May 5, 1941

NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

The heading is:

In accordance with memorandum series D No. 50 TD & R 18 second revision, the publications listed by titles hereunder are ruled to be exempt from the payment of the war exchange tax. . . .

These are issued every day or so; I will send one over to the minister. We have a war on at the present time, and I feel that it would be a great deal better to make these magazines pay that tax and use the money collected to reduce the national defence tax on our workmen. Thousands of magazines are coming in absolutely free.

I would suggest also that exemptions be allowed on income tax for children twenty-one years of age and over, at present attending school. As soon as children become twenty-one years old, the $400 exemption is removed. Many people have girls who are away at school or college, and their expenses amount to a great deal more than $400. I

2562 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. Fraser (Peterborough)

know; I have one myself, and many others? have spoken to me about this matter. I would suggest that the exemption be allowed for girls only while they are at school, because a boy can get out during the summer holidays and make a few dollars for himself. I am sure many hon. members had to do that, as I did when I went to school, and I believe we were a great deal the better for it.

The hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) mentioned the matter of railway passes. I should like to quote from an editorial in this regard:

Word from Ottawa indicates that holders of passes will not have to pay the new dominion taxes on railway fares and theatre tickets. The, explanation is that the new order says the tax must be paid "by every purchaser of transportation," and the individual with a pass does not purchase transportation.

In theatres the tax is collected on the receipts, and those who have passes are not contributing anything to those receipts. And yet after having read the explanation one is inclined to ask that plain question: "Why are any exceptions made?" We are all in this thing together; we are all paying together, and we doubt if those who possess passes for transportation or anything else would ask to be excused while others are putting up their assessment.

The only exception I would make is to exempt the soldiers from paying a tax on their fares. A soldier coming home to Peterborough from Halifax must pay $23, whereas excursions have been run for $20 and some odd cents, giving the civilian a preference over the soldier.

The hon. member for New Westminster referred to the use of short-wave radio by the Germans as a weapon of war. This is perfectly true, and I mentioned this fact some months ago in this house. I would advise hon. members to read the speech made in the British House of Commons by Captain Leonard Plugge who is considered to be one of the best radio experts in the British empire.

I have made a few suggestions and I am going to make a few more. The Minister of Finance is looking for more money, and as much as possible we should try to pay our way as we go along. I suggest that a tax be put on meals served in restaurants or hotels and costing one dollar or more. If anyone can pay a dollar for a meal he can certainly afford an extra five or ten cents. This would bring in considerable revenue to the dominion. I think the suggestion put forward this afternoon by my leader (Mr. Hanson) was very good. At the present time the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) is bonusing the growing of rye and other coarse grains in the west. I think the Minister of Finance should tax rye, only the wet kind, and all other hard liquors. I am sure that this would be a popular tax.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Not with everyone.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

Not with everyone, but the Minister of Finance has taxed beer, the poor man's drink. I believe 61,000,000 gallons of beer were brewed in Canada last year, but there is also a considerable amount of hard liquor sold in this country.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

And it is taxed quite heavily.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

I know it is taxed quite heavily, but a person who can afford to buy rye, Scotch or other liquors can afford to pay another five or ten cents. The gasoline tax of three cents a gallon is quite heavy when considered along with the provincial tax of eight cents a gallon. I do not think this tax will discourage tourists coming from the United States if the dominion will place at all ports of entry signs stating that the Canadian gallon is one-fifth larger than the United States gallon. When that is taken into consideration, along with the premium paid on the United States dollar, it will be found that a tourist from the United States is not paying a great deal more for his gasoline.

In conclusion, I should like to repeat what I said in this house some weeks ago. The Minister of Finance should see that every person receiving from this government a wage, indemnity or pension of over $3,000 should be compelled to take at least ten per cent in war savings certificates, non-transferable and not to be redeemed for at least seven years. This must be done if this government wish to show the people that they practise what they preach.

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LIB

John Albert Gregory

Liberal

Mr. J. A. GREGORY (The Battlefords):

Mr. Speaker, in making my first contribution in this house, may I say that I considered my first duty on coming to this house one year ago was to assist the government in every way by voting supply to carry on the war effort of Canada. I felt that it was my further duty to assist in passing the implementing legislation required to give this government the broad powers which all governments must have in times of war. I felt that all this could best be accomplished by refraining from making unnecessary speeches. Having confidence in this government and recognizing its ability, energy and zeal, I did not think it was necessary to enlarge upon these facts by much speaking. However, after listening to many of the speakers from various groups in the opposition, as well on this side of the house, I felt that this was the time for me to express myself on behalf of a goodly number of people in Saskatchewan and express a few

The Budget-Mr. Gregory

ideas Which may not have been expressed up to the present or which may not be in agreement with others expressed already.

