September 18, 1945

LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. DANIEL McIVOR (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak in this debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne because I think I have something sensible and true to say. The speech suits me for several reasons. First, I find in the opening words this expression:

As you assemble at the opening^ of a new parliament, I join with you in giving humble and grateful thanks to Divine Providence for the deliverance which His mercy has vouchsafed to the peoples of our own and other lands.

That utterance, whether by the Governor General or the government, is sensible, because you cannot explain in any other way the victory and the peace which we now have. You cannot explain Dunkirk and the successful evacuation of our men from that place unless you believe in an answer to prayer. You cannot explain why Hitler did not wipe old England off the map unless you believe the same thing. You cannot explain why Hitler attacked Russia when he did unless you agree that the Great Architect of the universe did not think that Hitler was fit to rule the world. For these reasons I congratulate the government upon having this sentence in the speech from the throne. Also, they did not omit to give thanks to God for victory, because with peace came the declaration of a day of thanksgiving all over the British empire. The speech also gives credit to our Canadian forces for having a part in that victory. I find also plans to help those who are destitute, and it is a Christian programme to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those who are sick and help those who are in prison. These things we are trying to do now. Those who do not agree with rationing should think the whole thing over again in the light of putting that programme into practice.

I find, too, in the speech from the throne proposals for making Ottawa a little more beautiful, perhaps, than any other city in Canada. This is as it should be, because the cream of Canada meets in this city, at least part of the time, and'it is in keeping with the conception of the late Queen Victoria that our capital should be more beautiful than Toronto or Montreal. I will, however, throw out this suggestion to the government, that all the money for a community centre should not be spent in Ottawa. We are planning a community centre in Fort William, and we think we have as good right as Ottawa to some support for the beautification of our city. It is not second in natural beauty even to Ottawa. In pursuance of a plan for a community centre we have raised nearly $SO,000

in cash, so that we are helping ourselves before we ask the dominion or provincial government to help us.

The dominion government took away our skating rink. We have no home for our national hockey game; they turned it into a big armoury; it was necessary then and perhaps is necessary still. So that I warn the government through the ministers who are here and I shall not be treading gently on somebody's toes if we do not get back somewhat more than the $20,000 which was paid in compensation for that rink.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) is supporting a declaration which he made before the meeting of dominion prime ministers in London, that Canada is a nation, that we have a right to our own national anthem, that, as the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Maybank) said, we have a right to make and control our own laws; and we think we can rule ourselves better than any jurist from the city of London or old England.

Again, we have a right to have our own flag. I know some of our boys were in England, and-I Say it with all respect-they did not have the same respect for England that we of the first generation that came from the old land had, because they did not like it when some of the officers whom they refused to salute called them "bleeding colonials". We are not colonials. We are a nation and we have a right to our own flag-and I am going to show you what some people in Ottawa think should be the flag of Canada. I have it here. I showed this to members of the Liberal party about a year ago and I flew this very flag in Fort William on victory day. I thought it was all right. Whether it will be the future flag of Canada or not, at any rate Fort William got a foretaste of what some manufacturer in Ottawa saw fit to design. Here in this flag you have the red, white and blue, and those hon. members who believe just as strongly as I do in the flag can still sing, "Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue." There is a stripe for each province; there is the Canadian coat of arms, and there is the green maple leaf, which, is the natural colour of the maple leaf. Not only that, but green is the "go" sign of Canada as well as the "go" sign of Fort William.

I have not spent any time in congratulating anybody, but I was greatly proud to think that one of the northern members tvas chosen to move the address in reply to the speech from the throne. He demonstrated, what we know, that northern men are men still. We had an election in' Fort William and I

The Address-Mr. Mclvor

would say that there was not a cleaner contest in all Canada. I did not see a man anywhere at any time who seemed to have had too much ginger ale. Those who were opposition candidates were kind enough to me, so kind that they did not advertise a single mistake that I had made, either while I was in this house or while I was out of it. I must say I am eternally grateful, because I have made a few mistakes. I am grateful to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner). I do not know whether he had anything to do with this, but when we needed workers in Fort William, a good many workers came from the province of Saskatchewan, and there weTe good enough Liberals and people with sufficient common sense to elect me. I pity the C.C.F. when they go back to Saskatchewan, because there is going to be a change.

Some people think that all we have in Fort William is fresh water, rocks and lake Superior trout. But I can assure you sir, we have in that part of the country one of the best farming districts in Canada. We have an experimental substation, that is paying for itself hundreds of times over. We have the best potato land. We have a 500 bushel to the acre club in Fort William. Just think of it, an Irishman coming from the old sod and raising 500 bushels of potatoes to the acre I We have the champion potato grower in Canada seventeen miles west of Fort William. Cape Breton and the mari-times are not in it.

Again, we have proved that the district will grow first-class fruit. I am sorry I was not in the house when the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Cruickshanik) was advertising his peaches. I congratulate him; but wait until he comes to Fort William; we will give him a peach that will make his mouth water.

We have in Fort William one of the best feeding grounds for fattening cattle because in the fall of the year it is damp and cool and we have fine, healthy grass. It is a splendid place for finishing cattle.

We have a great boom just starting in mining about 55 miles west of Fort William where there is opening up another gold mine- a find they call it-and the people are going there. I do not need to speak of Steep Rock, with its hematite iron ore, the best on the American continent. I do not need to speak of lumber, nor do I need to speak of our elevators, which constitute the breadbasket of the world. We have a new industry springing up in Fort William where the waste of the sawmills from pulp and paper is being pressed and manufactured into a very

[Mr Mclvor.]

fine type of fuel. When the estimates of the Minister of Reconstruction (Mr. Howe) are up I will show' him a sample.

