November 21, 1940

SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

Yes, just a battle to fool the people.

I do not think anybody will dispute my statement that the wheat problem in western Canada to-day is a national one. Have we not the right to expect that the banks will be willing to monetize the farmers' wheat? Surely it is well worth monetizing. It is not perishable. It is a rather servile position for a government to be in. after investigating the problem and deciding that some action should be taken, to be told by the banking interests that they will not make this credit available.

Some of us in this house may in the past have been fooled as to what exactly was the true relationship between the Bank of Canada and this government. We were told, for instance, that the Bank of Canada was the instrument of the government. Two years ago we were very quickly disillusioned on that point, because Mr. Osborne, the deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, speaking to the board of trade at Ottawa, told them that no self-respecting central bank would accept from its government a policy with which it did not agree. I suppose the Bank of Canada is a self-respecting central bank. So, apparently, the tail wags the dog; the Bank of Canada decides the policies for this government. Who, I wonder, decides the policy of the Bank of Canada?

We in this corner have always believed that the policy of the Bank of Canada is dominated by the Bank of England. That is why we called for the tabling of the correspondence between the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England. We were refused access to that correspondence. Who controls the policy of the Bank of England? Members of parliament in Great Britain have asked for the names of the shareholders of the Bank of England and that was likewise refused them. All I have to say is this, that whoever are the controllers of financial policy in Britain and whoever are the controllers of financial policy in Canada, they have not for the past six years shown any real interest in the welfare of the Canadian people. In many ways one may charge that by their actions they have shown themselves to be good friends of Germany.

Before leaving the wheat question I would briefly summarize what in our opinion would be a sound wheat policy for the dominion. First of all there should be international cooperation instead of international competition. We feel that the four major wheat exporting nations-Australia, the Argentine, the United States and Canada, providing over 80 per cent of the world's exports of wheat-

The Address-Mr. Quelch

should get together and decide on a fair price for wheat, and then they should decide upon an equitable export quota for each of them.

Further, I suggest that Canada should maintain a 100 per cent wheat board, discarding the grain exchange and taking over all grainhandling facilities. I know that the Minister of Agriculture would approve that, because in April, 1939, speaking in this house, he said that if we continued to market wheat through the wheat board, then the only logical thing was to take over all grain handling facilities.

We feel that the government should be prepared to provide storage and take delivery of at least a stipulated quota per individual farmer, these quotas, in the aggregate, to be based upon the following considerations: (1) export requirements; (2) home consumption; (3) at least two years' reserve supply. Moreover, we are of opinion that the government should guarantee a price for the individual quota of the farmer, of at least $1 a bushel at point of shipment. There would be no restriction on production. The government would continue to take marginal lands out of production and the only restriction would be on deliveries. The farmer would have to provide storage for his surplus. This would constitute a form of crop insurance, so that in good years the farmer would have to hold a certain amount of wheat on the farm, and if he had a crop failure he would then turn in towards the quota what he had held in good years. The point is that on the limited amount sold he would obtain more than he receives for the total crop to-day. The farmer's quota would be based on average production of the former years, with a minimum quota to the small farmer. We are of opinion that a policy based upon such proposals would help to maintain agriculture on a sound basis and promote a friendly relationship with foreign nations.

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NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. H. R. JACKMAN (Rosedale):

May

I first congratulate the mover and the seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, namely, the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Claxton) and the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Jutras). Not only were their speeches of a high order, but they contained references to many items, even of major policies, which might well have found a place in the speech from the throne itself. What I am concerned' with, however, is the feeling of lack of confidence on the part of many Canadians in the present Liberal administration, and the cause and removal of that lack of confidence.

I accept the verdict of March 26-as of March 26. It was not, however, the result

of absolute or unqualified confidence in the present Liberal administration. Even at the best, approximately one-third of the people voted for the policies for which my party stands, and I should like to take this occasion to say that, contrary to the amusement which some of the Liberal administration seem to derive from a false conception, I-like many of my fellow members-ran and was elected as a straight Conservative supporting the policy of national government, a policy which as a war measure I believe to be the only sound policy. Those supporting our party, together with those who supported the other two opposition groups, constituted nearly half the people of Canada. The representation in this house might not indicate it, but nearly half the people showed their lack of confidence in the Liberal administration.

