March 15, 1939

LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The minister must have the unanimous consent of the house to place these tables upon Hansard.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Agreed.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The tables are as follows:

Table No. 1 From the National Registration

Comparative Statement of Dominion Totals of Persons on Aid in September to January

of each of the last 3 years

(Figures for December, 1938, and January, 1939, are unrevised)

Total persons Total persons Total persons

on on on urban and

1936- [DOT] urban aid agricultural aid agricultural aid

September

707,293 248,327 955,620October

729,527 279,269 1,008,796November

750,906 295,461 1,046,367December

805,357 309.952 1,115,309January, 1937

858,456 319,775 1,178,231September

455,839 269,076 724,915October

470,811 331,235 802,046November

513,475 363,073 876.548December

580,341 376.583 956.924January, 1938

631,974 383,191 1,015,165September

444,292 110,990 555,282October

473,261 174,275 647,536November

532,197 259.954 792,151December

604,000 303,000 907,000January, 1939

662,000 316.000 978,0001918 COMMONS

Unemployment and Agricultural Distress

Table No. 2 From the National Registration

Percentage Changes in Dominion Totals of Persons on Aid in September to January of each of the last 3 years

(Figures for December, 1938, and January, 1939, are unrevised)

Percentage Percentage

change change

1938-9 1938-9

Urban aid- from 1936-7 from 1937-8September

-37-2 - 2-5October

-35-1 + 0-5November + 3-6December + 4-1January + 4-8Agricultural aid- September -58-8October -47-4November -28-4December - 19-5January -17-5) Urban and agricultural aid- September -23-4October - 19-3November - 9-6December - 5-2January - 3-7

Table No. 3

From the National Registration

Comparative statement of dominion totals of fully employable persons on aid in September to

January of each of the last 3 years (Figures for December, 1938, and January, 1939, are unrevised)

September October.. November. December. January..

Percentage Percentage change change

1938-9 1938-9

1936-7 1937-8 1938-9 from 1936-7 from 1937- 206,423 116,690 114,460 -44-6 -1-9214,271 121.622 123,837 -42-2 4-1-8221,165 136,286 142,537 -35-6 4-4-6237.694 153,918 162.000 -31-8 4-5-3254,189 168,488 180,000 -29-2 4-6-8Table No. 4 .

From the National Registration

All persons and their dependents in receipt of urban and agricultural aid month of November, 1938

Dominion and provincial summary-numbers and percentages

A.-All persons on urban or agricultural aid (Total of B and C below)

Dominion

Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Quebec

Ontario

Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Alberta

British Columbia

B.-All persons on urban aid

Dominion Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia New Brunswick Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan

Alberta British Columbia

Numbers Percentage

792,151 100-0

1.159 0-1

7.232 0-9

No registration

126,329 15-9

221,600 28-0

46.126 5-8

287,235 36-3

43,454 5-5

59,016 7-5

Unemployment and Agricultural Distress

Table No. 4-Continued

C.-All persons on agricultural aid

Dominion

Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Quebec

Ontario

Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Alberta

British Columbia

Numbers Percentaj

259,954 100-0

148 0-1

No registration

5,006 1-9

8,971 3-4

1,736 0-7

226.519 87-1

10.614 4-1

6,960 2-7

Table No. 5

From the National Registration

Heads of families and individual persons of both sexes in receipt of urban aid Month of November, 1938

Classified by degree of employability-Dominion distribution by percentages

Fully Partially Unem-employable employable ployable TotalHeads of families

78-5 12-0 9-5 100-0Individual persons

53-7 24-7 21-6 100-0Total cases

71-6 15-6 12-8 100-0

(i.e., heads of families and individual persons.)

