February 6, 1947

PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. PEARKES:

We now come to the army. We were told that the active force would be of about 25,000, and I presume it will be recruited to only seventy-five per cent of that number. According to press reports, it was said there would be adjustments made in the airborne force. I wish to give a warning that those adjustments should be made most carefully, because an airborne force must be carefully balanced. If cuts are made here and there the whole organization will be thrown off balance, and become useless. The active army is to consist of the various headquarters, regularly employed personnel assisting the reserve army, and an airborne brigade or field force, whatever it may be called.

We now come to a consideration of the reserve army, and in this connection I would call attention to some observations respecting that force. It is a force with which I know many hon. members have been closely connected in the past. I read from page 1135 of Hansard for October 16, 1945, where the then Minister of National Defence said:

Reorganization of our military forces will proceed on the basis of a plan which contemplates that an organized citizens' part-time reserve army will form the source from which a field force would be found in the event of war.

He goes on to say that this force-

. . . will reflect the military potential of the country and whose staffs and units will form the basis of mobilization of a field force.

Then he goes on to say:

In so far as the reserve army is concerned, it is to be organized as a force of six divisions with supporting armoured elements and selected corps and army troops for an army of two corps. In addition the reserve army will include our operational coast and anti-aircraft artillery units and supporting services necessary for the static defence of the country.

And he states further:

Adequate equipment of the latest type will be available on a generous scale to ensure that the training of the reserve army is realistic and interesting. It is intended to assist commanding officers of reserve army units in the training and administration of their personnel by providing for each unit full-time (active force) officers and other ranks on an adequate scale.

The Address-Mr. Pearkes

Then again last year, speaking about the same force, he mentioned that the reserve army, or as it was formerly known, the nonpermanent active militia, has been the-

. . . backbone of onr fighting force in two wars, and I cannot contemplate any future war in which it would not carry out a similar role.

A little later on, he said that he hoped to make the service "more attractive than it was before the war"-and he was referring to the second world war.

I expressed some doubt at the time as to the effectiveness of this force. As reported at page 5046 of Hansard for August 19, 1946, I said this:

I believe the organization is faulty because the government has not taken a realistic view of the up-to-date requirements of the type of defence which Canada needs to-day.

Apparently others were thinking along the same lines, because last December a conference of defence associations met here in Ottawa. This is a group of non-professional soldiers, men who have been successful in other walks of life, and who have devoted their time to furthering the interests of the reserve army. At the Ottawa conference they expressed themselves in a resolution in these terms-and I shall read only part of it because it is lengthy:

. . . the present plan could not be effectively and adequately achieved under the provisions outlined by the government.

Then the resolution went on to urge that the plan be reconsidered in order to produce an "army it requires when needed".

It was disclosed in the press conference held recently by the Minister of National Defence that the force which originally had been designed as one of six divisions, with those other corps and the armoured troops to which I have referred, aggregating a strength of 180,060, is now being restricted or, shall we say, is not to be recruited beyond a force of

50,000. That is a. big reduction, from 180,000 to 50,000 in the force which is to provide the defence of this country, and one which the previous minister had described as providing the bare minimum necessary.

I cannot help recalling a toy I had when I was a little boy. It was a rubber balloon which, when inflated, took the form of an animal, and when gradually the air leaked out of it most realistically sank to the floor with suitable moanings and winnings. Eventually it became nothing but a little heap of rubber on the floor.

I suggest that all the substance has been taken out of our defence force and that today there remains only the wreckage of the overhead framework. I cannot help feeling that those stupid and boastful statements made a

year and a half ago have now been debunked.

I do not wish to appear wise after the event, because I did say when the discussion of the estimates took place last year that I felt they were definitely wasteful and unwarranted, because they would not be effective. The force which was designed as the army to meet aggression, if aggression ever came, the force of these six divisions, is now reduced to

50,000 men.

But that is not the end of it. We must examine whether a force of that nature could ever have been efficient. Schemes which provide for the mobilization of a first division to take the field six months after the outbreak of war or after mobilization has been ordered certainly bear no relation whatever to modern warfare. I do not think there is anyone who will deny that it would take at least six months for the first division to be ready to take the field, twelve months for the second and third divisions, and nobody can estimate how long it would take to have the fourth, fifth and sixth divisions made ready.

There were no six months left to the United States after Pearl Harbor. There were no six months left to Poland in the early days of the war. I believe that if this question of national defence were faced fearlessly and the problem viewed in a realistic manner, forgetting old worn-out formations and systems which served their time in the past, it would be possible for this or any other government to prepare a defence force which would be capable of meeting the requirements I mentioned early in my remarks and which could be organized, trained and equipped within the means which it would be reasonable to expect the taxpayers of this country to provide.

I feel quite certain that plans based merely upon tradition, based merely upon old formations of the time of the first great war will never be effective in meeting the problems of today. I suggest that a scheme for the defence of this country which pictures the first division being ready to take the field six months after the outbreak of war is of as much value as would be a system of calling for the annual muster of rangers and fencibles such as we had a hundred years ago.

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

Alcide Côté

Liberal

Mr. ALCIDE COTE (St. Johns-Iberville-Napiervi'lle) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, both the mover (Mr. MacNaught) and the seconder (Mr. Cournoyer) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne deserve commendation for their able and brief presentations.

What I should like to do to-day is give an answer to the practical appeal of the hon. member for Prince (Mr. MacNaught) in making very briefly to the house and the

The Address-Mr. Alcide Cote

government a positive suggestion which, I believe, follows logically from the speech from the throne.

In this period of post-war reconstruction, the solution to economic problems both in Canada and in other countries seems extremely difficult. The most destructive and widespread of all conflicts has disrupted the world economy to a point where balance can only be achieved by enduring efforts and untiring courage on the part of governments.

Pessimists have little patience and are easily discouraged. All those pessimists who generally foresee universal bankruptcy in the near future, might profitably read "The Congress of Vienna", by Harold Nicholson, or "Man, an Autobiography", by George Stewart. There they will find that problems which seemed beyond solution in 1815 offer great similarity with the difficult and complicated problems of 1945 and the present day. A close comparison between those two periods would indicate that the prospects are still brighter to-day than they were then.

But there are pessimists of a still more dangerous kind. They are those who, in this very house, try to make believe that all is lost, that there is no possible hope, in order to deprive the people of the confidence they have placed in the present government and which is absolutely essential to their continued welfare and security.

Suffice it to remind those people that if, to-day, after a war that has wrought havoc upon the world and crushed numerous peoples, Canada appears, in the family of nations, as the one that has made the most progress towards nationhood and economic maturity, it is due to her present administration.

History, as I was saying a moment ago when comparing the 1815 period with that of 1945, has repetitions that can be put to account in seeking the solution of problems and in appraising progress.

However the last world ordeal, that left most countries exhausted, collapsed and ruined, imparted to the problem of economic reconversion a peculiar character, that must not be overlooked.

The last conflict seems to have removed for all time natural and conventional boundaries between continents and countries.

Science, which is meant to serve mankind, can now be easily and fully turned against it, unless man's ambition is kept in check. The sad and last ventures of nazism and fascism remain as cruel and undeniable examples.

There was a time when armed conflict and economic disturbances could perhaps be confined to certain parts of the world, while other parts remained substantially unaffected.

But today isolationism has in every respect disappeared with a part of humanity, in the last world war. And science that ambitious self-seekers used as a tool to bring all peoples of the earth into a mass butchery must now be handed back to the same peoples for the sake of the economic and social security of individuals.

This final bringing together of the nations of the earth into a world community is the particular feature that must not be overlooked and which I mentioned a moment ago.

The dynamic phrase of an American statesman "one world" retains its prophetic import; and the world shall henceforth remain one both in war or in peace.

Nations are the individuals of a world community. Small as well as great nations should be able to rely on the protection of the central organization of their community just as do citizens in dealing with their government. There must be charity and justice for nations as well as for individuals.

There is but one world, as peoples of the earth dearly paid to realize.

There is but one community of human beings, whose dignity must be respected notwithstanding distances and climes; unfortunately that principle of justice is not yet universally understood or applied. Archibald MacLeish rightly said in an American forum, and I quote:

(Text):

What we suffer from in international affairs is in effect a split of citizenship. We are citizens of a world economy whether we wish to be or not. We are not-however we may wish we were, citizens of a world society, a world community.

(Translation):

In order that nations may at home live in complete security according to their racial character and aspirations, we must ensure equal protection for all nations of the world through peaceful means.

Such national and international security is only possible through the maintenance of improved economic conditions, based on the same principles of justice and charity.

International cooperation in the economic sphere is therefore essential for the maintenance of peace. Taking its inspiration from that basic truth, the speech from the throne states as follows:

Canada welcomed the action of the united nations in convening a world conference on trade and employment. It is hoped that the conference may bring into being an international charter which, by the removal or reduction of restrictions, will result in the continuous expansion of world trade. During

The Address-Mr. Alcide Cote

the autumn, preparatory trade discussions among the nations of the commonwealth were held in London. Discussions are being continued with other of the united nations. Canada's delegation to the conference will be instructed to further to the utmost this combined effort on the part of the united nations to liberate trade and thereby to assist in the maintenance of a high level of employment.

And further:

Industry has been converted almost entirely from war-time purposes to peace-time production. Over a million persons have been transferred from the armed forces and war industry to regular civilian occupations. Employment is higher than it has ever been. It is over thirty per cent higher than it w'as in 1939. During 1946 Canada's external commerce reached heights unprecedented in peace time. The national income is at its highest peacetime level. The outlook for trade and employment for 1947 is most favourable.

Well, at this point, I should like to offer the house and the government a suggestion which I consider extremely practical and which, in my humble opinion, springs directly from the two excerpts from the throne speech which I have just quoted.

The transportation problem, like that of production, is at the bottom of all human difficulties.

If we wish to benefit from the International Conference on Trade and Employment and keep trade and employment at a high level in the country; if we wish to maintain and even increase production for our own needs as well as for those of foreign countries, all means of transportation, both national and international, must be adequate for the disposal of products, commodities or raw materials.

A few years ago, the government, realizing the economic importance of a water route between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic via the Richelieu river and Lake Champlain, decided to dredge said river. Work was begun and a dam was even built at Fryar island.

Unfortunately, on account of war, work had to be stopped on that important project.

Now that hostilities have ended, and as the financial position of this country is improving and our external trade is reaching a hitherto unknown peak, not only do events confirm the soundness of the already initiated project calling for the dredging of the Richelieu river, but they warrant resumption of work as soon as possible.

That project is neither local nor regional, although it interests many localities and many areas; it is a project of national and international import.

Here is what, among others, Mr. Leland Olds, an outstanding economist from the State of New York, had to say in that connection:

(Text):

We find that in the great lakes-St. Lawrence tributary area, the area that would find an outlet through this proposed seaway, that would find a means of securing its raw materials and other goods imported or brought from other regions of the country through this seaway-we find that in this area we have a total population of something over forty-two million people, which compares with a population of approximately fifty million people in the Atlantic coastal area. In other words, simply in terms of the Atlantic coast in relation to what would become the great lakes coast if this seaway were opened, we have a relationship established between approximately forty-two million people living in the great lakes tributary area and approximately fifty million people living in the Atlantic coastal area. This is an important economic fact, because those vast populations are both producers and consumers, and to a very considerable extent in our highly integrated economic order, they are purchasers and consumers of each other's products; there is a flow back and forth from one region to the other wherever you have a producing and a consuming population of great magnitude. Now, this proposed lake Champlain-Hudson river route, affords a direct natural connection for cargo vessels moving in inter-coastal trade between this great lakes area and this Atlantic seaboard area. . . .

In closing what I have to say I would like simply to reemphasize one point and that is that in weighing the importance of a waterway project such as that which is before the commission to-day, we are dealing primarily with a connection between economic areas, between regions of economic importance, in terms of agriculture, in terms of mining, in terms of industry, on the one hand, treating them as producing regions; in terms of consumption- consumption of raw materials, consumption of non-consumer goods, on the other hand; and if we can look at the problem with imagination we will see that figures such as are presented in most reports represent simply the stepping stones to a conception of this waterway, not to-day, not ten years from now, but in terms of what it will mean in the life of the country twenty or thirty years from now, a life which it itself has helped to create and expand.

In other %vords, the figures that were compiled by the department of commerce in document No. 116, whereas they actually show nothing specific or directly about traffic; whereas they say nothing about tons of steel or tons of wood or tons of rubber or tons of automobiles moving, actually they show that underlying such a project as this there are dynamic potentialities which mean that once you create an interconnection that demonstrably means lower transportation costs, you have created an agency which will build its own commerce rather than take commerce away from other agencies, and in doing so will build up the economic regions of the great lakes area, the Atlantic area and the Pacific area, which it will serve as low cost interconnection.

The Address-Mr. Alcide Cote

(Translation):

This natural waterway would place New York only 450 miles from Montreal, whereas the distance by sea, through the gulf, is now approximately 1,700 miles. Substantial savings could thus be effected, but this consideration takes second place to the extraordinary stimulus the new route would give to Canadian industry.

We are on the eve of a great industrial era in Canada. Transportation even new is unable to cope with production not only between different points in Canada, but between Canada and the United States. Railway deliveries are delayed in some sections because freight cars are required in some other part of the country.

When the coal strike broke out across the border, this waterway could have been used to carry fuel to Canada, thus preventing a shortage of that essential product at home.

The normal development of this waterwaj' would provide the heart of Canadian industry with an essential channel for the successful expansion of our internal and international trade.

The improvement of this waterway would also benefit agriculture. Indeed, 40,000 acres of land now under water would benefit from an adequate draining, and according to Engineer Michaud, at least 30,000 acres of the richest farming land would be placed under cultivation.

That within a short time 300 new 100-acre farms in one of the most fertile sections, at the very gateway to the United States, could be added to the agricultural resources of our country seems the height of the most enthusiastic colonizer's dream. And yet this is but a very realistic phase of an undertaking already launched.

The government of this country realized the economic importance of this undertaking so well that as far back as 1937 they recognized its urgency in an application dated April 1, 1937. I quote:

(Text):

The government of Canada asks that approval may be given to the project . . . and hopes that the commission in view of the need for protection against flood conditions, will expedite matters so that construction can be commenced at an early date.

(Translation):

At St. Albans, on June 9, 1937, and in Montreal, on June 10 of the same year, Mr. John E. Read, legal adviser of the Depart-

ment of External Affairs of Canada, once more referred to the urgency of this project when he said:

(Text):

The construction of the Richelieu remedial works, is regarded by the government of Canada as a matter of real urgency.

(Translation):

The urgency of this project was recognized by the government as far back as 1937. Now in 1947, with the expansion of our domestic and foreign trades, it has become twice and even three times greater.

The importance of this route was stressed by the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) in a speech which he delivered in Vancouver on January 23, 1947. I quote from the report published in the Montreal newspaper Le Canada, on January 24:

The Minister of Transport pointed out that Canada, with a population of less than twelve million, is to-day the third largest exporter in the world and that Canadian industries have developed to a point where they are surpassed only in the United Kingdom and the United States. Canada is now the third largest naval power and the fourth largest air power. She has doubled her steel production and stands now as the fourth steel producer among the united nations. She holds first place in the production of many essential minerals and her wheat crop is sufficient to feed all Canadians and attend to the normal wants of 80,000,000 more people. According to Mr. Chevrier, the important link in this picture of our expanding domestic relations is transportation.

The Minister of Transport stated that: Transportation must continue to expand. Competition between various means of transportation is strong enough to insure an uninterrupted development.

And he added:

It is the duty of the federal and provincial governments to see that the march towards progress receives full support, whether it be for the benefit of rail, sea, air or highway transportation.

The government must decide as soon as possible to resume the dredging of the Richelieu river. It would be possible to improve during the current year that part of the river which flows between the United States and St. Johns since a good part of the channel would require no dredging.

The preliminary work would, relatively speaking, cost little and would not deprive industry at large of any material or labour.

The work is urgent and should not be delayed until such time as we have unemployment. At any rate, the dredging machinery and the small number of workers required would not constitute an efficient solution to the problem.

The Address-Mr. Massey

However, should this work be undertaken immediately, it might prevent unemployment since it would increase business and trade.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to submit that recommendation to the government because I believe it would serve the interests of the country.

