July 10, 1944

CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

I see that my time has

just about expired. I should like to refer briefly to another matter.

When the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Matthews) rose to speak this afternoon I thought he might deal with the matter about which he questioned the Minister of National Defence a week or two ago; I refer to the destruction in Brandon of material formerly used by the army at the A-4 centre which was closed there a short while ago. The hon. member a couple of weeks ago asked a question on the orders of the day about this. I have received considerable correspondence concerning it. In view of the fact that the hon. member for Brandon had asked the question I have refrained from raising the matter, thinking he would pursue it, and I thought he would certainly do so to-day. Apparently he has accepted the minister's answer, which he made, I believe, on Friday, to the effect that these things-enamel ware, porcelain ware and so on-w'ere destroyed for medical reasons. One of the correspondents I have had in connection with this matter from the city of Brandon is a medical doctor. He of course, as might be expected, ridicules the idea that these things could not have been sterilized, and I may say that the people of Brandon, according to the information I have, and the people of Winnipeg, 130 miles away, are quite indignant over this destruction of goods which could have been used-kinds of goods which are not available for civilian purchase in Manitoba at the present time. I have in my hand a copy of the Winnipeg Tribune of July 7 which contains photographs of some of these go^ds, showing that the axe

The Budget-Mr. Cruickshank

has been put right through them to destroy them and make sure that they could not be used.

I have not the time to go into this matter in greater detail, but the answer given by the Minister of National Defence does not satisfy the local people in Brandon or the people of Manitoba generally, and I think the whole question of the disposal of army and canteen goods calls for further investigation at this stage, so that if there has been anything amiss in this incident the situation will not be repeated. I am perplexed to understand it in the light of the action which this parliament took in setting up the War Assets Corporation. I wonder why it is that these goods were not declared surplus and turned over to that corporation for sale or disposal in some orderly way. It has been called to my attention that some of these articles such as coal scuttles, garbage cans, et cetera, which missed the axe when they were thrown on the dump in Brandon, have been retrieved by Brandon citizens and are now being used. The people are glad to get them and sterilize them and make use of them, because such articles are not available on the market there at the present time. I hope the Minister of National Defence or the Minister of Munitions and Supply will look into this matter further, so that if there has been anything amiss it can be corrected before there is a recurrence of it.

The vote will shortly be taken, I understand. We of this group were prepared to have the debate concluded on June 29-

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LIB

James Ewen Matthews

Liberal

Mr. MATTHEWS:

Will the hon. member furnish the house with the name of the medical doctor who gave him this information? Who and what is he?

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

I am very glad to do so. He is Doctor D. L. Johnson, who is the M.L.A. for Brandon. I suppose my hon. friend-a friend, by the way, of many years-is wanting me to point out that he is a C.C.P. M.L.A. In the light of the figures I gave a few minutes ago I suggest that the case is strengthened by that fact. This gentleman is one of the by-election victors to whom I referred.

I was about to say, Mr. Speaker, that when the vote is taken on the amendment moved by the Progressive Conservatives we shall find ourselves, admittedly, in a bit of a quandary. There is much in it that is inconsistent and much in it that does not mean a great deal. Nevertheless there are in it some things with which we agree. We are therefore going to give it our qualified support and will vote for it. We regret, however, that an amendment quite as ambiguous as this should be before

the house at such a time when what the people want is really something definite. I would remind Your Honour that the amendment moved by the leader of this group, which has already been turned down by the house, was such an amendment, a definite proposal as to what the house ought to do to provide for a better Canada in the post-war period.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. G. A. CRUICKSHANK (Fraser Valley):

If I followed the example of most hon. members who have spoken I would put a table on Hansard and read the rest of my speech-blank, blank, blank, blank, blank, Fraser Valley.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

What is this one now?

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

May I say to the house, through you, Mr. Speaker, that this is not going to be a speech like most of those that have been made in this budget debate, a speech which someone reads that has been written by someone else. I have no notes; I have nothing written, and any time I have to have my speech written by somebody else it will not be made in this house. I am sorry to say that does not go for at least eighty-five per cent of the members, and I do not need to look very far afield when I say that, or in any particular corner of the house. I cannot understand how any member of this house, being a returned soldier, can refrain from taking part in this debate. I am sorry that the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) is not in the house, because what I have to say is concerned primarily with his department. Possibly there might be an election, and after hearing all the delightful figures from Winnipeg I wish to put myself on record now before that election.

