January 27, 1939

CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

The government has a

chance to do something. It has a chance to do something to make up for the disastrous three years through which the people of Canada have just passed, in spite of the promises made in 1935. If the government had had a proper approach to the provincial governments, if it had gone out in a spirit of compromise, we would have in Canada to-day national health laws, national hospitalization and national labour laws, all of which are badly needed. All these improvements could have been law to-day if the government had been willing to compromise with the provinces, as it ought to have done.

And so I say that when one reads of the promises of 1935 he has cause to wonder. I well remember the morning of October 15, 1935, when I thought the sky had fallen and there was no longer any chance for Canada. I picked up a paper and read a statement made by the Prime Minister, to which my leader referred in the course of his observations. I read that speech of dedication, and I read it carefully. Who could help being impressed by those beautiful words, those wonderful phrases? They were music to the ears of everyone in Canada who had hoped that something good would come from the election of the Liberal party. I read that

dedication speech-and then, of course, I realized who had made it. I recalled the flowery speeches he had made in the past and I began to understand that perhaps after all the sky actually had fallen. Three years later we find that it has; the people of Canada are absolutely crushed under the burden which has been placed upon them.

Not only do I like the wording and phrasing of this speech, but I think hon. members of the house and the people of Canada generally should be impressed with the significance of the wonderful dedication speech made by the right hon. gentleman; we may then realize how little he has lived up to it. The Prime Minister said:

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, he carried on as never before. Poverty and adversity, want and misery, are the enemies rvhieh Liberalism will seek to banish from the land. They have lain in wait at the gate of every Canadian home during the past five years, 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.

And then they tell the hungry, ill clad, ill housed people of Canada that we are hunting for some place to get rid of our meats, our butter, our eggs, our milk and other things that our own Canadian people have not the money to buy.

At least in that dedication speech the right hon. gentleman admitted that the Conservative government had kept these terrible enemies of the people at the gate. We were slowly but surely driving them from the country. But this government has opened the gate. Those enemies have opened the door and entered the homes of our Canadian people, and out of them they have driven peace, happiness and security. The words of the Prime Minister's statement were brave words, but what use are they without deeds?

I say that unless this government makes some definite move to do something it will stand indicted before the highest tribunal in the land, the Canadian people, as a government which has absolutely forgotten those who put them into power. When the opportunity comes, as it must come, and the people hope it will be soon, they will be in a position to undo the wrong that they did themselves

The Address-Miss Macphail

in 1935. After all there is no hope for the government that is in power. No blood transfusion or dope or anything elseh can revive the little spark of life that once was there. They are on their way out. Politically they are dead. All that is necessary now is an election so that the people of Canada can give them a proper burial under an avalanche of ballots. When we come into power we will once more make effective the policies which in the past brought security to Canada.

Miss AGNES C. MACPHAIL (Grey-Bruce): Mr. Speaker, I intend to lump my congratulations. I offer them to the mover (Mr. Matthews) and the seconder (Mr. Chevrier) of the address in reply, to the new leader of the Conservative party (Mr. Manion) and to the new members, although I think perhaps I should offer condolences rather than congratulations. I offer them to the new cabinet ministers. Their appointment particularly interested me. This choosing of cabinet ministers is a strange business. There must be some rules by which the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) decides who is to be appointed. I do not know what they are and I was wondering if some time he would not take the house into his confidence. We would then have some idea as to who were to be our future cabinet ministers.

I do not intend to follow the very eloquent speech of the hon. member who has just spoken (Mr. Homuth). He is new to this house, but has had legislative experience. There are only two things I would say to him. First, we did not have a riot in British Columbia when the Conservatives were in power, but there was one in Regina. I get no enjoyment out of saying this, but I think it is well for us to remember it. The other thing I want to say is that much as I would like to become enthusiastic over the trade treaties, my honest opinion is that if we heard nothing of them one way or another for six months we would never know they had been signed. I have waited so long for Canada to be relieved of its difficulties by means of trade treaties that I do not intend to be fooled by this one.

I do not intend to follow the speech from the throne paragraph by paragraph. I shall refer to only one subject in it. I intend to confine myself entirely to a few questions which seem important to me.

In these days of confusion and tragedy abroad one's mind turns to things at home, to things that one can understand. All over the world we are seeing liberty, freedom and personal security being swept away for thousands, yes even millions of people. We

JMr. Homuth.]

see democracy backing away before the onslaught of fascism. What surprises me more than anything else is the fact that the conscience of the world has been seared to such an extent that we can endure the tragedy of China, the betrayal of Czechoslovakia and the unparalleled agony of Spain without doing anything about it. We even see Great Britain and France, countries which we thought were great democracies, aiding the fascists to overthrow the Spanish government by means of the non-intervention pact. Quite apart from what was in our innermost hearts, we listened to the Prime Minister of Great Britain being lauded the world over in the name of peace, or this new word "appeasement", for having delivered democracy into the hands of the fascists in response to a gigantic bluff on the part of the greatest dictator of them all. In many countries we see thousands of people who are striving to get away from fascism, who want to be allowed to enter the free democracies. An Austrian woman who was my guest yesterday told me that the actions of the leaders in the fascist countries did not break the spirits of the people as much as did the indifference of the democratic peoples like ourselves.

I feel that something has happened to the spirit of mankind when we can go about our daily tasks, even earnestly about the business of government, in days like this, unmoved by others' misery. As I said before, in despair we turn to things at home. I think it can be said that every hon. member of this house wants democracy in Canada. We want to save and perfect the democratic system, but I think we all realize that that cannot be done unless we solve the economic problems of the people. We must pass from a liberal democracy to a social democracy. In the last analysis a desperately driven people will be ready to give up liberty and freedom in search of economic security. As a matter of fact, there is no liberty and there is no freedom for a person who is absolutely destitute. We as members of the parliament of Canada must set ourselves resolutely to the task of solving the economic problems which face the Canadian people. I say in all seriousness that if we do not do this a harassed and bewildered and disillusioned people will turn from the democratic form of government to anything else that they think will give them economic security. In my opinion that other form of government will never be communism, but I think they are ready to consider some form of fascism unless we who are the guardians and trustees of democracy discharge well our duties.

The Address-Miss Macphail

If we really want to preserve democracy, and I believe we all do, we must be willing to forsake all artificial differences. We must be ready to acknowledge that up until now there have been artificial differences between members and parties in this house. We must be willing to get rid of them. It is true that in a democracy there must be free expression of opinion. The beauty of democracy is the fact that we are free to advocate different solutions to a problem. But surely we have reached the time when we should be willing to vote in support of that in which we believe. Surely we have reached the time when we should not be looking for either personal or party glorification in what we do. We should be willing to support the things in which we believe, no matter by whom they are suggested or by whom they are supported.

As I listened to the speeches delivered in the opening days of this session by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Manion), whom we all welcome again to this house, and the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), I felt that there was danger in the fact that the people of Canada will believe the unkind things they said about each other and about each other's policies. That is exactly what has happened. When the terrible row between the Prime Minister and Mr. Hepburn was on -in my opinion it is still on-I heard many people in my constituency say, "Well, at least we are hearing some truth now"; that is, they thought each was telling the truth about the other. I say in all seriousness it is time we stopped political scrapping and settled down as honest people to find solutions for the problems which are besetting and wearing down the spirit of our Canadian people, because I think in Canada we cannot afford to lessen the confidence of the people in our members of parliament and public men and in our parliamentary institutions. In simpler days-and one can look back to seventeen years ago and regard them now as simpler days, when there were not the pressing problems we have to-day-there was an interest taken in the rough-and-tumble of political strife between the leaders and members of different [DOT] political parties. Nobody minded that very much then. I think perhaps the country even took an interest in it, but I again say in all seriousness that that day is done.

