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
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
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.
The Address-Mr. Mclvor
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.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY