March 4, 1943

LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I may inform my hon. friend that we passed an order in council yesterday providing a substantial contribution toward the betterment of health conditions in Halifax.

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Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLDWELL:

I am pleased to hear that, and may I say that I trust the minister will supervise the expenditure of the financial aid in order that it may do the job I am sure the government hopes will be done in that city. In line with this plea for the prevention rather than the cure of the disease-for such, to my way of thinking, is the real purpose of any health scheme we may adopt or support in this country-we have to consider allied nutritional problems.

I have seen a good many reports on the nutrition of the Canadian people, a people with a comparatively high standard of living. Yet it is surprising how many people in Canada are insufficiently and inadequately nourished. To a large degree that is due to inadequate incomes, but not altogether, for one sometimes finds malnutrition in families where the wrong kind of food is eaten, but who have enough money to get the right kind of food.

Those of us who visited Great Britain a year ago had the privilege of seeing some of the great community kitchens established in that country; and we learned there, with a good deal of satisfaction, that in spite of the fact that many kinds of food are scarce, and some unobtainable, and in spite of the fact that they have had to cut down very largely on the foods to which the British people were used in normal times, yet government supervision of feeding in Great Britain, even on the lower levels, so far as types of food are concerned, had improved the health of the people to the point where, we were told, the British people to-day, taken as a nation, are probably better nourished than they were in the days before the war. Therefore I say that we should be giving attention to the problem of nutrition.

I mentioned the incidence of the venereal disease, but when I was doing so I omitted to say that I hoped adequate provision would be made this year to deal with that problem. I do not know just what is in the appropriation for that work.

Social Security

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

There is $175,000.

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Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLDWELL:

I believe that is a

smaller amount than was appropriated shortly after the last war, when there was an appropriation of $200,000, if my memory serves me correctly.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

That was the maximum year.

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Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLDWELL:

Yes; $200,000 was the

maximum. We should be spending the maximum now. May I say again that I thought it was most unfortunate that when Mr. Bennett was Prime Minister of this country the appropriation was so drastically cut, to the point where actually the stamping out of the disease was made exceedingly difficult. I am glad, therefore, to know that something is being done in this connection, and I can assure the minister that any appropriation he sets aside for purposes of this description will receive the hearty support of my colleagues and myself. .

In the short time remaining to me I should like to offer some suggestions regarding the work of the committee. I am glad to know that the reference is broad enough that the committee may examine health schemes in other countries. There are two countries in which, I think, health has been placed in the forefront of the aims of the nation. No matter what we may think of the methods used to establish the present government in Russia; no matter what wTe may think of what is called communism-and I suppose there is no one in this chamber who dislikes communist party methods more than I do- yet I want to say this, that if there is one thing which has been done in Russia which we should study, and one thing that should be a challenge to all democratic nations, it is the manner in which Russia has dealt with health problems. That is the one great contribution, if they have made no others, that they have made to the welfare of the human race. The manner in which they care for mothers before children are born, for children after they are bom, and the manner in which they use preventive medicine right through to life's end is something we should study. In Russia that is a service accessible and free to all.

The other country I have in mind is New Zealand. I realize that New Zealand has one advantage we have not at this time, namely, the ability to institute a nation-wide health scheme because it has a unitary parliament, or one parliament governing the whole country. That is not easily possible in a confederation such as ours. But I believe that if we approach the constitutional problem in the manner in

which it should be approached, and in the right spirit, we should be able to straighten out this constitutional difficulty. I believe that the basis of confederation, as written into the British North America Act, and upon which the unity of this country depends, is the recognition of certain rights, rights not only of minorities but of majorities as well. We often speak of the rights of minorities, but let us not forget that the majority also has rights. If we accept the point of view that both these rights are the fundamental basis of confederation, then it seems to me we can approach this matter in the spirit in which we ought to approach it.

I believe an attempt should be made to obtain from the several provinces an agreement with the dominion-call it a bill of rights, if you like-and into this agreement there should be written the basis of confederation. Remove, the question of constitutional rights from the realm of partisan discussion, so that we may then agree as to what new powers are needed by the dominion in order to bring about the kind of social structure we desire. As I say, in that respect New Zealand has the advantage of being able to do what it wishes, because it is a unified country with a single parliament. But. somehow or another we must devise ways and means of meeting this difficulty under which we labour. After all, national health and social security are not provincial problems. I often hear my hon. friends to my iim-mediate left talking about the danger of interfering with the rights of local communities -in their case, provincial rights. Yet I often pay this tribute to Alberta: I do not know any province in Canada which in recent years has done more for its education system than has Alberta. How did they do it? Did they do it by recognizing the inherent rights of every little local school board, every little local community? Indeed, no. What they did was to adopt a larger unit of administration, and take from the local community in spite of considerable opposition, the right to control its own local schools. In that respect they found that the larger unit was more efficient; and I ask them to apply to the wider problems which confront this nation and indeed the world, the same logic as was applied by thear government in relation to their local school districts.

There are certain problems which cannot be dealt with by municipalities, localities or provinces, but which must be dealt with by nations. By the same token there are certain problems, such as the elimination of war and the establishment of collective security for the world, which can be dealt with only by the cooperative effort of all the nations willing to cooperate. .

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I hope the committee will study the New Zealand scheme. I am quite sure it would have no difficulty in obtaining the appearance before it of a man like the Hon. Walter Nash, who is now located at Washington' and who, to a large extent, was responsible for the building of their social security system. I have no doubt that in studying social security conditions in other nations, the committee can find much first-class and first-hand evidence if it will, for example, consult officials of the international labour office in Montreal. I think some hon. members know that in the international labour office in that city there is one of the leading authorities on social security, a gentleman who was invited to go to England to appear before the Beveridge committee and who has been to South America to assist some of the countries there in devising social security systems in recent years.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Stein?

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Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

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NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. J. A. ROSS (Souris):

I listened attentively yesterday to the Right Hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) speaking on this resolution that a select committee of this house be set up to examine and report on a national plan of social insurance which will constitute a charter of social security for the whole of Canada. In the past twenty-three years the right hon. gentleman has been Prime Minister for some sixteen years and leader of the opposition for the remaining seven. On August 14, 1937, with the concurrence of the then Minister of Finance and the then Minister of Justice, he had set up what was known first as the Rowell commission and later as the Rowell-Sirois commission on dominion-provincial relations, recommending to that commission first, that it was expedient to provide for a reexamination of the economic and financial basis of confederation and of the distribution of legislative powers in the light of economic and social developments of the last seventy years. That commission, as most hon. members will remember, made an exhaustive and detailed study of prevailing conditions throughout this dominion and submitted a lengthy and comprehensive report to the present Prime Minister on May 3, 1940.

This afternoon my colleague the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) made reference to a speech delivered in Toronto last October by the Prime Minister to a gathering of labour people and to the very fine sentiments he expressed at that meeting. The hon. member also referred to those principles of social security which were enunciated by the Prime Minister in 1919 when he accepted the leadership of the Liberal party, and the speaker who preceded me, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), quoted at some length from that chart of the Prime Minister's which was set forth in 1919.

_ I should have thought, in view of all these circumstances, that the Prime Minister would1 present to the house at this time a bill on social security and health insurance setting forth the government's policy, instead of presenting simply the resolution now under discussion.

The report of the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations accentuates the need for some central authority to obviate the dangers of fluctuating provincial incomes during depression periods. The report shows us the urgent needs of the provinces prior to the war and their inability to carry on the necessary social and health services. It goes without saying that the situation of the provinces is even more desperate now that the war has made it necessary to invade provincial fields of taxation.

