February 9, 1942

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

No? He draws a salary.

Topic:   WELLAND BY-ELECTION PRESS REPORT AS TO RADIO SPEECH OF HARRY J. CARMICHAEL
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PRIVILEGE-MR. GOLDING MILITARY SERVICE-REFERENCE IN DEBATE TO COMMUNICATION FROM STRATFORD


Beacon-Herald On the orders of the day:


LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. W. H. GOLDING (Huron-Perth):

Mr. Speaker, rising to a question of privilege, I should like to refer to an incident which occurred in the house when the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris) was speaking on Friday afternoon. On page 394 of Hansard, referring to myself, he is quoted as having said:

I think my hon. friend who recited one or two days ago correspondence and editorials which have come to his desk, might recite to this house the day letter he received from the editor of the Stratford Beacon-Herald: he would know that the feeling of which I have spoken is rampant throughout his own district as well as in Toronto.

When the hon. gentleman made this statement, I was positive that he used only the word "letter," and evidently the reporter was of the same opinion; for in the original copy the simple word "letter" appeared. However, a correction has been written in changing it to "day letter". One would naturally infer from the hon. gentleman's statement that I had received a personal letter from the editor of this paper pointing out to me the general feeling in our district. Believing, as I did, that my hon. friend intended to convey that impression, I made the following statement, which appears also on page 394 of Hansard: I did not receive any letter at all.

However, in reading this correction in the original copy I am sure now that my hon. friend had reference only to a telegram which I received from Mr. C. Dingman, editor of the Beacon-Herald, on the afternoon of January 23, and which I find was a day letter. Had the hon. gentleman mentioned a telegram there would have been no misunderstanding. However, in view of this general misunderstanding and in fairness to the editor of the Beacon-Herald, I should like to read to the house the wire I received and my reply. This is what I was challenged to do. The wire I received is as follows:

Would appreciate for publication statement from you dealing with following questions: Are you in favour of submitting proposed plebiscite, or do you feel parliament ought to decide issue of extention of conscription? What attitude will you take in the house? Are you in favour of compulsory selective service without restrictions? Please wire us collect any time to-day about three hundred words hinging on these questions.

Legations

My answer to that wire was quite brief, and is as follows:

You will probably have noticed that after the caucus yesterday the Prime Minister stated that it was the most satisfactory caucus he had ever attended. I think nothing need be added to his statement to indicate where the members stand on this question.

It will be recalled that I stated my position when I spoke on this question in the house, which I considered was the proper place in which to make any statement. I should like to say that as editor of the Beacon-Herald, Mr. Dingman was quite within his rights in asking me where I stood on these important questions, and I might add also that my good friend Mr. Dingman, as editor of a daily paper, is entirely within his rights in approving or disapproving any stand which I may take on any public question. I hope this statement will clear up any doubt in the minds of hon. gentlemen regarding what actually happened and what sort of telegram I did receive.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. GOLDING MILITARY SERVICE-REFERENCE IN DEBATE TO COMMUNICATION FROM STRATFORD
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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

You never can answer a newspaper; it always has the last word.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. GOLDING MILITARY SERVICE-REFERENCE IN DEBATE TO COMMUNICATION FROM STRATFORD
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LEGATIONS

APPOINTMENT OP MINISTERS TO CANADA FROM NORWAY, POLAND AND YUGOSLAVIA


On the orders of the day:


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Perhaps' I might say a word with respect to legations to be opened shortly in Ottawa. I notice in the press of this morning reference to Norway opening a legation in the city. I might say that there have been requests from Norway and from Poland and Yugoslavia to have legations established in Ottawa. Requests have been received from other countries, but I mention these three in particular. Careful consideration has been given to the requests, and the government has decided to accept them. We are pleased to have in the capital of Canada diplomatic representatives of these countries which have been playing such heroic parts in the present great world struggle.

The first legation to be opened will be that of Norway. The Norwegian minister will be Mr. Daniel Steen who has been consul general of Norway in Canada for many years. The first Polish minister will be Mr. Victor Podoski, who came to this country as consul general of Poland at the outbreak of the war. Both these gentlemen, now raised to the rank of minister plenipotentiary in the service of their respective countries, are held in high regard and esteem by the Canadian government and all those who have had the pleasure of meeting them. I may add that the first

minister of Yugoslavia to Canada will be Doctor Isidor Cankar, who has had a distinguished career in the diplomatic service of his country and is at present Yugoslav minister to the Argentine republic.

