February 6, 1947

CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Some of the farm organizations are saying so.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

None of them said

that at the time.

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Well, I am saying now

this should be the initial payment. There would be very little danger of the government losing any money, because the wheat agreement with Great Britain calls for the payment of $1.55 a bushel this year and next year, and a large share of the crop is being sold on the world market at a higher price. Then for the last two years of the contract provision is made that in determining prices for those years consideration will be given to the difference between $1.55 a bushel and the world price during 1946-47. When that factor is taken into consideration I do not think the government would have to stand any loss if it paid $1.55 a bushel as the initial payment, plus a participation certificate. Then I believe the value of the participation certificate should not be based on what the government may sell the grain for but on a parity price, and that the certificate should be paid each year and not held by the government until the end of the contract period. If it were based on a cost price or parity price-

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

That is the grain

exchange idea, and you are reverting to it.

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

I am not reverting to any grain exchange idea at all. I am stating that we should have parity prices for agricultural products. What do we mean by parity prices? We mean a price which creates a fair relationship between the cost of the things the farmer has to buy and what he receives for the things he has to sell. That is what we believe the price should be for grain products; and that is not a grain exchange idea.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

If I may ask a question, how could you have stabilized prices for wheat or any other commodity if you paid out the full return in a year when you have high returns, and have no returns at all to pay out in a year when you have low returns? How could you have stable returns?

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

If you have a five-year

agreement on grain you do not have that situation.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

You say the participation payments should be made each year?

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Absolutely, on a parity

basis.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Then it is not stable.

You have high returns one year and low another.

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Parity would not change

very much from year to year. It would fluctuate as costs varied, but under any decently planned economy in this country we would not have the fluctuations we get under capitalism. The dollar a man saves when he is earning money would not become worth only 50 cents when he reaches the point where he wants to spend it.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

You sell most of the

wheat outside this country.

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

1 have stated that this

policy can only be carried out by agreement with other nations; and until a policy of that kind is adopted we can never hope to have stability in the production of grain in this country.

In regard to the prices of coarse grains, the minister has stated repeatedly that we could not get increased production of hogs or increased dairy production until we had more feed, that this was the basic problem. I can assure him that as long as the present differential continues as between the prices of coarse grains and the price of wheat, he is not going to get coarse grains. Anyone who is a practical farmer knows that any time the value of barley goes below two-thirds of the value of wheat, or any time the price of oats goes below one-half the price of wheat,, the inclination is to produce wheat. That is just about the rule the average farmer uses in determining which grain he will produce. If we use that rule today, then surely the prices of coarse grains are entirely out of line. The suggestion has been made of paying a five dollar per acre bonus on barley. I do not believe that would solve the problem. As was stated by the hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Miller), so far as we in the barley producing areas of western Canada are concerned, that is not an incentive. The average production in the hon. member's area, and right through the barley growing area, is 40 to 45 bushels per acre, when it is sown on good land. That, at 15 cents a bushel, means at least $6 an acre. If you take off the $6 and put on a $5 bonus, certainly no one will grow barley. They will simply put in more wheat, and you will have more barley sown in areas where it should not be produced, and where it cannot be grown economically.

I agree that it probably will give some incentive to the production of pork. But if we agree with the statement of the minister, made so often in the house, that we cannot have

The Address-Mr. Wright

pork production unless we have barley production, then I do not think it will accomplish what is intended.

To my mind the fairest way is to give a fair price for coarse grains, in relation to wheat.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

Make it profitable.

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

In conclusion I should like to review some of the things I have said. If we are to have stability in the production and distribution of agricultural products, then we must take certain definite steps to accomplish that end. I would suggest the following:

1. We should have international agreements through the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations to take care of surpluses which may occur in our major agricultural products. We should accept the principle laid down by Sir John Boyd Orr of production for consumption and distribution according to need, and F.A.O. should be given the necessary executive powers to carry out these objectives.

2. Long-term contracts on major food products should be negotiated in time to give stability and knowledge of forward pricesi for major agricultural products. We cannot afford to return to the old speculative methods of disposing of our food.

