February 23, 1944

DAIRY PRODUCTS

FREQUENCY OF COLLECTIONS OF CREAM FROM FARMERS IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. G. K. FRASER (Peterborough West):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Minister of Finance a question, the wartime prices and trade board being under his department. Why is it that Quebec creameries are allowed to collect cream from the Quebec farmers twice as often as Ontario creameries are allowed to collect cream from the Ontario farmers, the collections being three times a week in Quebec and only three times every other week in Ontario?

Topic:   DAIRY PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   FREQUENCY OF COLLECTIONS OF CREAM FROM FARMERS IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

Ontario cannot have as much cream.

Topic:   DAIRY PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   FREQUENCY OF COLLECTIONS OF CREAM FROM FARMERS IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC
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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

It is pretty tough on the Ontario farmers.

Topic:   DAIRY PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   FREQUENCY OF COLLECTIONS OF CREAM FROM FARMERS IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

I shall have to make inquiries and give an answer to the hon. gentleman on Thursday.

Topic:   DAIRY PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   FREQUENCY OF COLLECTIONS OF CREAM FROM FARMERS IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC
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NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE

CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved the second reading of bill No. 149, to establish a Department of National Health and Welfare. He said: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to establish a new department of government to be known as the Department of National Health and Welfare, under the direction of a Minister of National Health and Welfare. The bill carries out one of the undertakings in the speech from the throne which relate to the establishment of new departments of government to deal, amongst other things, with postwar planning. I shall read the passage from the speech: My ministers believe that the time is rapidly approaching when a minister of the crown should be responsible for each of the three broad fields of post-war planning. You will accordingly be asked to approve the establishment of the following departments of government: (1) A Department of Veterans' Affairs to have charge of the rehabilitation and reestablishment of members of the armed forces, and the administration of veterans' pensions and allowances; (2) A Department of Reconstruction to promote and coordinate planning for national development and post-war employment; and (3) A Department of Social Welfare to organize and to assist in administering activities of the federal government in the fields of health and social insurance. The words "Social Welfare" as the designation of the department have since been changed to " National Health and Welfare." As to the scope of the new department, it divides itself broadly into two parts, the first of which has to do primarily with health, and the second with social welfare. The first part, concerned primarily with health, takes over from the old Department of Pensions and National Health those branches which relate particularly to health. As the house is aware, there has already been taken from the Department of Pensions and National Health the .portion of the work of that department which relates more particularly to veterans' affairs. Apart from veterans' affairs, there remain the branches of the department which relate to national health. All these will be brought under the new Department of 4260 COMMONS Department oj National Health and W el! a re National Health and Welfare, and the present Department of Pensions and National Health will disappear. The other main division of the new department will be social welfare. This will include such branches of the public service of Canada as relate to social welfare which may be transferred from existing departments to the new Department of National Health and Welfare, as well as the administration of such new social welfare measures as may be enacted. As the house is aware, there are several social security measures which are already on the statutes and which are administered by different departments of government. One of these is that pertaining to old age pensions administration, which has been under the Department of Finance. The Minister of Finance has indicated that in some respects it would be preferable that a department other than the Department of Finance should administer the old age pensions. I cannot say just at what moment the transfer may be made, but, at some convenient time, the administrative work in connection with old age pensions will be transferred to the new Department of National Health and Welfare. There is also the statute relating to pensions for the blind, the administration of which will likewise be transferred to the new Department of National Health and Welfare. At the last session of parliament a statute was enacted having to do with physical fitness. At the present time it is being administered by the Department of Pensions and National Health. It will now come under the new Department of National Health and Welfare. A number of measures relating to social welfare and human well-being are contemplated in the programme of social security already outlined by the government. One of the most important of these is that which relates to family allowances. Hon. members will have seen on the order paper a notice which I have given of a resolution upon which a bill will subsequently be based dealing with family allowances. It is intended when that measure is enacted that it will be administered by the Department of National Health and Welfare. Hon. members will realize that the administration of a measure so important and far-reaching as that will require much careful preparation. It is therefore desirable that the new department should be formed at an early day so that the measure may be in full operation at the time fixed for it to come into force. These were measures specifically set forth in the speech from the throne, but, in addi- tion, the speech refers to some broader aspects of social security, and to these I should like to quote in the terms of the speech itself. One paragraph to which I would draw attention is the following: A considerable measure of social security is already provided under federal and provincial legislation, but the working out of a comprehensive national scheme, in which federal and provincial activity will be integrated and which will include nation-wide health insurance, will require further consultation and close cooperation with the provinces. It will be seen from this paragraph that the government hopes a means may be found of integrating matters relating to social welfare, to prevent overlapping and bringing about the effective coordination of