The need for a collective attack is clearly shown by the evidence brought forward by the various provinces in their submissions to the Rowell-Sirois commission. In brief, here is the picture. I quote:

Costs of medical services are increasing, but the ability of their people to pay is not increasing.

The high incidence of preventable disease and death.

Inadequacies of hospital facilities, especially in rural areas.

Inadequate accommodation in mental hospitals.

The expenditures on behalf of the mentally diseased and mentally defective have increased more rapidly than the general population rate.

The problems of cancer, mental illness, venereal diseases and tuberculosis, which ignore provincial boundaries, can best be attacked by unity, rather than by nine more or less sporadic provincial attacks.

Early diagnostic and preventive measures are needed all down the line.

The^ urgent need for properly organized services in the field of maternal and child health.

The increase in the costs of dependency because of illness and premature death.

The crying need for federal responsibility and financial aid-in fact, some system of national health insurance-if the problem is to be solved.

They acknowledge their provincial lacks, but state that they are unable to finance the health services they should be giving to their people.

I quote further from this pamphlet on Canadian nutrition surveys which have been made. It says:

In Canada, nutrition surveys at different income levels have been made in cities across the country; and they show that Canada has a serious nutrition problem. Dr. L. B. Pett, director of nutrition services, in the Department of Pensions and National Health at Ottawa (and also secretary of the Canadian Council on Nutrition) is conducting a wide-spread campaign to develop interest in nutrition on a community basis.

He says: "What people are we trying to reach? The answer is-everyone. . . . The Canadian dietary surveys indicated that while

Social Security

a higher income tends to assure the family of better nutrition, it is no guarantee. Furthermore, these surveys showed serious dietary deficiencies among families of an annual income less than $1,500. I am informed that this comprises more than half the families in Canada, so that there is a widespread nutrition problem.

. . . Therefore, in analysing the meaning of this word "everyone" it is advisable to be clear that it is not just a case of relief families, or low-income families, because surveys show that even where apparently large amounts of money are being spent on food, yet there may be malnutrition."

If there was any doubt or misunderstanding as to the report of the Sirois commission, this war has certainly proved to us the great need for the improved care of health throughout this country. In a three months period last year, of 50,000 young men who tried to enlist, 20,000 were rejected as physically unfit. To date over 70,000 men have been discharged from the armed forces during this war, many of them-I do not know just what percentage- as physically unfit.

Among the twenty-six leading countries of the world, only four have a record of maternal deaths worse than Canada's. In four years, 1932 to 1935, Canada lost 70,000 infants under one year of age and lost another 33,000 mothers and still-born infants. _

A government investigation of Canadian children has shown that half a million are undernourished, one-quarter of a million have impaired.hearing, 77,000 have weak or damaged hearts, 35,000 suffer from tuberculosis. On the basis of these figures, Mr. Allan Ross, who takes care of rations for the Canadian troops, labelled Canada as a C3 nation.

The Hon. J. T. Thorson, as Minister of National War Services, stated in this house on November 11, 1941, that a total of 209,000 single men between the ages of twenty to twenty-four had been called and that 44 per cent of them had teen rejected on medical inspection.

Therefore I do not think there is any doubt as to the need of some system of health insurance in this country, and this need has existed for a long time past. In social security and health legislation Canada lags far behind many other democratic countries. The magazine Health in its autumn issue in 1942 points out that:

Under the social security act of 1938 medical care was provided in New Zealand for all. The service included free general practitioner's service, free hospital and sanitarium service for all and other benefits.

In other words, in a large proportion of the English-speaking part of the British empire the problem of medical care has resulted in legislative action which we still lack in Canada.

In order to estimate the type of national health programme which may be evolved in Canada and indeed which is likely to be evolved,

it is perhaps desirable to make some additional comparisons between Canada and the United States. Conditions in the two countries are similar so plans for the remedying of defects in public health machinery may well be similar.

In the United States for constitutional reasons it should be more difficult to initiate federal action in the field of health. Yet one finds that the efficiency of federal machinery is infinitely greater than in Canada, as expenditures on national health are greater.

I should mention the importance of full-time health service and the failure of our parliament to set aside any funds whatever for this purpose. On the other hand, in the United States under the social security act of 1935, $8,000,000 was made available annually for this purpose. In 1939 this appropriation was increased to $11,000,000.

It is more than interesting to note the remarkable increase in state and local expenditures as the result of the stimulus of federal subsidy. The total amount of money available from all sources in those health jurisdictions where federal funds were budgeted was $83,790,782 for the fiscal year 1940, an increase of $32,714,421 over the previous year. While because of some confusing factors this may not give an entirely accurate picture, it is obvious that the increase and improvement in local and state health machinery in the United States is much greater in proportion to federal grants than one could reasonably expect.

But if the two items of federal expenditure give one some idea of the direction in which we might go, they give little idea of the scope and magnitude of plans for national health under consideration in the United States.

The article goes on to cite details of expenditures in the United States, and then says:

Our own dominion expenditures on health, as I have said, are about one million dollars annually, of v-hich $50,000 only goes to the provinces in the form of subsidy.

I know personally of a community in western Canada where a group of doctors gox together and organized the area, establishing a small hospital and clinic and a contributory scheme of health insurance for the people of the area. Under this scheme the head of a family paid $25 a year, a single person $15 a year, and each local municipality paid $300 a year to take care of the health of its indigents. This has worked very satisfactorily, and if it be possible I should like to see the country zoned and organized on some such basis as I have just referred to with respect to health insurance, the scheme to be supplemented by government assistance. These people could be given proper help in the matter of dental care and other parts of a proper scheme of health insurance.

In the past, speaking in this chamber, I have repeatedly asked that the old age pension be increased. I believe also that seventy years is too high a minimum; we might well consider reducing it. And certainly, in these

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difficult times, pensioners are entitled to more than the meagre twenty dollars a month which they are allowed.

I have already indicated, when speaking on the debate in reply to the speech from the throne, that if social security legislation is to function properly, the British North America Act should be amended. If that is not done, the dominion and the provinces must get together and agree on certain matters-which to date they have not done. In the programme of the Progressive Conservative party as laid down in Winnipeg last December we recognized the obligation of government to make available to eveiy citizen adequate medical, dental, nursing, hospital and prenatal care, and to further advance public health and nutritional principles so that health may be safeguarded and preserved throughout this country ; this programme to be financed under a contributory system supplemented by government assistance.

It has been pointed out that Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt are not only two great figures of our democratic world today but are great leaders in social reform. We may very well at this time take a leaf out of their book.

In closing, I should like to associate myself with the appeal of the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) this afternoon, in advocating the appointment of a minister of social security and reconstruction, to be charged with the administration of social security and health measures in this country. This measure is advocated in our platform which is now before the public.

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Solon Earl Low

Mr. Wr. F. KUHL (Jasper-Edson):

The necessity or otherwise of the social legislation envisaged in the resolution before us is, I believe, entirely dependent upon the nature of the economic order which we wish to obtain in the post-war period. Personally I can conceive of an economic order in which the necessity of such legislation is entirely eliminated. My colleague the hon. member for Camrose (Mr. Marshall), in speaking this afternoon, stated that if the proper economic adjustments were made, much of this social legislation would be unnecessary. I agree entirely wdth his statement. I believe that many of these special problems which we are considering, including insufficient old age pensions, the need of pensions for the blind, and inadequate health facilities, are part of a major and fundamental problem affecting the whole economic body, and that if the disease which is common to that whole economic body is eliminated, many of these problems which are regarded as special will take care of themselves.

