April 13, 1945

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I have had two or three frank talks with the members of the shipbuilding industry. I thought the industry should have put in the brief something that was a little more reciprocal than that contained in the brief from which my hon. friend quoted a few minutes ago. In other words, if the industry expects help from the government it must put itself in shape to justify that help. To-day it is operating to capacity on a lavish scale with work enough to last many months into the future, and it is hardly the time to sit down with the government to decide how much government help it is entitled to. When the new government takes over, there is a job to be done with shipbuilding. I think there is a good deal of merit in the proposals of the shipbuilders that a maritime commission be established to handle every phase of shipping and shipbuilding. If this government is returned to power I should be disposed to recommend that to the government. At the moment we are stretching our man-power very tight. If I were to attempt to form a maritime commission to-day I would find it somewhat difficult to secure the men I would wish on that commission. They are busy on other jobs. The men I would want have responsible jobs which they cannot leave under war conditions. I think I can give a reasonable assurance that, if this government is returned, a maritime commission will be appointed.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

The minister did not deal with one aspect of my question. Has labour been consulted at all in regard to this question of shipbuilding? The unions were asking to be called into consultation on the question. Has that been done?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

We shall be glad to hear representations from labour when we are prepared to act, when a policy has been formulated.

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Certainly it will be discussed with labour. Every major action of the government that has repercussions on labour is discussed with labour; and any plans we have in the direction of a new shipbuilding programme will be discussed with labour. As I say, however, it is a matter to be dealt with by the government that will take over after the election; and until the government is ready to take action, until it has its own plans formulated, there is little purpose in holding discussions with labour.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

I think the unions have several very helpful suggestions to offer.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I have always found suggestions from labour very helpful. I can assure my hon. friend that if I had any intention at all of moving in the matter within the next few weeks, I should be consulting with labour to-day. As I have not, however, I think it should be left until we are ready to proceed.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

There is one clause in the brief referred to by the hon. member for Vancouver South in which I was particularly interested:

That steps be taken to reduce vessel orders awarded by the government to those shipyards owned and/or controlled by the government with a view to liquidation of these shipyards as soon as the war emergency permits.

Would the minister care to make a statement as to the policy of the government in that regard? Before he does so I would remind him that some eight or ten days ago a delegation from the Toronto shipyards, a government-owned plant, interviewed him. At that time fears were expressed that the yard was being gradually dismantled, that vital equipment was being or about to be sold. I believe the minister undertook to find out whether that was being done, and to let us know. Has he any further information on that subject?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The future of the government in the shipbuilding business will be a matter for the maritime commission when it is appointed, or whatever government agency is in charge of shipbuilding in the post-war period. It is hardly fair to consider yards that were put up to do particular war jobs as industries. For example, the yard at Toronto was designed to build corvettes and minesweepers. Another yard was designed to build 4,700-ton freighters. Three yards were designed purely for the outfitting of ships fabricated in other yards. Whether or not they are shipyards might cause some little debate. We are quite prepared to place those yards in the hands of anyone who thinks he can make a go of them in the post-war period.

They were not organized or built by the government with the intention that they should be operated after the war, when the classes of ships for which they were designed are no longer required. They were simply emergency yards to meet an emergency condition. As far as Toronto is concerned, some equipment was removed from the yard there for other government operations, and it is subject to recall if required. I think those interested, particularly those in the city of Toronto who have shown some concern, are aware of the fact that the assets of the yard are for sale, and I am hopeful that an offer for that equipment will be received in due course from someone who believes he can operate the yard successfully in its present condition.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

I want to ask the minister a second question by way of following up the one I asked with regard to wage agreements with men serving on the Park ships. The ship I have reference to is the S.S. Coronation Park, one of the Park ships which was articled to a Vancouver firm and then chartered by the shipping board at Washington. The information I have is that the crew on that ship signed their articles in Vancouver, contracting to serve for a year, with no knowledge whatever of what their future movements might be. They soon found themselves in the southern Pacific delivering war supplies to American soldiers, exposed to enemy attack from the air, from the surface of the water and from under water, and subject to all the tropical diseases that prevail. I am itold that American sailors on Liberty ships, doing the same type of work, receive by way of war * bonus one hundred per cent of their basic wage rate plus $5 a day, because of the dangers and risks involved in that particular area. Has the government any supervision over contracts made by a private company with another government for the use of Canadian ships? Canadian seamen on board that ship are receiving $44.50 a month in war risk bonus. American soldiers are getting up to $350 a month war risk bonus. These men have been there since November. The minister mentioned that their interests were protected by the seamen's union. I am told they have had only two partial mail deliveries in that area since November. While American sailors there can get mail within a week after it is mailed in the United States, our soldiers have to go as long as nine weeks without mail. There is not much the union or anyone else can do in that connection.

