No; I am not reading from either. I am reading from the official proceedings of a meeting held on December 4, and I am giving some extracts from the papers presented at that meeting. At the moment I have Doctor James' comments before me. At page 12 of the proceedings Doctor James says:
During the period immediately after the conclusion of hostilities, a period that may last for months, or for years, we must face the problem of finding jobs for a million and a half men and women demobilized from the armed forces and munitions industries. And we shall have to find these jobs at the verv moment when the process of retooling will tend to reduce the demands of private industry for workers. This problem of the immediate post-war period must be met partly by social legislation, and partly by publicly financed construction projects.
To what extent one or the other will have to be used will have to be decided before this war ends. But I am convinced that this committee-and now I refer to the James committee-is too prone, as I shall attempt to show in a moment, to rely upon the ability of private industry to undertake the major reemployment problem when the war ends. He said this:
The activities of the committee on reconstruction that attempt to develop practical measures for the attainment of full employment, or the attempt to guarantee full employment, in the immediate post-war period are. first of all, the excellent work that the committee on employment opportunities, under Tom Moore, has been carrying on in regard to the training and recruitment of labour, and the work of the dominion employment service, which I mention briefly because you will have a fuller report on that this afternoon, as well as an opportunity to discuss it. Secondly, an attempt is being made to develop a programme of construction projects privately and publicly financed by the municipal, provincial and dominion governments.
The reason I refer to that statement in the report is that I am glad to note that on account of the illness of Mr. Tom Moore the government has appointed his successor to take his place. -I refer to Mr. Bengough. Throughout this report I find that except in one or two isolated instances, of which this is one, the cooperation of labour and of the farmer has been overlooked by the committee, and by the government which set up the committee. I noted this in the report, and I hope that more attention will be given
to the representations of labour and the farming community, the two greatest producing groups in our country.
Something else we should like to emphasize is this, that Doctor James said that in the few words he had been able to put together that afternoon he had tried to sketch the committee's report on the immediate post-war problems of Canada. And then he used the expression, "which is concentrated and which is urgent", and added this significant sentence, "There is no possibility of delay in the tackling of this problem".
But as I said earlier, the committee has apparently come to the conclusion that it must rely largely on private industry to meet the needs of the situation, for he says this:
By and large hcnvever it is the unanimous opinion of the committee on reconstruction that the initial planning of industrial rehabilitation is a matter for industry itself rather than for any governmental committee.
I believe that statement is based upon quite a mistaken understanding of what the postwar condition is likely to be. To suggest that initial planning is the responsibility of private industry is wrong. We as a nation must undertake the planning of our industrial and economic effort when the wTar ends, if we are going to meet the needs of the situation which will develop. And Doctor James' own statement, the unanimous view of this committee, is discounted almost immediately in the words which follow in this report, when Doctor James states that up to the present time he knew of only two industrial groups that are actively at work in post-war planning. He knew of only two, and he gave the names. One of them is the pulp and paper industry. He goes on to point out that this has been undertaken not only by persons in the industry, but by the war-time controllers of the industry as well. The second group interested in post-war planning are the life insurance companies. The life insurance companies are not industries. Moreover, in Great Britain we have witnessed lately the opposition of the great life insurance companies to the social security plans embodied in the Beveridge report. And w'e may find that the same vested interests in our own country will oppose health insurance and other social service measures.
My belief is that in Great Britain the government will ultimately be compelled to take over at least the great industrial life insurance companies, and make them a part of the entire social security set-up of that country. The probability is that we shall have to do the same thing.
I thought that Doctor Wallace, president of Queen's university, who also contributed a
paper at this meeting of the committee, brought a realistic view to the committee's attention. He pointed out that if we were to deal successfully with our post-war problems we ought to be dealing with our fundamental natural resources, and their developments. He omitted agriculture, because that was the subject of a special paper. But he placed the other fundamental resources as being mining, forestry, power and fisheries. But even President Wallace overlooked the necessity of bringing into this picture the cooperation of labour. He referred to:
. . . conferences that represent the administration in the provinces, the industry, the bodies of a public nature that are concerned with these resources professionally, conservationally and otherwise, and private individuals who have a special interest in such resources.
It may be that in his opinion labour was covered by one of these other groups. But in my opinion we are overlooking the cooperation of the great producing masses which we sometimes separate into two groups, labour and farmers.
A w'ord of warning to those who think that by the development of our natural resources we can meet the needs of the post-war period. President Wallace said:
I think it would' be a mistake to base too much optimism on what we can do in our resources for the immediate employment of men returning from overseas, but there can be a much larger number than most people would expect possible before looking into the picture.