That administration, in the eyes of many, carries on what can be described only as a partisan war effort, for only the inner group of Liberals know what is going on and what, if any, the government's long range policies are. Thus Canada has the invidious distinction of being the only British dominion where the government in power remains political in character and has not considered it worth while to gain the confidence of all the people, to say nothing of adding to its strength.

We have heard the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) play with words and ascribe to his government the term " national," possibly because its members have their homes in every province of Canada or possibly because with one exception they are all either lawyers or school-teachers. A truly national government must have in it representatives of all substantial bodies of political thought, including labour, having one common objective-to win a speedy victory overseas. As members of a true democracy, we accept the situation, but the case of those who have never had confidence in the administration, and those who have lost it since March 26, is deserving of the attention of this house.

I do not intend to try to rekindle party strife but rather, on the contrary, I should like to rekindle the spirit of national unity. May I assure the house that one's only interest can be the winning of this war and, perforce, making the present ill-suited political administration work so that the greatest contribution may be forthcoming from all. This government must give all the people, irrespective of party affiliation, confidence in its administration. That is a tall order for a party government. Would that our Prime Minister could say, in the words of the great Churchill, uttered in July of this year:

I stand at the head of a government representing all parties in the state, all creeds, all

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classes, every recognizable section of opinion. We are ranged beneath the crown of our ancient monarchy. We are supported by a free parliament and a free press.

We in Canada must likewise present a united and confident front to a threatening dictator. Lack of confidence is due not only to the fact that we are not told, the fact that the people were misled as to the nature of the country's effort during the first nine months of the war, the fact that there has been failure to form a national government. There has even been failure to appoint to the cabinet men who were first of all outstanding Canadians before they were outstanding Liberals. For example, the greatest industrial and mining centre in Canada and the greatest taxpaying community, contributing approximately one-third of the total income tax, the city in which lies the constituency I have the honour to serve, is without representation in the cabinet of this government.

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NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. JACKMAN:

I said that city is without representation in the cabinet of this government that is carrying on the war effort. When the Prime Minister tells us that he cannot find great Canadians, be they Liberal or Conservative, who will accept office in his administration, there must be a reason. Perhaps it is because of an insistance on personal loyalty. Perhaps the positions offered were not of a sufficiently high order to command the sen-ices of the men approached, or perhaps those positions had encumbrances attached or were otherwise unsatisfactory. Can the Prime Minister in 'time of national crisis, having in his gift the greatest honour this country is capable of conferring, not attract to the privy council men who are outstanding Canadians and who may be of non-partisan political views?

If I had to limit the explanation of that lack of confidence to one sentence I would say, We are not told. With good reason, many of us do not attribute to that government virtues or accomplishments which are not self-evident.

In September, 1939, when Canada declared war, the English-speaking element in our population were given to understand that it would be a full-out effort, that Canada was to become the arsenal of the empire. On June 18, 1940, when the Emergency Powers Act was being discussed we learned on the authority of hon. members that this government gave one section of the country to understand that our participation in the w-ar was to be a fullout effort, and another section to understand that our participation in the war was to be "free, voluntary and moderate."

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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON (Skeena):

On a point of order, has the hon. gentleman now reading his speech prepared it himself, or has someone else written it for him?

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NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. JACKMAN:

I am speaking for myself. Nine months after the declaration of war the Canadian Manufacturers' Association at its convention in Winnipeg drew up a resolution which was forwarded to this government and which stated that Canadian manufacturers had not been called upon to render assistance in the making of war materials to any appreciable extent. If we are sceptical now when we receive information from this government, it is because the veriest simpleton knows that "once bitten, twice shy." If the action of the government in failing to carry on a vigorous war effort belies its announced policy, is it a sufficient answer to.the Canadian people that the government took its cue from the British government who at that time still believed in the success of the policy of economic strangulation? I understand it was not so in Australia. Surely if there is one element which would give us a colonial status it is having a colonial mind. Let us think for ourselves and strive for mental autonomy as the first requisite and attribute of political autonomy. Perhaps nothing could better exemplify a need, if not the need, of an imperial war cabinet. In a democracy it is the duty of the government on a question of major policy such as our part in the war to acquaint the people with what the policy of the government is.