There are two or three things we need to get in Fort William. We want to get the transcanada highway along the north shore of lake Superior. We want to get it finished because it would mean a great tourist boom for Sault Ste. Marie, for Schreiber, for the head of the lakes, for Kenora and Winnipeg. We believe that is needed, and since the tourist trade is the third best trade in Canada we think we should get it.

Take again the great lakes waterways. This ought to come, and we are encouraged to know that President Truman of the United States is prepared, to support it. We are prepared to support it and I do not think there will be opposition in this house.

We need hospitalization in Fort William. We expect to get cheap money and I expect that the Social Credit members will support us in that. But whether they do or not, we believe that our government has common sense enough to help us in getting our new hospital.

I now come to what I consider the best part of my remarks. There was a considerable lay-off in Canada Car. I believe 3,600 were laid off. That plant had been empty since the last war, but the Minister of Reconstruction stood by us in great shape. He got us orders for planes when neither England, France nor the United States would allow any of their better type of plane to be made by anybody else. One thing followed another until there were over 6,000 people employed in Canada Car, and I would say that the work done by that plant is second to none in any of the war plants of Canada. In fact we think it is just a little better. The day came, however, when the war was over, and thank God it is over and we can turn our thoughts to something else. The Minister of Reconstruction came along and helped us splendidly in getting orders for buses of a fine type. Not only that, but he will stand behind us, because the Minister of Reconstruction is the man that stood behind us when we were fighting for holidays with pay and when we wanted cooperation between the management and unions and workers. He is the man who stood behind us when we needed help. I find in Hansard that the minister has invited more leaders of labour than any other minister ever did in the history of Canada to cooperate with him. He has called upon the head men of these union organizations and has meetings with them regularly, and he will take their advice and the findings of their judgment. I wish

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Mr. Mclvor

to pay a tribute to the labour leaders of Canada because from the very first time I met my old friend Tom Moore I had a profound respect for these leaders. They compare favourably with the leaders of any of the parties in this house. They have been through the mill; they know their own capacities, and they have sympathy with the toiler.

When war broke out hon. members will remember how often the Minister of Reconstruction heard and how often we heard it said that the attitude of the government was, "Too little and too late". And it was true, because democracy is never ready for war. It is a difficult thing to turn peace industries into war industries, but to my mind it is not so difficult to turn industry back into peacetime pursuits. Notwithstanding that, we at the head of the lakes are grateful as are others in Canada that the Minister of Reconstruction is the man who will have the opportunity of putting industry back into peace-time production.

The minister said yesterday that he was hopeful of having full-time employment. I would say that he has good reason for that, and so have we because of the number of jobs there are waiting for somebody to take. I should like to say that sometimes I am disappointed with the Minister of Reconstruction. Just before the session opened I and a number of men from Port Arthur and Fort William tried to make an appointment with him for the 4th or 5th of September. He turned us down. I then found out that he was in Toronto having just the thing that he tried to give to the workers of Canada, a holiday. I have nothing to say in favour of the labour leaders who did not treat him with the respect that he deserved, because he wanted to have a holiday before he had the meeting with them that he had arranged for in the city of Ottawa. I was surprised at the minister's patience because, as you remember, Mr. Speaker, the newspapermen said that his putting was poor that day. He came in there and he missed a glorious opportunity to make a hole in one. He did not do so, but he was more courteous than I would have been in the circumstances. I would say to any man, whether on the government side of the house or anywhere else, that if you try to meet the Minister of Reconstruction no man will meet you more courteously and efficiently and send you away with a warm spot in your heart than he, but if you try to put something over that is crooked, try to get something to your advantage that hurts somebody else, I can tell you *hat you will get an answer just as plain and polite as you deserve.

So far as Canada Car is concerned, we who support the labourers and workers say that wages should be kept up. President Truman said: "We can never go back to forty cents an hour." I do not think any man can have a home, a wife and family, earn a living and educate his children on forty cents an hour. We have no right to go back to that. I am one of those who will fight as far as possible to give a man a full day's wages for a full day's work.

I believe that on the other side there are some leaders of corporations that do make men sore and I was almost going to say they make them see red. I think of a big abattoir where I was once able to secure work for a bright young man. He worked for eighteen years and was then directed to go to another town. In reality it was a demotion instead of a promotion. He refused to take the position, and of course this man in the corporation who was more interested in profits than anything else said, "If you do not take the job, you know what to do." The young man said, "I do, and you can give my job to somebody else." He then came back to Fort William and within a week he had a better job than that which he had worked up to in eighteen years with Canada Packers.

I was disappointed when the warehouse operators at their convention a while ago said that their only hope was to get wages reduced, and their only hope of getting wages reduced was to get men to come back from the war. Any corporation that will use the sacred life of our boys, who went over there and fought for us and then came back, in this manner, and ask them to take a reduction in wages, is not fit to get the support of the people of Canada; it is a disgrace to civilization.

I listened to the hon. member for Cartier (Mr. Rose) and I agreed with him in some things. I was terribly disappointed when he quoted a statement that appeared in the Montreal Standard as coming from the president of Canada Car. I shall read it as it appears at page 169 of Hansard of September 13, because we need to know it. It is a newspaper report that I hope is not true. If it is true, then the sooner Canada Car gets out of Fort William, the better it will be for us. This is the quotation:

The party is over. Not only will there not be enough jobs, but wages will have to be brought down to former peace-time levels. If the employees won't take a cut in wages, the plant will have to close down. We can't afford to have our profits cut into by paying the high war-time wage levels.

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Who would not get hot under the collar after reading that, ''The party is over"? The cream of Canada, the boys and girls, men and women went over there, but they did not go to a party. They fought for your freedom and mine, and with the help of God you and I will see that they get fair play. The party is not over; the party is just beginning and we are going to have a fine time.