When I heard the speeches of the first day or two at the opening of the session I thought: Can it be tiue that we must all session hear this drivel again? When you come from places where you see people who do not know what they are going to do to live, who have not

houses, who have not clothes, who cannot educate their children, who do not know where the next meal is coming from, and then come here and see people with fine abilities- because I am not one of those who think that members of parliament have not ability; I think they have-use those fine abilities in a verbal battle over non-essentials, it seems to me nothing but a complete waste of time. If we are to save democracy the only kind of partisans we can afford from now on are partisans in favour of democracy, both political and economic.

There are only two subjects on which I shall speak, and the first is agriculture. I feel that we can do more towards solving unemployment and a great many of our other problems in Canada by restoring the purchasing power of the farmer than we can do by any other method. In Canada we have some 728,623 farms, and it is true of almost every farm family that they cannot buy the goods they need; and we have idle machines, unemployed workers, and a drift of rural youth to the cities and into white-collared jobs and into the professions, if that is possible.

Agriculture until now has been asked to buy in a protected market, and not only a protected market but a market restricted in many ways, and to sell in a non-protected market. Farmers have been asked to pay exorbitant prices for farm machinery. I am sure no other industry passing through such times as agriculture is experiencing would have been asked to pay such high prices and to stand such a high tariff on their implements of production. Farmers have been asked to pay high prices for the goods and services which they require, and the high prices which they had to pay were very largely the result of the regulating of supply to meet effective demand. And yet the farmer, because he had this mounting overhead, went on produeir-more and more goods without any consideration for the effective demand for his goods.

Farmers have been asked to pay high interest rates. Even the farm loan board-I am grateful to have it as it is, but it could be so much better-charges the farmers five per cent. That is too much, because agriculture cannot pay five per cent. Since I have been in this house the farmers in western Canada have been charged, by various discounting methods, rates as high as twelve per cent. Farmers have suffered very much from a tight money policy. During the last administration, when we could have benefited as Australia and New Zealand and the Argentine did by valuing the British pound at close to six dollars, it was quoted here at only $3.75, and that did very much to impoverish agriculture in Canada.

The Address-Miss Macphail

What immigrants we took in, and I think we ought now to consider very carefully taking in people from countries from which all sense of humanity has gone, agriculture in the last few years has been asked to absorb- not labour, not the professions, not business, but agriculture. The result is, and it need hardly be mentioned, that we have had such an overplus of agricultural products that prices have dropped lower and lower and for a period of years now our farmers have been selling their products below the cost of production. I notice that Mr. Robert Gardiner, at the convention of the United Farmers of Alberta, a few days ago, had this to say, and I am quoting from the Western Farm Leader of January 20, at page 2:

It is time that the government and the people of Canada realize that they cannot forever expect that the primary producer will be content to continue to produce new wealth at a loss a loss which means economic insecurity, hardship and debt for the farmer and his family.

All this, of course, has resulted in certain things. It has resulted in farm mortgages being a drug on the market; nobody wants to invest his money in a farm mortgage. Even farm buildings show the decadent agriculture we have to-day. You do not need to be able to read to know the present condition of agriculture. All you need to do is to drive along country roads and see the farm dwellings in need of repair, old buildings falling down, unpainted houses, houses where just the trim needs painting and even that not done; farm homes, the great majority of them, without the comforts and conveniences which even people of small means in the city think are essential. We see farmers working very hard and getting very little pay. We see farmers suffering for lack of medical and dental care. We see a vastly increasing number of cases of high blood pressure and heart disease among our agriculturists. This, Mr. Speaker, cannot go on forever. The farmers are rousing themselves again. They go into long sleeps, and they are now just emerging from one.

The farmer in Canada knows that there were thirty-three acts passed by the British parliament, during the last seven or eight years, having to do with agriculture and tending to raise the price of agricultural products, so that the British farmer did not have to sell below the cost of production. Our farmers see that the farmer in Britain gets $1.30 a bushel for his wheat, in France $1,50, in Italy $2, and in Germany $2.50; and the farmer in Canada, and certainly the farmer of Ontario, feels that something must be done about it.

The first thing that must be done, and the only thing that the farmer can do for himself, is to organize farmers so completely that there will be one body that can speak for agriculture.

I hear farmers talking for the first time m favour of producing for a known market. They see that other countries which used to buy our farm products do not do so any longer. They regret that there are people in Canada who would like to buy cream and eggs, steaks, cereals, chickens-all the things that go to make up a good table-but who cannot afford them. I saw in the Journal of, 1^ think, last night, that a man living at North Bay died of voluntary starvation in order that his wife and children might eat. That happened in this country, where we have such surpluses that we do not know what to do with them. But the farmer is coming to recognize the meaning of these great surpluses, and although he would like to see them consumed by needy people in urban places and the needy who are to be found sometimes in country places, he cannot afford to produce for nothing. He cannot afford to give the goods to the people who need them. So for the first time in his life the Ontario farmer, and I think I can say the Canadian farmer, is coming to the conclusion that what he must do is to produce goods for a known market; that is, to estimate how much the market will absorb and produce that much and no -more.

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An hon. MEMBER:

What about crop

failures?

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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

Well, the government can store some of the grain in the elevators in case of a crop failure, and not ask the farmer to do so. The government can conserve for future needs.

And so the farmers of Ontario and, indeed, the farmers of all Canada, first getting together in a great organization-and they are beginning to do so-will soon be coming to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) and to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and demanding marketing legislation which will give authority to the majority of a commodity group to bring the minority into line with their wishes, and they will demand a price which is equal to the cost of production, including wages to the farmer. It sounds revolutionary; but it is coming; it is almost here, and it will have to be followed by controlled production. It must give Conservatives some satisfaction when they think back to the Natural Products Marketing Act

The Address-Miss Macphail

and remember the opposition-the political opposition, if I may say so-that the Liberal party put up to that act. They did not want it, and the privy council of Great Britain- I shall not say for that reason, although it may have had a bearing-threw out the legislation and called it ultra vires. I wonder when we are coming to the time when we shall stop sending legislation to Great Britain to see whether or not-

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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING :

The Supreme court threw it out here.

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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

Yes, in that instance both courts did so; nevertheless it was sent on to Londpn.

There is no reason why other Canadians who for a long time have been gauging their production by the market should feel aggrieved or resentful because the farmer is coming to the conclusion that he too must do the same. Take the case of the farm implement firms, which between 1929 and 1933 curtailed production by eighty per cent because the farmer did not have the money to buy their products, and let their price drop by only six per cent. That is, they were not willing to go on producing for idealistic reasons, because the farmer needed machinery, as no doubt he did. They said, "We cannot afford to produce if we cannot sell; there is no effective demand, and therefore we must curtail production." A great many of our manufacturers do the same thing. They estimate how much they can sell; then they start their factories running to supply the market, and when they have supplied the market they close the factories.

Until now Canadian farmers have been reluctant to follow this example-not so reluctant to get marketing legislation or to obtain a price equal to the cost of production, but reluctant to consider the thing which must follow that, namely the control of production. Canadian farmers have not been reluctant to receive the better price for bacon in Great Britain which came as a result of the artificial setting of prices, nor have they been unwilling to crowd the Danish farmer off the market in Great Britain, although it has reduced him to a place where he has had to control production and allot production among the various hog producers in Denmark. There every farmer who produces hogs has what they call pig cards, and the total number of cards that is issued is equal to the number of hogs that may be produced. It is true that farmers can buy and sell the cards among themselves, but the total cannot increase. Nor indeed are we unfamiliar with 71492-26

this type of action on the part of farmers even in Ontario. The adjustment of the volume of production to the demand in a known market is carried out by milk producers. The whole-milk producers supplying our cities and towns are practically all working on a basis which regulates marketing and effects an indirect control of production, with each farmer supplying milk on a quota basis, and with a considerably lower price for that part of the supply which exceeds the quota. That is exactly what is done in Denmark in connection with hogs. Anybody who insists on producing more hogs than his quota gets exactly half price for them.