Table No. 6 From the National Registration

Comparative Statement of Persons on Agricultural Aid in September to January of each of the last 3 years

Province of Saskatchewan

(Figures are final except September, 1938, to January, 1939, which are subject to some revision)

Percentage Percentage change change

1938-9 1938-9

from from

1936-7 1937-8 1938-9 1936-7 1937-8September

130,394 234,792 85,025 -34-8 -63-8October

157,005 295,383 146,708 - 6-6 -50-3November

169,420 323,022 226,519 + 33-7 -29-9December

175,227 331,229 262,000 + 49-5 -20-9January

178,595 334,862 270,500 + 51-5 - 19-2

The above figures for Saskatchewan for January, 1937, 1938 and 1939, represent the following percentages of the dominion total of persons on agricultural aid and of the dominion total of persons on urban and agricultural aid respectively:-

J anuary J anuary January 1937 1938 1939

Per cent of dominion agricultural aid

Per cent of dominion urban and agricultural aid

55-9 87-4 85-615-2 33-0 27-7

Table No. 7.

Comparison of Grand Totals of Persons on Material Aid (i.e., urban and agricultural aid combined) in the Month of January, from 1933 to 1939

January, 1933 1,363,742

January, 1934 1,292,075

January, 1935 1,245,125

January, 1936 1,326,088

January, 1937 1,178,231

January, 1938 1,015,165

January, 1939 978,000

January, 1933, showed the highest figure of any January since the dominion commenced participation in the cost of material aid. The net reduction from January, 1933, to January, 1939, was 385,742 or 28-3 per cent.

Mr. MacNEIL-L: Do those figures include men now in the camps in British Columbia?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The figures for those in the camps, along with those who are registered under the farm employment plan, are kept separately inasmuch as they are regarded as being in employment. So much for the relief situation as it presents itself to us at this time.

I shall turn now to the various measures which have been adopted by this government under previous relief legislation to deal with unemployment. The relief act of last year and the acts of previous years conferred power upon the governor in council to enter into

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Unemployment and Agricultural Distress

agreements with the provinces for the alleviation of unemployment and agricultural distress. Somewhat more than a year ago a separation was made between agricultural aid as given in the drought areas and other forms of relief assistance. It was felt that agricultural aid in the drought areas should be combined closely with other forms of assistance being given in those areas by the Department of Agriculture, and that all forms of relief in those areas should be administered by that department. That has been done. Therefore, agreements with respect to relief in the drought areas are entered into by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) with the provinces concerned.

In so far as unemployment relief is concerned, the dominion government has entered into a number of agreements with the provinces designed to assist those provinces in the alleviation of distress, in the provision of work for the unemployed and in certain additional measures of rehabilitation. Let me deal first with the grants in aid to the provinces for the purposes of giving assistance by way of material aid. As is well known to members of the house, the system under which the dominion grants monthly sums of money to the provinces for this purpose was set in motion at the early stage of the depression. It was initiated as an emergency measure; it has been continued as an emergency measure, but as the years have passed, in the very nature of things, it has assumed more and more the aspect of a fixed policy.

There has always been a question whether this method of giving grants in aid to the provinces for the alleviation of distress was the best and most economical method by which the dominion could discharge its responsibilities in relation to this great problem. I am not going to discuss that question at great length this afternoon, nevertheless, I feel I should say this. It has been represented from time to time that the national employment commission had recommended specifically that the dominion government should take over the entire burden of unemployment relief. That is not the case. If one will examine the report of the national employment commission it will be found that this commission made two sets of recommendations with respect to the administration of relief. One set of recommendations had regard to what was described as the existing constitutional position; the other set of recommendations had regard to the situation which would arise if and when it was found possible for the dominion parliament to enact an unemployment insurance measure. I think

it is well that this position should be clarified at this time. So far as the existing constitutional position is concerned, the national employment commission approved in general the policy whereby the initial responsibility was placed upon the municipalities and provinces, with financial aid given by the dominion under conditions which would provide for efficient and economical administration. I have no desire to detain the house by reading any long extract upon this point; but it will be useful, in order to remove any misconception in this regard, if I quote from page 14 of the final report of the national employment commission. The quotation is as follows:

The recommendation of the commission for handling the existing situation whereby aid is accorded by the dominion for the relief of distress by means of grants-in-aid to the provinces was dealt with at some length on pages 15, 16 and 17 of the interim report.

