April 3, 1945


On the orders of the day:


LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

A press release has been

given out this afternoon1 with respect to a conference that has been held in Ottawa during the last two or three days between two members of the British government and members of the present administration in relation to the question of the supply of essential commodities, particularly food. I thought it would be proper if this intimation were given to parliament in the first instance.

Mr. Lyttelton, Minister of Production, and Colonel Llewellin, Minister of Food in the United Kingdom, have spent three days in Ottawa and have discussed in detail with the Canadian government the question of the supply of essential commodities, particularly food. Special attention was given to the pressing needs of the liberated areas of Europe and to the supply of those foodstuffs which are in world-wide shortage, such as meat, fats and oils, dairy products and sugar. These meetings were preliminary to discussions which are to take place in Washington shortly. The President of the United States has invited Canadian ministers to take part in the Washington discussions, and the invitation has been accepted.

Topic:   COMMODITY SUPPLIES
Subtopic:   PRESS RELEASE RESPECTING CONFERENCE WITH UNITED KINGDOM MINISTERS OF FOOD AND PRODUCTION
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WAR APPROPRIATION BILL

PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY


Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance) moved that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution: That it is expedient to introduce a measure to provide, inter alia, 1. That sums not exceeding $2,000,000,000 be granted to His Majesty towards defraying any expenses or making any advances or loans that may be incurred or granted by or under the authority of the governor in council during the year ending March 31, 1946, for-[DOT] (a) the security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada; (b) the conduct of naval, military and air operations in or beyond Canada; (c) promoting the continuance of trade, industry and business communications, whether by means of insurance or indemnity against war risk or in any other manner whatsoever; (d) the purposes of the War Appropriation (United Nations Mutual Aid) Act, 1943, as amended by the War Appropriation (United Nations Mutual Aid) Act, 1944; and (e) the carrying out of any measure deemed necessary or advisable by the governor in *eonucil in consequence of the existence of a state of war. 2. That the governor in council be empowered to raise by way of loan under the provisions of the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act, 1931, such sum or sums of money, not exceeding in the whole the sum of $2,000,000,000 as may be required for the purpose of defraying such expenses or making such advances or loans, the principal and interest of any such loan to be a charge upon and payable out of the consolidated revenue fund. 3. That the governor in council be empowered to reexpend, advance or loan moneys that may be received by way of refund or repayment of advances, loans or expenditure under the War Appropriation Acts of 1939 (second session), 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944. War Appropriation



