July 25, 1944

LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. Hon. gentlemen

must not interrupt.

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

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I do not think I am trespassing upon the rules any more than any other member. I am trying to follow consecutively along a certain line of thought and must therefore follow my notes.

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

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

They have asked for it and they will get it.

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

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

If we are to encourage large families, then I think care should be taken that they are eugenically of the kind that will be most likely to improve our race. This bill will result in many cases in bonusing families who have been unwilling to defend their country. May I venture to suggest that our object should be quality rather than quantity. It is surely time for parents to give some consideration to the question of how many children they can afford to bring up. It is not fair to bring children into the world just to satisfy an uncontrollable impulse without thought of whether sufficient food and other necessities will be available for them. Surely there must be some alternative to baby bonuses which will preserve the sanctity of the family, maintain a normal birthrate, and place the major economic burden of raising children where it belongs, upon the parents. Why should a hard working man who has planned a normal sized family have to curtail his wishes because he is heavily taxed in order to help to support a large family of shiftless people, and perhaps in some cases the lazy man who counts on the

state keeping him and whatever he likes to bring into the world? Hitler used this method as part of his campaign to raise the birthrate when the nazis set out to equalize the economic burden of raising big families through the family equalization fund. The nazis paid such big subsidies for children that it was actually possible in Germany for a man to earn more by begetting babies than he did by working for a living. I am not opposed to aid for children, but I am opposed to this particular form of aid, family allowances, because it gives no guarantee that the children will benefit, because it will be costly and cumbersome in operation, full of inequalities, and finally because it is the essence of the dole. Another major objection to cash family allowances is that they place upwards of two million families, more than two-thirds of the families in this country, on the public payroll. Every month they will look to their fairy godmother, Ottawa, for a hand-out.

Another reason why I oppose this bill is that it is unconstitutional and an invasion of provincial rights, as my leader pointed out this afternoon. It should not have been introduced before having a dominion-provincial conference and getting their consent to an amendment to the British North America Act, which amendment, would then have to be adopted by the British parliament. Is it not amusing to observe a Liberal government, which laughed at Aberhart's $25 a month to all families, suddenly bringing down a baby bonus proposition which will cost the country $200 million or more? This bonus will be given to children up to fifteen years of age, whereas even in Russia it is proposed to bonus children only up to five years of age. It should be remembered that the government will get the money for their largesse out of the people by taxes. This means that everyone who pays taxes will have less money to educate and bring up his own family. I believe that it is a fact that sixty-three per cent of the families with ten or more children live in the province of Quebec. Contrast this with British Columbia where families are small and where forty per cent have no children living at home. When eight provinces realize that they are being taxed for the benefit of one province, will it not accentuate the disunity which has shaken Canada from coast to coast, because the government chose to listen to the powerful voice of this same province which refused to share equally with others in fighting the common enemy? Will these eight provinces not be justified in concluding that this is a subsidy for votes as well as for babies, and that this

Family Allowances

undigested bill has been rushed in before a provincial election and a pending federal election with the object of influencing votes in the government's favour?

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

Joseph-Adéodat Blanchette (Chief Government Whip's assistant; Deputy Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. J. A. BLANCHETTE (Compton):

It is with a deep sense of appreciation that I rise on this occasion to support this measure of family allowances. I alreadj" had indicated its importance to this house by having inserted on the order paper on January 27, 1942, the following resolution:

Resolved that, in the opinion of this house, the government should consider the advisability of granting family allowances, taking into consideration the respective jurisdiction of both federal and provincial parliaments, and that the matter should be referred to the committee on industrial and international relations, with instructions to inquire and make a report.

This measure was announced in the speech from the throne in January last, and I must compliment the government upon bringing in this bill which I consider of the greatest importance for the social welfare of our people. No other single social measure could be introduced in this or any other parliament or legislative assembly which offers at one and the same time so many ramifications into and corrections of our economic ills, and establishes at the same time a beacon of light in the way of social progress to humanity.

When Sir William Beveridge honoured this august body with his conference in this very building on May 25, 1943, as will be seen in report No. 13 of the special committee on social security I asked him the following questions :

Mr. Blanchette: Would our distinguished

guest care to give any comment as to his appreciation of children's allowances in any plan of social security?