activities as between the federal and provincial governments. We contemplate working out a comprehensive national scheme in which federal and provincial activities will be integrated and which will include national health insurance. National health insurance is a subject which has already been referred to the important committee on social security which was appointed last session and again this session. This committee has been making a full and careful study of the whole question of health insurance. It will be necessary, at some stage, for the dominion and the provinces to have conferences in order to work out a comprehensive scheme which will serve the best interests of the dominion and provinces alike. With regard to health insurance I would point out that it is a means to an end. The end of all this social legislation is social security. Social security will be brought about by such measures as will be undertaken under the veterans' affairs and reconstruction departments and those that relate to insurance against the social and economic hazards encountered in the life of the people. The necessity for a nation-wide plan must be apparent to everyone. As was natural, the work of social welfare was taken up in the first instance by municipalities and the provinces. Many of the provinces have social legislation on their statute books to-day. They began first with such measures as those relating to workmen's compensation, mothers' allowances, child welfare, hospitalization and other social measures. More recently the provinces have been giving much closer attention to health measures. Some have departments or branches of departments dealing with health. It has become quite clear that without some assistance and cooperation from the federal JUNE 27, 1944 4261 Department oj National Health and Weljare government there cannot be anything in the nature of a national scheme. Differences exist between provinces in connection with the legislation enacted. Nothing could be more inimical to a nation-wide plan than to leave to mere chance, and to conditions as they arise, the enactment from time to time by the dominion and by the provinces of different measures which may be regarded as necessary. There is a necessity for some central agency that can be helpful, in cooperation with the provinces, in coordinating services, in preventing duplication and overlapping, and in seeing, when one department is behind another in some important enactment, how that difficulty may be overcome. One of the functions of the new Department of National Health and Welfare will be to cooperate in that way with the several provinces. There is no intention whatever in this enactment of attempting to invade the jurisdiction of the provinces in these matters. I will refer to that in just a second, but before doing so I should like to read another clause of the speech from the throne which relates to this matter. The speech contemplated that this nation-wide measure of health insurance would be effected only after there had been ample opportunity for study, in both provincial and dominion fields, and after there has been opportunity of conference between the provinces and the dominion. It is not the intention of the dominion to seek to force upon any province any legislation, no matter how good it may be, by invading provincial jurisdiction. What the dominion will endeavour to do in these matters is to bring about to the advantage of the provinces and the dominion alike, proper coordination of all efforts to improve the health and well-being of the people. The speech continues: When suitable agreements are reached with the provinces, my ministers will be prepared to recommend measures to provide for federal assistance in a nation-wide system of health insurance, and for a national scheme of contributory old age pensions on a more generous basis that that at present in operation. That statement in the speech makes it clear that the dominion contemplates having at some time, we hope it may be soon, not only a nation-wide system of health insurance but, as well, a national scheme of contributory old age pensions. The administration of the contributory scheme of old age pensions would be a very important function of some department of government, and it is the intention to have the Department of National Health and Welfare administer the contributory scheme once it comes into being. In the interval one of the duties of the new department will be to help to gather the necessary factual information which will be required in conferences between the provinces and the dominion, and also to gather from the experience of other nations the kind of knowledge which would be essential for the most efficient working of the old age pension scheme. The Minister of Finance has made it clear that once the contributory scheme is enacted it will be possible for the government to consider, to use the words of the speech, a more generous basis than that which is at present in operation. "A more generous basis", I should say, would include a lowering of the age at which persons would become entitled to old age pensions and also an increase of the amounts of the pensions themselves. Will the house pardon me if I mention that my colleague the Minister of Finance has just sent me a note indicating that this debate should be adjourned shortly in order to enable the bills respecting the amendment to the Bank Act and the Quebec Savings Bank Act to pass this house so that they can get over to the senate as soon as may be possible, because if they are to serve the purpose for which they are intended they will have to be assented to before the 1st of July. I will conclude more quickly than I otherwise would what I have to say on the second reading, and after a reply on the part of some hon. member opposite, with the permission of the house will ask that the debate be adjourned in order that we may take up the other measures. I have indicated fairly well the scope of the work which the new department will be expected to carry on.. I should like, however, to set forth more concretely the different measures the department will be called upon to administer and over which it will have supervision. That cannot be better done than by quoting section 5 of the bill, respecting the duties, powers and functions of the minister: 5. The duties, powers and functions of the minister shall extend to and include all matters relating to the promotion or preservation of the health, social security and social welfare of the people of Canada over which the parliament of Canada has jurisdiction, and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, particularly the following matters:- (a) the administration of such acts of the parliament of Canada and of orders or regulations of the government of Canada as are not by law assigned to any other department of the government of Canada or any minister thereof relating in any way to the health, social security and welfare of the people of Canada; (b) investigation and research into public health and welfare; (c) the inspection and medical care of immigrants and seamen, and the administration of