At that time it was pointed out that the commission strongly recommends that, so long as the present constitutional basis exists, the method introduced in 1934 of granting aid on a temporary basis, without definite or adequate control, should be abandoned by the dominion and the following basic principles accepted:

1. That the primary responsibility for the relief of distress should remain with the municipal authority and/or the province;

2. That the dominion should contribute thereto only when in its view it is shown that a practical necessity exists because of the unusual nature or extent of the distress;

3. That the dominion should attach such conditions in the granting of such aid as it deems necessary and proper with due regard to (a) careful coordination of effort, and (b) supervision through the designation of a proper dominion authority.

That is the position which has been maintained up to this time. When I had occasion a year ago to refer to the recommendations of the national employment commission and state the position of the dominion government in relation thereto, I indicated that the government was prepared to give consideration to any such readjustment of responsibilities in relation to unemployment as might emerge from the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations. There may be some hon. members who will say that this is simply another evidence of the desire of the government to escape its responsibility in this matter. It may be urged that we are seeking shelter behind the constitution. On the contrary, instead of taking shelter behind the constitution in this matter, we are merely respecting that division of authority with respect to social welfare which has been laid down by the constitution; and I have little patience, if I may say so, with those who are continually saying to the government regarding these matters, "Do not

Unemployment and Agricultural Distress

allow the constitution to stand in the way." If that attitude is persisted in by those who hold responsible positions in political parties in this country, the result cannot be other than to discredit the constitution, and I should like to remind particularly the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) that it is by a gradual process of attrition of that kind that constitutions have been whittled away. By all means let us seek for amendments of the constitution, but let us do it by the open door and not by subterfuge and evasion.

Like my colleague the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) I have had in these last few years some experience with the administration of social services on a basis of dual responsibility. I shall not conceal from the house that when I studied this question in the abstract, before I entered parliament, I was impressed with the possibilities of cooperation in this field of dual responsibility. I have not entirely rejected the possibility of cooperation, but I have found by experience that this indefinite area which applies particularly to social services in this country is not only susceptible of cooperation but is perhaps even more susceptible of conflict and friction. Therefore when it has been urged upon me from time to time as Minister of Labour that in the absence of any constitutional changes, before serious consideration of any constitutional changes and without such information as may proceed from the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations, we should fake over the entire burden of relief, I have said that we should not assume financial responsibility without securing administrative control. I submit that this is the only position with regard to this matter that can be taken by those whose attitude toward it must be based upon a sense of official responsibility.

It may be that from the point of view of efficiency and economy it will be preferable in due course for the dominion government to assume a large.r degree of control over certain social services. The Minister of Finance has already indicated his own conviction that this is so with respect to old age pensions. It may be desirable to extend that field. But I suggest seriously to hon. members that, when we do it, let us know what we are doing. Let us try to define our responsibilities. Because I know of nothing that has done more to impair confidence in our federal system than the impression which is being created time and again that this or that government is seeking to escape its responsibility. And it becomes possible to make those

71492-121i

charges only to the extent that we maintain this indefinite area, this enlarging area of dual responsibility. I should like to see us ultimately come to a point where, with respect to the greater part of that area, it will be so divided as to leave no doubt in the mind of any man as to where the responsibility lies.

As the situation is now, under dual responsibility we may have provinces saying that the dominion is not taking its fair share of old age pensions-and is not taking its fair share of unemployment relief. We may have, on the eve of an election, a group of provinces emphasizing that unless the dominion takes a larger share of financial responsibility with respect to some of these services there will be such a protest as may be embarrassing to the government in power. I have not forgotten some of the undertakings that were given in the election campaign of 1930 with respect to old age pensions, when in certain provinces it was suggested that the dominion government might contribute as much as ninety-nine per cent of the cost of old age pensions and yet leave the administration with the provinces. Is it possible to imagine a greater violation of that principle of public finance which requires that those who spend public money should have the responsibility of imposing the taxation that produces the revenue?