Consider the fact that in Great Britain parliament has been in virtually constant session. In the first fifteen months of this war we have been in session for scarcely one hundred days. Could anything be more obvious than that the cabinet, either or both, (1) considers the membership of this house useless or unrepresentative of or not responsible to the people of Canada; or (2) prefers to carry on as a dictatorship through orders in counoil having the force of legislation, of which 6,500 have been issued since the first of this year?

This house has heard from several ministers some factual accounts of what the government has been doing. I might say that I do not recall the hon. member who interrupted me a moment ago rising to interject his question when the ministers were making their statements, and I doubt very much whether they could have given the same answer as I gave.

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Another department, of the doings of which we have not yet heard, and which is a key department in the carrying on of our war effort, is the Department of Labour.

My chagrin was never greater than when the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) told this house that he was not going to tell us anything new; that it had all appeared in the papers, but that it might serve a useful purpose to have it formally placed on the record. As promised, his was a dry speech which told us nothing new except that after the next two training periods the period would be extended from one month to four months. Everyone knows that a period of six months would be a minimum. In the United States they consider a year little enough.

What did we learn about the policy of his department? From the senior Minister of National Defence surely this house has the right to know how and why he proposes to raise a large sized army, and why only one dollar should be spent on the Royal Canadian Air Force for every two dollars spent on the land forces; what proportion is being spent on the navy; are destroyers, corvettes or freighters likely to be the crying need; what do present plans call for? We heard something of future plans from the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power) and the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald); but why are they doing that much, and why only that much? Of course it is understood that schedules are subject to change by reason of subsequent events; but how large an army does Canada contemplate, how large a navy, how large an air force; how much money is to be spent on each; how much is to be spent on home defence preparations, and why; how much is to be spent on the first line of defence, which to-day is in Great Britain and Egypt? How is the war effort being coordinated? What uses are the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle if you have not the picture before you?

These are questions of policy about which the Canadian people have a right to know. Perhaps this house can contribute something to the brain trust-many of whose members are drawn from outside the membership of this house-which is now carrying on the business of government of this country. Is it to be the policy to spend every available effort and every possible dollar in creating a greater Royal Canadian Air Force, as some believe should be done? Only last week the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Gardiner) was reported in the press as saying that aeroplanes serve chiefly to demoralize

the enemy, that we must have vast mechanized land forces to ensure victory. If the principle of cabinet responsibility still applies-

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Cabinet

solidarity.

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NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. JACKMAN:

Cabinet solidarity, then- are we to take that as the considered opinion of this government, or are we to regard it as the care-free expression of a man who is happy to be safe once more on the shores of Canada? One thing which no British people have ever done since democratic principles prevailed has been to leave the deciding of general war policy to those who in the popular mind are known as brass hats. It is their function to carry out the policy; it is the duty of parliament to lay down that policy.

Is this country fully cooperating with the British war purchasing board in the United States and the war department in Washington in the purchase of supplies; and if so, since when? Or do we still demand United States steel, to be paid for in United States exchange, for the construction of the railway station in Montreal? The answer is yes. The same effort cannot be spent in two places. This country has only so much of human and material resources to throw into the war effort. The direction which we give to those resources and to that effort is all-important and may decide the issue. In his speech the Prime Minister pointed out that the enemy now exceeds us in the production of iron, steel and aluminium; and unfortunately, owing to the victories which the enemy has achieved to date, he has greatly increased his capacity, so that his margin over us is greater still. We in Canada can contribute only so much. It is important that we contribute that effort where it will do the maximum good. To ensure victory we must be skilful in direction, great in production and unsparing in sacrifice. Realizing that we are the second most important nation fighting against Germany, it behooves us to remember that often much good work is spoiled for want of a little more.