Perhaps I should mention also that Greece has indicated a desire to have a minister resident at Ottawa and that request is being considered at the present time. With respect to the reciprocal appointments of ministers to other countries, it is understood that the matter of reciprocation will stand over until the end of the war.

Topic:   LEGATIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP MINISTERS TO CANADA FROM NORWAY, POLAND AND YUGOSLAVIA
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BRUCE COAL COMPANY

QUESTION AS TO INVESTIGATION BY ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE


On the orders of the day: Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, as a private Liberal member of this hon. house I desire to bring the attention of the government to the following clipping from the morning Ottawa Citizen of January 22, 1942, page 14: Royal Canadian Mounted Police Investigates Local Coal Company. Acting on a search warrant obtained last night, officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police criminal investigation branch to-day seized all books and files of the Bruce Coal Company, with offices in the Hardy Arcade, Sparks street, and Bayswater avenue. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer informed the Citizen to-day that an investigation of the company has been under way for a month and it was decided to seize the company's records to-day. The same source said the probe would continue for perhaps a week or two longer. The reason for the investigation was not disclosed. Again, sir, as a private Liberal member of this hon. house, on account of the continuous silence of the outside leader and the inside acting leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) with respect to this matter, and in order to save the country the sum of $1,500 daily, may I ask the government if a thorough investigation will not be made to ascertain the truth of the widespread talk in town that even since this item appeared in the press the Bruce Coal company has been selling the same coal three times at a rate of one hundred tons daily on government contracts: (1) for the Hull internment camp; (2) for Uplands airport, and (3) for the Arnprior airport.


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest from the length of my hon. friend's question and what I heard of it that it is a matter which concerns several departments, and I

The Address-Mr. Ross (Calgary)

would have to ask him to wait until there is an opportunity of conferring with other ministers before giving him an answer.