It seems to me that our approach to this whole post-war question is analogous to that of the construction of a house. It would be foolish, of course, for a builder to consider where he was going to put the chimney, or to begin to place the chimney, or to arrange the walls or any part of the superstructure, before he built the foundation. We are proposing to erect the national edifice which is to be a fit habitation for our nation's heroes. In listening to most of the debate which took place on the resolution pertaining to post-war rehabilitation, as well as to what has already been said in the present debate, I had the impression that for the most part it has centred round the superstructure, Whereas I believe that the first duty of the membership of this house as well as of the committees which have been set up is to determine the fundamentals which are to operate in our economic system. We must first fix our objectives and then govern ourselves accordingly. I do not believe that thus far this has been done. There has been very little discussion of the objectives which we are to pursue in the post-war world. But discussion of these objectives is extremely appropriate and pertinent at this time.

I wish to occupy a few minutes this evening in endeavouring to indicate what I consider are the objectives toward which we ought to strive in our economic life. The only fundamental objective which I have been able to discover in any of the addresses made thus far by hon. members is that of full employment. I cannot agree or disagree with that objective unless I know what meaning hon. members attach to it. From every side we have heard the words "full employment" as expressing an objective. But what constitutes full employment? What do those who have used the term have in their minds as to what it means? We ought to have a clear definition of the terms we use. One writer tells us that definition is the breath of science and that fruitful discussion in any field presupposes and begins with a common definition. I cannot see that we can make any progress with any discussion we undertake unless, to begin with, we define our terms.

If hon. members who have thus far employed the expression "full employment" agree with my definition of it, perhaps I can concede that full employment is a fundamental and legitimate objective. I shall endeavour if I can to clear the air a little with respect to this question of full employment and work. Generally speaking, all work may be divided into two classes. There is forced labour, and there is voluntary, self-chosen, self-initiated activity. Forced labour in turn may be

Social Security

divided into two classes. There is forced labour imposed by nature, the kind of work which God referred to when He told Adam that outside of paradise nature would yield bread only by the sweat of his brow. Then there is the labour that is forced on man by other men, such as slave owners and bankers, who declare from their high position that men shall not eat-not without nature's consent, but without their consent.

Work which is imposed on us by nature is necessary, natural and dignified. On the other hand, labour which is forced on man by other men is unnecessary, unnatural, artificial and degrading. One thing that many members of this house, as well as orthodox thinkers outside, refuse to recognize, or have done thus far, is that the condition of unemployment is the consequence of the tremendous advancement of technology. We have yet^ to hear from these orthodox thinkers that it is the substitution of solar energy for human energy that has brought about the condition of unemployment. Also the orthodox thinkers refuse to acknowledge that because the machine has taken the place of manual labour it also takes away a man's job as well as his income. They refuse to recognize that, as a consequence of this, man is suffering, not from unemployment but from "unempayment", which is a vastly different thing. I hope to elaborate that point later. Just now I should like to give a few statistics indicating the extent to which solar energy has been substituted for human energy, as a reason for the condition of unemployment that prevailed before the war and that certainly will prevail after the war unless changes are made. On previous occasions in speaking on this question in the house I have submitted quite elaborate statistics indicating the extent to which machinery has displaced human labour. I do not intend to go to the length I have gone in the past, but I wish to submit a few figures to substantiate my argument. Most of the figures I am submitting -were given by the president of the United States chamber of commerce several years ago.

In the shoemaking industry one machine operated by two men can produce a thousand pairs of shoes in one day. I would ask hon. members who suggest that the duty of industry is to provide jobs, how they are going to find jobs in industry for all those who desire to make shoes when two men with one machine can make a thousand pairs of shoes a day. It has been estimated that sufficient shoes for a whole year for every man, woman and child in the whole United States could

be manufactured in sixteen days. What are the workers to do for the rest of the year if they are obliged to earn their living by being employed?

Again one man with one bottle-making machine displaces fifty-four men. Two men with one coal-conveyer displace fifty men. One man with one window-glass making machine replaces twenty men. One machine produces 525 light bulbs per minute.

Here is an interesting item on the question of public works. We have heard again and again suggestions on the part of hon. members,. particularly the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol), that public works is one way in which the unemployed can be- and should be absorbed. In digging the Suez canal four thousand men dug a quantity of ground. Many years later in the construction of the Welland canal five men did the same amount of work, or five men doing as much work as four thousand did before. If we are to take advantage of technological advance and use machinery, which certainly should be a blessing instead of a curse, where shall we find jobs for all those who will be without jobs?

The same thing applies to agriculture. Here is one item. In 1820 fifty-seven man-hours of work were required to produce twenty bushels per acre; to-day it requires only eight manhours. Where are the people going to find employment on the farms at that rate? Again, one planting machine sets twelve thousand plants an hour.

The substitution of solar energy for human energy has taken place not only in the agricultural world and the manufacturing world; it is also true in the white-collar occupations. One girl with one machine is able to deal with sixty thousand ledger entries in one hour, displacing sixty clerks. Where are the jobs coming from under those circumstances?

We have some interesting statistics that have arisen during the war, indicating the reduction in man-hours per unit of production. Here are some with reference to the production of guns. I quote from the Financial Post. The first two-pounder anti-tank gun required 1,219 man-hours of work; it now requires only 350. The first 6-pounder anti-tank gun required 930 hours of work; it now requires only 375. The first 40 mm. Bofors gun barrel required 186 man-hours of work; it now requires only 45. The constant trend is to the reduction of the number of man-hours required per unit of production.

An interesting item appeared in the February 27 issue of the Financial Post in reference to motor-car production. It stated that before

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the war the motor-car industry produced automobiles to the extent of one for every eight [DOT]Canadians. After the war, it indicated, the industry would be able to produce one for [DOT]every four Canadians. This tremendous production, with a comparatively small number of man-hours of labour, is made possible largely through the development of electrical energy. The hon. member for Davenport has given ns many interesting and profitable talks dealing with the erection of power plants and similar enterprises, but has it not occurred to him that every time a power plant is built, [DOT]each new horse-power provides the equivalent of the work of ten men.

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John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Does the hon. member mean ten new jobs?

Mr. TCTTTTT* [DOT] No, I do not mean ten new jobs.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

It would be more like a thousand new jobs.

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ND

Walter Frederick Kuhl

New Democracy

Mr. KUHL:

Every horse-power of electrical energy developed creates mechanical men, to the equivalent of ten per horse-power. Up to the present time, according to statistics, our *development of water-power has reached the point where approximately ten million horsepower are provided. On a twenty-four hour basis that is equivalent to 300,000,000 manpower. When that much mechanical power is .added to our production I should like to be told where in the world all the jobs are going to come from in the post-war period, if our objective is to be the obtaining of jobs. If those who have suggested that full employment is our objective mean that men will be required only to do that work which machines *cannot do, then I think I would agree with them. But if they mean that men must work *eight hours or more, while at the same time machines must stand idle and rust, then certainly I will not agree with them. I submit that when a government, or for that matter any group of people, compels people to work when machines could do that work, it is imposing a condition of slavery upon the people. I submit further that when machines are available and governments or other groups compel men to work, they are usurping a prerogative which belongs to the Almighty alone. It is not work, as such, that men dislike; it is being compelled to work that men object to, and particularly being compelled to perform monotonus tasks which destroy all individualism. Compulsion, I submit, is the basis for slavery, and I understand that one of the great reasons for which we are fighting this war is to drive from the earth the philosophy of compulsion. Therefore I submit that if after the war we are

to have a work state, a state in which men will be compelled to work while machines stand idle, then we shall have fought the war in vain.