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Incidentally when these men sailed they thought they were going on an ordinary voyage, and, as I pointed out the other evening, they were given no protection. Not a single sailor on that ship was given an injection of any kind as protection against tropical diseases; nor had they been given such protection up to March 12. It seems to me the government should assume some responsibility for the men serving on board their own ships and in the service of an allied country. These men have made a protest to the United States government by way of a petition, I believe signed by the entire crew. They want to know who is benefiting by the cheaper rate which prevails on Canadian ships as compared with American ships. Is it the American government; is it the private company which entered into the agreement with the United States shipping board, or is it the Canadian government? There is a vast difference between the cost of delivering goods in an American ship and in a Canadian ship, and it would seem that the men on the Canadian ship should receive more consideration than they have been given. I do not know what facilities the minister's department has for investigating a situation of that kind, but I should like him to make a statement.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The Park Steamship company supervise the operation of all Park ships. A wage agreement has been negotiated with the men, through their proper negotiating agency, standard for all ships in all waters. If any ship goes into the combat zone, war risk insurance applies, and it is the Canadian scale of war risk insurance. The ship my hon. friend mentions as trading in the Pacific is by no means the only Canadian ship which trades in the Pacific. We have been operating ships to Australia since the first ship was built on the Pacific coast. I suppose at least a third of the Park fleet is in the Australian trade.

I think my hon. friend is mistaken when he suggests that this ship is chartered to the United States. It may take on United States war cargo, but all allied ships are operated in a pool. If a Canadian ship is not filled up with Canadian cargo the pool would order it to a United States port to complete the cargo from that country. That is only incidental. One would find United States ships in Vancouver harbour, topping off American cargo with certain cargo from Canada. But that ship is operated as a United States ship, just as a British ship is operated as a British ship where-

Tramp steamships call at many ports and carry the cargo of many nations. That is a practice which has been going on for years. Our scale of pay on all war business in Canada is lower than in the United States. There is nothing unusual about that. The pay of a steelworker in Pittsburgh is higher than that of a steelworker in Hamilton, but the cost of living for the steelworker in Hamilton is correspondingly lower than that of the steelworker in Pittsburgh. So, when it is all added up I think perhaps the Canadian is as well off as his American counterpart who receives higher pay. This applies all through. Our economy is on one scale, while the United States economy is on another, both as to the income and as to the expenditure of individuals. I have yet to be convinced that our Canadian worker is in any poorer position than his American counterpart in the United States.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

The information I

have from an officer on that ship is that it sailed light to an American port, that it was hired by the war shipping administration at Washington, and since last November has been used to deliver American goods to American soldiers in the war zone of the south Pacific.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

If the ship were chartered to the United States government it would be a bare boat charter, and the ship would have an American crew. If it still has a British crew it is not chartered to the administration, but is simply a Canadian ship operating in the united nations pool. The fact that it carries American supplies continuously does not affect the position. One would find Swedish ships and the ships of other nations carrying war supplies in the Pacific. War risk insurance is paid, because those are dangerous waters-at least there is an element of danger; I do not- think the Pacific has been anything like as dangerous as the Atlantic in any stage of the war. I do not believe it is to-day. Losses in the Pacific from submarine attack have been almost nil, whereas my hon. friend knows that losses in the Atlantic have been exceptionally heavy, both proportionately and in numbers of ships sunk.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

Does that S44.50 per month war risk bonus apply to seamen?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

On every Park steamship.

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IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. ROY:

Mr. Chairman, when I resumed

my seat yesterday I was giving my reason for opposing the resolution, and was about to quote the words of the late Hon. Ernest Lapointe as they appear at page 2468 of Hansard for 1939:

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We are not alone in that view. Australia has always been against conscription, South Africa will never have conscription, Ireland would never have conscription. I think I am true to my concept of Canadian unity when I say that I shall always fight against this policy; I would not be a member of a government that would enact it; and not only that, but I say with all my responsibility to the people of Canada that I would oppose any government that would enforce it. I agree with what was said yesterday by the leader of the opposition and the Prime Minister, and what was said by Mr. Bruce of Australia, that the time for expeditionary forces overseas is certainly past, and it would not be the most effective way to help our allies.

