February 3, 1944

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

May I ask the Postmaster General a supplementary question? Is there any possibility of improving the mail service from overseas in the near future? From

The Address-Mr. Bryce

my own experience I know that letters bearing air mail stamps sometimes require a month for delivery, and arrive at the same time as letters posted at the same points with ordinary surface mail stamps on them.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   AIR MAIL TO TROOPS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA
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LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

My reply to the hon. member would be that of course it is a matter of securing the necessary space in aircraft coming in this direction. The situation is improving. Naturally the Post Office Department has to rely on such aeroplane service as it can arrange for. For instance, there is an arrangement with Trans-Canada Air Lines, and the facilities are being increased. That of course is a matter for the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe). Then, additional arrangements are being made with the Royal Canadian Air Force, which of course comes under the supervision of the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power). I can assure the hon. member, however, that the Post Office Department through its officials is doing everything possible to obtain all the space it can get. As the hon. member will understand, there is difficulty in obtaining aircraft of the size and cruising range necessary for the carrying of mail across the Atlantic.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   AIR MAIL TO TROOPS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

The point is that the men overseas are paying sixpence for the sending of air mail which apparently is coming by ordinary surface mail service. .

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   AIR MAIL TO TROOPS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   AIR MAIL TO TROOPS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA
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QUESTION OP SUPPLY TO BRITAIN THROUGH EXPORT FROM CANADA


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Hon. H. A. BRUCE (Parkdale):

Mr. Speaker, in view of Britain's anxiety to maintain and perhaps increase her small ration of two ounces of butter per week, I should like to ask the Minister of Agriculture if he has received any request from Britain to increase our exports of butter. If so, will he state what steps he has taken to bring this about?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) :

Very early in the war Great Britain placed a ration of two ounces per week upon butter. About the time that was being done she entered into an arrangement with different countries to supply different dairy products. The intimation to us was that we should put forth every effort to supply all possible quantities of cheese. We have been doing that since the beginning of the war, and our supplying any butter has been only a matter of accident. It has not happened intentionally on our part.

100- 10i

Last year we shipped the first butter which had been shipped from this country to Great Britain since the beginning of the war. In that year we shipped about 7,000,000 pounds. But the shipment was not made as a result of any intention on our part, or any desire expressed previously by the British government. Our present position is that Great Britain desires all the cheese she can get from Canada, and has expressed no desire that we should take any milk from cheese production in order to produce a supply of butter for her. Our present intention is to follow her wishes in that regard, and to produce as much cheese as possible.

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GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH


The house resumed frpm Wednesday, February 2, consideration of the motion of Mr. L. D. Tremblay for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Graydon, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr..Coldwell.


CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. WILLIAM BRYCE (Selkirk):

Mr. Speaker, rising to speak for the first time in the house I should like to take this opportunity of extending my thanks to hon. members on each side of the house who have been so courteous, and have shown me so many kindnesses.

I come from the constituency of Selkirk, one of the largest in Canada, and represent the many classes of people there. In that constituency, adjacent to Winnipeg, we find industrial workers, office workers, and people in the professional classes. Then, going a little farther north, we have market gardeners and dairy farmers; and still farther north we come to those great inland lakes, with their fishermen. In the inter-lake country a large number of men are engaged in mixed farming, and also there are extensive Indian reserves. Our industrial workers are dissatisfied with labour conditions. They hope that in the near future the government will establish a code that will be satisfactory to the working classes.

For a moment I should like to deal with our market gardeners and. dairy farmers. Prior to the war these farmers were forced to exploit their own families to the greatest extent; their wives and sons and daughters were forced to work for nothing in order to produce the necessities of life. Some of these boys have volunteered, and some have been called up. I appeal to the government to make every possible arrangement at seeding time so that these boys may be allowed to come back to carry on the necessary farm work. No doubt

The Address-Mr. Bryce

national selective service has done what it can, but ten men of the type that national selective service will send to these dairy farmers and market gardeners will not take the place of one man who is skilled in these occupations.

When prices are being discussed I should like the government to take into consideration the livelihood of our fishermen who fish from a boat in the summer and through the ice in the winter time. They face all kinds of hardship, and they represent another class, along with our farmers, w'hich has been victimized to the utmost through low prices.

I should like to touch upon some of the injustices which our mixed farmers have been up against. Take wool, for instance. In 1942 the dominion government called a conference at which all nine provinces were represented, and explained what they were up against in connection with wool. They stated that they needed another 8,000,000 pounds of wool. To get that amount of wool would mean clipping another million sheep. With representatives of different farm organizations I went through my province and pleaded with the farmers to produce the increased supply of wool necessary to provide our boys with uniforms. It was most unfortunate that the federal Department of Agriculture made an agreement with the provincial governments and then left it to the discretion of the provinces whether or not they would live up to that agreement. I appeal to the government to make right that wrong.

A bonus on wool has been paid in Ontario and in Saskatchewan, our sister provinces, but Manitoba sheep men have not received any bonus because that province does not think she should subsidize the production of wool or anything else. This decision reacted not only on the production of wool but also on the production of lambs. We kept back lambs which we could have sold for twelve to fifteen cents a pound. When they were yearlings and we had a clip of wool we could get only five cents a pound for them on the Winnipeg market. To make the best of a bad bargain we disposed of the ewes and kept the yearlings, and we had to take seventy cents a sheep on the Winnipeg market. Mutton sold under the same ceiling as it did when the packing companies were paying four or five cents a pound for ewes. That is one injustice the farmer of Manitoba has had to suffer, and I should like the government to correct it. .

A floor under prices is mentioned in the speech from the throne. I view with suspicion the establishment of a floor unless it is based on the cost of production. A floor has been placed under the price of butter; that product

requires a subsidy of ten cents in order to make it profitable for the fanner to produce. We have a floor and a ceiling in connection with beef, but there is no ceiling on live cattle. The farmer does not sell beef; he sells live cattle, and that is where the ceiling and the floor should be.

To-day on the Winnipeg market 11J cent steers go into 19J cent beef. If you send in a carload of two-way cattle, Which are not only fit to go into the feed lots-something that the Ontario feeder wants-but are fit to kill, what happens? If the Ontario feeder wants to feed those cattle he bids 91 cents, because he requires a spread. The processor or packer comes along and bids 10 cents, and the highest bidder gets them. The result is that the farmer loses from $25 to $27 on each one of those animals. You would expect 10 cent cattle to go into 17J cent beef, but they do not. Those cattle go into commercial grades; they become 191 cent beef and, as I say, the farmer loses from $25 to $27 on each animal in the carload. The packer benefits and is able to earn excess profits. These things will have to be stopped.

Next I should like to refer to hogs. I have always been against the compulsory rail grading of hogs. When the government gave us compulsory rail grading, the same system that they had in Denmark, it looked good, but we got only half the system. We were not given the benefits of the cooperative abattoirs whereby the deductions and cuts, et cetera, would come back to the man who produced the bacon. I am against the compulsory rail grading of hogs unless the farmer is able to control the sales of his bacon. He might be better off if the government set the price of the grades, but now the packer does this.

The dominion government has brought in new rail grading regulations. They are not yet in operation at Winnipeg, but they will be in a few days. It is the 186-pound hog that is causing so much dissatisfaction among the farmers. That weight of hog is just between the select and heavy grades, being just over 185 pounds, and this difference represents a loss of $3.50. The farmer is apt to lose $3.50 over one pound of bacon. If the farmer had had the good fortune to have his hog weighed the next day it would have shrunk a pound, because there is that much difference between hot weight and cold weight. When one is standing on the floor of a room and wishes to reach a higher point he asks for a step-ladder, and by this means he can get up and down, step by step. That is what the farmer is asking for to-day, a step-ladder, a graduated scale. It is not fair that the farmer should lose $3.50 because his hog is one pound over

The Address-Mr. Reid

the weight. I know that there has to be a jumping off point somewhere, but why make the farmer jump over a precipice? Let us do the thing more gradually.