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DENTON MASSEY (Greenwood) (Text):

Mr. Speaker, before I commence the remarks which I have to make in this debate I regard it as my sad pleasure to refer to my late friend the Hon. P. J. A. Cardin, K.C., whom I had known for eleven years. I first met him when I entered the house in 1935. I cannot think of his memory without remembering his many courtesies and kindnesses to me and the great help he was to me as a new member. Through you, sir, if I may, I extend to his family my deepest sympathy.

I should also like to congratulate the mover and the seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne on their splendid efforts and the sincerity of their speeches. Before proceeding, I should further like to make a brief inference to the magnificent utterance of my leader in presenting the amendment to the motion which now stands before the house.

In speaking to the amendment, Mr. Speaker, which I wholeheartedly support, there is much to be discussed. There is the tangle of dominion-provincial relations; there are the unsettled and restless labour conditions; there is the startling question of housing; there are matters pertaining to national defence, so vitally important to the future security of this country and so ably discussed this afternoon by my colleague; there is the irritating and scrambled taxation situation; and the list goes on and on. I am not going to attempt to deal with a multiplicity of matters this afternoon; there will be opportunity as the session proceeds for such discussion. I am going to deal with only one matter, namely that of public health and health insurance.

Not so many years ago one of the world's great nutritionists, Sir John Boyd Orr wrote an article in the Listener in which he said, "The future of a country depends not so much upon trade of wealth or even armaments as upon the health and happiness of the people and the physique and vigour of the race." It is in the spirit of that last comment that I approach my subject today.

I think I am safe in saying that there is not an hon. member in this house who will not heartily agree with me that the questions of national health and health insurance are among the most vitally important questions being faced by Canada today. But what is the position in these matters? For years they have been bandied about on the skinny premise

that they were purely provincial matters. Little support has been given to the provinces in their own field of public health. Virtually the provinces have been left to their own planning and to the exercise of their own financial resources, depending in great measure upon public support and to the generosity of the people of the provinces to maintain such public health works as they could. The result has been what one might expect. There are widely diversified standards of health between one province and another. Let me illustrate with the results of one disease, tuberculosis. In Canada in 1945 there were 5,559 deaths from this disease. In one province alone, Quebec, there were 2,557 deaths; in Ontario 1,053; and in the seven other provinces 1,949. In the matter of infant mortality, in 1945 there were seventy infant deaths for every 1.000 live births in New Brunswick compared with 62 in Quebec, 53 in Nova Scotia, 48 in Manitoba, 45 in Prince Edward1 Island, 44 in Saskatchewan, 43 in Alberta, 42 in British Columbia and 41 in Ontario.

Why should there be this lack of uniformity? The answer is obvious. It is that there is no coordinating authority between one province and another in these matters. Why should the people of one province benefit more substantially in public health than the people of another province, maybe an adjoining one? The answer is also obvious. There is lack of federal cooperation and coordination, not domination, a word which is anathema to every province in Canada. I shall come to this question of "domination" in a few moments. This lack of coordination and cooperation seems to be as perennial as it is hoary. I do not wish to bathe the house in a bath of history, but for the next few minutes I should like briefly to review the history of the Department of National Health in this government because I think it has such an important bearing on what I have to say.

During the elections of 1935. 1940 and 1945, those of us who listened to the radio heard Liberal candidate after Liberal candidate trumpet about what was going to happen in the way of public health services should his party be elected to power. We read in Liberal literature; we read in the press reports of Liberal speeches this bolstering of the idea of national health to become the child of the federal parent if the parent were to be a Liberal government. There was to be the introduction of health insurance and so on. But what has been accomplished? I need not be reminded that we were a country at war from 1939 to 1945, and no hon. member may say that during those years our effort was directed totally and completely toward a

The Address-Mr. Massey

total war effort and that therefore there were some matters such as these that could be neglected.

The greatest challenge in connection with public health comes during a war. The highest demand on the health of a nation is placed on that nation during a war, not only for the present but for the future as well, again for an obvious reason. This point was fully recognized by the United Kingdom, which was quick to recognize it. As a result, the United Kingdom, at the time I left it to return to Canada on duty in 1945, was able to announce through its minister of health that the health of the people there was the highest in the history of the country.

We cannot help regarding the government as having been derelict in its duty and deficient in its function for not having evolved long since practical, progressive measures in cooperation with the provinces to heighten and better the national health and to make health insurance, in some form satisfactory to patient and physician alike, available to the people of Canada.

The situation, however, has not been altogether unrecognized. The voices of various ministers of national health have been raised in connection with it, both in this house and outside-voices, I say. Speaking of voices, perhaps I might refer, with the permission of the house, to a speech which it was my privilege to make in this house on May 22. 1939, as reported in volume 4 of Hansard of that session, page 4379 and on.

It was no impromptu speech. It was made as a result of intensive study and after consultation with and review by some of the highest authorities in the country on the subject, such as Sir Frederick Banting, my late deceased and very close friend.

I endeavoured earnestly to direct the attention of the government to the national health situation of that day, its discrepancies, its inconsistencies and the necessity for immediate action. Further I endeavoured to point out, on the basis of the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, that across this country, speaking broadly, the provinces were spending ten per cent on prevention and ninety per cent on cure.

I also pointed out the ghastly waste, amounting to hundreds of millions annually, through loss of working hours and through illness and expenditures for hospitalization, drugs, nurses, doctors and all the rest. I spoke of the handicap placed on the low wage-earner and the indigent and their families who cannot afford adequate medical services and counsel, so

vitally necessary for the building of health and the maintenance of life itself. I concluded my speech with a plea for a national health programme, in these words which will be found at page 4386 of Hansard in the volume to which I have referred:

We owe a debt to the past, and the only way we can pay it is by putting the future in debt to ourselves. What better way is there for us to accept this responsibility than to make sure that our new Canadians are born of healthy parents, and that the children of these children do not have to face the hazards occasioned by the undernourishment and resulting ill-health of their fathers and mothers in early life. The challenge is clear, the way is clear. Medical science stands ready and willing to do its part. So I ask the government, is it prepared to accept the challenge?

The hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power), then Minister of Pensions and National Health, in his reply referred most generously to the speech I had made and went on to say, as reported at page 4387:

There has been no doubt at all in my mind, particularly since I have had an opportunity to give health matters that study which I have been enabled to give them since taking over this department-

Note this particularly, Mr. Speaker.

-that the state has as much responsibility to look after the health of its citizens as it has to protect them against burglary or any other social calamity.

And later on:

There is room for cooperation. There is room for coordination of effort. There is a crying demand for some kind of conference-

Where have we heard that word before?

-so that we may trace, as betwreen municipality, province and dominion, just what are our responsibilities and how w-e may be able to carry them out to the best of our ability in order to assist the entire population.

Then on March 11, 1943, the then Minister of Pensions and National Health, at present the right hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Mackenzie), at the conclusion of a lengthy statement before the committee on reconstruction, social security and health insurance, as reported at page 51 of the proceedings of that day, said:

Our enlistment statistics in the present war show definitely that the health of Canada is better than it w-as at the time of enlistment in the great war. Thus, we may say with confidence that, broadly speaking, Canada has made progress in the cause of public health, but in many respects, the present statistical record indicates that there is room for a great deal of improvement.

And later on:

Great strides have been made in Canada but many serious gaps remain.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

The Address-Mr. Massey

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MASSEY:

Mr. Speaker, when the house took recess at six o'clock I was reviewing a comment or so of successive ministers of health in an attempt to indicate that the problem of national health and health insurance has faced this government constantly in spite of the lack of action in connection therewith. In other words tonight I am not dealing with a new problem. I shall continue with these quotations.

In the plenary session of the dominion-provincial conference of 1945, on August 6, the then Minister of National Health and Welfare, now Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) is reported at page 85 of the report of the proceedings as having said the following, in addressing the conference:

Although great progress has been made in Canada during the first half of this century, there still remains a tremendous job to be done in improving the national health and in extending the benefits of modern science and medical care to all parts of the nation and all sections of the population.

And later:

With adequate planning and action throughout the entire country it would be possible to make more progress than wdiat has already been achieved. There are great inequalities in the quantity and quality of health care available to different groups of Canadians, and in the costs of such public and private health services and medical and hospital facilities as are now available. These inequalities in part reflect differences in personal incomes, and in part are due to differences between rural and urban areas. Great differences between provinces arise from these same factors.