Topic:   BRUCE COAL COMPANY
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO INVESTIGATION BY ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
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GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed from Friday, February 6, consideration of the motion of Mr. Alphonse Fournier for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury), and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coldwell. Mr. GEORGE H. ROSS (Calgary East): Mr. Speaker, many very interesting arguments have been advanced in this debate. One of the most strongly pressed and in my opinion one of the most futile is the charge that it would be humiliating to .take a plebiscite at this time. The speech from the throne was no sooner delivered than one of the newspapers came out with the statement that a plebiscite would be most humiliating. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) took up the cry in this house. It has also been raised with frenzied vigor by a number of speakers in this house and outside, and by a section of the press. Why would it be humiliating to consult the people at this time? None of the speakers has told us. The press has not told us. I have asked a number of my friends that question, and not a man can tell me any reason why it would be humiliating to consult the people. Who would feel humiliated? I have never been humiliated by being consulted. I am sure the electors of my riding will not feel humiliated by being consulted. I do not believe any good Canadian will feel humiliated by being consulted. The leader of the opposition has frequently referred to Australia as an example that Canada might very well follow. But I would remind him that during the last great war Australia on two different occasions consulted the people on the question of conscription, apparently without being humiliated. The suggestion that intelligent people will feel humiliated by being consulted is too absurd to pursue further. The last speaker in this debate, the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris), protested vigorously against some of the references that have been made to some of the people of Toronto. He spoke of "dry tinder" being ignited by the "flame of passion". I wish to point out to the hon. member that no one suggests that all the people of Toronto are igniting dry tinder by a flame of passion directed against the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). There are very many fine citizens in Toronto. It is only a clique of hysterical Toronto people and a section of the press that would sabotage the government in order to form a so-called national government to further the selfish interests of a few Toronto financiers. I realize that this is a serious statement to make of any group of citizens, but the ruthless emotional and false attacks being made on the Prime Minister force one to this conclusion. If they can only get rid of the Prime Minister they will have gone far in carrying out their nefarious purpose. WThat other reason have they for directing these vicious attacks against the Prime Minister? Surely every other member of the cabinet is equally responsible. The speech made by the Prime Minister in this debate was clear and convincing in support of the plebiscite which is to be submitted to the people. He is probably the best informed man in Canada. He is now serving his fourth term as Prime Minister. As Secretary of State for External Affairs and as chairman of the war committee of the cabinet, he is probably better informed and knows how our war effort can best be put forward better than any other member of the cabinet. He is the man who selected and brought into his cabinet the able ministers conducting our war effort. It is under his leadership that the ministers have cooperated to put forth such a fully balanced total war effort. Mr. Churchill, speaking in this chamber on December 30, 1941, used these words: Canada is a potent magnet drawing together those in the new world and in the old, whose fortunes are now united in a deadly struggle for life and honour against the common foe. Everybody knows of the splendid work done by our Prime Minister in bringing about the extremely friendly relations that exist between the United States and Canada and between the United States and the other British nations "now united in a deadly struggle for life and honour against the common foe." The Prime Minister is the personification of Canada's magnetism that brought about these good relations. Our war effort has been magnificent. The New York Times recently said of it: Canada's all-out war effort has been no mean accomplishment . . . the achievement has been one of the little appreciated miracles of the war. These capable men who are making such a remarkably good job of conducting our - war effort have asked for a plebiscite. I shall gladly act on their judgment and vote for the motion before the house. I hope and believe that when the vote is taken the people of The Address-Mr. Ross (Calgary) Calgary East will vote for the plebiscite, and that the people of Canada will vote for it, and thus release the government from past commitments, and give them a free hand in conducting the war. Last Friday the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie) referred to some measures that have already been taken to deal with post-war problems. I wish to take advantage of this occasion to urge upon the government to provide a greater measure of social security and social insurance as a further measure to meet post-war problems. Existing legislation in Canada and in the provinces is wholly inadequate to relieve the misfortunes that come when earnings are cut off by want of work, old age, blindness, sickness or death, and when children are left with no one to care for them. It is good public policy to aid the worker in planning a defence against these hazards. He and his family should, not be allowed to become public charges. In the words of the preamble to the labour section of the Versailles treaty: Universal peace . . . can be established only if it is based on social justice. Let me quote further from the preamble. What I am about to quote was true of the industrial nations of the world at the time it was written in 1919; it is in a measure true of Canada to-day. The preamble says: Conditions of labour exist involving such injustice, hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled; and an improvement of those conditions is urgently required; as, for example, by the regulation of the hours of work, including the establishment of a maximum working day and week, the regulation of the labour supply, the prevention of unemployment, the provisions of an adequate living wage, the protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment, the protection of children, young persons and women, provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own, recognition of the principle of freedom of association, the organization of vocational and technical education and other measures. We should have a plan of social insurance in Canada that would afford a measure of protection not only to the worker but to his wife and dependent children as well. We have already the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1940; many of the provinces have workmen's compensation acts. But these are not enough. Under workmen's compensation acts compensation is payable for "personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment." There are a great many cases of distress against which protection is not given by these acts. There should be insurance to protect the wage-earner in the case of industrial accidents to which these acts do not extend. There should be insurance to protect the worker in the case of illness and old age. There should be insurance to protect his wife and family in the case of his premature death. We should have social insurance in Canada to cover all such cases. Many now employed are wondering what will happen after the war is over. When that time arrives and our men in the forces and in munition plants are demobilized we shall be met with a serious unemployment problem. A considered scheme of social insurance would solve a substantial portion of it. 1. It would lessen direct relief, which tends to destroy the morale of persons seeking it. 2. It would have a stabilizing influence in sustaining buying power after the war when expenditures are cut down. 3. It would cushion the shock which will be caused by the drop from present full-time employment to the lack of employment after the war. 4. It would give the worker and his family greater peace of mind so that they will make better citizens and do better work. In the words of the report of the Mather commission: Social insurance would remove the spectre of fear which now haunts the wage-earners; it would make him a more contented and better citizen. If responsible government is to be a success in Canada we must have a united, happy and contented people. Nothing militates against unity, happiness and contentment more than fear. In introducing social insurance a fund would have to be established out of which to pay those protected by the statute. The contributors should be the employer, the employee and the state. As to the employer, the additional cost would not discriminate in favour of one employer against another in the same line of business, because all employers would have to contribute. It would be an additional cost that would be added to the eost of the article produced. The additional cost would not make it difficult for a producer in Canada to compete with producers in other parts of the world, because contributory social insurance already exists in the other principal industrial countries. As to the worker, the cost to the worker with a small income would be considerable. The income of most workers is very small out of which to pay rent, to clothe and feed a family, to pay doctor's bills, and to build up a reserve to carry the worker through sick-



