July 16, 1946

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

It makes no difference to the debate. You are not controlling the debate. It is a debate on the budget.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. PIERRE GAUTHIER (Portneuf) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, after listening to the three distinguished speakers who have addressed the house this afternoon, I feel doubly daring in rising after them and using one of the official languages, the French tongue, the noblest, the purest and the most delectable, even if it is not understood.

I shall add but one word on the very ticklish question of strikes. I followed with the greatest attention the previous speakers. They kept cool and refrained from resorting to unfortunate language. Allow me, however, to state my personal opinion. I do not believe, when a strike has been declared, that either the employers or the employees may benefit by the opening and the continuation of a debate on this matter, in view of the divergent convictions held by the various parties represented in this house. We should have greater confidence in those who are entrusted with the settlement of such disputes, in the hope that there is left a little humanity in the heart of employers and a great deal of common sense in the mind of workers. I understand that in the past, some hon. members have intervened on behalf of workers and sought to bring into line companies whose treatment of their employees lacked all trace

The Budget-Mr. Gauthier (Portneuj)

of humanity. To my mind, instead of making a great number of speeches on the present strike, we ought to devote our efforts to the enactment of fair legislation dealing with the settlement of these disputes. We should also trust the Minister of Labour now in office (Mr. Mitchell) who has shown that he has plenty of grit as well as a sound judgment and the other qualifications required from a minister of labour imbued with principles for which all good Canadians should stand. The meetings dealing with the adjustment of these disputes should be conducted by those who are called to handle the settlement of these strikes. Let us trust the workers, the employers, and the mediators appointed by the government; let us trust those who will be chosen to represent the communities, as previous speakers have urged, and I feel sure that if we leave well enough alone, refrain from adding fuel to fire and show reasonable understanding, strikes will disappear and we will not witness the continuation of what we might term a baseball game. When there are more "strikes" than are necessary to put a man out, it is to be feared that a continuation of such strikes will be detrimental to the country. I do not wish to enter upon a field in which I am particularly interested; I do not wish to have my utterances misunderstood and especially misinterpreted. However, the Minister of Labour has sounded a warning during the seamen's strike, and more than ever before we must be on the lookout and fight the spread of certain subversive ideas which thrive when feeling runs high as it does during strikes. I did not say anything about communism, but everyone knows what I mean.

I have listened carefully to the budget speech. Even when I was sitting opposite I never doubted the competence of the present keeper of the treasury. He has a degree of resistance and patience rarely seen in a public man. His work is a thankless task and I am sure that all hon. members will agree that he has the required patience to do his work without complaining.

The budget mentioned a tax on cooperatives. In my constituency there are fourteen cooperatives with a membership of 850, according to the report of the province of Quebec. I wonder how my electors will react to the new budget and particularly to the proposed tax on cooperatives. Following the request of our local cooperatives I wrote to the department asking them to be careful and not be too 63260-221J

hard on cooperatives, but that if cooperatives are to be taxed the proposed tax should not endanger the cooperative movement, not only in my constituency, but in the whole province.

I understand that the federal treasurer, the Minister of Finance (Right Hon. Mr. Ilsley), followed the recommendations of the investigation commission on the taxation of cooperatives. As I told you, I shall await their reaction. I took part in the foundation of the cooperative movement and I would not like to see its efficiency and strength undermined by dangerous taxation. I have not been able to get a clear picture from the figures that have been quoted, but I hope that the cooperatives will not suffer too much. I would like to see them escape altogether. Particularly, I would not like to see the cooperative movement lessened in its scope, nor that the proposed taxation should prevent farmers, whether they produce milk, butter or cheese, or are engaged in horticulture, or ordinary or truck gardening, from being conscious of the strength or the efficiency of the cooperative movement. I am awaiting the reactions, before raising the matter again, should the directors of cooperatives find that there is a threat to the interests of that wonderful movement which has so much helped the farming community.

Another matter with which I am allowed to deal in the budget debate, has to do with those who were called and have answered the call issued under the National Resources Mobilization Act. Articles appear about them in many papers. Members discuss the subject and even include it in their speeches; the matter comes up in committees and is being dealt with by the civil service commission.

In my opinion, those who answered the call, who complied with the laws of their country should not be discriminated against by anyone. I understand that they did not enlist voluntarily, but it does not behoove me to pass on their present attitude- or to search their motives at the time. To my mind, it is high time that we should stop treating them as outcasts, heaping opprobrium upon them, holding a sword of Damocles over their heads, and casting the word "zombie" in their faces when they request jobs. They should enjoy all the advantages to which volunteers are entitled.

I realize there is a difference; however, they have complied with the law of the land and I fail to see why they should be maintained in a situation of inferiority and, especially, why we should make them feel it more than is necessary.

3498 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. Gauthier (Porlneuf)

I shall not ask for an amnesty for fear of irritating those of my colleagues who jump in their seats every time this word is uttered.

It seems to me, that the time has come for Canada to assume a rank equal to that of the other countries of the world, with the exception of Russia, whose place I do not envy for Canada. All political prisoners have been released in every country except Russia where democracy is of a special kind. Therefore, I see no reason why we should not pass a regulation, an act of parliament or an order in council for the purpose of rehabilitating those who are at variance with the Department of National Defence.

To my mind, this state of affairs has obtained long enough at a time when farmers have no help and timber operators have to do without lumbermen. Why not settle this point, instead of letting the farmer run the risk of leaving his crop on the field, as he has done before? And why expose the lumber operator to the risk of being unable to fulfil his contracts to supply the domestic or foreign markets, especially at this time when, in all countries, reconstruction is in full swing?

Speaking of reconstruction, I should like to comment briefly on a project which, though not originating in my constituency, has developed considerably in my locality since the war's end. The belief is held in my constituency, a belief which incidentally is shared by many municipal officials and members of the clergy, that the best way to foster the reconstruction of our economy, and to do so in the most efficient manner, is to interest young men in developing initiative, by helping them to build up strong healthy bodies and providing them with the required knowledge, even those who do not plan to take up long special courses leading to the professions.

