February 1, 1944


The Address-Mr. Gillis and that there is terrific fighting ahead, with terrific sacrifices to be made by the people of this country. During the past six months I have been disturbed to find prominent men warning the people of North America, both in the press and over the air, that the war might come to a sudden end. Such propaganda is, in my opinion, designed for only one purpose, namely, to prepare the people for a negotiated peace. That is not in accordance with the policy enunciated by the united -nations, when they declared that only the unconditional surrender of the totalitarian powers will be accepted. Those who carry on the sort of propaganda that I have mentioned are doing a great disservice to the war effort of all the united nations. We must emphasize the fact that we still have to win the war. Let the people of the North American continent make no mistake about it; that is still their major task, because the termination of this war upon any terms other than the unconditional surrender of Germany and its allied powers will mean that we have lost this war and laid the basis for the next one. Nothing else can happen. In the countries of Europe that we are endeavouring to liberate there is no one but Hitler with whom to negotiate a peace, and any negotiations with him mean further appeasement and the acceptance of at least some of the ideas that he intended to foist upon the world. Therefore, in this respect I think the Prime Minister was absolutely correct when he emphasized the fact that certain opinions being expressed tend to take the minds of the people away from the real, main issue, which is the prosecution of the war to the fullest possible extent until we bring about the complete capitulation of Germany and her allies. In my remarks this afternoon I intend to deal specifically with a most important matter which is closely related to our whole war effort and to the question of what will be the position of Canada when this war is over. In my view the two questions to which we should give the greatest consideration at this time, in an endeavour to see that the least possible disturbance is caused and the greatest possible good is done to those now in our armed services, are the matters of demobilization and reconstruction or rehabilitation. These two questions will require considerable machinery if we are to do a job on them and carry out our duty as we shall be expected to do by those now in the armed services. We must not lose sight of the fact that we in this house are privileged to talk about reconstruction and what will be the future of society on this continent, because the boys and girls in the armed forces, par-Gillis.] ticularly those serving in theatres of war, recognized that the totalitarian military machine must be kept as far as possible from our shores and made their contribution by getting into uniform and crossing the ocean. They are there to-day. They have been successful in their mission, and have stopped the onward march of Hitler and those with whom he is associated. They are on the offensive to-day, and while the struggle may yet be severe, nevertheless they have guaranteed to us on this continent the privilege to do something about the future structure of society in Canada. Next to the importance of winning the war, I think emphasis must be placed on the care of those who have made it possible for us to say that in the future we intend to reconstruct this country along democratic lines, and those of a Christian civilization. To them we owe the first obligation in the matter of rehabilitating Canada. That is our first and main task. There is one paragraph in the speech from the throne which sets out the fact that a broad and comprehensive programme writh respect to the reestablishment of service personnel returning to Canada has been developed, and that it applies not only to the armed services, but to the merchant navy. This would lead one to conclude that the government is now completely satisfied with the machinery now functioning, and that it believes such machinery is adequate to take care of this matter. I was disappointed, and I believe the government was presumptuous when it included the merchant navy in the present scheme of rehabilitation. I say that because, with the exception of extending the privilege by order in council of coming under pensions regulations for disability they are not included in the present set-up of reconstruction and rehabilitation, and must be considered as a separate unit. We are led to believe that they are included ini the scheme. However, before the house rises I say it should extend to that particular branch of the service every benefit which is now enjoyed by the personnel returning from the fighting services. In my opinion the programme is totally inadequate, and it is not working. I do not say this by way of criticism, or for the purpose of hearing myself talk or of advancing any particular political philosophy. I believe the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie), under whose department this scheme has been functioning, has been working as hard and as conscientiously as any other minister or any other member of the house. I have always found him cooperative, and quite prepared to do anything he could to adjust grievances arising from the



The Address-Mr. Gillis regulations administered by him. I am frank, to say that about the minister. But the machinery, as it exists now, leaves much to be desired. It is my view that the machinery in the Department of Pensions and National Health is inadequate, that the department is understaffed, and cannot handle a large-scale demobilization. The personnel of the branch will have to be increased to some considerable extent. 1 am not satisfied, either, with the methods employed by army boards who board men out of the services and place them under the jurisdiction of the Department of Pensions and National Health. I refer to those men now returning from overseas with disabilities. I was pleased to hear the minister table this afternoon an order in council which provides that when a man is discharged from the care of the Department of National Defence to that of the Department of Pensions and National Health he will be maintained on full pay and allowances until such time as assessed for disability pension and he is boarded out of the army completely. That is a step in the right direction. It represents the correction of a very sore spot, and one concerning which I had intended to speak. However, since the minister has notified the house that the grievance has been corrected, there is no necessity for any further elaboration. I should like, however, to call to the attention of the Minister of Pensions and National Health some thoughts in connection with the administration of the Pension Act. I would remind him that in 1940 the pension committee of that year broadened the provisions of the act so that it might embrace the new forces. There was one section which had been carried for twenty-five years and which militated greatly against men who came back from the last war. I refer to the section which dealt with the men who were suffering from nervous disabilities and diseases. On seventy-five per cent of occasions, when men would appear before pension boards with disabilities of that description, the stock decision of such boards was: disability is of congenital origin, and no pension is indicated. Hundreds of men were thrown to one side on that basis. The minister will recall that the 1940 committee removed that section from the act. I now draw to his attention the fact that while' the provision has been removed, those who are to-day administering the regulations are administering them on the old basis. He will find that a large number of men who are returning from this war-and let us remember that this is a shock-war to an even greater extent than was the last one-are suffering from nervous disabilities. When they apply for boarding they find, in practically every instance, as shown by the decisions I have seen, that decisions are made along the same lines, namely that their disabilities are of congenital origin. The wording, of course, is a little different. At the present time the soldier is discharged and examined for pension, and if he has a disability of that description it is classified as pre-enlistment. These men joined the services in A1 condition. They saw service in England, and have endured bombing. As a result their nerves have suffered. How can any board examining a man w7ho when he enlisted, was classed Al, and who after eighteen months in the service appears before it with a nervous condition, make the decision that the man who at the time of application is in class E, is suffering from a disability of pre-enlistment origin? The point is that this is an accusation against those who examined such men upon entering the services, and an indication that they were totally incompetent for the job they were performing. We must accept either that assumption, or the one that the boards are still administering the old section which we thought we had removed from the act. I mention these facts so that the minister may make a check with those who are boarding service personnel returning from overseas.


LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Is my hon. friend referring to the medical examiners of the pension board?

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

Those who board the service personnel for pension purposes.