The members of this house and the people of Canada cannot measure the activities and results of this government by explanations as to why, after nine months of war, some units had rifles with which to train and others had not; why some had Bren guns and the officers were allowed five rounds each, while some had the guns only " briefly "; why boots and socks were not part of the regulation issue to nonpermanent units in war time, when they should have been. Is the minister going to take refuge in the moribund peace-time regulations governing a starved militia? We cannot judge the war effort of the government

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solely by explanations as to why tanks did not exist and were not ordered in Canada; why signalling equipment, even though the order had not been placed, was not forthcoming from England until long after the proper army authority had requisitioned the equipment; by innumerable contracts let but unfinished; by a maze of detailed information; by paeans of self-adulation and the dulcet tones of the Canadian Broadcasting Corpor-tion, which invariably ends each government broadcast with the ringing words, "I am happy to say we are ahead of schedule." In a struggle for life and freedom we can never be ahead of schedule. What is that schedule, and why?

Is this house to receive reports for its guidance-and when-from the advisory committee on economic policy, the wartime prices and trade board, the national labour supply council, the United Kingdom air liaison mission, the newly formed wartime requirements or priorities board and the many other organizations that have been set up? These are the boards that are running the business of government, which to-day is by far the greatest business in the country. What are the reasons for the findings of these boards, which the ministers may or may not accept in determining the policies of their departments? This house will appreciate the difficulty of playing even a game of euchre with a mirror behind one and a stacked deck.

Fill] publicity is a prime requisite to an informed public, and the radio is probably one of the most effective means of publicity. Therefore it would seem to be of great importance that public confidence in the government-owned radio should not be impaired. In view of the charges made by one of the directors, who has been with the organization since its inception, who was one of the protagonists of a publicly owned radio, and who previously had made several reports on this organization, I urge the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) to call together during this session a parliamentary committee in order that these charges may be considered and changes made or confidence restored.

Members of parliament, Conservative, Liberal, Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, and Social Credit, representing the people of Canada, are interested in learning something of the nature of the complicated problems which this government is facing or is about to face. What is now being done to prepare the Canadian people to make the inevitable sacrifices which will have to be made in their standards of living if we are to win this war?

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) touched upon the great problem of agriculture. His five-year plan does not solve the distressing situation with which the western wheat farmer is confronted in the winter o.f 1940. I do not claim first-hand information on western conditions; but if there is as much generality as there is truth in the accounts of conditions on some western farms, then more must be done for the western farmer than this government appears willing to undertake. When I heard the Minister of Agriculture outline the supply of Canadian wheat and our possible sales over a five-year period, ending with a perfect carryover of 100,000,000 bushels, I knew that if the minister was a good teacher forty years ago he must have been an even better pupil fifty years ago, for when he came to arithmetic he must have first looked up the answers in the back of the book. Whatever the longterm solution of the western wheat problem may be, it is the duty of this parliament to see that no human suffering results, particularly in those sections of the country where there are cases of extreme hardship.

To inspire confidence in the government, what else must be told, if the government has any policy to tell? What are we to believe about the need for harnessing industrial manpower and woman-power to the war effort of Canada? It is recognized by all that increased industrial output is as necessary to the fighting forces as food is necessary to a starving man. When we consider the five-year start which the enemy has in the production of armaments we realize that we and our allies cannot produce too many of the instruments of war. Even in 1938 Germany's expenditures on armaments amounted to $4,400,000,000. Between 1935 and 1939 her own industrial capacity increased by fifty per cent; and now, if rumour be true, further sources of supply are being made accessible to our enemy.