It is a plan that is clearly taking shape in my own constituency and for which the government should provide in its reconstruction programme. Several municipalities are planning to establish what they call social or recreational centres, comprising community halls that could be fitted with a complete gymnasium, a reading room and library, and, in the more populous centres, even a swimming-pool. Besides developing our young people's taste for worth-while books and teaching them physical culture, such projects would teach them to make better use of their leisure and increase their enjoyment of their rural environment. By thus learning to appreciate their environment, they shall grow fonder of it and thus feel less inclined to seek in the city the entertainment they can find in their home town.

I think that this problem deserves the government's consideration and that its solution would help solve another of equal importance, the exodus from rural districts.

I was a member of the Quebec legislature when it first considered this problem and I recall that even in my student days, our debating societies would tackle this problem even if it was not as acute as now. Statistics show that, at the present time, sixty-nine per cent of the population of my province live in the cities. That is an abnormal and undesirable situation, in view of the fact that urban centres depend on the land and its workers for the garden produce they consume in such quantities. Let us keep in mind the need of reestablishing the balance between the urban and rural populations. Let us concentrate our efforts in order to w'ard off disaster. This project, which I would call a reconstruction project, involving financial assistance for the opening of social centres, is most certainly an excellent way of helping the solution of the problem I have just mentioned, which has but too long existed and on which responsible authorities do not seem willing to concentrate their efforts.

I understand that the carrying out of such a plan would be easier if dominion-provincial agreements had been entered into. I have no doubt that the people are anxious that those agreements should materialize, and they can be concluded without any interference with the proper autonomy of the provinces. The constitutional aspect has been discussed, examined and scrutinized by the learned lawyers and notaries who sit in this house. I dare not deal with it, but I wish to quote a few excerpts from a letter which Sir Wilfrid Laurier wrote to the hon. Leon Mercier-Gouin on July 18, 1918: It expounds an idea which I wish to commend to this house and to the public. Sir Wilfrid Laurier said in that letter:

You have grasped that difference in pointing out that in our constitution everything that was not expressly assigned to the provinces belongs to the dominion; while in the ease of our neighbours, it is the opposite. Under the United States constitution, everything that was not assigned to the central authority is retained by the states. And you add "Is it not indeed more logical, more liberal and more equitable?"

On this point-said Sir Wilfrid Laurier-I am constrained to differ in toto from your views. I consider as quite superior our system which assigns to the federal authority all unenumera-ated powers. The object of the federal system is to form a distinct unit out of heterogeneous elements, while guaranteeing to each of the latter its own existence, that is to say without any amalgamation. The new state will then

The Budget-Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf)

necessarily be more solid and stronger if final authority is vested in the power which unites all those elements. The idea is still more obvious if the obieet of the federation is to create a new nation out of various elements formerly quite separate. ,

Switzerland came into being only when it assigned supreme authority to the federal council. Until then, the German Bernese, the French Genevan, the Italian-speaking man from Ticino, were first of all citizens of Berne, Geneva or the Ticino district.

Now each preserves the traditions, language and pride of Berne, of Geneva or of the Ticino, but paramount over them all is Switzerland, one and inseparable.

Daniel Webster, of all American statesmen, is the one who best and most forcibly showed the path finally taken by his country after much groping and an acute crisis. He tersely closes his finest address by saying: "Liberty and union now and forever, one and inseparable."

In my judgment, it cannot be questioned that, unless based on this principle, any federal association carries within itself the seeds of inescapable disruption.

The truth of this is exemplified by the Achaean league and all other attempts at federation in Italy and elsewhere. All perished through the same cause: weakness of the central authority.

The man in the street would reflect: "How can we expect provincial governments to be strong when the central authority is weak?"

We were given yesterday English copies of the Taschereau-Kellock commission on espionage.

Mr. Speaker informed us this afternoon that copies in French would be distributed; I wish to thank the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) for having given orders to that effect.

When this matter first came up, some persons, most of whom were opponents of the party now in power, contended that the latter was playing politics, and that the quest for spies was mere eye-wash. In this very house, some hon. members considered that the government's intervention was too harsh. The right hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) was even taken to task in this respect. I then took the floor to defend those who believe that we must not beat around the bush when it comes to espionage; that we must take the situation in hand and mete out just punishment to those who break the laws of our country. I do not believe that the sentences were severe enough. If the same thing had happened in Russia, where a special brand of democracy is prevailing, I wonder whether the government of the very democratic generalissimo Stalin would even bother to launch an investigation.

I fail to see why the government should be charged with over-harshness. I believe they have been too lenient. Pravda itself, official organ of the Russian government asserted that the liberal administration was simply indulging in a bit of window-dressing to sway public opinion and make political capital by diverting attention to one group in particular, to a part of the world blessed with a sound democratic system, to wit the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. While hunting, Mr. Speaker, one need not ask wild beasts their permission to fire in selfdefence. The government should remain constantly on the alert against the danger of communism. Every organization in Canada and in all other countries must take a realistic view of the present situation. They should count the number of nations under the heel of communism, subject to its influence or suffering the first inroads of its propaganda. We are not sufficiently aware of such a contingency. In Canada, more than anywhere else, we should keep our eyes open. I am not advocating, at this time, the banning of the Labour-Progressive party, but I strongly urge that every means at our disposal be used against the expansion of the communist ideology and of every other nefarious, subversive, dangerous theory which eventually will kill true and sound democracy in the world.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would give some advice to hon. members by quoting a prayer which is recited in the American legislature in Wisconsin. I found it in a well-informed newspaper of Quebec district, Le Soleil. I leave it to the consideration of this house.

God Almighty, Lord of all governments, help us iu the opening hours of this legislative session to realize the holiness of political affairs.

Deliver us from the subtle temptation of sin, when the voices of parties and interests are raised in this house.

Prevent us from thinking about future elections, instead of future generations.

Prevent us from discussing personalities instead of principles.

Grant that we may not think too much of securing majorities instead of considering the merits of required legislation.

Prevent us, when debates reach a decisive stage, from speaking for effect instead of telling the truth.

Grant that we derive no pleasure from seeking to coin witticisms instead of searching for facts.

3500 COMMONS

7'he Budget-Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf)

Prevent us from considering the party an end in itself rather than a means to an end.

That, I believe, is a Liberal principle.

We not only beg for Thy protection against temptations which beset us in these legislative chambers but also ask that we may more fully understand the meaning of government in order the better to serve the interests of those who have entrusted into .our hands the government of this republic.

