March 12, 1941

CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

That is quite apparent.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

William Alexander Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland):

Now,

you listen to me. I do not want to get into an argument with my hon. friend; I want to appeal to him. He knows perfectly well, and if he does not he should, that we have the same conditions among members of labour parties or gangs, as we call them, that, we have among the members of any other profession or vocation, including his profession, and even including the House of Commons. I may tell my hon. friend that I have handled labour for the last thirty-five years, and I am proud of the fact that in my employ I have three generations of some families. Just let us be fair, and not take only one side of the question. We are going to have labour problems in Canada, but the employer is going to be fair, and all I ask of my bon. friend is that he be fair also. I am not going into matters of affidavits and so on, bult in the organization of an industry that has grown from 1,700 to 20,000 employees who were not previously unionists, where the unions are mow walking in and unionizing these men, you

War Appropriation Bill

are going to have arguments. I have more faith in Canadian labour than the bon. member for Weyburn seems to have.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Oh, no.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

William Alexander Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland):

I have more faith and more experience. I oan tell my bon. friend that in my thirty-five years of experience I have never had a strike, and that I have always been able to sit down at a desk with labour and figure out any problem man to man. In all kindness I say to my hon. friend: Please, as an bon. member of this house, make up your mind to cooperate. Do not, as the Minister of National Defence said the other day, put a burr under the saddle; cooperate and help the producers of munitions, aeroplanes, tanks and all the other war materials; help these producers, who are striving to do their best, as labour also is striving. Help tihe producers iron out their problems with labour.

Now I want to go a step further, and I say to my hon. friend in all kindness-

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

William Alexander Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland) :

Do my remarks confuse hon. members? I was going to say 'that you do have members of labour organizations who are not always fair. In a plant employing 3,500 or 3,800 men you will have members of a gang who are mot fair. No one knows better than my hon. friend, in his profession, that people are mot always fair; if that were not so he would not have a profession. We in industry have 'these problems. Let me go further. If given the opportunity I will be the first to sit down with the hon. member at his desk, give him all the facts, ask for his assistance, and work hand in band with him in ironing out. any difficulties that may crop up between labour and production in Canada's war effort.

I wish to make one or two further observations with regard to aeroplane production. In my opinion the most important chapter in Mr. MacMillan's report on the aeroplane industry-and it is a very fair reporto-is chapter C, which appears on the last page. It reads as follows:

After the joint lair training scheme and the Royal Canadian Air Force are stocked up, say by the middle of 1941, the annual Canadian demand will drop to something like:

Primary trainers 150

Twin engine trainers 150

Single engine trainers 150

Fighters of all types 300

I am sorry the Minister of Munitions and Supply is not in his seat; but this House of Commons and the Canadian people, with the prospect of a long war ahead of us, have to

decide whether Canada is or is not going to be a factor in the production of aeroplanes. We cannot produce aeroplanes economically unless we design our operations to mass production. Mr. MacMillan very fairly sets that out when he mentions the man-hours necessary in Canada to produce a Boling-broke. The original order for Bolingbrokes was for 18 planes. That order was finished about a year ago. There were weeks and weeks when no one

I say this advisedly'- knew whether there would be sufficient money to go ahead with more planes, or whether conditions in Europe would be such as to demand a greater aeroplane production in Canada. The result was that aeroplane production in Canada has never been able, owing to the business it had ahead of it, to do anything like set up for mass production.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That is

true; it takes two years.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

William Alexander Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland):

Yes, it

takes two years.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Look

ahead.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

William Alexander Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland):

I am

glad the leader of the opposition mentions that. The final drawings for the Bolingbroke, which is the bomber being produced in Canada, were received only on February 1, 1939. The whole production of aeroplanes is in a state of evolution. Plans are being changed every day-well, every week, and sometimes every day. The plans for a certain plane being produced in Canada were changed 490 times from the time they left the original drafting board. If in dealing with the aeroplane industry in Canada we consider only the facts with which we are confronted I am quite sure there will be no rash statements about aeroplane production. I say that because every hon. member has the same idea. But we in Caanda must know whether there will be continuity of busines for those companies, whether it be National Steel Car, Fairchild, or any other.