3. We should set up a commission to study the whole question of relationship between wages, prices of agricultural products and the prices of commodities which have to be bought by both farmers and labour. In other words we should have a proper division of our national income between labour, agriculture, and industry. This should be obtained by intelligent planning rather than by the method of strikes and pressure groups.

4. There should be an immediate removal of the regulations and restrictions which are placing on farmers an unfair share of the burden of maintaining the price ceilings policy of the government. There is no justification for wheat being sold by the wheat board to millers at $1.35. The price should be the price being paid for Canadian wheat by the British government, plus the value of participation certificates. Any subsidies which the dominion government believes necessary for maintaining price ceilings should be paid by the Canadian people as a whole, and not the farmers alone.

5. The domestic policy for both wheat and coarse grains should be revised. An initial payment of $1.55 per bushel for wheat should be paid, plus participation certificates. The value of participation certificates should be determined by making it the difference between the initial payment and parity prices, or the cost of production. These participating certificates should be paid yearly instead of at

the end of the five-year period. The price of coarse grains should bear a fair relation to the price of wheat, that is, barley at from $1 to $1.05, and oats approximately 75 cents a bushel.

6. We should have a Dominion natural products marketing act to encourage setting up commodity marketing boards to regulate, grade and market in an orderly manner the major agricultural products. The demands of the potato growers in New Brunswick at the present time for a marketing board to market their product is evidence of the need.

7. We should have a dominion board of live stock commissioners to assist in the orderly marketing, inspection and processing of live stock and live-stock products.

8. We should have a dominion cooperative act, (1) to indicate clearly the basic difference between cooperative and corporations; and

(2) to remove the existing tax on cooperatives placed there last session by the government.

I am convinced that if these general principles were followed, agricultural production in Canada would be increased; we would come much closer to meeting our contracts with Great Britain, and at the same time we would raise the nutrition standards of our own people.

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IND

Bona Arsenault

Independent

Mr. BONA ARSENAULT (Bonaventure) (Translation):

I am pleased to extend my

sincere congratulations to the mover of the address in reply and to the hon. member who seconded the motion.

Being of Acadian stock, I deeply appreciated the kind words spoken in French by the mover, the hon. member for Prince (Mr. MacNaught), for the benefit of the Acadians in Prince Edward Island. His French-speaking constituents will doubtless be grateful to him for this message of resounding sincerity, spoken in their mother tongue on so impressive an occasion.

As for the seconder of the motion, the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cournoyer), the least that can be said of him is that he is a most valuable addition to the Liberal party and particularly to the whole group of members who sit in this coveted section of the house, and also, to the Canadian parliament.

We are glad he has made good and we cordially wish the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres a long and fruitful career.

Mr. Speaker, after the first world war, little was done by governments to ensure an orderly transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy. Thus it was that we witnessed unemployment, hardship, despair and the mass exodus of our rural population into already overcrowded cities.

The Address-Mr. Arsenault

Gaspesia, and particularly the constituency of Bonaventure, which I represent, were harder hit by those conditions than other sections of the country, because of the very fact that this vast area was least prepared to face this economic upheaval.

Profiting by past experience, the present government is acting wisely in taking the necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of similar conditions in this new post-war period.

Aware as I am that the present federal administration is so favourably disposed towards the constituency of Bonaventure, I felt this was a good time to point out just how this participation in the settlement of our many problems might best ensure the economic stability of my home constituency whose highest interests are so closely bound up with those of the whole Gaspe area. So that hon. members will know where the constituency of Bonaventure is located, I shall point out to them that it comprises the southern part of the Gaspe peninsula, which peninsula includes three federal constituencies: Matapedia-Matane, Gaspe and Bonaventure.

The total area of the Gaspe peninsula is 10,500 square miles, the equivalent of Belgium, a country with a population of 8,000,000 people, or four times the area of Prince Edward Island, a province in itself.

Were it peopled as densely as Switzerland or Scotland, the district could reasonably support over one million inhabitants. There is nothing irrational in this assumption, since that region is not so hilly and, as a rule, richer than either Switzerland or Scotland, without mentioning its fisheries, an inexhaustible source of wealth.

Besides, Mr. Speaker, its forests, covering the whole district, contain enormous quantities of first-class timber. Indeed, a few years ago, the federal statistics valued the forest capital of the Gaspe peninsula at 72 million cords of pulpwood.

Even were the figure too optimistic, a yield of half that volume, on a basis of 2 per cent annually for a period of 50 years, would represent a crop of 500,000 cords of wood or

250,000,000 feet.

As for mineral resources, it has been and still is the belief that the Gaspe peninsula will eventually become an important mining district. This large territory, from the geological point of view, and according to the map prepared by Dr. R. W. Ells and published by the Canadian Geological Service, in 1884, is, for the greater part, covered by the Devonian formations. The next largest overcrop is the Silurian, which extends to a large area. The Cambrian formation is most evident along the North coast, from Lake Matapedia to the Bay

of Gaspe, while the pre-Cambrian is mostly developed on the southern part of the peninsula.

Petroleum deposits have been located in Gaspe, and Bonaventure is known to have copper, tin, lead, zinc, asbestos and other mineral beds, capable of economic development, as soon as this large expanse of territory can be surveyed and explored with greater ease. In other words, as soon as the natural wealth hidden in the interior of this vast territory becomes accessible to our people, through the roads that will have to be built in order to open up this district for the best interest not only of the Gaspe region, but of the whole of Quebec and Canada. What are the living conditions of the population in an area as large as Belgium, Holland or Switzerland, and so richly endowed with various natural resources? Because the living conditions of a people, and its expansion are a true indication of the economic and social health of a country, since economic life itself has no other purpose than the livelihood and progress of the people.

According to the 1941 census the county of Bonaventure had a population of about 40,000, while the three counties which form the Gaspe peninsula had 140,878 people.

Since 1871, none of those three counties has retained its natural increase in population. In 1937, the Department of Commerce investigators estimated that the population of the county of Bonaventure should have been twice as large as the figure the}' had found. Instead of twenty per thousand which, on account of the high birth rate in our areas, is a reasonable calculation basis, the rate of population increase in the county of Bonaventure which I represent in this house, did not reach three per thousand during a given period and at no time did it reach the maximum rate.

Over a period of sixty years, the population of the county of Bonaventure has merely doubled, an increase which, in an area where the birth rate is high, is obviously of no great importance.

It is certainly no overstatement to claim that if, for the last 60 years, the Gaspe peninsula had been able to keep its people at -home, in other words, had our governments been in the past farsighted enough to make its natural resources more accessible to its population so as to check the continuous trek of its young men and women toward most of the cities of the North-American continent, the peninsula would -have had in 1941 a population not merely of 140,000, but of 300,000 and perhaps more.

We must therefore conclude that the number of Gaspe-born people who live outside the

The Address-Mr. Arsenault

peninsula exceeds the present population of that area. That is an absurd anomaly which should be rectified.

In fact, for more than sixty years the Gaspe peninsula has been an area of emigration. The trend of the movement may not be the same at all times, but we find that it has been sustained. A glance at a map enables any one to note the distribution of population along a narrow coast, which practically precludes expansion, the people who form the annual surplus thus being forced to move out.

One of our outstanding Canadian economists and sociologists, Mr. Esdras Minville, who himself comes from the Gaspe peninsula, has this to say:

When an area thus loses its population, and witnesses demographic movements as persistent and even disorderly as those which we have observed in the Gaspe peninsula, the cause has to be sought in one or the other of the following facts; either that area is filled to capacity, as is the case with some areas of central Europe, or the economic organization is not adapted to the needs of the people.

And Mr. Minville states in conclusion:

In the ease of a still young region like the Gaspe peninsula, it is obvious that the second assumption applies. An area of 10.500 square miles which does not yet include 150,000 people cannot be said to be filled to capacity.

There has been a steady flow of emigration from Bonaventure and Gaspe, because the people there were prevented by economic conditions from achieving a decent standard of living and from giving their children any hopes for the future strong enough to interest and to hold them.