Since this session was convened, a dominion-provincial conference was held to discuss the implementing of the recommendations of the report of the Sirois commission. As we all know, this conference was torpedoed. Something over two years ago when the legislative assembly of Saskatchewan met following the presentation of the Saskatchewan brief to the then Rowell commission, I had this to say in the new legislative assembly:

That a new bill of rights had been written for Saskatchewan and that the dawn of a better day was breaking if this brief was implemented in legislation.

I should like to point out that the western provinces were settled in a different manner from that in which the older provinces of Canada were. There were no forests to be cleared and there were comparatively few swamps to be drained. The land in the west was ready for the plough, and the population of the west was obtained by a national policy of advertising to the world that free homesteads and cheap land were available to those who wished them. The result was a tide of land-hungry immigrants which swept across Canada in increasing volume every year, until a peak of over half a million new settlers was reached in 1912-13.

The railroads followed in the wake of the settlers, rather than the settlers following in the wake of the railways. Villages, towns and cities sprang up, and municipal governments, rural and urban school districts and all other services incidental to modern life were thrust upon the new settlers. City improvements, schools, telephone lines, roads and bridges were constructed in a hurry. A great burden was placed upon the two new provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta when they were formed in 1905. Legislative buildings had to be built and legal machinery provided. Court houses, land title offices, highways, bridges, gaols, mental hospitals, homes for the aged, and trunk telephone lines sprang up throughout the province like mushrooms. This, of necessity, created a heavy capital bonded debt. Since it was a new and untried country, high rates of interest were demanded on its bond issues. The price thus paid to create a modern civilized country out of western Canada was a heavy one. All our various institutions had thrust upon them within the space of a decade or two a task which was spread over at least three generations of our older provinces. Provincial government, municipal government, urban and rural, and school districts all carry an immense load of bonded debt in my province.

There is, however, another phase of economic life from which western Canada has suffered throughout its whole history.

I am speaking, Mr. Speaker, from a residence of forty-four years in western Canada and from an experience of thirty-six years spent in the city in which I now reside, the city of North Battleford. I think then, sir, I understand the problems of my province.

I say that there is another phase of economic life from which western Canada has suffered throughout its whole history.

I refer to the tariff, that hackneyed, outworn and time-honoured word, the tariff. This has been an increasing burden upon western Canada as the years have gone by. To the consumer it has meant a burden upon everything he buys. It has been estimated by the late Hon. Norman Rogers, who prepared for the Duncan commission that famous brief on the incidence of the tariff burden on the various provinces, that Saskatchewan annually was contributing $29,000,000 by way of tariff burden. Then, as regards the producer to the extent that the tariff operates as a prohibition against the purchase of foreign goods, just to that extent does the tariff act as a restriction on the sales of the producer's goods in those foreign countries to which those goods should be sold.

There is a further burden placed upon the western Canadian. There was a period within the memory of all present in this house when the tariff of Canada was the chief, almost the sole revenue of the dominion. As tariffs were raised by different governments, the revenues from this source diminished relatively, due to the higher tariffs acting as a prohibition against the importation of foreign goods.

Resort was then had to other forms of taxation-direct taxation, income tax, the sales tax, which has been increased from time to time, excise taxes on sugar, tobacco and various other items. Therefore western Canadians are not only penalized by paying high tariff penalties, but are again penalized by all these various forms of direct taxation.

For a moment let us consider the economic flow of wealth in Canada which has persisted for at least the last fifty years. I can remember when the maritime provinces had their own banks, trust companies, mortgage companies, insurance companies, and their own factory industry. I ask you, sir, where are those institutions to-day? Those

The Budget

Mr. Gregory

which have survived have largely moved to the central provinces, and by the central provinces I refer, of course, to Ontario and Quebec; or they have been absorbed by other institutions whose head offices are in the central provinces.