While assistance can be given through the development of our resources, it is not sufficient to meet in any big way the needs of our post-war requirements and the criticism which President Wallace makes of our former policies in regard to the exploitation of our natural resources should give us all food for thought. He says:
We have to a considerable measure neglected our resources as cropable assets. That applies more particularly to forestry, one of our great primary resources in Canada. . . . There are surveys needed in Canada, very much more extensive than anything that we are aware of, both with regard to forestry lands and also to our mining prospects. We find that in all our resources, and particularly forestry, we have an extraordinarily inadequate knowledge of the situation, and without the knowledge we cannot do very much in sound conservational procedure.
To my mind, in our post-war rehabilitation plans, we should pay a great deal of attention to forest conservation, reforestation, and the care of trees that grow naturally in great areas in this country. President Wallace pointed out that this neglect of our resources applies also in other fields, in mining and the geological and topographical surveys. He says:
There, too, far more is needed than we yet have, in order soundly to develop our resources.
If I may say so, as many of us perhaps know, President Wallace is an outstanding man in the universities of Canada in this particular field. I hope that what he said in this regard, namely, that we are becoming conservation-conscious, is true. He said:
We are becoming conservation-conscious. We are recognizing that we are losing our resources very sadly in many places. Any one who keeps his eyes open can see it, and the end is disaster, unless we act, and at once. The time has come to begin to build up again. That applies to deforested land that is wasting away because it is not protected any longer.
I think those of us who have been to Vancouver island in particular and to other regions on the Pacific coast realize the truth of that statement. He criticizes, not this government, but all the governments of Canada, for, after all, much of this applies, of course, to the provincial governments as well:
Speaking from a government standpoint, I think we have done very little for our forests of Canada.
We have allowed these great resources to be exploited, denuded, and to a very large extent wasted.
A few days ago we had an interesting - discussion in the house on the importance of water conservation. This, too, was emphasized by the committee, and if I might lend my voice to others that have been raised in this house, I believe that the waters of our prairie rivers may yet prove to be a source of great wealth to this country. Several years ago I undertook to give an address in this house on an irrigation scheme for the dried-out areas of Saskatchewan. When we spoke of thirty or forty or fifty million dollars in those days for schemes of that kind or four hundred million dollars for the grandiose scheme that was spoken of at that time, there was a gasp almost of horror at the thought of spending such huge sums of money. But when this war is over, it strikes me that if we want to put a large area of western Canada on a really self-supporting basis we shall have to consider great irrigation projects, and in the great waters of the north and south branches of the Saskatchewan river we have the ways and means to do more, perhaps than most of us have thought possible.
I was, however, very much disappointed in the paper dealing with agriculture. It was submitted by a former minister of agriculture in the Bracken government of Manitoba, Mr. Donald G. McKenzie. He pointed out that the problem was a large one. He drew to 72537-52}
the attention of the committee, and I wish to draw to the attention of this house something which I believe is quite true.
There are now perhaps upwards of 200,000 men and women drawn from agriculture to the armed forces and war industry who normally, one would assume, would return to this occupation.
A very large percentage of the people who have been drawn from agriculture into the armed forces and into the war industries have come from the prairie provinces, and if I may interject this thought, I believe that the other provinces of Canada would be doing an injustice to the prairie regions, where war industries have not been established, but whose people have been drawn into the armed forces and into industry to a much larger percentage of our population than elsewhere, if the representation of the prairie provinces in this house were not kept as it is now for the next ten years. I think all fair-minded members of this house will agree with me.
Mr. McKenzie could see in the problem of agriculture apparently only two basic problems-the problem of markets and the problem of agricultural credits. True, these are two of the problems, but to my mind they are not the two fundamental problems. The fundamental problems go much deeper than the finding of markets and the provision of credits. They go into the whole basis of the land tenure and mortgage system of western Canada, and the manner in which the producers on the farm have been compelled to pay, through years past, higher prices on account of artificial conditions in the country in which we live and to receive unduly low prices for their products. So that we must look to more than two broad principles if we are going to find a remedy for the farm problem.
One other point that I noted in his paper was this, a fear that we cannot increase the consumption of agricultural products in our own domestic market. True, we must find export markets, but in my opinion we can increase the consumption of agricultural products in our own country. When we compare the prewar years and the per capita consumption of meat, for example, in Canada, with the per capita consumption in a much warmer country, Australia, where meat is not required in such large quantities, we find that our per capita consumption of meat is very much below that of Australia or New Zealand.
Then there is the possibility of widening the uses for our agricultural products. I hope the government will pay a good deal of at-
tention to the scientific experiments now being carried on looking toward the utilization of agricultural products in other industries.
Subtopic: POST-WAR RECONSTRUCTION APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON RECONSTRUCTION AND REESTABLISHMENT