I should like to refer again to the speech of the hon. member for Weyburn. In the quotation he placed on Hansard some time ago there was a sentence referring to mass dismissals, and another sentence dealing with tie-ups in plants.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Quote it.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

William Alexander Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland):

I shall

enlarge upon it, and then the hon. member will understand it.

War Appropriation Bill

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

I have no

doubt the hon. member would enlarge upon it; but I want to hear the original before he enlarges upon it.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

William Alexander Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland):

Let us suppose that you have a plant operating with a gang of 3,500 employees, and that you have a promise from subcontractors to supply component parts. Remember, the workers in your plant have been educated in aeroplane production; and in passing it might be well to remember that three years ago there was not one all-metal aeroplane mechanic in Canada- not one. Let us suppose that you have been held up for lack of component parts, although you have been promised day after day by the manufacturer that you would receive those parts. What would you do, Mr. Manager, behind your desk? You would have to decide this: Shall I knock these men off the payroll, and wait for those parts? Shall I take a chance of those men going somewhere else? Or, would you do your best to keep your gang together until the basic parts came in, particularly if you were dealing with rush work?

That is what occurred. It is a common occurrence in every industry. As I said a few minutes ago, every member of a union is not a good one. Every member of a gang is not a good one. Day after day in the modus operandi of industry these processes will go on. You know and I know that members of congregations must necessarily be excommunicated for the good of the whole. There is no argument about it. These are necessary actions.

All I ask, Mr. Chairman, in connection with this discussion on the production of aircraft in Canada is this: Let us deal with the facts.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

Is this a congregation?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. McIVOR:

I am sure that there are no excommunications from the church to which the hon. member belongs.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

What church is that?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

William Alexander Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland):

In conclusion may I make this statement, in all fairness. I have had something to do with aeroplane production in the last eight or nine years. Associated with other aeroplane enthusiasts we have tried to build up an aeroplane industry in Canada, and for that reason I believe I know something about it. I know something, too, about the difficulties respecting cooperation in the aeroplane industry. No one would have gone farther, had he had the authority, than did the Minister of Munitions and Supply to get ahead with the construction of aeroplanes in Canada. The minister, who brought in as his coordinator in the aeroplane industry of Canada Mr. Ralph Bell-who, regardless of what was said about him in a derogatory way, has thrown everything into the production of aeroplanes in Canada-has done a wonderful job. There is no question about it. The very heart and will of these men is in the production of aeroplanes for war. Mr. Ralph Bell ironed out difficulties-inter-departmental difficulties, difficulties which arose and have always arisen when a production programme has had to be dealt with; difficulties which every member in this committee knows perfectly well must be found in any business, including the production of aeroplanes.

That is the situation to-day. Mr. MacMillan has placed on record reasons why there may be more delays. This country had to be transferred from a peace-time economy, without any thought of war, to one in which a war was in progress. I am sorry to say it is my belief that there are still many people in Canada who do not realize the gravity of the crisis with which we are confronted. The fact remains that Canada had to be transformed from a peace-time country, where many people got too much for giving too little-and wanted more-into a country where all the people have to make sacrifices for war.

The manufacturers of aeroplanes in Canada will do their level best. All they ask is cooperation from labour, the representatives of labour and the members of the house. Again I extend to the hon. member for Weyburn an invitation to sit down with me and to discuss anything which he believes might be of mutual interest to both of us in helping to prosecute Canada's war effort.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

Mr. Chairman, it is not often I have the great pleasure of reading and listening to the remarks of the hon. member who has just taken his seat. I might advise some hon. members that it is not always wise to interrupt the worthy admiral of the fleet. He comes from one of the industrial centres of Ontario.