I assert that what we want in the post-war period is a world in which we are absolutely free from man-forced labour and as completely free from nature-forced labour as we can possibly make ourselves. I submit that the reason why we have this vast accumulation of machines, devices, power and mass production methods is because man is constantly endeavouring to free himself from nature-forced labour in order that he may have not only an abundance of wealth-and by wealth I mean goods-but also leisure. I consider that the striving on the part of men to free themselves from nature-forced labour is a legitimate objective which should be encouraged to the maximum. I suggest that by the time this war is concluded, the tremendous advances technology had made prior to the beginning of the war and the advances it certainly has made during the war will make leisure possible for all classes of people in the post-war world, not only for the white-collared workers but for the farmers, miners, lumbermen, factory workers and fishermen. If all the machinery, power and mass-production methods that have been developed and improved upon during this war are used in the post-war world it will mean that the necessary hours of work can be reduced very substantially. Why should a man be obliged to stay at a desk for eight hours a day when a machine can reduce those hours to seven or six or five or even four? And that applies all the way through our economy.

I consider that a legitimate and desirable objective. This subject of leisure is to me very intriguing. We all strive to obtain as [DOT]much leisure as we can, but the objectionable feature with which I have always been confronted in any discussion of leisure is that most people are anxious for leisure for themselves but are not anxious to see their fellow men enjoy that privilege. Oh, yes, they say; leisure would not demoralize me, but my fellow man would become a loafer and a bum if he had too much leisure. I have encountered that attitude quite frequently. As I stated in a previous speech, leisure is not a loafer's paradise. It is an opportunity, the greatest opportunity a man can have, for the expression of his creative desires. .

Man cannot live a complete life unless he obtains the opportunity to express the creative instincts which were given him at the time of his creation. With regard to the use of leisure time one writer has said that in their ample leisure men and women will do any of those things for which their long education has prepared them; they will paint

Social Security

pictures, explore jungles, carry out scientific research in public laboratories open to all qualified students, cultivate their gardens, write books, join in the acting of plays, invent new types of aeroplanes, learn to fly, weave rugs and learn languages.

That is a brief summary of the many, many things people would do if they had the leisure time. We all have hobbies. We all have those little things we like to do for the sheer joy of doing them-gardening, sports, and a thousand and one other things which satisfy our creative instincts. One, I believe, upon which far more emphasis ought to be placed is the matter of music. We have much too little music in our nation-much too little good music. If advantage were taken of the technological advancement in our country, and if people had ample leisure, we would have far more symphony orchestras, and far more grand operas and good music than we have at present.

Personally I cannot see how anyone can object to these objectives as being legitimate and proper. I suggest, therefore, that in the post-war world our objective is not to put people to work, but rather to arrange our economy in such a way that people will put themselves to work-and that is a vastly different thing. There is as much difference between those two states of mind as there is between freedom and slavery.

In the past the work of man has been largely for self-preservation. In the future the work of man should be mainly for selfexpression. I believe, therefore, that the legitimate problem of the committee we are about to set up, and the committee on postwar reconstruction and rehabilitation, is the provision of an economic arrangement whereby there will be the most equitable distribution of the superabundance of goods which can be produced by the machine, the leisure which will be produced by the machine and the small number of necessary man-hours of nature-forced work which will remain. I believe that is a legitimate problem the committee must undertake and study.

When the problem of the distribution of goods, leisure and necessary work is tackled and solved, then I am satisfied that the need for the social legislation contemplated by the resolution under consideration to-night will largeb', if not completely, disappear.

In a few words, in conclusion, I would suggest what I would consider a fair and equitable distribution of necessary hours of work, hours of leisure and) the superabundance of goods which the machines can. produce. I am sure all will be obliged to concede, by

the time the war is concluded, that the necessary man-hours of work will be an absolute minimum. The people of Canada, all the way from sixteen to sixty, will not be required to put in eight hours a day to produce the standard of living they desire. There have been many statistics compiled as to what might be a possible division of these three elements. One which has come to me and which I think is one of the most reasonable is this. It was suggested that the necessary man-hours of work should be done' by those most capable and able to do it, those possibly between the ages of twenty-five and forty-five years. Their working day would probably be reduced to six, five or four hours a day, depending only and entirely upon the extent to which solar energy is substituted for human energy. What would that mean? It would mean that those who would be most capable of doing the necessary work would not be so fagged out by the end of a day's work that they could not appreciate their leisure. They would still be in a physical and mental condition to appreciate either the creation or the rendering of some good music; or they would still be in the frame of mind to be able to indulge in any cultural pursuit of their choice. It would mean that those up to the age of twenty-five years, [DOT] or thereabouts, would spend the first twenty-five years of their lives in obtaining the most complete training they could possibly secure, not only for their life work but for their leisure.

The reason why leisure has been a burden on people in the past is that, in addition to its being unpaid leisure, they have not had the training to satisfy their musical, artistic and other desires. Under the plan I suggest, once an individual reached the age of forty-five years or more he could retire. I believe this presents a most attractive division of the hours of labour and leisure.

The question which remains is this: How are goods to be distributed? What is to be the most equitable distribution of goods? It has been stated again and again that our production to-day is around nine billions of dollars. That includes to a great extent capital goods for the prosecution of the war. But in peace time it is no reason why we cannot step up our production of consumable goods to nine billions, and more, the extent depending only upon the willingness of the people to apply themselves to the machinery available. If our production were stepped up to a value of ten billions of consumable goods, that would be equivalent to $1,000 per man. woman

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or child for a population of ten million people, or for a family of four it would mean consumable goods to the value of $4,000.

That is what would be possible by way of production of goods in Canada. As I have indicated previously, if we are to insist that people must derive their income by reason of being employed and if we are to take advantage of machinery and power production we are demanding two things, one of which is a contradiction of the other. The only manner in which these goods can be distributed is through consumer purchasing power.

This raises another fundamental question into which my time will not permit me to go. This is a question which is the subject of much controversy and economic thinking, and it has been mentioned before by several of my colleagues. I refer to the relationship of national income to national production. It has been our constant contention in this group that national production and national income are not one and the same thing, that national income is always less than national production. Ten billion dollars worth of goods in the post-war period will not be represented automatically by ten billion dollars of purchasing power. The monetary income of the people will probably be around five or six billion dollars. There will be a shortage, a deficiency, a discrepancy, between total income and total prices.

The only manner in which this gap can be bridged is by the issuance of national money sufficient to balance income with production. It will not do any good to raise wages because immediately wages are raised, prices go up and there is no more purchasing power. Again I see absolutely no advantage in the government taking over a factory, operating it and trying to bring about distribution. If the government owned a factory it would be confronted with the same problem of the displacement of man-power by machines as confronts the private owner. The only argument I can see for government ownership of industry is in connection with administration, and personally I have yet to see any evidence which convinces me that the government can run an enterprise more efficiently than a private individual.

Once more I say that I do not believe that the operating of business is a government function. I believe that the government exists for the purpose of doing for the people what they cannot do for themselves. The people can manage their own business; they can produce the wealth of the nation, and it is the duty of the government, by the creation of

proper laws, to enable the people to do this.

I believe the conducting of business is the duty and obligation of the private individual.

As I say, the only way I can see to balance consumption with production is the issuance of national money to an amount equal to the difference between national production and consumption. That would not be adding water to the milk as some hon. members have suggested. It would be no different from the case of an owner of a theatre with 1.000 seats who had printed only 750 tickets. It would not do any good to redistribute the 750 tickets in order to take in 250 more customers. The printing of another 250 tickets to take in another 250 customers would not constitute watering the milk. The same thing holds true in regard to raising the national income until it equals national production.