There is another sore spot to which I would call the attention of the minister, namely that connected with those men who are being discharged for. compassionate reasons. It may be that as a result of some extenuating circumstances at home a man may be discharged from the services. Such man, however, is not given the benefit of any of the present regulations. In fact one instance, affecting a member of the navy, was drawn to my attention. This man was discharged in Halifax and, although his home was in Vancouver, because he was discharged on compassionate grounds he was not given even his transportation expenses to his home. He had to solicit the necessary funds for that purpose. And, vice versa, I have heard of men discharged at Vancouver who have had to travel to the other side of the country.

I believe that is a wrong procedure. Such men are suffering aggravation greater than those who are coming back to normal homes. Who is more in need of Assistance than the man who comes back to a normal home?

The Address-Mr. Gillis

He volunteered; he endeavoured to do his duty, but circumstances over which he had no control compelled him to leave the service and he is now treated as though he had never been in the service. I think the minister should endeavour to check up on that particular case.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I shall be glad to do so. I will look into all the points my hon. friend has mentioned.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I bring these to the minister's attention because I know he is interested in these matters. He is the one minister who has his finger on rehabilitation matters and these things come within the jurisdiction of his department. I am quite satisfied to leave this particular grievance with him.

Another grievance is in connection with the decisions that are given when men receive injuries or disabilities while serving in Canada. A man may be discharged as medically unfit; but in every case I have seen, even though the disability is admitted the decision is that the disability was incurred on service but was not attributable to military service. The two statements cannot be reconciled. I know of one case that is perhaps a little outstanding. This boy was ordered on a clothing parade and half a dozen of them got into a jeep. While they were riding along the jeep crashed into a pole. This young lad who was not driving received a fractured skull and lost the sight of one eye. He was hospitalized and discharged, but the decision was that his disability was not attributable to military service. Since that time this man has had a stroke and his case is up for another hearing. 1 do not think there should be any differentiation between the man who receives a wound overseas and the one who is injured in Canada while actually on parade. There are quite a few cases of this description.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Was that case before me?

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

The minister was written to about that.

There is another matter in the field of rehabilitation that requires overhauling. The throne speech would lead us to believe that the machinery for the placement of men discharged from the service was adequate and satisfactory. The minister will remember, as will other hon. members who were on the pension committee back in 1940, that welfare officers were to be appointed. As I understood it, these welfare officers were to look after the employment problem facing the men returning from service; they were to

[Mr. Gillis. J

work in conjunction with the officials in the unemployment insurance offices. This machinery has been partly established. J; There is one placement officer in Nova Scotia; I believe there is one in New Brunswick, and perhaps there are two in Ontario. I notice the minister is smiling. Last session he intimated he was making an appointment to the Sydney office, but that has not been made as yet. I have no doubt it will be made soon.

The number of these welfare officers should be increased. If they are to do a proper job there should be one welfare officer in every unemployment insurance office. This is necessary in order that the preference which has been delegated to those who return from overseas or from the service in Canada is carried out. If we are not to have proper machinery there is no use in doing anything about it. The machinery we have to-day is totally inadequate.

The work of these placement officers was to be supplemented by the appointment of citizen committees in every section. These committees w-ere to supplement the work of the placement officers in probing fields of employment for those men who are coming back. Little was done about .this until November of last year when a committee was convened to consist of the mayors of some of the towns and cities across Canada.

' These volunteer committees are to return to their respective communities and endeavour to take care of the employment needs of the men who return from the services. That machinery is not going to work. These committees are not responsible to anyone. They have no machinery with which to work; they have no offices and they have no authority to do anything for anyone. I think it is a complete waste of time to expect volunteer citizen committees throughout the country to take care of this question of demobilization and rehabilitation. This machinery might have worked a year ago when there were just a few dribbling back, but I visualize the time when there will be total demobilization of alt the service personnel. I think the time has arrived when we should have the proper machinery and the proper administrative authority which would be responsible to some department of government.

I think the suggestion in the speech from the throne that three new departments are to be set up is a good one, and these questions of reestablishment and rehabilitation should be centred in one of these departments. In my opinion this idea of citizen committees should be forgotten and immediate steps taken to increase the number of welfare officers in order

The Address-Mr. Gillis

to have one in ever}- unemployment insurance office. It would be their duty to find available employment and to see that preference is given to the ex-service men. They should provide advice and guidance in the whole field of rehabilitation. They would have the proper places in which to work and would be responsible to some one. There must be sufficient personnel to handle this problem. Under the present set-up the ex-service man is coming back and is being routed through the regular employment offices. This will continue if the present economic set-up as visualized by the people in power to-day is carried into effect. In addition to the men coming back from the services there will be a million war workers. The present machinery is totally inadequate and does not differentiate between those who have a preference and those to whom no preference has been given.

There is another point in connection with the rehabilitation of veterans to which I should like to refer. Some provision has been made for vocational training and guidance for those coming out of the service who have sufficient elementary education to fit themselves into the present scheme, but there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of boys coming back who have not the degree of education to enable them to take advantage of the present vocational training schemes. I have run into quite a number of them. These men are discharged as medically unfit and they apply to the selective services offices for a job. They write to Halifax to Colonel MacKenzie for a rehabilitation grant or vocational training, but word comes back that nothing can be done about vocational training. Many of these boys have never had jobs and that is the situation they find themselves in to-day. I think there is adequate machinery in the country and it should be used, and used immediately, to do something for this category of ex-service men. I refer to the schools that are now operating. One is in North Bay, and there are three others where illiterate personnel in the service are given an elementary education. The schools are working efficiently and have a very good system. I had the privilege of going through the school at North Bay, and I highly commend it. I think that branch of our educational work should be not only continued but expanded, in order to give this class of boy an opportunity to reestablish himself as a useful member of society. Without such an opportunity he is in the middle of the street; there is no prospect for him. nothing for him to do, and certainly the developing situation with respect to employment leaves much to be desired so far as he is concerned. I leave those thoughts with the minister.

It is not possible for me to tell the whole story, Mr. Speaker, in forty minutes. I have been trying to provoke the minister's thought. I have a lot more to say but my time is limited.

I should like to say a word or two with respect to the machinery of demobilization. That matter will have to be considered. We owe it to the boys who are overseas at the present time and who have been there, some of them, for a long period, to consider what is going to happen on demobilization. There is no doubt that we shall have an army of occupation when the war is over. If that is the case, I think service in such an army should be on a voluntary basis and that reinforcements for that army should be on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, we may have to maintain a large standing army, navy and air force to meet our international obligations in the field, of world peace. I think the first choice to serve in such an army, navy and air force, to man and operate it, should go to those who are now serving in an actual theatre of war. Those who are serving at home, while they are making a valuable contribution, have not suffered as have those who have been in actual combat with the enemy. Those who are in service at home are in a position to keep their finger on everything worth-while in the country, and if anything develops which means a future for them they have the opportunity to get there first. But those who are serving overseas have not that opportunity, and so I would like those who have served overseas in an actual theatre of war to be given the first choice to serve in such a force. The Canadian government should insist that our army of occupation retain its Canadian identity and be manned by Canadians, with Canadian officers to look after those of our boys who may desire to serve in that army.