What has been the direction of economic flow of wealth so far as the west is concerned? For over forty years to my own personal knowledge, western Canada has produced prodigious wealth from the lands, the mines and the forests. Where is that wealth to-day? Certainly not in western Canada. Every cent of interest paid in that period of time to the banks, mortgage companies and land companies of all kinds has gone to the central provinces. Every insurance premium, whether it be fire, life, accident, sickness or casualty, has gone to the central provinces, and vast sums of our purchasing power have gone to the industries of the central provinces, mostly to the province of Ontario and the city of Montreal. The wealth of the west has made big banks out of small banks in the central provinces. It has made big insurance companies, big trust companies, big mortgage companies out of small ones in the central provinces. It has made big factories out of small factories in the central provinces, and again may I say, Mr. Speaker, that I am quite well aware of the size of the factories of Ontario when I left this province^where I was born and raised. I remember the size of the Massey-Harris company, Cockshutt Plow and all the rest of them in Ontario, and I am therefore speaking from first hand knowledge when I say that during the last forty years the wealth of the west has made big industries out of small industries in this province. It has created work in this province to increase capital outlay. It has created jobs by the hundreds of thousands to man the increased machines in the expanding industries in the central provinces.

The climax of my argument is this, that the wealth of western Canada has made small incomes in the central provinces large incomes, and small accumulations of wealth, large fortunes, and it is from these large incomes that provincial income tax is paid to Ontario and from these large fortunes that succession duties are paid to Ontario. My argument is that western Canada, which largely made it possible for these large income taxes and succession duties to be paid, has an equitable interest in these revenues which it has largely created, that these enormous revenues do not wholly belong to the province of Ontario by right, and that therefore these revenues should be collected solely by the federal government

in trust for all the people of Canada, to be distributed back to the people on a per capita basis.

I have tried to show that all the various institutions of western Canada are heavily burdened by debt, that the original pioneer who made that country is heavily burdened by debt, that through the very nature and development of this country that had to be. Moreover I have tried to show that the development of western Canada has made a vast contribution to the wealth and welfare of the rest of Canada. It is, therefore, justified in asking for a recognition of its just claims under confederation. The rejection of even a discussion of the Sirois commission's recommendations was a death-blow to Saskatchewan, which cannot carry on under the present set-up. The demands of each institution of government, federal, provincial, municipal and school district, upon the individual taxpayer, already heavily indebted, are beyond human ability to meet. These demands cannot be met.

There remains but one avenue of escape, and that is for us in Saskatchewan to live more within the resources of the province. This would mean less fruit and fish and lumber from British Columbia, less coal from Alberta, and less of manufactured goods from Ontario. This is intended to be neither an expressed nor an implied threat of reprisals. It is simply a plain statement of fact arising from the impossible position in which my province finds itself. I place myself beside Premier Bracken of Manitoba and Premier Patterson of my own province of Saskatchewan in condemning the break-up of this conference and in urging, yes pleading, that there be a future and further consideration of these problems.

May I say one word with respect to a subject which likewise has been worn threadbare in this house and of which most hon. members are tired of hearing the name; I refer to the question of wheat. In the brief reference I have to make to the farming community in western Canada, let me say that no class in the country has suffered as has the western wheat grower. During the last war he was encouraged by the government of the day to grow more wheat as a national duty. He therefore bought more land at inflated prices. He bought large units of machinery, power-drawn, in order to meet the inflated wages of the day. He burdened himself with debt at high rates of interest. He met a national emergency as it was presented to him at that particular time. Then followed the collapse of 1921. Recovery set in some four years later, followed again by

The Budget-Mr. Gregory

the collapse of 1929, which meant ruination to the farmer so far as prices are concerned. For the farmer in my country, every year since 1929 has been a ruinous year. Added to the deflation of the world crisis, drought has visited every part of western Canada intermittently since that time. Farmers have been selling below cost of production, when they had anything to sell, each year since 1929. In addition to the living which the farmer did not obtain, there is depreciation to consider, and interest on debts which have been piling up with no hope of better times. Secondary industry in Canada is pretty well assured against loss. Consideration has been given to wages of labour. With each of these, Mr. Speaker, I have no quarrel. The farmer is bearing his burden nobly and patriotically, and is prepared to carry his share of the load, but he cannot help thinking that in contributing his share of the national war effort he should be allowed at least to live.