Why should a country so richly endowed with natural resources as the Gaspe peninsula be so utterly powerless in the economic field? There may be many causes for this. I can point out two equally important causes which the federal government is in a position easily to correct: a lack of coordination in the

development of those resources, coupled with a corresponding lack of adequate transportation facilities.

All basic industries in Gaspe are seasonal. The fishing season only lasts five or six months a year. The same is true of agriculture. In the present economic state of the world, an industry must be very profitable to provide in five or six months a standard of living comparable to that of people who work twelve months a year for their keep. Therefore, there must be some other occupation to supplement fisheries and agriculture in sections such as ours, which are far from the country's great markets.

Lumbering and eventually mining seem to provide two main supplementary occupations.

The whole of the area is covered with forests and our mines have not j'et been adequately developed. Unfortunately, the forests and mines, located in the central section of the Gaspe peninsula are undeveloped and beyond the reach of the people. Frequently, being unable to find locally the employment which the lumber industry should normally be in a position to offer them, farmers or fishermen of Bonaventure county or other sections of Gaspe are compelled to leave in order to seek employment in the Saguenay district, in the St. Maurice valley, in Lake St. John, in Montreal, in Ontario, in the United States or elsewhere. It is the starting point of migrations to other lands.

On the other hand, water-ways are one of the chief means of transportation of the peninsula, and navigation takes place eight months of the year. Insofar as Bonaventure county is concerned, most of the harbours and fishing coves are in a deplorable condition. From year to year, barge shelters have become choked with sand. Deep water wharves are practically inexistent, while there are few places where the fishermen from Bonaventure can navigate safely both at low and high tides. As a result they have to cope with a valuable loss of time, serious obstacles to fishing, the loss of barges during storms and an inexcusable and intolerable loss of income which affects those fine people who have the fortitude and the courage to engage in such a difficult occupation.

Furthermore, there is no means of reaching the central section of the peninsula which would enable the inhabitants to tap its chief natural resources, the forests, promote mining and favour the establishment of several new parishes.

In short, through lack of active interest on the part of the governments in the past, the Gaspe peninsula has become to a certain extent a too long forgotten and isolated territorial annex to this Dominion. A definite lack of transport facilities by land, sea and rail still hampers all adequate development of the natural resources in that part of the country.

Gaspe has much too long been kept in a state of stagnation which must no longer be tolerated. The population is aroused and will no longer be satisfied with small wharf extensions or bits of roads thrown in, here or there, on the eve of general elections. They ask, they demand, and justly so, the necessary cooperation of the dominion and the province for the implementation of a well-conceived, practical and long-term programme of economic reconstruction which will bring forth progress and prosperity to this vast

The Address-Mr. Arsenault

region and keep at home its sons and daughters, who are now forced to seek abroad their livelihood.

After this brief analysis of the factors which account for slow economic development in the Gaspe peninsula it should be plain what reform is needed.

In all countries or districts, economic planning should be based on population or manpower, so as to pro.vide a decent standard of living for the people and make room for the annual surplus of population.

As a first step, therefore, resources should be set free and put within the reach of all in accordance with a policy which would allow them to be used while safeguarding the supply.

This presupposes an overall plan which would apply to the whole peninsula. A glance at the map will quickly convince us that such a scheme for regional development is desirable.

A few big rivers drain the area while normally they ought to give access to it. Highways should complement them. Along such roads and rivers, people might head for the interior, making good use of soil and forest and developing mines.

It would then be possible to set up enterprises sufficiently important to secure the advantages of big industry while decentralizing its operation so as to gain its social benefits.

In the Gaspe peninsula, we of Bonaventure county have reached a point in our development where we shall have to bring to the planning of our economic life more thought, consideration, discrimination, study, methodical work and especially greater foresight than in the past.

That is why I suggest that as their first joint scheme, the dominion and provincial authorities set free from their huge concentration camp the natural resources of the Gaspe area, by building or completing at least four big highways one of which, already begun, would cross the centre of the peninsula from end to end, stretching from Gaspe to Causapscal or Amqui.