Help us to remember that future generations are part of our electoral body, although, as yet. they have no voice in the elections.

Grant that we respect truth more than the past. Help us to make a servant rather than a master of our party.

May we understand the futility of winning elections were we to lose our energy.

Help us to remain independent of tyrannical majorities and argumentative minorities when the truth is with neither of them.

May our motives be inspired by sincerity and our methods enlightened by science.

Help us to serve the masses without flattering them, to believe in them without bowing to superstition.

To this advice, Mr. Speaker, I shall add another. Some hon. members, during the war, urged the government in power to spend billions of dollars, or as much as possible, to make a superhuman effort, to spare neither capital nor manpower, for, to their minds, the expenditures were never large enough. To-day, these same hon. members, who are still sitting in this house urge the government to reduce taxes and expenditures. I ask them to cast a look back and tell us frankly whether they do not believe that someone is bound to pay for the debts made during the war.

They should also remember that those debts should be paid by those taxpayers who can afford to pay them, and not by the small wage earners. Even though our treasurer's efforts disappointed the small wage earners and those who look after their interests, and although the budget did not fulfil all our hopes, we must admit that he has tried to reduce the burden of income tax which rests upon the shoulders of persons in the lower income bracket. Those who approved of billion dollar expenditures and took pleasure in putting the heat on the government, as they said, should now apply that same heat to their own way of reasoning and admit that although the excess profits tax has not been abolished the treasurer tried to alleviate the burden of the small wage earners, upon whom rests the entire economic set-up of a nation. It should be remembered that when France lost the war of 1870, under Napoleon III, it was saved by the well-lined stockings of the thrifty French people. In my opinion, the administrators of finance of every nation should remember that sound economy is not based on daring, but rather on good old

fashioned thrift, on that kind of wisdom that prompts the small wage earner to think twice before risking the fruits of his toil.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. GARFIELD CASE (Grey North) (Text):

Mr. Speaker, I think I should say at the outset it is a source of regret that I do not understand the beautiful language of my French brethren. I try to follow them and to listen to the various emphases so that I may appreciate the translation the next day. The hon. member who preceded me mentioned the name of Daniel Webster. I remembered that there was a Webster who found a meaning for everything, and I then thought I was following very closely the remarks he had to make.

This afternoon we have listened to remarks made by hon. members with regard to a serious situation currently in existence in our country; and while it is not necessarily my purpose to comment upon or to add to what has already been said, I feel it shows what the desire is on the part of the government when the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) rises in his place and endorses a suggestion made by the member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith), a member of His Majesty's loyal opposition. I say that because it gives me possibly a greater appreciation of the responsibility of this chamber and the desire of the government to seek advice from those who are sincere in their efforts to make some contribution to the common weal.

It is interesting for those who, like myself, have not been very long in this great House of Commons to think back to the days when we were travelling up and down the concession lines of our various constituencies appealing to our electors and presenting to them the policy which we believed would be in the best interests of the country; and on the great day of days, election day, when we were endorsed by our constituents, those who were selected to follow the majority leader were charged with a greater responsibility in a sense than those whose policies were not endorsed. Yet the opposition, according to our system of government, is in a sense not entirely relieved of responsibility. The responsibility which I feel is mine and my colleagues' is that of being reasonably critical of the policies presented by the administration; that is to say, I do not believe that the opposition is necessarily expected to agree, where you have a two-party system of government, with the policies which the government advocates. Then, too, I feel that an opposition member might be expected to state his personal views. As far as I am aware, there are no restrictions upon a member stating his personal views or indicating to the

The Budget-Mr. Case

government some method whereby he believes the administration could be improved. We had evidence of that to-day and evidence of the government's willingness to accept from the opposition some suggestions which, if given effect to, might improve a serious situation that now exists in the country.

I have grown to appreciate more and more the House of Commons. In common with many other members, I was quite disillusioned after my experience in the first special session following the famous by-election. I learned that an individual, like individuals throughout the land, counts as an individual; yet within this chamber he is provided with certain protection and is privileged to state his views, which can be interpreted by those who are willing to listen to his remarks.

I arrived just about the time the high office of His Majesty's representative was being changed, when we were in a sense saying farewell to those who had so graciously occupied this position with distinction to themselves and credit indeed to the British isles. Then we welcomed a great soldier. At that time I thought that in our wisdom it would be well if we could determine that at all times in the future the governor general of Canada would be a representative from some other part of the British commonwealth of nations. I do not say that in any sense belittling the talent we have in Canada or those who would indeed lend dignity and honour to this high office. But it is a link with other parts of the empire. In my opinion any part of the empire would be proud to have as a governor general a man of the ability of Field Marshal Smuts of South Africa. When I think of the great men of my day and generation, particularly of my day, I can think of no greater man in the British empire than Field Marshal Smuts, one of the world's greatest scientists, an intellectual. a student of world affairs, a scholar. I am not making any comparison with other men, because I think we all recognize that during the trying and difficult days and dark years there was in the centre of this great empire a voice which lent determination and courage to all within its range. Its range was great, because by modern science radio carried this great voice from the heart of the empire to inspire us to greater effort. Indeed it played a great part in the winning of the war. I am referring now, of course, to the Right Hon. Winston Churchill.

I should like to go one step further and offer a suggestion which I have had in my mind for some time. In fact I have been a constant advocate of this matter, namely, the appointment of lieutenant governors to

the various provinces. While I have just said that I hoped we would never change our system-but I should like to see our future governors general selected from the various parts of the British commonwealth of nations -I believe there is much to be said for the appointment of lieutenant governors from the various provinces to the various provinces.

I have always felt that there is something tangible in the spoken word, and a governor general who is appointed from some other part of the empire can come to us from some other land and tell us about their problems, and the methods they employ, which would give us greater appreciation of them. Then, when he returns to his native land or to the place whence he came he could tell something about Canada and its many advantages. So with the provinces; if we had a citizen from British Columbia appointed lieutenant governor of Ontario or a citizen from Quebec appointed lieutenant governor of Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Ontario, he would have an opportunity to tell the citizens of this province something of the advantages that his particular province has to offer. At the same time a citizen of Ontario would be telling something of the advantages that Ontario has to offer. In this way we would probably become more united than we are at the present time. I see no reason why such a plan should not be seriously considered by the authorities who would make a decision of this kind. I want it understood, of course, that I am speaking for myself and offering this personal observation without any weight of policy or anything of that kind behind it.

