May 9, 1944

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I wonder if my hon. friend would let me finish and then I will try to answer him.

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

If my hon. friend does not want to answer it now, all right, but I think he is proceeding on false premises. The 100 per cent reserve presupposes that you can lend the amount you have. If you have $100 you can lend S100 and no more. Is that correct?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I do not want to get into a ring-around-a-rosie discussion on lending $100. But, for example, start with a $100 credit with the Bank of Canada. That is checked out to my hon. friend the member for Rosthem, we will say. He receives a cheque from the government on the Bank of Canada for $100 and he then takes it to his own bank, whichever it may' be, and deposits the cheque with that bank. Let us say it is the Royal Bank of Canada. The Royal Bank of Canada then becomes the holder of the $100 cheque on the Bank of Canada. It presents that cheque to the Bank of Canada and is credited on the Bank of Canada books with $100. What is the

Bank Act-Mr. Abbott

position of the Royal Bank at that moment? It has an asset in the form of a $100 credit with the Bank of Canada, and it has a liability to the hon. member for Rosthern in the form of his deposit of $100. The transaction must stop there. The bank cannot lend to somebody else the $100 deposit which it has in the Bank of Canada because it needs that $100 to offset its liability to the hon. member for Rosthem. So that if that is all there is to it, the transaction must stop there. It has a liability to the hon. member for Rosthem of $100 on which it may be paying him one and a half per cent interest in a savings account, and it has a corresponding asset of 8100 with the Bank of Canada on which it would be earning nothing. That is the way I see it.

I think I have concluded what I had to say. I was saying that the suggestion which has been made of borrowing from the Bank of Canada our credit needs and allowing that to go out into the banking system, with the banking system holding that credit with the Bank of Canada and not able to use it, would be nothing more or less than asking the shareholders of the banks, the depositors of the banks and the borrowers from the banks to make a forced loan to the government of Canada, and I was going on to say that if we are going to ask for a forced loan, let us ask it of all classes in the community. My belief is that since the burden has to be borne by somebody, that is better done by a system of taxation where you can impose the burden on the basis of an approximate equality, in accordance with ability to pay. That is my view. This system of asking the banks to receive a non-earning asset, and yet on the other side of the balance sheet to have to incur liabilities either for interest or otherwise, I can see no justification for on any basis you want to take it, and that is exactly what this proposition means. It may be because of four or five generations of New England Yankee ancestry behind me that I am always suspicious of the idea of getting something for nothing. I have usually found that you get it at the expense of somebody else, and this proposition seems to me just one way of trying to get something for nothing.

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SC

Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. NORMAN JAQUES (Wetaskiwin):

Mr. Speaker, during the course of his speech the Minister of Finance (Mr. Usley) remarked that we did not hear much about social credit these days. But after listening to the speeches of some hon. members during this debate, I think the members of this group have every reason to be proud of their pupils in this house.

Last winter it was my privilege and pleasure to spend two or three weeks in Scotland with the founder of social credit, and during the course of our conversations I jotted down a number of his remarks with regard to social credit. Among other things he said:

Our opponents always try to label social credit as a "funny money" stunt. We reply that social credit is the enemy of monopoly. We are builders, not wreckers. We aim to establish every man in his own right. This is the antithesis of the totalitarian state.

We hold that the state is not above the individual. The Left take the line that if they get control they will have divine right. We did not dispose of the divine right of kings in order to set up the divine right of an abstraction called the state, and it is of no use to set up to do 'better with a totalitarian policy.

This fallacy is illustrated by a story of McKenna. "If he was to be the governor of the Bank of England he wanted the powers of the governor to be strengthened. If not, he wanted the governor to be deposed."

Political power never disappears. If I lose it, somebody else gets it. Power is also transferred to the centre, and if you get a state of affairs where all power is transferred, then you have only to get control of one sanction and you can appoint an administrative bureaucracy outside of which nobody counts at all. There is only one way of dealing with that. We have got to decentralize power, to get back to the point where the individual is the focus of policy. All are to have enough power to prevent the individual next to them from taking it away from them.