4262 COMMONS Department of National Health and Welfare marine hospitals, and such other hospitals of the government of Canada as may be committed to its administration by order of the governor in council; (d) the supervision, as regards the public health, of railways, boats, ships and all other methods of transportation; (e) the supervision of federal public buildings and offices with a view to conserving and promoting the health of the civil servants and other government employees therein; (f) the enforcement of any rules or regulations made by the International Joint Commission, promulgated pursuant to the treaty between the United States of America and His Majesty relating to boundary waters and questions arising between the United States of America and Canada, so far as the same relate to public health; (g) the administration of the Food and Drugs Act, The Opium and Narcotic Drug Act, the Quarantine Act, the Public Works Health Act, the Leprosy Act, the Proprietary or Patent Medicine Act and The National Physical Fitness Act and of all orders and regulations passed or made under any of the said acts; (h) subject to the provisions of the Statistics Act, the collection, publication and distribution of information relating to the public health, improved sanitation and social and industrial conditions affecting the health and lives of the people; (i) cooperation with provincial authorities with a view to the coordination of efforts made or proposed for preserving and improving the public health and providing for the social security and welfare of the people of Canada. Just a word with regard to the question of jurisdiction. On the introduction of the resolution one or two hon. members suggested that this measure might be-I will not say that they did not go farther than that-an attempt on the part of the federal government to invade the jurisdiction of the provinces, or that it was an effort to centralize health and welfare matters in the federal government. Let me call attention to the words I have quoted from section 5: . . . matters relating to the promotion or preservation of the health, social security and social welfare of the people of Canada over which the parliament of Canada has jurisdiction. Nothing could be clearer than that. The bill relates to measures over which this parliament has jurisdiction. Mr. HANSON (York-Sumbury); I suppose the right hon. gentleman will agree that that is very limited jurisdiction.


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

What I have read, I submit, indicates a large number of matters with which the federal government is concerned in relation to health. So far as the municipalities are concerned, and on the question of any possibility of intervention there, the hon. member who raised the point would do well to read section 8 of the bill. I quote:

8. Nothing in this act or in any regulations made hereunder shall authorize the minister or

IMr. Mackenzie King.]

any officer of the department to exercise any jurisdiction or control over any provincial or municipal board of health or other health authority operating under the laws of any province. ,

The question of jurisdiction, therefore, need not be seriously raised ini relation to this measure.

As to the necessity for a measure of this kind, a great deal has been said, particularly since the beginning of the war, of the need to conserve human resources and to give them priority in our thoughts over the conservation of what are generally referred to as natural resources. There is no doubt that the views of the world are changing with respect to the weight to be given to human values in comparison with material wealth. Human wellbeing to-day has the place in the thoughts and minds of men and women of practically all countries which was given to material wealth in years gone by. In the early years of this country's history most legislation on so-called progress was concerned with the development of the country's resources, and that work will have to go on; it should go on. But too often in the development of our natural resources we have completely neglected, indeed we have in many cases destroyed, our human resources. There is no doubt at all that factory legislation and laws relating to social amelioration have been placed on the statutes for that very reason. It was recognized that without limitations as to the hours of work, without some regulation fixing minimum rates of wages and maximum working hours, instead of conserving our human resources we were helping to destroy them. In these last four years there has been so much in the way of destruction of human life that the world probably will not for generations to come be able to make up the loss of man-power, to say nothing of the undermining in many countries of the well-being of their peoples. For this reason the necessity for having a department of government which will deal with human welfare, which will be concerned primarily with human beings and their wellbeing, is becoming increasingly apparent.

In the past we have had, for example, our Departments of Public Works, and debates have been carried on at great length in this house in the discussion of public buildings, and other forms of public works. In comparison how much time has been given to discussions on those measures so necessary for the greater health and well-being of the population? Questions like this are forcing themselves to the front, and the time has come when it should be the obligation of some minister of the crown to be specially concerned

JUNE 27, 1944 4263

Department of National Health and W elfare

with matters that relate to human well-being and human welfare, whether they have been thought of in connection with provincial legislation in the past or whether both the provinces and the dominion have been concerned. Human personality, its recognition and development are of more importance than the protection of property, privilege or position and the increase of human well-being of infinitely more importance than the increase of material wealth.