The Address-Mr. Ross (Calgary) ness and old age. But workers out of their meagre earnings would gladly contribute with their employer and the state to build up an insurance fund. Few with very small incomes build up a reserve where no contributions are coming in from the outside. As to the state, the additional cost to the public treasury would not be great, as we are already making heavy payments because of insecurity. During the last depression governments in Canada spent more than a billion dollars on unemployment relief alone. In addition to this, large payments had to be made for old age pensions, mothers' allowances, hospitalization, medical and other relief. Social insurance would lessen the burden on provincial and municipal governments. For that reason they should readily agree to share the cost. It takes many years to build up a contributory social insurance system to the stage where it will carry itself. A system usually takes under its protection workers over eighteen years of age. If the plan is to carry itself from the start, either the older workers would have to pay excessively high premiums, or the younger workers would have to pay a very large share of the pensions of the older workers. To avoid any such hardships Great Britain and Australia subsidized the contributory plan. Canada should also subsidize it. We should not wait until after the war to introduce social insurance; we should start it right now. There is now more employment than at any time in our history. Wages are now at the highest peak ever reached in Canada. The present time is ideal. We have been told by the Minister of Finance that under our constitution only a province can carry out a social insurance plan. If the constitution is in the way, let us have it amended. Let us treat it as an instrument to serve and not to shackle reform. A scheme of social insurance is not enough. It should be supplemented by a system of public assistance to take care of those persons who do not readily fit into a contributory insurance system. Social insurance would not protect all needy widows and orphans. It would not protect deserted wives; it could not very well protect farm labour and those domestic servants whose employment is seasonal, and others whose income is low and intermittent. These people would not fit into an insurance scheme. Furthermore, their income is so small and sporadic that it is impossible to expect them to provide adequately for themselves in case of serious illness, prolonged unemployment, accident, old age or premature death. It has been well said that a nation marches forward on the feet of its children. This being the case, the government as well as parents should be concerned in giving children a good start. Governments have to some extent accepted this responsibility. We have public schools. Mothers' allowances are provided for in eight of the provinces. But the health and welfare of children, when death or some disaster has left a family without a breadwinner, is not receiving the support of the state that it should. Last November the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Thorson) told the house "only about fifty-six per cent of the men called up for military training were placed in category A, the only category that is accepted for training at the present time by the Department of National Defence." I believe there would have been far fewer rejections had the children of the nation been better fed and had they been given more and better medical treatment. The present Old Age Pensions Act makes it possible for old and needy people to go on living in their homes with their own families. This is as it should be. But the age limit is seventy; that is too high. It is particularly too high in the case of ex-service men. By reason of the hardships and sufferings which they endured while on active service, their expectation of life has been shortened. They and their widows are entitled to special consideration. Women too are entitled to special consideration for the reason that their salaries are smaller than the salaries of men and their opportunity for saving is much less. The age limit should be reduced. When the old age pension act was passed the maximum pension was fixed at $20 per month, which was deemed to be the smallest amount that an old person could live on. That is very little out of which to pay for rent, clothing, food and medical care. A dollar a day asked for by old age pensioners, would be reasonable. They should at least get a cost of living bonus. I urge the government not to wait until the war is over but to get in touch with the provinces and grant relief now. The state should also do more for those who are in need by reason of having lost their sight. The United States federal law sets no age limit for aid to the blind. Canada fixes the age limit at forty. I cannot understand why we should have this age limit in Canada. A person who is blind is as helpless at twenty-five or thirty as at forty, and is just as much entitled to a pension. The Canadian people have always believed that all persons who cannot earn a living for themselves, whether because of lack of employment or of illness, age or feebleness, should be The Address-Mr. Neill supported by the state. Everyone of us has a stake in this responsibility; we must not shirk it. I urge the government to take the matter up with the provinces without delay and work out some scheme whereby all needy persons in Canada will be provided for either through social insurance or public assistance.


IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni):

'I would like to speak on the plebiscite and the Japanese, two subjects which are very deeply unpopular in the district I come from, and I think I might say in a more general way, in the province of British Columbia. I have not time to deal with both to-day, and therefore I shall have to leave the Japanese situation until the main motion comes up. That will give me an opportunity also to study the information laid on the table by the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I must therefore confine my remarks to the two amendments.

I deplore two things in connection with this plebiscite-first, its introduction now, and the form of words which will be used when the plebiscite is taken. We have been debating this question for twelve days, and I think we have done the country and the war effort more harm than we shall make good in twelve months. I cannot see any benefit that can accrue. Secondly I deprecate the desperately partisan character of the tone of the debates. We have to go back to 1917 before we can get anything comparable to it in bitterness and unfairness, especially among those who have been defending the plebiscite in the last twelve days.