This represents the cultural heritage of the Canadian people to which they are entitled by reason of being citizens of this modern generation. It belongs to them by reason of being the fortunate recipients of the vast heritage of discovery and invention, of culture and learning, of organization, whether social, political or industrial, of education and religion, of aspirations and ideals which have been handed down and developed generation after generation from the dim beginnings of the race.

The national dividend is something to which the citizens of Canada are entitled by reason of being citizens of this modern generation. It is their heritage and just right. When the national dividend is distributed among the people their incomes will be sufficient to buy back as much of the national production as they desire. When they are able to do that they will have security. They will then be secure at all times, in old age as well as in youth. Consequently I assert that many of the problems that we now regard as special problems, such as old age pensions, pensions for the blind, lack of health facilities and so on, will disappear when the people have sufficient purchasing power to enable them to buy as much of the national production as they desire. In conclusion, I say that I believe it is the duty of this committee as well as the committee on post-war reconstruction and rehabilitation to confine their attention to fundamentals, to the foundation of the economic system which we desire to see obtain in this country. When that is done, then I am satisfied that the need for much of the debate and the discussion and the legislation that is contemplated will disappear entirely.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member who has just, taken his seat for his kindlv references

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io myself, but I cannot find in the resolution anything pertaining to the operation of machines, to how much they will produce, to the purchasing power of the people or to many of the other matters mentioned by him. I will try to confine my remarks to the resolution.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

That will be a

novelty.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

It would be a greater

novelty if my hon. friend knew at any time anything about what he was speaking. Any sound economic bill which may be founded upon the report of this committee on social security and which is returned to this house through the government to carry out the objectives of the resolution will have my unstinted support. Like the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) for as long as I have known him, ever since I have been ini the house I have been a persistent advocate of national health insurance. Others in the house have likewise been persistent advocates of it. The late leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, the present hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) and others I have known have never let an opportunity pass to advocate national health insurance. The hon. member for Waterloo South (Mr. Homuth), both while he was in the Ontario legislature and out of the Ontario legislature, has always been a persistent advocate of national health insurance. I intend to confine my remarks to a portion of the words of the resolution. It states:

. . . the most practicable measures of social insurance for Canada-

I suppose that means beneficial changes in the Unemployment Insurance Act. I continue to quote:

-including health insurance and the steps which *null be required to effect their inclusion in a national plan.

The Prime Minister must feel a good deal of satisfaction at seeing crystallized even in resolution form his own advocacy of national health insurance. But I would much rather have seen the Prime Minister sponsor a bill at this session because I am persuaded that he knows all about the subject. He has studied it long enough, knows what should be done, and is just as familiar as I am with similar acts in all those countries in which national health insurance is in operation. While I endorse this resolution I would much sooner be rising to support a bill introduced by the Prime Minister, who for so long has been a persistent advocate of this boon. Frankly, Mr. Speaker, I am wondering why we ha.ve not a bill before us. When this matter came

up during the administration of the Right Hon. Mr. Bennett, or before when there was talk about it, I made a trip to Europe and made as thorough a survey as I could of the health insurance acts in operation in Belgium, Holland, Germany, and particularly in Great Britain. The British act is, in my judgment, by far the best, and I am not saying that in disparagement of the legislation of any other country. That the British act is by far the best is only to be expected because it has been in operation ever since 1911, together with several amendments made in the intervening years. When I first heard of the government's proposal I hoped that the government would bring down a bill this session, and I can assure them that any bill that is comparable with the British act will have my support. The British legislation might not be adapted to all our conditions in Canada. Great Britain is in the happy position of having only one government which legislates for all its people. Here we are handicapped-perhaps I should not say handicapped; maybe I should say benefited-in that we have nine provincial governments and one federal government. But I have confidence that the Prime Minister could overcome that handicap just as he overcame it in the matter of unemployment insurance, and I still hope that at the earliest possible moment he will bring in a bill for national health insurance-and perhaps much earlier than any of us expect.

As I said, I made a trip to Europe to make my own observations of the operation of national health insurance. Germany had long had such legislation, their first legislation on the subject being enacted in 1883. Great Britain did not enact its legislation until 1911, but the British bill has accomplished infinitely more than the German bill. On the other hand, the British government had the great advantage of all the experience which the great labour unions of Great Britain had had. Those labour unions were the pioneers in this whole matter of health insurance or, as they called it, sick benefits. The experience of those great unions dated back to 1831, and when the British government took over the operation of national health insurance they founded their legislation very largely upon the operation of * the splendid regulations which the great labour unions of Great Britain had found satisfactory in operation over a long period of years.

I am a staunch supporter of the British act. It was my pleasure to visit many of the labour offices in Great Britain and to observe the administration of the act. I visited the labour offices in London, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast. It was a pleasure

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to watch the officials there administering the national health insurance scheme and all the other social legislation, for all these social measures are administered through the same offices. This government has set up unemployment insurance offices all across Canada which could within a very short time be turned into offices to administer the national health insurance legislation. All these social measures go hand in hand. I was struck by the courtesy and gentlemanliness of the officials at the labour offices in their dealings with those who came up to the desk. I never saw anywhere either in business or out of business such courtesy between man and man as I saw in those labour offices in Great Britain. My hon. friend the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) nods his head. Very likely he has had experience of them years ago and has visited them many times since. I have no doubt that in due course our own labour offices, once they have had a chance to get experience, will show the same courtesy. I am not by any means suggesting that they are discourteous, but we could not expect them to rise all at once to the standards in the old country. Undoubtedly, however, they will, because Canadians can adapt themselves as well as an3' other people.

The British have amended their act many times. I believe the last amendments were made in 1936. There may have been later amendments, but I have not seen them. Their scheme started off with low contributions by the employer and by the employee, and the state absorbed the difference in order to put the act into operation. The contributions in the old country have been stepped up on several occasions. I believe that to-day a man contributes twenty-two cents a week and a woman twenty-one cents a week, depending upon age and other conditions. That is not a large amount when one considers what they get in return.

At this point I would suggest to the government that when they have enacted a national health insurance act they take the opportunity to educate the great masses of the people by means of the radio, the press and public speakers, as to the benefits of health insurance. It is the great mass of the people that it will benefit, the class I am proud to belong to myself, the labouring class, for everyone that labours is a labouring man, and I certainly was of that class in big industry. The people should be educated to the fact that they will receive more in return than any twenty-two cents a week or whatever it may be which might be deducted from their pay cheques. Quite a number of deductions are being made from pay cheques to-day, and it is causing a

certain amount of murmuring because the people have not, in my judgment, been educated sufficiently as to the reason for these deductions and the benefits resulting therefrom ; for instance, the deduction which will be returned to them after the war. I am a very strong supporter of that provision, which was enacted last year, whereby so much is deducted and will be returned after the war.

As regards unemployment insurance, so far, on account of the great demand for labour not many of our people have had to apply at the labour offices for benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act; but the time may come-I hope it is far distant-when many will have to go to the labour offices, turn in their cards and receive compensation during unemployment, and they will be glad of this provision, as many of their brothers in England have been glad of a similar provision up and down the years. I know this, because I have talked to many of them.