Broadly speaking, we are not planning a new world but to confirm everybody in what they have got and want and like. Present financial policy is to transfer from private to so-called public holdings. By a stroke of the pen all private possessions could be taken away. Social credit defends profit but attacks interest- usufruct against pen and ledger. We want a dividend of facts not of figures. The conflict is not new, it is very old indeed. Kings having been disposed of, big business is planning to get control of bed, board and clothes and make no mistake about it, by a system of crown leases, the internationalization of big industry, and a pseudoibureaucraey of big business officialdom. There is to be no competition, but -a system of rigid control. As Lord Lothian said. "Peace comes from overwhelming law supported by overwhelming power."

It is commonly said that the government is going to do this, that and the other thing. Fundamentally that is not social credit, which is to place at the disposal of the individual the power to chose one thing at a time. Here in Scotland there is complete freezing of building; fifty licences are required to try to get done what is in practice refused. We believe that if a man has a good proposition, and you agree with it, let him have the money to carry it out, but-you cannot do business collectively. We social crediters are anti-centralization and anti-supreme state.

These are some of the remarks which I jotted down, and I think are worth recording, since they are the words of the founder of social credit himself.

Bank Act-Mr. Jagues

While I was in England last winter I attended several sessions of the House of Commons and talked with a number of members of the house, mostly Conservative. I think it would do some of the Conservative members of this house good to hear what Conservative members of the British house had to say about the necessity of monetary reform. To-day, standing in the central lobby at Westminster one can look through a glass window at what was formerly the chamber of the House of Commons before the blitz. All that remains to-day are the bare walls: there is no ceiling, no roof, and no floor. While I was speaking to some of the members, they remarked to me that the rebuilding of the chamber would be a simple problem; the danger wTas to the preservation of the House of Commons itself, in view of the threat of totalitarianism which is being exerted and felt everywhere in the world.

The Minister of Finance in his speech the other day referred to the treasury branches in Alberta and used them as an example of the cost of banking, comparing them unfavourably with the chartered banks. I received this evening a statement on this question from the premier of Alberta which I should like to put on Hansard. It is as follows:

The Minister of Finance is reported in the press to have held up the treasury branches of Alberta in his defence in parliament of the present banking and financial system. He quoted the cost of operating the treasury branches specifically to prove that the banks do not make excessive profits for their shareholders.

In quoting the Alberta treasury branches in support of his argument, Mr. Ilsley omitted to mention some important points relevant to the matter. These are:

(a) The Alberta treasury branches are limited in their operations to lending only a portion of their deposits; whereas the chartered banks create the money or credit they lend. This means that the treasury branches cannot increase the volume of money or credit in existence. It means also that whereas the banks obtain revenue from practically the entire amount of their deposit liabilities-which are merely the result of the loans they make or their purchases of securities with the money they create-the treasury branches derive revenue from only the proportion of the deposits which they lend.

(ib) The so-called "loss'' of the Alberta treasury branches represents the cost of these services to the people of Alberta after the individuals using them have each contributed a fair payment for the services they receive. For the balance of the cost borne out of public revenue taxpayers not using _ the treasury branches are receiving more efficient service at reduced charges from the banks than they were getting before these institutions had to meet the competition of the treasury branches.

(c) Normally a bank, with all the advantages it enjoys, would expect a branch to operate at a loss for a period of seven or eight years.

The Alberta treasury branches have been in operation for less than six years, and the entire province-wide network of branches and agencies had to be built up from scratch. Despite this fact the treasury branch services are already nearing the point where their earnings at reduced rates to the public will cover the entire cost of their administration and maintenance.