Thus, Mr. Speaker, in the past record of this government there is an indication that successive ministers of health have recognized a great need for that about which I am talking tonight. They have also talked about improvement in the health standards of the nation. Of course there has been improvement. in many quarters splendid improvement, but I say it is not for the federal government to trumpet about this improvement, for it has been achieved, as I have already said, by the provinces, who in greatest part have been responsible for this development; the provinces, working virtually on their own, with their own resources, each in its individual way. So I say, all credit to the provincial ministers of health and those associated with them for the advances made so far.

But where stands the federal authority in the vital question of health? I have here under my hand the prolixious Heagerty report, which is virtually an exhaustive

treatise compiled, it states, for the special ' committee on social security, and is dated March 16, 1943. In its five hundred odd pages it contains, among many other things, a draft bill, with schedules, entitled "An act respecting health insurance, public health, the conservation of health and the prevention of disease, and other matters related thereto." This proposed act provides for eight separate grants to each province under the following headings: health insurance grant; tuberculosis grant; mental disease grant; general public health grant; venereal disease grant; grant for professional training; investigational grant; physical fitness grant; and under each of these grants there is a short descriptive paragraph which tvith your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to have appear on Hansard, without being read, to save time.

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

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Has the hon. gentleman permission to place the document upon Hansardl

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

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Agreed.

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MASSEY:

It is as follows:

J. J. Heagerty Report on Health Insurance Summary-Grants

Health Insurance Grant.-To assist the provinces in providing health insurance benefits as outlined above.

Tuberculosis Grant.-This grant is designed to help provide free treatment for all persons suffering from tuberculosis including the provision of additional buildings and bed accommodation. The reduction of mortality in those provinces which provide free treatment indicates that the provision of free treatment is an essential to the elimination of tuberculosis.

Mental Disease Grant.-To assist in the provision of free treatment for those suffering from mental illness including the provision of additional buildings and bed accommodation. In this field dominion assistance is urgently needed.

General Public Health Grant.-The object of this grant as laid down in the third schedule to the draft bill is to assist the provinces in establishing and maintaining public health services commensurate with the needs of their people. The same problem has confronted the United States and has been solved by the provision of funds to raise the per capita expenditure on public health. It is proposed that the dominion should make a per capita public health grant to the people of Canada. The justification is the responsibility of the dominion for public health problems that are national in character.

Venereal Disease Grant-To aid in providing preventive and free treatment for persons suffering from venereal diseases on the same basis as the original dominion venereal disease grant of $200,000 which was discontinued in ,1932.

Grant for Professional Training.-As the name implies, this grant is to afford financial assistance to doctors, sanitary engineers and others who wish to take university courses leading to degrees in public health.

The Address-Mr. Massey

Investigational Grant.-To enable the provinces to carry out special public health studies, funds are needed. It has been found impossible to carry out studies in public health and to provide a skilled personnel during epidemics because of lack of funds.

Physical Fitness Grant.-In view of the facts elicited in regard to physical defects among the youth of Canada, the creation of a physical fitness plan to prevent physical defects is considered essential.

It will be clear from this brief summary that, apart from the reduction of morbidity and mortality of disease, the fundamental and primary object is the integration of public health and medical care for the purpose of raising and maintaining the standard of health of the people of Canada.

Fart 5 of the proposed act reads as follows:

The statutory provision as respects public health shall include services and activities as set forth in the third schedule to this act, or substantially as therein set forth, or such services and activities as, having regard for all the circumstances, for the special conditions affecting the province as a whole, or any special areas therein, may be approved by the governor in council as a satisfactory practical measure of public health for the province.

The schedule covering this section appears on pages 42 and 43 of the report, and is headed:

The provision and maintenance, under the direction of the minister of health of the provincial government, of the following directional, consultive, educational and administrative services and activities.

Then follows a list of twenty-four items; and I again ask the indulgence of the house, in order that I may complete my remarks, to permit me to place this on Hansard without reading it.

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

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Is it the pleasure of the house that the hon. gentleman shall have leave to place the document on Hansard?

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

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Agreed.

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MASSEY:

I thank hon. members. It is as follows:

(1) Preventive.-To increase existing facilities for the control of communicable diseases and for the free distribution of vaccines and sera and other biological preparations, for the prevention and treatment of such diseases.

(2) _ Consultive.-To aid in the provision of technical advisory services both in a consultive capacity and for the purpose of controlling outbreaks of communicable diseases.

(3) Educational.-For the formulation and adoption of a programme of education in the field of public health including the organization of local voluntary agencies for the dissemination of educational information through literature, lectures, radio and other measures.

(4) Mental Hygiene.-To provide mental hygiene services _ including psychiatric clinics for early diagnosis; and to cooperate with the

department of education in the provision of educational classes for mentally retarded and mentally defective children.

(5) Communicable Disease Control.-For the provision of communicable disease control services with personnel trained in the field of disease prevention and treatment.

(6) Food and Drug Control.-For the sanitary supervision of premises and the medical supervision of personnel engaged in the manufacture and distribution of foods, drugs and biological preparations, and for the enactment of legislation for such purposes.

(7) Nutrition.-To aid in the establishment of nutritional services under a director whose duties shall be to conduct surveys, carry on research and educate the public in regard to nutritive values of foods and to collect data regarding available foods in the province, their transportation, manufacture, distribution and sale.

(8) Laboratory.-To extend existing laboratory facilities.

(9) Sanitation.-For the establishment of sanitary engineering services to supervise and direct all measures related to the provision of adequate sanitary facilities.

(19) Vital statistics.-To collect and disseminate all information relating to births, marriages and deaths; to collect morbidity and mortality reports of communicable diseases relating to any health insurance plan that may be adopted by the province; and to publish an annual report analysing the deaths and various factors related thereto.

(11) Hospitalization and sanatoria.-For the supervision of hospital services under a director experienced in the field of hospitalization and the establishment, maintenance and supervision of hospital standards.

(12) Dental hygiene.-To provide adequate

dental inspection for school children both in urban and rural areas and for the adoption of corrective measures through cooperation with the health insurance authority: to extend

travelling clinics to provide remedial treatment in remote districts both in respect of adults and children; and to extend existing dental clinics.

(13) Child and maternal hygiene.-For the adoption of child and maternal hygiene under the direction of one or more specialists; for the institution of recognized and accepted procedures; for the reduction of infant and maternal mortality and for the purpose of integrating the activities of these services with measures adopted under a health insurance plan for the provision of child and maternal services.

(14) Industrial hygiene.-To supervise environmental sanitation, medical and nursing services and all factors relating to the health and welfare of industrial and other workers.

(15) Quarantine including air navigation.- For the adoption of such preventive measures-as are necessary to prevent the dissemination of communicable diseases including diseases which may be introduced into the province by aeroplane.

(16) Public health nursing.-To provide such public health nursing services as may be necessary for the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases and the supervision of sani-

1S1

The Address-Mr. Massey

tation in relation to the home, as well as the enforcement of quarantine measures; to assist the family in the application of sanitary and social measures and generally in the promotion of health.

(17) Housing.-Under the sanitary engineering services, to provide regulations governing sites, plans and construction of houses from the standpoint of health.

(18) Venereal disease.-To establish a division of venereal disease control and to extend existing divisions.

(19) Tuberculosis.-To develop a comprehensive programme for the prevention of tuberculosis and in cooperation with the health insurance authority to conduct mass X-rays; to provide for rehabilitation of arrested cases; to cooperate with voluntary agencies and to carry out an educational programme.

(20) Cancer.-To provide aids for early diagnosis through hospitals and clinics and other accepted media; and to cooperate with voluntary agencies in an educational programme.

(2ll) Heart.-To make available preventive and diagnostic services for the prevention and early detection of heart disease in children.

(22) School health services.-To provide medical inspection of school children in all sections of the province for the detection and control of communicable diseases and for the prevention and correction of physical defects.

(23) Epidemiology.-'To provide expert personnel for the purpose ot directing all studies,

investigations, preventive and control measures relating to communicable and other diseases.

(24) Research.-To conduct research in

diseases both of bacteriological and yirological origin as well as other studies relating to the prevention and control of disease.

