June 25, 1943

REQUEST FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF BASIS OF ALLOTMENT FOR CANNING


On -the orders of the day: Mr. NORMAN J. M. LOCKHART (Lincoln): I am sorry the Minister of Finance (Mr. Jlsley) is not in the house, but from an answer to a question tabled yesterday by the hon. member for St. Antoine-Westmount (Mr. Abbott), acting as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance, it would appear that the division o-f Westmount was given certain preferences in the matter of the allotment of sugar for canning. I come from the district where much of the fruit is produced, and for days and weeks I have been seeking greater consideration for that district in regard to this matter of sugar. I was wondering if the minister or his assistant could give me any indication as to whether or not the areas in which the fruit is actually produced might receive more favourable consideration, rather than other areas at a distance from the point of production.


LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. D. C. ABBOTT (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance):

I could give the explanation now, if it is desired, or it might be better when the estimates covering the wartime prices and trade board are under

Sugar Allotment

consideration. The general position, as my hon. friend .probably knows, is that it was decided that approximately one hundred million pounds of sugar should be made available for canning purposes this year, which was approximately the amount used last year for this purpose. The wartime prices and trade board called for applications from citizens for sugar for canning purposes, and the applications received totalled something over two hundred million pounds, or more than double the available amount. The board then decided to allot to the ration districts into which the country is divided, sugar to the extent of the one hundred million pounds, approximately, that was available; and, as was indicated in the answer given yesterday to which my hon. friend has referred, the allotment to the individual ration areas was on the basis of 11-34 pounds, speaking from memory, for each application received from the district.

In the district to which reference was made in the answer given yesterday a considerable number of applications had been received at the rate of less than ten pounds per person. The sugar was allotted to each ration district on the same basis, and the allocation of the sugar in each district was left to the local ration board. The local ration board, as my hon. friend knows, was made up of citizens from the area covered by the ration district. In respect of the ration district in which the city of Westmount is included, and which comprises not only the city of Westmount but the town of Montreal West, the village of Cote St. Luc and the town of Hampstead, the quota fixed was 11-34 pounds for each person who had filed an application for canning sugar in that area. The same allocation was made to other rationed areas.

The local ration board decided that they would allot to the applicants who had applied for less than ten pounds the amount which was actually applied for. In my own case, for instance, I learned from my wife that for our family of six she had applied for fifty pounds of canning sugar, which is slightly more than eight pounds per head. They allotted to each applicant requiring less than ten pounds the amount actually applied for, which enabled them, out of the quota they had received of 11-34 pounds per applicant, to allot to those who applied for more than ten pounds an additional amount. The maximum which they found they were able to allot in that particular area was thirteen pounds. Then, in addition, over a thousand applications were received late. Those were taken care of without getting any additional quota. That is the position with

respect to that particular ration area. But I think the point my hon. friend had in mind was this, that the allotment to each ration area was on the same basis throughout the country. The basis of distribution was left to the local ration board.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF BASIS OF ALLOTMENT FOR CANNING
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PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LOCKHART:

I do not wish to press the point, but the minute this appeared in the press this morning I received a long-distance call from the growers in my constituency pointing out that on account of the possibility that the fruit may ripen so quickly, and may be unfit to ship to Montreal or elsewhere, housewives in my constituency feel that if consideration can be given to people 400 miles away from the Niagara peninsula where the fruit is produced, then surely some consideration might be given to that very area in which it is produced. Consequently I ask the parliamentary assistant to bring the matter to the attention of the minister with a view to seeing that some consideration is given to these people, or consideration at least equal to that given to people 400 miles away from the base of supply.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF BASIS OF ALLOTMENT FOR CANNING
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SOCIAL SECURITY

PRESS REPORT WITH RESPECT TO NATIONAL INSURANCE LEGISLATION


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Minister of Pensions and National Health. A report in the press this morning states it is the intention that a national insurance measure will not be introduced at this session. As this matter has been discussed before the committee on social security for several months, and as great interest has been displayed in the subject, would the minister advise the house as to the correctness of this report?

Topic:   SOCIAL SECURITY
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT WITH RESPECT TO NATIONAL INSURANCE LEGISLATION
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Hon. IAN MACKENZIE (Minister of Pensions and National Health):

I have not seen the report to which the hon. member has referred. The intention of the government cannot be decided upon until the committee on social security shall have made its report to the house. Of course the progress of that committee is a matter beyond my control. The introduction of any measure would certainly depend largely on the progress made in the committee referred to.