However, the real issue is not whether the banks make excessive profits for their shareholders or not. Mr. Ilsley knows perfectly well that the threefold issue on which Social Crediters have taken a stand for more than the past ten years in Canada is:

First, the sovereign power to control monetary policy and through this all economic activity, which is exercised by the private banking corporations through their power to issue and withdraw money, in the form of financial credit, in a manner which places the nation in perpetual pawn to them and their satellite financial institutions. This is a sovereign power which, in a democracy, should be under the effective control of the people themselves through parliament.

Second, the operation by the banks of a financial system which is inherently defective in that it results in a chronic insufficiency of purchasing power in the hands of the consuming public, with consequent trade stagnation, economic insecurity, mass unemployment, social unrest and international friction, leading to recurring wars and revolutions.

Third, the degradation, on the one hand, of democratic governments in having to go cap in hand and place the nation in perpetual pawn to the private financial corporations in order to finance public services; and on the other hand, of the constitutionally sovereign people in having to submit to the dictates of a minority group under a system of wage slavery which forces them, under the threat of destitution, to accept the standards of living and working conditions imposed upon them.

These are the features which stamp our present financial system, of which Mr. Ilsley appears to be such a staunch champion, as vicious, undemocratic, and a menace to the future of our nation. Moreover, Mr. Ilsley's assertion that the government now exercises effective control over monetary policy, when the private banking institutions have the power to issue some ninety per cent of the nation's money as they please, is so ludicrous that he cannot expect anybody to treat it seriously.

The Minister of Finance cannot side-step these issues either by putting up straw men for the purpose of knocking them down, or by any questionable argument such as he advances when he attempts to show that if the Bank of Canada created the money for financing government expenditure, it would impoverish the banks by leaving them without any revenue with which to pay interest on their deposit liabilities. He argued further that it was much fairer to the banks for the government to borrow from them and tax the people to pay the interest.

The following simple action by parliament would soon reveal whether the banks are in danger of being impoverished. The banks should be required to surrender all hidden reserves as at December 31 last to the federal government. This would constitute no hardship as these represent acquisitions over and above the profits both distributed to shareholders and placed to their disclosed reserve funds. These hidden reserves should then be monetized by the Bank of Canada and the proceeds used to

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Bank Act-Mr. Jagues

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. CLARENCE GILLIS (Cape Breton South):

I should like to facilitate the passage of the bill to enable the minister to get it to the banking and -.commerce committee, but there are a few7 remarks that I feel I must make. Like many others who have preceded me I do not pose as an authority on banking and currency. As I see the matter now, after this long debate-and I have learned something from listening to it-the question before the house is whether the membership thereof is prepared to accept the bill and the construction placed on it by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Usley); or whether they are prepared to take one step to amend it as proposed by the Social Credit party. However, that has been disposed of as the house voted against it.

The matter that is immediately before the house is the amendment to the main motion, which was proposed by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party. Many opinions have been expressed. As one member of this group, who has spent the last twenty years in Canada struggling to get along, I am personally of the opinion that the banking system of this country requires revision. I shall not go into the mechanics of it because I believe the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) did a first-class job on that in a general way. He made the main criticism of the minister's arguments, followed by the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. Douglas). I think they made the position of this group crystal clear with regard to the proposal now before the house.

The thing that I am concerned about-and I think the thing that most members are overlooking-is the fact that once this bill

goes to the banking and commerce committee -and the principle of the bill is accepted when it gets second reading-there is no doubt about what will happen to it in that committee. Most of us are overlooking the fact that this is the only time for the next ten years that the members of this house will have an opportunity to amend the Bank Act. In listening to most of the discussion, particularly from this side of the house, one would be led to believe that this is something that can be done every afternoon when the house meets.

I am concerned with not only the mechanics of banking, the purpose it serves and all those angles of the question, but with those who are employed by the banks. I think they have a definite place in the picture in so far as the members of this house are concerned. I do not suppose that there is a class of workers in the Dominion of Canada who have the same disabilities as the employees of the banks. For example, the statistical branch of the Department of Labour has absolutely no statistics on the wages, incomes and so forth of the employees of the banks. Second, while the great majority of the other workers of this country have machinery and the privilege of organizing themselves and bargaining through government machinery to increase their standard of living, those rights are denied the employees of the banking institutions. As administered to-day, in my opinion it is anything but a democratic institution.