Sir William Beveridge: I am very glad you asked that question because children's allowances are the most revolutionary thing in my report, and they have been accepted in Britain. I propose children's allowances for two main reasons, i'he first is that without children's allowances you cannot abolish want. Poverty in Britain before the war was due to two causes. It was due either to the interruption of earnings or a man having too large'a family for his wages We do not believe that Britain can get on unless there are a substantial number of large families. Unless we can get an average of nearly three children born to a family the British race will diminish and finally die out. Therefore there must be large families and we want some large families. In order to abolish want you have got to have children's allowances. The secondary reason is that if you give allowances for children only when people are unemployed or sick you will sometimes have cases where people have as much money when they are sick or unemployed as they can earn or even more. That is a bad situation. There are quite a number of other reasons for children's allowances, such as its effect upon the population and the quality of the population which I will

not go into now. Until recently there was considerable opposition to children's allowances on the part of some trade unions, but at the last trade union congress in September last they accepted children's allowances. It has been accepted by the government as to its principle. I think you may take it that it will be adopted.

I should be very much interested to see whether or not you adopt it in this country. I hope you will because I believe it is a good thing.

That, Mr. Speaker, is the opinion of Sir William Beveridge on the matter after his extensive and exhaustive research and study. It is my firm opinion that Great Britain will be accepting family allowances very shortly if it has not done so already, in view of Sir William Beveridge's conviction in the matter and the progress of thought which he has brought in that direction.

Our own Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in his book "Industry and Humanity", which he published in 1918, gave an impetus toward the betterment of mankind by his enunciation in his treatise, by his contribution of a sound and comprehensive basis for constructive and combined effort which may prove of a very special value to an understanding and effective solution of the social problems of our day. Mr. King believes, as enunciated in his book "that considerations of health, broadly interpreted as denoting physical, mental and moral well-being lie at the basis of all efficiency and at the very foundation of society. In recognition of the health of workers and their social well-being the emphasis will shift from the sacredness of possession to the sacredness of life, from the value of property and its rights to the value of personality and its rights, from material resources to human resources". The elimination of fear, social and industrial, will be found to be at the root of all regulation toward the betterment of mankind. "There is a legitimate fear", says Mr. King, whereas with respect to work done compensation is wholly inadequate and insufficient, to sustain life; there is a legitimate fear where despite willingness to work, work is not to be had; there is a legitimate fear where through sickness and invalidity the capacity to earn is gone and the savings of months and years drawn and exhausted; there is a legitimate fear where age is confronted with the alternative of poverty or dependence; there is a legitimate fear where the woman is suddenly left without support for her children. Each and everyone of these fears, Mr. Speaker, is susceptible to be the lot of many of our family heads when forty-six per cent of these received a salary under one thousand dollars in Canada in 1941, and again when in the United States forty-seven per cent of the spending units

Family Allowances

received less than one thousand dollars in 1935 and 1936. True it is that legislation has been passed to meet, in a certain measure, practically all the fears above enumerated, save the latter, the fear of the heads of large families that they may be unable to bring up their families in keeping with the value of the human personality. In my opinion this measure providing family allowances will make life much more bearable for those who have not, without in any way endangering the way of life of those who have. However, the latter will have the added satisfaction of knowing they are helping their fellow men and humanity in general, and that feeling will be with them forever. That is the only wealth we can keep. In a brief on the Marsh report the Canadian association of social workers take the following stand in regard to family allowances:

The association approves the principle of family allowances and welcomes their inclusion in the Marsh report. Such grants have been general in Europe, and an essential part of the social security scheme of Australia and New Zealand. In Canada, a considerable proportion of our population is now supported by dependents' allowances. We therefore approve the universal application of this principle by extending these allowances to the whole population. The payments made by dependents' allowance represent our most comprehensive Canadian experience to date; it has been tested and proved in practice. The Canadian association of social workers therefore suggests that a scale of grants be adopted not less adequate than that of the dependents' allowance.

Our own parliament made a study of family allowances, through the standing committee on industrial and international relations, in February, 1929, so that it will be seen that this question, which has been discussed by sociologists and economists for the past fifty or sixty years, is now being given the prominence and importance it merits. What greater merit, what greater importance could any proposed measure have than that of the welfare of mankind 7 The question of family allocations made considerable headway after the last war; in the six years from 1918 to 1924 there was definite progression of thought in regard to the principle of this legislation, which was adopted by France in 1918 and by Belgium in 1921. Definite progress was made in some fifteen other European countries, as well as in New South Wales and New Zealand. The International Labour Review for April, 1940, has this to say in regard to the scope of family allowances:'

In Belgium and France practically the whole population nowr receives family allowances. In New Zealand and New South Wales the schemes also apply to all categories of citizens and activities, with the important reservation that allowances are paid only to families with a limited income. In Italy and Spain the basic regulations

100-337J

provide for the extension of the allowances to all the main branches of economic activity, but only for workers, and in Chile only for salaried employees. In Hungary the payment of allowances is restricted to workers in industry and commerce.