Topic:   SOCIAL SECURITY
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT WITH RESPECT TO NATIONAL INSURANCE LEGISLATION
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

There is the possibility, then, that legislation may be brought down this session?

War Appropriation-Labour

Topic:   SOCIAL SECURITY
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT WITH RESPECT TO NATIONAL INSURANCE LEGISLATION
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

There is the possibility; that is to say, the recommendations made by the committee will be considered by the government when they are presented to this house.

Topic:   SOCIAL SECURITY
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT WITH RESPECT TO NATIONAL INSURANCE LEGISLATION
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WAR APPROPRIATION BILL

PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY


The house resumed from Thursday, June 24, consideration in committee of a resolution to grant to his majesty certain sums of money for the carrying out of measures consequent upon the existence of a state of war- ' Mr. Ilsley-Mr. Bradette in the chair.


DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR

LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The committee is considering item No. 1.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Mr. Chairman, there

are one or two matters in connection with selective service which I should like to discuss. First of all, I noted with a good deal of interest the recent telegram from Hon. J. G. Taggart of Saskatchewan, in which he said:

Clarification of mobilization regulations has greatly assisted agriculture. Postponements granted since February 1, major factor in seeding crops on farm affected. I believe present policy will result in labour being generally available for year round work, but severe shortage at harvest time possible.

I should like to point out to the minister that while in this comparatively slack season of the year there may be no labour problem worth mentioning in Saskatchewan, when harvest rolls round-and that may be earlier than many anticipate, despite the fact that the season at this time looks late-there will be another severe labour problem.

I should like to refer briefly to the situation which existed last August. In July and August of last year, just before the close of the session, I went west. While moving around my constituency I had literally dozens of complaints respecting notices being sent out to men to appear for medical examination. There were so many complaints that when I got to the centre of my constituency, namely Rosetown, I could not even begin to take notes of the cases of those who interviewed me. The result was that on the evening of August 21 I wired the Prime Minister. I shall not read the telegram, although I have it here. To summarize, I said the situation was scandalous, and that because of an indiscriminate summoning of men by the Saskatchewan board, people were being put to great inconvenience.

At that time I heard from Hon. J. T. Thorson, who was then a minister, stating that my information did not tally with his. I came back to Ottawa about September 1 and saw him. I had in my pocket eleven names that I had slipped there indiscriminately. Those I sent to the then Minister of National War Services, who promised that he would make an investigation of the cases and let me know. One can imagine my surprise as a member of the House of Commons when on September 29 a friend of mine forwarded me from Saskatchewan a copy of the Regina Leader Post in which appeared a long article dealing with these eleven cases, and going after me in no unmeasured terms. A report had been made to the press by an organization not responsible to this parliament, and of which two of the members of the board in Regina were honorary officers. I took exception to that, because had I cared to recount the conversation I had with Mr. Thorson-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

What was the organization?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

The Regina branch of the Canadian Legion. Had I cared to recount the conversation I had with Mr. Thorson at the time it might have been embarrassing both to the Regina board and to certain other people. I wrote Mr. Thorson to that effect, and reminded him of the conversation. I also said that in the December before I had had a somewhat similar experience. When I spoke to Mr. Thorson about this breach of proper and decent procedure-for I should have been afforded an opportunity to see any report which was made, and such report should have been made by an organization responsible to the government-he told me too what he thought of that procedure. I make very strong protest against that sort of thing being done. I have no objection to any member of this house asking for the bringing down in the proper manner of any correspondence that I have had either with the Department of National War Services or with the minister, but I do object to reading in the public press a report which the minister should have first referred to me. I may say that the newspaper report varied considerably in tone from the official report which I received subsequently from the minister, under date of October 6, after I had drawn the matter to his attention.

I am not going over these cases, but I simply point out that I advised these young men, who did not seem to understand that they had to apply for postponement after they had received their medical call, to apply for postponement. The report of the minister shows that most of these young men did apply

War Appropriation-Labour

for and receive postponements subsequent to August 21, the date when I wired the Prime Minister. I do not know who was responsible for this breach of parliamentary etiquette, but the minister gave me a good indication. I want to say to the present Minister of National War Services (Mr. LaFleche), who was deputy at the time, that that kind of procedure is against the rules and privileges of this house. I hope that the Minister of National War Services will bear that in mind.

Mr. LaFLECHE: Was the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar indicating me personally?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Mr. Thorson told me that he had handed to the deputy minister of his department the names I gave him, and I believe the minister was the deputy minister at that time.

Mr. LaFLECHE: Quite right. Is the hon. member indicating that the present Minister of National War Services is the one who gave out this report, to the public for instance?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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June 25, 1943