The grading of these hogs is not satisfactory. The hog is graded on its way from the producer to the packing company. That is the grade set by the government. Then the hog is graded from the processor to the bacon board, and again from the bacon board to the British food ministry. There are eight grades under the new regulations, and five of them are for the bacon hog from which you get export bacon. Between the processor and the bacon board there are twelve grades; there are four sizes and there are grades A-l, A-2, and A-3 in each of those sizes. From the bacon board to the British food ministry there are two grades, A and B. The thing seems screwy to me. Why does not the first grading carry right through? I think that is what should be done; if the grading is good enough for the farmer, that grade should apply right through. Look up and see how many select A's the farmer gets. In October, ninety-two per cent of A's went to Britain. I hope that the government will do something this session to rectify the situation for the benefit of the farmer who is producing a heavy hog, because in every litter there is a heavy hog.

Some hon. members may ask me, how are you going to rectify the present situation? I would rectify it by establishing a board of live stock commissioners, with producer representation-and by producer I do not mean the man who spends his holidays on a farm; I mean the man who is a bona fide live stock producer, and he should be chosen by the people who produce the goods.

I know that the next objection raised will be, where is 'the money coming from? I am going to tell you where the money can come from, too. In 1906 the packing industry in this country was granted power to collect half of one per cent as T.B. condemnation insurance on every animal they bought. Since that time the government has been very active in establishing TJ3. free areas all over this country. Our cooperative organizations which carry their own T.B. condemnation insurance to-day are carrying it for less than one-quarter of one per cent. If you allow the packers to retain one-quarter of one per cent, with the other quarter of one per cent you could establish a board of live stock commissioners to administer this board.

I wish to draw the attention of the government to the deplorable conditions among the destitute Indians in the northern part of my constituency. I visited that district some time ago, and I found terrible conditions in the

hospital at Norway House. It is a sixteen-bed hospital, and I found there f-ortydhree patients, in the corridors and everywhere else. The Indian band there comprises approximately one thousand people. There will be many fewer now because they were dying like flies from tuberculosis while I was there. Nine had died in the seven weeks previous to my visit, and they were between two and sixteen years of age. Those destitute Indians receive every fifteen days ten pounds of flour, two pounds of bacon of the sow belly type, two ounces of tea and one bar of soap. I found one man who was totally blind receiving that allowance. This is a deplorable state of affairs, and I urge the government to correct it.

These, Mr. Speaker, are a few of the conditions which mark the failure of our economy. There must be a planned agriculture in a planned cooperative economy. Then the fruits of the labours of all the farmers will be returned to the farmers, and not to a few industrialists as excessive profits.

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Subtopic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. THOMAS REID (New Westminster):

Mr. Speaker, the speech from the throne delivered a few days ago contained some of the most pronounced advances in social legislation measures that have been proposed by any government in Canada. It was interesting to hear the different reactions from -the various opposition groups, after they had recovered their breath. Some chided the government for stealing its measures from their platform of rights. Others stated that the government's proposed social legislation was due to the activities of their own particular group. On the other hand, these measures have been referred to as -the beginning of a new era. In this connection I wish to quote from a speech from our own Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in London, England, on September 4, 1941, in which he said:

Much is being said about a new world order to take the place of the old world' order when the war is at an end. If that new order is not already on its way before the -war is over, we may look for it in vain.

That was said, Mr. Speaker, in 1941, before some of the parties in this house got the idea that perhaps they -might next be called upon to assume the reins of government.

As was to be expected, the speech from the throne dealt first of all with the war effort and the favourable position in which the allies find themselves to-day. The timely warning that -the war is not yet at an end was justified, and I believe was made at the proper time. We have this sobering fact before us, that this year will be the last year on earth for many of Canada's splendid citizens; -it is a sobering thought indeed.

The Address-Mr. Reid

The government's foreign policy, that its first objective is to continue with the principle announced in 1939, namely, the winning of the war, will be commended by all citizens of Canada.

Regarding the recent speech which was made by Lord Halifax, and which has excited considerable comment and criticism, the reply of the Prime Minister has been very well received, and, what is more significant, it has been well received in Great Britain. To my mind the remarks were premature. It is premature, especially, when one views the state of affairs in the world, for us to make any definite commitments regarding our foreign policy. One remark I would make, however, in passing, is that it is high time that the people of Great Britain knew as much of Canada and of the Canadian people as we know about the people of Great Britain. It might help to a better understanding if Canada's position and its people were more generally understood in that country. We must face facts to-day; we are not dealing with idealism. True it is that in holy writ it is prophesied that there will come a time when the nations shall beat their war weapons into agricultural implements; but as I look upon the world I recognize that I for one shall not live long enough to see that day; to my mind it is still a long way off. Therefore we must look at the world as it is to-day and so face the actual realities, Nations are not considered strong simply because they have great numbers of people within their borders; they are considered strong through the strength of their military equipment. As an illustration I cite the great country of China. In 1935 the nations of the world were pitying poor China because she had been attacked and ravaged by Japan, although China has between four and five hundred million people. To-day she is regarded as one of the great powers which will help to decide the peace following the conclusion of hostilities.

I think we are all agreed now that Russia will have quite a say in settling the affairs of Europe. I take some exception to the suggestion made the other day by Lord Robert Cecil that British judges should sit upon tribunals to prevent injustices to the Germans. My own opinion in that regard is that such a suggestion is both premature and mischievous-premature, because the winning of the war should be our first consideration; mischievous, because one could interpret it as being aimed directly at some of the powers in Europe that might want justice following the conclusion of hostilities. No wonder that Lord Vansittart, who by the way had quite a lengthy

experience as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in his book "The Promise", makes the statement that there is little doubt that the English have been idiots in their handling of foreigners. Whilst I would not care to go as far as that, Mr. Speaker, I would say this, however, that the handling of foreigners by -the British people and by the people of this country has often been interpreted by many foreigners in this land and in Great Britain as a sign of weakness on our part, and by certain groups has not been appreciated; certainly we have not been given credit for it.

Coming for a moment or two to Russia, I wish briefly to outline to the house a little of the history of that nation. I have one particular reason in mind, namely there is an opinion prevailing throughout this country that the great sacrifices and the great fighting qualities of the Russians have come suddenly upon the Russian people, especially since the new regime under communism, or since the inception of the Stalin administration. Such is not the case. Russia has had seven centuries of fighting. As far back as the year 1380 they were the first to beat the invincible Tartars, the first to throw off the Tartar yoke. Coming to 1702, the scorched-earth policy was first put into effect at the time when Peter the Great defeated Charles XII of Sweden; and then in the war with Prussia, 1756-63, when Great Britain was on the side of Prussia. I wonder how many hon. members realize that in the year 1760 Russian troops marched into the city of Berlin. Again in the year 1779 Russian troops entered Rome, and the line of General Suvorov's march across the Alps is still marked on the Swiss maps. In 1805 Russia, in alliance with Austria and Britain, fought against France; and she fought her again in 1812, when Napoleon invaded Russia-because he felt, as Hitler did afterward, that he should first of all put Russia under his heel. The great fighting qualities of Russians have come down through all the ages, and they have one characteristic which to my mind we could well take to heart in this country, and that is their love of their land.