May I draw the attention of the federal government, in case they have missed it, to the Bracken conference which was held in Winnipeg? It seems to me it would have been more fitting if the federal government, which is concerned with agriculture all over Canada, had called that conference. I do, however, approve the action of Mr. Bracken in calling it. Everybody who attended that conference felt that in their discussion they got down to essentials, and that the farmer was talking about his own business in exactly the same way that business people -manufacturers and business men generally -have until now talked about their business. I believe that if we did something along the lines suggested at that conference-and I . think we shall do it finally-it would so increase the purchasing power of the farmer as greatly to lessen unemployment, by starting the factories of Canada running again.

I notice that the same theme is dealt with in the issue of Liberty of February 4, 1939- it is a little bit ahead of the date, but I suppose we shall finally arrive there-in an editorial in which it says;

Half of our nation looks to the land for support. Agriculture is the driving shaft of our national economic machine. So long as it remains broken, the machine cannot function. Once it is repaired, the nation as a whole will be on the highroad to recovery.

I issue solemn warning to you business men of urban Canada: Your great industries cannot prosper permanently, nor wrill your unemployment problem ever be solved while this dislocation of the agricultural machine persists.

When the farmers can buy, urban Canada can sell.

There are some things which farmers can do for themselves, and these, I think, they are going to do. I believe that for the first time in many years farmers are interested in adult education. They are also very much interested in consumers' cooperation, believing that they will be able, as the years go by,

The Address-Miss Macphail

to buy together, to form their own wholesales and, finally, their own manufacturing plants. But that is all slow, very slow. Whether it will come fast enough to save the situation, I do not know.

There are two other things which I believe agricultural Ontario and all Canada want to see come from the federal government. One is a farm loans scheme which will give loans to young farmers at not more than three per cent and will not require the repayment of the loan in a short period but will allow it to run for any period up to, I suggest, thirty years. Many of the young farmers who come to the cities do not want to come; they want to stay on the farm, but they cannot. The present loan scheme requires them to have 50 per cent of the amount needed, in addition to some farm stock and implements. Unless the father is very well to do, that is more than a young farmer can manage. I am sure that as time goes on we shall have to offer farm loans in which the farmer will not have to put up more than 25 per cent, if so much, on which he pays only three per cent interest, and which run for a long period of years. Then the farmer wants, and as time goes on I believe will get, loans from the federal government, possibly passing through the provincial governments, for great cooperative enterprises in processing, almost debt free. There is no reason except prejudice to prevent the federal' government from issuing money at a service rate.

For the rest of my time I should like to deal with the problem of youth. We ought to try for youth a plan that is many-sided and continuous, until we solve or come close to solving the problem. I connect with this the securing of farm prices that cover the cost of production. Then we could go on and do many other things. The problem facing youth to-day is, I am sure, distressing to everyone in this house. One step we can take to help them is to reduce the age for old age pensions from seventy to sixty-five, and later to sixty. I see no reason why that should not be done. It is not going to hurt a man of sixty-five not to work, particularly if he does not want to, and I imagine that when I reach that age I shall not want to work; I do not want to even now. But it does hurt youth not to work. The government should develop a youth program covering the whole field of Canadian economic life, not just one or two phases. And the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) is well qualified to take charge of such a program.

We must admit that this is a difficult time for youth; not hopeless but certainly dif-

ficult. In my generation youth did not worry about a job. We worried about learning to do the kind of work we were preparing ourselves for; we worried about examinations, about a diploma, about apprenticeship, but not about finding a job. I recall, when I applied for my first job, just in order to be safe I applied for five and was accepted for all five. That was no compliment to me; it was merely that teachers were scarce.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

No, it was special aptitude.

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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

No, they did not know me. Young people to-day would be very much surprised if, on applying for five jobs they were accepted for all five. It is more likely that when a young person applies for one job to-day, there will be a hundred other applicants-

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order. I regret to interrupt, but the hon. member's time has expired.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go on, by unanimous consent.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

I do not think the hon.

member has been speaking for more than half an hour. She started at twenty-five minutes to five.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

My information from the table is that the hon. member has spoken for over forty minutes.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

All I can say is, the information is wrong.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go ahead; unanimous consent.

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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

I thank the house. I am sure we are all interested, and certainly youth is not a partisan subject. The scheme of education in Canada should be changed. I regret that we have not a department of education in the federal government. Of course we cannot have it under present conditions, but I believe the system of education has had something to do with the youth problem. Too much we have thought of education as a means of preparing a child for an easier life. Too often parents say to a child, " I want you to go to school because I do not want you ever to have to work as hard as I had to." That is a mistake. It gets many people into alleys where they do not belong and are not happy. It leads to crowding in the white-collar jobs and professions, and to a dearth of well trained tradesmen and craftsmen.

School and life have been too much isolated from each other. Youth is kept in the academic world, even those who go only as

The Address-Miss Macphail

far as senior matriculation up to the age of twenty; then they are turned loose in the world of reality wholly unprepared to find their way around in that unfamiliar place. I do not think the problems of youth can be solved entirely apart from the social and economic problems of the country, but a carefully thought out youth program could do much. I commend the government for its youth training project; that is one thing which needed to be done, because it takes these young people who have no jobs or young people who want to work with their hands but do not know how to get into such work, and gives them an opportunity not only to work with their hands but to get training as well. No one who attended the meeting held in the railway committee room the other night could fail to realize the lift that not only the youth of Canada themselves but their instructors have been given by this training project. We so seldom see any real enthusiasm any more that it was a delight to feel the enthusiasm exhibited, although I must say one man from Ontario let his political enthusiasm run away with him.

There is much to be said for the youth training project. It is possibly only a beginning, only a stop-gap. It may be that a great many of these young people cannot be placed in jobs when they finish the training, but it is doing something, and it is constructive. And something constructive is so remarkable that one wants to praise it. I feel that the people of Ontario ought to bring such pressure to bear on the government of that province that they would be forced by public opinion to use the full allotment of money made available to them by the federal government. Last year I understand they used only 40 per cent, and this year they promise to use even less. Enough pressure should be brought to bear to induce even the Ontario government to cooperate with the dominion government.

Something else that could and should be done, possibly by the Department of Labour, since it has undertaken this first task, is to provide a general leisure time program for youth, unemployed and employed; youth who have more time than they can constructively use, who need physical exercise, need the happiness that comes from large numbers of youth being together. This should include gymnastics, singing, outdoor games, and at least something along the lines of handicrafts, art and dramatics. I was impressed by the picture we saw the other night of a mining camp in British Columbia. Those young men were happy together and were learning a great deal.

Since I am speaking on borrowed time I am not going to finish what I intended to say,

71109-9$ J

but shall simply say that good as youth training projects and all these other things that we have been talking and thinking about are, they are not going to move fast enough to take care of all these 100,000 single unemployed, not all young, who are drifting around this country or being cared for in hostels at about ten cents a day for food, sometimes getting three meals a day and sometimes two. I cannot think of anything more terrible than the life of these drifters, going back and forth across Canada or cooped up in hostels. It is a great human wastage, and Canada cannot afford to waste 100,000 of her single unemployed.