I would suggest to my hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre, who I know is keenly interested in the amendment of the British North America Act, because he has taken the part of a pioneer of that movement in this parliament, that nothing has done more to postpone the adoption of a reasonably flexible amendment procedure than the repeated surrender of the dominion government to provinces who have declined to discharge their own obligations unless they were financed by the dominion government in doing so.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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SC

John Charles Landeryou

Social Credit

Mr. LANDERYOU:

How else can they do it?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

They could agree to an amendment to the constitution under which responsibility could be concentrated either in the one authority or in the other.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

In the meantime, may I ask, what about the unemployed and others who are suffering?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Surely that is an irrelevant question. Does my hon. friend mean to suggest that in so far as the unemployed person is concerned there is any difference

1922 COMMONS

Unemployment and Agricultural Distress

as between the existing method of administration and another method of administration that may be followed-

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Yes, I do.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

-when that area is divided among several authorities?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

We face a national emergency and in this national emergency there are a great many municipalities that are simply not able to provide the necessary help the unemployed require to-day.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

On that point, may I say that this government has been aware of that situation from the time it came into office. The very first action we took with respect to unemployment was to increase grants in aid to the provinces by seventy-five per cent in order to assist the municipalities. Not only that, but in the order in council providing for that increase we provided that the increase should be passed over to the municipalities; and, by a series of measures which I shall detail later, we have given assistance in other forms to municipalities. More recently it has been announced that pending the final determination of this difficult problem we as a dominion government are ready to assume, along with the provinces, forty per cent of the total cost of material aid.

If that proposal is accepted by the provinces in the terms in which it was made, it will mean that the municipalities will not be required to pay more than twenty per cent of the cost of material aid, and I suggest to my hon. friend, on the basis of the figures which we have obtained and with which I think he is familiar, that this twenty per cent would not represent more than a proportion of the total problem which might be described as that of unemployables and indigent cases. Certainly, from the figures I have obtained from the provinces, that would appear to be a fair inference, that twenty per cent of the total cost of material aid would represent just about the cost of maintaining unemployables and indigents.

The municipalities that have had their difficulties in recent years have not experienced those difficulties simply because they have been called upon to pay a particular percentage of the current costs of material aid. The municipalities that have suffered most have done so because of the cumulative effect of funding relief costs over a period of years, and that I submit to my hon. friend is not a question which can be dealt with as a matter of policy by the dominion government. It is a question which can be submitted properly to any general review of dominion-provincial

relations, and I believe it has been so submitted to the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations on behalf of the Canadian municipalities.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

But it is solely within the power of the provinces.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

It is entirely within the power of the provinces to determine what share of relief costs the municipalities will bear, and it is also within the power of the provinces to give permission to the municipalities as to whether they can fund their relief costs or otherwise.

In the last few moments I have been trying to put to the house some of the cogent reasons which have led the government to follow this policy of giving grants in aid to the provinces for unemployment relief, maintaining that policy at least until such time as there can be a clear and intelligent redefinition of responsibility with respect to social welfare as between the dominion and the provinces; and I submit that on the basis of our experience in past years, the arguments to support that position are valid and are arguments which must have commended themselves to any government holding responsibility in this matter at this time.

So far as the past year is concerned, the agreements entered into with the provinces were framed in terms recommended by the national employment commission. We put into effect in those agreements most, if not all, of the specific recommendations made by that commission. I am bound to say that some of the recommendations did not prove to be as satisfactory in practice as they appeared to be in prospect. That fate, of course, befalls many recommendations, but for the most part we have been able to carry out those recommendations of the national employment commission which were designed to bring about a more economical and efficient administration of relief under this system of dual responsibility.