He said: This resolution seeks authority to introduce a measure which, if enacted by this Parliament, will be entitled The War Appropriation Act No. 1, 1945. I wish first to say a few words in regard1 to the form of the bill. Apart from the necessary changes in amounts and dates, and with two exceptions to which I shall refer later, the bill is in exactly the same form as that of the main War Appropriation Act passed last year. Its essential features, therefore, are the following: (1) A grant of authority to expend, subject to allotment by the treasury board, for various enumerated war purposes, the sum of two billion dollars, together with any moneys received as refunds or repayments of advances, loans or expenditures made under the authority of previous war appropriation acts; (2) Continuation of the grant of certain powers to the government to perform certain functions connected with the war as agent for the government of any allied country, and, in the exercise of these powers, to make certain expenditures or assume certain obligations temporarily; and (3) The grant of authority to the governor in council to raise, if necessary by borrowing, the moneys required for the purposes of the legislation. I said a moment ago that there had been two changes made in the form of the bill, as compared with the form of earlier measures of the same kind. The second of these is the addition of a new paragraph (d) to section (2) of the bill which provides that one of the purposes for which the appropriation may be used is the giving of Mutual Aid assistance to other united nations in accordance with the provisions of the War Appropriation (United Nations Mutual Aid) Act 1943 as amended by the War Appropriation (United Nations Mutual Aid) Act 1944. Thus, we are proposing to ask parliament for only one appropriation to cover the whole of the expenditures on Canada's war effort, both direct and indirect, during the next few months. In other words, the two billion dollars which we are requesting will cover not only the expenditures in respect of our own armed forces and other direct war activities, but also the expenditures necessary to carry on the functions of the Mutual Aid board. There has been no change in the functions and powers of that board and there is therefore no necessity for any change in the legislation. The first of the two changes to which I have referred is a very minor one, but it draws attention to the essential nature of the bill, that is, the fact that it is an interim appropriation only. This change is to be found in the preamble to the bill, which points out that the term of this parliament will have ended on the 17th April next, and that therefore it is expedient to provide funds for the continued prosecution of the war until the new parliament assembles. I need not emphasize that this parliament is now meeting for its sixth and final session, which must terminate by April 17. It will therefore be a new parliament, newly elected by the people of Canada, which will be responsible for supervising the affairs of this country and shaping Canada's war effort during at least the major part of the new fiscal year. It will be a government, responsible to that new parliament, which should have at least the major responsibility for formulating not only the nature and extent of Canada's continued war effort during that period but also the financial policies and programmes necessary to carry on. that war effort. Therefore it did not seem appropriate that the government at this stage should bring down plans for the new fiscal year as a whole, or do anything that might even appear to commit the next parliament to a precise and definite programme covering the period for which it alone will have jurisdiction. On the contrary, all considerations seemed to point to the desirability of limiting our actions regarding war financial programmes in this parliament to the granting of an appropriation intended only to cover the period up to the time when the next parliament can take over, and further to the desirability of not embarking on any major changes in policy at this time. Hence the appropriation which is now being requested is an interim appropriation designed to cover our estimated expenditures, during approximately the next five months, for war and Mutual Aid purposes on the basis primarily of the policies and commitments now in effect. This seemed to be the minimum period for which it was reasonably safe to provide. It may, of course, be that the new parliament may assemble before September 1, but if so it will do no harm to have an appropriation that will extend a few weeks beyond its assembling and will therefore give some time for a new interim war appropriation measure to be passed. Hon. members may be interested to know how we arrived at the figure of two billion dollars. I will now try to throw some light on -this point. Needless to say, any forecast of war expenditures covering any future period War Appropriation must necessarily be attended by a very considerable margin of error. On repeated occasions in the past I have called attention to the difficulties we have faced in making such forecasts and to the hesitation with which some of them have been advanced. At the present time, however, the difficulties are abnormally great. We now know that victory in Europe is certain, and most of us believe that it is also reasonably near, but no one can tell whether that means one month or three months or six months hence. And certainly it would be a mistake to take too optimistic a view. If we relax or "let down", we may be sure that we shall prolong the war's duration. Even if we assume that the war against Germany will be over by some specified date, it is going to take a considerable time to repatriate our men from overseas and to demobilize them, and there are necessarily still many uncertainties as to the nature and course of the war in the far east and the share which we can most effectively take in bringing it to an end. Providentially, the course of developments in that theatre of war during recent months has outrun the expectations of most of us, and, it would appear at least to a layman that the forces of our allies under General MacArthur are considerably ahead of their schedule. Nevertheless war is dynamic and unpredictable. We have had surprises and disappointments before, and we may have them again in both Europe and Asia. With such factors in mind, we have gone on the general principle that the only safe thing to do was to assume that our direct and indirect war expenditures would keep up during the next five months at approximately the rate at which they have been running during the last five or six months. That is how we arrived at the figure of two billion dollars. We have simply projected into the next five months the rate of expenditures of the last five or six months, assuming no changes in major policies and no fundamental changes in conditions. As I shall explain later, we are estimating that the books for the fiscal year 1944-45, when they are finally closed, will show our total expenditures for war and Mutual Aid during the year at approximately S4,652 million. Five-twelfths of that sum would be SI,938 million. But, of course, expenditures during the last few months were higher than during the early months of the fiscal year. If we assume that the forecast I have just given for the full year is correct and deduct therefrom the expenditures recorded by the comptroller of the treasury for the first seven months adjusted to correct the effect on the monthly distribution of expenditures of certain temporary accounting advances, then the expenditures during the last five months of the fiscal year would work out at $2,282 million. Another basis of calculation would be to take five-sixths of the estimated expenditure during the last six months of the last fiscal year; this would give a figure of $2,218 million. However, the two amounts just mentioned are higher than the expenditures are likely to be during the first five months of this fiscal year, because expenditures for the closing months of any fiscal year always include a certain amount of clearing up of outstanding accounts. Under all the circumstances, therefore, it seemed to the government that the appropriate size of the appropriation which should be requested from parliament at this time was two billion dollars. I trust that this will carry the judgment of the house. As I have already indicated, we have tried to make a forecast of probable aggregate expenditure for war and Mutual Aid purposes during the fiscal year ending March 31, 1945, and have arrived at the figure of $4,652 million. Even though it was estimated at a late date in the fiscal year, that figure may be subject to some adjustment when the books for the year are closed but it is likely to be somewhat too high rather than too low. The chief explanation for any such possible variation is, of course, the difficulty of getting the necessary bills rendered and completing the necessary checking of vouchers and other details. This difficulty is particularly great in the case of purchases from, and activities in, other countries where our troops may be located or from which we may be purchasing supplies. However, I would not expect any variation from the figure given to alter the foregoing general conclusions regarding our requirements for the next five months. I believe it will facilitate the understanding and discussion of our current war programmes if lion, members have before them the breakdown of this estimate of our expenditures during the fiscal year 1944-45. With the permission of the house I shall, therefore, place on Hansard a table showing the estimated total expenditures for war and Mutual Aid purposes during the fiscal year 1944-45, classified by departments and major functions. For comparative purposes the corresponding figures for actual expenditures during the fiscal year 1943-44 are also given in the table, although these are to be found as well, of course, in the public accounts for that year which were tabled on the first day of the session. War Appropriation