If I had time I should like to develop that further, but in closing I shall simply say that I think we should set up camps on the order of the CCC camps in the United States. I do not think we would need to be ashamed of patterning them on the camps of another country, because they have had the experience which we could get only at great cost. I do not want military camps, but the CCC camps are not of that type. They are camps where the young men learn to work on the job. They receive lectures in relation to the work they are doing and are also offered general adult education. Almost every conceivable kind of development is offered them if they want to take it; and in addition, and perhaps more particularly, they are given good food, warm clothes and medical and dental care. They work eight hours a day, five days a week and are paid $30 a month, with from $22 to $25 going back to support their families. Instead of being weights on their families, they have become bread-winners, and the responsibility which many educators to-day claim is not a distinguishing feature of our youth has been developed.

Some other opportunity will offer itself to deal at greater length with this question, but I should like to say that I went through some of the hostels in Toronto just before I came to Ottawa to attend the session. After seeing the hopelessness on the faces of some of those men I should be surprised indeed if anyone could say they did not want to work. The men in charge say that about ten per cent of single unemployed are tubercular, and we know that delinquency is increasing rapidly. It has been said that recidivism among our prisoners now is up to about ninety per cent. They come out of gaol; they cannot find jobs, and therefore, possibly voluntarily, they commit another crime and return to prison. So, if we say we cannot afford to put these men into camps and train them, we do not count the cost we already bear for feeding them, for treatment of the tubercular, for crime and for all sorts of institutions in which a great many of

396 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. MacKenzie (Neepawa)

them finally land. I entreat hon. members of this house to think over this problem of youth and see if we cannot do something that will touch many more than are being affected by the youth training plan, good as it is.

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LIB

Frederick Donald MacKenzie

Liberal

Mr. F. D. MacKENZIE (Neepawa):

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member has exhausted his time to speak.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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LIB

Hugh Bathgate McKinnon

Liberal

Mr. H. B. McKINNON (Kenora-Rainy River):

I wish to associate myself with previous speakers in this debate in congratulating the mover (Mr. Matthews) and the seconder (Mr. Chevrier) of the address. They both made excellent speeches, and I am sure that the entire house, irrespective of party, enjoyed them as much as I did. I should like also to congratulate our two new cabinet ministers, one of them from Ontario (Mr. McLarty) and the other from Alberta (Mr. MacKinnon). These are men whom we have known quite intimately during the last few years in the house, and I feel sure that the house appreciates their ability and is certain that they will achieve success in the high offices to which they have been appointed. I should also like to congratulate the leader of the official opposition (Mr. Manion) upon his election as head of the Conservative party, that party which has had so much to do with the history of our country. The hon. leader of the opposition comes from the same part of Ontario as I do, and I assure him that the people there feel highly honoured that a man from that part of the country should be chosen to lead that party. I voice the opinion of all the people of northern Ontario in wishing him every success in leading his party-of course in opposition.

In rising to speak so late in the first debate of this session, I feel that I may be very brief in my remarks, and still serve the purpose which I have in mind. Much has already been said on both sides of the house on those problems of the day with which Canada is faced, and while naturally I do not agree with all the views that have been advanced, it is not with any desire to engage in argument that I now rise. Rather what I have in mind is that at the outset of a very important session the people in my riding have a right to. expect their representative to call to the attention of parliament those matters which might most affect them. That duty I now wish to perform.

In common with all other members of the house I want to express my gratification at the proposed visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen to Canada this year. This royal visit is something to which all Canadians, without distinction, will look forward with pleasure and loyal interest. The people in my constituency, many of them at least, hope to have an opportunity of seeing the royal couple, even if only for a brief time. Kenora-Rainy River forms a bottle neck through which travellers and commerce alike

The Address-Mr. McKinnon

must pas to move between east and west, and its location is particularly fortunate in connection with the royal visit, because the riding must necessarily be one through which their majesties will pass. Nowhere in the country will the royal visitors be able to see scenery superior to that afforded by the Lake of the Woods district, nor would a sightseeing journey across Canada be complete without seeing that district. Moreover, Kenora-Rainy River will present as typical a view of the economic life of the great north country of Ontario as can be seen anywhere in this province.

I do not propose at this time to launch into a discussion of the troubled state of international affairs, but I do feel called upon to say a word in support of the attitude of the government in the crisis of last September. Perhaps more than ever we realized then that Canada is but a small factor in the concerns of nations with many times our population, but the issue of peace or war is a vital one for our people. The suffering imposed by armed conflict is relatively as acute in a nation of eleven million people as in one of one hundred million. I feel that we Canadians have much to thank our government for. In those tense days of September we could not settle the affairs of Europe, but any lack of caution on our part, any unwise utterance, might possibly 'have been the spark to light the powder. The government, at the risk of being misunderstood, remained silent, and by remaining silent earned some of the credit for the avoidance of a horrible war. There are other horrors in the world, such as poverty and unemployment, but they cannot be placed alongside war in a comparison of horrors.

Yet the government is not content to trust to chance in defence matters. We may all hope that war will continue to be avoided, but if it is not we must be at least partly prepared to protect our country. From this point of view I welcome the increase in the vote proposed for the defence of Canada. We must be ready to resist greed and aggression, and now is the time to prepare. We are not increasing our armaments against any country; we are only taking necessary steps that the armaments which others will pile up in any case cannot be used successfully against us.

I am confident that the trade agreement concluded with the United States by the present government shortly after coming into office helped employment and trade generally since that agreement came into operation. I therefore feel optimistic that the new trade agreement now entered into will even further expand our trade with our neighbouring republic. These agreements would have been desirable at any time, but with many of our

former good customers abroad now unable or unwilling to buy as large a share as formerly of the products that Canada has for sale, increased trade on the north American continent is a godsend for us. Until the European situation changes for the better we must hope to expand our trade with Great Britain and the United States in order to help those industries here which depend on trading outside Canada. I speak from somewhat intimate knowledge of this subject because railroading is a very important industry in our district, and decreased sales of wheat, for example, or similar crops, hit our workers directly. Whatever makes trade move, helps our railroads and helps my riding. Employment conditions in Canada have been adversely affected not only by our own troubles but by unsettled conditions abroad. I am glad that the government has not waited for the clearing of the air, so to speak, in international affairs, to give to trade and employment the upswing which is so badly needed.

The housing legislation, special measures for youth training, assistance to the provinces for road construction, and other similar steps, have all been a help in providing much needed work. As a member of this house I am fully prepared to support the government in every future step which they may have in mind to provide more work of this kind. The foreign trade policy of the government, as I have said, has been a big help to us; but unfortunately there is a limit in these days to what we can expect along those lines. Support by any feasible steps to the construction industry, the mining industry, logging and pulp and paper, is very necessary. Kenora-Rainy River is more and more pushing to the front in the mining industry, and whatever the government can do by building roads or by any other steps to help the mining industry will help the people of my riding and will help one of the greatest industries we have in Canada. Assistance to the provinces for road construction is something else that we are very much interested in. We need the work provided by construction, and we need the roads after completion. When road construction is stimulated, it is a case of doing two good deeds at the one time.

As for the forestry industry, much reforestation work could be carried out in northern Ontario, including my own district. Here again, while we might have in mind the employment that this work would give, we should also keep in mind the future of Canada and the shrinkage of products from the forest unless much more is done to replace what is burnt and what is cut. Just this year quite a section of our district was robbed of

The Address-Mr. Brown

valuable forest resources by fire. Lives were endangered and resources eaten up. In addition to clearing the way for the growth of young trees, much profitable work by fire prevention measures could be undertaken.

One cannot sit in this house for four years without understanding the problems with which the ministry is always faced. There is the financial problem; there are constitutional difficulties. None the less there are two considerations that have to be borne in mind in order to be fair to the people of this country. The first is that when normal employment is not sufficient to take care of our people, we must be ready, in order to provide a large volume of much needed work, to take measures that would not be taken at other times. In the second place we must not let financial consideration stand too much in the way when certain undertakings would perhaps pay large dividends to the people of Canada at some future date on an expenditure which would probably be less to-day than if the work were delayed. It is from the point of view of these two considerations that for my part I intend to look upon the legislation that we may be called upon to deal with at this session.