Most of the members of the house will recall that in 1941, two years after the outbreak of war, there was difficulty with the Banque Canadienne Nationale set up in Quebec. The employees of that bank were forced to strike; and when employees of the chartered banks are forced to take that action there is something radically wrong with the institution that is supposed to give them the means of livelihood. About the only statistics one can get on the set-up with respect to their conditions are some which were compiled by the employees themselves, through the medium of a union formed at that time. For the information of hon. members I should like to place some of this on the record, because I suggest that we should be thinking in terms of bank employees when we are talking about amending the Bank Act.

What I am about to read1 is set out in a little pamphlet prepared by their union representatives at that time. This is to be found at page 3, in connection with wages:

They made a survey of the actual salaries, position and years of experience of employees in the majority of the Banque Candienne Rationale's sixty-five branches in Montreal. For the year 1941, two years after the war began, two years in which the cost of living index had

Bank Act-Mr. Gillis

risen 14-6 per cent, they found that junior clerks and stenographers were starting in the Banque Canadienne Nationale at the munificent sum of $8 a week.

Remember, this is 1941.

Tellers handling thousands, often hundreds of thousands of cash daily earned a weekly wage of $17.50 per week. After an average of nine years' service assistant accountants, averaging thirteen years' service received $22 a week.

Some in another group received $26.

Some stenographers with fifteen years' service received only $700 a year. An accountant of twenty years' experience earned $25 a week.

Those are the wage rates in a section of the bank set up in the province of Quebec, concerning which I have been able to get statistics.

In his speech the minister criticized severely the C.C.F. for suggesting that there should be some measure of government control over institutions of that kind. I suggest to him that this is an angle of the problem which should be given consideration. If we guarantee certain profits to the chartered banks; if we are going to set up an industrial development bank; if we are going to guarantee profits, then I say there should be an examination of the standard of living provided to the employees of these banking institutions. There is a good deal of information in this little pamphlet, and it certainly does not show a very nice record, nor does it reflect much credit on the organization to which it applies, so far as its relationship with its employees is concerned.

I shall not discuss the matter further. I have made this short quotation simply because I think it will be the duty of the committee on banking and commerce, when considering a revision of the Bank Act, also to consider some regulations. which would extend the principle of democracy to employees of the banking institutions, to the degree enjoyed by other sections of labour in Canada.

The hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) expressed the fear that the steps now being taken by the minister would eventually add up to the corporate state. I also have that fear. I have said time and again that the state supreme was not my idea of a solution of the problems of the people of Canada. Unless the people themselves are fully utilized and work into the whole fabric of the country, there is a danger that we may be marching in the wrong direction. When we are dealing with the banking institutions of Canada we are dealing with the whole economic set-up. As was pointed out this afternoon by the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson), in view of the interlocking directorates which exist to-day in banks and in industry, the banks are really driven by those who control

industry. The set-up behind the scenes, including war-time boards, are largely staffed by the same people who occupy positions on the directorates in both industry and the banking institutions. In my opinion we have just about arrived at the corporate state.

I am afraid that when we place complete control in the hands of one group, and that group represents financial capital, we are heading for the very situation against which our boys overseas are fighting. There is only one way to off-set that situation, only one way to balance it. There is only one way to obtain democracy, namely, by giving the different sections of the population equal representation on the controls.

In his speech the minister deprecated the fact that more regional controls were not developed in connection with the banking set-up. I believe he is correct in that regard. If wg are to have a democratic society, then in my view every section must have the same representation and the same say in the machinery which is directing the economic forces of the country. Otherwise we shall have a straight financial approach to everything and, by virtue of the power exercised by these groups, we shall have direction from the top and eventual dictatorship. Certainly it leads in that direction; there is no doubt in my mind about that.