I should like to compare these two corporations with another corporation. I suppose some hon. members have been reading about it. Perhaps they do not know any more about it than I do, but I got my information at firsthand. There is a firm called "Jack & Heinz" of Cleveland, Ohio, who treat their employees like human beings. They pay good wages. They supply recreation at the expense of production. The first thing they do with a new employee is to get him a pair of new boots. They send him to a specialist to have his feet examined and get him a pair of boots in which he can stand and work and do an honest day's toil. There is no time clock in that manufacturer's concern, but if anybody is not there on time then the workers look after him. There is no loafing and no smoking on the job, because if a worker does either he gets enough catcalls to make him sick and he goes back to his job again. During the war they paid large bonuses and were taken to task for it; but they showed that they could pay those bonuses to their workers and do more and better work than people like Henry Ford.

Hon. members may think I am speaking at random, but I went across the line last weekend and it was reported to me that the Ford people have been sending out groups of investigators to investigate the workers to find out if there is a streak of red in them, or if they lean that way. These are the people that put on the drive against the Hebrews in the United States. If they find that these people are communists then they are displaced by men from the forces at a lower rate of wages. What a difference it would be if the Ford people would send out their investigators as this other company did to find out where the distress is, to find out where there is not enough money coming into the homes to feed, clothe and educate the children! If they could find out where there is sickness and distress and practise the teaching of the Master Workman of Nazareth, then Ford would leave behind him a name worth far more than all the money he could pile up. These people are safe and secure, and we think we in Canada also can be safe and secure. I will admit that around each member of this house is a group of friends who are loyal, but I am sure hon.

gentlemen will not be surprised when I say

because I think it is the truth-that the rank and file of the people of Canada do not care a snap of their fingers what party is in power. What they want is a living wage, to be secure, to be treated like human beings, and to do an honest day's work. I would say, too, that the workers of Canada are always entitled to one day's rest in seven. That should be the Sabbath day, so that after toiling all week they may go to some cosy place and listen to music [DOT]that has the strains of heaven in it, and hear something that will take away their cares and leave them disgusted with their sins, ready to face what may come in the days that lie ahead. In my opinion the cure for distress in Canada or any other country is for labour and capital to adopt the principles of the sermon on the mount, to practise forgiveness even unto seventy times seven, to go out and do an honest day's work and to serve our fellow men. If we do that we need not fear what the f ture may have in store for us, because we know we are going in the right direction.

In conclusion, I should like to congratulate the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken) on having come into this house. I helped elect [DOT]him when he first ran for public office in Manitoba, as a Progressive. The Liberal and Conservative candidates, together with another candidate who called himself by two or three names, were too fond of ginger ale to suit me, so that I voted for the Progressive candidate. I congratulate him on having gone a long way and then having come here. I hope he will practise the principles he followed when he entered the provincial house, and if he does so there will be changes. I should like also to congratulate the Prime Minister on having done what I advised him to do; that is, for having contested the seat of Prince Albert in the last election. I told him it would be better to go there and take a licking than not go there at all. He did take the licking, but only after he had first won, then lost. I am convinced that by the end of this parliament the Liberal party will have shown Canada that- it can provide work and wages, better living conditions and Christian charity, and that it can be forgiving even to the opposition.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. VICTOR QUELCH (Acadia):

Mr. Speaker, I believe most people in Canada were relieved to see the unwieldy majority of the Liberal party in this house reduced following the last election. Certainly that is true of all members on this side of the house, and I do not doubt for a moment that many hon. members sitting on the government benches realize that this result will be of benefit to the country. I make that state-

The Address-Mr. Quelch

ment because in future it will not be quite so easy for the government carelessly to disregard public opinion in this country. In other words, it is to be hoped that in future we will have a more democratic form of government than we have enjoyed in the past, and one that will be subject, at least in some degree, to the will of the Canadian people.

During the past year there has been a rather bitter campaign waged in this country against socialism, a campaign in which members of the government have participated. Yet it is well to realize that the growth of socialism has been stimulated in this country largely as a result of the failure of the policies of the Liberal party and their predecessors, because socialism and all other isms are always stimulated in times of extreme poverty and want. People in this country to-day, remembering what occurred after the last war, remembering the conditions that existed during the hungry thirties, are fearful as to what may happen in future; and the organized attempt on the part of certain industries to reduce wages at the present time is not increasing the confidence of the people in the immediate future. If the government are really sincere in their desire to halt the growth of socialism in Canada they should realize that the way to do this is not by a campaign of abuse but by action to introduce certain essential reforms which will make the present .system work, so that the resources of Canada may be developed to their full capacity in the interests of the Canadian people, and so that the Canadian people may receive the benefits therefrom together with the greatest possible degree of individual freedom. If that is not done; if instead we allow another depression to come upon this country such as we had in the thirties, then I believe we shall be paving the way for troublous times in Canada; for I believe most of us will agree that there may be a great deal of trouble in this country if such conditions reoccur. I do not believe the people of Canada ever again will be satisfied to listen to the sort of blathering they heard in the thirties, when it was said that no money was available to develop the resources of this country. I must admit that I have been disgusted in the past to find many of those people who so bitterly attacked socialism at the same time being just as bitter against those reforms which are absolutely essential to the successful operation of the capitalist system. Apparently they do not realize that by such opposition they are merely developing the growth of isms in this country; and of course when I refer to essential reforms I

have in mind those which have been advocated in the past by the social credit movement.

There is very little in the speech from the throne to indicate that the government realize any need for fundamental change in their policies. Apparently they are still going to depend to a very large extent upon exports and foreign investments in order to maintain what they call full employment in this country. This was emphasized in a speech on the post-war programme delivered in New York by the deputy minister of finance, Mr. W. C. Clark. It is also referred to in the white paper on reconstruction. Apparently the government still intends to follow the same old road in regard to international policy that has in the past lead us to international friction, depressions, and wars. Before the war that kind of policy was defended in this country on the ground that we were a debtor nation, and that therefore it was necessary to maintain a large favourable balance of payments in order to meet our foreign obligations.