There cannot be any misunderstanding as to the Liberal government's external policy. Let us see where the evolution began. Speaking in New York on October 24, 1940, the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald) said:

We have sent men and ships and guns and planes, over the seas, and we shall send more and still more, so long as there is a single Canadian dollar left to be spent or a solitary Canadian citizen to take his stand in defence of freedom.

Was the government prepared to endorse the policy involved in that astonishing statement? Yes, it was. Here is what was said by His Excellency the Governor General in his speech from the throne one month later, as it appeared in Hansard of November 7. 1940:

The measures which will be submitted to you are such as seem necessary to my advisers for the welfare of the country, and for the prosecution of the war to the utmost of our strength.

That, without equivocation, is a confirmation of what the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services had said. As a matter of fact all this has materialized, and to the utmost extreme.

Coming back to the minister's statement, may I say that it shows a thorough upset in the external policy of the Liberal government. Why has there been such a reverse in the government's attitude? The following revelation by the Prime Minister will explain the whole matter. In his speech of January 26, 1942, as it is reported at page 46 of Hansard, this is what he taught us:

Every hon. member of this house knows that except for the assurance that, in the event of a European war, there would be no conscription for service overseas, this parliament would never have decided, in the immediate and unanimous manner in which it did, to stand at the side of Britain in the resistance of aggression, and the defence of freedom.

As we now have conscription, it is needless to say that it was a cheated parliament which accepted Canada's participation in the war. Continuing with this revelation the Prime Minister added:

Hon. members are also aware that if, at the time when Canada's participation in the war was challenged in an election in the province of Quebec by a government professing a different political faith, a like assurance with respect to service overseas had not been given in the name of the present government by the late Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe, by the Minister of Public Works, and other Liberal leaders and members of this House of Commons from the province of Quebec, the verdict of the people of that province might have been wholly different.

_ It was also, Mr. Speaker, a cheated population that had not rendered a different verdict from the one rendered.

Now that we have had five years of applied conscription, of tremendous war expenditures, of gifts-more than three billions of dollars- to the governments of the empire, of ridiculous propaganda and of solid colonial servilism, let us see how the cycle of the Liberal party's imperialist evolution was completed. Speaking in the House of Commons on March 28, 1945, the Prime Minister said, as reported at page 299 of Hansard:

Hon. gentlemen opposite will find out when the opportunity comes-and I am thankful to say it will be given fairly soon-for them as well as the government to appear before the people of this country, whether or not the people of Canada feel that I have done my duty by the British commonwealth of nations, by the British empire, through every hour of the time I have been serving as Prime Minister of this country.

By that emphatic declaration the Prime Minister branded himself as a true imperialist and a straight Tory. I have spoken of evolution and of contradictions, but I wonder if those appellations are the right ones. I must confess I am rather lost. Would not the words "betrayal" apply more adequately?

Moreover, I have another very serious reason for opposing the resolution. I am given to believe that the verdict rendered by the electors of Grey North indicates a true opposition to conscription. Notwithstanding what has been so often said by members on both sides of the house, here is what was published in the Owen Sound Daily Sun-Times of January 23, 1945 on page 6. You can see from your place, Mr. Chairman, that most of this page is devoted to the Liberal party and General McNaughton's propaganda. To the right you will see a picture of the Minister of National Defence. I shall not go over all this political propaganda; it would take too much time. I am not using this for any political purpose; I am using it simply to make my point. This reads:

And the same Garfield Case told you at Rocklyn, January 16, "I'm still opposed to conscription as such but am for total mobilization of man-power and resources."

War Appropriation-Munitions and Supply

Men and women of North Grey, do you find this kind of double-talk reassuring-when your men overseas want reinforcements? Where is that "clear and emphatic policy of reinforcements" he talks about?

Case says plainly he is opposed to conscription. That means that if Case had the say-those 8,300 draftees would not be overseas now.

Let's have a man of action-not words and wind.

You want reinforcements, for your men overseas. McNaughton is getting your reinforcements. This is proven fact-not double-talk.

My conclusion is that the people of Grey North, having defeated the Minister of National Defence who was a champion of conscription, having elected the other candidate who was opposing conscription, have indicated that they are against conscription. They defeated the Minister of National Defence who still continues to impose conscription in this country against the will of the population of Ontario as well as of Quebec.

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IND
IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. ROY:

It is published by authority of the North Grey Liberal Association.

Speaking about the participation of Canada in the war of the Pacific and of Asia the Prime Minister has outlined what was to be the importance of the proposed participation. He has said that conscription was not to be enforced, and so forth, and he concluded by saying that that was the government's intention if it were still in power after the election. There is an axiom that the past guarantees the future. If we can foresee the future through the past of the Liberal government we cannot depend upon those enunciations.