There must be a better understanding with Russia, based on good will, if we really desire a lasting peace following the end of the war.

There are some matters I wish to discuss before dealing with the proposed social legislation. The first one I have in mind emanates from a remark I interjected when the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) was speaking yesterday, when he was dealing with a statement made by the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation advocating the taking over of certain shares owned

The Address-Mr. Reid

by the Canadian Pacific Railway company. I disagree with part of the remarks of the hon. member for York-Sunbury, my interjection being that the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation might well be playing into the hands of certain Canadian Pacific interests. Those large interests are not concerned entirely with the railroad; their ramifications to-day are many; and whilst we see a great freight and passenger traffic to-day, there was a time not so long ago when the railroads might have been taken over for a mere song, so to speak. But I agree with the hon. member for York-Sunbury in his statement that taking over those shares can have but one end, and that is the amalgamation of the two railroads, and I think there should be no mistaking that fact. The leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation has soft-pedalled a little, as he does at times. He first makes a statement about taking over certain railway shares, and then when criticism arises he tries to tell the public, "Oh, but if we take that road over as a government-owned concern, the two railroads will be made to compete one with the other." Did anyone ever hear a more absurd or impractical suggestion than that? I have not. We might as well call a spade a spade and be dome with it. I take exception to that-

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Subtopic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Give him rope enough and he will hang himself.

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

And I will probably take more exceptions to the remarks of the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation later on in the session. In my opinion, and I am reaffirming it, it will mean the amalgamation of the two roads. Make no mistake about it.

Some members have already commented on P.C. 9384, and while I have no doubt full opportunity will be given the house to discuss this, I want to place myself on record now as being absolutely opposed to that order and the ramifications contained therein. I speak not only as a member of the house but as one who has held practically all his life and still holds a very honourable union card. I am not going to go into the various ramifications of the act, but I am at a loss to understand why at this late date such an order should have been passed, and I would advise the Minister of Labour and the government to reconsider this order before it becomes effective. We have been giving labour just praise for the splendid things they have done since the war began. If we mean this, then why this order, and one I would term iniquitous, after we have been four years at war? However, I expect to have more to say when the matter itself comes before the house.

I have one or two words to say to hon members, through you, Mr. Speaker, with reference to the proposed changes in the rules of the House of Commons. No doubt the rules of the house have to be changed as time goes on in order to meet changing conditions, but I hope I am making myself clear when I say that I for one am going to protest against the curtailment of, or any attempt to curtail, free speech within this House of Commons.

I fear if it starts here the process of curtailment may well be carried on outside this house. There was a time in the House of Commons when a member could speak as long as he liked, and the same arguments were used then against the length of speeches. Oh, it was said, too much time is taken up with speeches. And so a limitation was set at forty minutes. Now again we have reached the stage where it is said that there is too great a waste of time. Well, there may seem to be a waste of time, there may seem to be a repetition of speeches, but after all we must be careful in this matter. Let us take thought where we are going, because this is the only place where the people's voice can be heard.

Do members of this house realize how complex our life has become these days with a multiplicity of boards? The men at the heads of these boards in many instances care not for the public, and they care much less for the people's representatives. Since the war began, my complaint has been, not that there has been too much speaking but that there has not been enough speaking on the part of many members on the government side against some of the injustices which have been growing up. I therefore want to place myself on record in this matter, even though I know there may be endless repetition of speeches. My fear is that the move to curtail free speech here, if encouraged in this house, will lead some time in the future to the curtailment of speeches outside the house.

With regard to the proposed social legislation, I would say first of all a word touching the announcement made the other day by the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie) concerning certain beneficial changes dealing with war veterans and their allowances. I believe the proposed changes will be well received, and I want to pay my meed of commendation and praise for what the minister has done. I would say this with regard to the Minister of Pensions and National Health, and I say it fearlessly. When I look over the proposed social legislation I think I can see some of his handiwork, and I know something of the fight he has had to carry on in order to bring about some of the proposed changes.

The Address-Mr. Reid

My first comment cn the proposed social legislation is with reference to family allowances. I was surprised to see, the moment that announcement was made, the different points of view that were expressed in various parts of the country. For instance, there was the view advanced by a veiy reliable paper in the province of Quebec, UAction Catholique- I hope I am pronouncing it correctly. I must confess, Mr. Speaker, that my French is not as good as yours, much as I would like it to be. I have had enough trouble speaking the English language without learning another. However, this paper attacks the allowance plan as "pagan", and it goes on to say that it may well result in curtailing families in the province of Quebec. This to me is a novel idea. It is the first time I have heard the view advanced that the granting of money to families would have any effect on large families in the province of Quebec. I have heard the opposite advocated in other provinces, that the lack of money has resulted in curtailing families. As I say, this is something new. No decision has been made by the government, however, as to the limitation in the number of the family; therefore the attack is perhaps somewhat premature.

It may interest the house to know that more than thirty countries in the world have already established family allowances. Included in this number are Australia and New Zealand. In 1942 Mr. Curtin, the head of the Australian labour government, stated that the reaffirmation of that legislation in Australia had been universally applauded because it was a real and permanent benefit to children.

In some respects labour has taken exception to family allowances. I differ entirely from those among the ranks of labour who say that it may keep down wages. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that it would be a great help to the farming community, and I draw these figures to the attention of farmer members. The farming community in the country have one-half of the nation's children; yet they receive only one-tenth of the national income. That is 'very significant. I bring that seriously to the attention of every hon. member.

I was very much pleased, as must have been all members representing farming communities, to hear the announcement that a floor would be placed under agricultural prices. I am glad that this matter will be handled by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), for whom I have had a great deal of sympathy since the war started, because I am one of those who have said that agriculture was in some respects bedeviled by having three

ministers of agriculture in the cabinet. I have said fearlessly, and I will keep on saying, that agriculture might have been a great deal better off had agricultural policy and prices been left entirely to the present Minister of Agriculture, who has been one of the most outstanding ministers holding that portfolio that Canada has ever had.

The war record of the government has been an excellent one, and so far we have heard little adverse comment either in this house or anywhere throughout the country on the great effort the nation has put forth under the present administration. However, I trust that as soon as possible, following the end of hostilities all regimentation will be removed.

I mentioned something a short while ago with regard to the multiplicity of boards that had been set up, and this is what I find in my travels around the country. I find that the multiplicity of boards, each acting independently, have sent many people almost crazy. I am going to mention one or two instances, just to show what I mean by that. In the city-of Vancouver one firm which handles the renting of apartments had a complaint sent in by one of the tenants, a woman who kept all the windows of the apartment open day and night but who complained to the rental control authorities that the apartment was not properly heated. An officer was sent down and, failing to notice the open windows, he saw that the temperature was low and reported accordingly, so those renting the apartment were told they would have to put on more heat. They did so, and then what do you think happened? Someone in the building complained to the coal controller that the building was kept too warm, and two days later he sent down a man, who ordered part of the coal supply of that building cut off. The manager said to me, "Mr. Keid, it is these rulings that are just driving us frantic."