It will be recalled that from 1935 to 1939 we maintained, on an average, a favourable balance of payments of $219 million a year, thereby helping to bring about a reduction in our external debt. But it is also well to remember that during that time we had extreme poverty in Canada. A million people were on relief and a half million were unemployed. At the same time industry was operating only at a percentage of its capacity. Hon. members who sat in the house from 1935 to 1939 will recall how members of this group repeatedly urged upon the government the necessity of introducing large-scale social services and large-scale national projects, so that money paid out for these services would help to create a demand for the imports that could have been brought into this country in return for the credits that we had abroad.

As the demands for goods was stimulated in that way production would have been expanded, so that we could easily have produced sufficient goods to meet our foreign obligations and at the same time raise our standard of living. But hon. members will recall the reply we always received in the house from the then Minister of Finance, the Hon. Charles Dunning. We were always met by his hysterical outburst that the government did not have any money for such projects, and that the only money available to the government was that which they could obtain from the people's pockets. When we used to suggest that it might be possible to have monetary expansion

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for the purpose of meeting those expenditures he used to brand the suggestion as one of crude inflation,

L et, within a few weeks of the declaration of war millions, yes, hundreds of millions of dollars were created by the banking system for the use of the government. Yes, over three billions of dollars were created by the banking system for that purpose during the war.

I know that in the past, especially during bond sales, it has been popular to tell the people that the war is being financed by taxation and bond sales to the public. But let us remember that if we had depended upon those methods alone we would have had a war effort quite different from the one we did have. It is only because just as soon as war came the government was willing to have created almost unlimited amounts of money that we were able to develop the resources of the country to the extent that they were developed.

It is strange that the government was not prepared to create money to meet the needs of the people of this country in peace time; but the minute war came they were prepared to have money created in order to save their skins. The situation to-day, of course, is entirely different. Our external debts have largely been liquidated. In addition to that, we have a number of large credits abroad. So that there is no possible excuse for maintaining large favourable balances of payment in the future. Our aim should be to bring about an even balance of payments, apart of course from those exports that may be required to meet our moral obligations. These would be exports in the form of contributions to the war-stricken areas in Europe and Asia.

So, Mr. Speaker, we should not for one moment tolerate a policy of foreign investments until all the people of Canada are receiving an adequate standard of living. While a policy of foreign investments may help to maintain employment, it is bound at the same time to bring about a reduction in the standard of living of the people to the extent of the investments made.

This attitude of the Liberal party in respect of foreign trade is well illustrated in a full-page advertisement which appeared in the AVinnipeg Free Press. A good deal of this type of propaganda is being circulated throughout Canada at the present time. The one I hold in my hand is number six of a series of advertisements on Canada in the post-war world, and appears under the caption "Can't we keep this up forever?" I shall quote only

a few paragraphs to illustrate the absurdity of this type of policy. The advertisement begins in this fashion:

Do you remember when we had large-scale unemployment in Canada? And now it's gone. And everywhere you hear men saying, "We can do for war what we can't do for peace. Why can't we keep this up forever?" The answer is: We can. If we really want to.

Then the article goes on to say that we have had prosperity in Canada during the war, the reason being that in that time' we have had an almost unlimited market for everything we could produce. Then it goes on to say:

That is in war time. What about peace? We can go on producing at our present rate and we can keep up a high level of employment in the future-when the war is done-provided we find customers who want to buy what we produce.

We can, if we want to, go on producing in peace time and give the stuff away (as we do in war time) if we want to. We can make boots and shoes and pots and pans and crockery and textiles and automobiles and a hundred other things, and give them away, instead of giving away tanks and guns and planes.

But nobody would be better off for that, for we would get no more goods for ourselves than we have now.

Then the writer comes to this conclusion:

Then we will have to find markets for what we make, markets in which we will be paid for what we ship. If we can find markets, we can go on working as hard as wre are doing now, and we will all be better off. Much better off than we are now. But it will depend on trade. If we can get the trade, our boom can go on and on. If we cannot get it, it won't.

Well, in the first place I would ask: Who wants to have to go on working just as hard as we have been working during the war? Ask the farmers in the west who have been slaving sixteen hours a day, because of the absence of their sons, if they want to keep that up in the future.

This advertisement is a good illustration of that hoary, old slogan: "Export or perish."

I agree that we must have markets. But what about the Canadian market? Certainly we can give goods away; but do we have to give them away in foreign markets? Can we not, for a change, give our goods to the Canadian people? Let us recall what it says here:

We can, if we want to, go on producing in peace time and give the stuff away. . . . But nobody would be better off for that, for we would get no more goods for ourselves than we have now.

Does that not depend upon to whom we give those goods? Instead of giving them away in exchange for foreign securities which, in future, may not be worth the paper they are

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written on, why not give them to the Canadian people, in the form of social service or for services rendered?

Speaking yesterday, the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Shaw) referred to the fact that when in Alberta the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) had attacked the Social Credit organization on the ground that we were opposed to international trade. May I emphasize the fact that that charge is absolutely false. At no time has any member of this group attacked international trade. What we have done is something entirely different; we have attacked the Liberal government's policy in regard to international trade, because that policy has always been directed toward maintaining a large favourable balance of payments and foreign investments, while at the same time we have maintained that the correct function of international trade is to bring about an exchange of goods on the basis of mutual advantage to both parties concerned.