The cost of this plan is arrived at on page 488 of the report, where it states;

Total operational cost is placed at $21.60 per capita per year. Estimates of population in 1931 and 1938 are from the Canada Year Hook. 1942, page 98. The total for 1943 is placed at about $260,000 above the final census result for 1941 . . . The total cost is consequently $23.76 per capita, of which the administrative expenditure is estimated at 10 per cent of the operational cost, or $2.16 per capita.

Then for the last time, Mr. Speaker, may I place this small table on Hansard without reading its details?

Some hon. MEMBERS; Agreed.

Mr. SPEAKER; Does the hon. gentleman have the consent of the house?

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MASSEY:

This is the last time I shall make this request.

Some hon. MEMBERS; Agreed.

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MASSEY:

The figures are as follows;

Cost

Year Population Total Operational Administrative1931

10,376,000 $246,533,760 $224,121,600 $22,412,1601938

11,209,000 266,325,840 242,114,400 24,211,4401941

11,506.000 273,335,040 248,486,400 24,848.6401943

11.765,000 279,536,000 254,124,000 25,412,000

Now, Mr. Speaker, what has been the fate of this Heagerty report? In the first place, a draft bill was presented to the house under date of March 8, 1944. Essentially it was lifted bodily from the Heagerty report to which I have made reference. There were some changes in draftsmanship, but in the main it was essentially the same. What has happened to that draft bill? As far as I am aware, exactly nothing has happened. It has never even been read the first time to my knowledge. It never became a bill; it was only a draft. In the second place, I see from the minutes of the dominion-provincial conference of August, 1945, proposals were presented by the then Minister of National Health and Welfare, which are recorded on page 89 of that report. These proposals were as follows:

The specific proposals which the federal government wishes to put forward at this time for consideration by the conference include:

(a) Grant for planning and organization;

(b) Health insurance;

(c) Health grants;

(d) Financial assistance in the construction of hospitals.

It is believed that none of these proposals involves in itself any change in the constitutional jurisdiction or responsibility of federal or provineal governments under the British North America Act.

Time will permit me to discuss only one of these items, namely that listed as (c), "Health grants."

There was proposed at the conference the following, as it is to be found at pages 92 to 94 of this report. That included:

(1) A general public health grant of thirty-five cents per capita annually on the basis of the population of each province;

(2) A tuberculosis grant not to exceed $3,000,000 annually;

(3>

A monthly health grant not to exceed $4,000,000 annually;

1S2

The Address-Mr. Massey

(4) A venereal disease grant not to exceed $500,000 annually;

(5) A crippled children's grant not to exceed $500,000 annually;

(6) A professional training grant not to exceed $250,000 annually;

(7) A public health research grant not to exceed $100,000 annually, and

(8) A civilian blind grant, amount to be determined annually, to permit the lowering of the pension age for blind persons from forty to twenty-one years.

I do not question the value and desirability of these proposals in any way; quite the contrary. But I do wish to make comment at once in connection with Dr. Heagerty's report, on which those proposals were based. I wish to make it clear beyond peradventure that I am in no way criticizing the grants.

I was absent from Canada, on duty overseas, when the report was introduced; accordingly I have only recently had an opportunity to study it. First of all, I should like to say concerning it that it is an interesting academic piece of work. Second, it is statistically exhaustive and, in the third place, it is a report of real study, work and thought. Yet, with all deference to the now late Doctor Heagerty I am wondering if its practical conclusions in regard to cost are sound.

I say this, that his conclusions in this report, so far as I can gather, are arrived at mathematically, on a basis of population in its broadest sense, without reference to local conditions. That, Mr. Speaker, is an unsound basis. It is obvious to hon. members that if we have a community of one thousand here and, a hundred miles away, another community of a thousand, and another hundred miles away another community of a thousand, three health centres will be required to serve those three communities. But if you have three thousand people in one community, one centre will serve it. Therefore it seems to me that the reasoning Doctor Heagerty has employed to arrive at his figures is, as I have said, unsound.

There should be-and I address this to the minister-a study of individual communities as to local conditions, rather than mere statistics. Just as a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, so I say an insecure approach might be productive of ill rather than good effects.

Now, what happened to the proposals made to the dominion-provincial conference in 1945? Let the minister himself tell us, since he

reported to the committee of the whole in this chamber on June 28, 1946, as reported in Hansard at pages 3023 and 3024. These are his words:

At the dominion-provincial conference in August, 1945, the dominion government put forward a comprehensive programme for full employment, high national income and social security. The implementing of that programme is dependent upon agreements with the provinces, and those agreements have not been achieved.

And later:

The social security programme of the federal government remains part of the policy of this government, but how and when it can be implemented will depend upon the willingness of the provinces to work out agreements.

Thus, none of the suggested grants has ever been paid, nor the proposals implemented. So what is the position today? Let the speech from the throne tell us, when it states:

Once suitable financial relationships have been arrived at with the provinces, my ministers have undertaken to seek, in a general conference or otherwise, to work out satisfactory arrangements with the provinces in regard to public investment and social security measures.

So here we are today, apparently getting nowhere fast with these vitally important matters of national health and health insurance, because this government is so thoroughly enmeshed in the tangled skein of dominion-provincial relations.

It is unnecessary for any hon. member to remind me that any successful federal effort to raise the standard of the health of the nation presupposes workable, effective, cooperative relations between the federal government and the provincial governments. Also it is not necessary to remind any hon. member just how precious a thing provincial autonomy is, and provincial rights, how obnoxious to the provinces is federal domination.

But in this knotty, snarled, involved, echinated problem, are we to take the view that it is insoluble? The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), speaking here on Monday last, is reported at page 63 of Hansard as follows:

My hon. friend-

And he was referring to the leader of the opposition.

-this afternoon drew attention to the length of time that this parliament and the provinces have been discussing dominion-provincial relations. I say to him that if he thinks it has been a long time it is going to he a much longer time still before the dominion and provincial governments will _ cease to discuss with each other the respective powers which they have, and what they would like to have done, because

The Address-Mr. Massey

that is one question which is likely to continue so long as there are provinces and a dominion to consider them.

Surely, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of this country does not present this as an argument to excuse himself for a situation which now exists, and which is of his creation.

I should like to refer for a moment to an unimpeachable Authority of two thousand years ago Who said, "The poor ye have with you always." If we were to follow the Prime Minister's reasoning in the statement I have just read we would never give any thought to the underprivileged and the destitute. No, Mr. Speaker, the problem is soluble, and I make this statement guardedly with particular reference to health matters.

Let me refer to the recent action taken by the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) by way of illustration. Hon. members, and Canadians generally, are vividly aware of the scourge of cancer, not only in Canada, but around the world. In this country in 1921 there were 6.153 persons who died from cancer, while in 1944 there were 14,271 who died from this dread disease. That is an increase of 131 * 9 per cent. Let not hon. members say that the increase was occasioned by the increase in population, for the rate of death from cancer in 1931 was 92-4 per hundred thousand, w'hereas fourteen years later, in 1944, it was 114-3 per hundred thousand, or an increase of 21-9 per cent in just fourteen years.

Cancer being one of the three leading causes of death in Canada, it is only natural that many agencies are at work on research. There are throughout Canada a multiplicity of laboratories and other such institutions doing splendid work in the field of research. There is, as I have said, a multiple number of wellmeaning organizations. These organizations up to the present time have been waging virtually an individual war against cancer. There has been no coordination of effort. It is obvious that the result is that the progress of the work has been retarded. Laboratory A does not know what laboratory B is doing and may be repeating again and again unsuccessfully what laboratory B has done successfully months before.

Research is not a top secret in this realm. The world is waiting for the one who can find the cause, and thus the cure and prevention of cancer. No one cares where the location of discovery may be, whether it is in Nova Scotia, in New Brunswick, in Texas, in Lancashire or in New South Wales. Surely there should be at least a coordination of Canadian effort.

Second, hon. members will recall the excellent effort put forth in the past few years under the King George V cancer fund when upwards of $800,000 were raised to fight cancer. Although I cannot speak with authority, perhaps the minister will agree with me when I say to the house that that money is still virtually intact and available, that it has not been expended.

Realizing these two points, the minister got in touch with all the leading agencies and scientists across Canada who were actively interested in cancer research.

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

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

And in public education.