I am very sorry the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) is not in his place, because I have one or two complaints to make in regard to matters which come under his department and as to which he should be kept posted. Various comments have been made with regard to selective service, and you will remember, Mr. Speaker, that last year I pointed out that practical men should be in charge of the selective service offices instead of men who had simply done office work, but the salaries offered are not sufficient to attract highly qualified men to these jobs. Among others there was one complaint which was very unusual. Men were required for the Oakalla prison, and you know that in order to look after prisoners you must be able-bodied. Selective service sent up, not at the same time but on- following days,

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

two men, each of whom had only one arm. Then before coming east, as part of my duties I visited the penitentiary where I found being introduced a system which on examination seems most ridiculous and which has greatly upset the personnel of that institution. It appears that there is what is known as a labour relations bureau being built up under the Department of Labour, and many heads of departments are being asked to take a course in this particular instruction. The entire course I believe lasts ten hours, after which a certificate of competency is granted. In Vancouver a man by the name of Jones-I do not know whether or not he had a certificate or whether he had ever been inside a penitentiary-came to the penitentiary one day with some authority and told the warden, deputy warden and guards that they would have to parade before him because he was going to give them a lecture on how to handle convicts. The warden said to me, "I have been handling convicts successfully for thirty years. Do you think we are going to parade out there and have him tell us in a half hour lecture how to handle these men?" I do not know what experience Mr. Jones had; for all I know he should have been in there with the men.

I want these criticisms to be taken seriously by the minister, because it is this sort of thing that is just driving our people crazy. AVe have enough to do in connection with the war effort without having these other things inflicted upon us. Then again, while no doubt it was a splendid move when we took steps to keep down inflationary prices, in my opinion prices have been raised by many manufacturers as a result of the system now in effect of offering for sale at the ceiling price goods which are of very inferior quality. I believe that whatever department is responsible for this sort of thing ought to carry on some further investigation with regard to the distribution of goods, because certainly the shelves of many stores in Vancouver and New AVestminster are bare of certain articles though we find that many of those things are easily obtainable in stores in Ottawa, ^.Montreal and Toronto. I make that statement seriously. All we ask is our fair share. AVe are quite willing to make sacrifices, but it causes a great deal of unrest among our people when it becomes known that articles which are not procurable in the province of British Columbia are easily obtainable in the other provinces. As one man said to me, British Columbia is looked upon in the east as away in Timbuktu, and not as part of the Dominion of Canada.

I see that my time has almost expired. I conclude my remarks by saying 'that later

in the session I shall deal more fully with many of the matters I have touched upon to-day, unless of course in the meantime the rules are amended so that no hon. member may speak more than once.

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Subtopic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

Mr. Speaker, the speech from the throne divides itself into two principal parts. The first has to do, and very rightly, with advising this house that it is our immediate duty to prosecute the war as vigorously as possible. I am one hundred per cent behind that, but at this moment I am not going to discuss the war or its prosecution; I prefer to wait until I have heard the several ministers of defence tell the house what is being done to' prosecute the war to a successful conclusion. I am going to deal with the second part of the speech from the throne, which calls for vigorous preparation for post-war reconstruction and rehabilitation. I am heartily in favour of vigorous preparation for the period of reconstruction and rehabilitation which will follow the war, and I am glad to see from the order paper of to-day that a rehabilitation committee is once more to be set up. In that connection may I express the hope that the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. Turgeon), who was chairman last year, who was an indefatigable worker and always on the job, may be reappointed as chairman this year.

For quite a few years now, with other hon. members of this house, I have listened to western members tell us of their difficulties. I am sorry to have to confess that several years ago I did not give the attention to either the origin or solution of those difficulties that I have given during the last four years. I always felt that there must be a cause, but since no major remedy was brought forward I did not see at the time what could be done. Some few years ago I began to inquire into the matter personally, to see if I could find any major cause of the difficulties and, if so, whether I might discover a remedy. I was greatly depressed a few years ago when I made a trip from Regina to Estevan; in that particular year everything was dried out. I said to myself, there should be some way to overcome dried-out areas in the west. There have been droughts throughout the history of the world, and I began to examine into the causes of those droughts in other countries, and to see how the difficulties were remedied.

I learned that prior to the advent of the "golden hordes" of Genghis Khan into the Turkestanian plains in the fourteenth century, those plains were a smiling area of prosperity, with marvellous crops. But when those hordes went through and destroyed the reservoirs of the two great rivers on the plains, namely the

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

Amu and the Syr, for the following five hundred years much of those plains was barren. Only within the life of modern man have the Turkestanian plains come back to full fertility. The Russians have done what Canada has not done, and they have done it in a major fashion by building vast reservoirs on those rivers. To-day there is no part of Asia more prolific of crops than are the Turkestanian plains, which otherwise would have been barren. The improvement is brought about by irrigation, in the same fashion as it was done by their ancestors five hundred years ago.

The same applies to a large portion of the Punjab. Before the hordes of Akbar marched through that part of India, it, too, was an area of prolific crops. Now that dear old Britain has erected and recently opened a huge dam across the Indus, that country will all come back.

And who is there who does not know that before the British went into Egypt great famines were frequently experienced, until the population of that country was reduced by millions? But the British have restored the productivity of Egypt by building vast dams. I have in mind particularly the one at the first cataract. The Assuan dam is 132 feet high, and approximately a mile wide. It backs that great river up for 140 miles, and provides irrigation facilities for 3,000,000 to 6,000,000 acres, depending on the season. The result is that never in its history has Egypt had such productivity as it has to-day.

The same applies to North Africa. Before the hordes of Mohammed marched across Libya, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, all the northern fringe of those states was thoroughly settled by millions of people. Crops were grown by means of irrigation from the small rivers flowing down to the Mediterranean sea from the hills of North Africa. But after the troops of Mohammed marched through, from that day until recently those plains have been a barren desert. Our soldiers have fought in that country, and they know something about it. It is true that the Italians had begun, in recent years, to restore productivity through irrigation. But these are examples of what can be derived from irrigation, and the condition which follows when there is no water to accelerate growth.

Our cousins to the south of us have shown us the way, here in America, where they have made millions upon millions of acres of dry land fit for the growth of good crops. Let us consider Arizona-a state which derives its name from the word "arid". To-day Arizona is one of the finest states in the American union, because they have harnessed their rivers from the mountains and diverted the

waters of those rivers to the plains of Arizona. Let us consider what they have done recently at Grand Coulee and Boulder dams. When Boulder dam is in full operation, 2,000,000 acres of arid land adjacent thereto, either in Arizona, California or Nevada, will come into productivity. That, Mr. Speaker, is an example of what Canada should do. The same applies to Grand Coulee where shortly another million and a quarter acres will be in productivity in the state of Washington.

Canada must do more in her western country, and I am going to advocate this both in the house and out of it until I see something done in a major way to restore the west. I say that because I am convinced if it is not restored and if farms from which thousands upon thousands of good honest farmers in Saskatchewan, southwestern Manitoba and southern Alberta have been forced to flee, because of a lack of water, are not restored, we shall have reason to regret not taking action.

The failure of those farmers has meant the ruination of much business in Canada, and I shall continue to advocate development of the west until it has received a square deal. We hear some talk about what it would cost. Well, it may cost up to 8100,000,000 but what does that matter? That is no more than it cost to build Shipshaw-it is even less. Two or three of the programmes I shall present would not cost more than $20,000,000 each. That is not much more than the cost of the Montreal bridge-and I should like it to be understood that I am in favour of both the building of the Montreal bridge and the Shipshaw development.

It is up to the members from the east to rally to the support of the west. This is the industrial part of Canada. Having been in big business myself for many years, during which time I watched a plant grow from a small to a very large business concern, I believe I know my subject. That plant grew most- when the west started to grow. It receded in the past few yearn, because the west receded. We have got to restore it.

This is only one of the things I am going to talk about to-day. I shall confine my remarks to irrigation. Last summer I travelled some 8,000 miles by boat, motor, horse and otherwise, making a survey of this problem. I am convinced that the west has not had a square deal, and as an eastern member it is my duty to raise my voice in an attempt to see that it does get a square deal.