For a moment or two I wish to speak of national health insurance. What do they get in the old country in return for what they pay in? While unemployed through sickness, a man will receive eighteen shillings a week and a woman thirteen shillings a week. I have not been able to understand just why there is this big difference between the allowance to men and that to women. In addition, they get medical attention. If there is one thing which the great mass of working people in Canada deserve and have long deserved it is adequate medical attention. That they have been deprived of it is no fault of the doctors. I am one of those who believe that the class of people who walk nearest in the steps of Our Master is the medical profession; I have a very high regard for them. But the average working man cannot pay for medical attention, and therefore he goes without it. As one who has worked with hundreds of men year in and year out, I have seen times without number men almost drag themselves to their machines and remain there until, unable to work any longer, they collapsed-simply because they could not afford to call in a doctor. What a boon this measure would be to working-men! The Prime Minister has been a fervent advocate of social legislation of this kind. I beg of him to give the Canadian worker at the earliest possible moment this great boon of national health insurance.

In the course of my investigations in the old country I went into a store at Southsea. On that trip I had been to the labour offices and spent quite a time there. I talked to everybody-to the worker on the street-cars, the waitresses and waiters in restaurants and hotels, the clerks in the stores. To everyone

Social Security

whom I could get in. contact with I put the question, " How do you like national health insurance and "-at that time-" unemployment insurance?" I was in this store at Southsea the day when Their Majesties the King and Queen went to Portsmouth to review the fleet. I went there too; it was a wonderful demonstration. In this small store I came in contact first hand with the benefits which flow from a national health insurance act. The operator of the store is the brother of a Mr. W. Butler, a very fine citizen who lives in my riding. He had in his store on that day four clerks; he was doing a real business. While I was chatting with him a young man came in, and Mr. Butler said to him, " Hello, Jack, I am glad to see you around again. When will you be able to come back?" I have forgotten whether the day of the week was Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday; in any event the young man replied, "I will be in on Monday." I said to him, "What has been wrong with you?" He said, " I have been sick three weeks." I said, "Well, how could you live?" I had not thought of a young man like that being in receipt of benefits under the national health insurance act. "Oh," he said, "I got along fine. I had my medical attention; it was paid. If I had had to go to hospital-which I didn't -that would have been paid. My doctor waited on me, and he was paid by the state, too; and while I have been off I have been getting eighteen shillings a week." That made a great appeal to me on account of my long association with thousands of working men, whose interests are always closer to my heart than any other interests, because they are or have been the least able to get their just dues. They cannot set their price unless they go on strike, which none of them want to do. They have been the least able to protect themselves. The case of this young man is an example of over twenty million workers in England who are under the benefits of this act. Is it not marvellous? And they have piled up tremendous resources which will take care of withdrawals for sickness for years to come, because nothing piles up faster than contributions to national health insurance paid by a whole population en masse. It may be beside the question for the Prime Minister to deal with it, but I venture to say that if he would take time, when he replies, to look up the figures relating to unemployment insurance, he would find that Canada has laid up a substantial number of millions of dollars in unemployment insurance payments. The same holds good with regard to national health insurance; we have nothing whatever to fear and the people have a great deal to gain.

[Mr. MacNicol 1

The example I gave of the young man in Butler's store at Southsea is only one of several I could mention, because I came across the same thing in many places. I am strong for this, as I was for unemployment insurance, because I believe that after this war we shall have to have a sound system of immigration.

I have been over many thousand unoccupied square miles of this country, and I do not believe that we as Canadians can hold very much longer this vast area locked up between the forty-ninth parallel, the Arctic, the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, without letting others in to help in its development. After the war we shall have to have immigration to build up the country. I look back to the years around 1907, when the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier, with whom I was personally acquainted, established a great immigration policy which helped to build up this country. I believe, whatever anybody else says, that this country would never have won the glory which it won from 1914 to 1918 but for that immigration policy which brought in that new blood from the old land. We want more of that blood. I should like to see a million enter Canada after the war. But we cannot get working men here from Britain unless they know that they are coming to a country which provides the same boons and benefits that they enjoy over there-national health insurance and other acts of that kind. We need these people; they will return to this country everything which we lay out to bring them here; but they will not come here unless they can come to the same social conditions which they enjoy in the old land.

I will go one step further and suggest this to the Prime Minister for consideration when he frames his bill, that if and when people come from the old country after the war to settle, who have been paying into unemployment insurance and national health insurance there, we make a reciprocal arrangement with the old country government that they will pay to us for their nationals who may come here the money that has been paid on their behalf, so that we shall be able to take care of them from the time they arrive here. I think we shall have to have something of that kind.

Last summer I met with a number of incidents which convinced me that the medical profession were cooperating with the government in the consideration of the framing of a national health insurance bill. I cannot say I read of labour unions being called in. Perhaps they were; I think the government would not overlook them. If they were not, I recommend that in the framing of the bill the labour unions and those who have a knowledge of labour and the rights of the great

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mass of the Canadian people, the ninety-five per cent for whom the bill is to be framed- it is' not going to be for the wealthy people, or the professional men-should be represented if the bill is to be for their benefit. Let the bill be framed with the best advice possible from all those classes.

I do not know that there is anything further I can add. I did not intend to speak for more than ten minutes, and I see I have gone a minute or two over that. I say in conclusion to the Prime Minister that any national health insurance bill comparable with the British measure, improved if possible to suit our Canadian conditions, will benefit the great mass of Canadians, not only the workers in the factories but the farmers in the outlying parts, among whom I saw too frequently [DOT]during my trips great distress and the impossibility of getting medical attention. I am *convinced that the Prime Minister has it in his heart to bring in the best bill possible. I say, do so, and he will have my support.

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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. F. D. SHAW (Red Deer):

My participation in this debate at this time is not *designed to delay the passing of the resolution. However, I should like to make one or two *observations.

It was apparent that the announcement of the proposal to set up a forty-one man committee to examine into all phases of social security aroused widespread interest in this *country and a great deal of editorial comment. In connection with the editorial comment I should like to refer to a statement made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) yesterday, as reported at page 937 of Hansard. He said:

When the Atlantic charter was proclaimed it met with universal acceptance in this country. I have yet to find a newspaper in Canada which had not a good word to say for the Atlantic charter.

Further on he said:

I find that to-day some are inclined to belittle, at least, the idea of social security, as being something vague and general, something that will involve outlays greater .than any [DOT]country can meet, and the like.

This is the point I wish to make in that connection. I can agree with the Prime Minister that the declaration known as the Atlantic charter did meet with widespread approval. But when we agree with the aims and objects laid down in the Atlantic charter that does not necessarily mean that we are *obliged to accept all measures or suggestions designed to attain the objects laid down in the charter, advanced by this or any other government. While we agree on objectives we

must retain at all times the right to criticize any proposal advanced by anyone which is designed or stated to accomplish the results that we desire.

In this connection may I say it is strange how quickly people make up their minds respecting certain matters without having given complete consideration to them. I recall that when the Beveridge report was announced the press took sides immediately, without reading it, without examining it. I am not criticizing them for doing so more than I am criticizing members of this house for having done the same. Ten minutes after the press and the radio announced that his report had been submitted to the British government, we found people across this country ready to fight if you criticized it and others ready to fight if you supported it. Was that not also true when the Sirois report was made known in this country? I know that boards of trade, town and city councils, held meetings and voted unanimously to support the Sirois recommendations, when in certain instances not a member had ever seen a copy of it. I know from personal experience in my part of the' country that they sent to Edmonton or Calgary for a Liberal politician to come and tell them what the Sirois report recommended. I got into communication with some members of these boards of trade, carrying the printed document under my arm, three red books, and asked these gentlemen and others if they had seen those books. In no case could I find anyone who recognized them from the back, and very few who recognized them when I turned them around.