Mr. Speaker, in the few years that I have been in Ottawa I have been treated with great courtesy by yourself, by the Clerk, and by every official of the House of Commons and every senior official of the civil service with whom I have come in contact, and on this occasion I wish to express my appreciation of all these courtesies that have been shown me. And let me say that I have no hope of getting a judgeship.

The reason why I am speaking now is that, as I understand, it is desired to have the vote taken to-night. I certainly would not have spoken to-night if I had thought that the vote would be taken to-morrow; I would have preferred to wait until then. However, let me say that I have listened throughout this debate in connection with the budget to everything except the budget. Everything but the budget has been discussed, and I have heard now something that I had not expected to hear discussed even by my hon. friends

The Budget-Mr. Cruickshank

from Winnipeg-the groom of the bedchamber. The reason why I am not going to vote against the government on this occasion is this. Frankly, I had expected that I would vote against the government on the budget because I did not see how I could do otherwise as a returned soldier. The Progressive Conservatives would have received my support if their amendment had been framed in different language. I would have been voting with them, but I cannot vote with them as the amendment stands. I entirely disagree with the government on their man-power policy and am not afraid to say so, but I must say at the same time that every party in this house made the same mistake in 1940. The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation did not want to take any part in the war at all.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

That is not right.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

The C.C.F. would take no part in the war at all. They would not send any men overseas to fight. Well, would they wait until the enemy had come over here?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

September 7, 1939.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

The Liberal party, however, made a mistake-and I am a supporter of the Liberal party. The National Conservative party of that day, whose name has been changed about eleven times since then, would also not take any action. The fact of the matter is that none of us was prepared to face the public and say that we would put conscription into force from the drop of the hat, although we represented the people of Canada.

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SC

Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. JAQUES:

We did.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

I do not flatter you by calling your party a party. .

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SC

Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. JAQUES:

We fought the election on it.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

I was speaking of the main parties. However, I am glad to know that your party took that stand.

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SC

Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. JAQUES:

You might admit it.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

I have listened to you people making your speeches about $25 a month several times and I want you to listen to my speech about S25 an hour. None of the parties had courage to face the public and say that it would put conscription into force at the very outset, as the United States and Great Britain did. We all made a mistake, and I include myself. But surely we should have the courage now to admit our mistake. There is one thing I cannot understand in public life and it is this. Wre speak of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition, but what do they do? If the government adopts any of their better ideas they immediately begin to cry because those ideas have been adopted, but that is what the opposition is for. The greatest mistake that any man in public life can make is, in my opinion, not to.be willing to admit that he has been in error. We who are in public life in Canada, I repeat, all made a mistake in 1940 when we failed to adopt the right attitude in this matter. But to-day it is a different story. I said in 1940, speaking as an old soldier, that in my opinion one volunteer was worth any ten conscripts. I attempt to keep up to date even with my hon. friend and his programme. I keep up to date. I can change my opinion in that regard. I say now that any one man of the 29th battalion is worth forty conscripts. I am now going four times better than before. We have this army here. A short time ago I was not prepared to adopt the attitude that I am adopting here. I really believe that at least the three ministers of national defence of the government think exactly the same as I do, but they are not ,in a position to speak out as freely. I believe that we should immediately put into effect the order in council, except for one reason. I believe it would cause more disunity in Canada than the forty thousand men are worth.

I am very much riled when I read in the newspapers and when I get first-hand information, that has not yet been contradicted by any member of the government, that soldiers of the Canadian army have been insulted in Valleyfield and in other parts of the province of Quebec and that the civilian authorities take no steps to stop these insults. I was told the other day by a woman serving in the armed forces from one province that when they are granted their furloughs they will not go home because they fear and hesitate to go to their own, districts, knowing that insults will be thrown at them for wearing the uniform. There is no use in trying to deny these facts. They are here and cannot be denied. When I say that, I know what I am talking about. Farmers' sons in British Columbia do not get the consideration that is given to farmers' sons in Quebec. I do not ask for that consideration for the farmers' sons in my riding, and I come from a farm riding. I am very proud of the fact that I come from a farm riding. We are proud of the fact that our sons are over there fighting to defend not Canada but the whole free world. We ask for no special consideration.

I do not like to say anything about the good province that I have defended every time

fMr. Cruickshank.!