What is the situation to-day? A few nights ago I read the tenth verse of the second chapter of Genesis, "And a river went out

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

of Eden to water the garden." That is a verse upon which I can base my remarks, because the foothills of the Rocky mountains and the eastern slopes of those glorious mountains make me think of what Eden might have been-a beautiful, beautiful land. We have many such beautiful pictures in Canada.

I think particularly of standing at Cardston and looking to the Rocky mountains in the west. One of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen was in that part of Alberta wrest of Cardston. Stand at Morleyville, west of Calgary, and look at the Rocky mountains. We Canadians have not been fair to that country, and 1 refer to eastern Canadians especially. I, too, have not taken the interest in the west I should have taken. I charge myself perhaps more than others because from travelling and reading I believe I should have considered the matter earlier.

The country roundabout is wonderful country. The soil has all the chemical ingredients required for complete production. I discussed the matter with professors. Many of those men took me out on the prairies; but one in particular said, "Mr. MacNicol, this bald-headed prairie, covered with sage, wild grass and wild rose, will grow prolific crops, if it obtains water in season." But the water has to be harnessed. We have been asleep at the switch so far as harnessing the water of western Canada is concerned, the water which will give life to those prairies. We must divert water on to the land, as our cousins to the south of us have done, and as has been done in other places throughout the world.

There are four rivers which flow from Montana into Alberta. One of them, the Milk river, I shall not discuss. But there are three others west of the Milk river, known as the Waterton, Belly and St. Mary rivers. They flow with beautiful clear water, having their source in the Montana Rocky mountains. Their water is full of all the chemicals, in solution, which are required for the growing of crops. What are we doing with it? In 1921 we entered into a treaty with the United States by which each country was given per-, mission to erect reservoirs. Why? The state of Montana was the first to use the waters, and they could have taken all these waters and developed their country to an even greater extent than it is developed to-day. Mr. Charles Magrath, I believe at that time the chairman for Canada of the International Joint Commission, protested and as a result a treaty was entered into by which Canada was given a fair share of the waters from these three rivers.

The hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blackmore) perhaps has a better knowledge of

these matters. The treaty stated that each country should build reservoirs to conserve the portion of the water allowed it, and implied that if either country did not attempt to conserve the waters, then the other could have the waters. Our American cousins have built magnificent reservoirs south of the international boundary, but we have not built any on our side. Hon. members will find in their boxes copies of a sheet I have been using in talking about this subject. I hope those who are interested in trying to do something for Canada will read it, in conjunction with Hansard.

I am talking for all of Canada, not merely for the west. I am convinced that Canada cannot progress if the east alone progresses or if the west alone progresses. We must progress together. If we have a depression in the west, we are bound to have it in the east. As I say, we have not built reservoirs on our side of the line. I examined the sites where reservoirs could be built. We could obtain water from the St. Mary river, alone, had we reservoir capacity, capable of covering

362.000 acres one foot deep. An acre contains 43,560 square feet, so that if you multiply

362.000 by 43,560, you have a volume of water which could be conserved from the St. Mary river alone amounting to about 35 billion cubic feet.

On our side of the line this surplus water is running away. We have not equipped ourselves in southern Alberta to use this surplus water. Our American cousins have, but we have not. If we do not do this, we may lose this water. This should be one of the first programmes for post-war rehabilitation. It was presented by Mr. George Spence when he appeared before the reconstruction committee. We should build these reservoirs so that Canada can conserve this surplus water for more irrigation.

South of the general line of the South Saskatchewan river-I am referring to the Oldman river and other tributaries which form the South Saskatchewan-we are now irrigating something like 200,000 acres, and we are irrigating approximately another 200,000 acres immediately north of that general line. I believe the total acreage now actually taking water in this area is something between 350,000 and 400,000. But we could irrigate much more than this. With the present equipment we could irrigate 500,000 acres if we only had the water, and with adequate reservoirs and canals we could irrigate 600,000 more. We have not the reservoirs and we should have them.

What have been the results of irrigation in Alberta? They have been incredible. I have never seen anything like it. On one side of

14S

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

the road-I am speaking figuratively-you have the bald prairie, while on the other side you have the cultivation of sugar beets and all sorts of crops. There are 27,000 acres in southern Alberta in sugar beets, producing an average crop of twelve tons to the acre, with a top production of eighteen tons per acre. There are two sugar beet factories, one at Raymond and the other at Picture Butte. Those are fine factories, but there should be at least five sugar beet factories in Alberta to provide employment after the war. Employment should be provided for the fine boys from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba when they come back from overseas by and by. Those two sugar beet factories in 1942 produced 900,000 bags of sugar. I do not know just how many pounds are in a bag, but that is a lot of sugar. But the production should be four or five times that amount, and that would be possible if these reservoirs were built and the water were made available to the farmers for greater irrigation.

The first picture on the front of this sheet shows the St. Mary river with the first irrigation dam across it. This is a small dam, and an irrigation canal flows off to the right. The second picture shows the water dropping down from the first to the second level. The day I photographed it the flow was 445 cubic feet per second, but in the growing season they require at least 1,000 cubic feet. That amount would be available all through the growing season if these reservoirs were built.

Why should not southern Alberta be given a chance to shine in the sun? In reality it is always shining in the sun, but it should be given this opportunity economically just the same as eastern Canada is able to shine in the sun. The third picture shows the first artery leading off from the general canal. That flows out to the farms, and then small capillary canals run off that artery into the different farms.

In addition to growing sugar beets, vast quantities of marvellous corn are grown. I visited two canning factories, one at Taber and the other at Lethbridge. They are able to produce 750,000 cases of corn of 24 cans each, and perhaps as much peas. I understand that each acre produces 150 cases of com, or about 300 cases of peas. There is much non-irrigated prairie land capable of similar production; why should it not be put into production? Other vegetables are produced in comparable quantity. No relief has been neoessary in that part of Alberta. If they could not sell what they produced, they would have plenty to eat. There are some wonderful towns in that part of the province, like Raymond, Cardston, Magrath, and so on. Lethbridge was the most

prosperous city I saw during my travels last summer. These irrigation canals should be extended to the limit. I notice the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Gershaw) is in the chamber. He represents a fine city; I spent more than a day there last summer. There are great irrigation possibilities north and south of the Saskatchewan river, west of Medicine Hat. On the north side of the river an unfinished, unwatered irrigation canal now extends towards Medicine Hat, and if completed they could have irrigation right up to the city. From the end of the canal I could see the chimneys of Medicine Hat, or perhaps it was the chimneys of Redcliff, a suburb. There was not a drop of water in that canal for seventy miles because they had not the money to finish it. That is not fair to Medicine Hat or to the people on those plains where you see abandoned farms in every direction. People who had settled there with their families had to get out because they could not produce on dried-out land. I am going to advocate as strongly as I can that that irrigation canal, with the necessary reservoirs on the north side of the Saskatchewan river, be completed up to the suburbs of Medicine Hat; and the same on the south side of the river, east from Taber. There would be plenty of water available, if conserved, which could be used for irrigation purposes, and it belongs to us. All we have to do is to build the reservoirs and irrigation canals to make this fertile land produce. It would not in the end cost this country a single dollar, because the project would be self-liquidating. Why it has not already been done I do not know. If I had had charge of any department with control of irrigation, that work would have been done long ago, even if it had been necessary for me to tour the country and ask the people to subscribe $100,000,000 to complete the project.