The other three could be opened transversally. One, begun several years ago, should connect Cascapedia, in Bonaventure county, and Sainte-Anne des Monts in Gaspe county; another should head north from the village of Bonaventure or Saint-Charles de Caplan toward the settlement of Grande-Vallee and Grande-Vallee itself, in Gaspe county.

Finally a third transversal highway might go northeast from Carleton, Saint-Omer or Saint-Jean-l'Evangeliste, in Bonaventure

county, to Matane, crossing the settlements of Saint-Rene-Goupil and Saint-Luc de Matane.

The completion of such a network of highways would leave plenty of room for some fifty new parishes in the centre of the Gaspe peninsula. Such large scale schemes would require, as I have said, the cooperation of the dominion and provincial governments and would, to a great extent, help put within the re.ach of all its people, the natural resources of this vast country.

Although Bonaventure county is in the main an agricultural district, it is, in eastern Quebec, one of the most important producers of lobster, salmon, cod, halibut and other fish.

Unfortunately, as we have already seen, the fishermen of the county are lacking adequate fishing harbours which would allow them to carry on their trade at all times during the fishing seasons, that is, which would make it easier for them to get their boats in or out both at high and low tides.

Consequently it is urgent that all harbours of Bonaventure county be sufficiently dredged to a suitable depth.

I want particularly to draw the attention of the Hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier) on the necessity of improving the fishing harbours of Gascons, Paspebiac, Saint-Gode-froy, Port-Daniel and Bonaventure parish. I take this opportunity to congratulate him most sincerely upon having recently agreed, in spite of rather difficult circumstances, to reconstruct the fishing harbour at Ruisseau-Leblane.

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LIB

Hervé-Edgar Brunelle

Liberal

Mr. BRUNELLE:

What about electricity?

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IND

Bona Arsenault

Independent

Mr. ARSENAULT:

I will come to that later. The various provincial governments have built cold storage plants for the fishermen in the following localities of Bonaventure county: Gascons, West-Gascons, Anse-a-la-

Barbe, Port-Daniel, Paspebiac, Bonaventure, Saint-Simeon, Ruisseau-Leblane, Carleton and Saint-Godefroy. A cold storage plant will soon be erected at Saint-Charles de Caplan.

The provincial department of fisheries is doing excellent work for the fishermen of the Gaspe peninsula.

It now behooves the dominion government to assume the share which they are so anxiously expected to take. I know that the necessary funds can readily be found-and we do not ask for billions of dollars-for the economic reestablishment of our people.

The Gaspe fishermen will not be able to modernize their equipment, or use larger boats for maintaining and increasing their production if they do not have suitable harbours. Transport and communication facilities are the life blood of a region's economy. In the past, the Gaspe fishermen have certainly not been spoiled in that regard.

_______ The Address-Mr. Arsenault

From the standpoint of agriculture, we already know that the county of Bonaventure is in no way inferior to most of the other rural counties of the province. The dairy industry is highly developed there. But, here again, wre are at a distance of 350 miles from Ste. Anne de la Pocatiere, where the nearest agricultural college is to be found.

_ That is why I advocate the establishment in the county of Bonaventure of a dominion experimental sub-station which could serve the whole southern part of the Gaspe peninsula. Farming conditions in our area are peculiar, and the results of research work conducted at far remote experimental stations cannot easily be adapted to the Gaspe peninsula.

Such a dominion experimental sub-station could provide a link between the experiments conducted respectively in New Brunswick and Quebec; it would help the farmers in their work, and afford better farming data to technical agriculturists, thus greatly enhancing their work in the region.

Besides, it would promote the development of better methods on our farms, which, as a rule, are small, and ascertain our possibilities in animal husbandry and the growing of special crops.

I notice that my time is rapidly running out. I do not want to impose on my hon. colleagues. I would have liked to speak of other problems, such as protection works that could be undertaken in cooperation with the provincial government. [DOT]

Some of our most beautiful towms, Carleton, New Richmond and Bonaventure, for example, have been greatly damaged by erosion and it is an urgent matter that the ravages be checked.