Forecast of War Expenditures (including Mutual Aid) for the Fiscal Year 1944-45 Compared with Actual War Expenditures for 1943-44 Estimated expenditure Actual expenditure Agriculture Auditor General's Office Civil Service Commission External Affairs, including Office of the Prime Minister Finance- Comptroller of the Treasury Housing Conversion Programme Wartime Prices and Trade Board Commodity Prices Stabilization Corporation Ltd Canadian Wool Board Old Age Pensions Payments to millers and other manufacturers of wheat products for human consumption, etc ! Payment of the premiums on the purchase of Dominion of Canada registered stock Contribution to the Unemployment Insurance Fund General Fisheries Justice Labour Legislation- Senate House of Commons Mines and Resources- Immigration Lands, Parks and Forests Mines and Geology Surveys and Engineering Munitions and Supply



Administration Expansion of Industry and Production of War Supplies National Defence- Army Services Naval Services Air Services Sundry Services National Revenue National Health and Welfare National War Services National Film Board Post Office : Privy Council Wartime Information Board Public Works Royal Canadian Mounted Police Secretary of State Soldier Settlement of Canada Trade and Commerce (including National Research Council) Transport National Harbours Board Veterans Affairs- Treatment-Defence Forces Pensions-Defence Forces War Service Gratuities (Statutory) War Service Reestablishment Credits (Statutory') Civil Defence Sundry Total War Expenditures Active Assets: Loans and Advances chargeable to the War Appropriation Mutual Aid expenditures Total: War and Mutual Aid expenditures plus loans and advances chargeable to War Appropriation (000 omitted) $ 95.839 $ 64.293 275 196 541 496 342 661 9,258 4,122 13,400 110.468 8,750 19,700 940 636 24,086 73 432 1,698 3,719 9,500 205.000 1.355.000 407.000 1.325.000 60,000 1,536 25,072 1,260 1,347 2,185 7,024 3,885 35 11,549 36,599 11,000 13.000 18.000 2.000 8,973