Anyone to-day who fears the development of ' the corporate state in Canada should examine very carefully the machinery which is now developed under the pressure of war. Under that pressure there can be no doubt that it has been overlooked. The minister and others have tried to make a case for the banks by saying that it was easy to get money in the twenties and the thirties. Well, I know that is not true. In the section of the country in which I lived it was just impossible to get money in those years. By and large the workers in Canada were not working sufficient time to have credit from the chartered banks. As the minister well knows, we attempted to solve that problem among ourselves. In the thirties we developed a system to take care of our own community needs. We had to do that. Our action took the form of local credit unions. And in the small loan field to-day I believe that the average fisherman, farmer or industrial worker in that province is taking care of his own credit needs, possibly to the extent of building a home. We were forced to take that action because the chartered banks were not in that field, and had no desire to enter it. I am reasonably sure it was pressure from that movement which forced the chartered banks

Bank Act-Mr. Gillis

to introduce the home improvement plan. It is my view that they feared complete loss among the income groups which were beginning to form around credit union organizations.

As one who never had very much money, and never expects to have much, I can say that the chartered banks in my lifetime, in the community in which I lived, never meant a thing to the group or section of society , to which I belonged, except that they did force us to take the action necessary to solve our own community credit problem, through the credit union movement.

My hon. friends to my left, the Labour-Progressive party, rather surprised me last evening when they rose in their places and voted against the proposal of the Social Credit party to take one step forward, at least to pull the teeth of the banking institutions. The important thing about that amendment is that it was not advocating any bureaucracy set-up outside the house. Parliament was to control the credit and finances of this country. They were asking that that power be taken back by the federal government, that the House of Commons be made supreme in this field, that the elected representatives of the people be the ones to determine the credit needs of the country and to issue currency. My hon. friends to my left were not prepared to take that step and they endeavoured to salve their consciences for the position they have taken. They rose in their places and made an attack on the C.C.F. party and on the Social Credit party.

I speak from memory, but, as I remember, the hon. member for Cartier (Mr. Rose) made the statement that no sensible person in the labour movement of Canada would take the position at this time of wanting to socialize the banks. I want to tell him that there are 14,000 organized miners in Nova Scotia who have taken that stand officially, and some of them are fairly sensible. There are some 9,000 steel workers in that province who have also taken that stand. There are some 22,000 organized trade unionists in Ontario who have officially taken that stand. These people have taken this stand through their local units; it was not fastened on them from the top. They discussed it; they examined it and they understood the step they were taking. In addition, the Canadian Congress of Labour at its last convention in Montreal, a convention headed by people who sit on government war boards, advised their constituent locals to take that step. They were people with long experience in the labour movement of this country.

Our hon. friends base their case on the necessity for jobs for returned soldiers in the aftermath of the war. If we are to have employment in the aftermath of the war, control and responsibility on the part of the elected representatives in this house constitute one prerequisite to having those jobs available. I should like to make one remark which the hon. member for Regina City (Mr. McNiven) may not like. I want to show how this will work out when we come to think in terms of employment in the aftermath of the war. The Premier of Saskatchewan made a presentation to the reconstruction committee on behalf of his government. It was a good presentation; it was a realistic presentation. He pointed out that some 70,000 people from his province were in the armed services. A survey had been made of all possible employment conditions in the aftermath of the war, and it was found that with present employment conditions there would be some 30,000 for whom employment would not be available.

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LIB

Donald Alexander McNiven

Liberal

Mr. McNIVEN:

Excluding the farms.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

Just a minute. He brought in a long programme of public works and stated that if those public works were made available possibly that situation would be cured. But the point was that the public works programme as presented by his government, and by each of the provincial governments, was contingent upon the federal government making available the necessary finances. If the chartered banks have control in the field of finance and credit; if they serve the purpose the minister says they serve or thinks they serve, why should the provincial governments not go to the banking institutions and present their public works programmes for the aftermath of the war and arrange for the financing of those programmes in order to guarantee employment?