As regards the matter of discharge, undoubtedly considerable machinery will be necessary. We should not do what was done in the last war. Then, when we came back from Europe, we were split up into different camps. Personally I was with a Vancouver unit when the wind-up came. We were taken back to England and shipped to demobilization camps in north Wales. It was not a very nice place to be. But they closed our pay books there, and we were fed very poorly.

I think it should be the policy of the Canadian government as soon as hostilities cease to bring our boys back from Europe as soon as possible; that is, those who want to come back, and the procedure of demobilization should be gone through in Canada. I think the camps we now have all across the

The Address-Mr. Gillis

country are adequate for that purpose. Once the men are back in Canada they should be sent to their respective military districts for demobilization.

But before demobilization or discharge there is one thing we should do. Every man in the service on coming back to Canada should be given a month's furlough to allow him to go home and look over employment conditions in his own part of the country. That would enable him to make up his mind where he would like to go. After the last war the men were permitted to take their discharge in any part of Canada or the United States. But we should remember that the employment situation is going to be complicated after this war and we should see to it that every man who comes back has the training necessary to fit him into the employment picture so that he may be able to make his best contribution. In that connection vocational training is very important, and I leave the thought with the minister that we have machinery now functioning in Canada which could be used effectively just by reversing the present process. I mean that we have army personnel or induction boards which consider the aptitudes of a man who is entering the service and route him into the branch where he can make his best contribution. The personnel in charge of this work has been trained for four years and has cost a considerable sum of money. It is doing good service, I am informed, and if it can route men who are entering the service into the branch where they can render the best contribution, then it seems reasonable that, on demobilization, it could route the men who are leaving the service into gainful occupation or into opportunities where their services can best be used. That would merely be a reversing of the present machinery.

The schools now operating, army, navy and air force, should also be fully utilized, as well as the schools set up by industry. All these schools should be expanded, if necessary. The Canadian Legion's war services educational personnel which has been largely absorbed by the defence organizations, should also be fully utilized, because they have a highly trained personnel whose services should be taken advantage of. We should not be political about the thing at all but see that that machinery is used to the best advantage in the period of demobilization and rehabilitation.

It is almost six o'clock, Mr. Speaker, and my time is about up. I have much more to say. but I shall reserve it for another occasion.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. J. A. ROSS (Souris):

Mr. Speaker, having followed rather closely' the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) yesterday, when he was discussing the speech from the throne. I was surprised at his avoidance of discussion on the topics contained therein. I was also surprised that he, did not attempt to answer the important questions put to him by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon) with reference to army organization. the resignation of General Mc-Naughton, and many other weighty matters. However, he did say that his ministers would answer those questions, and in view ol that statement I would have thought that, probably this debate might be greatly curtailed and the progress of the house facilitated had those ministers concerned been prepared to make such statements and to answer the questions that, were asked, instead of having the debate adjourned, as it was last evening, by a private supporter of the government.

VV Pile I fully realize that our first concern must be, as pointed out in the speech from the throne, the winning of the war, my remarks this evening will have to do chiefly with the matter of agriculture, since the speech from the throne suggests that a floor price should be set up for that industry. That is a principle which we have fostered for some time and I sincerely trust that the floor price will not be too close to the cellar. Many factors must be taken into consideration before that floor price is established.

A year ago, discussing the speech from the throne, I asked for the appointment of a food minister. I am more convinced than ever to-day that had such a minister been appointed, a great deal of the waste that has taken place in connection with foodstuffs during the past year would have been avoided. During the debates of 1940, 1941 and 1942, I pleaded with the government to guarantee the wheat producers of the country, as a basis of parity, a quota basis, at least $1.25 a bushel. This the government did on September 28, 1943-and remember the new year's crop commences on August 1.

This announcement was made on September 28, well into the marketing season. Many people v/ere compelled by force of circumstances to deliver a large portion of their crop in order to pay' expenses. This they had done, having delivered on open market owing to the price existing at that time. At the same time that the price was announced on that day, it was announced that the government would pay a bonus of fifteen cents a

FEBRUARY 1, 194-1 S7

The Address-Mr. Ross (Souris)

bushel on barley and ten cents a bushel on oats, and this was paid to the producers of oats and barley who had delivered this product in that crop year, on open market, on exactly the same basis as the wheat producers had delivered wheat. And remember that those who had delivered wheat were in most instances people who by force of circumstances were compelled to make delivery ini order to pay expenses. Those who had the resources to carry on stored their product in most cases on the farm, so that they could take advantage of the SI .25. That was most unfair to those who were least able to bear the loss.

I maintain that the wheat producers should be entitled to settlement on exactly the same basis as the producers of badey and oats who were paid that bonus, because they were the people who really needed it. They needed it more than those who had the means of storing the product on their farms so that they could take advantage of the $125.

I have never been able to understand the reasoning of the government in settling for wheat on the basis which they adopted. Some got a fraction of a cent. It depended upon the spread on the day they delivered their wheat. I do not understand it and it is most unfair. I say therefore that the wheat producer is entitled to settlement on exactly the same basis as the producers of oats and barley.

The cost of agricultural production , in Canada has greatly increased since the outbreak of the war. There is to-day a great disparity as between United States and Canadian prices in both grain and live stock, and these constitute an important factor in food production for the united nations. May I quote some of these prices. They are the figures at January 27:

Chicago wheat . " barley .

" oats ...

" rye ...

Winnipeg wheat barley " oats . rye ..

Per bushel * $1 71|

. 1 22J

. 781

. 1 30|. 1 25. 64f*. 51|+

. 1 28

* Plus 15 cents bonus, t Plus 10 cents bonus.

And rye is not controlled in Canada but sold on the open market as in the United States. It will be noticed how closely these prices approximate each other on the Chicago and the Winnipeg open market. Wheat, oats and barley are controlled by 'the government of Canada. The government, after three or four years, have failed to set a reasonable price

for the producers of wheat, but on September 28 they did set a price of $1.25 a bushel in order to prevent a further rise in the price of wheat in comparison with the rising price in Chicago.

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LIB
NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

It is the floor paid the farmer at this time and he receives the participation certificate.