[Mr. Ilsley.l War Appropriation The total, it will be noted, is a huge figure. It is very close to the peak of S4,679 million which our direct and indirect war expenditures reached during 1943-44, a peak which reflected the costly process of providing initial equipment for our armed forces, completing defence construction and providing capital for war production. However, it is only natural that our war expenditures should be high in a year in which we have reached the climactic phase of the war against our No. 1 enemy and during which our armed forces on land, at sea and in the air, have been almost constantly engaged in active warfare. This involves, of course, the consumption on a colossal scale of the equipment, materials and supplies of war. When I introduced t'he War Appropriation bill last year I had expected that the reduction in the year 1944-45 would be somewhat greater than the $27 million now estimated, but a few months later when I brought down the budget I took occasion to warn the house that not only our cash requirements but probably our actual expenditures as well would be higher than our original estimates. Increased costs of maintaining our armies in active warfare and the assumption of responsibility for the cost of advanced training of, and reserve stocks for, our R.C.A.F. squadrons overseas were the chief factors responsible for the increase. In case the house may be interested in receiving a preliminary forecast of the grand total of expenditures on all accounts for the fiscal year, 1944-45 I may add that ordinary expenditures are now estimated at $754 million, capital expenditures at $3-9 million, special expenditures at $7-6 million, expenditures resulting from government-owned enterprises at $1-4 million, and other charges at $47-8 million, making a grand total of $5,467 million. This compares with the budget estimate of $5,152 million and with actual expenditures of 1943-44 of $5,414 million (including in all cases the increase in active assets) chargeable to the war appropriation. Returning now to the breakdown of war expenditures for 1944-45, I may be permitted to call attention to a few of the more important items. In the service departments, army expenditures are now estimated at $1,355 million as compared with' the original estimate of $1,535 million and with actual expenditures of $1,312 million during 1943-44. Naval services expenditure is estimated at $407 million as compared with the original estimate of $410 million and with actual expenditures during 1943-44 of $370 million. Air services are now estimated at $1,325 million which represents an increase of $235 million over the original estimate and of $394 million over actual expenditures for 1943-44. These variations are mainly due to increases in the costs of overseas operations. As compared with 1943-44 there has been a substantial increase in the number of R.C.A.F. squadrons and as well a larger proportion of the more costly types of squadron. The increase as compared with the original estimate has been due primarily to the inclusion of the costs of advanced training overseas of aircrew for R.C.A.F. squadrons and the cost of reserve stocks held for these squadrons overseas. Canada has undertaken to bear these costs as they are properly part of the cost of operating a Canadian air force on the fighting front. Sundry national defence services, which now include the cost of military relief, a new item which was explained to the house last summer, are estimated to account for $60 million as compared with the estimate of $22 million, excluding military -relief. There has been a substantial reduction in the expenditures of the Department of Munitions and Supply. The total for this department is now estimated at $215 million, which compares with the original estimate of $183 million and with actual expenditures during 1943-44 of $688 million. The sharp reduction from the fiscal year 1943-44 reflects lower requirements for the construction and equipment of war factories and the disappearance of requirements for funds to be used as working capital in war production. In fact, we expect to have a credit available on working capital account and under the terms of the act these repayments form a part of the war appropriation. For the war activities carried on by all other departments or agencies of government the probable total expenditure for 1944-45 is now forecast at roughly $440 million as compared with an original estimate of $375 million and with actual expenditures of $358 million in 1943-44. I shall mention a number of the factors responsible for this increase. War expenditures of the Department of Agriculture are now estimated at $96 million for the past year as compared with the original estimate of $74 million and with, actual expenditures of $64 million during 1943-44. The increases are due to the higher cost of subsidies to encourage the wartime production of agricultural commodities. Under the finance department, subsidies paid by and other activities of the commodity prices stabilization corporation, an agency of the wartime prices and trade board, are expected to cost $110 million as compared with the estimate of $140 million and with actual expenditures of $82 million in 1943-44. Labour department war expenditures, largely connected with the War Appropriation



national selective service and the war emergency training programmes will be approximately equal to the estimate originally submitted but will exceed actual expenditures of the year 1943-44 by nearly $5 million. War expenditures of the Department of National War Services are now estimated at $26 million, up substantially from the original estimate of $16 million and the 1943-44 expenditures of $15 million. These increases are due almost wholly to increased requirements of the war auxiliary services and the inclusion of an allotment of $5 million as a government contribution to the cost of sending a much larger number of food parcels to prisoners of war in Europe and the far east. The only other significant increase as compared with 1943^44 is one of nearly $37 million shown in the expenditures of the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Costs of treatment and of pensions for veterans of the present war and sundry charges are up substantially and in addition, as a result of the passing of the War Service Grants Act at the last session of parliament, the government expects to pay $20 million for war service gratuities and reestablishment credits during the fiscal year, 1944-45. The only other item to which I think attention need be called is Mutual Aid. We now estimate that total ' expenditures under this heading for the year 1944-45 will approximate $815 million. The available appropriation, it will be recalled, was $887 million, including $S7 million carried over from the previous year. In 1943-44 Mutual Aid expenditures amounted to $913 million. Much larger Mutual Aid expenditures during the fiscal year just closed were made on behalf of the U.S.S.R., Australia, India, France, China and TJNRRA, while the amounts required by Britain as Mutual Aid were reduced temporarily because Britain was able to pay for a larger proportion of her requirements from1 the abnormally high British receipts of Canadian dollars last year arising from the payment of the costs of Canadian forces overseas. In this summary I have limited myself to the merest reference to the more significant categories of expenditure during 1944^45. In view of the method we have used in determining the amount of the interim appropriation being requested, these 1944-45 expenditures appeared to offer a better basis on which to organize1 the questioning and discussion by hon. members than any attempted break-down of the estimate of two billion dollars for the next five months. We have, therefore, not attempted to allocate this figure to departments and it would be difficult to do so at present with any degree of precision because of the current uncertainties in the war situation, but if the house should desire to have some forecast of how this total might eventually be divided, each of the ministers concerned will be able to discuss the probable requirements within his field of responsibility. When hon. members have had an opportunity to study the table I have placed on Hansard, they will be in a better position to select the items which are of special interest to them, and I have no doubt that my colleagues who are responsible for administration of the particular departments or agencies will be happy to give any additional information and such explanation as the house may desire.