The principle of family allocations is not established on the basis of charity, but rather on the high plane of social justice, for upon the maintenance of the family depends the very maintenance of the state. The family allowance is based on the principle of, the natural and inalienable right of each and everyone of us not only to obtain the means of his existence but to a wage which will permit him and the members of his family to live rather than merely exist. As it has been established in the providential order that man must not live alone, that he is destined to establish and bring up a family, so, therefore, must it be admitted that a well organized economic regime must be such that all men of normal capacity may be able to supply their needs and those of their families.

I will not undertake a philosophic discussion of the right of ownership which Christian philosophers, economists and sociologists recognize as established in the very nature of man, taking precedence over the nature of the state. I wall say, however, that from this right of ownership emanate many restrictions, among them the right of a lawfully constituted authority to direct and orient the right of property toward the common good and welfare of its subjects. Upon this right is predicated the power of the state to legislate upon contracts, wills and transfers of property; to levy taxes upon property for the administration of the state, and so on. The state has a mission to look after the general welfare of its subjects, and it also has the power and right to modify its economic regime if that regime is opposed to the principles of social and distributive justice, in order that it may further, as much as possible, the general welfare of its members. I need not pursue minutely or in detail the rapid transformation of our economic system which has resulted in ever-incre'asing production, creating at times, in some parts of the world, the erroneous belief or conviction that a human person was a mere economic chattel, to be treated accordingly.

It may be well for us to stop here for a moment to consider what has been the fate of the Canadian family of ordinary means, which is by far the most numerous in our economic set-up. Upon that consideration we may predicate a conclusion as to whether this proposed measure of family allowances is a tangible expression of the Atlantic charter or of the new order, aimed at the advancement and

536S

Family Allowances

betterment of humanity in general. Economists agree that the family of five is a normal family; that is, the father, mother and three children. This family of five is considered necessary to at least maintain the population of a country. I believe also this is the numerical basis upon which statistics in regard to family budgets are established for the various countries of the world. The Marsh report establishes that the minimum amount which this family of five must have for its budget should be not less than $1,471.60, apportioned as follows:

Food, $34.66 per month.

Lodging, $25 per month.

Recreation, periodicals, and so forth, $1.39 per month.

Life insurance, medical care and other exigencies, $3.57 per week.

Tramways, 75 cents per week.

General furniture upkeep, 50 cents per week.

A serious examination of these items will show that there is no exaggeration in the figures given, unless it be that they are not high enough. This minimum budget of $1,471 as established by Marsh is corroborated by the welfare council of Toronto as being practically the results of its investigations. In 1941, as has been stated already, forty-six per cent of the heads of families in Canada received a salary of less than $1,000 a year. There are in Canada 225,640 families of two children; 135,240 families with three children, and 223,940 families with four children or more.

May it not therefore be logically deduced from this statement that forty-six per cent of the heads of families in Canada having an annual salary of under $1,000 have to put up with unsanitary home conditions, malnutrition and are just about eking out an existence in this land of plenty and unbounded resources? May it not also be deduced that there is something wrong with an economic system that will tolerate the payment of such revenue to the heads of forty-six per cent of the families of the country? Does not this proposed measure of family allowances offer an immediate and necessary relief to those afflicted families? As I stated at the outset of my remarks, family allocations are not based upon the principle of charity as has been asserted in some quarters. They are based upon the following considerations.

First, the head of the family is rendering a service to the state by maintaining or increasing the population of the country. It is selfevident that a single person or a family without children cannot be said to be either maintaining or increasing the population of the country. Second, the population of the country is considered a great factor in the wealth of the nation. In the sixteenth century

the economist Bodin stated that there was no strength or wealth but that found in the human person. The history of modem nations to-day bears out the truth of that axiom.

In 1870 Germany was considered to be a poor nation. None the less it saw its wealth doubled with the increase of its population during the thirty years preceding the war of 1914. On the other hand, during the same period France saw its wealth and population remain practically stagnant. It is all the more important for a young country like Canada that its population should increase in view of the vast expanses of our dominion and our valuable resources. Family allocations

will surely make an increased population possible by providing better nutrition and better medical care to our children. These two factors alone will greatly increase our population.