The total amount appropriated last year for grants-in-aid was $17,500,000. That was divided among the provinces upon as fair a basis as we could devise. In each province the maximum was controlled by a percentage. We have kept very close to that appropriation during the past year. We have also permitted the provinces that desired to do so to substitute works or training plans for direct relief. In a number of provinces that has been done. Here again that alternative was incorporated in the agreement with the full approval of the national employment commission. I regret to say that the provinces in general have not taken kindly to the

Unemployment and Agricultural Distress

suggestion that training plans should be substituted for relief with respect to the older unemployed men and women. Some provinces have taken much more kindly to the view that the money assigned to the provinces for unemployment relief should be spent in providing work instead of relief, through a public works program. I may speak particularly of the province of Quebec in that respect. That province took the position very strongly that they were in favour of a broad public works program which would afford employment to all who were idle. We, as a dominion government, took the position that if a province wished to follow that method it might use our contribution to do so, but that we would not and could not pay more to a province to carry out that method of providing relief than we would to those provinces that were by preference administering a system of direct relief. In the nature of things one has to allow some latitude with respect to programs which are applied in the different provinces. We have not been arbitrary in our dealings with the several provinces. We have as far as it lay in our power done our utmost to cooperate with them in carrying out policies which were designed to relieve the unemployment situation within their boundaries.

I come now to other expenditures under the relief act of 1938-39. These expenditures are set out in the supplementary estimates of the present fiscal year. I am not going to comment at any length on the various items, but it might provide the house with some indication of the scope of the work done if I mention each of them in passing.

The first is to provide for commitments under relief settlement agreements with provincial governments. That plan was initiated under the preceding administration. It is a plan whereby families on relief are taken from our populous towns and cities and placed upon selected land with some financial assistance designed during the four year period to make them self-supporting. This plan has worked out reasonably well in some provinces; in others it has been abandoned. I shall be glad to give full details when the bill itself is in committee. I would say, however, that opinion in a number of provinces is turning definitely in the direction of broader schemes of agricultural reestablishment. When this is done, my view is that so far as the dominion government broader schemes of agricultural reestablish-should come from the Department of Agriculture and not from the Department of Labour. It seems to me that agricultural

matters ought to come within the purview of the department that assumes responsibility for agriculture throughout the country. The Department of Labour entered into these land settlement plans because they developed within what might be termed the structure of relief administration. They are being continued, and as I said, I shall be pleased to place before the house the details of the success attending them in the various provinces.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Has the minister at hand the total number of people reestablished on the land in the manner he mentions?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Yes, I have that here. The total is not impressive in relation to the entire problem. Relief settlement agreements continue in force in the provinces of Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta.

In Quebec there are at the present time settled on the land 3,123 families with 15,578 dependents, a total of 18,701 individuals. During the present fiscal year 1,452 families have been settled with 6,777 dependents, or a total of 8,229 individuals.

In Manitoba there are at the present time settled on the land 1,057 families with 4,354 dependents, or a total of 5,411 individuals. During the present fiscal year 275 families have been settled with 1,206 dependents, or a total of 1,481 individuals.

In Alberta there are at the present time settled on the land 568 families with 2,170 dependents, or a total of 2,738 individuals. During the present fiscal year 136 families have been settled with 520 dependents, or a total of 656 individuals.

The number of abandonments during the current year is very small. Of those noted above as being settled during the fiscal year the following abandonments have been noted: Quebec, nil; Manitoba, thirteen; Alberta, six.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Has the minister the total of those figures he gave?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I have not, and I am not a lightning calculator, but I shall be glad to note that question and give the total later.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

To what extent are these families self-supporting?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Many of them become selfsupporting at the conclusion of the four years of assistance. Of course much depends upon the quality of the land on which they are settled; even more depends upon the quality of the settler himself. I have visited some of the districts where these families have been settled, some in Ontario north of Cochrane, some in New Brunswick, some in Manitoba,

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and it is interesting to see how neighbouring farms present a striking contrast. The explanation nine times out of ten is not the quality of the land but the quality of the individual. One settler had some training in agriculture and was ready to work; another was apparently quite willing to take the subsistence allowance during the four years and then go on relief. I am not saying that in any way as an indictment of the policy in general, but my experience has been that a great deal depends upon the selection of individuals.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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March 15, 1939