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I shall not speak

at great length in discussing the subject now before the house, but there are some pertinent observations I desire to make in connection with certain general matters relating to the war appropriation resolution, and the situation generally.

The task of governing a nation at war is a heavy and exacting responsibility. The governing of a nation at war by a one-party administration cannot fail in the very nature of things to bring added difficulties to those in power. Nor can it fail to bring as well corresponding difficulties to those in opposition. I have always contended that His Majesty's Loyal Opposition, in a war-time period, has a serious and difficult role to play. In discharging our responsibility, in accordance with practice in democratic institutions, I have never conceived it to be the function of an opposition to criticize the government only for criticism's sake, a procedure which does justice neither to the opposition nor to the government. Our job is to cooperate with the administration, where to do so is clearly in the national interest. Our job, too, is to meet the government in head-on collision when we feel that their policies are no longer consonant with the best interests of the people of Canada.

Our duty never lies in surrendering to the government, although at times there seems to be a feeling across the house that any course other than complete surrender indicates a lack of cooperative spirit on the part of the opposition. Following that policy this party can properly claim that not a single vote for war purposes has been opposed by us since war broke out. True, we have criticized, and that is not only our privilege, it is our bounden duty to the public. But we have never obstructed, and this policy we shall pursue with respect to the war appropriations on this occasion as well.

Cooperation, however, cannot be a one-way street. We do not receive at all times from

War Appropriation

the present government the measure of cooperation to which we feel we are justly entitled. In between sessions of parliament we are largely ignored, but in that respect we are no worse off than the public generally. The circumstances with respect to the calling of parliament for the present session indicate clearly the fashion in which this government, on occasion, treats the opposition, this parliament and the people of Canada. Let me make the position clear.

At the close of the session on December 7 last, the Prime Minister adjourned parliament until January 31. When I inquired as to whether a new session would be convened at that time, the Prime Minister was rigidly noncommittal. Nobody-' heard anything more till the Prime Minister began to have a lengthy correspondence with the citizens of Greyi North in January. While he intimated he needed his Minister of National Defence in the Commons to take part in the parliamentary debates, he failed even then to make clear to those electors whether or not he intended to call parliament. On January 31 we met and prorogued until February 28. Nobody heard anything more until February 28, when the silence of the east block was broken long enough to say that prorogation had been extended to March 31. Two days later the Prime Minister went on the air and indicated that parliament would meet for a new session on March 19. The whole procedure seemed to lend some support to the view that the government was pushing parliament and the people around, and, what made it look worse, at a time when everything indicated, including the Grey North byelection, that the government had lost the confidence of the people, had lost confidence in itself, and held only the artificial confidence of a parliament elected five years ago.

Either this parliament should have been convened in the middle of January or a general election should have been called. The failure of the government to call a general election and its failure to do more than have a token session of parliament leaves the government open to the suspicion that it was reluctant not only to face the people but to face a full session of parliament.

The government knew that parliament's tenure expired on April 117. They knew because time after time the Prime Minister pledged himself against an extension of parliament's term. Still they allowed two solid months to go by without calling parliament and attempted to squeeze three months' national business into a little more than three weeks. That is the answer to the following questions which are being universally asked

to-day: first, why was there no debate on the address? Second, why there is so little time to discuss the war and civil estimates? Third, why are business and the taxpayers generally denied a budget until next September or October?

Parliament now finds itself with only about ten sitting days to discuss, criticize and pass over $500 million of civil estimates and $2,000 million of war appropriations as well. This strait-jacket session gives the opposition an opportunity to do no more than lightly touch upon some of the more outstanding subjects of criticism. The public will have to understand that because of the time element we are unable to do the job that we normally would be expected to do.

We shall not hold up the appropriations for either peace or war. So far as it lies within the power of the opposition so to do, we shall see that this supply is granted the government before parliament expires. But, in following this course, this party does so on the clear and definite condition that we are not necessarily committed either to the polciy or to the amounts involved when the Progressive Conservative government comes into power and compiles both the war and civil appropriations for submission to the next parliament. As in the case of interim appropriations and supply in other sessions, all our rights are hereby reserved and none surrendered by1 virtue of the passing of these interim appropriations. In saying that I am only making the reservations that have been normally and customarily made on previous occasions when interim appropriations have been before the house.

As a party we have given careful consideration as to how the remaining few days of this session can best be utilized in the public interest in connection with the war appropriations. In view of the fact that the present proposed appropriations are of an interim character, I believe the minister will agree that it may not be possible to follow rigidly in every respect the procedure adopted when the war appropriation resolution was before the house in previous sessions. Some hon. members may desire to speak to the resolution while the Speaker is still in the chair, in order that some special point in which they may be interested shall not be excluded from debate in committee by the possibility of there not being sufficient time to cover all departments before the parliamentary term expires. I suggest to the minister that the proceedings when we go into committee be so adjusted and arranged that this possibility shall be removed, so far as possible. I think the minister will understand the point I am trying to

War Appropriation

make clear-that such provision be made as will ensure that important departments of government may not find that they have not been dealt with before the session finally ends.

Such a situation, of course,' could not and never did arise in an ordinary session, for the very simple reason that the committee took the necessary time to examine all the war departments of the government. I should like to emphasize that it is important that the most be made of the limited time we have, and that the public may not have occasion to feel that any department is being neglected. The public will understand that within such a short period of time only the highlights of the expenditures can be touched at all, but on the other hand they will expect that as few of the highlights as possible be omitted. With this in mind our party will facilitate the passing of the appropriations, as well as the civil supply. At the same time we shall require the fullest possible information during the discussion.

Before I conclude I desire to make one further observation. A substantial part of the war expenditures of this government is raised by way of loans sought from the people. In the coming month Canada's eighth victory loan will be launched. The campaign will be ushered in amid circumstances which will require a clear understanding on the part of the public that this above all other times is no time to let up. The European straggle is not yet over, as the minister pointed out this afternoon. I was glad he did not take too optimistic a view in that regard. The Pacific war still has to be won. A let-up to-day means a let-down to-morrow for those who on the war fronts of the world have never let us down. We cannot, we must not, we will not let them down.

Canada, up to the end of December last, had lost in this war more than 30,974 dead and 41,540 wounded. Let us therefore not forget the part which every dollar lent will play in hospitalization of the wounded and reestablishment of our armed forces generally. They did the job for us; now we must do the job for them. Let Canada's eighth be Canada's most outstanding and successful victory loan achievement. In that achievement this party, as in previous loans, offers its wholehearted and unstinted support.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, until the members of the house receive the break-down which the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) has placed upon Hansard this afternoon, it is difficult to discuss these war appropriations in anything like detail. The minister has already stated that the government is asking for five-twelfths of an

annual appropriation based upon the expenditures of last year and the experience of the past few months. In that I think that the minister and the government are wise, because, as the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon) has stated, emphasizing the remarks of the minister, while the European war looks to be close to a victorious conclusion, it may nevertheless drag on for some time in guerrilla fashion, if not in an organized way, and consequently Canada's participation in the war may last longer than the period by which many of us dared to hope it might be shortened, if I might put it in that way. Hence it is that the appropriations before the house should receive the support of all the members, reserving as we do our rights to discuss any particular item and to scrutinize the expenditures to be made by the war departments for war purposes.

I should like particularly to emphasize the importance of making ample provision for economic aid. I note that provision is being made for Mutual Aid for the united nations. No matter what we may be called upon to do within the next few months in the actual field of warfare either in Europe or in the Pacific, it is certain that Canada will be called upon to do a great deal in the provision of food and other supplies for the peoples of the United Kingdom and the occupied areas of Europe. Consequently it seems to me that this appropriation, based, as the minister has said, upon the expenditure of last year and the experience of the last few months, i? founded upon an assumption that is fundamentally sound.

This parliament is nearing its close. In ten sitting days its life will have ended, and it is therefore appropriate that in the circumstances in which we meet there is the hope, which has I think been constant throughout the course of this war, in spite of what has just been said, that we would not be engaged in an election controversy in this country during a period of grave fighting overseas. I am hoping that we have now reached the stage when an immediate general election, for such it is that faces this house and country, may be fought on issues that are wider than the single purpose or in that sense the narrower issue of winning the war. For after all, when the budget is brought down by a government newly elected, whatever may be its political complexion, its principal function will be, not as it has been in the past five years-the provision of huge money appropriations and the making available of vast supplies for the conduct of the war-but rather the making available of appropriations for the post-war period. Consequently to the extent that the measures

War Appropriation '

covered by this war appropriation also look to the conversion of Canada to peace-time economy, I think that all members of the house should agree to give them their utmost support.

We shall have, we hope, before another year is past-indeed let us hope even before the first session of the new parliament is called-a number of our men and women returning to us from overseas. We have to make careful plans and adequate appropriations to bring about the rehabilitation of these men and women, who have performed a service to our country which I believe everyone recognizes and which has never been surpassed in our history, in order that we may find useful jobs, useful places, useful opportunities for them all. These appropriations do provide for that to some extent.