When speaking previously in this house I expressed my steadfast support of the principle of unemployment insurance. It is unfortunate that before now the way has not been cleared to proceed with a measure of that kind, but I do hope that a system of unemployment insurance may grow out of the work of the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations. If we had started unemployment insurance in pre-depression years, we would have been much better off during the last decade; we would have had a great deal of money accumulated to assist in meeting the cost of unemployment. Even now, and more particularly after the experience we have had, most of us will agree that eventually we must have a system of this kind, and the sooner the better.

In opening my remarks I said I intended to be brief, and consequently I shall not take up any more of the time of the house. I may summarize my remarks by saying that my support can always be relied upon for any reasonable measure which has the object of giving jobs to many of our people at this time.

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CON

Albert A. Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. BROWN (Hamilton East):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to congratulate the mover (Mr. Matthews) and the seconder (Mr. Chevrier) of the motion before the house upon the way in which they performed what must have been a most difficult task. While I did not agree with his facts and deductions, I did admire the splendid bilingual accomplishments of the hon. member for Stormont

(Mr. Chevrier), and I regret very much that in my early days I did not apply myself more assiduously to the study of the French language. I must also express my deep satisfaction at the coming visit of their majesties to this country, and I hope and trust that their visit will stimulate the loyalty of all Canadians not only to the crown but to Canada as well.

It is generally agreed that this government was extremely fortunate in being returned to office under conditions probably more favourable than those under which any other government has been returned since confederation. It was elected with a record majority, as hon. members to the right of Mr. Speaker often remind us. In addition, in all provinces but one there were governments of the same political complexion. During the campaign the electors were encouraged to believe that the provincial governments, in cooperation with the federal government, would vigorously and courageously attack the economic and political problems of this country; but as we scrutinize the activities of the government during the three years it has been in office, we find it has made little or no effort to deal with those problems. It has made no attempt to deal with the railway problem, which is costing the taxpayers of Canada about a million dollars a week. It has made no effort to deal with the heavy burden of taxation which is bankrupting our municipalities and provinces, choking our industries and discouraging the investment of capital. No effort has been made to deal permanently with the unemployment problem, which should not exist in a land so rich in natural resources. No leadership is being offered to weld this country into the unified force which is necessary for the permanent peace and prosperity of Canada. Rather do we find the government ignoring these serious problems and following a policy of inaction which is creating a spirit of unrest throughout the whole dominion.

Not only was this government elected under the most favourable conditions; it was extremely fortunate in following the former Conservative administration under the leadership of the former Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett), who did the spade work in meeting the problems of the depression. It was the legislation enacted by the late administration that formed the basis for the bulk of the depression legislation under which this government has carried on for the last three years. Many of us have short memories, so I think it would be well to put on Hansard some of the outstanding measures placed on the statute books by the late administration, most of

The Address-Mr. Brown

which were later nullified in whole or in part by the actions of the present government. The late Conservative administration was responsible for acts dealing with unemployment and social insurance, minimum wages, the eight hour day, the day of rest, fair wages and so on; for measures dealing with special farm loans and loans to fishermen; for acts providing for the rehabilitation of drought and soil drifting areas in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta; for special relief measures; for an act to assist in the construction of houses and, finally, for a measure putting teeth in the Combines Investigation Act. And it was the former administration which negotiated the empire trade agreements, which turned out to be the financial salvation of Canada, but which many members of the present government opposed vigorously. The previous government took definite steps to preserve Canadian markets for Canadian workmen, agriculturists and employers of labour, and when this government took office employment was increasing, trade was expanding and Canada had a favourable trade balance amounting to many millions of dollars. At that time it did appear that this country was well on its way to recovery and prosperity.

Perhaps it would be well to check briefly the record of the present government which was elected to office in October, 1935, under such favourable conditions. In the speech from the throne in 1936 the government stated that Canada's most urgent national problem was unemployment. Parliament was advised that the government had concluded a treaty with the United States which was to break up that economic nationalism which was said to be undermining our standard of living. Parliament was further advised that the government intended to refer the social legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada for a riding as to its validity.

There is no doubt the government was and is convinced that the negotiation of the Canada-United States treaty of 1935 was its outstanding achievement. Members of the government waxed quite enthusiastic and eloquent about the benefits which Canada would derive from this great treaty. It was going to expand the trade of the country; it was going to provide wider markets and raise the standard of living. It was going to reduce unemployment and enable our farmers to obtain a fair price for their products. We, the members of the opposition, pointed out that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages and that the advantages gained by our farmers would be only temporary. We pointed out that the employers

of labour and the workers of the country would suffer from the mass production and unfair competition of United States manufacturers. We pointed out further that the farmers would neglect their stable market in Great Britain for the unstable market of the United States. We pointed out that under ordinary conditions the United States was a great producer and exporter of agricultural products, and that instead of importing farm products it would be a competitor of our farmers in foreign markets. We pointed out the experience of Canada with the United States under former treaties, the distress caused the farmers of Canada by the cancellation of the reciprocity treaty of 1866, by the imposition of the Fordney-McCumber tariff and later by the Hawley-Smoot tariff of 1930. We further pointed out the loss which would be entailed by our railway and transportation systems if we engaged in trade north and south at the expense of trade east and west.

We are now in a position to say that the extravagant claims of the government were not realized, and that the predictions of hon. members on this side of the house came true. Unemployment was not banished; the farmers did neglect the British market, and I believe it was the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Miss Macphail) who rose in her place in the house last session and protested to the government because there were not proper shipping facilities to ship cattle to the British market. The reason given and accepted was that the farmers had stopped shipping cattle to Great Britain and were shipping them to the more convenient markets of the United States. As a result ships which were ordinarily used for such traffic were converted to other uses.

In the second session of this parliament we were reminded by the government that Canada was rapidly forging her way back to recovery and prosperity; that markets were expanding, revenues were increasing, unem-ploj^ment was decreasing and the wages and purchasing power of the workers and farmers were on the increase. In the speech from the throne we were advised that negotiations were being continued for a three-way treaty between the United States, Canada and Great Britain, which would confirm and enlarge the advantages gained by Canada through the treaty of 1935. A minister of the government pointed out that some industries would necessarily have to make some sacrifices for the general good of the country. The protracted negotiations and untimely utterances by members of the government did much more to slow up industry and increase unemployment than anything else.

The Address

Mr. Brown

Again we read from the speech from the throne that parliament will be asked to approve the Canada-United States treaty which will retain and confirm the advantages derived from the treaty of 1935; that reductions in taxation on trade will be made, and that the government will take over a further share of the burden of relief. In this fourth, and possibly the last speech from the throne before a general election, we would naturally expect to find legislation of a kind which would provide some permanent solution for at least some of our problems. But instead of that we find the same policy of inaction, except that the government has promised to take over the greater part of the relief burden -and that will possibly be only for a short time.

The speech from the throne announces the completion of the Canada-United States treaty, which completion the government hopes will cover all its sins of omission and commission. It is not my intention to-night to deal with the treaty in detail, but I should like to say a few words about the method of its negotiation. There is no question that representatives of Canada were handicapped in negotiating the treaty. The United States representatives had authority to reduce duties by only 50 per cent, and since their rate of duty was at almost the highest peak in the history of the country it was impossible in many instances to receive reciprocal consideration.