I should have liked to show what could be done to further develop the tourist industry, which is an important source of revenue in the Bonaventure constituency as, indeed, in the whole of the Gaspe peninsula.

I wanted to point out the improvements which could be made in the railway system serving the southern part of the peninsula, from Matapedia to Gaspe and crossing the Bonaventure constituency from one boundary to the other.

I wished to speak about the problem of removing railway crossings in my constituency.

I must at least point out that it is now time to operate, in the constituencies of Bonaventure and Gaspe, especially in the southern part, a daily passenger service, Sundays included, between Matapedia and Gaspe. I know that, with the cooperation of the Minister of Trans-83166-12

port and of my colleague from Gaspe (Mr. Langlois), we shall be successful in obtaining this essential improvement. I also would have liked to speak of the many projects submitted by various municipalities of Bonaventure county which would fit in with the government's post-war reconstruction programme- and of the power question.

I shall have the opportunity of reviewing these matters during this session. I think I have today put our case clearly enough as to the immensity of our needs, the volume and variety of our problems.

Bonaventure county and the Gaspe peninsula as a whole, are equipped with powerful and effective organizations, such as chambers of commerce, farmers' and fishermen's cooperatives, lubermen's unions and credit unions which have all greatly expanded, especially during these recent years, and which contribute as a whole to the economic development of the Gaspe peninsula.

It is our duty to encourage their magnificent work. It is above all our duty to give the population of Gaspe, the population of Bonaventure county, that cooperation which was refused them in the past.

Fishing, agriculture, lumbering, mining and the large and small industries can and must be organized in accordance with a modern formula and thus form the foundation upon which will be built the economic and social superstructure of this region.

The improvement of transportation facilities and of means of communication would put an end to the isolation which has been the lot of the Gaspe peninsula for so long. The proper coordination of resources would make possible the elaboration of an annual works programme and promote the expansion of the region.

It would then be possible to have an education programme truly suited to the needs of our Gaspe youth and to keep with us these boys and girls who shall be delighted to have our assistance in building their future in the country where they were born, one of the nicest in the world and one that they love so dearly.

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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. PEARKES (Nanaimo) (Text):

Mr. Speaker, may I say a word of welcome to the new members who are here for the first time this session. May I offer my congratulations to those who have already spoken, and may I send my best wishes to the new member who has yet to go through the ordeal of a maiden speech, which I believe we shall all hear this evening. If my salutations are brief I assure you, sir, that they are no less sincere.

The Address-Mr. Pearkes

This afternoon I want to make a few observations regarding the important question of national defence. Within your lifetime, sir, and in the lifetime of the majority of hon. members Canadian forces have taken part in three major wars: the South African war, the great war, and world war II. We as public servants would not be fulfilling the trust which the electors reposed in us when they sent us here a year or so ago if we do not do our utmost to direct the course of this country so as to make a third world war impossible. Unless the nations of the world find the means by which they can cooperate in order to achieve that desired effect we shall not be doing our duty. I believe we can meet the challenge of any other philosophy that contains within itself the seeds of war.

I should like to refer to the remarks which were made the other day by the leader of this party. He said that the prevention of war in our lifetime could be achieved if we demonstrated to other nations that democracies can serve society better than communism. I believe that the prospects for the prevention of another war in our lifetime are probably better than they have ever been before, and there are reasons for that. After the first world war the United States remained1 outside the councils of the league of nations. They are now taking a leadihg part in the reconstruction of the world. Furthermore one sees in the united nations organization the germ of an organization far stronger than that of the league of nations of a quarter of a century ago. In that united nations organization, I suggest, exists the machinery through which the nations of the world can cooperate. I would refer to the opening sentence of the report of the secretary general of the united nations organization in which he said:

The idea which first took formal shape at the Moscow conference in 1944, the idea of a world organization for the maintenance _ of peace and security built around the war-time union of free peoples in defence of civilization, has become a reality.