The banks of this country are not prepared to take any risks to establish new industry or to carry on necessary public works in order to provide employment. If the federal government is to have the responsibility for the development of industrial enterprises and the carrying on of public works programmes in order to create employment, there is no reason why the control of currency and credit should not be taken back under the thumbs of the House of Commons and the people of Canada benefit by the initiative and ingenuity of their elected representatives through the proper development of this country in the future. Apparently the banking system is not prepared to do anything.

I think every member of that committee was interested in trying to arrive at the premise upon which my hon. friend of the L.P. party built his case last night when he salved his conscience by voting for the banking institutions of this dominion by giving

Bank Act-Mr. Gillis

them control for another ten years. I think I have given proof positive that if jobs are to be provided in the future for our returning service personnel and those who will be let out from war industry, this is where control in this field must be if we are to develop Canada in the future. I cannot see how the people who allowed us to wallow in the depression of the ten years prior to this war are to solve our problem in the future. Now is the time to examine this question because, as I said when I started, we shall not have another chance for another ten years.

I cannot understand our two hon. friends to my left. I have had a considerable association with that kind of people in the past and I have been listening to them for twenty-five years. They have so many lines it is pretty hard to know where to draw the line. I should like to draw to the attention of the house some of the arguments advanced this afternoon by the hon. member for North Battleford (Mrs. Nielsen) with respect to the establishment of socialism. I have in my hand the election manifesto which that party issued in 1940. and I should like to read a brief paragraph on page three, because it relates specifically to the remarks of the hon. member this afternoon. They pose here as social reformers, but this is what they had to say in their election manifesto in 1940:

Again, as in 1914-18, the leaders of the "reform" parliamentary parties have deserted the people and joined the imperialist war camp, lining up with the monopolists, bankers, militarists and war profiteers. The ruling class relies upon these lackeys in the C.C.P., in the Social Credit party and in the trade union movement to help lead the masses to the slaughter under the fraudulent slogan that this is a "just war". Their role is the most despicable one.

That was the opinion in 1940; there was no possibility of reforming the system. All through that manifesto runs the statement that capitalism had decayed and was dead, without any possibility of reviving it. To-day the lady shows a great fear of socialism. The capitalist system that was dead in 1940 is now going to solve the problems of the future. One would be led to suppose that if the C.C.F. part were elected at the next federal election, then immediately everything as it exists in Ottawa now would be thrown out. The banking system would be destroyed; everything would be uprooted, and all that kind of nonsense.

I came into the C.C.F. party in 1938. I came into it after about twenty-five years of experience in the labour movement, where it was my business, because I had to earn my bread and butter, to examine carefully everything that anybody had to offer me. We

examined the C.C.F. very closely before we came into it and we did not come into it as individuals. When the C.C.F. came into Nova Scotia, it had absorbed a labour party that was a going concern and it took in the entire miners' organization. Many of these bodies had had many years of experience and were composed of sensible men. We believed that the C.C.F. was and is the solution of the problems of the people of Canada. There is no doubt in my mind about that. If there is one thing that our hon. friends to the left are wrong in, and 100 per cent wrong, it is in their new adherence to the capitalist system as being able to solve the problems of the future.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

To whom is my hon. friend referring?

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I mean our L.P.P. friends. One thing I am convinced of is this. The war in Europe exemplifies the last struggle of a dying system. I am certain of that, and you will not be able to save it by any transfusions. Fundamental changes are required in this order of society in which we are now living. If we are to be realistic and have something for the boys when they return from this war, the boys who are fighting against the conditions which they left behind them here in Canada, fundamental changes are necessary. Thinking in terms of maintaining the present system as it is, with all its ramifications, can lead only in one direction; I am convinced of that. You cannot reform a rotten egg, and you cannot reform this order of society, because it is dead. I am honest about this, as I think every member of the house is. The difference between us is simply a matter of not studying the problem with the same degree of care or of having interests that do not require changes to be made in the future. Unless we are prepared to sit down and honestly discuss the whole set-up, examine its disabilities and endeavour now to correct them, then when this war is over somebody is going to correct them for us in a way that we shall not like; I am convinced of that. I cannot visualize the programme and policy that. I have heard mapped out by different people in a leading position in the field of employment-in Canada for the period when this war is over ending up in anything but chaos and upheaval. When provincial governments present their reconstruction programmes they are all contingent upon the money being made available. Where is the money coming from? The federal government. They all come back to that. They want the federal government to give them the money, guarantee the contracts, set them to work and let them make a profit.