I would say that the government's policy on international trade is just about as phoney as was its policy on monetary reform in 1935, when they told the people that we were going to have currency and credit issued in terms of public need to meet the domestic social requirements of the Canadian people, and then for the next five years sabotaged the resources of this country under their deflationary policy, so that upon the declaration of war we found ourselves in the pathetic position of having thousands of men rejected from the army because they were medically unfit owing to malnutrition.

We in this group have in this house repeatedly emphasized the need for expanding the purchasing power of the people to the point where it is possible to maintain an effective demand against our production or the production of other nations for which our own production can be exchanged; and when I say effective demand, I mean an effective market. Therefore we believe that in order to stimulate consumption in this country, and thereby production, there should be as rapidly as possible a progressive reduction in taxation, first of all on the people in the lower income brackets by substantially increasing the size of the exemptions, and second, by abolishing the sales tax, which falls most heavily on the people in the lower income brackets.

We in this group have always maintained that the real purpose of taxation should not be to provide revenue for the government but to prevent inflation, and during the war the government have on repeated occasions acknowledged that fact.

Then we say that to the extent that taxation fails to meet government expenditure there should be an expansion of money through the Bank of Canada, so that the resources of the country may be developed to their full extent without any expansion in the national debt or increase in taxation.

Then, of course, as the transition from war to peace progresses, as the production of peace-time goods is expanded, we shall be in a position to extend social services in this country and carry out various national projects that are now urgently required.

It is true that the government has taken certain steps to expand social services in this country and is, I believe, proposing others, but these proposals are altogether inadequate to meet the needs of the people. For example, take the old age pension paid at the age of seventy years of $30 a month irrespective of other income. Undoubtedly that is a step in the right direction and is a great improvement over what we had in the past. But would anyone suggest for one moment that $30 a month is a sufficient amount of income for anybody to live on? When we realize that these old age pensioners must have resided in Canada for at least twenty years and therefore have been slaving and working in this country during all that period, surely nobody would suggest that a miserable pittance of $30 a month is a sufficient amount. When we recall that the national income of Canada today is around $9,000,000,000, which works out at an average of $3,000 for a family of four, no one can argue that Canada could not very well pay them a substantial amount, and we have therefore urged that a minimum pension of $50 a month be paid at the age of sixty regardless of any other income that the individual might happen to be receiving.

On the other hand I realize that the government is facing an almost impossible task when it attempts to finance a balanced programme under a debt creating system. You often hear it said by people throughout the country that we found the money for war, and therefore we would have no trouble finding the money for peace. You may say that we can finance the peace in exactly the same way in which we have been financing the war; but can we? These people apparently think the Liberal party have found some new way of financing during the war. Unfortunately there has been no real change in policy. The government is still depending upon taxation and borrowing. The only difference is that instead of depending on the borrowing of the savings of the people, it has been financing quite heavily by borrowing newly created money from the

The Address-Mr. Quelch

banking system. As a result of that policy, the national debt has risen from a figure of arrund 3-J billion dollars as of December, 1939, to around fourteen or fifteen billion dollars as at the end of 1944. Does anybody really believe that we can continue to expand the debt in that way? Some people may be optimistic and say: Well, there is no reason why in the future we should not be able to reduce this debt. Yet what is the record of Canada in the past? In no year since confederation have we ever reduced the amount of public debt in this country. I know that the assistant to the Minister of Finance last year mentioned that from 1924 to 1930 we had a balanced budget and reduced Ihe national debt by $250 million. But he should have added that during that period, owing to the policies of the federal government, the provincial debt increased by $500 million, so that on balance the public debt, instead of being reduced by $250 million, was expanded by $250 million. That has been the growth of public debt in Canada. Year by year ever since confederation the public debt has steadily grown. So does anybody really think, now that our debt burden has been multiplied many times, that we are going to find it easier to finance in the future than we have found it in the past under this type of financial policy?

I was interested in the statement made by the principal of McGill university, Doctor James, to the reconstruction committee a few years ago. He said that if we want to maintain full employment and an optimum standard of living for our people we would have to adopt an entirely new budget philosophy. He said that in so far as current expenditures and revenue are concerned the budget could be balanced, but so far as capital expenditures are concerned we would have to be prepared to maintain an unbalanced budget, that we might have to expand our debt every year by three or four hundred million dollars, and be prepared to see that go on for the next one hundred years. The only quarrel I had with his statement was, why say one hundred years, and not for ever so long as we maintain our present financial system? So that if, according to Doctor James, it is necessary to expand the national debt by three or four hundred million dollars every year, what hope is there that we are ever going to pay off the national debt? Yet the Minister of Finance had the audacity last year to bring down a paper in which he said that the government after the war would introduce a scientific scheme of budgeting so that the national debt could be paid off. I think all of us will be interested when the budget comes down in hearing the Minister of Finance explain how in the future

they are going to pay off the national debt through some scientific scheme. I agree, of course, that they may be able to do so if they are prepared to leave the road they have been travelling in the past and adopt the policy we have been advocating, which is that to the extent that taxation fails to meet government expenditures, national money should be issued through the Bank of Canada so that we can finance without any increase in debt or taxation.

And so we find that the government, in their confusion, in trying to remove the surplus production from this country, not surplus to the needs of the people but surplus to their ability to buy, in order to maintain full employment, are going to carry out a policy of large-scale foreign investments. This merely means that the standard of living of the people of this country will be reduced to that extent. That is why this group have always quarreled with the term "full employment" unless it is at the same time coupled with the words "in order io maintain an optimum standard of living", because we can very well have full employment and at the same time a lower standard of living, by exporting goods which are required by the people and not bringing imports back in return; that is, by a policy of foreign investment.