The legislation which is before the house at the moment is for the purpose of developing a department of the federal government which will be primarily concerned with the human aspect of our national life. The new department will first of all continue existing services and functions of the national health divisions of pensions and national health. It will administer social security and welfare measures assigned to it from time to time. It will serve as a centre of planning and research in the fields of health, welfare and social security. It will coordinate federal administrative activities in the fields of health and welfare. It will assist in the coordination of health and welfare activities of the dominion and the provinces with a view to bringing about a comprehensive national scheme to include nation-wide health insurance; it will be charged with the administration of family allowances and when it is enacted with the administration of the national scheme of contributory old age pensions.

A word in conclusion as to one or two matters that the department will not immediately concern itself with. It is not a department' of social security. Social security is a comprehensive aim and is the objective of all social legislation. The means to that end differ. Health insurance is one of the means to that end. Health insurance and social insurance of other kinds are means of helping to ensure social security; but the most important means of achieving the end of social security is full employment. Therefore all measures that will contribute to full employment may be regarded as social security measures. But these must come under many departments of the government. For example, we have been discussing in the last few days, matters under the Department of Reconstruction which have to do with employment in one form or another. Employment is the concern of the Department of Labour and other departments of government. The Department of Veterans! Affairs is a department that by its different measures will help to effect social security. Unemployment insurance is one form of social insurance; it

100-268i

is not itself social security. It is a means, as I say, to that end. The administration of unemployment insurance is entrusted at the present time to the Department of Labour. At the moment it is not the intention to transfer its administration from the Department of Labour to the Department of National Health and Welfare, and the reason is obvious. A very important part of the work of the Department of Labour related to reconstruction is that connected with selective service and the various offices which have to do with employment services. These two-services are closely interrelated, for that reason alone it would not be desirable to think at present of transferring the administration of unemployment insurance to the new department. As time goes on, it may be, as social services increase, there will be here or elsewhere as between different departments of government of the federal administration, further transfers and arrangements.

The magnitude of the problems involved in a broad extension of social security and welfare makes it essential to have a separata department and a full-time minister, if the' federal programme is to be administered! efficiently and federal policies properly coordinated with provincial and local activities-..

We have talked a great deal about the new social order that is to come into existence after this war is over. Speaking on that subject, as I have from time to time, I have emphasized the note that unless that new social order is well under way before the war itself is over we may look for it in vain after that time. I hope that the measures which the government has introduced at this session, establishing these three departments, veterans" affairs, reconstruction, national health and: welfare, and1 all of which relate in an immediateway to post-war planning, are sufficient evidence that this administration has very much in mind the great social problems which will: confront this country immediately the war is; over, and that we are not waiting for the end of the war before providing the means needed properly to effect their solution.

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
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LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. LEADER:

Mr. Speaker, I have been

asked to adjourn the debate but before doing so I want to say a few words on a question of privilege. Last night there was an understanding that we would take up first this legislation,

Quebec Savings Banks Act

which we have done. Now we are to revert to other bills which the Prime Minister declares it is imperative to have passed before the 1st of July. No intimation had I received that this procedure was to 'be followed. Can you imagine the howl which would have gone up from the other side of the house had an arrangement been made with them and then this sudden change was made in the procedure? They1 would never have stood for it. But as a humble member of this house I must accommodate myself to the convenience of the government to facilitate the business of the house if there are other measures which they wish to take up. I have been told that these other two bills will pass swiftly because members on the opposite side of the house have agreed not to discuss .them. But I know what might happen to what I have to say if I move the adjournment of this debate, because I have seen it happen in the house before. I have seen a member move the adjournment of a debate, and the debate was never resumed during that session. That might happen in this case. I have no guarantee. I assume it is understood that this bill will be taken up again immediately after the two money bills are disposed of. If for any reason, as I explained to the Prime Minister last night, I am unable to be here, may I claim the privilege to speak on section 5 of this bill before it passes? I do not ask for an assurance, but that is the position I am taking in adjourning this debate. I may sit here if I am able to until it comes on. If I can I will be here. With these remarks, Mr. Speaker, which I make with no particular animosity but with a little disappointment, I move the adjournment of the debate.

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

In reply to my hon. friend, as a matter of privilege, if he will recall, I intimated last night that the bank bills would be taken up first.

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
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LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. LEADER:

That is true.

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend said that he wished to speak for forty minutes on a matter of importance relating to health. It was then twenty minutes to eleven o'clock and, out of what I felt of consideration for him, I suggested that instead of his taking twenty minutes then and going on again and concluding what he had to say to-day, it would be better for him to wait until to-day to make his speech without having it broken. My hon. friend agreed to that.

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
Permalink
LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. LEADER:

I appreciated the arrangement.

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
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BANK ACT AMENDMENT

February 23, 1944