I now feel that I should say something about the budget. I can think .back to that memorable night when the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) presented the -budget and outlined the fiscal policy of the administration for the supposedly ensuing or current fiscal year. The galleries of the House of Commons were loaded to the gunwales; people were here in large numbers expecting something which would give them a sense of direction, a hope that the government was awake to the problems of the nation; indeed, they anticipated something which never occurred.

I have not had a great deal of opportunity to study the budget carefully. It involved a huge volume of comment, and was a notable address. There was some degree of showmanship evidenced, which, up until that time, I had not given the Minister of Finance credit for possessing. As he proceeded with his presentation, he said that "presently I shall announce substantial reductions in the personal income tax," or words to that effect. That kept us on the alert, anticipating what the reduc-

The Budget-Mr. Case

tions would amount to. Shortly we were to learn, and then I began to realize that the Minister of Finance must indeed have had his tongue in his cheek because the reductions were more or less a myth. I then began to think things over and to ask myself if the budget was an abortion or an illegitimate child; certainly it was premature. By its very terms it is not due to be bom until January 1, 1947, and it will be nurtured by the revenues and increment from the calendar year 1946. What does this mean? In effect it means that for the first time in history, to my knowledge, we have had presented in the House of Commons a budget, the effect of which was not immediate. As a matter of fact the budget has always been looked upon as a secret document. Its contents are held closely and rigidly guarded, because therein is contained a matter of policy to which the government intends to give immediate effect. Therefore, in reality we now have a budget that is not in effect until January 1, 1947, and is currently to be in effect for a period of only three months, or a matter of one-quarter of the year.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

That is incorrect. That statement has been made several times, but it is incorrect.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASE:

The minister says it is not correct, but in the main it is correct. I am not going to deal with the matter of schedules, the effect of which may be current in some instances; but in the main there are no exemptions for the income taxpayer until January 1, 1947.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

No. I was dealing with the question of this three months' theory; that parliament has the right to legislate only until the end of the fiscal year, and that therefore any reductions in the budget end on March 31, 1947. That is a completely erroneous and groundless theory, and an incorrect statement.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASE:

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that this parliament has no right to legislate beyond March 31, 1947, when a new budget will be brought down. In that I am supported by the best constitutional authorities outside the house. All we have before us at the present moment is a promise of what will be in effect until this administration is prepared to give effect to some other change. That does not necessarily mean that it is in effect until-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

In the last budget, which was brought down on October 12 last, we legislated for the whole year 1946.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASE:

The minister is now bringing down a budget, the terms of which do not become effective until January 1, 1947; and I am told by those who should be able to

speak with some knowledge about constitutional procedure that it has always -been an accepted practice that the current session, can legislate for the fiscal year; that in reality the budget is in effect until March 31, 1947, and that when a new budget is introduced its terms may be made retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year. This places industry and businessmen in a difficult position. They find it hard to make plans, because they have no definite advice and no reason to believe that changes will not be made. As a matter of fact, if no changes are anticipated that puts the budget in a worse light than ever. Certainly, if this administration would introduce that measure of economy which has been advocated and urged by the opposition, they should be able to lower taxation during the coming fiscal year. If they are unable to do so that makes the position even worse than I thought.

I have had an opportunity to consult with many citizens of this country, and I can tell the Minister of Finance that they think they have been flim-flammed by this budget. I think it will go down in history as the flimflam budggt, because I have failed to discover in it anything constructive, anything that would give industiy any incentive to plan, or any measure of relief for the overburdened taxpayers. It contains nothing -which would help us compete in the markets of. the world, which we are so fond of claiming as our definite objective and which we must achieve if we are to bring about that industrial production by means of which we hope to maintain our internal economy. Great as the home market is, Canada is in the unusual position that she must anticipate tremendous export markets. I am asking myself whether there is in this budget any yardstick that can be used by those planning for the future to determine their security. It would seem tome that we are constantly moving, without any definite guidance from the administration and without any hope of relief which would put us in a better competitive position. As a matter of fact I think we are becoming more handicapped.

I said there is no evidence of economy on the part of the administration. A good deal has been said about this subject, but I should like to refer to one department in particular.

I have in mind the public information service.

I am quite ready to admit that perhaps this was necessary in war time, when news of a privileged nature had to be given out with a good deal of discretion, but to-day the public information service is doing nothing more or less than disseminating party propa-

The Budget-Mr. Case

ganda. To-day the taxpayers of Canada are paying a great deal of money to be told how good their government really is. I do not wonder that hon. gentlemen want to keep that propaganda before the people, because there is a feeling abroad that the government is in great difficulty. I do not mean that in the sense that they have not a great many loyal supporters, but among their followers there are those who are very much in doubt. The central government can set an example. We now find regularly on our desks another sample of propaganda entitled The Saskatchewan News, a weekly information and news bulletin issued by the bureau of publications, legislative buildings, Regina, Saskatchewan. They are simply following the lead of this government. If we have reached the point where each party in power feels it can use the government printing presses and legislative machinery to tell all the good things about itself, then I think democracy is in great danger, because it will become more and more difficult-and we see the situation developing in connection with radio-for the opposition to make itself heard, though I do not suppose the government worries a great deal about the opposition.

Apart from the budget, Mr. Speaker, I want to say that in a sense I can appreciate some of the difficulties of the government. I realize that I can stand here and tell the government where in my opinion they are going wrong; yet they may reply that in doing so I am assuming no responsibility. However, if I can bring home a picture which would indicate that I have at least an appreciation of their difficulties, and if I indicate my belief that those difficulties can be solved, then I think I may have made some contribution to the councils of the nation. It was regrettable, of course, that the government failed-and I say that advisedly-at the dominion-provincial conference, when they sought to obtain tax adjustments. But it must be remembered, and I think it only fair to say, that it was the federal government alone that was creating double taxation. It cannot be said that the conference failed for any party reasons, regardless of the fact that the two central provinces were represented by premiers who would not be considered kith and kin of the Liberal administration. I can think back to another day and another conference, when the delegation from the province of Ontario was headed by that greatest of all Liberal thinkers, Hon. Mitchell Hepburn, and when no common ground could be agreed upon even to commence the conference. So that the latest failure cannot be charged to the parties represented at that meeting.