Notwithstanding anything I have said, I want it thoroughly understood that we of this group realize that we have a moral obligation to make goods available to the devastated areas of Europe, to the war-stricken nations. For that reason we have always supported in the house the principle of mutual aid and such measures as UNRRA. But we must keep this fact in mind: some day those areas will no longer be destitute. The day will come when these countries will rebuild their factories, and when that day comes these nations will desire to pay for their exports with their exports. At that time we must be prepared to accept freely the exports of other nations in payment for the exports we ship them. I would say that the real test of the economy we are building to-day will come four or five years from now, when these nations desire to pay for their imports with their exports. The test will come, whether or not we have built up an economy in which we have an effective demand against the production of the country and the production of other nations for which our own production can be exchanged. If we have not done that we shall be visited with a situation which may very well develop into a serious depression.

The Address-Mr. Quelch

The speech from the throne states that we are to be asked to approve a measure to provide for Canada's participation in the final act of the Bretton Woods agreement; that is, to join in the international monetary fund and the bank of reconstruction. Without any hesitation I can say that in so far as this group is concerned the government will get no support from us in that programme. We shall oppose the measure because, in the first instance, it means a restoration of the gold standard. I know some will siy, Les, but it is a different gold standard." Well, the gold standard of 1925 was different from the gold standard of 1914, but still it was a gold standard. The main difference between the gold standard of Bretton Woods and that of 1925 is that the former is of an even more vicious character. Second, we shall oppose it because in its present form it is bound to create international friction. I have heard many people say, "Do you not realize that the experts of forty-four different nations signed that agreement and consented to participate in this scheme, and did so voluntarily? Is it likely that these experts would have been willing to participate in that scheme had they thought it would be detrimental to their countries?"

In the first place, let us realize that these experts did not necessarily represent public opinion in their own countries. But there is another matter of even greater importance. To show what I mean I should like to quote from an editorial which was published in the Fundy Fisherman of August 28, taken from the New Zealand Mirror, to show to what extent these agreements are being signed voluntarily:

The lend-lease agreements which the various nations were obliged to sign before obtaining supplies contained a provision which was not in the legislation enacted by congress. This laid down that the debtor nations were to enter into agreements directed to the expansion, by appropriate international and domestic measures, of production, employment and the exchange and consumption of goods, etc. The international money plan is the first of these measures. It is one thing to consider the plan on its merits. It is another matter altogether to discover what the consequence of rejection will be.

In the London Economist of July 21 we find

this statement regarding the situation in which Britain is being placed by having to say "yes" or "no" to this agreement:

As a matter of plain economies, there would seem to be a clear balance of argument against the Bretton Woods scheme-that is against the monetary fund. . . . But as a matter of politics or (if the word is taken to imply something sinister) of amicable relations between governments, there is almost everything to be said in its favour. How much economic hazard is

a reasonable price for continued generosity and friendship or at the least for avoidance of American disappointment and resentment? It all depends upon the size of the hazard and the intensity of the friendship.

I would say, "some friendship!" The sincerity of a friendship which demands economic chaos as the price of its maintenance may indeed be questioned. In other words, we find that nations which are acquiescing in the Bretton Woods agreement are indulging in a policy of appeasement, and surely this war has shown that appeasement never pays; a showdown has to come, and the longer you appease the other nation, the greater will be the showdown when it comes; it is far better to have it at the start.

I am not going to say any more at this time about the Bretton Woods agreement, but when th measure is before the house we shall have quite a bit more to say.

The speech from the throne refers also to a measure to establish a veterans' charter. This charter is to embrace, I understand, the various orders in council which have been passed in regard to soldier rehabilitation. \\e are strongly in favour of a committee being appointed to investigate that charter and to suggest any necessary amendments. Most people realize that to-day there is a good deal of confusion and dissatisfaction with regard to veterans' affairs. Let me add that much of that confusion is to be found right amongst the officials of the minister's own department.

I want to briefly refer to the Veterans' Land Act. My reference to it will be brief because no doubt the time to discuss it will be when the matter of setting up a committee is brought up; that is, if a committee is appointed, which I trust will be the case. I was on the committee in 1942 when we discussed the new Veterans' Land Act. I realized at the time that the new act was a great improvement on the old Soldier Settlement Act; nevertheless I recognized that there were certain weaknesses in it. I pointed them out at the time. Unfortunately many of them still exist. I am going to refer to this now because I hope the minister will take steps to remove these evils and not wait until a committee is set up.

I have in mind especially section 13. I am not surprised that that section was labeled "13," because it has been and is a hoodoo to many returned men who hoped to benefit under it. The director of the Veterans' Land Act, Mr. Murchison, has stated that he does not consider this is a matter of very great importance, because, of one thousand soldiers settling under the Veterans' Land Act, only six have gone under section 13. Well, naturally

The Address-Mr. Quelch

no soldier would go under section 13 if he could possibly avoid doing so, but I am quite certain that if that section is amended as it should be we shall find that a very large number of soldiers will take advantage of it.

Section 13 provides that where a soldier has a farm with a mortgage on it he can obtain a loan from the soldier settlement board in order to pay that mortgage back. He will not, however, receive any of the other benefits of the act. He will not receive any grant. I pointed that out in the committee and I pointed it out in the house. The Minister of Veterans Affairs will remember that the leader of the opposition at that time asked him whether my statement was correct, that there was discrimination, and the minister himself admitted that there was. But unfortunately nothing was done about it.

This is the situation. You may have a soldier with a half-section of land valued at $5,000, with a mortgage of $3,000, in which case he has an equity of $2,000 in that land. All he can do under the Veterans Land Act is to get a loan to pay off that mortgage with interest at 3i per cent, but he does not get benefits beyond that. He does not get a grant but merely a loan. On the other hand, if a veteran returning has, instead of an equity of $2,000 in a half-section, $2,000 of an equity in bank deposits or $3,000 in bonds, he can get the benefit to the full extent of the act and can get an outright gift of around $2,300.