Canada has shed enough blood and has gone into debt sufficiently for a cause which brings about to-day conclusions far different from what we were told at the beginning of the war. That is, we have defended a cause and interests that we knew nothing about. We must not permit more Canadian blood to be shed in Asia or more debts to be imposed upon the Canadian people in order to make gifts to others. We must not permit more sacrifices to be made for the sake of interests which are not ours and which we do not understand. This is well proven by the hypocrisy which we have discovered in those international financial schemers from Basle who are responsible for this world-wide butchery out of which they are making commerce.

These are a few of the reasons I have for voting against the two billion dollar war appropriation. Rather I would suggest that the National Resources Mobilization Act of

1940 be repealed immediately and that all controls and rationing be done away with. I am opposed also to the maintenance by Canada of a force in Europe after the war and to the sending of troops to participate in the Pacific war. It is as clear as lime water that the people of Canada, who have already indicated a lack of confidence in the government in the last by-election, will not endorse its external policy at the coming general election. In the meantime let us keep this money for developing our country and doing all those good things outlined by the Prime Minister in his 1939 speech for the welfare of the Canadian people.

If Mr. Speaker had been in the Chair at this moment, and as I may not have the honour of addressing him again before the expiration of the nineteenth parliament, I would like to have congratulated him upon the distinguished manner in which he has occupied the Chair. I would like to have thanked him for the impartiality which has always characterized his decisions throughout the five years of this parliament. The dignity of his personality may very well be the only fine thing which will be left from this nineteenth parliament. I am sure that when future generations learn of all the incredible things that were done by this parliament they will be convinced that we have just gone through the most inauspicious and anti-Canadian episode in all Canada's history.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

There are a number of questions I should like to ask the minister, who seems to be in an amiable mood. I am sure the questions I intend to ask will not arouse him in any way. In past years when some considerable time was taken up with the estimates of the Minister of Munitions and Supply he seemed rather to resent the questions that were asked. I had hoped that there would be an opportunity to discuss the white paper the minister placed before parliament during the present week, but time prevents discussion in detail.

I must say that the white paper is a most interesting and exceptionally well put together document. I have read it with a great deal of care and attention. The problem of the post-war and the period of reconstruction is one that is exercising the minds of men in all democratic countries to-day. It seems to me that this white paper combines the recommendations of Sir William Beveridge and of Lord Keynes, as well as incorporating in a large measure the recommendations of the national resources planning board of the United States, particularly those contained in its report for 1943 on the post-war plan and programme.

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There seems to be very little with which we who believe in the principles of private enterprise can offer disagreement. The general idea and conception of this white paper seems to be founded in part upon the four year plan that was announced for Great Britain by the Prime Minister on March 22, 1943; also, in so far as employment is concerned. the employment policy of the United Kingdom as set forth in the documents put out by the Minister of Reconstruction in Great Britain in May, 1944.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

When the hon. member for Lake Centre says that the Progressive Conservative party believe in private enterprise, would he be willing also to include Social Crediters?-because we believe in private enterprise too, although we certainly do not believe in that white paper.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I accept the suggestion of the hon. member, absolutely. As a matter of fact the whole foundation for the white paper and its ideas is pretty well epitomized in the speech delivered by the Right Hon. Winston Churchill on the 15th of March when, enunciating the government's plan for the post-war, he used these words:

At the head of our mainmast, we fly the flag of free enterprise. We are determined that native genius and the spirit of adventure, or risk-taking in peace, as in war, shall bear our fortunes forward, finding profitable work and trade for our people, and that good, thrifty house-keeping, both national and private, shall sustain our economy.

He goes on to point out that that does not mean that necessary controls are going to be removed immediately after the war. It is interesting to note that while there are those in Canada of the labour unions who say we must accept the socialistic concept in its entirety^ in the United States the American Federation of Labour and the C.I.O. accept the necessity, and in fact demand the continuance, of a system of private enterprise. At the expense of holding up the committee for a few moments, Mr. Chairman. I am going to refer to the proposed management-labour code that was enunciated as the new charter for labour and management on the 28th of March as a result of the consultations of President Eric Johnston of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States with president William Green of the American Federation of Labour and Philip Murray, president of the C.I.O. It is interesting to note that the leadership of the C.I.O. in the United States accepts the principle of private enterprise that is accepted by the American Federation of Labour and by the president of the Chamber of Commerce in the United

States. I believe this is one of the major problems that face us not only in Canada but throughout democratic countries everywhere. I do not believe we are going back to the days of an uncontrolled private capitalism. Those days are past. I believe a great responsibility falls on private industry to-day. Private industry cannot continue during days of prosperity to employ men and then as soon as difficulties come and restrictions become necessary say to the government that the responsibility is now theirs. Unless private industry is prepared to accept the challenge that comes to it-and I believe that challenge is accepted in this charter which we of the Progressive Conservative party have accepted as applicable to our viewpoint, and as a matter of fact it representing the viewpoint which had been previously enunciated by our leader, Mr. John Bracken- something drastic will be the result.