In common with other hon. members, I was privileged to sit in the gallery of the senate chamber and view the scene below. My mind went back to another day, of which I have learned in history. I am thinking now of those who met together and became the fathers of confederation. The last conference presented a great object lesson of the tremendous difficulties that were faced by the fathers of confederation. Yet they did not dare to fail. Under the most trying conditions they brought about in Canada the birth of a great nation. How was this accomplished? It was accomplished by a series of compromises. It has often been said that, after all, confederation is nothing more than a compromise, and that it is held together by a delicate thread. I believe in days gone by the Prime Minister has had high regard for that delicate balance which has maintained confederation, and some standard of unification in our country.

I do not know whether he departed from those feelings, but the hon. member for Mus-koka-Ontario (Mr. Macdonnell) has said he felt that if the Prime Minister had been ten years younger he could have saved the conference. I would not prophesy. Perhaps I might say that if he had been ten years older he would have saved it. But the fact remains that the conference failed, and its failure is the responsibility of someone. I do not think we can charge that failure entirely to one group, but rather to a combination of them. There was a group, however, which sought to give leadership. The type of leadership evident on that occasion now appears in the budget, and it is set out in a take-it-or-leave-it proposition.

Since sixty per cent of the population of Canada is in Ontario and Quebec, I am wondering what the effect on confederation will be if certain provinces accept the minister's proposals. What will be the effect if those provinces which accept constitute only twenty per cent of the population? In my view, the great danger is that Canada will be divided, that it will set the west against the central provinces or the central provinces against the east.

The situation is indeed serious. As a matter of fact it is so serious that no one should seek to make political capital out of it. My hope is that the Prime Minister and his administration will seek to reconvene the conference; that it might meet in a spirit of compromise and better understanding, resolve its differences and arrive at something which would offer some

The Budget-Mr. Case

advantage, so far as unity in Canada is concerned. I believe that our national unity hangs in the balance at this critical moment, and that we must encourage our government to do everything in its power to follow those principles of unity it has professed in the past. While I do not endorse in toto the practice the government has followed, I know it has always contended that it has sought greater unity in Canada.

More recently we have had brought about parity with the United States dollar. I do not know what the administration proposes to do; but I do know that our natural resources which have been developed, those which remain undeveloped and others in process of development will suffer most. I am one who believes that this generation has a right to exploit to the full the natural resources of this great land. But I say that by careful planning we should seek to replace all replaceable natural resources, so that those who are yet to come will enjoy some of the advantages we enjoy.

Our lumbering, mining and fishing industries will be affected by parity with the United States dollar. I believe I might properly ask where the pressure came from which caused the government to take action, apparently without consultation with anyone. It must have known that these vital industries would be critically affected.

We have before us the problem of maintaining; price ceilings. That could have been a reason for the change-perhaps a good one. It is possible the government felt that parity with the United States dollar would help maintain the ceilings on our goods. But I am wondering if we are going to succeed. I am not demonstrating any lack of interest in this vital problem, because I know very well what would happen if the dam gave way. I think of a nation's purchasing power as a constant source of pressure against a resisting force, a force which one might compare with an obstruction across a stream. One will notice that if the water ever goes over the top of a dam the structure is destroyed; and in my view that is the problem we face to-day. If we are to maintain price controls tremendous selfdiscipline must be exercised by the people of Canada.

Let me place on record some of the figures involved so that hon. members may have a greater appreciation of the situation. I shall not mention the authority for my figures, but I can assure the house that it is a thoroughly reliable one. I accept the challenge of anyone who doubts it. These figures show that personal individual holdings in liquid resources, made up of bank deposits and government

bonds, amount to about $1,025 per capita. I give this figure in comparison with that of 1939, at which time we had about $300 per capita, and with that of 1926 with a per capita of $185. To-day we have a total of six and one-quarter billions in bank deposits alone, and six billions in bonds held by Canadians, These are bank deposits, and currency in the hands of individuals. This is money in the tills of merchants, money that is hoarded or hidden. Even our bonds must be considered liquid resources, because every Canadian bondholder understands that if he wishes to realize on his bonds he is free to cash them.

This serves to increase the pressure upon the limited supply of goods. If I were to remind the house that we financed the speculative bubble of 1929 on about two and a third billions of dollars, I believe hon. members would appreciate something of the courage of the Minister of Finance and his colleagues when they seek to continue to give effect to this method of controlling prices. There was an incentive during'the war period to pass things by; people were willing to do without. People were willing to conserve their resources in the hope of winning the war. But there is at the present time the tendency-and the debate to which we listened this afternoon in relation to labour and their tendency to strike for higher wages provides all the evidence necessary to substantiate the statement I am about to make-on the part of our citizens to feel that unless they make their purchases now, increased costs will push the price of products beyond their reach. They do not know what may happen. We have that as well to contend with. So that I feel that we have in this budget all the elements which will make problems greater for the administration in controlling prices. There is no incentive for industry to produce, which is the only thing that, in my opinion, will avoid inflation. More goods is the one remedy which would help to stem the dangers of inflation. Yet we find a tendency for labour to be seeking higher wages. Higher wages mean higher costs. This discourages industry; it discourages capital investment and it reduces production; yet no one is satisfied. That is one of the problems we face in the matter of subsidies. Those who receive them feel they are not getting enough; those taxpayers who are paying the subsidies feel that the recipients are receiving too much. It seems to me that the more government regulation you have, the more restricted our production will -be. As a matter of fact, if we continue with price ceilings on natural products for a great while longer we shall live in an economy of scarcity

The Budget-Mr. Ashby

in what has always been recognized as a land of plenty, because incentives are needed to produce.

I am reminded that my time has nearly expired. I shall take only a moment or two

more.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go ahead.

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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASE:

I say to you, Mr. Speaker, in conclusion that I believe the real challenge to labour to-day is to seek to share the responsibilities of industry. Industry should be alive to the possibility of having labour represented on its boards of directors, so that they will know more about the problems of industry and will be able to appreciate better those problems. After all, labour is making an investment as well as capital, and each should share to some extent the advantages and the profits which result therefrom.

I will conclude by saying that the privileges we enjoy as a democratic country have been dearly won; let us seek to measure up to our responsibilities.