I quite realize that there can be no satisfactory solution of the wheat problem while Hitler's armies are occupying the countries with which we normally trade. I would go further and say that there can be no satisfactory solution of the wheat question so long as narrow nationalism prevails in the countries of Europe. As you are aware, sir, fear of war created in the last twenty years these policies which we call narrow nationalism, and until war ceases and the fear of war vanishes from the earth there will be no free interchange of products amongst the countries of the world, each producing what it is best fitted to produce, selling the surpluses in foreign markets, and purchasing in exchange from foreign markets what each requires. That time has not yet arrived. What shall we do in the meantime? I assume that there is only one answer to that question. We must make a compromise agreement with respect to this wheat problem.

The other day we had a compromise agreement brought down for the consideration of this house. I realize that any cabinet decision upon a problem of this kind must be a compromise decision. There are in Canada many provinces and many interests, each presenting its viewpoint and each exerting its influence upon the national federal cabinet, and all decisions on questions of this kind by the government of the day must, therefore, be in the nature of a compromise. We in the west realize that the population of Canada largely lies east of the great lakes. We realize that the wealth and the organization and, therefore, the influence lie east of the great lakes, and that whatever treatment the west receives is with the consent of the east. We are prepared even to concede at times

that the east has viewed western problems with that broad outlook of the welfare of Canada as a whole. We wish to express our appreciation of that fact. But in all future considerations of the wheat problem-and I have no intention of raising any of the issues which have been fought and decided-may I ask our eastern friends to remember that western wheat is woven into the warp and the woof of the industrial, financial and commercial fabric of Canada, and because of that fact may I urge that this problem be approached in succeeding years by hon. members from the east with a broad charity and, I trust, a broader knowledge of the problems which the western wheat grower has been enduring ever since the collapse of 1929.

Since coming down to this house I have tried to learn something with regard to the financial religion of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley). I was pleased to read the following statement in a speech which he delivered at Timmins on Labour day, 1940:

We have learned, the world has learned, that sound monetary management in our modern industrial society requires flexibility and judgment in national monetary policies.

In that statement, I wholly concur. It would appear to me that the minister is following the good example of the previous Minister of Finance, who, I believe, in that capacity made his name as a great statesman and a great Canadian. I refer to the Hon. Charles A. Dunning. May I quote one or two sentences from a speech delivered by Mr. Dunning in this house on March 9, 1938, as recorded in the Regina Leader-Post:

The Bank of Canada did regulate currency and credit with the single purpose of promoting the best interests of the country. It was following an easy money policy, expanding the currency base and the volume of credit at a rate it believed to be in the best interests of the nation.

By the purchase and sale of securities and by the use of the discount rate, the bank regulated the volume of credit in circulation. Purchase of securities increased bank deposits and credit; sale reduced them. A higher discount rate curtailed business expansion. A lower rate fostered expansion.

Just one more sentence:

We are not now on the gold standard. We are not subject to its deflationary or other influence. For better or for worse we are now on a managed paper currency, just as the United Kingdom. The value of Canadian currency was determined, not by gold but by the factors operating on a managed currency, chiefly demand and supply. The Bank of Canada controlled the operations of the chartered banks by purchase and sale of securities. . . .

And so forth. That is all I will read from that speech. I have also been gratified since coming to this house to hear later statements

The Budget-Mr. Gregory

from the Minister of Finance that credit has been expanded as rapidly as production and that there is at the present time in Canada sufficient credit to take care of production. Again, I wish to concur heartily in that statement read. My conception of a credit structure is one designed to meet all contingencies of production, one designed for the welfare of our citizens, and not managed and controlled for the welfare and profits of stockholders, a currency and credit structure so balanced that distribution may be the partner of production, and the effect of which will be that price levels of both commodities and labour will be kept on an even keel. I should like to feel that we have relegated to the dungeons of past barbarities those cruel instruments of torture of private banking methods which have been used so effectively in the past in creating inflation of price levels, followed by inhuman deflation of values, by which the greed of a few sucked in the assets of the many.

We have now in the Bank of Canada the necessary instrument to control the financial economy of our nation, and the people of Canada will hold this government and successive governments strictly to account for the proper use of this instrument.

If I may, for a few minutes, I should like now to refer to another phase of life in western Canada. We have another problem in my province of Saskatchewan, and, to some extent, in the whole of western Canada. I refer to the subversive propaganda which has been taught to the people from the public platform by those posing as leaders of the people, in some instances by those who should be leaders of the people in every sense of the word. I do not know who is financing the tours of some of these public speakers, but some of these meetings are held under auspices which, to say the least, are not outstanding in their zeal to assist in the war effort of Canada.