Private industry must realize that in the post-war reconstruction period a responsibility rests upon the captains of industry that never heretofore rested upon them. Instead of outlining my ideas of what they should undertake to do and how they should do it, I am just going to quote a few excerpts from this new charter for labour and management; for I believe that everything that appears in the white paper that was laid on the table of parliament by the minister appears in this charter, and something more. This is what the charter says:

AVe in management and labour firmly believe that the end of this war will bring the unfolding of a new era based upon a vastly expanding economy and unlimited opportunities for every American.

This peacetime goal can only be attained through the united effort of all our people. To-day we are united in national defence. To-morrow we must be united equally in the national interest.

Management-labour unity, so effective in lifting war production to unprecedented heights, must be continued in the post-war period. To this end, we dedicate our joint efforts for a practical partnership within the framework of this code of principles.

Now I come to the code of principles, and I am going to refer to them briefly:

1. Increased prosperity for all involves the highest degree of production and employment at wages assuring a steadily advancing standard of living. Improved productive efficiency and technological advancement must, therefore, be constantly encouraged.

Then comes No. 2, and this is so important to-day, having regard to the different attitudes taken by the C.I.O. in our two countries. Here again I repeat that the head of the C.I.O. and the head of the American Federation of Labour agree that:

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2. The rights of private property and free choice of action, under a system of private competitive capitalism, must continue to be the foundation of our nation's peaceful and prosperous expanding economy. Free competition and free men are the strength of our free society.

That to me, Mr. Chairman, represents one of the most unusual and pertinent declarations that have been made with the approach of the end of the war Then comes No. 3:

3. The inherent right and responsibility of management to direct the operation of an enterprise shall be recognized and preserved. So that enterprise may develop and expand an earn a reasonable profit, management must be free as well from unnecessary governmental interference or burdensome restrictions.

Then it asks for certain rights for labour, and says that they must be accepted as they are being accepted to-day by the head of the chamber of commerce in the United States and by industry in general. Paragraph 4 says:

4. The fundamental rights of labour to organize and to engage in collective bargaining with management shall be recognized and preserved, free from legislative enactments which would interfere with or discourage these objectives. . . .

5. The independence and dignity of the individual and the enjoyment of his democratic rights are inherent in our free American society. . . .

6. An expanding economy at home will be stimulated by a vastly increased foreign trade.

Those principles, which as I see it are outlined in detail in the white paper, we of the Progressive Conservative party accept I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that the government give consideration to the creation of a national committee composed of representatives of business and of labour organizations, which committee, just as is being done in the United States where a similar suggestion has been made as a result of the collaboration of the three groups I have named, shall seek to promote understanding and sympathy and the acceptance of these principles and assist in proposing to the government national policies to advance the best interests of this nation.

I have touched on only one or two phases of this vast question of post-war reconstruction in order to place before parliament the viewpoint of His Majesty's opposition. I regret very much that, since parliament did not meet earlier, the opportunity to discuss this white paper is denied members of this house.

Having referred in general to that, I come to certain questions which I wish to direct to the attention of the minister. To-day one hears strong criticism on every hand of the attitude of various controllers and the disregard which too often they show of the rights of the

people. Too frequently their decisions seemed to be based upon caprice, not upon the needs or exigencies of the moment. The result is that, with the approach of the end of the war, people on every hand are asking what are the plans of the government with regard to the demobilization of the necessary controls and the liquidation of orders and regulations which too often, even during the war period,, have been carried into effect and maintained having only as an excuse, war needs and war requirements. As to rubber and gasoline, motor cars and the like, these criticisms have not been levied against those in control. But the people of the country as a whole, I think,, would like to have some information with regard to gasoline rationing. I know of no declaration which has been made by the minister in that regard since the beginning of this session. In the United States-and I speak now from recollection-Mr. Secretary Ickes-

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Mr. Ralph Davies, deputy

oil controller.

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April 13, 1945