Mr. PATRICK H. ASHBY (Edmonton East): Mr. Speaker, the Social Credit group warmly and heartily endorses the recommendation which has been made by the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith). We feel that if the industrial relations committee of this house is set up at once, and if both parties to the present steel strike and all pending and threatened strikes are required to present themselves before the committee to give evidence and to attempt to iron out their difficulties, great good is sure to come of it. We believe that the people of Canada will welcome such an action on the part of this parliament. It is undoubtedly the wish of Canadians everywhere that this body do all it can to bring about industrial peace in Canada. But let it be understood that the setting up of this committee should in no way relieve the government from its responsibilities. I trust that the readiness of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to accept the proposal of the hon. member for Calgary West does not mean that the government will attempt to shift its responsibility to an all-party committee. The government will be expected by the people to get busy in a real and determined effort to remove at the earliest possible time the basic reasons for labour unrest. It will be expected also to do all in its power through the use of present machinery to prevent further strikes and to reconcile differences between capital and labour.

I have not brought down with me the many hundreds of letters which I have received, complaining about the excessive taxation that has been imposed upon the people of Canada. But from just one day's issue of papers that I received I clipped out enough clippings to fill up the whole of my time if I read even half of them. Here are some headings: "The burden of taxation", "Protests high taxation", "Income tax on the salaried man", "The cost of living index above wartime peak", "The high taxes"; and so on all the way through. I am not going to burden hon. members; I notice most of them have gone out; they are so sick and tired of listening to all these speeches that I do not blame them, and I do not want to add to their trials and tribulations. But I was interested in taxation and I thought I would go to the library and find out something about it. I obtained a book the name of which is, "The Principles and Methods of Taxation", and I read in it a definition of what taxes are:

Taxes are a portion of private wealth exacted from individuals by the state for the purpose of meeting the expenditures essential to carrying out the functions of government.

The writer of that statement did not know what he was talking about. He had not the faintest idea of what he was saying. Yet he was the president of a great university, a great economist, lecturing to students. Imagine it! Another great university president a short time ago made another statement which was absolutely imbecilic. What the man said was, "We must devise ways and means to provide full employment for all."

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON:

That sounds like the Liberal party policy.

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SC

Patrick Harvey Ashby

Social Credit

Mr. ASHBY:

Let us analyse what the man said. What is full employment? Employment is a means to some end. If I had a pile of stones on my lawn and I wanted to get rid of them I would have either to hire somebody, giving him employment, or to employ myself and remove those stones elsewhere. The object of employment is to obtain a result. So what that poor imbecilic university president said in effect was, "Ways and means must be found to provide ways and means", which is pure, unadulterated insanity. No wonder we are in such a terrible predicament. We have passed through the stone age, I am told; I was not living in that age. We have since passed through the iron age and various other ages; we have reached the economic age, the age of money, and now we are getting into the age of illusions. It does not matter to whom one speaks; if they have been through these training institutions that we call universities, although they are no longer really universities at all, but just training institutions, elaborated

The Budget-Mr. Ashby

barber schools, where human minds are moulded to a pattern, they are incapable of thinking clearly. I had a friend, a university professor. I know many of them, and they are all fine fellows, but they cannot help their training. This man told me that the tariff was a result, that it was not a method at all. He said, "You can vote for a high tariff, or you can vote for a low tariff." The man did not understand that a tariff was a means to some end. He could not distinguish between means and ends, between methods and results, and a great many other people have the same difficulty. Let me read a paragraph from a clipping I have here. Listen to this poor fellow. I pity the poor soul. He is perfectly honest but he just does not understand, and he is not alone in that; it is universal. He says:

I am a white collar worker and not making any more than in 1941. Before the war I paid no income tax. All during the war and now, I pay $400 to $500 a year. We are supposed to be exempt $1,260. Yes, if you don't make more, but if you make, say $2,000, even though married, you are taxed on the $2,000. No exemption except $125 allowed off the taxes for your wife. Try and keep her on it!

What struck me about that was this. We are living in an age of illusions. This man says: "But if you make more than SI,200, say S2,000." Do you get the idea? Does that man make $2,000? Yet everywhere you will meet people who will say: "I made $50 on that deal." Did he make $50? A man came to me in my office only the other day and was complaining. He said: "I make so much a week and have to pay so much out for taxes and all that." I asked him, "Do you really make that much?" "Yes," he said. Then I asked him, "Why don't you make twice as much?" He said, "I would if I could." "Why can't you?" I asked him. "If you know how to make so much money, why can't you go ahead and make more?" Of course, what the man meant was that he received so much money. I can turn up almost any page of Hansard and find where members have been speaking of the terrific costs of government. But does it cost money? No, it does not. Then why use that word? The war did not cost a cent. The prices we have paid for things used in the war are something else entirely. Let us get down to sane reasoning. What does anything cost? What is the true cost?

A man, by the name of Christ, lived some two thousand years ago, and it seems to me that that individual had the greatest mind of any man who ever lived on this earth. What did Christ say? "Seek ye the truth." Is it true that it costs money for things? This chair did not cost money. The price paid for it is something else entirely. I tried to explain that

to a friend of mine a while ago. I said, "You have a ton of coal and I have the price of the coal, $10, we will say. I want the coal to keep me warm, and so I give you the $10 for the coal. You accept the money and I accept the coal." But did that coal cost $10? "No," I said, "you have the $10 and I have the coal. I take the coal and burn it in the furnace." Then in the spring of the year we meet again and I say, "Now what did the coal cost? It did not cost $10, because there it is, you still have it-or someone else has it. The cost of the coal was what was consumed in producing it." The cost of keeping me warm was the coal, for it has been consumed; we no longer have it.

If we went into the bush and built ourselves a shack, what would be the cost of the shack? We can perhaps say that the true cost of production is the consumption of all that is produced over a given period of time, but let us briefly say that the cost is what is consumed in producing it. So what is the cost of building a shack? The cost is what has been consumed in building it. We no longer have the trees growing that went into it in the form of lumber. We no longer have the rock in the soil. These things have gone into building the home. The home did not cost money to build but it cost the things that went into making it. If we can only get away from some of these illusions that so many people have, we shall begin to make some real progress.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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SC

Patrick Harvey Ashby

Social Credit

Mr. ASHBY:

Mr. Speaker, at six o'clock I was discussing this age of illusion and was dealing with costs. One lion, member told me that he did not follow me, that he was confused regarding the difference between price and cost of goods. I should like to use this illustration in that connection. If I had $10 and required a pair of shoes I could use that $10 to obtain the shoes. Money is a means to an end and not an end in itself; all that I would do would be to hand the $10 to the retailer; he would transfer the shoes from his possession to mine, and I would wear them if they fitted me. The shoes did not cost $10. That was the price paid for them.