Let me deal with the plebiscite in the same connection. We found people in this country inspired by certain politicians who immediately, without having first given the matter proper consideration, formed a decision as to whether they would or would not support the plebiscite. They were encouraged by politicians to do that. I know of one politician who, meeting someone, would say, Are you going to vote "yes" on the plebiscite or are you going to be subversive and vote "no"? I think it is time that we should make a declaration as to whether this is a democracy; whether I have a right to think as I see fit; whether I have a right to speak as I see fit, of course having due regard for the rights of others and the safety of the state; whether I have a^ right to act as I please, within the same limitations. But there is a vicious type of propaganda which is going around this country at the present time, and which has been going around since the outbreak of the war, leading the average man to believe that unless he agrees with the government he is

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subversive. That is a most dangerous situation. For example, at the time of the last plebiscite who dared stand on a street corner and say, "Vote 'No'." Yet any man had a perfect right to do that if he saw fit.

I mention these matters for this reason.

I do not believe the members of this committee on social security should enter into their deliberations with preconceived ideas in respect of certain measures or steps that should be adopted, without having based their conclusions upon a comprehensive knowledge of the proposals in question. The committee, as I have said already, is to be made ^ up of forty-one members, consisting of thirty Liberals, seven Progressive Conservatives, two Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, and two members from this group. I have no doubt this is based upon the representation in this house, but I trust that when the committee begins its deliberations we shall not discover that the thirty Liberals who constitute a substantial majority have already arrived at conclusions with respect to what the committee shall or shall not do. I believe we should keep the political aspect of the whole matter as far removed as possible.

There is a tremendous amount of work cornfronting the committee. As I examine the terms of reference I am obliged to assert that its job will not be completed in a week, a month, six months or a year. I feel that if we endeavour to rush in order to reach a conclusion by a given time, we may risk the danger of failing to do that which we have been charged to do. Speaking as one who has been proposed as a member of the committee, if this resolution passes we shall be called upon to study the social insurance schemes of the various provinces; to study the social insurance schemes of other countries; to discuss the most practical methods for social insurance in Canada, including health insurance, and the steps required to effect their inclusion in a national scheme; to look into the constitution and the financial adjustments which will be required for the achievement of a nationwide plan of social security, and other related matters. I wonder just how many of us realize the assignment we shall have to undertake, and I use the word "have" advisedly because w'e all have a responsibility in this regard. I feel that one of the most important things we shall have to consider is the constitutional adjustments which may be necessary to put into effect any proposed scheme.

To-night I listened while the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) spoke in very complimentary terms about the educational system of the province of Alberta, which

I believe be said was the finest in Canada. He spoke of the enlarged school divisions which he said proved the fact that w'e would have to deprive smaller communities of their rights. Let me make it abundantly clear that while I agree with the statement that we have the finest educational system in Canada, the school areas were enlarged because of the fact that under the existing financial system it was becoming utterly impossible for the small areas to get along. I do not believe anyone in this house is better acquainted with that fact than I, because I have had plenty of experience in those rural schools. We found that in order to reduce the overhead, in order to provide the type of education the children of that province required, under the existing financial system it was necessary to enlarge our school areas and to cut down administrative costs so as to make available for other things the money which could thus be saved. But the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar neglected to give other reasons for the splendid school system in our province. One of them is that we brought about a drastic change in our course of studies, and a change in our methods of teaching. But probably most important of all is the fact that we have the finest departments of education and the finest minister of education in Canada. That is the complete picture with respect to the matter referred to lay the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar.

In connection with the matter at present under discussion I believe we shall have to make a decision as between one of two things. The first is, are we suffering from conditions over which we have no control, or are we suffering from conditions of our own invention and creation? I say that the approach to the problem cannot be determined without first coming to a conclusion as to which situation has created the conditions with which we have been confronted from time to time. If the booms and depressions which have been our lot in years gone by are inevitable, then I can well see where certain insurance schemes will fit into the picture, and if such were the situation I would suggest that the first thing should be to proceed with such schemes. On the other hand, if we come to the conclusion that the conditions which have made life so difficult for us in the past are of our own creation and invention, then I believe we should attack the problem from the point of view of endeavouring to eliminate those conditions. The committee, as was stated in a certain newspaper editorial, can be the architects of an enduring and beneficent reform, or the authors of tragic failure. I thought those words were significant when I read them, and I still think so. Let us hope that out of the

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deliberations of the committee shall come enduring and beneficent reforms, and nothing that resembles failure in any way, shape or form.

Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, at the present time we are discussing an unknown quantity, and it is pretty hard for anyone to tell what the postwar period will be. The government of the country is at present in the hands of a few individuals-or of a large number of individuals-who have no direct mandate from the people, but who have been assigned certain duties by a committee of parliament which is commonly known as the government of this country. Those people have been delegated certain powers by the government, and in virtue of that situation parliament is not fulfilling its functions. What we have to do now is to try to find ways and means of correcting the situation I have described.

I hope I have made myself clear enough. I am wondering how a member of parliament or any group of members can decide upon a remedy to what will be wrong in the post-war period. In the first place, when will it come? No one knows. What will it be? No one knows. During that time will Canada still be a part of the British empire? It is very possible, but no one knows. Will Canada be part of the United States of America? It is possible; no one knows. Will Canada be an independent country? No one knows. It seems to me that in order to express any opinion respecting the future one must be better informed on the present situation,

A friend of mine suggested to me this evening that members of parliament are fulfilling the duties of an economic council. We are trying to act as the antidote to the poison which is distilled by the bureaucracy we now have in Ottawa. We shall be the antidote. Shall we succeed? It is hard to tell. I do not believe any remedy of social conditions should be artificial. Sometimes the best cure of social evils is as simple as some cures for human ailments. Sometimes the most simple cure is the most effective.

We have heard about health conditions, and about employment and unemployment in the post-war period. This is a very grave problem. What will happen to all the boys who enlisted in the army and who are doing so well? We are all proud of them. At times I have to complain about the brass hats; but no one is more proud than I of the Canadian army. If they need our support now, then they will need our support-intelligent support-when the war is over. Who believes that all those fine men who are now in the three branches of the armed services will come back to Canada to do pick-and-shovel work? Who

thinks that those brilliant students who interrupted their studies to enter the armed services, either as volunteers or as trainees, will be ready to accept nothing but the dredging of the St. Lawrence waterways? AVill they be ready to accept the dole? Will those fine young men who have been flying over the continents, taking a bird's-eye view of the universe, be ready to renounce all those dreams which are legitimate and which youth holds precious? Will they be prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder as common labourers? I have great respect for the common labourer. I believe sincerely the late Reverend Father Vaughan, the great English Jesuit Father, was right when he said that there is no honest work which reflects shame on the person who performs it. On the other hand, those who are fighting for the liberation of the world from certain doctrines denounced by all the democracies have every reason to think of their own future. No one has a right to assume for a single moment that a young man who goes into the army is committing suicide. I have said before, and I repeat, that my deep belief is that it is a great mistake to bring before those young men who are ready to do anything to save this country only the idea of sacrifice.

It tires me to listen to the kind of talk that is heard in this dominion. The idea that should be brought before the eyes of our youth is that of victory over any foe. Not only that; the idea of victory carries with it the idea of superiority. That is a noble feeling; it is a feeling that should be in the hearts of all the citizens of this country who are well bom, who are worthy of the liberties that are given to them. I say, let us put aside this idea of inviting our young men to come into the army only with the idea of making a sacrifice. Let us give them an opportunity to do all they can, not only for us but for their own personal benefit.