If there is not an acute shortage of labour in Canada after more than a year of war, then I say it is a striking condemnation of this government. I would ask the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Gardiner) if in Great Britain the government permits the enlistment of workers in certain reserved occupations. Only last Friday the Minister of National Defence told this house that his department was not in competition with war industry but in cooperation with it, and he also spoke of methods whereby that cooperation might be made more effective. The less publicized but sometimes more informative bureau of well-informed rumour has it that the Minister of Munitions and Supply

The Address-Mr. Jackman

(Mr. Howe), who is responsible for the industrial war production, does not see eye to eye with the Minister of National War Services with regard to the impact of military training on certain needed workers on war orders. What is the policy of the. government, and is there any uniformity among the various departments? How is the coordination effected, and who is the coordinator? It is common knowledge that the real bottleneck of our industrial war effort is the lack of highly skilled workers, even though they may comprise as little as five per cent of the total, as stated by the Minister of National War Sendees who, like a peace-time tourist, spends two weeks in a country and then writes a book about it. The bottleneck is like the weak link in a chain; it is the gauge of its strength.

What has the government done in preparation for the need in connection with the upgrading-to use the term current in the old country-and the training of mechanics for the highly skilled jobs of toolmakers, patternmakers, precision workers and expert machinists? Time is too short to turn out fully qualified experts, but men can be trained to be proficient in particular trades, and specific branches of those skilled trades. There are still good workmen in my constituency who have not regular employment, because they have not the expert skill required for some particular job in connection with war orders.

I understand, as has already been mentioned this evening, that there has also been failure to place approximately 23 per cent of those trained since last June for war industries, under the youth training plan.

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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

I do not wish to interrupt the hon. member, but I know he would like to state the facts correctly. In making that statement I have no hesitation in telling him he is incorrect.

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NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. JACKMAN:

Then I think in fairness I should ask the minister what the percentage is. These figures are taken from the Financial Post of a few weeks ago, and there may be a discrepancy of 4 or 5 per cent. It is only fair that the minister should answer the question.

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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

I believe the occasion may come when I shall answer it. I will say that I believe 25 per cent is too high a percentage of those not absorbed in industry, and who have taken a basic training in our vocational schools.

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Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. JACKMAN:

If the minister has not the figures I could hardly be expected to have them myself. It does seem too bad that

these men trained under the youth training plan should not be able to find work in times such as these.

What means does the government have of making known the needs of industry in one town to workers in another town? May I say that this question is very much in point. Labour is just as important as uniformed men, and it is a singular omission on the part of the government that this house has not yet heard from the Minister of Labour (Mr. McLarty). Will he tell us something of the work of the national labour supply council? I may tell the minister who, we all know, is extremely good-natured, and perhaps takes these things in the manner in which we would wish him to take them, that his portfolio is as important as any in the government.

Will the minister tell us about the work of the national labour supply council with its membership of twenty-two leading Canadians? Will he tell us why on November 7 a new labour board was announced, consisting of six departmental heads? When was the need for that committee first discovered, and is it charged with promoting coordination? I shall read the description of the duties of the board, as they are set out in a newspaper:

. . . charged with promoting coordination,

anticipating man-power requirements, considering the need for training special groups of workers, maintaining contact with war industries, obtaining the "considered opinions" of employers and employees, eliminating war industry competition, and formulating plans for the transfer of employers and employees from non-essential to essential war industries with the least disruption.

Who or what has been doing that work in the last nine months-in fact, in the last year? If no one has been doing it, why not?

As I said in the house last June:

The first thing in order to put forth our full war effort industrially and make of Canada, as the Prime Minister stated last September, the "arsenal of empire", is training for our workers and multiplication of the lower grades of workers by intensive mass instruction, and to bring in a regiment of -women and other workers from non-essential trades. The second thing in the planning of this much needed task is a proper distribution of the workers in the proper industries.

Time does not permit elaboration of other points, but opportunity will no doubt shortly be accorded to discuss at greater length those factors which the government knows the people of this country must face, but about which it prefers to maintain a political silence. From a certain point of view the Prime Minister has an extremely happy faculty of timing his policies. If it is admitted that one cannot act in advance of public opinion,.

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surely in a time of crisis the Prime Minister will do something to inform that opinion as to what inevitably lies ahead.