The question of lignite has been raised, but I contend that this matter should be taken up by the provinces. First, it has a great value. This is not the time, however, with a war on, to dislocate business in war industries using coal, as was suggested by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Maybank). Furnaces would have to be changed. I have always believed in a national coal policy for Canada and have contended that all coal

War Appropriation Bill

should be mined and coked under the British flag, whether it is done in Wales, in the maritimes or in Alberta.

We are now in committee discussing a resolution of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley). In view of the proceedings at

Washington last Friday and Saturday when the lease-lend bill was passed, I thought the minister would have, since then, made a statement as to the policy of the government of Canada with regard to that gesture, not only toward the mother country but toward the dominions, especially Canada.

With all due respect to the minister I think he is placing too many artificial barriers against trade, especially against the small business man. I come from an industrial district and the people there want to know something more about the resolution. As I have said, I contend that about 70 per cent of the appropriation should be charged to capital and 30 per cent to income. The city of Toronto is one of the largest taxpaying cities in the dominion, and I have figured out that it will contribute about $90,000,000 toward these particular annual current expenses of civil government. That city, while paying such a large share of the taxes, is not getting the recognition it should from the government. About three mills of its tax rate are pure federal burden imposed on it, and I hope there will be some adjustment, and an account taken of the city proper.

As far as I can see, there is no intention on the part of hon. gentlemen on this side to offer anything but constructive criticism of the government of the day. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) made a splendid speech yesterday and he gave us a lot of information to clear the air. There is no desire on the part of any hon. member on this side to embarrass the government or to offer anything but useful suggestions. It is no disparagement of hon. gentlemen opposite to say that many of those who sit in the government may have been successful in peace-time affairs, but war time offers a totally different situation to deal with.

I know of no rule of the house that would prevent the hon. member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. White) from wearing a uniform in this chamber. I am sorry I cannot wear one myself; if I could, I would not be here. In the British house, when the naval, army and air force estimates were being considered, many members who were serving in the forces rose in their places to criticize the government severely. Many of those members were Conservatives; and of all parties they offered constructive criticism and no objection was made. As I say, there is no rule of the house that prohibits a member

wearing a uniform in the chamber if he is serving in the forces, or to prevent his criticism of our war effort.

After all is said and done, a member of parliament has a duty to perform during war time as well as in peace. His duty is greater in time of war than it is in peace. As I said the other day, he does not derive his power and his functions from hon. gentlemen opposite or the crown. He has a duty to perform, and he should perform it. He is entitled to give his views as he sees fit. His mature consideration, his unbiased judgment, his criticism of all measures are his duty.

This resolution emphasizes the drain that is being imposed upon our national resources and man-power. It illustrates the awful cost of war. It shows how debts are piling up and gives us some idea of the gravity of the monetary problem that faces this country and that almost appals the people, and the seriousness of the present war situation.

Reference was made yesterday by the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris) to the salvage campaign being conducted by the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Gardiner). The hon. member mentioned the National Council of Women who work hard. I received a letter the other day from the deputy minister, but I would direct the attention of the committee to the fact that last fall the city of Toronto conducted a similar salvage compaign from which was realized a large sum through the street department. There are three other agencies in the scrap and salvage patriotic business in Toronto; one, well organized, being the Poppy Day Fund; another, the Red Cross and the third, the Salvation Army, and others like the Imperial Daughters of the Empire. When I was chairman of the police commission, we received from ten to fifteen applications at each meeting for peddler licences. These peddlers make their living in that way. So there is no dearth of facilities to collect this waste material in all its forms in Toronto, at all events.

I am sorry there was not more activity displayed by the government two or three years ago, or at least since the war started. I moved for a return on January 25 and May 25, 1940, which was brought down on June 5 last, showing the tonnage of pig-iron, scrap iron, nickel and copper exported by Canada to Germany, Russia, Japan and Italy. The totals were appalling. If the government had been alert in the past they would have prevented these things. A number of ships which used to sail the lakes have been broken up, such as the Chippewa, the Syracuse and the Rapids Prince. These boats, when broken up, were sold for scrap; they were taken to lake Erie ports in

War Appropriation Bill

United States and broken up, and afterwards some of the material was exported to enemy countries. We were too late again.