Thus there is our own domestic field; a wide field of international relations; the necessities of looking towards the nations beyond the seas and providing Mutual Aid. For let us bear this in mind, Mr. Speaker, that this country has been united for a single purpose, the purpose of winning the war, and so far as we are able we must remain united for the purpose of laying the foundations of an enduring peace. I am of this opinion, that the post-war period upon which we are about to enter will be in many respects a greater challenge to democratic peoples than even the war itself has been, and that the problems which we shall have to face, and which in a measure are dealt with in this appropriation for the next five months, will challenge our finest statesmanship, as it will in every one of the democratic countries.

And so, Mr. Speaker, speaking for this party in this house, we are prepared to facilitate the passage of these estimates in every respect consistent with proper inquiry into the expenditures that are to be made. That is what the country expects of us. That is what we desire to do. We therefore reserve further comments until we receive the breakdown of the expenditures by departments.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows, Canada is still at war, and wars cost money-much money. Social Crediters are determined to win that war. They realize that the government is charged with the responsibility of conducting the war. We assume that the government know how much money they need. They have told us what they need, and Social Crediters propose to back the government in voting the necessary supply of money.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. H. C. GREEN (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I propose to say a few words about veterans' affairs. I do so because it is altogether likely that that particular department will not be under consideration until the dying days of the session, and in fact there may be no adequate time for the consideration of the various problems having -to do with the men and women who are representing Canada on the field of battle.

I do hope that the government will see fit to bring down during this session certain legislation dealing with veterans' affairs. While I realize that is askjng a lot, there are nevertheless certain defects in our present veterans' legislation which might very well be remedied nt this session; defeats which will be recognized by members of the house on all sides, so that I am quite sure there would be very little delay in putting through the necessary amendments. At any rate it is vital that action should be taken on these questions before the fall. The new house will probably not sit until after a lapse of six months, or perhaps longer, and the intervening delay may very well mean great injustice to many thousands of our young men and women.

During these last five years the main job of Canada and of the Canadian parliament has been to wage war; but complementary to the waging of war there is always the care of those who are doing the fighting, and- care for their dependents. I suggest to hon. members that the time will be here very soon when the first concern of the Canadian people and of the Canadian parliament will be the care of these young men and women and their dependents.

In meeting these problems we are against a time limit. There is only so long in which to make the necessary changes. In a few months' time thousands upon thousands of our young men and women will be coming back to their homeland andl we must be prepared to see that they are properly treated when they do come back. The Canadian people are uneasy about the whole question of absorbing the young men and women back into our national life. There is great anxiety and determination to see that they get a proper start. People are asking that these young men and women be given fair treatment and that there be no delay.

To show members of the house how far civilians have gone in some parts of the country, I would point out that in my home city of Vancouver there has been set up a rehabilitation council of greater Vancouver made up of leading citizens of all parties and occupations. I believe that the government has agreed to the setting up of such a council, but the people who comprise the council have

War Appropriation

not been willing to accept any money whatever from the government. They are raising funds by private subscriptions, believing that if they carry on in that way they are far more likely to get the good will of the men coming back from the forces, and will be much freer to make suggestions, as well as complaints to whatever government may be in power. The Minister of Veterans' Affairs no doubt knows whether similar councils have been set up in other cities; I presume so.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Yes.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

I think it is a very good idea, because after all the whole question of looking after the people who come back can be adequately handled only if there is cooperation on the part of the people throughout Canada.

And now to come down to suggestions as to changes that should be made, my first suggestion is that there be a change in our approach to the whole problem of the young men and women who are 'returning. Our approach at the present time is to talk about rehabilitation, to talk about putting them back into jobs. It is of course very good to put these young folks back into jobs, but there is the danger of our looking back to the year 1939. Perhaps it can best be described as trying to set up a 1939-model Canada. I do not believe that is what these young men and women want at all. I do not think they want a 1939 Canada, but something far better They want a 1946-model Canada. You see' Mr. Speaker, they have developed. They have had a great deal of training in the forces. There has been far more training given in all three forces in this war than there was in the last one. These young people have travelled widely. Sometimes people have complained bitterly about the troops and sailors and airmen travelling back and forth from one side of Canada to the other. At least it has had the advantage that hundreds of thousands of our young people know far more about different parts of Canada than many members of parliament.