The war must be won. Canada's contribution is limited only by her human and material resources. The measure of our war effort is but the sum total of the war effort of the individual. What more can the individual do? What more must he do? In one word

sacrifice. The great majority of the population

and I except only those whose standard is already too low-must be willing to experience a lowered standard for the sake of keeping our country free from foreign domination. We may be thankful that in some commodities we already produce far more than we require.

If a single soldier, sailor or airman is prepared to sacrifice his life, then we at home are prepared and willing to sacrifice our comforts and our necessities, if it will help to win this war-and it will. There are no longer any half-way measures, and speed of preparation is vital. He who serves now serves twice. The civilian population, under a full-out plan, must give up purchasing those articles which compete with war production. I refer to those articles requiring the use of iron, steel, aluminium andi certain other essential war materials. More specifically, I urge the government to tell the people of Canada that the purchase of a whole list of articles containing such materials should be avoided or postponed. This is doubly difficult in the face of rising family incomes, after a period when families have had to do without many of the things we have come to look upon as little less than necessities.

In turn the money represented by those increased incomes must be saved and invested in war savings certificates and war loans in order to pay for this war from day to day, so that there will be money for payrolls at the end of the week. The happy day will come when that saved money will be just as welcome as it is now, if not more so. In the meantime the government is giving interest on the savings.

The consumption of articles which must be imported from the United States should be restricted. Gasoline is one. There are many others. The advertisements of our department stores urging the purchase of empire products is to the point, but more should be done. To-day Canada can pay for United States products only with the proceeds of goods and services which she sells to the United States. On balance we have always bought more merchandise from the United States than we have sold to them, and the balance is running heavier against us

every day because of our tremendous purchases of aeroplanes and war supplies in that friendly country. There is nothing unfriendly to our great, good neighbour in this attitude. We shall spend in that country every United States dollar we have available for essential war supplies, and if they will lend us United States dollars we shall no doubt spend- those also. In the meantime we have only so many United States dollars, the only kind we can use, to spend in that country and the problem is what United States goods are most important to us to-day. We cannot spend the same dollar twice. We must subordinate our comforts to the need of equipment for our fighting forces. There is no alternative.

Why does the government not tell the people what we are up against? Is there anything in the argument that we are fighting for democratic principles and that too much interference with the individual's right of living his own life and spending his money as he chooses savours of regimentation? Democracy has never stood for licence, but has always stood for liberty. When a democracy is fighting against a power which wages total war and the destruction of women and children, then some of the attributes of peacetime liberty become nothing but wild licence. Our willing acceptance of the duties and responsibilities of our citizenship at the present time is nothing more or less than the acceptance of that spirit of sacrifice which is at the same time the key and the strength of our Christian faith. When it comes to sacrifice for that which we believe to be right, there is no pagan religion of nazism which can hold a candle to the sacrifice and fortitude of those who fight under the banner of Christianity, Nothing makes a people feel its common brotherhood like fighting for the great cause of freedom, and where there is equality of sacrifice, who minds the extent? If, for example, we should have to resort to-gasolineless days, who w'ill mind walking if cabinet ministers also have to walk? Such a sight would be a source of strength as well as pleasure to all the people.

We have in Canada the most magnificent people in the world to whom to appeal. When the need is shown to them, their response is not exceeded even by that of the people of Great Britain. This spirit was shown by their magnificent response to the second war loan when it was obvious to all that its failure would be a reflection on our country, likewise by the spontaneous offering of their services by 200,000 volunteer workers in carrying out the national registration. The best results will come from an informed and understanding people. Never underestimate that spirit. The results obtained by the spontaneous coopera-

The Address-Mr. Jackman

tion of an understanding people far transcends that which can be obtained by coercion. This parliament must give the lead in education and understanding. Let the members and the press be the means of conveying that understanding.

The king's ministers, forming the executive of this government, are responsible to this parliament. I have no doubt that because of the sheer force of numbers the opinion of the government party will prevail; nevertheless it is the duty of this parliament to decide in open debate what shall be the policy of this country. Otherwise what would be the purpose of bringing us here? Is the government to be permitted to assemble the representatives of all the people for the sole purpose of stating that which has been told already, and after the Prime Minister has shown to the world that the institution of parliament has been observed by due perfunctoriness and adequate lip-service, to send us all home like a lot of schoolboys, while he retires to his sanctum with a wily smile and an irrepressible chuckle?