The government of the United States consulted all parties whose interests would be affected by the treaty; they permitted representations to be made by the interested parties, and in some instances adjustments were made. On the other hand our government consulted neither the manufacturers and labour organizations nor the agriculturists. The United States, with its population of 110,000,000 people, was exceedingly careful to protect its markets by quotas and restrictions, while Canada, unlike the United States and practically every other nation of the world, took no such precaution.

It has been said in the house that there is very little opposition to the treaty; but I have not found, even in the house, an enthusiastic supporter of the agreement. The support has been qualified, with certain conditions mentioned. It is true that from time to time the treaty has been given faint praise by some manufacturers and some prominent financial men; but the true test of feeling in regard to a treaty of this kind is the manner in which employment is affected.

Have the employers of labour made plans to increase their staffs? Have the labour

organizations gone on record in favour of the treaty? Have the farmers, fruit growers and vegetable growers sent their approval of the treaty to the government? No. To obtain a further test I am suggesting that hon. members should turn to the financial page of their favourite newspaper, and note particularly whether industrial or other stocks have reacted favourably since the completion of the treaty arrangements was announced.

Even members of the government admit they are not sure what benefits the Canadian people will derive from the treaty, but they are hoping Canada will benefit to a great extent. I say the government has no right to gamble away the livelihood of fellow-Canadians on pious hopes.

The speech from the throne indicated further that the government intends to assume a larger share of the relief burden of the municipalities. The government should have taken this action long ago when it was advocated by the mayors' association of Canada. This action should have been taken before municipal debts had accumulated to their present volume. This burden upon real estate is one of the main reasons for the lack of prosperity in the building industry, regardless of the amount of cheap money that is available.

When this parliament convened in 1936, according to the government unemployment was Canada's most urgent national problem. Three years have elapsed and unemployment is still Canada's most urgent national problem, although this government by its inaction does not seem to be aware of the fact. The mayor, the civic administration and the citizens of Hamilton know that unemployment is still Canada's most urgent national problem. Hamilton has one of the best civic administrations in the dominion. Its population is over 150,000 people, and it is situated in one of the largest fruit and vegetable growing districts in the dominion. It is the second largest industrial city in Canada. As I have said before in this house, there is no city in Canada that is more sensitive to the fluctuations of the tariff. It is this uncertainty about the tariff and these new trade treaties that is the cause of a great deal of unemployment in Hamilton to-day. The other day a prominent manufacturer told me that since this government came into office he has found it impossible to plan the activities of his industry for any considerable time ahead. We all know that this is necessary in any business. The manufacturers advise me also that the interpretation of the acts dealing with the importation of certain goods is generally not in favour of the manufacturer.

The Address-Mr. Brown

Since this government came into office in 1935 Hamilton has spent $2,257,152 on relief. In the year ended December 31, 1937, that city spent S329.979 upon 11,201 individuals. In the year ended December 31, 193S, it spent $649,089 upon 17,055 individuals, an increase of 6^254 in the number of individuals on relief. I am informed that during the first two months of this year 370 more families, not individuals, have gone on relief. I should like to inquire from the government what action is being taken to provide work, not relief, for these individuals.

The speech from the throne states further that there is to be a thorough tax revision and that reductions in the taxes on trade are to be made. I believe that such action will prove most injurious to our manufacturing industries,. and the repercussions cannot help but be felt in the primary industries. I feel certain that this action will add considerably to our unemployment problem. The government states that these reductions will increase the purchasing power of our people, but for the life of me I cannot see the benefit in increasing their purchasing power when that purchasing power is to be used in making purchases, not in Canada, but outside this dominion. Surely there are taxes other than the tariff which could be reduced with more benefit to the country. The tariff is the only tax that produces both revenue and employment. Why should Canada, which imposes duties lower than those of any other country- 24-9 per cent on dutiable goods and 13-7 per cent on all goods-contemplate lowering the tariff still further? Why should we have thrown upon our markets goods made by cheap foreign labour? Why should United States goods be dumped on our market at ridiculously low prices, thus throwing Canadian workmen out of employment?

I should like to ask the western farmer particularly to try to understand the problem of the industrial centres. Evidently he believes that the central provinces are the proverbial land of milk and honey. I should like to point out to him that just as the drought in western Canada causes distress, hunger and poverty, so does a reduction in tariff beyond reasonable limits cause distress, hunger and poverty in industrial Canada.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. J. A. BRADETTE (Cochrane):

Mr. Speaker, at the outset of my remarks let me say sincerely that it was not primarily my intention to speak in this debate. I believe, however, that this debate offers an open and very fine forum where all members of parliament find it possible to voice the opinions of their own sections of the country. A number {Mr. Brown.]

of fine speeches have been delivered since the beginning of this session, and in many instances some of the problems facing Canada have been brought forward in a forcible manner.

Before I proceed any further, I want to do as other hon. members have done. It is with all sincerity that I compliment the newly elected member for Brandon (Mr. Matthews) upon his wonderful speech, his poise and his profound knowledge of public life. He is certainly a wonderful asset to this house and to parliament.

I should like to compliment highly the hon. member for Stormont (Mr. Chevrier) who has shown in this instance and several times previously how well he is seized of the situation in his own constituency. He has demonstrated to this house how familiar he is with regional and national problems. To those of us of French descent lie has proven to be a wonderful inspiration in showing us how perfectly he has mastered the two official languages of Canada. His accomplishment should be an incentive not only to French Canadians in Quebec, but to all of French descent throughout Canada. They should make it their obligation and their pleasure to learn the English language. Of all the compliments that have been paid to the hon. member, none pleased me more than those which came from the English speaking sections of this house. Hon. members were unanimous in their praise of the accomplishments of the hon. member, and I was glad to hear them say that if it were possible they would try to learn the language of the minority. That is one of the finest declarations I have heard in this House of Commons in the past thirteen years, and I think it speaks well for the future unity of this country and of the mutual respect between the two great races that form the majority of its population.

I should also like to pay a well deserved compliment to the newly elected member for Waterloo South (Mr. Homuth) upon the eloquence and ability he displayed in his speech this afternoon. We know he has received a very fine training in the provincial field. It is not my intention; indeed, I feel that it is against the ethics of the house, to criticize a speech made by a new member, and therefore, with reference to the remark he made this afternoon that he represented the interests of the east, I content myself with saying that I am perfectly satisfied to represent in this house the problems not only of my own constituency but of Canada as a whole, not as an easterner or a westerner, but as a Canadian.

The Address-Mr. Bradette

I was very glad to see the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) occupying his old seat in I he house again this session, and it was fine to see the unanimity with which the newspapers of the country greeted his return to public life. Regardless of their political leanings they were unanimous in appreciating the fine work that has been accomplished by the Minister of Finance in the present government and in wishing him a speedy and permanent recovery to health and his full activities again.

May I also pay tribute to the newly elected leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion), particularly because he is to some extent a northern Ontario man. It is true that during the last federal elections northern Ontario did not find it possible to give him a seat; but that sort of thing must be expected in public life, and while I cannot say that I very warmly wish that he will find a seat in our section of the country, I am glad that he is a northern Ontario man.

I should also like to congratulate the newly appointed members of the cabinet, the new Postmaster General (Mr. McLarty) and the minister without portfolio (Mr. MacKinnon). By their personal ability and the gjasp they have shown of public questions not only have they earned a place in the cabinet, but I am sure they will make a success in their new field. I should also like to pay tribute to the previous Postmaster General (Mr. Elliott), and undoubtedly his successor has a big task ahead of him because the former Postmaster General was a true Canadian, an able statesman. and a good minister, and administrator.