I have spoken to many boards of trade in the east on this subject and they were one hundred per cent behind putting that part of Canada in a position where it can live, and it is not in that position now. Farmers on irrigated land go into mixed farming. They raise many cattle, horses, hogs and sheep. Only the other day I read about the vast number of cattle shipped out of Alberta last year.

. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) is not in his seat, but I hope he will come forward with an irrigation project as part of an after-the-war rehabilitation and reconstruction programme. It would do several things. It would provide a lot of employment locally, it would give the farmers a better opportunity to produce, and it would help our eastern [DOT]manufacturers to provide jobs. Of course, I have to say a word for my own workers.

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

There are other areas in Saskatchewan and Alberta where thousands of acres could be put into production. West of Saskatoon and directly north of Cabri and on to Tramping lake, there are 2,000,000 acres which could be put under irrigation. I believe that the engineers who have been searching for a safe site have now found one near Saskatchewan Landing, where they can build a dam 150 feet high and back the river up for 100 miles. Talk about foundations on the Saskatchewan river! Last summer I went east twenty-six miles from the fine city of Prince Albert, where in 1913 the people of Prince Albert commenced to build a dam across the Saskatchewan river at La Colle rapids, the first one on the Saskatchewan. The city of Prince Albert itself undertook the project, I think, although I am not quite sure about that. But it matters not who undertook it. They built the dam half way across the river, and then for very good reasons went no further. I believe they had made no provision for the reservoirs whjch would be necessary up the river. That dam which was built in 1913 is of the Ambur-sen type, which is a very good type, I believe, with a broad base and of reinforced concrete. That dam has been standing for thirty years and has withstood all the buffeting of floods and ice and is still in very good shape. I am going to suggest to the Minister of Agriculture that that dam be finished, as a start on a North Saskatchewan river rehabilitation project, which would include the building of other dams, including one at Fort a la Corne and elsewhere. The government would be justified in taking over that dam and completing it and returning to Prince Albert a million dollars or more which the people of that city sank into it thirty years ago.

There are two million more acres which could be irrigated in the area to which I have referred, directly north of Cabri and on up to Tramping lake and west of Saskatoon. I also examined the area east of the river, between Regina, Moose Jaw and the river, carefully with engineers. I took someone with me who knows engineering and he stated that at least another 500,000 acres in Saskatchewan could be irrigated in that area. We passed by many abandoned farms. People had settled there years ago. I took a picture of one of these farms. It is shown on the last page of this circular near the bottom, picture No. 6. It was unfair to allow these fine settlers of early days to go in and settle there, whether they came from the old country, from the maritimes or from grand old Ontario-unfair just to let them settle there and say to them; root, hog, or die. I do not say that any government took that attitude, because I do not want to mention politics in discussing a problem of this kind. This irrigation plan is a gargantuan programme, a nation-building programme which, if carried into operation and completed, would bring wonderful returns all across Canada.

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland); How about reclaiming the marsh lands in the bay of Fundy?

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

As I said at the beginning, I am confining my remarks to one programme. I shall be glad to make a speech on behalf of the east at another time.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

You are not against that?

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

No; I am for it, and in due course I will give a speech on behalf of the maritimes. Just now I am speaking of an area in the west covering altogether three million acres which can be irrigated. What would that mean for the west? It would mean thirty thousand more farmers producing, with an average of 100 acres to a farm. It would also mean another thirty thousand people working in the cities to take care of the farmers' wants. It would mean employment for many thousands of people. For instance, when I was out west, on many occasions I saw products made by the Amherst boiler company, in my hon. friend's riding. I saw shoes that had been made in Quebec city, brushes made in Saint John, fine large equipment made in Sherbrooke, sewing machines that had been made in St. Hyacinthe, paper from Cornwall, vast equipment made in Montreal, builders' hardware from Belleville, refrigerators from Renfrew, filing cabinets from. Pembroke, motor cars from Oshawa, and a great deal of equipment from that fine old city of Peterborough, one of our very finest cities in the east, and of course a great quantity of material made in Toronto, much of it made in the riding I represent, such as boilers, radiators, tools, electric equipment and many other articles. I also saw products from London, Windsor, Stratford, Winnipeg and many other cities. Just fancy what the opening up of another thirty thousand farms would mean to the east as well as to the west! It would mean a lot to the west directly, of course, and I hope it would also mean the introduction of many industries in the west; for there is no reason why they should not manufacture in the west many of the things they require. There is no reason why they should not have manufacturing in the west, but they first have to have power. They have it in Alberta. They have little in Saskatchewan. With the project I advocate there will be a provision at Fort a la Corne

The Address-Mr. MacNicol

of approximately 125,000 horsepower; a dam at Riverhurst would supply 86,000 horsepower, and one near Saskatchewan Landing, about

75.000 horsepower. At Riverhurst the average flow every day of the year is 11,500 cubic feet per second. It goes lower and it goes much higher. At the La Colie site located east of Prince Albert the average flow is 9,500 cubic feet per second every day in the year. Of course sometimes it is higher and sometimes lower.

That river has never been used to help this country as it should be. God made it for a purpose-to save the prairies. These prairies have a purpose. We have not been fair to the west. We have done a good deal in the east; I am in favour of that, and more; but we have not sufficiently looked to the west. As an eastern member I am going to do what I can to help the west; not, of course, forgetting, in my remarks on the west, the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Black) and his part of the countiy.

What would 30,000 new irrigated farms mean to the west? They would mean a vast increase in the population. Years ago I hoped for the day when Saskatchewan would have, not twenty-one members, but fifty members of parliament, and Alberta, not seventeen, but fifty. Why should these provinces not have that representation? Why should not these great smiling prairies grow in population? Another thirty thousand honest-to-goodness sure-return farms like they have in the riding of the hon. member for Lethbridge, where there are no failures for lack of water, would mean business for the east.

That is a programme, Mr. Speaker. It is an after-the-war programme. It is far too big for one province or even for the three provinces; it is not too large for Canada in association with the three provinces. I am told that the Alberta programme to put

600.000 acres under irrigation works would cost approximately $20,000,000. Every irrigated acre provides, I am told, an average profit return of fifty dollars a year, once it is in operation and paid for.

It is not fair to ask those two fine cities, Regina and Moose Jaw, to suffer under their present adverse water conditions. Regina derives her supply from wells. In Moose Jaw they draw it through sand points in sand fields west of the city. They can have any amount of water if the South Saskatchewan river is dammed near Riverhurst and I would dam it, no matter what it cost. We have got to do it, or that whole area may be like a desert. That cannot be allowed; it would be ruinous not only to western Canada but

to eastern Canada as well. The time has come when this whole country should look at the country as a whole, and should in particular consider the present condition of the west, with its dried-out areas, and do what can be done to provide water for those dried-out areas and for the fine cities I have mentioned. The dam will operate itself. That is like what is going on in Egypt, where north from the Assuan dam the water flows in irrigation canals, but where they can pump it out and deliver it south if required. Pumps at a Saskatchewan river dam could pump the water over the height of land.

As regards the picture on the last page of this circular which you will receive, I will not say anything about it more than that it demonstrates that, once the water is pumped over the river bank at or near Riverhurst, where the bank is over 320 feet high, it then can flow down to Moose Jaw and Regina. In the case of the two cities I would follow an engineering plan which I have looked into, of building a pressure stave or steel conduit of sufficient capacity to conduct ample water, safely and without being exposed to loss by evaporation or sinking into the sands, as far as Moose Jaw and Regina, and to also irrigate on the way.

There is a rehabilitation programme, and there is not any reason why this country should not undertake it. It would rebuild the country west of Regina. I cannot speak of the district around Swift Current, because I have not examined that area, but I am told they are doing something there in a small way. There is no reason why that area should not be put under irrigation too.