I maintain that the soldier who has a farm with a mortgage on it representing an equity of $2,000 should be able to sell that land back to the board and take advantage of the Veterans Land Act and get the full benefits of that act. Why should he be treated differently from the soldier who has his money tied up, not in: land but in bonds?

The minister recognized last year that discrimination existed, but so far nothing has been done. Unfortunately, however, that is not the whole story. If a soldier obtains a loan to pay off a mortgage he loses the whole amount of the reestablishment credit. I could not believe that because, according to the act, he could lose it only to the extent that the benefits he receives are greater than the rehabilitation credit. But I telephoned the deputy minister regarding this and he informs me that if a soldier comes under section 13 he loses the reestablishment credit.

No one would argue that when a soldier receives a loan he is receiving more than his rehabilitation credit. Apparently they are taking the stand that a loan of $3,000 is the same as a gift of $3,000. The soldier does not

receive any gift when he receives a loan; the only benefit he receives is a reduction in the rates of interest. Therefore the soldier who comes under that section should be entitled to the full amount of the rehabilitation credit, although it states that when he comes under the Veterans Land Act he loses those benefits. So long as he is under section 13 he should receive the full amount of the rehabilitation credit, and1 the minister will find, I believe, that the members of his staff are fully in accord with that suggestion. However, since we shall be discussing this question later on I will go into greater detail then.

One more question that I would refer to in this connection is the question of the merchant marine. Unfortunately the merchant marine is excluded entirely from all benefits of rehabilitation unless the seaman has received a disability while serving on a ship. That is as I understand it. We discussed this question in the soldier rehabilitation committee in 1942, and the opinion of the majority of the committee was that the merchant marine should benefit under the Veterans Land Act. But the minister then pointed out that it would not be in the interests of the country to encourage the seamen to leave the sea at the end of the war. The seamen would be needed, and therefore they could) not make the act applicable to the merchant marine, but at a later date that might be done.

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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:

Has my hon. friend seen the order in council passed last year in regard to merchant marine benefits? If he has not I will send him a copy to-morrow.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

Does it apply to the

Veterans Land Act? Do they benefit under the Veterans Land Act?

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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:

No, but there are lots of other benefits.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

That is what I am referring to. I am glad to hear that sailors dio now receive certain benefits.

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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:

If pensionable.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

Yes, provided that they

suffer a>

disability while serving on a ship. But the soldier or the airman need not have received any disability in order to get the grant or the rehabilitation credit or any other rehabilitation measure. Why, therefore, should the merchant marine have to suffer a disability? All hon. members realize the tremendous service which the merchant marine has given the country.

The Address-Mr. White (Middlesex)

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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:

I should) be giad if

the hon. member would defer this part of his remarks until I can send him a copy of the order in council to-morrow. I am afraid he has not seen it.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

I was informed by an

official of the department that a man had to be pensionable to get the benefits. He had to receive a disability.

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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:

Not for some of the

benefits, but for the land act.

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Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

The minister admits that

so far as the Veterans' Land Act is concerned the merchant marine are not eligible. The minister remembers that when this matter was discussed in the committee it was felt that at the earliest possible date the merchant marine should be eligible. Perhaps right now it is felt that these men are needed at sea, but as soon as we can spare them from the sea, then the act should be made available to them. In all sincerity I would say to the minister that perhaps the best way to encourage merchant marine seamen to stay am the sea would be to maintain a decent wage and not to do as the Park steamship company is trying to do, to bring about a drastic reduction ini wages. That is not the way to encourage seamen to remain on the sea.

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I must remind

the hon. gentleman that he has spoken for over forty minutes.

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Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

If I might have one minute longer, I should like to have said a few words regarding the necessity of putting into operation certain national projects for irrigation. I understand from what the Minister of Reconstruction (Mr. Howe) said yesterday, and from the white paper, that it is not intended to make a large expenditure in that regard now. They are going to build a shelf of national projects to take care of unemployment if it should occur in the future. In other words, national projects apparently are omce more to become relief projects. I feel that where it can be shown that there is absolute need for implementing a certain project, that project should be carried out to-day just so long as the men and materials required can be found.

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PC

Harry Oliver White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. O. WHITE (Middlesex East):

In rising to address the house for the first time I wish to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, on the high office to which you have been elected. I wish also to thank you for the kindness you have extended to new members in overlooking some of their shortcomings. I know I shall be needing some of that consideration myself.

I represent the constituency of Middlesex East, the area surrounding the city of London, and while surrounding the city of London I have not yet been able to surround the member for that constituency.

I am in a rather peculiar industry, possibly. While I am a farmer, I am surprised at the lack, shall I say, of words in appreciation and support of the farmers' position in the country. Not only am I a farmer, but I am engaged, as I say, in a peculiar industry in that I am able to steal a living from my neighbours. I am in the business of producing honey and those who want to get my product must line up and produce coupons.

A good deal has been said about housing and sanitary facilities, but no one seems to think about the men and women on our Canadian farms who have done without things for years, while at the same time producing the food to feed starving Europe. According to a survey, there are 125,000 sub-standard farm homes and it is also well known that there are hundreds of vacant homes throughout the farming areas of Canada. One only needs to drive through western Ontario to realize that conditions must change. We see weeds on every hand, fences and buildings in need of repairs. There is no shortage of things to be done. There are jobs for all. The very fact that this government subsidized farm products is an acknowledgment that the farmer is not receiving adequate prices and at a time when consumers generally are more able to pay for food than ever before. Farmers fear, above all else, that agriculture may be allowed to descend to the level of European peasantry.