I will give one or two illustrations. One hon. member alluded to his opponents as employing subterfuge, deception and hypocrisy. Later he said they were ready to besmirch the ballot box and take away the rights of the common people to express themselves; and he talked about ridiculing democratic government. Later on in his speech he said he was going to appeal to the members of this house, and it was going to be an appeal for unity, for understanding, for cool heads and clear thinking.

I hardly think the language I have quoted above is a very likely means of inducing people to keep cool heads and to think clearly. I could give other instances-this one was by a cabinet minister. He referred to "spite-infused and hate-inspired enemies." He was not talking about military enemies; he was talking about political enemies. Then there was the suggestion that Mr. Hepburn, who after all is the elected premier of a province, would rather see Mr. King defeated than Hitler. I think that is a very unfair and scurrilous attack on a public man. Such an

attitude and remarks like these add little to our dignity and to the defence of the- plebiscite, and certainly they do nothing towards helping the war or our reputation among the nations.

Before dealing with the plebiscite itself I want to make two comments. One is on the question of w'ant of confidence. As the debate goes on more and more pressure will be put on that phase. A minister of the crown the other day described these two amendments as being wrant of confidence motions, and as time goes on pressure will be put on and we shall be told that if the main motion does not carry it will mean the defeat of the government and a general election. Well, no member wants that, and I am certain the country does not w'ant it either. This threat about want of confidence is of course always trotted out by every government of the day, no matter who they are, to try to get their followers lined up behind them. They always say that a vote for amendments means a want of confidence. It means nothing of the kind unless the -house chooses to say so. There is nothing in the constitution or in the rules that demands it unless it is embodied in the motion in words to this effect-that "the house has no confidence" in the government of the day. I have seen this done twice, once here and once in the local house, and on both occasions the government of the day had a slim and unreliable majority.

They could not change the constitution; they did not need to, but they announced they were going to take advantage of it, and said they would not regard the defeat of any measure as a vote of want of confidence unless there was a resolution containing those words, "that this house has no confidence in the government." That is well known; and in this case, writh the huge majority of the government, it is absolutely unnecessary to ask anyone to vote for this plebiscite other than on its merits.

There is another matter about which I want to speak. The other day we listened to what I suppose we might call a brilliant fighting speech by the hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. Fraser). The vociferous applause which he received, both while speaking and at the close of his remarks, would indicate not only his own personal popularity but also how acceptable to the members of his party were the sentiments to which he gave expression. The applause afforded him by the cabinet ministers indicated that he was qualified to be their spokesman, or at least that he was uttering sentiments with which they were fully in accord. Let us see just what he said; I am

The Address

Mr. Neill

not going to give my opinion, or anything

else, but his own words, at page 334 of Hansard:

There may be features about the plebiscite that are not as we would all like, but I have studied it. I went home and for three days did nothing but turn it over in my mind, and I came to this honest conclusion.

I shall deal with that conclusion in a few minutes. The hon. member is a big business man. During the course of his remarks he seemed rather annoyed at some people who were members of some committee and who were interested in many companies, but he himself, according to the guide, is president of half a dozen companies. There is no shame to it, but he is a big business man, a man of outstanding ability and long experience. Will anyone deny that? He has been elected to this house three times and defeated once, which in experience is equal to two elections. He knows what it is all about; he can think on his feet; he can regulate his thought and analyse a situation accurately. He says that for three days-and presumably three nights, though he does not mention them-he studied this question. He even has a biblical precedent for his action, because three days and three nights was the exact period that Jonah spent in the belly of the whale, re-orientating his own future. Now we have a picture of this very able man pacing up and down, wearing out the carpet in his study during ceaseless days and restless nights, before he could come to any conclusion. I am sure he will not deny-and I can quote his words- that his loyalty and devotion to his leader had much to do with the decision at which he arrived, but it was seventy-two hours before the scale was tipped. And what tipped it? Was it his judgment on the basis of the facts? No. Was it his loyalty? Yes. Let me quote his words, at page 334 of Hansard, as to his conclusions after studying the problem for this length of time:

I was convinced that ... I should appeal to my fellow Canadians to stand behind the man who for five times has been elected by the ballots of the people of Canada to lead this country.