The government seems to be too late in connection with everything it undertakes. We are always told what will happen in the future. We are being told all the time by minister after minister of what is to be done in 1942 and 1943. It may be too late then, notwithstanding what the Minister of National Defence said yesterday. Help may come to Britain too late. A year ago we were depending upon France to hold out, and the Maginot line to last, but we know now the futility of that. Promises were made that they would hold the fort and the line until Great Britain got an army together or until the dominions came up with support. We are being told what is being done by the government, or what they only hope to do, in the way of mobilizing man-power, food power, munitions and everything else next year and the year after. We are relying upon the United States and I hope that the failure of France will not be repeated.

Yesterday the minister referred to the question of transportation for soldiers. During the last war the railways voluntarily carried soldiers for single fares over the week-end. I do not believe half the people of this country will agree with the statement of the Minister of National Defence in connection with soldier fares. It is ridiculous to think that men who have enlisted even unto death should have to pay fares. In the last war, as I said, the railways voluntarily carried men for single fare on week-ends. Now they carry them every day at half rate. The Railway Act does not at present provide for any special concessions to soldiers during the war, nor has the board of transport commissioners power to order any. In view of the fact that so many camps are far away from railways and the distribution of troops for training spread all over Canada, it is desirable to give soldiers some form of free transportation because a large number have been killed on highways thumbing a ride in many places in Canada while in training.

I have a return, No. 167, which shows that fifty-four soldiers have been killed on the highways. The figures are as follows:

Military district

No. 1

No. 2

No. 3

No. 4

No. 5

No. 6

No. 7

No. 10

No. 11

No. 12

No. 13

Soldiers killed 6

7

0

0

5

1

54

An awful state of affairs.

I presented last December to the transport commission cases of discrimination by the railways against soldiers. You will see examples of it in excursion notices which appear in all the railway stations. In some cases the railways are charging soldiers more than one-third the rate they charge civilians to travel from towns and cities in the maritimes to central Canada. I brought this discrimination before the transport commission, but they declined to act. It was their duty under the Railway Act to find out if there was discrimination. But did they do anything about it? No. I have received a petition from some soldiers in camps in the maritimes complaining of this discrimination, and I wrote the transport commission, but they did nothing about it. They did not stop Lindbergh from getting a life pass on the Canadian National Railways. Imagine a country that has wasted as much money as Canada has on the railways not being able to afford to pay the fares of its soldiers who are fighting to the death in our defence!

The Duff report, at page 45, shows that a total of 555,298 railway passes were issued on the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways away back in 1930; 288,000 on the Canadian National and 266,000 on the Canadian Pacific, and the commission recommended that there be an investigation into that. They said:

We are of the opinion that where the statute imposes an obligation upon the railways to provide free transportation . . . the state

should bear the cost of the service involved. It is also suggested that the discretionary power in the matter of free transportation at present vested by law in the board of railway commissioners be reviewed. The Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States is permitted no such discretionary power.

Some of the military camps are so far away that it is almost impossible for a soldier to get home; his return home is practically prohibited unless he be given railway transportation. I saw the stream of motor cars last Thanksgiving coming in from Barrie and the people hitch-hiking along the road. There is no law except the Ontario Highways Act prohibiting civilians from hitch-hiking, and it is never enforced. Why are soldiers prohibited from hitch-hiking? Why this discrimination? By whose authority were they forbidden to hitch-hike? When free transportation is provided by the government for the soldiers, it will be time enough for the defence department to make hitch-hiking a military offence.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Would my hon. friend

permit me? I do not know whether he got the return or not, but as I understand it, hitch-hiking, so-called, or soliciting rides, is

War Appropriation Bill

prohibited by the Ontario Highways Act. All that the Department of National Defence did was to send out a circular calling attention to that section and instructing that military personnel should comply.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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March 12, 1941