There, then, is a nation-building programme. I hope I have said enough about it to impress the house, and if they will do me the honour to-morrow of examining this sheet in conjunction with what I have said to-day, I believe they will support that programme.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. VICTOR QUELCH (Acadia) :

leading up to international wars. Instead of trying to blame tariffs for our troubles, we should first of all remove the cause of tariffs. In other words, we should endeavour to raise the purchasing power of the people up to the level where they would be able to buy the total production of the nation or the production of other nations for which their own can be exchanged.

To sum up briefly, if we want to sell abroad we must be prepared to buy from abroad, and if we want to buy from abroad we must be prepared to place money in the hands of the people so that they may be in a position to buy the goods that are brought into the country; otherwise, naturally, the importers will stop bringing in goods. For that reason I deplore the attitude of certain officials in this country in issuing a pamphlet called "International Exchange Union". If these proposals were put into operation the result would be that a great deal of our production would be exchanged for foreign securities instead of for goods. It might not be so in the immediate period after the war; but after a few months, as soon as certain foreign nations have exhausted their quota of international currency, they will be placed in the position of having to pay us in gold or exchange foreign securities for the goods we ship to them. And of course that situation is bound to be resented by all the nations that do not produce gold, and is bound to cause international friction.

I want to touch briefly upon a number of proposals in the speech from the throne which apparently are aimed at raising the purchasing power of the people. First of all, take the question of housing. This statement appears in the speech:

_ A measure to amend and supplement existing housing legislation will be introduced.

It is often suggested that the reason why we have been able to have the type of war effort we have had is that we have had an incentive, the incentive to win the war. In my opinion, after the war a Very good incentive to encourage the people to work for an all-out peace effort would be the objective of a decent home for every family in the country, especially having regard to the returned man. Such a programme would provide a great deal of employment, and the money paid out in the building of houses would help to stimulate the demand for consumer goods.

In the past the type of housing legislation we have had has helped people only in what might be called the middle income brackets. In the future we must have legislation that

will make it possible for those in the low income brackets to acquire houses. That has not been possible heretofore. If we had legislation of that kind it would mean that money would have to be made available at an extremely low rate of interest. These loans will have to extend over a long period of time and be repaid at a rate not faster than the depreciation of the houses which those people have bought. National housing should be made a national scheme, financed by national money, at a rate of interest at cost of handling accounts, which might be one or two per cent. To talk of a housing scheme for people in the low income brackets and then to charge 5 or 6^ per cent interest is idle; it means that the scheme cannot be carried out effectively.

I welcome the proposal for a floor under agricultural prices, but whether or not that measure will be effective depends entirely upon the level at which the floor is placed. It should be placed closely under what we might call parity prices for agriculture; and when I say parity prices I do not mean the prices based on levels of 1914, or the prices of 1926 or 1929. I mean the level that will assure to farmers their fair share of the national income. And what is that level? According to figures placed before the reconstruction committee by Mr. D. G. MacKenzie, we find that from 1915 to 1919 farmers representing one-third of the population received one-third of the national income. Undoubtedly that was a time when the farmers were receiving parity prices. From 1926 to 1929, however, the farmers received only one-sixth of the national income and from 1930 to 1940 only one-tenth. So, when we advocate parity prices, I think we should have in mind prices which will guarantee the farmers their fair share of the national income; and the only period when that has ever happened was the period from 1915 to 1919.

I am not impressed with the reference to a national scheme of contributory old age pensions on a more generous basis than that at present in operation. What we need to-day is more generous provision for non-contributory pensioners. The people who are in a position to contribute to an old age pension plan are, generally speaking, in a position to buy government annuities. What we want is to take care of those aged individuals who are not in the fortunate position of being able to contribute to any scheme. Certainly there can be no justification for the old age pensioners of to-day or of the future having to accept the very low income that they receive at the present time. We have been told, of course, that if we tried to increase the amount of the old age pension there would be difficulty with some

The Address-Mr. Quelch

of the provinces. That difficulty will exist only as long as we make the provinces contribute to the cost of old age pensions. I should like to see old age pensions paid purely on a national basis, financed by the national government. I do not think any province would object to the old age pension being increased provided the federal government paid the total cost, and in that case there would be no reason why the old age pension could not be increased to $40 per person or $80 for a man and wife, which would give them an income of approximately $1,000 a year.

I very much welcome the government's proposal to pay family allowances. This is a step in the direction we have been advocating for a number of years. We first began to advocate something of this kind in this house in 1936; and I think most hon. members will recall how the suggestion that money should be paid directly to individuals outside the industrial system was scoffed at in this house. We were continually told that we were advocating something for nothing. However, apparently the government now see the light and are proposing to issue money directly to consumers instead of having it paid out through industry.

Since the declaration of war the government have had to travel quite a long way in the direction we have been advocating here since 1936. For instance, in the years when we had many unemployed we urged upon the government the necessity of expanding the amount of money in circulation in order to provide employment. Hon. members who were here at that time will remember how the Minister of Finance of that day would become almost hysterical every time that suggestion was made, and would accuse us of advocating inflation. Well, what has happened since the war? When it became necessary to expand production in this country we did not hesitate to increase the amount of money in circulation, so that to-day we find there is over a billion and a quarter dollars more in circulation than was the case at the beginning of the war, in currency and deposits. Another proposal we made back in 1935 was that a discount should be paid on prices, subsidized by the federal government, to make it possible for industry to sell at less than the cost of production, thereby increasing the purchasing power of the people without any danger of inflation. In those days the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) did not hesitate to ridicule that suggestion. I remember how he claimed that this would cause inflation; yet what have we to-day? We are paying millions of dollars in subsidies to industry to make it possible for

them to sell at less than the cost of production, thereby maintaining the price ceiling; and the minister himself in this house called it a form of insurance against inflation. Back in 1937 it was called inflation; to-day it is insurance against inflation.

Those are a few of the measures we advocated back in 1936 that the government have bad to adopt, though at the time we were ridiculed for having suggested them. Unfortunately, however, the most essential step which must be taken, and which has not been taken up to the present time, is the issue of national money so that national projects can be financed without increasing the interestbearing debt of this country. Until such time as this measure has been taken the government will always be in the difficult position of having either to curtail its expenditures or steadily to expand the national debt.

I should like to make a few brief observations with regard to the amendments now before the house. The amendment offered by the Conservatives contains nothing at which one could take offence, that is anyone sitting on this side of the house. It just refers to the fact that the government has failed to do this and that, and I think we all agree that the government has failed to do these things. Therefore we will support the amendment. .The amendment offered by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation reads:

We respectfully submit to Your Excellency that in the opinion of this house Your Excellency's advisers have failed to propose the fundamental social changes and economic planning which alone can hasten the winning of the war and make possible the establishment of a post-war Canada capable of providing full employment and complete social security.

I think most people, if they are frank, will admit the truth of that statement. If I had been drafting that motion I would have added the words, "with the greatest possible degree of individual freedom", because none of us likes to have regimentation of the individual, and if those words were added it would be made clear that this is not intended by the motion. In drawing up plans for the future we should do everything in our power to avoid bureaucratic controls and regimentation of the people. During this war planning has been absolutely essential; we never could have had a total war effort without planning, and I am satisfied that we shall never have a total peace effort without planning, particularly in the transition period between war and peace and especially in regard to finance. Therefore our group will also support the amendment offered by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation.

