July 25, 1944

LIB

John Power Howden

Liberal

Mr. HOWDEN:

Stomach diseases usually come from too much feeding.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Some of them do; but the hon. gentleman, who is a medical man himself, knows perfectly well that some stomach diseases which men are suffering from to-day came from starvation.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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LIB

John Power Howden

Liberal

Mr. HOWDEN:

I dioubt it.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

One had only to cross this country in those days and see the boys feeding out of tin cans in the jungles to know that that kind of living would inevitably bring upon them the stomach diseases which some of them are suffering from to-day.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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LIB

John Power Howden

Liberal

Mr. HOWDEN:

I do not want to disturb the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, but to the best of my honest belief I do not think you can develop any stomach disease from under-feeding.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

If you could not develop stomach diseases from under-feeding you could develop many other kinds of diseases from under-feeding.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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LIB

John Power Howden

Liberal

Mr. HOWDEN:

Well and good, but not stomach disease.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Some medical men will tell you that irregular feeding, which these boys endured during those days, is one source of stomach disease. While over-feeding may be a source also, undoubtedly irregular feeding or no feeding at all is bound to bring about a considerable amount of stomach trouble. But I am not going to argue about the medical opinion.

I am pointing out that for years after this government came into power, in place of the hon. gentlemen who now comprise the official opposition, nothing was done to meet the dire necessities of the Canadian people. As I have said in this house once before, I recollect that a group of young men came right under this roof in February, 1939, and when they pleaded for an opportunity to get food, clothing and shelter they were told by the government that there was no way whereby this government

Family Allowances

could do anything for them because the province was supposed to do it. When these young men went to the province they were told that they had not lived in the province long enough and that they should go to the municipality, and the municipality told them that they had not lived in the municipality long enough, but charity provided them with two meals a day and a bed at a mission in this city. Six months later the war broke out, and some of those very boys who were described right in this chamber by an hon. gentleman who sits not very far from here and supports the government as yaps and ne'er-do-wells were among those who enlisted. It is all very well to come along now in July, 1944, and make fine speeches about family allowances and nutrition and all the rest of it. But let us not forget the years that have gone by and the neglect of this government to do the thing that it ought to have done when it had the power to do it before this war broke out.

I said a few moments ago that this bill should be a part of a comprehensive social security plan and that we should see to it that it is not used either for the depression of wages or for the depression of farm prices. Properly carried out, I believe that it will prove a good measure so far as an increased consumption of farm products is concerned. Properly administered and properly viewed, and with adequate protection given to the wage-earner and the encouragement of organization among labour, I believe that it will be a good thing for the families of our working people. But let us remember that this must never be regarded as a substitute for either a floor under low wages or a floor under low farm prices. If it were ever so regarded, then I say to this house that its enactment would indeed be a tragedy. But I do not believe that it will ever be permitted to be used for either of those purposes.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

That was never suggested by anybody.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

It was suggested this afternoon.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Not by us.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I am not suggesting that it will be so used. I am simply pointing out that I hope and believe that it will never' be used as a substitute for either. We believe, as a matter of fact, that family allowances find their proper place in any general programme of social security and family welfare.

There is one thing about this bill that I want to criticize constructively. Nothing I say will be said in destructive criticism of the

bill. But it does seem to me that there is something wrong with the manner in which this bill is to be worked out, because the problem of maintaining a large family is surely greater than the problem of maintaining a small family. Yet we find under .this bill that as the family increases in size the amount of the family allowance per child is reduced.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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LIB

Thomas Vincent Grant

Liberal

Mr. GRANT:

The difficulty is not twice as great though.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I think that is wrong. As a family increases the problem of caring for the family tends rather to increase than to decrease.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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LIB

Thomas Vincent Grant

Liberal

Mr. GRANT:

No.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Well, if that were not so, I believe there would be larger families.

It is to be remarked that this does not pretend to be a bill which will enable the state to pay for the maintenance of a child. If the cost as given this afternoon is between $14 and $15 a month on a low wage level- and it must be at least that-to maintain a child, and the average family allowance to be paid is $7 a month, then approximately the total payment, putting it on a rather low level, is about half what it takes to maintain a child in a family. It seems to me that if we are to have family allowances based on per capita grants to children we should see to it that the amount is not decreased if a family exceeds what we might term the average number.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

May I interrupt? That is directly against the findings of Sir William Beveridge.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Yes, I knew that, but I cannot see the validity of the argument, and I am giving this constructive criticism of it.

The Prime Minister this afternoon made some excellent points in support of this measure. He said that to-day we are recognizing the fact that we are all dependent one upon another. I am glad that this recognition is being made not only in our country but throughout the world. We have had too much emphasis upon and propaganda about rugged individualism, rugged individualism which brought millions of people down to being ragged individuals; and I am glad the Prime Minister emphasized the fact that we are members one of another and that each one of us is responsible for the conditions which we find around us. As he said, the importance of our human resources is far greater than the importance of our material resources. I noted the figures which the Prime

Family Allowances

Minister used this afternoon. He spoke of one million and a half families. I do not know how these figures were arrived at. While he was speaking I sent for Hansard of March 15, 1943, which at page 1230 gives the total number of children at home in Canada, twenty-four years of age and under, as 4,628,000, and a break-down by provinces. It struck me that, on the basis of a million and a half families, the estimate of three and a half million children might be a little low. I am not sure how the estimate was arrived at.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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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:

My figures

were worked out from the census of 1941.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Of course these are census figures for a different age-group. I just wanted to be sure that that was so. There are then in round figures a million and a half families and three and a half million children, and of those only a percentage will benefit from this legislation. Not all will benefit, because of the reduction in the exemption for children under the income tax law. It has seemed to me that it would have been better if the family allowance had been paid alike to all children; it would have been less complicated, and the matter could then have been dealt with above the exemption for income tax on the basis of income tax returns and exemptions. That would perhaps have simplified the government's plan.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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July 25, 1944