I should like to say a few words about the visit of the king and queen to Canada in the spring. It is undoubtedly a great honour that they are bestowing on this section of the empire in visiting Canada, and we appreciate it very much. But the people in my part of the country were, to put it mildly, not a little disappointed when the itinerary of their majesties' visit was given out and it was stated that it would not be possible for the king and queen to visit our section of northern Ontario. I mention the matter here in the house, and I have already spoken to the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), explaining to him that logically we might well expect a visit from their majesties to our section of the country, because of our geographical situation and because of the fact that in that section more progress has been made in the last thirty years than in any other part of Canada. In addition, we have good railway facilities, the best on the continent, and I do hope it will be found possible for our royal visitors, on their

return from the Pacific coast, to visit Kapuskasing, Cochrane, the Porcupine, Kirkland Lake, and also our agricultural and industrial section of northern Ontario. It is a country that has been blessed by Providence, a country with great natural resources now being intensively developed, and our pioneer population of nearly four hundred thousand has been engaged for many years now in pushing back the frontiers of Canada. It has not been an easy task. They have had to fight all the way through. Anyone who studies the economic history of this dominion must realize that during the last eight years the development of the natural resources of northern Ontario has been a wonderful factor in combating the depression. I have already shown to the Prime Minister how it would be possible, without occasioning any delay or lengthening the route of our royal visitors, for them to spend a very few moments with our people of northern Ontario, and perhaps northern Quebec, on their return trip to the east.

I have only a very few words to say about the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition. It is absolutely impossible for me to support it because it is simply a negative.

I very much appreciated the speech that was made this afternoon by the hon. member for Grey-Bruee (Miss Macphail), and I should like to compliment both her and the hon. member for the Yukon (Mrs. Black) upon the wonderful speeches they have made during the present debate. Their speeches were constructive and carried more weight than some of the rabid partisan speeches to which we sometimes listen in the House of Commons.

The opposition has been harping on what it calls this do-nothing government. So far the opposition has been only bitterly critical without offering anything constructive. It is hard for me to understand the attitude of the loyal opposition, particularly when I recall that they were in power from 1930 to 1935, and that one of their first acts after being returned to power in 1930 was to call an emergency session of parliament for the purpose of creating one of the worst institutions Canada has ever known, namely, direct relief. The then Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) won the election in 1930 by telling the country he would cure unemployment. Then he called an emergency session of parliament to do what? To cure unemployment? No, to make it worse-to make parliament vote twenty million dollars, and then he instituted direct relief, a system of, doles.

The Address-Mr. Bradette

If was much easier for the government of that day to institute direct relief than it is to uproot the system at the present time. It is often said that democracy is on trial; that is true, and it is true particularly because of the rash promises that were made by hon. gentlemen opposite during the elections and again during the present session. They were going to solve unemployment. Canada was going to blast its way into the markets of the world. But, Mr. Speaker, when we consider what the late government did so far as unemployment is concerned, it ill behooves the present opposition to criticize the government. We are fully seized of the actual situation, and it is the implicit duty of every member of this house to bend his or her energies to abolish direct relief and to give work.

I was surprised to hear some members of the opposition state that we opposed them very bitterly during the time they were in office. I well remember that in 1935 we were accused by the late lamented Sir George Perley. who was at the time leading the government in the absence of the then Prime Minister, for not opposing the government enough. I well remember, too, that the present leader of the opposition, then sitting on the treasury benches as Minister of Railways, accused the opposition on several occasions for not opposing the government sufficiently. Surely that is an evidence that we were giving the government the fullest cooperation possible, in an endeavour to cure a serious situation which is not only national but world-wide.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, has there been anything constructive in the criticism of the opposition since this debate began? Is there anything constructive in the amendment of the leader of the opposition? No, absolutely not. I sat on the opposition benches for a good many years, and I never made a political speech. Why? Because as a member of parliament I was fully seized of the seriousness of the situation that was facing this country, and the responsibility and duties of my position.

As soon as the present leader of the opposition was elected leader of his party, he made several speeches in different parts of this country, as it was his right and duty to do, and one of the first policies that he propounded was that it was an obligation upon the federal government to make unemployment g, matter of federal concern only.

I am absolutely open-minded, Mr. Speaker, in my discussion of unemployment because, representing as I do a district that is largely concerned with mining, industrial development and agriculture, I am fully seized of

the unemployment question and some of the sufferings that it causes. It is true that we have some unemployment at the present time, and there is not a single Canadian worthy of the name who does not at the bottom of his heart want to see this ulcer of unemployment, which is eating into the life of our country, removed. But the problem is not easy of solution. While it is a national problem, it is also an individual problem for which every Canadian is just as directly responsible as any government or any member of the government. We must go down to the valley and play the game with the people; we must see and endeavour to find out and learn the causes of this problem of unemployment and ways of solving it. It is surprising to hear such statements as those, for instance, by the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis), who seems to think that the individual member of parliament is not fully seized of such a situation as exists in his constituency with regard to unemployment. We are aware of it, and deplore it, and whether we sit on the treasury benches or in the opposition, all hon. members try to the limit of their abilities and powers t# remove this evil from our national life.

I believe that a similar statement was made by the leader of the opposition on one occasion only, namely in Montreal, and that ever since he has been mute upon the subject. If I thought for one moment that to make the unemployment question purely and simply a national and federal matter would solve it, I would be willing that it should be done, and done at once. But that would not provide an absolute and permanent solution; the problem is harder than that to solve. Primarily the responsibility rests on the individual Canadian citizen; second, on the townships and municipalities; third, on the provinces and also On the federal government; but all must equally share the responsibility. You cannot get away from that. We are all fully alive to the situation; all of us have given thought to try to solve it. Only a few days ago I was speaking with a curate in northern Ontario, and he said, "Why do you not solve the unemployment situation the same as they do in Germany, for instance, or in Italy, or in Russia?" This was my answer, "Are the Canadian people at the present time in a mood to have the unemployment and youth problem solved in the same way in which it is being handled in those totalitarian states-to see the youth of this country regimented in the same way as they are in Russia or Germany or Italy, where they get two or three cents a day. and where they are compelled under

The Address-Mr. Bradette

severe discipline to do work which perhaps they do not like or are not fit to do?" The Canadian people are not in a mood for regimentation, although there is no avoiding the fact that as a democracy we are in need of more discipline. I remember that a short time ago the Canadian corps association passed a resolution which, if acted upon, would, they thought, help to a great extent to solve the youth problem in this country. They suggested that it would be possible to "regiment," in the mild sense of the word, the youth of this country, putting them in some sort of camp, not barracks, where they could be looked after and given suitable training and education. Yet immediately there were unfavourable reactions from nearly every section of Canada. While we should not copy what has been done in the totalitarian states, if we are to find a solution of this problem there must be a little more of the spirit of self-sacrifice and self-discipline.

During the present discussion references have been made to disunity in this country. Let us consider for a moment a point which I had in mind in speaking of the unemployment situation, namely, the disunity within certain parties in the house. The Social Credit party, for all of whose members I have a high respect, have their own difficulties; they had to throw out one of their own members, if he did not go of his own volition into the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation corner. We find that the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party were rather abusive last year to one of their members who drew out from their ranks, and that the same thing happened to several of their members in Vancouver, British Columbia, and also in Toronto, whom they forcibly threw out of their fold. We have recently seen a spectacle of disunity in the great Conservative party, both provincially and federally. At the same time all these groups capitalize very highly and rejoice over the disunity which they find in this dominion. What is to be said of the attitude of Premier Duplessis as regards the problem of unemployed youth? If Mr. Duplessis thought for one moment that we intended to make unemployment an exclusively federal question, he would realize that it would be one of the finest ways to centre all economic activities under this government, and he would be one of the first to protest. If we were able to solve the present unemployment situation by really making it a national and federal responsibility, I would be absolutely in favour of doing so. But what would happen? You would immediately have a reaction, and rightly so, through the expenditures made by the federal treasury

in all centres of this country, requiring the federal government to take charge of practically all economic activities within the provinces, and then you would hear more "hollering" and criticism from the municipalities and, in particular, from some of the men who have been most outspoken on this subject of disunity. Such a policy will be centralization under federal authority with a vengeance!