The Budget-Mr. Cruickshank

I have gone home, but I for one am tired of hearing this talk about unity, if unity is to be only one-sided. There are nine provinces in Canada. If we are to have unity we must have unity of the whole nine provinces, not one province against the eight. We cannot afford under any consideration to do anything that would bring on disunity now; but I want that one province to remember this, a day of reckoning will come unless a different attitude is adopted in their responsibility as a part of Canada, and they will regret it far more than the rest of Canada.

There is one thing that I heartily disagree with the Department of National Defence on, and again I am sorry the minister is not at the moment in his place but he knows my stand on it. To-day the minister told us the one great thing that we want to keep in the wonderful army is unity and esprit de corps, exactly as we had in the last war. He told us that he wanted to keep the army up to strength. I agree with him 100 per cent. He told us that in his opinion, from a voluntary point of view-and he is not only speaking as Minister of National Defence but as a soldier with a distinguished record in the last war-a volunteer far outshone any conscript. That can be checked in Hansard to-morrow. I agree with him 100 per cent. Where I do disagree with him and his department most emphatically is that in Petawawa to-day volunteers have to take orders from conscript non-commissioned officers. Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough in this day and age, That will not go down before the boys. Figures were quoted to-day by the minister, but I happen to know that volunteers in Petawawa and other camps have to take orders from a draftee who will not or cannot see his way clear to do his duty for his country. That is one point that rankles most with me, and I think this government would be well advised, if they wish to have any standing whatsoever with the men who are serving overseas, to rectify this at once, and to see to it that no volunteers are asked to take orders from a draftee who will not volunteer to serve his country wherever his services are needed.

Mr. Speaker, it is usually customary to praise the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsey) on his budget speech, but as far as I can see, everything but the budget has been discussed today; therefore, I prefer to praise the two ministers that I think should be given most credit in connection with the budget. I have disagreed with the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) on many occasions and perhaps will do so on many more; but I wish to tell him that in my opinion, as a representative of a rural riding-and I would say this in my riding before Liberal, Conservative or C.C.F.

members-no other man in this House of Commons has the knowledge of agriculture that he has. I shall not always agree with him, but I wish to praise him for his part in this budget. I shall not tell the house how long I have been connected with politics, because I might be giving away my age, but ever since I have been connected with it, or ever since I remember my father speaking of it, what we were fighting for was the removal of the duty from farm implements. What happened in this budget? The present Minister of Agriculture by his steadfast fighting secured this action on our behalf.

There is another minister to whom I wish to give a word of praise, and possibly I am sticking my neck out in a political sense in British Columbia by saying this, but I do not care. I am a charter member of the Canadian Legion, and I wish to tell hon. members here that any member of the Canadian Legion is allowed to speak for the soldiers not only of the last war, but of this war. I happen to belong to a few organizations. A person can belong to an organization by right of might or by right of wealth or by some other right, but there is only one organization in Canada to which one can belong by only one right, his right of service for his king and country, namely, the Canadian Legion. Make no mistake about that. I may be criticized by some of the branches in my province in what I am about to say of the minister to whom I shall refer in a moment. He has taken a lot of criticism. He has even taken some from the city of Toronto about a hospital, but I am very proud of the fact that each and every party in this house have given nothing but praise to the present Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie) for his efforts on behalf of the soldiers. I do not always agree with the legislation he has brought down, neither do the legion. But I wish to assure the legion, through you, Mr. Speaker, that if they knew the Minister of Pensions and National Health as I know him they would know that, while we have not got all that we endeavoured to get, we would not have got half of what we have secured had it not been for the sympathetic efforts of the minister.

I wish to make a suggestion to the government. I hope there is to be a vote, although it has been intimated to me since I began to speak that there will not be one to-night. That being so, I may take my forty minutes. I should like to say a little about some of the problems of agriculture. I wish the Minister of Finance were in his place at present, because I could give him some advice