It is my wish to direct the attention of the house to the noticeable absence in the speech from the throne to any specific plans for agriculture. This lack of plans for agriculture is noticeable in many instances, but more particularly in the present situation with regard to cattle marketing and failure to maintain hog production in face of the professed need for meat products. It is in the best interests of this house that the representatives of the people get back to earth occasionally. Anyone who was among the farmers and the people last week could not but understand that the farmers are up in arms over the cattle marketing situation.

The statement of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) on Friday, that the weighing facilities were responsible for the congestion at Toronto yards, is not the opinion which I received from A. M. Stewart, the oat king, one of the directors of the stockyards, residing in Middlesex county-

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Partly responsible.

288 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. White (Middlesex)

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PC

Harry Oliver White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. WHITE (Middlesex East):

-and which was to the effect that 6,000 a day could be weighed. He stated that so far they have weighed without delay every lot that has been purchased and were prepared and equipped to handle all the cattle that come into the yards.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

May I call the attention of the hon. member to the fact that the president of the organization said that the number was 4,000.

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Harry Oliver White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. WHITE (Middlesex East):

Farmers

resent the strikes planned by labour in food processing plants which are timed at the most critical marketing periods, and apparently neither labour nor management care how great a loss these strikes are to the farmer. Labour is entitled to support in obtaining its high levels of employment, for decent hours and fair pay, but the farmers expect fair treatment as well. Information is not available as to the number of cattle sold directly to the packing houses, while hundreds of cattle are left in the stockyards unsold, to be purchased later at a loss to the producer.

A farmer acquaintance of mine, living near the Montana border in Alberta, told me that in the five years of war, the difference in price of cattle between Alberta and Montana has cost him about twenty thousand dollars.

There is a need for all the meat that we can produce, but farmers must not be forced to take a loss of from ten to twelve dollars on every good beast. On the other hand, small butchers and grocers are objecting to the complications and extra work the ration entails. Small operators are being sacrificed to the large packing companies. We hear considerable about the decentralization of industry. The best interests of the country are served when as much as possible of the processing can be done nearest the area of production, and not as the farmers are compelled to do under the present regulations, which send their produce to the plants of the big packers.

The much heralded free enterprise must also include free markets for our cattle and produce. George Bernard Shaw once said that this planet was the insane asylum of the universe. I think this is the only explanation of our meat ration and housing situation as it exists to-day. Some of its more erratic patients are in charge of those plans.

Let us take one look at the soil of Canada. Soil fertility is not an ever-flowing spring that is renewed each year by the snow and the rain. Every farm product that is sold off the farm removes certain essential elements of fertility. A glimpse of things to come along this line may be found in the decreasing yields of farm crops. The numerous deficiency

diseases of plants, animals and humans are but an indication of the lack of these essential elements, as is the enormous increase of weeds which in a way is nature's attempt to repair soil depletion, by the return of humus to the soil. History has shown that man cannot disregard this important matter. Many once fertile areas of the old world are now deserts. Ever westward moved the farmers of America. Let us plan to maintain our soil, the basic wealth of this country. The farmer under present conditions is unable to make provision to maintain soil fertility. The government of Canada must not again permit the farm income to fall to such a low level that the farmer will be unable to buy the needed material for rebuilding his source of income.

A word or two about free enterprise. The farmer, to my mind, knows better than most just what free enterprise means. To him it means freedom to market his crops and sell his live stock where he pleases and at the best possible prices. He does not ask for state controls that hamper all his activities. He does ask for protection from the government in his dealings on the markets so that he may hold his own. We, as the parliament of Canada, must see that he gets that protection. We do not want conditions such as would drive him in defeat to the socialist way of life; conditions where he has to sell to the big packer at a loss on his cost of production when he could sell elsewhere at a profit, for instance, in the United States. Socialism thrives on a defeatist attitude and our farmers must not be allowed to fall into it. They have their hopes pinned on us. We must fulfil their expectations.

Farmers are not looking for social security. All they have ever asked for is an opportunity to sell their products at a parity price with the things they have to buy. Given a parity price, they will be able to equip their farms and homes to modern standards; they will be able to educate their children; they will be able to have leisure time; they will be able to lay something aside to provide for their old age Just as in the case of the worker, where real social security means the right to a good job at good pay, the farmer can provide his own social security if he is given the opportunity.

I wish to say a word or twro about the Veterans' Land Act housing. Veterans' Land Act houses are a menace to rural municipalities. They must be the dream of a bachelor. Municipalities are going to be saddled with these houses. Drainage, roads and many services will be demanded. Fortunate are the municipalities that are without these rural

House oj Commons

slums. There is something the matter when good hundred acre farms with house and barns in Middlesex, Lambton, Huron, Perth and many other counties sell for less money than these veterans' land houses of questionable value. Before the veteran has paid for the house, he will certainly have lost his equity in it.

With the war over, we all want to see a reduction in taxation and in our national debt. With gratuities and the social security measures planned we shall not find this easy. It must be done, however, if we are to go forward in the post-war period. Canada needs selected immigration. If our population were double what it is now, our debt per capita could be cut in half. If prices of farm products and basic industries are allowed to fall to one-half their present level, that would be the equivalent of doubling our national debt.

I wish to say a word about the transatlantic conference lines. Prior to the war I was engaged in exporting honey to the United Kingdom. At that time an agreement existed between the principal steamship lines in regard to rates from Montreal and other seaboard ports. Owing to an oversight Toronto was not included in this agreement, and small Norwegian freighters could come to Toronto, pick up freight and deliver it in the United Kingdom for much less than the conference rates. With the advent of a Canadian merchant navy owing to the war and, at some future date, the deepening of the St. Lawrence river, let us be in a position to market our Canadian produce in Canadian boats, at rates which are not set by any cartel or outside shipping monopoly.

On motion of Mr. Belzile the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie the house adjourned at 10.45 p.m.

Wednesday, September 19, 1945.

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September 18, 1945