Various insurance companies have endeavoured to place a value upon the person engaged in production. For example, the

Metropolitan Life Insurance company carried on a wide and extensive research in this connection some few years back. They came to the conclusion that a person thirty years of age earning $50 a week represented some $31,000 of the economic wealth of the country to which he belonged. At his birth this same person represented an economic value of $9,333. Who is responsible for the proper upkeep, development and orientation of this person whose value to the state is $9,333 if it is not his father and mother? Again the research of the Metropolitan Life mentions that the total cost to a family of a producer such as the one just referred to is $7,200.

The family provides the state with willing workers in agriculture, industry, education and science. The greater the family, the greater its power of consumption of goods produced by the industries of the nation. In view of all these services rendered by the family to the country it would appear that some special consideration should be given by the country to large families. In some cases just the opposite prevails in that the larger the family, the greater the indirect taxes paid, and at times there is even a greater payment of direct taxes.

The economist Fallon has well said that family allocations are not a charitable donation but rather an assistance, an indemnity, a payment for service rendered to the state. It is earned in the most respectable sense of the word. It should be considered just as honourable as payment for other services rendered to the state. For example, the judge and magistrate are not paid because they render justice on the basis of their monetary re-

Family _ Allowances

numeration. The soldier does not defend his country for the pay he gets. Both of these categories are paid because of the service they render to their country, and family allocations should be considered in like manner.

Saturday Night of July 8 last had this to say on the question of family allowances:

There are no doubt certain weaknesses about the bonus system, but it has not yet been established that they are greater than the weaknesses of having no system of dealing with the needs of the underprivileged families, or the weaknesses of any other practical method of doing so.

The proposal of Miss Charlotte Whitton for greatly extended revision of social services are admirable, but they do not and cannot guarantee that all needy families would be adequately looked after.

And again:

A united nation is one in which the more fortunate citizens of all kinds, simply because they are citizens and are more fortunate, are willing to be taxed for the benefit of the less fortunate citizens of all kinds, simply because they also are citizens, but are less fortunate, due in great part because of their greater economic responsibility due to large families.

The article ends with:

We shall have a Canadian nation only when we can feel, pretty generally, that a Canadian child is a Canadian child and entitled to certain economic advantages, whether he is French or Scottish, or Ukrainian by racial origin, whether he is in Quebec or Alberta, whether he is the son of a Roman Catholic or a Presbyterian or a Lutheran. We can hasten that time, or, we can defer it, by our attitude on this legislation.

The Labour Review of June last had this to say:

In quite a few countries, children's allowances were paid before the war. After the war, still more countries will have them. Canada has to decide whether or not to keep abreast of Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand in social progress and population policy.

In this sparsely populated land, we should ask ourselves, not -whether we can afford children's allowances, but whether we can afford any longer to do without them.

To bring up a large family of children constitutes an unbearable burden to workers who live a hand-to-mouth existence. Not only does this deprive that family of many essentials of life, but frequently it means absolute poverty.

Of all the contingencies of modern life, that of the overburdened family has been the last to be recognized. It may perhaps be easy to explain the tardiness of the movement. The burden of a large family, although just as serious and lasting an even longer period, has not the striking * appeal of accidents, unemployment, illness, old age dependency, or widowhood and orphanage. Its hardships are more hidden and the social conscience has naturally been slower in awakening. Furthermore, the sufferings of the victims of economic pressure are not so dramatically displayed as are sacrifices of men in war. They are none the less real, although being silently, slowly, and obscurely borne.

The value of a system of family allowances cannot be questioned. No one can deny the injustice now imposed upon parents who have to raise a large family on wages which at times are frequently insufficient for the parents, let alone the children.

Family allowances would relieve much of the anxiety and poverty which now confronts many parents. They would bring about greater efficiency and reduced labour turnover They would supply an additional ready market for consumers goods to the extent of some one hundred million dollars a year at least; they would give an impetus to the better housing movement and greatly contribute to the gradual disappearance of slum housing. They would also be of some assistance in immigration.

From the point of view of society, the family allowance is the safest and surest way of promoting health and raising the standards of the race both physically and morally. It is the easiest way of preventing the stunted growth of children, and is the least expensive method of reducing infant mortality.

The moral law of the universe is progress, and progress always offers shock and dislocation to the institutions of the past. Every generation that passes idly without adding to that progress remains uninscribed upon the register of humanity, and the succeeding generation tramples its ashes as dust.

Every age has its problems, by solving which humanity- is helped forward. The solution of any problem cannot be far wrong if it be solved with a desire for the betterment and social advancement of our fellow men.