Bank Act-Mr. Gill's

27S9

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

Is there anything wrong with that?

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

Why do they not do something

themselves?

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

Because the federal government has control of banking and currency and credit. That is why the provinces look for help to the federal government.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

You have the only chance now that you will have in ten years of getting the necessary control.

As I said, they all want the federal government to provide the money. You see, the industrialists do not believe in government control. Instead of getting busy and doing something to rehabilitate this country, they come here and throw the whole load on the lap of the federal government and expect the taxpayers of Canada to guarantee them their profits. The people of this country are not going to stand for that. When you question the industrialists as to their plans in the profitable field which they dominate, they have only one, namely, that when the war is over, every crown agency must cease production and the whole field be thrown open to private enterprise. Those were the conditions in 1939. Private enterprise had the field to itself then-and there were one and a half million people on relief. What is to happen to our 800,000 service personnel when the war is over, and to the 40,000 girls who are in the service and are now experiencing a little security for the first time in their lives? What is to happen to the million and a half workers in the war industry? Ask the industrialists and they will tell you that this is not their problem, but the government's. But they want to dictate to you what the economy of this country shall be immediately upon the cessation of hostilities. That is their field, the profit field. They want you to accept their lead when the war is over and to guarantee them profits in any new projects, with the taxpayers paying the bills. I would be a private enterprise myself on that basis.

Take the case of the premier of Saskatchewan. I am not blaming him individually because he is caught in a trap. The only thing I would blame him for is that he has not the courage to fight it out. He claims to have sent out over 2,000 questionnaires to private industrial firms in Saskatchewan asking what they could do in the field of employment when the war was over. Fifty per cent replied to the questionnaire and the other fifty per cent did not acknowledge it at all.

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONDITIONS GOVERNING TEN-YEAR EXTENSION OF BANK CHARTERS
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LIB

Donald Alexander McNiven

Liberal

Mr. McNIVEN:

Give the complete explanation if you are going to mention it at all.

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONDITIONS GOVERNING TEN-YEAR EXTENSION OF BANK CHARTERS
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I did.

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONDITIONS GOVERNING TEN-YEAR EXTENSION OF BANK CHARTERS
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LIB

Donald Alexander McNiven

Liberal

Mr. McNIVEN:

Not by any means.

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONDITIONS GOVERNING TEN-YEAR EXTENSION OF BANK CHARTERS
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

That was in his brief.

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONDITIONS GOVERNING TEN-YEAR EXTENSION OF BANK CHARTERS
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LIB

Donald Alexander McNiven

Liberal

Mr. McNIVEN:

Not by any means.

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONDITIONS GOVERNING TEN-YEAR EXTENSION OF BANK CHARTERS
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I will tell it over again. The premier of Saskatchewan sent out a questionnaire to over 2,000 private enterprise firms in that province. From fifty per cent of these firms he received a reply to the questionnaire, and from fifty per cent of them he did not receive a reply. That is what he said when he presented his brief here about a month ago.

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONDITIONS GOVERNING TEN-YEAR EXTENSION OF BANK CHARTERS
Permalink
LIB

Donald Alexander McNiven

Liberal

Mr. McNIVEN:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONDITIONS GOVERNING TEN-YEAR EXTENSION OF BANK CHARTERS
Permalink

May 9, 1944