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LIB
NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

The object has been to prevent a further rise in prices, but we do not know what is in store in the future. We hope that we shall receive the Chicago price. So much for grain.

Now take live stock. On the same date these were the figures:

Per

hundred

pounds

Chicago slaughter steers

$17 00" . hogs choice, 200 to 330 lbs. 13 75*" sheep

15 85" lambs

16 00Winnipeg slaughter steers

12 25" hogs, 140 to 170 lbs 16 30f" sheep

4 00" lambs

11 00

* Live weight.

f Dressed weight.

The Canadian hog dressed is approximately 75 per cent and is now to be bonused $3 per head for the choice hog. However, the penalty of $3 for a hog dressing out over 185 pounds is extremely txnfair, and this should be on a graduating scale of fifty cents for each five pounds in excess of this weight. I have maintained that the penalty is a distinct racket for the packers.

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LIB
NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

I am glad to hear that. It is a step in the right direction, and I am pleased to know that the minister contemplates an agreement over a period of years with Great Britain for bacon. That is moving in the right direction. It was on for some years and should have been off long ago.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It was on by agreement between the producers and the packers. The government have nothing to do with that.

Mr. ROSS' (Souris): I think t.he packers certainly dictated the rule; there is no doubt about it. Since 1938 hog prices in Canada have increased fifty-seven per cent, oat prices have increased 241 per cent, barley prices have increased 245 per cent, and farm labour

ss

The Address-Mr. Ross (Souris)

wages have doubled. Little wonder that last fall, when the government announced a bonus on oats and barley, and said that hog production should be decreased in Canada-I think the Minister of Agriculture had something to say about this, because there was a shortage of help on the farms; every session he has maintained that we had plenty of help on the farms in western Canada-there was a scramble by the farmers all across the prairies to market brood sows after this announcement.

The farmer who grows his own barley and oats and feeds his hogs on his own farm is not entitled to the barley or oat bonus. That is another discrimination. By this policy the government have added to the man-power and transportation difficulties of Canada, which are already numerous. Last October 20, the Winnipeg stockyards and abattoirs were completely swamped with hogs, some 17,000, and at two packing plants alone some 5,000 sows, many of them heavy in pigs, and in some cases they had farrowed in transit. The same situation occurred on several occasions and at several points in western Canada last fall. This is something that should never have been allowed to happen in this country at a time such as this.

During the war years there has been a tremendous increase in hog production on the prairies where the same producers grow the feed and finish the hogs on the same farms. In 1943, Alberta had not only the highest swine population in the history of the province, some 2,337,700 hogs, but the highest ever recorded by any province in the Dominion of Canada. This was quite a record and I think it is something which we had been advised to do over a period of years. We were told that the grain should be marketed through the live stock. These farmers are to be congratulated upon the advance they had made in this respect. Then in the midst of that we had this announcement from the government which completely demoralized all their plans. It was certainly unhealthy and something which I think should have been prevented had we a properly organized food ministry in this country. While they have accomplished that fine record in Alberta the province stood very high in the dominion in the percentage of man-power and woman-power contributed to the armed forces of Canada. It was one of the leading provinces and I think it speaks highly for Alberta and for the other prairie provinces.

Following the government's announcement on Canada's decreased hog production for 1944, the Right Hon. Colonel J. J. Llewellin, Minister of Food for Great Britain, arrived on the scene and somewhat straightened out

our muddle, stating that Britain required every pound of Canadian bacon that could be sent across the Atlantic. As I say, the Minister of Food for Great Britain landed here and made that statement, and I am happy to think that our government and our department have since then tried to rectify this muddle, many months too late, after the harm had been done. It is only a guess, but I will venture to say that the people of the prairie provinces had decreased their hog production by twenty-five per cent; it is only a guess, but that is all anyone can say at the present time.

May I refer to the poultry and egg production. The production of poultry and eggs has shown a very great increase in Canada. We are asked for a further production of ten per cent in 1944. At present prices of eggs and poultry feed there will be a decrease rather than an increase in a year's time. On, account of very abnormal weather early this winter there was a very large egg production in this country, when the authorities set the present' prices of eggs, and as a result many poultry producers have already changed their plans for 1944 production, because the return, for eggs is out of line with the cost of feeds and labour. While we have an immense egg production today there will be a decrease rather than an increase a year hence as a result of these prices.

Butter fat with bonus is approximately forty-four cents a pound in Canada. Butter fat with subsidy is approximately 54-9 cents a pound in the. United States. Much has been said in past debates in this house about the Canadian farmer's share of the national income. For the period 1926 to 1940, 74 -2 per cent of the national income went to the workers and to the farmers of Canada. Labour constituted five-twelfths of the population and received 62-4 per cent of the national income; the farmers constituted four-twelfths of the population and received 11-8 per cent of the national income. That is what they received for their work and their capital investment, which is considerable. There is some disparity there. The average monthly farm wage for the three prairie provinces has increased during the war from $30.13 to $61.17, and the harvest daily wage from $2.86 to $5.56. To be on a par with organized labour it should be further increased, as I pointed out to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell), the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) and the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) in the debates on April 2, 1943, which may be found on pages 1808-9, and on May 20, 1943 at pages 2928-9. I believe that farm labour should be guaranteed the same basis of remuneration, as organized labour in this country, but there is a great disparity.

The Address-Mr. Ross (Souris)

However, to do what I suggest there must be a great deal more national planning for agriculture in Canada than there has been hitherto. The farmer must receive a greater return in money for his products in order to pay the wages to which- I have referred. Many of the men on these farms operate mechanized machines, and they are just as important as organized labour in this country and should be entitled to the same remuneration. However, as I have said, much greater planning on a national basis in this country is required.

There has not been anything like equity of sacrifice or contribution throughout Canada during these four and a half years of war. Neither is there equity of return to the agricultural producers of food as between the various united nations. In the west we have a man who operates a farm just across the line between the United States of America and Canada. It takes ten steers to buy an automobile in the United States of America. It takes twenty of the same type of steers to purchase the same car in Canada. He thinks he is going to -have a difficult time to make good Canadians out of bis sons who have assisted him to operate that farm-. I think we should be attempting to do something about this discriminatory situation.

The Prime Minister said in his remarks yesterday that the end of the war may yet be a long way off. After the war we must feed the overrun countries, and this will require careful national and international planning. We should have a food ministry for that purpose.

May I for a moment refer to the inequitable distribution of man-power for the armed services of this country and put on the record the1 percentages for the military districts up to September 30, 1943, because it is remarkable that the provinces with the greatest contribution to the armed forces are the provinces that are making the greatest contribution to the food production of this war:

Military District Percentage

1. London, Ontario

37-32. Toronto

42-73. Kingston

38-74. Montreal

23-55. Quebec

17-76. Halifax

41-87. Saint John, N.B

41-310. Winnipeg

39-511. Victoria

42-412. Regina

35-713. Calgary

38-1

I think these figures are significant.