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MASSEY:

And in public education. The result was that a conference was held in Ottawa on January 27 and 28. Although the report of the proceedings of that conference has yet to be released, I understand from many sources, including the public press, that it was an excellent meeting in every way and highly successful. At long last there is to be a coordinated effort of all cancer research in Canada through a central body already constituted in Ottawa, this body being set up, as I understand it, with the unanimous accord of the minister's cancer conference. I say without any hesitation that the minister is to be commended most highly and heartily on this all-important and significant step.

I say "significant" for two very good reasons. First, a major federal contribution to a programme of national health in the realm of research has been made by the minister. Second, the minister did not adopt a policy of "wait and see" in this matter. He has just recently become Minister of National Health and Welfare and within a matter of days after becoming minister he set in motion the machinery to call this conference. He did not hesitate to hurdle all the previous obstacles in one light-hearted'jump. He was not satisfied with pious vaporings about what should be done by the provinces or what has not been done by the dominion; he took action. So I say that the word "significant" applies in connection with the minister's cancer programme.

Can it be that this is the first step toward an active all-embracive national health programme? Now that the first step has been taken, the minister can take others more rapidly. He can go all the way and not have to "wait and see" in other allied matters pertaining to the present and future health of this nation. Further, too, I believe I am correct in stating that the minister, who has so recently assumed his new portfolio, has

The Address-Mr. Massey

just appointed a new director of social services, again indicating his desire to take further forward steps.

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

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

And also social insurance studies.

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MASSEY:

Yes; also social insurance studies. It is therefore with some hope of action that I again bring this matter of national health before the house today.

At last we have witnessed, and at long last, this beginning, even if in only one limited field, of what I earnestly hope becomes-I urge the minister to make it so-a great coordinated national programme to be worked out with all the provinces to raise the standard of the health of the people of Canada.

I conclude by making the strongest possible appeal to the minister to leave no stone unturned, to accept the challenge so clearly before him. Let him convene, in various groups if necessary but better in one body, all those parties in every province who are responsible for the care of public health: the provincial ministers of health, their deputies and whomsoever they desire to have associated with them, medical health officers from the larger and more important communities, members of the Canadian Medical Association and any other interested groups from coast to coast. Have them called together with all the cards face up on the table, so that they may face up to the whole question of national health and health insurance as we faced the war, that is, face this matter as a national emergency because that is just what it is.

I cannot conceive of any such group, if all the facts are made clear to it, obstructing or attempting to obstruct for any petty, partisan, professional or parochial advantage any such national plan designed to raise the standard of health and to ensure the continuance of that standard. I am not suggesting centralization of authority or domination by Ottawa, which are so much anathema to every province. I am the last to suggest a diminution of provincial autonomy. But I do feel in this whole matter which I have discussed tonight that the federal Minister of National Health and Welfare can be the protagonist, the coordinator, the spark plug if you will, of a national health machine composed of nine integral parts, all working smoothly together to deliver maximum power to this nation.

My last words to you tonight are similar to those which I used nearly eight years ago when I spoke on this subject. The challenge

is clear; the way is clear; medical science is ready and willing to do its part; Canada has waited long for this government to act. Let the government accept the challenge!

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

James Herbert Matthews

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

Mr. J. H. MATTHEWS (Kootenay East):

Mr. Speaker, like those who have preceded me in this debate I wish to express by appreciation of the efforts put forward by the mover (Mr. MacNaught) and the seconder (Mr. Cournoyer) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. Their speeches indicated careful preparation and they both deserve equal credit. I have studied carefully the speech from the throne and I do not find in it very much about the matters which I wish to bring before the house tonight. However, I am fully convinced of their importance; otherwise I would not be taking up the time of parliament as I am. I assure you that I shall speak briefly and to the point.

For the past two sessions of parliament I have been a member of the standing committee on mines and resources. To my knowledge, this committee has not been called together to discuss matters pertaining to this department. I have high regard indeed- for the Minister of Mines and Re-' lurces (Mr. Glen) and I sincerely hope that under his administrative capacities this department will move forward to great things.

In the constituency of Kootenay East which I have the honour to represent there are two of Canada's loveliest national parks, the Kootenay national park and the Yoho national park. Other members who have national parks in their constituencies may question this claim that these two parks are the two loveliest parks in Canada. But that can only be because they have not seen them. The Divine Creator, when he was finishing off His work so far as British Columbia is concerned, had a lot of loveliness left over, so He lavished it with a prodigal hand in the areas I have mentioned. For sheer breath-taking, aweinspiring beauty I do not think there is anything in the world to equal it. As we contemplate these works of God we can only stand in reverent wonder. It is when we come to the works of man in these park areas that our wonder diminishes and adverse criticism creeps in. and not without foundation.

At great expense to the Canadian taxpayer hundreds of miles of splendid hard-surfaced roads have been constructed from the United States boundary at Kingsgate to the entrance to the Kootenay national park at Radium Hot Springs; also from Calgary, Alberta, to the famous Banff national park and thence into the Yoho and Jasper national parks. But once

The Address-Mr. J. H. Matthews

we find ourselves inside the Kootenay national park, the road ceases to be splendid. Broken surfaces and potholes have developed and visitors emerging from the park at Radium Hot Springs have often been heard to say: Never again-referring to the roads and to camp conditions generally. Of course at Banff and at Lake Louise the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have splendidly appointed hotels which cater to the rich and well-to-do. The more humble citizen of Canada who also has an eye for beauty must content himself with the few scattered camps and tourist cabins that can be found' in the park. It is not enough to say that these are crudely and rudely built. The park regulations, I am told, do not permit of better structures being erected. For instance, lining of the walls of these cabins is not permitted. The rough scantlings of both walls and roof must show. Partitions to provide separate rooms may not be installed, and even though an excellent stream may run past one of these cabins the owners may not harness that stream to provide electric light for their patrons, who have to be content with the old-fashioned smelly coal oil lamps. One of my constituents a few years ago spent over SI,500 in installing an electric light generating plant beside one of these mountain streams in the park. When it was within a few days of completion he was informed that park regulations did not permit him to have any such installation, and that work has been at a standstill from that day to this.

A park telephone of sorts exists for the use of the park wardens, but this service is not available to the visiting public. I believe, sir, that this telephone system should be extended and made available to people who are passing through the parks, in case of illness or accident.

While on this subject, I want to ventilate another grievance. People in my constituency who live near the Kootenay park area would like to know why it is, after having had to pay taxes to maintain these parks, they are not allowed to truck their perishable products through the parks, and others want to know why the roads through the parks cannot be kept open all the year round, which would enable them to reach the city of Calgary more readily and to participate in skiing and other sports that can be enjoyed in the national parks.

Another of my constituents who resides in the Columbia valley and whose name I need not mention here last fall wanted to get a

piece of machinery from Calgary, about 170 miles distant, through the park. The road, however, was closed, so that he had to drive south and then east through the Crowsnest pass, many hundreds of miles farther. When this man had travelled well over 200 miles he found the southern road blocked by snow and he had to return these hundreds of miles back to his home again, the purpose of his trip unfulfilled. I point out that at that particular time there had not been a very heavy snow fall in the park summit, and had the road through the park been kept open he could have made the trip with entire satisfaction.

Facts such as these could be multiplied many, many times. The people say that no real consideration is being given to the maintenance of these roads through our national parks.

In bringing these matters to the attention of the government, I want to make it quite clear that no one in the area is blaming the present Minister of Mines and Resources for these conditions, but I would certainly advise him to make a trip through these parks at his earliest convenience, and not accompanied by any superintendent or park official. Let him go through the parks and see the conditions just as other people see them. People who know the situation in that area do not hesitate to say that many of these park officials have had cushy jobs for a long time and that they do not want to stir or be pushed to do any more than they have done in years past. In the meantime the tide of visitors to these parks as a result of publicity campaigns, is I believe, steadily swelling. About the middle of October last I visited the entrance to the park at Radium Hot Springs. At that particular time over 9,700 persons had paid $2 each for a permit to enter the park at that point with their cars, and many who were using a trailer had paid 83. In addition, Greyhound buses hauling 18 and 25-passenger loads were paying $8.10 and $11.25 respectively for one-way trips. At that time also over

50,000 persons had paid twenty cents each for the privilege of bathing in Radium Hot Springs pool, plus a further payment for the use of a towel and a bathing suit. I would remind the house that these figures do not take into account the many thousands who paid a similar fee at the Banff and Yoho entrances. Our national parks are becoming big business and they need to be run on modem business lines.