The Budget-Mr. Cruickshank

that I trust he will take. If he took it he would have a far more successful operating board in one of those temporary buildings- thank goodness they call them "temporary". Let us hope they will be temporary. In saying that I do not wish to be critical of the board. They have done wonderful work. The only suggestion I wish to make to the Minister of Finance with respect to his part in the budget is that he adopt the principle they have adopted in the United States with respect to their board corresponding 'to our wartime prices and trade board. In the United States their board meets with all the farm organizations and the cooperatives, not after they fix the price of strawberries-and while the Minister of Finance is not listening, I think the Minister of Agriculture is-but before they fix the price of strawberries and vegetables. The board meets with the farmers and others and gets their ideas on what they should be paid, what they think the farmers can produce for. What does our board do? They do not even meet when they fix the prices. They do not meet at all, and when they send their officials out to Brtiish Columbia they ignore them afterwards. The sad part so far as the berry growers in British Columbia are concerned is unfortunately the Minister of Agriculture was out in Saskatchewan on a forlorn mission at the time the berries were picked. I am sorry that because of the freight rates problem, or because of the heat it is not possible to send British Columbia berries here. It would be a revelation to hon. members if I could give them a real meal of British Columbia strawberries; they would remember it for a long time. I want, however, to pay tribute to one hon. member. The other day I happened to be up in the "bucket of blood", where I remarked that I had not eaten a good piece of meat since coming back to eastern Canada. One of my good C.C.F. friends, who was going back to his farm a day or two later, brought me a really good roast of beef, and I want to say that you could not get finer beef anywhere in Canada, with the exception of the province of British Columbia.

I see the Minister of National Defence is back in the house, and I want to offer a criticism. In doing so I am speaking most emphatically for the old soldiers I- know. I know I am speaking for many soldiers serving overseas at the present time. I think I am speaking for the Canadian Legion. I know definitely I am speaking for the battalion of which I am very proud, the 29th, which was mentioned by the minister to-day when speaking of esprit de corps. In no less than three letters received to-day from over-

seas and letters from twio army camps in Canada I am told that I speak for soldiers on active service both here and abroad when I say both the old soldiers and the soldiers engaged in the present war strongly resent what neither the Minister of National Defence nor any other minister can defend; that is, the fact that a non-commissioned officer of the draftee army, who does not wear the G.S., can give orders to a private who does wear it. No govemrhent, no party and no individual can defend that as far as I am concerned.

I have another suggestion to offer the minister. According to this week's issue of Time the government of the United States is giving its soldiers another raise in pay. Speaking from memory I believe it is to be $10 a month for the highest grades in the infantry, and it is estimated that seventy-five per cent of the infantry will come within that category. I want to recommend to the minister that he immediately increase the pay of members of. the active army serving in theatres of war by fifty cents a day, to be given either as a deferred payment in the form of war savings certificates or in the form of a life insurance policy. Do not let the sound money men talk you out of it; pay no attention to the Bank of Canada. I am sure the people of Canada will 'be behind you. You cannot buy patriotism, but yiou can reward gallant service. You will have the support of all the people, no matter what their political party. The people of Canada will never begrudge an extra fifty cents a day to our fighting men. You cannot pay for the sacrifice a man makes when he loses his life, but you can give him some reward in this way. I want to urge this upon the minister for his consideration, and I do not believe it could be classed as a bribe to anyone. It is our duty to differentiate in some way between those who are offering their lives and those who are staying at home.

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LIB

Ross Wilfred Gray

Liberal

Mr. R. W. GRAY (Lambtqn West):

Mr. Speaker, speaking in the house last session on the subject of man-power I said that I agreed with those who had declared that in a free society the obligations and privileges of military training should be shared generally under a fair and just system of selective compulsory service without geographical restriction. I am convinced now, as I was then, that this is the correct policy. I read afterwards that I was as a voice calling in the wilderness, and perhaps it might have seemed that way because, if I remember aright, I received very little support from hon. members sitting in this house in opposition to the government. The exception, as was mentioned a few moments

The Budget

Mr. Gray

ago, was the New Democracy party which, ever since the outbreak of war, has urged that there should be compulsory selective service without geographical restriction. As for the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, the only group in this house which opposed as a group the passing of what was then known as bill No. 80, the National Resources Mobilization Act, introduced by the government to remove the restrictions with respect to service overseas, and which party, as my hon. friend has just said, was opposed to the sending of any expeditionary force to the aid of the motherland after the outbreak of war in 1939, that party stands indicted to-day by its failure to meet the challenge and perform its duty when called upon at that time. I propose to place on record the words of the leader of the C.C.F. party speaking in this house at the war session of 1939, as they are found at page 55 of Hansard of that year:

In view of these considerations, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation believes that Canada's policy should be based first on the fundamental national interests of the Canadian people, as well as on their interest in the outcome of war. Canada should be prepared to defend her own shores, but her assistance overseas should be limited to economic aid and must not include conscription of man-power or the sending of any expeditionary force.

I repeat, "or the sending of any expeditionary force." What hope have we, therefore, from a party which in time of peril would interpret Canada's interests in the most narrow and restricted sense; a party which, at the very moment British, Canadian and United States troops were struggling to maintain a foothold on the Normandy beaches, in conference assembled, presided over by a leader of the party and having as its guest the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis), would pass the following resolution:

Whereas the C.C.F. is a socialist party, and whereas the official policy of the British labour party of coalition with the Conservative party compromised the working class struggle against capitalism in Great Britain, therefore be it resolved that the Quebec C.C.F. declares strong disapproval of the continuation of its policy of collaboration with the capitalistic government of Great Britain.

Instead of condemning, let us give credit to the labour party in Great Britain which, in the empire's darkest hour, was willing to postpone for the time being its hopes for the future in order to retain the objectives already won. To-day I find some support from the official opposition, but it is a timid support tucked in at the very end of a long resolution moved in amendment to the budget, and only conceived after forty-seven days of almost continuous debate on the war appropriation measure. Surely some time during the weeks that debate

lasted the official opposition could have made a motion in plain, clear, unequivocal terms instead of leaving it to the budget debate and the financial critic who, after spending ninety-five per cent of his time in discussing fiscal matters, dealt with the man-power question only incidentally. I submit, further, that the amendment is not a definite resolution that the government enforce the powers contained in chapter 13 of the 1940 statutes, being the general mobilization resources act, as amended by chapter 29 of the 1942 statutes, commonly known as bill No. 80. Let me read the amendment moved by the official opposition:

That the government has failed to make effective the full mobilization of our financial, industrial and material resources, as well as our man-power, but is maintaining a so-called home-defence army, at a cost to the taxpayer in excess of $150 million per annum, at a time when the need for army reinforcements, for farming and for industry is so urgent.

What that means perhaps the mover alone could tell. But if one reads the clause and couples with it the statement made by the hon. member, wherein he urges that we turn these men back to farms, factories and forests until needed, it must mean the disbandment of these highly-trained men. With this sentiment I disagree, with all the force at my command; and I am in full accord with the remarks of the Minister of National Defence this afternoon and those of the hon. member for Brantford City (Mr. Macdonald) who, speaking in this house last week in the debate, said that he would oppose with all his strength the demobilization of these fully-trained forces.

I noticed in Hansard that when the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. May-bank) was speaking the other evening, the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe) interrupted him, and said that he was being misinterpreted. The hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre was interpreting the remark in a manner similar to what I have done, saying that the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe had said that the men should be sent back to the farms, the factories and the forests. That hon. member said he was being misinterpreted. Therefore, in order that there may be no mistake, and to keep the record clear, let me quote exactly what was said by the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe, and let the house be the judge. His remarks are found at page 4341 of Hansard for June 29, as follows:

For the honour of Canada I urge upon the government that they now remove the political halo that surrounds this most ridiculous camouflage and to turn these able-bodied men back to the farms, the factories and the forest where they can produce for victory until they are marshalled for the more vital service for which they were conscripted.

The Budget-Mr. Gray

The minister, speaking today, was too kind when he said that they were to be sent back to the farms, the forests, the factories or for service overseas. No; according to the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe, they are to be sent back to the farms, the forests and the factories.

And for how long?-"Until they are marshalled for the more vital service." Can anyone imagine anything more fantastic than to demobilize these men, to use the words of the hon. member, "until they are marshalled for the more vital service?" It is true that we have heard from the hustings from a reported leader of the party that the Progressive Conservatives were going to lay down the gauntlet and call for an immediate order in council. This, however, came from the outside, from a gentleman who has no responsibility to parliament, and not from the elected leader in this house. I ask this chamber: Is it significant that we have had no direct endorsement of the statements made by Mr. McTague and Mr. Bracken? Is it significant that the elected leader in this chamber has remained silent in the matter, up to this time?

I submit that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) is right when he states that such statements of policy should be made by the leader in this house, where the statements may be analysed, and not made from positions of ambush. I am not prepared to say, as did Mr. McTague, that the province of Quebec would vote otherwise than it did if now given an opportunity. At the same time 1 have faith enough in the loyalty of French Canada, when the need is properly shown and when it realizes that all the seventy-odd thousands of men now mobilized and fully trained are being treated in the same manner. Then, with few exceptions, the whole subject will be looked upon in its proper light, and these men will go out and do battle with their fellow men, and come back proud that the step was taken and that they were privileged to form a part of the Canadian Army in the restoration and liberation of a free France, and the conquest of a German tyrant.