Many of these young people have travelled abroad and all have developed a fitness, a keenness that they would not have acquired' in the ordinary course. Take the case of a young lad of eighteen or nineteen who went from school into the air force. He had a wonderful course under the air training scheme and has risen to be perhaps a Wing Commander. That young man is now in a position to accept great responsibility. He is not coming back to his old position. He is coming back a trained, responsible citizen of Canada, able to undertake great responsibilities. And that is true

in practically every case. I do not suppose there are many young men or women in any of the three forces who have not developed a great deal during their service. I suggest therefore that the better approach to the problem is not to talk so much about rehabilitation or putting these people back in jobs, but to regard these young men and women as a great asset and to realize that we must seize the opportunity to get their services in agriculture, labour, industry, business, in the professions, in public life and in every other field of endeavour in Canada.

We should grasp this chance to get in new blood, to bring in these young men and women. For a short time, a year or two, they may be inexperienced in the line they undertake. No doubt they will be restless at first; they may be impatient, and it may be a little hard to cooperate with them. But they will bring to any business or profession new ideas and a broader vision as well as a finer spirit. They have therefore a valuable contribution to make, and eventually they will be of great assistance to any firm that gets their services.

I suggest to the Minister of Veterans' Affairs that he try to direct his publicity in this way. Let him have some of his advertisements take that approach. Point out to the Canadian business men, to the Canadian people generally, the great value of these young men. Point out that the people at home should be on the alert to get the services of young men and women coming back into civilian life.

The same thing might be done by members of the house. Most of us will be fighting an election in a few weeks' time. We shall be campaigning for several weeks, speaking, I hope, to many thousands of people, if we can get so many to listen to us. Well, here is one thing on which there need be no division. Every one of the members of the house during the election campaign could very well point out to his listeners the great value there is in these young people. If that is done it will be rendering a great service not only to the young men and women themselves but also to the nation.

To sum up, I suggest, first, that here is an opportunity to strengthen and improve the nation by getting these young people into our national firm, Canada Unlimited, not as beginners but as full-fledged partners.

Other suggestions come to mind, but I propose to mention just two or three to-day. One is that these new partners in our Canadian national life should1 be given the maximum in training. I believe there is some disappointment that such a small number of the men and women who are being discharged are

War Appropriation

taking vocational, technical and school training. Might it not be worth while for us to provide that vocational training can be taken without interfering with the reestablishment credit or the land settlement plan? At present the AVar Service Grants Act reads differently. I refer to section 8. Reestablishment credit is only given to those who do not elect to take benefits under the Veterans' Land Act or any vocational, educational or technical training benefits. I think it would be a good investment for us to allow every young man or woman who wants to take this type of training to get it, and in addition to give them the full reestablishment credit.

I can see that many of them would not want to take the vocational training, because they would prefer to get the reestablishment credit. These credits are for such purposes as helping to buy a house, helping to buy furniture, working capital for one's profession or business, purchase of tools or payment of premiums on a returned soldiers' insurance policy and1 for other similar purposes. Men who take university or vocational training want to be able to establish homes too, and they want to be able to take out this insurance, buy furniture and so on. Therefore I suggest that the restriction contained in section 8 be removed. Of course that would mean an amendment to the AVar Service Grants Act.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

What would the hon. member think about discrimination that would arise as between one soldier who got $6,000 or $7,000 worth of reestablishment benefits as against another who could not avail himself of more than $500?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

I think that any man or

woman returning from the forces who wants to take vocational training or training in a school or university should be allowed to do so, and that he or she should also get the reestablishment credit. The fact that they take training should not interfere with the reestablishment credit. At the present time too few are getting the training. I think it would be a very' good investment for Canada if the wider provision were made.

I do not wish to deprecate the work that has already been done. A great deal has been done in the way of reestablishment, but there is more to do, and the new government of Canada, no matter what its complexion may be, must continue the present plans, and greatly expand them.

I suggest that all handicaps to the establishment of these young men and women should be removed. For example, I hold in my hand the report of one which came up in Vancouver

just about two weeks ago. The heading of the dispatch is as follows: "Prices board order holds up rehabilitation of air veteran." This veteran wanted to go into the taxi business. He had been a taxi proprietor before he enlisted. He had two or three cars operating and when he came back he tried to open up the same business, but there was an order of the wartime prices and trade board, administrator's order A-58, issued March 31, 1942, which provided that no new taxi or U-drive licences can be issued. Perhaps by this time that obstacle has been removed.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

For a year.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

But there are so many

thousands of these orders running around loose that some provision should be made by the government to make sure that these veterans are not handicapped or prevented from becoming reestablished in business.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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April 3, 1945