For the benefit of the hon. member who asked me the question, may I use this other illustration? If we had, we will say, a sack of wheat which we wanted transported from a granary to a feed barn and we used a wheel-

The Budget-Mr. Ashby.

barrow for the purpose, would it cost the wheelbarrow? Of course not. I would suggest to anyone who is confused about price and cost that he repeat to himself when eating soup, for example, "The soup costs the spoon." That would be just as insane as it would be to say that it cost money.

I mention this age of illusion for this purpose, because we are finding it more and more difficult to convey our thoughts from one to another, and this matter of costs and making money and so on is all the result of the infiltration of an alien agency which is trying to undermine the whole democratic system of life and all the institutions which we have developed, or rather which have naturally evolved in the course of the ages.

The British commonwealth of nations is the greatest united nations organization ever known in human history, and the British commonwealth of nations, this great united nations organization, is under attack. It is being attacked not directly but indirectly. We see it all the time; and this is one method of attacking it, by means of the great illusions that are created in- the minds of people, as though our systems are wrong, whereas our systems are not. What is wrong is the abuse of these systems. There is nothing wrong with automobiles, but there is something wrong with the improper use of them, and it is exactly the same with our financial institutions.

I wish to congratulate the Minister of Finance on holding on to this system, because if he ever gives way to all the pressure brought to bear upon him, we may lose it and this money system is the greatest system that has ever been devised by man. May I read a brief extract to illustrate that contention:

Remove the abuses, and the more one understands of our systems, the more beautiful and subtle and delicate and appropriate do they appear, and the more desirous and pledged one becomes to see them administered correctly, and according to their nature, and the less one itches to destroy.

Let us be careful. Never destroy until we have a better system or structure which is tested and tried and which will take the place of that which we seek to destroy. The writer

says:

I do not believe that anyone in the least susceptible to natural beauty in its less obvious and picturesque guises, studying dispassionately the intricate and nicely-adjusted system of balances and checks that operate in the different departments of the money system, could reasonably refuse it their admiration. Take any of them-the investment market; bank clearing house; particularly the foreign bill market and exchange regulations, so unjustly blamed as the prime cause of the restriction of international trade, and consider how well designed they are

to fulfil their genuine purposes. Yet it is this growth, resulting from centuries of well-directed traditional husbandry, that the monetary reformers would ruthlessly hack at, fracturing vital connections and displacing fine adjustments, to substitute something which they imagine they personally will be better able to manipulate; something artificial and quite alien and unresponsive to human reactions. For your planner is the congenital enemy of nature, because she is not susceptible to manipulation,

[DOT] and when she is manipulated hits back with a ruthlessness on a par with his own.

What it amounts to really, is this; that the impulse behind wholesale reform, what we call social planning, the planned economy, is the impulse to alter and break up nature ... It is precisely "management" not "money" that has brought society to the pass in which it is. Our trouble lies, not in the monetary system, but in the abuse and exploitation of the system for their own ends by those in control of it, and the failure on the part of all of us to control the controllers.

I think that illustrates the point I wish to make. I was greatly disappointed in the budget when it was brought down. For weeks we had talked about it. It did not matter where one went one heard comments about the budget, and as the weeks passed on my hopes began to rise. I became more expectant every moment, and finally the time arrived when the budget was to be brought down. The bell rang; I rushed out of my office and rushed back to comb my hair. I was so excited and expectant that I had to go back again to get. my coat. However, I finally arrived in my place prepared to see the budget brought in. But what a disappointment it was. I am not an old political war horse; I am just-

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

A new one.

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SC

Patrick Harvey Ashby

Social Credit

Mr. ASHBY:

I am a newcomer, and perhaps my hopes were too high. I looked for too much. I heard but little that went on. My eyes were glued to the door, for I expected that any moment the doors would open; there would be a blast of silver trumpets followed by a couple of dram majorettes and then a long procession of sober-faced dignitaries, followed finally by the budget carried aloft on a golden platter, looking for all the world like a great suet pudding decorated with cabbage leaves and a sprig of spring onions. But instead of that, all I saw was a weary looking Minister of Finance and a couple of sober-faced deputy ministers who looked as though, if they had a good farm dinner, they would develop flatulent colic. I am not blaming the Minister of Finance at all. I get letters-I would not dare to read them-blaming the Minister of Finance for everything.

The Budget-Mr. Ashby

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON:

Give an indication of what they are.

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SC

Patrick Harvey Ashby

Social Credit

Mr. ASHBY:

I am not blaming the Minister of Finance, but I shall have to explain to my constituents that the minister is but the representative of the people, although I presume they must hold him responsible. I do not think the Minister of Finance drew up the budget. I believe it was drawn up by the technicians, the civil servants behind the scene who are ruling Canada to-day. I was speaking to one of my friends-I have many in the civil service. I went down to see them one day and one of them said: "Members of parliament come and go but we live on forever." A few days ago I paid another visit to him. I was not watching the time, and when I read an article here it reminded me of it. I shall put it on the record later. As I say, I went down to his office least expecting the welcome I would get when the doors of the prison on the comer here called the Confederation building opened. I just got to the doors when a bell rang or something happened. The doors flew open and out flushed the greatest flood of humanity I ever saw in all my life. They were mostly members of the fair sex. I was swept half a block down the street before I was able to get hold of a barber's pole and swing into the door. The barber said, "You are next," and would have had me in the chair had I not told him it was a mistake. These girls were so happy to get away from their prison, as they call it, that they were singing, "Give me a home where the buffalo roam." The tune that I sang had a mournful air. I sang, "Why can't every man have two or three wives?" I think I shall have that stricken from Hansard because if my wife sees it, she will be down here in a day or two. However, there is more than one way of calling to one's mate, anyway.