I should like in conclusion to quote a paragraph taken from Industry and. Humanity, which reads:

The sacredness of human personality is more important than all the other considerations. Without infinite regard for individual life, however obscure or deformed, expressions of social values are meaningless. Estimates of national power, pride in industrial growth, forecasts of world expansion . . . any and all of these which reckon material gains apart from the human losses they involve, mistake for life itself the coarse texture of but a part of the garment of life.

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

Frédéric Dorion

Independent

Mr. FREDERIC DORION (Charlevoix-Saguenay) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in this debate I deem it my duty to commend the government for having introduced this measure in the House of Commons. I must say, at the outset, that my commendation implies some qualifications for

Family Allowances

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

Gaspard Fauteux

Liberal

Mr. FAUTEUX (Translation):

We have a

progressive government.

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

Frédéric Dorion

Independent

Mr. DORION (Translation):

That's right.

Notwithstanding the most appropriate remarks made this afternoon by the hon. Minister of Justice, I submit that the provinces ought to have their say in the administration of this social legislation. Not so much from a constitutional aspect as from a practical aspect, as regards implementing this social legislation, the provincial-governments are evidently in a much better position that the dominion government to know the needs of their people. The former come in much closer contact with the individuals who require help and who may benefi-t by this social legislation.

As regards the application of the family allowances principle the provinces are in a much better position than any department of the federal government to carry out such legislation properly. There is more to this, however. As I said earlier, one finds in the bill now before the house striking and important flaws. For my part I will certainly support the bill because I consider it far more important than any question of procedure. To a certain extent, however, I wish to disclaim responsibility for possible after-affects of the bill, for I submit it cannot be applied in its entirety and that the children whom it is intended to favour might not benefit by this act unless it is amended in certain respects. My statement is based on subsection 2 of section 4 which reads as follows:

The allowance shall cease to be payable with the payment for the month when the child attains his sixteenth birthday or when, being above the age of six years and physically fit to attend school, he fails to attend school or to receive equivalent training as prescribed in the regulations or when he dies or ceases to reside in Canada, etc.

^ Now, Mr. Speaker, if there is one matter which is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the provinces it is the matter of education. As a matter of fact, I need only refer to section 93 of the British North America Act to find out that the Dominion government can in no way and under no circumstances interfere with education. Now, in this measure, children are compelled to attend school until the age of sixteen. The Dominion government is accordingly enforcing compulsory education.! The door being thus open, where can sucn a system lead us? Who can tell us that the education of our children will

Family Allowances

not, through some regulation enacted under the powers granted the dominion government by this act, have to be given in one way or another? Who can tell us that, the door now being thus open, children will not be compelled to attend some particular school? It might then be maintained that the section I have just mentioned is only being carried out, and I submit

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

Lionel Bertrand

Independent Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier) (Translation):

One must have a good deal of imagination to draw such conclusions.

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

Frédéric Dorion

Independent

Mr. DORION (Translation):

I am only reading the bill and I submit that imagination has no part in that. I challenge any one to say that under subsection 2 of section 4 compulsory education is not imposed. I shall go farther. School attendance is made compulsory until the age of sixteen! What will happen in the province of Quebec, since under the compulsory education act of that province children must attend school only until the age of fourteen? The provincial act and this one will conflict. It is obvious that the provisions of subsection 2, section 4, of the bill is unconstitutional. That is not all. In section 6 of the same bill, provision is made for the establishment of a court of appeal:

If any person is dissatisfied with a decision as to his right to be paid an allowance or as to the amount of an allowance payable to him or as to any other matter arising under this act, he may appeal against such decision to a tribunal to be established and conducted in accordance with regulations, . . .

Now, in reference to the British North America Act-

Mr. ST. LAURENT (Translation): Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member will permit me. We are now debating the second reading and the principle involved, not the details. The points brought up by the hon. member are certainly debatable. Details will be examined when each section is submitted to the committee. Does not the hon. member think it would be more profitable to postpone the detailed discussion until the matter is referred to the committee of the house for consideration? I do not want to raise any objection, but the hon. member stated he agreed with the principle of the bill. He will be given all the latitude desired to make representations, which might prove very weighty, when the bill is discussed in detail. The hon. member admitted of his own accord that he did not consider the objections he is discussing at present would justify him in opposing the principle which is submitted to the house for second reading. Would it not be preferable to postpone this discussion until it is possible to arrive at a decision on the objections raised by the hon. member.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT (Translation):

He is offering suggestions for the improvement of the bill.