My province has a population of whom nearly 50 per cent are foreign born or are the offspring of foreign bom, and I think it is reasonable to assume that these people cannot be expected to have the same veneration for those things which we call British as those born of British stock, British traditions and British institutions, so dearly and so slowly won and fought for down through the ages. It should surely then, Mr. Speaker, be the duty of those coming from British stock to inculcate into the foreign bom the value of the heritage which became theirs in a British land-freedom, democracy, the right to choose and to live the chosen life within the law. It should be the duty of all public speakers at this particular time to inculcate two things and to insist upon these two things. The

[Mr. Greeory.l

first is the promotion of the war effort of Canada, to encourage the people to think in terms of the seriousness of the effects of this war upon Canadian life; and the second is to encourage the people to save, to give, to pay, to assist in the financing of this war. It should be stressed on all public occasions that, unless we win the war, democracy, freedom and our way of life are all gone, and that all should drop petty differences in the greater and more important task of defeating Hitler and crushing him and all for which he stands.

What do I find as I follow these speeches through Saskatchewan, Alberta, some in British Columbia and even in Ontario? I find that fear is being instilled into the minds of every audience-fear that the government has enslaved the people; fear that the government is domineering over the people instead of being the servant of the people; fear that the defence of Canada regulations have destroyed democracy and the rights and liberties of the people; fear that liberties lost in war time may not be regained in peace time. May I say right here, sir, that these opinions are not the beliefs and opinions of my constituents or of the people of Saskatchewan as a whole, and I believe I know the views of the people of Saskatchewan. I believe I know the opinions and the beliefs of the people of that province. I have seen most of them come into that province; I have seen nearly every mile of railway built in that country, and I think I am in a position to judge properly what the viewpoints and opinions of these people are.

I have noticed all through life, yes, through a fairly long life, that it does not require [DOT] courage or capacity to appeal to fear and prejudice and ignorance of masses of people and to arouse and disturb their minds with vague doubts. That is the simplest thing in the world. I have seen throughout my whole life demagogues do this on public platforms without possessing either balance or brillance, and set a peaceful people aflame with passion and prejudice. For any public speaker to suggest that the people are disturbed and bewildered and are filled with fear over the actions of this government or the operations of the defence of Canada regulations is only to suggest, to my mind, that if there be a shred of truth in that statement, then this disturbance or bewilderment or fear was not in the minds of these audiences until the speaker placed it there.

Parliaments are elected by the people of Canada, just as in England parliaments are elected by the people. That is democracy. Governments are selected from the majority party in the people's parliament. That is democracy. Laws are passed by majorities

The Budget-Mr. Gregory

in parliament. That is democracy. The defence of Canada regulations are based upon the War Measures Act; that act was passed by this parliament. Those regulations are amended each year by a committee of the house and then presented to the house for further consideration. This parliament does the same as every other parliament in the British domains; in times of war this parliament proposes to give the government of the day very broad powers in order to carry on the war effort of the country.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are charged with the responsibility of investigating and tracking down disloyal activities, and surely no one will suggest that this force has not the respect and cofidenee of all Canadians. We in the west respected and admired and placed our confidence in this force for nearly two generations before the rest of Canada knew anything about the old Northwest Mounted Police. Reports, of all investigations, are made by this force to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), and only on the authority of the minister does an internment take place. The internee then has the right to be heard before a tribunal, and who would suggest that the principles of British justice are violated in any respect in all the operations under the defence of Canada regulations?

Talking about governments tending to become our masters when they should be our servants is just a play upon words, just a hollow play upon words. I was surprised to hear the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) with his knowledge of law and constitutional development and of the Anglo-Saxon struggle for responsible government, express his sympathy with a statement made in this house to the effect that the government had become the masters of the people. Of course the government is the government. We expect it to be the government, the executive of the people's legislative assembly to carry out the powers granted it under the statutes passed by the people's parliament. In that regard it is the servant of the people, through the people's representatives. But at the same time we expect it to be the government of the people. When the time comes that the people of this country think this government is not sufficiently carrying out their wishes,-shall I say as their servant?- when that time comes all that the people of this country have to do is to elect another parliament of a different complexion, and there will soon be a change in the personnel of that government. Those are the checks, and those are the safeguards under which we operate in the British domains.

I have spoken longer than I intended, but there are a few other things I wish to say this evening, seeing it is the first time I have had the pleasure of speaking in this larger legislative assembly. I have here reports of a great many public meetings held throughout Canada. I shall refer this evening to only about four of them. I have the report of a meeting held in the city of Oshawa from the Toronto Star of December 9, last. The heading of the article is, "We behave like a bunch of cowards." I shall quote just an odd sentence or two:

We people in Canada, since those defence of Canada regulations were passed, have behaved like a bunch of cowards. We have felt afraid we would get into trouble if we raised our voice against them. . . .

At this meeting a resolution was passed in which it was stated:

We express it as our emphatic opinion that the defence of Canada regulations must be amended so as to guarantee the fullest freedom of speech, press and organization. . . .

We sometimes see puzzled expressions on people's faces when we speak of democracy. We use the word so glibly. What does it mean? . . .

The defence of Canada regulations . . . have destroyed the bulwarks of our freedom. We must get our freedom back. . . .

Then, from a meeting held in the town of Melville, Saskatchewan, I quote briefly:

In a democratic country the government . . . should be the servant of the people and not the master of the people as it had become in Canada.

(The speaker) indicated the people of Canada were asleep as they seemed to be ignorant of the loss of civil liberties under the defence of Canada regulations.

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NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

Who were these people?

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LIB

John Albert Gregory

Liberal

Mr. GREGORY:

Would hon. members be good enough to allow me to develop this in my own way? I will satisfy their curiosity before I have finished.

A meeting was held in Winnipeg, in the dining room of the Hudson's Bay store at which Professor Lower of the United college was chairman, and this opinion was expressed, fear that civil liberties lost in war time might not be regained in peace time. After the speech was delivered, the chairman commented that he would have nothing to do with any "hysterical movement." There is no advance to be made along such lines. Let me add that with these remarks I wholly agree.

I have several reports of meetings here, and I should like to crave another ten minutes. I shall put on record just one or two opinions from people who are capable of expressing a clear opinion as to what they think of this class of propaganda that

The Budget-Mr. Gregory

is going on throughout the length and breadth of Canada. The council of the Montreal board of trade appointed a committee for the purpose of making a thorough study of the defence of Canada regulations. I have before me their findings in full, but I shall quote only a sentence or two from a letter which the president sent out with copies of the full report:

The attached report has convinced the council of the board that no one can say with reason that these regulations do not conform with the principles of British justice, therefore no loyal citizen has anything to fear as a result of their enforcement. In fact it is the considered opinion of the council that the carrying out of these regulations, in their present form, is of the greatest importance in the protection of our Canadian homes, institutions and industrial activities.

It is strongly felt by the council that no Canadian can afford to be casual in this time of great danger and that any kind of propaganda or public statements that tend to weaken this instrument of protection should not he allowed to go unchallenged.

I should like now to refer to one or two other opinions expressed by some of our newspapers with respect to certain speeches.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I must inform the hon. gentleman that his time has expired, unless-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go ahead.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

With the unanimous consent of the house.

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LIB

John Albert Gregory

Liberal

Mr. GREGORY:

I have here an opinion expressed by the Windsor Daily Star regarding one of these speeches. I shall read only one paragraph:

In her anxiety to champion the cause of democracy, Mrs. Dorise W. Nielsen, M.P. is apt to become a shield for the communists, nazis, fascists and other subversive elements within our midst. They will be glad to hide behind her skirts. . . .

The St. Thomas Times-Joumal, which previously expressed the hope that the hon. member for North Battleford (Mrs. Nielsen) was to be different from Agnes Macphail, now declares that it has its doubts. Says the Times-J oumal of the hon. member's recent address in the House of Commons:

Her theme was the defence of democracy; the right of free _ speech, freedom of the press, freedom to criticize. She praised the spirit of the people of London in standing up so heroically to the air raids, and is reported to have added: "But their greatest victory so far has been in maintaining democracy and resisting any limitation of freedom of expression." That is sheer tosh, and if she went back to her native London, the people who have been suffering these terrifying and bloody raids would tell her so in the characteristically emphatic language of the cockney. We are surprised, also, to find Mrs. Nielsen protest against the internment of enemy aliens because no charge has been laid against them.