I listened carefully to the speech of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) this afternoon. I know how proud he is, as are we all, of the volunteer forces; we know the sincerity of purpose of the minister. Those of us who have had the privilege of volunteering for service to our country, wherever called, remember the thrill of pride when first we donned the uniform. At the same time, as I have said in this house before: Is it a fair system? Is it a just fMr. Grav.]

system? Is it fair that one family should offer its all, and another family not give anything?

Nor do I think-and I say this in all kindness-it is fair for the minister to use as an illustration in support of the citizen committees for recruiting, the use of these same bodies by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) in connection with his victory loan. To me there is a vast difference between urging my neighbour or friend to invest his money in a gilt-edged victory bond, and in urging him to have his son enlist for active service. I still urge the government to enforce the statute by order in council, especially having in mind that the reserve forces are now well-trained and capable of being utilized, if necessary, as an active home defence force. At the same time, I do not propose to allow an amendment such as that moved by the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe to becloud the real issue in the debate, namely the support or otherwise of the fiscal policy of the government, as enunciated by the Minister of Finance. Therefore I shall vote against the amendment as framed by the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe, and I shall support the Minister of Finance in his motion to go into committee of ways and means.

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. W. J. WARD (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker,

I should like to compliment the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Gray) upon his eloquent effort this evening. I think he has excelled himself.

I should like also to say a word in regard to the statement by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) this afternoon. It was a very important one, and most timely. It has cleared up a good deal of misunderstanding in my mind, and I am sure in the minds of people throughout the country.

I do not intend to say much regarding the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) except to say that he has again lived up to his reputation, in the statement he made when presenting the financial condition of the country.

I would not have spoken in the debate had it not been that, upon my return to Ottawa the other day, and reading some of the speeches which had been made, I thought I saw where some answers were due the house and country. In this connection I shall begin with the hon. member for Qu'Ap-pelle (Mr. Perley), who, I am sorry, is not in his place at the moment, although I see him behind the curtain.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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NAT

Ernest Edward Perley

National Government

Mr. PERLEY:

Oh, I am right here; don't you worry.

The Budget-Mr. Ward

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

I am glad the non. member is now in his place. There is a saying the effect that figures do not lie, but that some people do some very queer figuring. The hon. member for Qu'Appelle spent considerable time in depreciating the effect which would follow from the reduction in the tariff on farm machinery. I have listened to him and other hon. members for several sessions urge the removal of those same tariffs on farm machinery. I have recommended the same thing-and, just in passing, lest I forget, may I give to members of the government and particularly the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), a great deal of credit for this particular provision in the budget.

Plowever, the hon. member for Qu'Appelle went to great lengths-in fact almost three columns in Hansard-in an attempt to prove the ineffectiveness of the reduction, and just how little they meant, after all. How he got the figures, I do not know, because I spent half an hour this afternoon doing some figuring, and I could not follow his reasoning. He refers to the reduction as being not more than 3| per cent.

Then he speaks of putting it in terms of farm language. I am sure that no ordinary farmer could understand the reasoning contained in those three columns of Hansard when the hon. member tried to prove the ineffectiveness of this reduction.

However, reducing it to real farm language, to terms which a farmer can understand, may I say that last year I bought a binder. I will leave out of he picture the war exchange tax because that is a war measure, so that we will leave it out of our calculation. If the 7}& per cent reduction on farm machinery had been in effect a year ago I would have saved 122.50 on the 8345 I paid for the binder. I have a combine on order right now and, if I get it, this reduction will mean a saving of 8135. I think any farmer will understand those figures, and that is the only practical way to approach and explain the matter.

Then the hon. member went on to try to calculate it in terms of percentage on the dollar and he said it amounted to only three and a half per cent. That is all we are getting on' our bonds and most other investments now.

I wish to take issue with his reference to 11.25 a bushel for wheat as a ceiling. I know he knows that is not right, and he knew he was wrong when he made that statement. It is not a ceiling; it is simply a floor. I heard him arguing in the agriculture committee the other day with Mr. Mclvor, chairman of the wheat

board, and insisting it was a ceiling not a floor. It is true there is a ceiling on barley and oats, but those are the only two farm products on which there are ceilings. I support most heartily the ceiling on coarse grains.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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July 10, 1944