The other day I attended the meeting of the marine and fisheries committee. A bill was brought before us for approval. I looked at the bill. It occurred to me that there was no name on it and I wondered who drew up that bill for us to pass. The next question which occurred to me was, who gave the individual the authority to draw it up? I asked to be informed but I never found out. The point I want to make is that we are working upside down, as it were, wrong end to. Instead of us as representatives assembling here and giving instructions to the civil servants, the experts, as to what results the people want and the experts devising ways and means of producing these results, we merely assemble here and pass bills, some of which we know little or nothing about, and

we are actually given instructions by the civil servants. That is entirely wrong, and until we rectify it we are going to get nowhere. Some of the people in the United States are going to get ahead of us unless we "step on the gas", as it were.

I should like to read two short paragraphs from the American Magazine of July, at page 39:

Congress has enacted-and the president has endorsed-legislation designed to plan for permanent prosperity. Furthermore, any actions taken under the law will be taken within the framework of our own free enterprise system-

Let us remember that.

and through our existing democratic processes. We have committed ourselves to a goal. Here it is:

"The congress hereby declares that it is the continuing policy and responsibility of the federal government ... to coordinate and utilize all its plans, functions, and resources for the purpose of creating and maintaining . . . conditions under which there will be afforded useful employment-

Useful employment, not employment such as we see here in this city, where thousands of people are merely shifting bunches of paper from one place to another and making marks on them, but useful employment. I continue: -opportunities, including self-employment-

That is what we call the leisure state where human beings may employ themselves at the kind of work they like to do best. I continue with the article:

-for those willing, able, and seeking work, and to promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power."

That, in a mouthful, is the goal. You will note, in the last clause, that congress recognized it is futile to expect everyone to have jobs unless our industries have a full supply of orders and unless all our people have enough money in their pockets to buy all the goods our farms and factories can produce.

That is the greatest forward step our sister nation to the south of us has ever taken. I am making this direct recommendation to the government , namely, to see to it that something of this kind is introduced immediately, and that means without delay.

The solution of our problems can be found by simplifying government.

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IND

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

Independent C.C.F.

Mr. HERRIDGE:

I should like the hon. member in his own inimitable and fabalistic style, to give an illustration of his simplified form of government.

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SC

Patrick Harvey Ashby

Social Credit

Mr. ASHBY:

I shall be indeed pleased to comply with the hon. member's request. It is a well known fact that historians have great difficulty in obtaining detailed data regarding some of our early parliamentarians. It

The Budget-Mr. Ashby

requires years of work, of probing into attics, cellars and archives to obtain this information. In the first place, in the olden days they spelled badly; in the second place, they had no parliamentary reporters, and in the third place, they did not keep any records anyway. But I should like to take hon. members back to one of our early sessions of Parliament. There must have been a time in past political history when we switched off the main road which by this time would have led us into an era of blessed prosperity and happiness, on to a side trail which has brought us into our present state of dissatisfaction and unrest. We have to go beyond the crossroads where we turned off; we have to go beyond the early days of confederation; we have to go beyond Westminster.

I have in mind one of the greatest sessions of parliament in British history, a session presided over, it may interest the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) to learn, by an ancestor of his; at least they were both men of Sussex. I refer, of course, to that illustrious prime minister, that most potent of all potentates, his high and mighty self the Right Honourable Sir Bonehead Piltdown, whose thick but noble skull was discovered buried in the gravel of the Sussex downs where for thousands of years, in death as in life, it defied all comers, the forces of nature, the elements and time itself, to emerge at last triumphant and again become a world-known character. I can picture a brief session of parliament in that period, when they were not bothered with figures of billions and billions and billions, but just went about their business in a natural way. I can visualize the members of parliament in committee. I can visualize the prime minister himself walking up and down the floor of his apartment as he pondered the perplexing problems that were probing his pericranium. I can see that great man make up his mind and give a few lusty scratches on the floor of his cave with his great feet, sending bits of bones and small stones clattering in the general direction of his wives, and testing the the thongs which bound a five-pound rock to the end of his knobkerry; then, girding about his loins an Aberdeen sporran, stride forth to parliament in all his glory, just as the bell rang. I can visualize that great prime minister smite with his stone hammer his official boulder which he used as an altar, calling the assembled members of parliament to order.

If hon. members will permit me, I should like to quote the whole of his speech at that time. I could quote from almost any Hansard, because every great prime minister from that day to this has repeated the same address. Our

own Prime Minister spoke to us last December 13, I think it was, or about then, on the same subject. The address was: "Members of

parliament are here to represent the people of their constituencies." That is all there was to it; brevity was his keynote. In other words, it was not really a speech at all but a warning that members of parliament should attend to their business, which is not making long and windy speeches. If I may disgress for just a moment, I have learned why we come here and sit around month after month, accomplishing nothing. It is because whenever a problem is brought before us we immediately make up all the words we possibly can, assemble them into lengthy speeches and completely bury the problem under an avalanche of words. Then, when we can not longer see the problem before us, we go on to the next one.

This brief session of parliament went right through without let or hindrance. The prime minister was a stern man, but on occasion he was very tender-hearted. At this moment he turned toward his page girls. I see hon. members are interested, and I should point out that this great prime minister was an expert judge at all beauty contests, the winners of which were honoured by being made page girls. By the door were beautiful blondes and lovely brunettes, their hair hanging over their smooth shoulders clear down to-well, down to here. Turning to the page girls the prime minister said, "Open the doors. Bring in the deputy ministers." The doors were opened. The policeman outside could be plainly heard saying, "Right! Right! Right!" You will notice, Mr. Speaker, there were no leftist movements in those days. In marched the deputy ministers. "Halt!" The doors were closed behind them. The prime minister then delivered his usual speech; facing them, he said in a stern voice, "Hear ye!" That's all. No sooner had he uttered those words than the deputy ministers cupped both hands behind their ears. No excuses were accepted; either they heard what was said, or the prime minister found it necessary to send his knobkerry to the cleaners. Next the prime minister turned to the members of parliament and asked this simple question: "What results do the people desire?" They should know; they are representing the people. There was a little commotion; finally one member was pushed to the front, and then and there gained the honourable title of Mr. Speaker, a custom which has been followed to this day; and Mr. Speaker stood up and said-

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July 16, 1946