[Mr. Gregory. 1

I should now like to read just a sentence or two from the Toronto Telegram of Monday, December 9, 1940:

Mrs. Dorise Nielsen, M.P., came to Toronto with the message that the defence of Canada regulations had robbed Canadians of their democratic rights. ... It is only under democratic rule that people are allowed to talk such dangerous nonsense as characterized the generalities put forward by Mrs. Nielsen. . . . Her whole address was calculated to promote fear, not by the presentation of any reasonable ground for fear, but by vague or rash statements for which she offered no support. . . . As a person of intelligence-she was a former schoolteacher-she must know that it is vitally necessary for the government to have plenary powers in rvartime, and that the British government is clothed with the same powers. She knows that what powers the Canadian government enjoys were given it by parliament and can be taken away by parliament. She has not suggested, and cannot suggest, that these powers have been exercised by the government to stifle opposition in parliament. . . .

Mrs. Nielsen declared that the government's action was wrong in banning Jehovah's Witnesses, though she frankly acknowledged that she knew little about this organization. She said that the government had invaded the field of religion, though if she was more familiar with the situation she would have known that it was not for its religious tenets that the organization was banned but for its subversive activities.

Canada's woman member of parliament was purely soap-box when she declared herself ashamed that Canada could no longer say to the people of Europe "Here we have freedom and justice and w'e will give you sanctuary" . . .

She came to Toronto under auspices which have not been revealed, but she had the support of organizations which have not been noted for their contribution towards winning the war. She used her opportunity to indulge in generalizations and half-truths.

I have extracts from other papers as well, the Peterborough Examiner, the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, the Regina Leader-Post and others, all condemning in the strongest terms the stirring up of fears, prejudices and bewilderment in the minds of the people at the present time, when we are engaged in a life and death struggle for our very existence, and for all those things which, having inherited, we consider worthy of maintaining.' In concluding this portion of my address I should like to quote a few sentences from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix:

Very wisely and quite properly, the U.F.C. rejected efforts by the Nielsen group for endnr-sation of their Saskatoon resolutions. It is to the credit of the senior farm body that they quickly saw through the fog of irresponsible thought from which most of the so-called emergency conference resolutions emerged, and decided to stick to their own constructive policies. . . .

Attempts to stir up sectional animosities in this crucial period are definitely anti-Canadian and unpatriotic. This is a time for unity, not disruption. The farmer has a big part to play in this war-big and vital-and be is not only

The Budget-Mr. Gregory

ready but anxious to accept the common sacrifice involved, despite efforts to influence him otherwise by those few who seem more desirous of seeking political aggrandizement than winning the war.

I shall not take up more of the time of the house in quoting further from these newspaper extracts. But having lived for thirty-six years in the city of North Battleford, which happens to be in the constituency which I represent and not in the constituency of the hon. member for North Battleford; having been in daily contact during that length of time with the people who came north of the Saskatchewan river; having been there when most of them came to that part of the country, I think I am in a position to say tonight, with full knowledge of the facts and in all kindness, that if a plebiscite were held to-morrow in the constituency of North Battleford to pass judgment upon the views and opinions expressed by the hon. member representing that constituency in this house, fully eighty-five per cent of the people would vote to condemn those views and opinions. The other fifteen per cent, Mr. Speaker, would consist of the communists, of whom there are many in that constituency, the anti-war propagandists, and other subversive elements.

I should now like to refer to the remarks of the hon. member for North Battleford which appear at page 2445 of Hansard for April 30 of this year. I cannot permit those remarks to go unchallenged in this house. I refer to such expressions as "political heelers"-

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order. The

hon. gentleman must not refer to another debate which took place during the present session.

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LIB

John Albert Gregory

Liberal

Mr. GREGORY:

These remarks appear

in Hansard for April 30, 1941.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Apparently

the hon. gentleman has reference to another debate which took place during the present session.

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LIB

John Albert Gregory

Liberal

Mr. GREGORY:

Would it be proper for

me to refer to the essence of what was said, without quoting the actual words?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Was the debate to which the hon. gentleman refers on a motion to go into supply during the present session?

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LIB

John Albert Gregory

Liberal

Mr. GREGORY:

Yes.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Under the

rules of the house an hon. member is not permitted to refer to the subject matter of any debate that took place during the present session. The hon. gentleman can refer to

the opinions expressed by another hon. member, but without making reference to a particular debate.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I understood that the rule applied to a debate that had been concluded, and I believe the hon. gentleman is referring to a debate on a motion to go into supply, which debate is not yet concluded.

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May 5, 1941