The people of Canada know the character of the enemy. We know that Hitler stands for doing away with personal freedom and for submission to the nazi overlords. We are prepared to work, to sacrifice, if necessary to die, in order that we and our children may continue to live as free men. Woe betide the leaders who do not lead. We are not told. We must be told. We are prepared.

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LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. HARRY LEADER (Portage la Prairie):

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a democracy and parliament is the very bulwark of that institution. I think all hon. members appreciate the great privilege of being sent to this House of Commons by the different districts of this great dominion in order that we may voice the opinions of the people we represent as well as our own. I come from a farming district in which is situated a fair-sized city. I was born on a farm and I have never lived anywhere else. Therefore I think it is perfectly natural that I should have something to say for agriculture. When I speak for agriculture I know that my electors in the city of Portage la Prairie know that I speak for them, because the prosperity of that -city is entirely dependent upon the prosperity of the surrounding country. I think sometimes the people of the larger cities forget that they owe much of their prosperity to the initiative and hard work of the agriculturists.

I want to pay a tribute to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I want to pay it at this time because of his work in fostering friendship with our great neighbour to the south. I am sure that there is not

another man in Canada who has done more to bring this about. When history is recorded, I believe that he will be given premier honours. I am thinking particularly of the trade arrangements which he made with the United States. I am thinking of what they mean, not only to Canada but to all concerned. I have always taken the stand that a trade arrangement in order to be lasting must be mutually satisfactory to all those whom it affects. I believe that this was always in the mind of the Prime Minister when he was dealing not only with the United States but also with the mother country, Great Britain.

I am happy to be able to recall that when, in 1936, I took occasion to speak on these trade treaties, I said that the treaty was more than a trade treaty, it was the hand of friendship stretched out to a nation that was our kin. Then, in 1939, when this treaty was renewed for another three years, I took the attitude that the most important thing about it was that it had at last brought the mother country, our cousins to the south and ourselves around a table, and that we had negotiated a treaty beneficial to all concerned. In my view a great deal was done through these treaties to cement the friendship which stands us in such good stead to-day.

Hon. members know that the exchange of fifty destroyers for naval and air bases in the western hemisphere was a direct result of the friendship which Canada always exhibited towards the United States. I say that is absolutely true; and I believe that the joint defence scheme of the three democracies, in which we can include all of the British empire, will be the means of defeating the evil forces of nazism which oppose us in Europe.

Our war effort, of course, engages the attention of everyone in this house and outside. Speaking as a farmer, I want to assure you, Mr. Speaker, that the farming population of this country is behind the government in their war effort. To use an expression which I have heard on some occasions, they are behind them to the last man and the last dollar-and, sir, they will soon have our last dollar. We realize that the wheat grower is actually the first casualty of this war. We farmers are willing to accept our share of the responsibility, its inconveniences, and an even lower standard of living, in order to fight this war to a successful conclusion.

Let me now return to my agricultural topic, that wheat question which is affecting western Canada more than anything else. The other day the hon. member for Lambton-Kent (Mr. MacKenzie), asked the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), whether the

The Address-Mr. Leader

fact that we had 561,000,000 bushels of wheat in western Canada was any reason why this year should be declared an emergency year. Strange as it may seem, it is an emergency, and an emergency of such proportions that it may destroy the whole economic life of western Canada, in which event the people of the east will feel it also.