That is. the Right Hon. Prime Minister. Then, in closing, the hon. member said:

For God's sake get behind Canada. Don't sell her short. Get behind the Prime Minister, and let us put this thing over.

Those last words, "let us put this thing over" are the only words in his whole speech in which he might be held to express definite approval of the plebiscite. You see, his whole appeal, and what tipped the scale, was his conviction that he should be loyal to his leader. That is a very admirable and beautiful sentiment, which does him credit; but it is

not a very overwhelming argument as to the merits of the plebiscite. And I suggest it is reasonable for us to assume that it was the loyalty of which- he speaks so much that governed him in arriving at a decision, rather than the merits of the plebiscite, as to which he says so little.

On the strength of that, having built up that picture on that premise, I ask the house and the country this question, which I might ask the hon. gentleman himself. With all his experience, his knowledge and ability, it took him that period of time, wrestling with himself in the still, dark watches of the night, before coming to his decision. That being so, how long does he expect it will take the ordinary man in the street to come to a decision on a matter of such vital importance, when that ordinary man does not have the hon. member's advantages; when he does not have even such knowledge of war conditions as we have, and certainly no such knowledge as the government undoubtedly possesses? Remember, the man in the street nowadays has not that intense party loyalty that he had formerly, and that consideration would not be as important a factor in his case as it was in the case of the hon. member for Northumberland. So if we concede these points, and I do not believe they can be denied, I believe it cancels the entire weight of the hon. member's eloquent speech. I admit that his speech was eloquent, but it was not necessarily convincing. I submit that it was a powerful demonstration that we should hesitate to repudiate our responsibilities as members of parliament and throw responsibility for the decision-and throw the blame also-on people much less informed than we are, who sent us here to make these decisions.

Some years ago a matter arose in my own district, which I thought I would refer to a committee composed of Liberals and Conservatives, in order to get their decision. It was not a matter of patronage but more the question of a decision. Very shortly thereafter I received a note from the secretary of the committee saying that they were leaving the matter to me. When I went home I discovered that one of the members of the committee had taken the stand, in which the others backed him up, that I was shirking my responsibility. They said, "Neill is trying to pass the buck to us. Tell him it is his business." I made my decision and, since I heard nothing more about it, I guess they approved of it. They said they sent me here to decide these matters, and I should decide them. That was only a small affair, but the principle holds true also in connection with more important things.

The Address-Mr. Neill

There is another important development which has occurred during this debate and which has caused me grief and pain. I always thought it was a characteristic of Liberals to be true and loyal to their party, their principles and their policies. We have heard that echoed from a thousand platforms. Imagine my grief when I discovered that instead of being true to its ideals and all the rest of it the Liberal party was walking out with another young lady! I could hardly believe it, but it is obvious; you can see it even in this house. There is a thin red line-not very thin, either-running between the government benches and the seats occupied by my hon. friends of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. The other day the hon. member for Northumberland was throwing bouquets at them. I need not take time to read what he said, but they were very obvious bouquets, to the effect that in the last few weeks-he was careful to add that-he had occasion to agree with very many of the fundamental truths which have been uttered by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). And there have been other instances. I see in the newspapers that a cabinet minister has agreed with the principles of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and so on.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Well, the members of that group are entitled to cheer. But the lady has been coy; she has not been so willing. At the very moment these wistful advances were being made by the hon. member for Northumberland the same hon. gentleman whom he was eulogizing had and still has on the order paper a motion which the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie) says is a motion of want of confidence; and less than an hour later another C.C.F. member referred to the government as a "servile and anti-labour government." The government does not generally throw bouquets at people who move votes of want of confidence. They generally throw bricks; or if there is a bouquet you will find a brick wrapped in it. But this is different. The liaison is still continuing; they are still walking out, and and they have even walked as far as Toronto. According to the press a very prominent member of this house, a reputable man whom I highly esteem, has been speaking over the radio, and there is no doubt of what he did. He was speaking in support of Mr. J. W. Noseworthy, the C.C.F. candidate in the federal by-election in York South. Well, Mr. Speaker, when we have members of the cabinet and reputable men such as I have mentioned doing these things, there must be something in it. Is it possible

they would rather back the C.C.F. than see Mr. Meighen elected? I think the Liberal public throughout Canada ought to be advised of this unhallowed alliance that is going on. They ought at least to be warned to prepare for this political foundling which will be put on their doorsteps before long.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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February 9, 1942