Nor am I alarmed at what would appear at first sight to be the inevitable slowness of the machinery, the inevitable slowness of the security council. It must be remembered that we are living in an era of post-war upheaval. There is distress and destruction in many parts of the world. Riots and semi-open warfare prevail in Palestine and in many other places. The peace terms have not yet been decided. Surely under these circumstances it is wise for the security council to move slowly and not to rush into agreements which might cause us trouble in the future; for I am firmly convinced that the failure of the

united nations organization would be the failure of peace and a victory for the gods of war.

Then the leader of this party went on to say:

There must be a second defence against war. There must be maintained, preferably by the united nations but if not by them by the democracies, adequate means for preventing aggression by any nation, however great.

These remarks he made when speaking in the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne and he went on to point out that there is no immediate issue but that Canada like any other of [DOT] the democracies must be prepared to maintain a sufficient force to ensure that there is no aggression by any other nation against her shores.

Might I suggest as a possible objective or task of the Canadian defence forces that if would be twofold: first, to take the first

shock of any aggression by any other nation against Canada, stopping if possible bombers from reaching this country, limiting any advance should airborne or any other forces succeed in getting a footing upon Canadian soil.

I do not think it is necessary for me to repeat the remarks I made in this house during the last session in which I pointed out that the geographical position of Canada and the new weapons which science has invented have, since the close of world war II, made this dominion a possible battlefield should aggression come in the future. If there is a third world war, then Canada, Canadian territory, becomes one of the major theatres of operation, and all we can hope to do, I suggest, is to have some force which will be able to take the first shock of that invasion until such time as the other forces of the united nations organization, of the British commonwealth, of the democracies, may come to our assistance.

Conversely, the second objective of our defence forces should be to have a force which will be able to meet any commitments which the united nations ask us to take part in, in order to augment the forces of the united nations or the democracies should they be called upon to go to the assistance of any nation which had been threatened by an aggressor; able if possible to deter and eventually to defeat any aggressor nation which might be attempting to achieve its aims by war.

That, I suggest, indicates that the external policy of this dominion and the defence policy are wrapped up very closely together. We have seen perhaps the effect of not looking far enough forward and not realizing the

The Address-Mr. Pearkes

consequence of the withdrawal of the Canadian occupational force in Europe. I believe that if we had foreseen, as it might have been foreseen, the effect which the withdrawal of that force would have on the influence which Canada has today in deciding and helping in the reconstruction of Europe and in the preparation of the peace treaties we might not have withdrawn that force so hastily without the consent of parliament, embarrassing those other countries that were maintaining forces. At least, so it was declared. At any rate, it was a little hard on the old country that she should have to bear the burden alone.

It was said that administrative difficulties made it impossible for us to maintain our occupation force in Europe. I suggest that if we are to be a world power our military officials must learn to overcome administrative difficulties.

Canada quite rightly insists that she should have, and does have, a direct interest in maintaining and safeguarding the peace of the world. I believe that the feeling which has been stirred up all over the country because we have not been asked to submit our views-in person, might I say- to the great powers who are now deciding on the peace treaty, is an indication that the people of Canada desire that they should have a direct interest in maintaining and safeguarding the peace of the world.

As I said, I have referred previously to our geographical position and the possibility of this country being in the path of war in the future, and with this in view this house adopted certain, policies recommended by the government and at the last session voted money to implement them. But since this house was prorogued changes have taken place, some, of which were recommended by members on this side of the house. For instance, the three defence departments have been amalgamated under one Minister of National Defence. That was recommended by myself and other hon. members on this side of the house, and I am quite certain the same recommendation came from other quarters as well. But I should like to point out that it was slightly different from Bill No. 304, which remained on the order paper for so long last session, and under which there was to be a minister of national defence (air) and three deputy ministers. However, I am pleased that the change has been made, and also that other recommendations coming from this side of the house have been adopted. We suggested that the administrative services of the three departments might be amalgamated, and according to the press report of S3166-121

the statement by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) only a short time ago, that course is being followed.