The Address-Mr. J. H. Matthews

Now just a word about the personnel at the bottom, the men. who do the dirty work, the work of cleaning up and maintaining the parks. What of their working and living conditions? I am not speaking now of the depots which I have not visited, but I want to say a word especially about conditions at the Radium Hot Springs entrance. The machine shop, where necessary repairs to road machinery are effected, and the stores warehouse, are buildings which are fairly adequate to their needs; but the men's camp is decidedly unworthy of this or any other government. The kitchen and cooking facilities and the sleeping quarters for the men who have to reside there are far from what they ought to be. Labour, I understand, is rated at fifty-five cents an hour, which no doubt accounts for the scarcity of labour. I am also told that rank discrimination is practised'. For instance, park workers at Banff and Field get overtime pay; whereas the men at Radium Hot Springs do not get paid for overtime which they work. Believe me, it would be very interesting indeed to know why. I am concerned about these matters because our parks' heritage is a grand and glorious one. Their matchless beauty alone should challenge anyone and everyone not only to preserve them but also to make them available for rich and poor alike. As I have said before, we have spent huge sums of public money on the construction of highways leading to these beauty spots. Let us then go forward and develop them and remove the causes of adverse criticism. In these remarks I am merely calling attention to the weak spots in order that constructive remedies may be applied.

I am more than delighted to know that in the speech from the throne reference is made to an amendment to the Old Age Pensions Act. During the parliamentary recess I have been asked many times whether the government was going to do anything with regard to increasing old age pensions. In each case I have replied that, while I did not set myself up as a prophet, yet I personally believed that t'he government would do something along these lines at this session. I am glad to know that my judgment was correct in that regard. The question now is, how far does the government intend to go. There has been such an outcry from Canada's old age pensioners from one end of the country to the other, and necessarily so, that it is difficult to see how the

government can be anything else but generous to this needy class. I am sure it is the wish of the great mass of Canadian taxpayers that the government should be generous to our old age pensioners. The cost of living of these people, as of all others, is steadily rising and life bears hard upon them at a period when the3r have every right to look forward to a time of comfort, rest and contentment.

I am utterly opposed to wasteful expenditures on the part of any government department, but here is one place where the spirit of humanity can and must be emphasized. Canadian hearts have felt very deeply for the suffering people of Europe and1 of Asia. Let it not be said that we are so concerned about the needy ones in far-off lands that we cannot see and appreciate the needy here at home.

We of the C. C. F. group are asking that the government shall pay at least 150 a month to our old age pensioners at the age of sixty-five without any humiliating means test. I may say that if the cost of living advances much higher we shall unhesitatingly raise our sights so far as this needy group of people is concerned.

I should now like to refer to another matter in which I am deeply interested and about which I have previously spoken in the house, namely the matter of penal reform. The Nelson Daily News of British Columbia in its issue of January 29 printed a news item from Sarnia, Ontario, with which I take strong issue. It is as follows:

Denounces plan for penal reform.

Sarnia, Ontario, January 28. (CP)

Criticism of proposals for penal reform which would make jails and penal institutions in Canada "too comfortable", and a declaration they must always be considered places of punishment were contained in the charge of Mr. Justice E. R. Chevrier to the grand jury at the opening of the winter assizes here yesterday.

I personally, and I am sure others who think as I do along the lines of penal reform, have no thought or desire to make our prisons and penal institutions too comfortable; but I certainly do not accept the declaration that they need to be places, or considered to be places, of punishment. Rather they need to be places of reform, places in which really redemptive work can be carried on. To my way of thinking, the idea of punishment occupies too large a place in the official mind.

During the parliamentary recess I took the opportunity of visiting Great Britain after an

The Address-Mr. J. H. Matthews

absence of thirty years. In passing, I may say I flew both ways and thoroughly enjoyed the courtesy and the safety provided by our Trans-Canada Air Lines system. While in Britain I mingled business with pleasure in that I took the opportunity of visiting a number of British prisons and penal institutions for the purpose of comparing their system with our own.

There are those in Canada who think and speak of Britain as being decadent and played out. They say that she is no longer a factor in world affairs. When these things are being said, such people are either expressing wishful thinking or revealing an abysmal ignorance of the real facts of the situation. My study of the British penal system leads me to say most emphatically that they are far and away ahead of Canada in their handling of criminals.

I realize that here in Canada we have a dual prison set-up, both provincial and federal, whilst in Britain they have a single system under an all-comprehensive prison commission. While in London I had a long interesting interview with Mr. Fox, head of the British prison commission, and from him I received authority to visit as many of His Majesty's prisons as my time would permit. I know it is not necessary that I should enter into the details of the places I visited, but I was particularly anxious to see something of the much-talked of Borstal system, and I was able to gratify my wish. I would be very much happier if we had such a system at work here in Canada on a federal scale.

In the speech on penitentiaries which I gave to the house on June 21 and June 27 of last year I referred to the decision of Attorney-General Wismer of British Columbia to reestablish the Borstal home at New Haven in British Columbia. Mr. Wismer also visited Great Britain recently. He, too, has seen the Borstal system at work and he is prepared to give to British Columbians the benefit of that system. I should like to say here that in this particular work he has my unqualified support.

For the benefit of those to whom Borstal may be but a name let me hasten to explain that the Borstal system is based on segregation, something entirely unknown in our Canadian prison system. For the benefit of Mr. Justice Chevrier, let me say that boys entering some Borstal institutions in Britain to serve a sentence of three years or so are given every liberty short of being free to go home at will. They are assured that they are not being sent to this particular institution to suffer three years of punishment but to have a three-year

opportunity to learn how to live and how to act as decent citizens. Not punishment but reform and redemption; these are the aims of the British prison commission.

In my hand I hold a small booklet entitled "Prisons and Borstals". It is a statement of policy andi practice in the administration of prisons and Borstal institutions in both England and Wales. The foreword, written by the Right Hon. Herbert Morrison, M.P., Home Secretary from October, 1940, to May, 1945, contains this statement:

The harm done by crime is caused by a comparatively small number of people; but if harm is done by wrong methods of punishment the whole community is answerable.

Turning to page 32 of this booklet, I find the principles underlying Borstal training set forth as follows:

That young offenders ought not to be sent to prison so long as that course can by any means be avoided is axiomatic, but a time comes for some of them when training under detention appears to be essential if they are not to drift into the ranks of persistent offenders. The object of the Borstal training is the all-round development of character and capacities moral, mental, physical and vocational, with particular emphasis on the development of responsibility and self-control through trust, increasing with progress. This conception requires conditions as unlike those of a prison as is compatible with compulsory detention. Responsibility and self-control are virtues which can only be attained by practising them and they cannot be practised without opportunity for self-determination appropriate to the stage of development reached.

This is indeed a lofty conception. It is an outgrowth of deep thought, the result of wrestling with a problem that confronts both Canada and Britain alike.

Certainly hardened criminals must be punished for their crimes; but far better that we should pay closer attention to the environment in which the young life is lived, far better that we should adopt a strong policy of segregation, the success of which has been amply demonstrated in the use of the Borstal system, and thus permit Canada to place herself in line with those other far-seeing countries whose purpose is to redeem rather than to punish the criminal.

The following table indicates the percentage of success achieved in recent years by the Borstal system. It gives the position at the end of each year of those who had been discharged from the institutions not less than two years earlier.

It will be noted that if those who are reconvicted once and then apparently settle down are included as potential successes, it may fairly be said that out of every ten

1SS

The Address-Mr. J. H. Matthews

persons discharged, some seven or eight appear to be restored to good citizenship. The figures for girls are similar, though slightly less favourable.

Mr. Speaker, in order to save time may I ask

for permission to have these figures printed in Hansard at this point in my address. It is a very short statement:

Borstal Statistics (Males)

Five-year total percentages as at 31st December of each year in column 1

1 Position as at 31st December of year: 2 Discharges during years 3 Not Reconvicted Per cent K Reconvicted-Per cent

Once only Twice or more

1936 1930-34 53-8 24-3 21-91937 1931-35 56-1 22-6 21-31938 1932-36 57-7 21-4 20-91939 1933-37 59 20-4 20-61940 1934-38 62-4 19-3 18-31941 1935-39 63-5 20-1 16-41942 1936-40 60-7 20 19-31943 1937-41 58-9 20-3 20-8

The figures above show indisputably the tremendous value of the Borstal system in the reclamation of young lives. Here in Canada we have no such good results to show. On the contrary, our Department of Justice reports show a steady increase in recidivists. This in itself is a terrible indictment of our Canadian penal system.