The Address-Mr. Quelch

I wish now to deal with one of our major responsibilities of to-day; that is, the question of rehabilitating the men of the armed forces. I recall the promises which were made during the last war; I think all hon. members who served in the armed- forces at that time will recall that the men were promised that after they were demobilized they would be guaranteed jobs and their dependents would be looked after. I think most hon. members will agree that we failed miserably to fulfil these promises, and I think we also agree that this must never be allowed to happen again. I was very much interested in an article which appeared in the February issue of the American -magazine entitled "Canada Cares for its Heroes" written by the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie). The hon. member for Rosthern referred to this article, which is an exceedingly glowing account not only of what Canada is doing but of wrhat Canada will do for her soldiers in the future. This, however, is what puzzles me. If that is a correct statement, why should there be such widespread discontent throughout the country among the returned men and the various returned men's organizations? I think when the minister wrote that article he painted a picture of what he would like to see rather .than a picture of what actually exists, though I am not for one moment suggesting that the minister was not sincere when -he wrote the article. I do not believe there is an hon. member more anxious to see the returned men get a square deal than is the Minister of Pensions and National Health, but of course he has great obstacles to overcome and his word does not necessarily prevail in the cabinet or wherever these things are finally decided.

I shall deal with some of the main causes for the discontent which exists to-day. Just before coming to Ottawa I stayed in Edmonton for a few days and had communication with the Edmonton branch of the Canadian Legion. I found there a tremendous amount of indignation owing to the fact that the men being returned from overseas in a wounded condition were being discharged while still in hospital receiving treatment. One of the cases which received a great deal of publicity was that of Captain Gilchrist. He was seriously wounded overseas and was returned to Canada, but while still in hospital with his leg in a cast he was discharged from the army. His pay was reduced from that of a captain to $44 a month. There was a deduction of $30 a month for hospitalization, so that he received a net income of $14 a month. This man was contributing to the keep of his mother and father, and his case received a great amount of publi-

city. It made returned men in that city simply wild to realize that that is the way men who had been wounded overseas are being treated.

I was pleased when the order in council was brought down in the house to correct this situation, and I trust its operation- will be made retroactive. But I cannot understand why a situation like that was permitted to exist for such a long time. The fact is that it existed for many months, and caused a tremendous amount of indignation in the ranks of the armed forces. Even though we have now changed the situation, that resentment will continue, because the men will have lost confidence in the department and the government and, I think, rightly so.

There appears to be a great deal of carelessness in the way in which men are handled after they are discharged from hospital. While I was in Edmonton I was asked to go out with members of the legion to inspect a certain case. This man had been discharged from the hospital about five days before I made my visit. He was living with his mother at the edge of the city, in one room. There was no furniture in that room, with the exception of a bed. He had not received any clothing allowance or any demobilization pay. The Red Cross later provided him with some clothes. This man had seen service in Sicily and had been severely wounded. He had lost his speech, to the point where he could only say, "Yah". He was not able to use the fingers of his right hand. His right arm and leg w.ere partly paralyzed. In short, he just did not know what it was all about.

The legion had approached certain officials with the idea of having the man- transferred to a convalescent home or a reconditioning centre. They were informed there was no such establishment in Edmonton. But this is what angered the legion representatives: It is a fact that the provincial government of Alberta had offered to the federal government the use of Government House as a convalescent home for soldiers. In the past the provincial government had been receiving from the United States authorities $2,000 a month for the use of that building. The time arrived when the United States tenants stopped using the building, and when that time arrived the use of it was offered to the federal government free of charge, as a convalescent home for the duration of the war and for six months thereafter. That offer was turned down.

But when these men are discharged and the legion asks that they be put into a convalescent home they are told that no such accommodation is available. I understand, however, that reconditioning centres are being

The Address-Mr. Quelch

built for future use at certain points in the Dominion. Action is now being taken, I understand, to send the man in question to Christie street hospital, Toronto, for treatment. But the mere fact that that situation was allowed to exist, a condition which permitted the sending of a man to a house in such poverty-stricken circumstances, arouses the ire of our people. I believe if the man in question had been left there for any length of time he would have become a mental case.

In his article in the American magazine the Minister of Pensions and National Health states, in effect, that the officials of his department will lean over backwards to do justice to the returned men. I believe that is true of the minister, and I do not doubt it is true of the deputy minister. Unfortunately, however, there are many officials across Canada who are either careless or callous, and I think disciplinary action should be taken where the men in charge allow conditions such as I have described to exist. We must assure ourselves that such things will not occur again.

Then, ever since the beginning of the war there has been a great deal of dissatisfaction over the fact that soldiers boarded A1 upon enlistment are refused pension on the ground that their disabilities are of pre-enlistment origin. We have been told in the house that upon enlistment recruits are given a very thorough medical examination. It seems to me therefore that when these men are discharged on account of a disability they should be awarded a pension until their disability is cured, and pension should not be denied them upon the ground of pre-enlistment origin.

Further, I do not like the manner in which some of the men are treated when the medical authorities are trying to find out whether or not the disability was of pre-enlistment origin. It amounts almost to a third degree, and is no credit to the department which allows that kind of thing to take place. I shall not take the time of the house to describe the procedure by which some of these admissions are obtained. I know, however, that very often a medical officer will get into conversation with a soldier, the soldier having no idea that his evidence is being taken down. Then, probably some time later, he may be confronted with the statement he is supposed to have made, in which he has admitted that at some time or another he suffered some slight accident, and that therefore his pension must be refused on the grounds of a disability of preenlistment origin.

The other day I discussed this general situation with a naval officer. He said to me, "The

government is like a lawyer with a bad case, because it tries to settle for the smallest possible amount." That certainly does seem to me to be the general impression throughout Canada. There are -many cases where the applicants would appear to be eligible for certain payments, and yet because of some technical point such payments are refused.

In 1940 I sat on a subcommittee of the pensions committee, dealing with mental cases. That committee recommended that the section debarring a soldier from pension, when disability was of congenital origin, should be deleted. It was my understanding that the clause had been deleted, but I am not now certain whether that is so. Judging from the actions of various medical boards throughout the country one would think that the section is still operative.

Another injustice-and in my opinion a glaring one-is that men who have served overseas for a number of years and who are then returned. to Canada and allowed a discharge on compassionate grounds, are refused any rehabilitation grants. Only this morning I received a letter from the Canadian Legion at Edmonton referring to several such cases. Two of the men to which reference was made in the letter had been enlisted, one for three years and the other for four. Upon returning to Canada they had little or nothing to do, so they asked for their discharge. They were refused any rehabilitation grant, including that of clothing and one month's pay. This is what the legion has to say in the matter:

I think this is one of 'the grievances that certainly should be rectified, as men who have been overseas and are returned to this country certainly get fed up hanging around not doing anything, and they naturally, after a time, make application for discharge which is inevitably granted.

In my opinion any man who has served overseas, no matter for how short a time, and is discharged on compassionate grounds, should be eligible for rehabilitation grants. In so far as those men who have served only in Canada are concerned, it is my opinion that each case would have to be dealt with on its merits. But a man who has had long service, even though he has not been outside Canada, should be eligible for grants On the other hand, if his service has been short, or if he has been in some building rvhere he expects to sit for the duration, such as the Jackson building, it might be a different state of affairs.

I might add that the postscript to the letter is in these words:

I am very pleased to let you know that I have been successful in having Jossul's rehabilitation granted so maybe the others will come through.

I am glad to hear that because that may mean that a new policy has been put into effect

The Address-Mr. Quelch

with regard to t'he granting of rehabilitation rights to these men who get discharged on compassionate grounds.

Topic:   QUESTION OP SUPPLY TO BRITAIN THROUGH EXPORT FROM CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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February 3, 1944