Last year the emergency existed, and the government were slow in announcing a policy with regard to our wheat problem. One cannot blame them so much. The wheat was there; they knew they did not have the storage capacity to take care of it, and they knew we had a restricted market. We cannot, I say, blame them so very much. But I am afraid that some supporters of the government may say that everything is well in western Canada and that the policy which was announced worked out satisfactorily all round. It would be comforting if that were true, but it is not. I do not want to dwell at any great length on this matter, nor do I ask hon. members to take my word for it. I will read an extract from a letter, written in answer to one I wrote, by a man who, as they say, knew his onions-I mean the wheat problem. He stated:

There are also many other things to consider under the present legislation now before the house, and the members have a big responsibility. We shall naturally be very much relieved when the amendments to the wheat board act are definitely brought down as there is nothing but confusion at the present time. However, I expect we shall be receiving definite word within the next few days.

This letter, I believe, was written about August 2, at a time when considerable threshing had been done in western Canada. Then it was announced that there was a five-bushel quota on, and the farmers had to scramble round and build granaries, or sweep out their driving sheds or horse stables to find some place to store their grain. All this, I think, could have been avoided had the government announced their policy a little sooner. But that is past. No doubt they did the very best they could under the circumstances. But, with that experience behind them, there is no excuse for the government not to announce in good time this year their policy with regard to the wheat problem. They know we have 561,000,000 bushels of wheat in store, and it may be assumed that there will be another 560,000,000 bushels from the next crop to be stored. I say they know that that is, in general, the situation, and I urge them to-night, with the knowledge they have, to give western Canadian people an announcement of their policy in time for them to make provision to take care of some of this wheat. I shall have something to say a little later with regard to the storage question.

At the present time wild rumours are floating round with regard to government action for this year. I have some newspaper clippings here. I am not going to read them, but I notice a summary of a report issued by the United States department of agriculture, whose figures show that they have a good knowledge of the situation in this country, and there is reference to different schemes which Canada might adopt with regard to the storage and the sale of our wheat. In the last issue of the Winnipeg Free Press which has reached us, I believe Tuesday's paper, it is said that the government are much exercised with regard to our wheat problem, and one or two solutions are mentioned. Well, one cannot control the newspapers, and after all, rumours do not amount to so much. But all this keeps the farmers in a continuous state of indecision; they do not know what is going to happen. I hope that the government, looking at the situation as I know they must do, will decide upon and announce a policy just as soon as they possibly can.

Perhaps I have been rather critical. It is not that I intend my remarks to be regarded in that way, but I am trying to declare to the house the situation as I see it. Living with the farmers as I do from year to year, knowing their problems and sharing their confidence, I know they feel pretty much the same as I do about this matter.

I am now going to offer some suggestions to the government. Whether they would be helpful I do not know, but I believe they would tend to strengthen our morale. I would suggest-and the government might make this announcement immediately

that they pay $1 a bushel. I do not hear any comments.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. LEADER:

Perhaps hon. gentlemen will not cheer so loudly when I get through. This SI a bushel, I suggest, should be paid on the first 1,500 or 2,000 bushels from each farmer in western Canada. I suggest 1,500 or 2,000 bushels as the minimum, but perhaps some people would want to raise it. But if you want to cut down production you cannot encourage it by paying this price on too many bushels. I would pay this SI a bushel to every farmer who had wheat to sell. There are many farmers in the west who sow only 5, 10, 15 and 25 acres of wheat a year, according to the records we have from the bureau of statistics. Of course these are men who produce other commodities besides wheat. But the man with 200, or 400 or 500 bushels would get from this SI a bushel the means of sustenance for himself and his family during the year, and it would enable him to remain on the farm,

The Address-Mr. Leader

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

How long would "long

enough" be?

The Address-Mr. Leader

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LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. LEADER:

Well, I direct that observation especially to the Liberal party because I know the Conservative party do not hold that view.

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An hon. MEMBER:

The Liberals do not either.

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LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. LEADER:

I wish now to refer to another matter along the same lines, with which the Acting Speaker (Mr. Macdonald, Brantford City) is more or less familiar, with the emphasis on the "mower". I think the government, in order to help the farmers out of the extremity in which they find themselves at the present time, might make the implements of production a little cheaper by reducing the tariff on farm machinery. It is a sad reflection on Liberal principles and the party which I support that I must say that never was the tariff higher than it is at the present time. I heard that accusation made in the house the other night by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson).

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November 21, 1940