There are other matters that I should like to discuss at this time, the chief of which is the Canadian army organization. I have never been satisfied that Canada with its population could maintain an army on the basis

which we have attempted and put it into active combat as an army and properly reinforce it. I have had doubts for some years. I have questioned the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) with regard to it. I do not wish to discuss this matter further until we have a statement from, the minister. I say there has always been a doubt. The Prime Minister has suggested that he should answer this question and make a fuller statement on the resignation of General McNaughton, who is responsible for the very fine and efficient training of our armed services. However, as I say I prefer to await the statement by the Minister of National Defence on these all-important matters.

There is another point to which I should like to refer, that of the extension of the insurance principle to all members of the armed forces on active service. I have raised this question in this house in other debates, and have pointed out that following the declaration of war in 1939 this principle was applicable in this country, -but that for some reason it was deleted by order in council in May of the following year. It seems to me if there is any meaning to this new order we have had placed before us in very vague terms in the speech from the throne, this insurance principle shotdd be made applicable to all members of the armed forces who are on active service anywhere.

I was disappointed this afternoon when a committeee was set up to deal with the election act and the taking of the votes of the soldiers overseas. I do think the terms of the reference should have been made broader, and at a time like this our election act should have been overhauled. Personally I think we should have the transferable vote for single member constituencies. Hon. members may not realize that of the 245 members of this house seventy-four are here by virtue of having received a minority vote in their constituencies. In a democratic nation, which we think is progressive, it is certainly time to correct that situation. I am the more surprised that nothing has been done in this regard because of the fact that in the chart or guide mentioned by the Prime Minister, which he brought forth in 1919, something of this kind was advocated. Surely at this time we should overhaul the election act and make provision for the transferable vote in single member constituencies. In times like these it is not good enough to have so many hon. members sent here as a result of minority votes, and I still hope that something may be done along this line this session.

The Address-Mr. Ross (Souris)

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I should like to sum up what I have been saying. I advocate the appointment of a food ministry, in order to see that everything possbile is done to produce the necessary foodstuffs for the united nations, both for the winning of the war and for the relief of the overrun countries following the victory. I advocate the reinstatement of the insurance principle for all members of the armed forces on active service anywhere. I advocate the adoption of the transferable vote in single member constituencies at this session. I advocate that 'here should be made available a much larger allotment of agricultural machinery, which is so badly needed for the production of foodstuffs in this country. Finally I advocate that farmers be allowed storage charges for the grain held on their farms within the quota on the same basis that the government allows storage charges to the elevator companies for the grain they hold

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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LIGUPRI LACOMBE (Laval-Two Mountains):

Mr. Speaker, we have in this house an official whose loyal sendees merit the attention of parliament; a doctor of law, a king's counsel, a member of the Royal Society of Canada, who has been Clerk of the House of Commons for almost twenty years. Doctor Beauchesne recently published the third edition of his "Parliamentary Rules and Forms," the work of a master, covering almost nine hundred pages. This wonderful work was prepared by the author primarily for the use of members of this house, and I wish to extend to him my deep gratitude and satisfaction, and to express the sincere hope that the French translation of this most useful work will be made available without delay. Both languages are official in Canada, and we are only claiming our right when we ask for. this translation.

The programme for the present session denotes the anxiety of the government in the face of the serious problems which exist in this country. Never since 1935 has the speech from the throne been of such an election character. Who does not recall the anxiety of the Bennett government, which was in power at that time? The Prime Minister of that time sought, by a supreme effort of social legislation, to remedy what was impossible to remedy. He had gained power by virtue of so many promises. The government which followed, was satisfied with denying its formal commitments while asserting candidly that it could not keep them any more. It even asked its voters to forget about its pledges and heaven knows under what circumstances and

through what means. This was done by obtaining the monopoly of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in spite of the most elementary justice. The head of a certain party is now complaining about the C.B.C. Why did he not do so when the plebiscite was held? The leaders of the four main political parties in Canada then tolerated the most shameful dictatorship, which gagged thousands of citizens. Through their action they were responsible for making the fight unjust and unequal in favour of the "yes" and against the "no."

As regards the social legislation introduced by the government, history repeats itself with this difference, that the former government made its calculations in peace time while this government adds, subtracts and divides in war time.

The government says that the first of its ends is to win the war. The second is to face post-war conditions. In order to attain this end, it must do better than move a whole complexity of social legislation. In order to win the peace, it must remedy the social upheavals which it has caused. Four hundred thousand men have abandoned their farms. More than 100,000 women also have abandoned the land in spite of the numerous warnings given by our best economists. The government is doing even worse. It insists upon calling back for a revision of their medical examinations the young farmers, who must fill out the new forms in order to obtain a new postponement. This is a loss of time, and a source of annoyance and bother for the agricultural class which, more than ever, needs all its help and all its time.

The sessional programme refers to a price ceiling on agricultural products. Why not set a price ceiling on foodstuffs which are sold by trusts at prohibitive prices. One can find the proof of this statement in the statistics published about five days ago by the federal department of agriculture. These are the figures:

Wholesale prices of milling by-products per carload and per ton: Barley flour from $38 to $40, and crushed oats from $42 to $44.25 on the Montreal and Quebec markets.

And when the crooked intermediary has drawn his benefits the farmer pays $2.75 to S3 for a hundred pounds of by-products.

Am I not right when I assert that we must set a ceiling on the foodstuffs rather than on the fanner? When the farmer is undergoing considerable sacrifices'in order to maintain his production he is being exploited by the trusts of dairies, of milling companies and of flour and foodstuffs dealers.

The Address-Mr. Lacombe

The mover of the address in reply paid tribute to the proposed expropriation of the Montreal Light, Heat and Power Company by the Quebec government. If this scheme is like the so-called expropriation of Beauharnois, the ratepayers of the province will again be terribly deceived. Furthermore this expropriation will not help the farmer. I do not think it will help the labourer, because state trusts so far have not resulted in anything but deception and exploitation. I am against the expropriation of private enterprise by the state. It is a bad form of socialism, because the governments take advantage of the nationalization of private industries in order to gratify their friends, to the prejudice of the people. Proper laws, and the control of public authorities. will be more effective. The best example is the. expropriation of private radio stations by the government. The servile and unworthy Canadian Broadcasting Corporation handled the population of this country with unfairness and arrogance during the plebiscite campaign in 1942.