I hope the policy of bringing the three services closer together may be extended right down to the commands throughout the dominion, thus perhaps avoiding overlapping and duplication. I would recommend that haste should not be shown in selecting the actual points of location for these various command headquarters. The other day it was suggested by the hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness) that there was dissatisfaction in regard to the location of headquarters in Alberta. I suggest that the whole system of commands might well be reviewed with the idea of bringing about closer affiliation, certainly between the air force and the army and, where applicable, the navy. In that respect I should like to emphasize the fact that we do not have three defence problems but that there is one defence problem for Canada. We do not have three separate defence services each working in a water-tight compartment, but one defence service. With your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, I should like to read the remarks of the Prime Minister of Great Britain to the House of Commons on March 4, 1946, in connection with the white paper on defence. He said:

There are not three defence problems, but one defence problem. Every operation of war to-day demands the closest cooperation of all three services, and economy and efficiency demand that the three fighting services should regard themselves as part of a single service with a common doctrine, rather than, as used to be the case some years ago, as rival claimants on the resources of the nation. Furthermore, modern war is by no means to-day just the responsibility of the fighting services. Modern war involves all the services, and modern means of defence involve the whole nation.

I suggest that very careful consideration be given the idea of developing this policy of close cooperation wisely started now by amalgamating the three services under one minister. Those economies are sound, and should be extended.

Now we come to the question of whether it is wise, as has been intimated in the press report of the statement by the minister, that there should also be a reduction in the combat units of the three services. Mind you, a year ago we were told that these combat services were the bare minimum necessary to enable this country to meet her peacetime obligations; but we are told now that the active army, the active navy and the active air force are again to be reduced by twenty-five per cent; and, reading the report of the press conference with the minister, it is easy to realize

The Address-Mr. Pearkes

that the reserves are being reduced to practically nothing. During the session before last the then minister explained the necessity for having two fleets, one on the Atlantic and one on the Pacific. He referred to Halifax as the main fleet base on the Atlantic and Esquimalt as the main fleet base on the Pacific. In his remarks introducing his estimates, to be found at page 876 of Hansard for October 9, 1945, he said:

. . . Canada's peace-time navy should comprise two cruisers, probably two light fleet carriers, ten to twelve destroyers, and the necessary ancillary craft, all of these of the latest and most modern type, while in reserve and for training purposes, we will continue to hold a certain number of frigates.

In answer to a question the other day the Minister of National Defence said it had never been the intention of the government to have two aircraft carriers continuously in commission. Just before Christmas it was announced that H.M.C.S. Warrior was arriving at Esquimalt. The whole population of Esquimalt and many people from Victoria and the southern part of Vancouver island turned out to welcome Canada's first aircraft carrier to its home port. The lieutenant governor and a distinguished gathering were there; a salute of twenty-one guns was fired, and Canadians were justly proud when they saw their first carrier steam in to Esquimalt. Then a few days ago we were told that this carrier was on loan from the British navy; that as a matter of fact at the present moment she is about to return to her rightful owners; that she is about to cruise into southern waters to take part in certain exercises, after which she will go to the United Kingdom, probably to rejoin the Royal Navy. It is understood that she will be replaced by another aircraft carrier, which will be lent to us for a while and which will take part in certain exercises in the Atlantic.

I feel that there has been a sudden deflation. The people of Canada believed these carriers were their own; they did not realize they wTere merely on loan, to be withdrawn at the will of the British navy. Two years ago anxiety was expressed by the hon. member for Yale (Mr. Stirling), whose personal experience with the navy has been long, that Canada was not providing sufficient men to man the ships she had. Now I believe the establishment of 10,600 for the navy is to be reduced to 7,500. The story is the same in connection with the Royal Canadian Air Force. First-line aircraft are being reduced. The number of men is being cut down from the original estimate of some

16,000 to 12,000. Auxiliary squadrons have

.

been rendered practically useless because of the little encouragement, if any, which has been given to them.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

Would the hon. member permit me to interject one word? I know he wishes to be fair. So far there has been no reduction announced. What has been announced is that the force will be recruited only up to seventy-five per cent at the present time.

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February 6, 1947