I am sure that even if the history of Dieppe is repeated, the great majority of the young men, the men of middle age and the older men who are in the army in any theatre of war-I insist upon those words-will come back to this country. They know what happened in the past, and they do not want to be accorded the same treatment given to the veterans of the last war by the Borden or union government. They will not be satisfied with that. Some time before the war a former leader of the opposition who belonged to the Conservative party stated publicly that he feared a revolution. There was no war at the time. Think of the bitter disappointment these well gifted young men will have if nothing decent is offered to them when they come back to this country I

Social Security

It shows one thing. Those who objected to the uprooting of the best elements in this country had a hard and painstaking task, but the fact remains that the more tha.t remain at home, the less the government will have to do in reconstruction work. There are plants that do not live after they are uprooted, that cannot live when they are transplanted. There are also trees that never bear fruit after they are transplanted. This may be all right for some, but it is bad for others. Let me remind the house that when we were fighting for the spirit as well as the new letter of the selective service system-by new letter I mean that we fought for the spirit before . the letter was printed-we thought it was vital that certain classes essential for the public welfare should not be disorganized. If the farmers do not belong to that class, I do not know who does.

I remember distinctly at the start of the war that I had the support of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) when I submitted certain cases to him. I had some trouble, and I wrote to my lamented friend, the former Minister of Justice, in fact I wrote to nearly all the ministers to tell them exactly what I am telling the house now. We are carrying on a fine war effort; everybody appreciates it, but that is not the only thing. It is easy to start to think of the future, but when we were working for the farmers we were thinking of the future. We were thinking of the trouble we now find ourselves in. We want this country to survive, not for just a short period after the war but for all time. We want the citizens of this country to be as prosperous as they deserve to be. I listened to some statistics which were given by the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (Mr. Coldwell) in connection with different parts of Canada including the province of Quebec. I have not all his statistics at hand, but he said, if I am not mistaken, that in 1940 infant mortality in Quebec city was 130. I have here the "Canada Year Book" of 1942 where, at page 137, under the heading "Infantile mortality", I find this:

The Quebec rate continues to show steady improvement, having decreased from 100 in 1937 to 83, 78 and 70, respectively, for the following three years.

There is progress. The health units are doing exceptionally well in the province of Quebec, and my native province now compares favourably with any other part of Canada in regard to health improvement and sanitary conditions generally.

So many things have been said in this debate, Mr. Speaker, that it is hard to summarize them

all, but there are a couple of things I desire to mention now. First, there is this idea of centralization. I am against it. In my humble view one of the guiding principles of Liberalism is that of decentralization; and if my grandfather, with many Ontario reformers, voted against confederation when he was a member of the legislative assembly, it was precisely because he feared the dangers of centralization in one government. Health is purely a local matter, and the tribute that was paid by my hon. friend the member for Rose-town-Biggar to Alberta is evidence that the provinces do these things very well. I should like him to come and visit my constituency. I should be very glad to take him around and show him the health units so that he could sector himself the progress that has been made in that regard.

There are, however, different ways of working for the betterment of health amongst our fellow citizens. One of them is to try to lessen unemployment in this country. That is the view which the member for Temiscouata had in mind when he made a special study of unemployment in this country and also made a survey of the cattle and horses and other live stock which the settlers in his district possessed.

But there was more to it. I know very well that there are other things, clothes especially, which can be very useful to the poor and help to keep them in good health. My hon. friend the Minister of National War Services (Mr. LaFleche) must remember that before the war, when he was the deputy minister of national defence-and the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie) must remember it too-I went to both of them and asked for some old army clothing to give to the settlers. I got some until the end of the year 1940; then, after a committee of the house had gone into the matter, it was impossible for me to get any more. How was that? What use was made of those clothes? Of course, Mr. Speaker, the health of our Canadian citizens should be looked after from the time a child is born, and even before that because care should be taken of the mother; that is done in all civilized countries. When a child is born it is a very delicate little thing and needs great care and warm clothes.

I do not forget that some of our most eminent citizens have come from very poor families. There in my constituency were poor settlers. They were settled on rocks, and were very poor. I shall not insist upon the unpleasant scenes that occurred when my party was in opposition and when I mentioned these people. I shall not mention them to-night because the debate is on such a high level that we must not -bring into it any political parti-

Public Accounts

sanship. But let me tell you, sir, what was done with, those old clothes. Many of these settlers had been transplanted from the cities into rural sections which were not fit for colonization, and they found themselves in very hard circumstances, so much so that their little ones had no warm clothing to put on in the winter time. The consequence was that they had to stay indoors, which was prejudicial to their health. When I was able to get for them those long military coats, some of them worn out, but still able to provide warmth, the mothers would cut them down and tailor them to fit their young children, so that they could go out in the winter time and play in the sun and breathe the fresh air. Then a committee of this house sat which did not know these facts, and after that it was impossible for us to get any more of those old clothes for the children of the settlers. I got in touch with the officer in charge of the matter in the Department of Finance. Mind you, sir, he was a very nice man, and he told me that he would be pleased to do it, but he said that his authority for doing it had been taken away from him and that the thing simply could not be done. When I went to the Department of National Defence to beg for some of those old clothes for the poor children of my county, they said, "We cannot do it. The committee of the house has decided against it."

We should not wait until these little children are all dead or have suffered from the cold before we decide to look after them. There is no plan of social security or social insurance which will resuscitate them after they are dead or after they contract an illness like tuberculosis or anything which will be for them a predisposition to death. We complain that so many young men are unfit for military service. That was the complaint of the Minister of National War Services, whose excellent speech about it in London, Ontario, had wide publicity in the press. We complain about it and some think that we shall cure all that with paper and with insurance policies. We cannot wait until after the deliberations of the committee; it must be done right away. These people have not the opportunities of the children of members of the House of Commons to be well fed, well clothed, and so on; they need help at once. It is not a pleasure; it is a humiliation to go to anyone to beg for clothes, and if the thing is done it is on account of the supreme duty which Canadian citizens have, which men have, to help each other.

The Prime Minister and some of his colleagues are listening to me now. I thank them and all hon. members for listening to me, but I tell them that there is something more

important than any plan which is concocted by a doctor of economics or of political science from Queen's university, the university of Toronto or anywhere else. What is important now is to visualize what is going on, to recognize the immediate needs of the nation and to provide the remedy and the cure. We cannot wait while these people suffer from the carelessness of all with regard to them. We must open our eyes and see what is going on.

I hope that this war is the last that not only ourselves but even future generations will see. We do not know about the future, but whether we have war or peace it is essential that our fellow citizens shall enjoy the best possible health; and I do not see why old clothes which may be sold to the Jews as rags would not be put to better use if they were given to the mothers of little children to clothe them and enable them to go out in the winter time and breathe fresh air. Distribution should be made alike to needy Jews and Gentiles; there should be neither Jew nor Gentile in such a distribution; it should be to all Canadians who need it. As far as I am concerned I would pay freight, and I know every hon. member would be ready to do the same thing.

This is not an affair of propaganda of any kind; it is a matter of helping our people with the "left-overs"; it is the best possible recuperation, better than any plan of social reorganization in this country. As I said to a former chairman of the committee of the whole when he was speaking of patriotism, " If all Canadians are dead, to whom will you preach patriotism?" This is the time to see to it. I do not believe much in all the plans for the future if we do not make the present safe for our own people.

On motion of Mr. Hlynka the debate was adj oumed.

Topic:   SOCIAL SECURITY
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SOCIAL INSURANCE
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Friday, March 5, 1943


March 4, 1943