The liquor trust in Canada is, along with this society, the most detested trust which ever existed in this country. As a result of the guilty complicity of the government this state monopoly sells for excessive prices hard liquors hardly deserving that name. Before Christmas and the New Year one could see in the streets of large cities hundreds of persons of both sexes crowding around the stores of the liquor control boards, in order to obtain for very high prices a little bit of water with a few drops of alcohol added. This is the shameful condition brought about by a hypocritical system of rationing. Many people state that this is the worst swindle of all time. The small and the poor are exploited to the utmost, while the clubs and friends of the regime apparently can sell very dearly old wines and hard liquors which they can accumulate, and still accumulate through a violation of restrictions and rationing established by the federal government. It was not worth while imposing rationing when one knows that families which did not purchase ten cents worth of alcohol a year have obtained their ration books, and now buy all the quantity authorized by the regulations. Can this be called healthy social legislation?

Is it a sane social measure to allow female labour in war-time industry, while infant sons and daughters are dying in nurseries? The family is the very foundation of society, as is stated in the speech from the throne. What has the government done so far to protect families in this country? During more than ten years the last two governments have tolerated in Canada a state of affairs which is very depressing for a father and his sons.

More than a billion dollars was spent in direct relief. No money could be found for public works, no salaries for labourers, no work for our sons and daughters. The treasury was empty, for constructive works. But on account of the participation of Canada in this war the government suddenly discovered $10,000,000000, and more, for destructive work. The unemployment problem was partly solved by the mobilization of our youth in the armed forces. As regards the fathers, compelled by sickness to abandon their jobs in war factories, do hon. members know what fate is theirs? Here is a typical instance: During twenty-seven months a man is employed in a munitions factory. He pays his unemployment dues. He is threatened by tuberculosis. When he becomes sick, he is dismissed. He asks for his unemployment allowance. He is turned down because, owing to his health, this man cannot be recommended for another employment by the selective service. If he were refunded the amount of the dues which he paid, he could support his wife and his three children. But, alas, this man who is a victim of the conditions of labour, where he breathed during eight hours every day the poisonous atmosphere of a munitions factory, will have to beg for his firing, or live on public charity. He will be lucky if he is not dead, before a measure of health insurance is adopted. Can hon. members see the injustice this man is suffering because the unemployment insurance which took part of his salary away from him keeps it for healthy labourers who are unemployed? Why is it that in spite of the so-called excellent law more than 100.000 people in Canada were unemployed last December? That is an unbearable situation in a country where approximately ten per cent of the population are in the aimed services. The figures given in the January, 1944, issue of Canada at War confirm these striking facts.

(Translation): Think of it Mr. Speaker,

the advocates of immigration even have the impudence to urge the government to permit refugees or immigrants to enter this country. Not a single immigrant, not a single refugee, from whatever country he may come and of whatever descent he may be, should cross our boundaries. Why, at a time when one must request the government's permission before he can work, and when, in spite of that, unemployment is rife in this country; when the government do not permit any one to transfer from one job to another without their authorization; when the government allow the family to be broken up as a result of the employment of mothers in factories; when the government ration essential goods; when they even ration

The Address-Mr. Lacombe

farm implements and the maple products; when they begrudge the sugar with which young Canadians sweeten their cereals, and they set up Tuesday as a meatless day, taking no account of the fact that in the province of Quebec and wherever there are Roman Catholics in Canada, Friday is a day of abstinence; when the government have already ordained that one shall wear only one pair of cuffless trousers because that is a practice which is followed elsewhere and must be imitated, since we have ever had and will always have in our midst satisfied colonials; when an army of more than a million men and women will have to be demobilized within two years, perhaps one year, and, who knows, even within a few months; when all those men and women say to the government: you could find money to arm us for war, well, equip us now for peace; when hundreds of thousands of men and women shall have to be demobilized from war industries to rejoin civilian industries that will be unable to absorb them,-a fact of which no intelligent man is unaware,-when the government shall, at last, to keep their solemn promises and their sacred pledges to reappoint in the civil service the employees they have mobilized; when the government shall have to reestablish on the land all the farmers they have kept and are still keeping in the army in spite of our countless protests: when the government shall have to restore the complete land settlement system they had built up at a considerable cost and which they have let go to pieces against the walls of the war plants in our cities; finally, when the government shall have to give back to every one his due, refund war loans, war savings certificates and fill up the abyss into which our yearly billion-dollar gifts have forever disappeared; in view of all that, I do say that there is not and will never be room for a single immigrant in Canada.

It would be criminal to -listen to the advocates of immigration, who are all in the pay of international finance and who frequently receive favours from communists and proponents of world revolution.

May I, at this stage of my remarks, place on record in the debates of the house two of the several resolutions which I have received from most of the thirty-three municipalities of my constituency of Laval Two-Mountains. They read as follows:

Resolution in "opposition" to the proposed immigration of European refugees to Canada in violation of the laws of the country.

Whereas according to the Montreal Gazette, page one, the Dominion Minister of Immigration, Mr. Crerar, made the following declaration on November 3, 1943:

"Canada offers a home to refugees. An immigration agent is being sent to Europe, and the dominion government will consider sympathetically the immigration to Canada of an indefinite number of refugees."

Whereas it is a well-known fact that the United Jewish Refugees & War Relief Agencies, with head office at 1121 St. Catherine St. West. Montreal, has circulated among the public a petition asking that Canada open her doors to all the refugees from the European continent, and that it is endeavouring, under the patronage of Senator Cairine R. Wilson, to obtain in Canada 500,000 signatures for this purpose.

Whereas in so far as such immigration will take place mostly in the province of Quebec, there is cause for alarm.

Whereas on January 7, 1944. the Canadian Press released a news item bearing the following heading:

"Canada has agreed to accept a limited number of immigrants.

Refugees who come to Canada from the Spanish peninsula, according to a decision reached recently, will be given refuge for the duration of the war."

Whereas the fact of thus allowing refugees to enter the country is not only a further encroachment upon the prerogatives of the people, but w'ill be the cause of social disturbances now and after the war.

Whereas this question has not been submitted to the House of Commons and members of parliament should have the opportunity of voicing their views on this matter before such a policy becomes effective. It is unanimously resolved by the council of the municipality of Ste. Monique. Two Mountains county,

1. That the above-mentioned municipal council is opposed to the suggested immigration plan and to any immigration on a different plan than that which has prevailed in recent years.

2. That in any case, no amendment to existing laws and regulations governing immigration should be made unless parliament has had an opportunity of discussing the matter at the next session.

3. That this resolution be given publicity.

4. That copy thereof be forwarded to the Prime Minister of Canada, to the Premier of Quebec, to the Quebec provincial leader of the opposition and to the dominion and provincial members of the constituency.