Let it not be thought for a moment that any member of this government, when he goes before his constituents or leaves the four walls of this house, tries to unload his responsibilities on the shoulders of others, or is not trying to the uttermost to find a solution of this problem.

A word about national unity. Our friends on the other side seem firmly to believe, and perhaps want to believe, that we have disunity in this country. I belong to a section in northern Ontario where, only twenty-five years ago, some people were speaking very seriously of seceding from old Ontario. I know I shall be believed when I state that this agitation was never deep and never serious, and I always fought against such an idea. Later on, as the country developed, we had a Conservative government at Toronto. At that time some of the farmers and miners in the mining section of northern Ontario, because they did not get all the roads and attention they expected from Queen's Park, as it was called then and as we call it now, or because they did not obtain all the colonization and highways roads they wanted, started to talk about secession, like a bunch of young school boys, because, as has been very properly said, man is just a grown-up boy. But these things were absolutely superficial. In those days the Liberals in a good many instances were guilty of starting that kind of agitation, never believing at the bottom of their hearts that they wanted to secede from old Ontario. At the present time, now we have a Liberal government at Queen's Park, some Conservatives have begun to argue that we should secede. Hon. members need not worry about that kind of thing. Northern Ontario will never secede from southern Ontario or from the Canadian confederation.

Let us review very briefly the situation in the various provinces. It is true that to the Rowell commission were presented several briefs which were explicit and definite in their requests of and intended raids on the federal government. But if one studies those briefs one will find that for the most part it is a case of "ganging up" on the federal treasury to obtain more money. Take the money question away and j'ou have no disunity in this country. I am not a married man-unluckily.

The Address-Mr. Bradelte

I will admit-but I am told that a little family spat sometimes is good for family life, and I should not like to see our national life so placid that we would have no right to discuss our provincial, regional and national problems without talk of disruption and disunity. Is there any real disruption in British Columbia? No; there is none whatever. Is there any real disruption in Alberta? No, there is none there. If some of the regulations put forward by my friends of the social credit party have been disallowed by the higher courts in this country, it was simply because they were against the statutes of Canada, because in many instances they amounted to confiscation or repudiation; only for those reasons were they disallowed. It was not a question of being unfair to Alberta. While I am speaking of that fine province, now they are in power there with a large majority my hon. friends know how hard it is to apply the policies-I will not say the fallacies-of their own party.

Let us turn to the provincial governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Those two fine provinces as well as Alberta have suffered grievously in the past six or seven years on account of the drought. The situation so far as agriculture is concerned has been very bad, and when the people suffer they are bound to make requests not only in the provincial but in the federal forum. But does anyone believe for one moment that for those reasons Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will secede from the Canadian confederation?

Or take the case of my own province of adoption, the dear old province of Ontario. Does anyone think for one moment that Ontario, the keystone of confederation, will secede from our confederation? No, Mr. Speaker, it will not. It is true we may have some differences, which constitute only a natural development, and during these troublous times the overwhelming majority of the Ontario people are absolutely behind this great confederation and ready to do all they can in a spirit of give and take, cooperation and understanding, to bring prosperity to every section of Canada.

In regard to my native province of Quebec, I realize that for the last few years there has been a propounding of new theories with which I am not in sympathy, far from it, but I tell hon. members that most of the stories of agitation from the fine old province of Quebec relate to the activities of an infinitesimal minority. Take, for instance, those who want to have a French Canada within a Laurentian boundary; they know well that they are not logical with themselves, their own people, or

fMr. Bradette.]

the Canadian people as a whole. That movement does not go very deep. There is talk of fascism, and I have no more love for fascism or nazism than I have for communism, but these movements also have no very deep roots in Quebec. The people who for the last four centuries have colonized both shores of the St. Lawrence and are now colonizing and opening up for civilization the unoccupied lands of this country would never seriously think of secession from the Canadian confederation.

But we have some grievances, and we have problems to face at the present time. One which has been a heavy burden on this country for the last seven or eight years is that of unemployment caused by a new factor that was non-existent previously. Sometimes we hear from the hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens) particularly and from some other hon. members that in the past when large numbers of immigrants were coming to this country, it was only like filling a bottomless pail, and some of our native population were lost to the United States. There was reason for some of my relations going to the New England states and to California, and no matter what the situation was in Canada these people would never have come back to live in our midst. In most instances the same principle applies in regard to the hundreds of thousands who left Canada for the United States. It is nevertheless true that this heavy emigration was a national loss to Canada in times past, and we all deplored it. But for the last few years that emigration has not been possible. Thus we have to face a new situation. Our natural increase in population has to find means of life in our midst. This is one of the problems that Ontario, and more particularly Quebec, have to face at the present time. But it will never be solved by agitation or talk of secession, which, I repeat, is superficial. In the old provinces there is very little leeway left for colonization; in the western provinces only a few open spaces are left, and there is more left in British Columbia. We must of necessity put our heads together to find ways and means of keeping in this country the natural increase in our population, and giving our people the standard of living to which they are accustomed.

Let us study for a moment the talk of secession in the maritime provinces, those fine old provinces of which we hear so often, and with good reason, that have given so many fine men to the public life of this country, and whose sons have made their mark in every state of the American union and

The Address-Mr. Bradette

Canada. Do hon. members think for a moment that the maritime provinces, which made some sacrifices to come into confederation, would secede from Canada? No, they will not. I am positive it would have proved most beneficial had all the provinces found it possible to bring their grievances before the Rowell commission, because we must have mutual understanding of one another's problems, and all parts must have opportunity to express their sentiments. But there was never a thought in the minds of the people who presented the most rabid briefs and tried to make the greatest raids on the federal treasury, or even made the most rash requests, of seceding if they thought their requests would not be implemented. But it is easier to disrupt than to keep united. It is our bounden duty in this federal house to take a national viewpoint. We have one primary duty when a question threatening disunity is mentioned; that is, to work in every way to maintain unity in every section of the country, and in this work of upbuilding we must always give the best there is in us.

I shall not enlarge much longer at this time on the question of unemployment, although I may say a few words later in regard to its relationship to the agricultural aspect. It is impossible to find some one simple formula to cure unemployment. It will not be cured by reform of the monetary system only; agricultural loans only will not cure it; reduction of tariffs alone will not do it; the problem is more complicated than that. If it were possible, for instance, for the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) to start the printing press, issue to-morrow billions of dollars of new Canadian money, distribute it to every section of the country and say, go ahead with a program of public works, the problem would have been solved long ago. But I repeat, no simple formula or abundance of criticism will solve the problem of unemployment.

As far as the subamendment is concerned I confess it is not so rabidly socialistic as in previous years. I must give credit to the hon. member for Vancouver East for the fact that it is veiy brief and entirely non-committal, it is neither fish nor flesh; anyone could vote for or against it, and it would be absolutely harmless. But a few days ago the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) put a question to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), asking him whether, after all that had been said by the leader of the opposition in this house, it would be possible for him or his party to propound their theories in the province of Quebec-something of that kind. I am not

now interested directly in the province of Quebec, but I know the mood and temperament of the people. I know there was no necessity to ask such a question. Although the communists have done all they could to bring the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation into their fold, the federation have resisted the temptation so far although in two ridings at the last federal election they were so close together in Timiskaming and Nipissing that they had the same electoral organization.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Not with the consent

of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation.

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January 27, 1939