter. I should like to say, however, that after examining the various camps and training projects in which I found the youth of Manitoba, I believe a great deal can be done in the way of employing youth, at any rate sufficiently to keep up their morale in these times.

Finally I should like to say that I believe every effort should be put forth at this time in connection with the rehabilitation or reclamation of those who have been idle for a long time. I believe we should devote time, thought, energy and money to the reclamation of men who have been idle for many years. Idleness undoubtedly has ruined many, and many more are on the verge of being ruined, but it is not too late to save them. If the ordinary dictates of humanity would not impel us to do that, then the idea of saving money

The Address-Mr. Ross (St. Paul's)

ought to turn us to the task. I say that for this reason. Every individual, who through idleness has become a particle of what has been termed the "hard core of unemployment," if he is not dislodged from that formation becomes a constant threat to the balancing of budgets, either civic, provincial or federal. It will cost some money to effect an improvement in morale to-day. It will cost more money to effect that reclamation tomorrow and still more money the next day. Before long it will be too late. Then the individual will become a charge on the community or the province or the federal government for the rest of his life. So, if we would not institute some special plan with respect to people of this type solely because of the good that might be done, we ought to do it because we would save money by doing so now. The poet has spoken of man's inhumanity to man, but I would put it in this way : If "man's humanity to man" will not compel us to do this sort of thing, then let the dollar be the urge. We shall be well repaid for every person whose morale can be restored in this manner.

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January 23, 1939