Dated January 22. 1944.

(signed) Chs. Henri Giroux.

Mayor, -

Chs. Ed. Leonard,

Secretary.

Municipality of Ste. Monique, county of Two Mountains.

The other resolution was addressed to me by the municipal council of St. Elzear de Laval. Moreover, it is drawn up in the same terms as the one which I read a short while ago.

Is that clear enough? Will the government understand where lay the interests most dear to our people, or will it give in to natiohal and international conspiracies hatched in secrecy and all of them detrimental to Canada? That remains to be seen.

The Address-Mr. Rose

Mr. Speaker, it would be quite useless to put into effect family allowances, social insurance, a health insurance scheme and all other measures mentioned in the speech from the throne, if the Government were to render all social legislation ineffective through an immigration which we do not want in the least. All our efforts in the field of social legislation would be wasted if economic upheaval should ai'ise simultaneously with these measures, excellent though they are in themselves.

In closing, I will say a few words about the international body contemplated by the government for the purpose of promoting peace when the war is over. I fear greatly that Canada will count for very little in this body, and once the struggle is over, we ought to attend to our own affairs. We can no longer afford to maintain a whole staff at a new League of Nations where Soviet Russia may be the ruling power because she will then hold sway over all of central Europe. When that time comes, we will be poor enough to stay at home and straighten things up in our own house. Do you think that our sacrifices in men and money will weigh veiy heavily in the balance at that particular time? Ask Lord Halifax if I am wrong in my forecast. For the last hundred years, there has flourished here a school of colonialism whose professors emeritus hail from London and from our own country as well. For those people, Canada's participation in the war is forgotten as soon as it has become an accomplished fact. The heroism of our soldiers is to them a laughing matter. Their mission is to ignore the sacrifices of a whole nation. When our sole rampart against military and financial imperialism is the Westminster Statute which is and has always been nothing but a hoax, we are indeed to be pitied. Is it not true that for the last century Canada has been steadily going back to the colonial status? Under the Union, the governing body was neither in London nor Washington. Under Cartier and Macdonald, the administration at Ottawa and no one else, was master of our destinies. We have become the incense-bearers of the empire to whom, on our knees, we pay a colonial tribute of a billion dollars a year. This gesture is devoid of all nobility and greatness.

Mr. Speaker, one more word and I am thrbugh: let us remain at home after the war, for we may fall to still greater depths, to an abyrss from which I wish to guard my country.

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LPP

Fred Rose

Labour Progressive

Mr. FRED ROSE (Cartier):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the mover and the seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. ' To me as a newcomer they

were symbolic of the growing national unity, a unity between English and French-speaking Canada. They were symbolic of Canada at war; for as soldiers they expressed the sentiments of the armed forces and their relation to the problems of the home front.

I am especially appreciative of the remarks made by the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Tucker) regarding the participation in the war of men hailing from new Canadian stock. It is a better understanding between the national groups of Canada, between peoples of all races and religions who make up the population of our country, that will lead to a strong and democratic Canada.

Likewise, in our international relations it is the conviction of our party that the Teheran, Moscow and Cairo conferences have laid the basis of a great new epoch of human developments. I quote from the declaration of the Teheran conference:

We express our determination that our nations shall work together in the war and in the peace that will follow. As to the war, our military staffs have joined in our roundtable discussions and we have concerted our plans for the destruction of the German forces. And as to the peace, we are sure that our concord will make it an enduring peace. We recognize fully the supreme responsibility resting upon us and all the nations to make a peace which will command good-will from the overwhelming masses of the peoples of the world and banish the scourge and the terror of war for many generations. . . . We shall seek the cooperation andi active participation of all nations, large and small, whose peoples in heart aud mind are dedicated, as are our own people, to the elimination of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance. We look with confidence to the day when all the peoples of the world may live free lives untouched by tyranny, according to their varying desires and their own consciences.

Here we have a great charter for victory and a better world, not only a charter based on the big powers, as some tend to interpret the Teheran conference declaration, but for all peoples large and small, a charter which shall become the rallying point on a national and international scale.

Before the Moscow, Teheran and Cairo conferences there were danger signs which led many to start speaking about "world war No. 3". There was loose talk about Anglo-Saxon powers running the world. Appeasement raised its head in the form of Darlans, Peyroutons, and similar hirelings in Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece and Austria. An attempt was made to force upon the peoples of Europe the type of leaders who had ruled on behalf of wealthy cliques and had sold their people down the river. The heroic people of China were given all sorts of sympathy and very little else. In fact, in certain of the united

The Address-Mr. Rose

nations circles it was considered indiscreet to attack the emperor of Japan. To-day, following the conferences, there is a vision of free peoples who are fighting to reestablish democratic rule and who, although hesitantly, are getting some help from the leading powers within the united nations. We see the world war becoming one of national liberation. A good example (5f this we see in Yugoslavia, where, instead of a country run by the Serbs, all of the nationalities on an equal basis and with equal opportunities are fighting heroically and winning world recognition. They have established a national assembly of their own.

This is the new age which we see coming into the world at the present time, although with difficulty. The Italian people are, through the Italian commission, gradually winning some possibility to join with the peoples of the united nations in fighting against the nazi murderers for the establishment of a democratic regime, purged of those elements that have dragged their country down to their present difficult condition. In the far east, a free China will be a powerful force for world peace and will go a long way in influencing and securing freedom for hundreds of millions of Hindus, Burmese and other peoples.

As for Canada, I want to emphasize that our own prosperity, freedom, peace and security depend upon a world living under similar circumstances. If one needed any proof of the truth of this, we saw it in the case of the present war. No amount of isolationism could have left us undisturbed.

We have contributed very substantially towards Hitler's plight at the present time. But, as stated in the speech from the throne, "the German army is still very strong." The hardest battles are still coming; and our job is to have an eye on the ball, the battles against the nazis and the Japanese, rather than to fight for parties and advantage. In the face of this test of strength before which we stand, the measure of national unity which we have had in the past should be continued for the duration of the war and for the immediate post-war period.

Unless we are able to preserve national unity, we shall, in our petty quibbling, let down our boys in the armed forces and bring them back after victory is ours into a state of unrest and chaos. I appeal to all parties to work in this spirit of comradeship. That is the spirit of our heroic men in the services, the men of the merchant marine who deliver the goods, the hundreds of thousands of war workers, men and women, who spare no effort to see that we have the goods to deliver. I appeal

(Mr Rose.]

to all parties to unite in combatting the forces that would rob us of democratic progress in a free world.