Mr. DORil'ON (Translation): The reason why I raised those two points is that the honourable the Minister of Justice, if I am not mistaken, told us this afternoon, when he discussed the constitutionality of the act, that its going into effect was dependent on two conditions: first, that application should be made in accordance with the provisions of the act, and second, that the money should be spent for the welfare of the child. Now, in answer to the Minister of Justice, I have the right to show that this bill contains, as I said at the outset, sections which, in my opinion, are unconstitutional. I am discussing the principle of the bill by referring to the unconstitutional character of a few sections of this bill. From a practical standpoint, I wish to submit to this house the observations I have to make because, and I do say this with the utmost sincerity, the application of the bill in its present form will be impossible or it will entail so many difficulties that the measures which we now are considering for the benefit of children will not be operative. I think it is proper to discuss, on the matter of principle, the constitutionality of some provisions and the practicability of some others. I believe I am quite in order.

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, section 6 provides for the setting up of a tribunal. I suggest that under section 92 of the British North America Act, subsection 14, this is a matter which is,within the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces:

The administration of justice in the province, including the constitution, maintenance and organization of [DOT]provincial courts, both of civil and of criminal jurisdiction, and including procedure in civil matters in those courts.

And to exemplify, I would say that at one time some legislation had to be passed by this parliament in connection with the Bankruptcy Court, and it was desired to submit the dispute to a special court. Under the Bankruptcy Act that dispute had to be referred to provincial courts.

Section (d) of chapter 213 states:

"Court" means, in the province of Quebec, the Superior Court.

And section 104 of chapter 213 states:

Such an appeal shall lie to the highest court of final resort for the province or territory in which the proceeding originated.

Therefore, this parliament has no authority to set up this tribunal and clause 6 should be deleted or be amended, otherwise it might give rise to disputes which would prevent the operation of the Act. And further, as the bill now stands, I suggest that the tribunal

Family Allowances

in question would merely be a board to ratify the decisions of the minister as provided by section 5. We have at present in Canada courts capable of administering this act and in my opinion no other courts should be set up for this purpose.

There is another anomaly which I would point out and it is found in section 3. I am absolutely opposed to the decreasing scale of allowances because, as I said a moment ago, family allowances are intended primarily for large families. I suggest that under the scale provided in section 3 this principle is disregarded. As the family increases the allowance decreases. Therefore, I contend that this is contrary to the principle under which family allowances should be given to large families.

There is another and more serious anomaly. Here is the last paragraph of section 3:

Provided that the allowance payable shall, in respect of a fifth child maintained by the parent, be reduced by one dollar and in respect of a sixth child and a seventh child respectively so maintained, by two dollars and in respect of an eighth child and each additional child respectively so maintained, by three dollars.

What is meant by the word "maintain"? Referring back to section 2, I do not think the definition is what we might expect. Here it is:

"maintains" means maintains wholly or substantially.

Then, the word should be taken in its

etymological sense.

A man may have children over 16 whom he maintains and for whom he draws no family allowance, although they contribute to reduce the grant provided for his younger brothers and sisters. .

The following illustration is a perfect example of such a situation. Let us take a family with six children aged 20, 18, 16, 14, 12 and 10. The first three, as frequently happens, are still at school and therefore maintained by their parents; however, they do not entitle them to family allowances because they are over sixteen. The fourteen-year-old, the twelve-year-old and the ten-year-old are respectively the fourth, fifth and sixth children.

Under section 3, these last three children, the only members of the family entitled to the allowances, would see their grants reduced because they have older brothers maintained by their parents.

I consider this a flaw in this measure and, to my mind, it is in direct opposition to the principle of the bill.

I felt it important to point out these flaws and I deemed it my duty to call attention to them immediately so they may be remedied. A practical and properly applied family allowance legislation would answer an obvious need

throughout the country and would benefit the large families.

In concluding, Mr. Speaker, I shall quote, with your permission, an extract from a poem by Richmond Builder, which, I believe, summarizes this whole situation.

(Text)

So Long As There Are Homes

So long as there are homes to which men turn At the close of clay,

So long as there are homes where children are-[DOT] Where women stay,

If love and loyalty and faith be found Across these sills,

A stricken nation can recover from Its gravest ills.

So long as there are homes where fires burn And there is bread,

So long as there are homes where lamps are lit And prayers are said:

Although a people falter through the dark And nations grope,

With God himself back of these little homes We still can hope.

On motion of Mr. Claxton the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   FAMILY ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN UNDER SIXTEEN
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Wednesday, July 26, 1944


July 25, 1944