Voices are raised by certain individuals, one of whom the horn, member for Dorchester rightly characterized as "le tapa-geur". These are voices that I would call the voices of inhumanity. We have just had a veiy fine example of it in the previous speaker, the hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains (Mr. Lacombe). These people, consciously or unconsciously, do the work of the enemy, who in the face of certain defeat, tries to resort to the old worn-out bogey of bolshevism to split the united nations. They take up every argument from the enemy's baggage. Irresponsibly they speak of the impossibility of international unity. They say it will not last; it cannot last; Russia will betray us. And certain scribes of the newspapers use their poison pens to slander the soviet people, whose glorious efforts mean so much to every one of us, to every one of our families. Indeed, many of us would not be here if it were not for their heroic efforts. In the nazi manner they concoct plots and talk about a hundred thousand Jewish refugees who are going to chase the French-Canadian farmers off their land. They discover plots of international Jewry, but Jewry is not the only one who plots. There is freemasonry, and when you say that "free" you want to emphasize it. They resort very openly to Hitler's weapon of antiSemitism. These elements, although small, are a threat to national and international unity. They are a threat to Canada and Canada's well-being.

Another group are unprincipled enough to resort to any trickery to defeat the desire of our people for a better Canada and a better world. They are the elements who have raised the bogey of socialism and confiscation of savings, and I would not be a bit surprised if in the very near future they said that the socialists were out to nationalize women.

Mr. Speaker, the issue to-day is not what these people call free enterprise versus socialism ; the issue is democratic progress versus chaos and insecurity. Our party, the Labour Progressive party, stands for socialism, but we are realistic enough to know and to understand that the vast majority of Canadians are to-day not yet ready for it. We consider that at this time the fight for social progress is a fight in which the people will learn, through their own experience, whether or not they want socialism. The essence of socialism is democracy, and it will not come until the majority of Canadians learn through their experience that socialism is the system they need.

The Address-Mr. Rose

It is in this spirit that I welcome the promises of far-reaching reforms contained in the speech from the throne. Without such reforms, and others which have been omitted, we cannot hope to have national unity. The promise of family allowances is good. 1 am not surprised to find people who have been talking about family allowances taking the attitude today, not exactly that they oppose such allowances, but that they are not so good. Well, I do not believe that the people in Quebec will fall for any such talk. They will accept family allowances no matter what party introduces the principle. They will be glad to have it. But family allowances must not replace measures for increased wages for labour. Family allow'ances must not become a bonus to employers, but must be a few extra dollars to people whereby they can buy more milk and more nutrition for their families.

I also believe that family allowances should not be limited to four, five or six children. I do not know how many it is to be, but if it is good for six children, what 'will the seventh, the eighth and the ninth do? And in our province there are large families. It is unjust to stop at five or six. The issue of family allowances should not be raised as against improving wages. When I speak of wages I think of those paid in our province which are still very low in comparison with those paid in other provinces. I have in mind the thousands of textile workers. For the past year they have been carrying on a just fight to get increased wages. Some of them earn wages as low as 22 cents an hour, and family allowances must not stand in the way of these people getting a just increase in wages. Something has to be done about these textile workers in our province. They have been patient-so much so that one member of the house said to me: "Je pense qu'il y a quelque chose qui ne marche pas dans cette union"; "there is something wrong with the union." There is nothing wrong with the union, if they do not want to bring workers out on strike at the present time. They could 'have done it. Would that have been just? Would that have been the way for them to get increases? It is the duty of the government to see to it that large concerns like Dominion Textile deal with labour on an equal basis just as a small man does. It is in this regard that I deplore the absence in the speech from the throne of the assurance of a democratic labour code. Promises were made quite a while ago. If the federal government has not the power to deal with this key problem to national unity, what confidence can the people have in the power of the government to apply other measures mentioned in the speech from the throne? I have been told,

I may be wrong, that the Premier of Quebec suddenly became what we call provincial autonomy conscious in regard to labour problems and rushed to introduce a bill in Quebec which has won the condemnation of labour forces in the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec. One small group has approved it, the Catholic syndicates, but they stand to lose very little in any circumstances.

I realize that parliament is limited in its power to apply certain measures, but I believe that the time has come when we as a sovereign nation should have the power to amend our own constitution, having full regard for the cultural and religious rights of Quebec. I believe the people of my province will approve measures that will result in improvements in their welfare. Too often have autonomous rights been used by unscrupulous politicians to keep the people of our province in a state of inequality. No doubt the same constitutional objections could be raised in connection with the housing problem. I know that this constitutional problem exists; but again, what are we to do? We have a catastrophic housing problem in the city of Montreal. I am going to quote to the house letters I have received. Some five thousand people may be out of their homes by May 1, 1944. As hon. members know, under order 294 a family can be told to get out of their home if somebody has enough money and makes sufficient profit to buy that home. That home can be taken from them on six months' notice. Where is that family to go? I say it is a criminal act against the war effort. I have received all sorts of letters from people and have had many people come to visit me. Before I cite the cases I should state that there has been an amendment to order 294 whereby only the person who buys the home can force the occupants out of it within six months. In Montreal about five thousand families will be without homes unless we do something about the matter.

Here is a case which I shall call Mrs. A, a French-Canadian woman who is operating a rooming house. Her husband is in the merchant. navy and has been torpedoed four times. She has sixteen roomers in her house. They have been ordered to get out. Where are they to go? Here is the case of another woman whom we shall call Mrs. B. There are in her house eleven people and nine children. Her eldest daughter whose husband was recently killed overseas lives with her. They must move. Where are they to go? Here is a man with a family of five; he has one son in the navy and another one in the army overseas. They have nowhere to go. I shall read

The Address-Mr. Rose

a letter from one woman because I believe that-letter best describes the condition of these people:

I am a widow, a semi-invalid. I have occupied the residence at . . . for over sixteen years.

I will not read it all.

For fifteen years my son, a dentist-

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LIB
LPP

Fred Rose

Labour Progressive

Mr. ROSE:

I shall start again:

For fifteen years my son, a dentist, Captain J. B., has had his office at this residence. He is now overseas with the Canadian active army in the dental corps. Now here is my problem. After having lived in this house for such a length of time I have received a letter asking us to vacate the premises by May 1, 1944. Now where can I go? When my son left and said "au revoir", with the help of God, he asked me to take good care of his office. Now, I telephoned the company where all his machinery was bought and they told me that his X-ray, dental chairs and other equipment is best in a sunny, dry room, because when left in storage damage can be done to rubber tube in X-ray. Can you please help me in this difficult situation? I have another son in the air force. While these boys are in uniform fighting for their homeland (also for the home of this selfish landlady) the dentist's office and all of the furniture the other son bought is about to be sold1 for very little.

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February 1, 1944