I realize that my voice may be somewhat a lone one crying in the wilderness, but I have faith to believe that some day in the not too far distant future an awakened) public opinion will demand a change in our penal system and the establishment of up-to-date Borstal institutions equipped to reclaim and redeem those of our youth who have fallen by the wayside.

May I say, in closing, that I was glad to hear from the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Glen) when he spoke briefly on immigration yesterday, referring to additional groups who are now free to enter Canada by virtue of order in council P.C. 371, which has recently been passed. It would appear that the pressure of criticism of the government's immigration policy is beginning to have effect.

The question of immigration will bulk larger in this country as time goes on, because Canada definitely needs a larger population. Our railways and public buildings and their staffs are all adequate for a much larger population. The question is, where are they to come from? We talk of a selective immigration, but no one has yet defined for us what the word selective means. It seems to me that every person one talks with has a different interpretation of his own. Canada needs immigrants, but while we tarry to make up our minds whom to admit, other commonwealth countries are getting them.

There are, I know, those who think Canada will receive a great tide of immigrants from the British isles. But let me point out that Great Britain is not the overflowing fountain into which we have dipped in the past. Today Britain is passing through a definite labour shortage of her own and is actually importing labour for her mines and other industries. It is to Europe that we must look for our new Canadians. Screen them by all means, but let us not forget that the people who came to us from these European countries in past years have proved in the main to be good citizens, as recent speeches on1 this subject have shown. I believe, sir, that we can serve Canada well and help to alleviate the sufferings of Europe by giving sanctuary to thousands of her refugees.

Mr. HAROLD W. TIMMINS (Parkdale): Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place for the first time as the representative for Parkdale. At the outset I should like to convey my congratulations to the mover and the seconder of the address, more particularly to the seconder, for he had the unique distinction of being presented to the house and making an address to the house on the same day.

Parkdale has in the past sent to this house many worthy representatives, with most of whom I was acquainted. Some hon. members may recall A. Claude MacDonnell, K.C. After that came Mr. Mowat, later Mr. Justice Mowat. Following that, the constituency was represented by Mr. Dave Spence, who was in this house for a good number of years, and latterly Parkdale was represented by Hon. Doctor H. A. Bruce, whose voice was often heard in this house and who had a reputation here for forthright speech. Doctor Bruce

The Address-Mr. Timmins

served the constituency of Parkdale and the people of Canada well. He is an outstanding and distinguished Canadian as we'll as a surgeon in the front rank. The people of Park-dale will not soon forget Doctor Bruce and his gracious wife.

I am happy to be the representative for Parkdale following such illustrious predecessors, because I have lived in the district almost my entire lifetime. There are those on the other side of the house who probably are not so happy at my being here, and who certainly did what they could to leave me where I was. It was said quite openly on the hustings in Parkdale by the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply (Mr. Howe) that they were looking for cabinet material in Parkdale, and of course I came to the conclusion that somebody on the treasury benches would have to move over. However, the good people of Parkdale have decided that question for us all, and I presume nobody will have to move over. However that may be, I must say that I appreciate the courtesies I have received from all sides of the house, and I must add that it is heartening to a new member to be greeted so warmly by hon. members as he goes about the house for the first time. At this time I should like to express my best wishes to the other three members who came into the house with me on January 30 last. Already we are in our second month here in parliament. I trust that each of us in his own way may be of service to his community and to this parliament.

In compliance with the splendid example set by the mover of the address, I intend to limit myself tonight, and my speech will be brief.

First of all, I should like the house to bear with me for just a few moments while I give hon. members a word picture of the electoral district of Parkdale. It is a long-settled district on the western extremity of the city of Toronto, bounded on the south by lake Ontario. Perhaps I could better explain the position of the district if I say it is right in the environs of the Canadian National Exhibition. Parkdale is essentially a district of homes, but we have as well a good sprinkling of industry, so it may be said that employment in Parkdale is always at a high level. It is a district of churches. We have in that district probably thirty churches of every creed and religion, serving our community. In the last twenty years we have been blessed with a good number of new Canadians, Czechoslovakians, Ukrainians, Poles and those of other races, who have made grand citizens and neighbours in the district.

It was very heartening a short time ago, when we had citizenship week throughout the country, to see the number of meetings being held by these new Canadian gtoups, and it was a pleasure to be with them at the time of their celebration because they really appreciate their citizenship in this good country of Canada.

I listened with a good deal of interest on Thursday last to the speech from the throne, and I have read it over a number of times since. It would be presumption on my part, as a new member, to try to say what a speech from the throne should contain; yet as a new member I am constrained to say that the speech did not contain much in particularity to inform hon. members as to what the government proposes to do in 1947. I intend to devote most of my time this evening to an analysis of one paragraph in the speech from the throne, which reads:

Progress is being made in overcoming the shortages in building supplies, thereby accelerating the provision of additional housing. Despite all obstacles, the number of housing units com-

Eleted in 1946 approximated the objective set y the government. The cooperation of provincial and municipal authorities greatly contributed to the provision of emergency shelter.

Reading that paragraph, which has to do with the production of homes in Canada, I was surprised to find the wording almost [DOT] entirely in the past tense. It is very good to know what we did in Canada in regard to housing in the year 1946, but it seems to me a great deal more important to find out what we are going to do about housing in Canada in 1947. We must take it, then, that the government's building programme for 1947 is simply a hangover from 1946.

To start off with, the matter of housing is a federal problem, and it divides itself into two kinds of housing, both of which are mentioned in the speech from the throne; emergency housing and permanent housing. With respect to emergency housing, I must say that the government was very slow in the uptake in assuming its duties and responsi-oilities in the early days of the war when this matter of emergency housing first became acute. The government was too prone to leave the matter on the doorstep of the various municipalities. As a member of the council of the city of Toronto may I say we found that the city was submerged by a great number of people coming in from the outside. We were glad to have them, and we made up our minds that no matter why they came, we must look after them. They came there in the first place to work on munitions, and brought their families with them. Then there were the soldiers who came in with their families,

The Address-Mr. Timmins

leaving their families there when going overseas. Then there were the soldiers who came back from overseas and brought their families to the city. In some cases there were people who came looking for jobs and others through no fault of their own were evicted from their homes and had to be looked after. In all cases we endeavoured to do what we could, but I must say that our mayor and board of control wore the rails smooth between Toronto and Ottawa, coming here to ask for assistance with respect, to these matters.

I am glad to say that, as time went on, assistance was forthcoming from the federal government, which helped us provide emergency shelter; bnt the problem is still very acute. It is true that provision has been made, along the way, to house families in reconverted soldiers' barracks, in reconverted apartments, in former army camps, in former munitions plants, and in some instances in hotels, at great expense. But of course this is only a temporary expedient, and the federal government must assist the municipalities to overcome, in time, these emergency and unnatural conditions. It is unnatural and unjustifiable that families should have to live in these houses and temporary quarters where there is little privacy, and where home life and family life is greatly disturbed and encroached upon. In the old days in this land the people had independence of spirit and privacy in their home life, but these emergency housing conditions have certainly knocked the props from under their independence and privacy. In my view, these housing conditions tend to break down the family spirit and to imbue people with a feeling that they have become wards of the municipality or of the community, and are entitled to be protected and legislated for, for all time to come. In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, that is certainly not in the best interests of the community or the individual. Therefore, while a good amount of emergency housing has been provided, new problems are arising daily, and just as soon as possible this government must help to get these families out of the conditions under which they are now living.

The other field is permanent housing. In 1944 the government knew a housing condition was arising. There were many reasons why, in 1944, but I do not propose to go into them here. It was clear at that time that sufficient houses were not being built to keep up with the requirements. But the reason in those days was a little different from the reasons which we now have in this year 1947. At that time

manufacturers had the raw materials to make bricks and cement blocks, and to turn out the lumber, but they did not have the man-power.

We in the city council of Toronto got in touch with the federal authorities. I was asked to prepare a brief stating the minimum requirements of the building industry to provide houses in Toronto and suburban areas. That brief was prepared, and we met with the members of the national selective service board, telling them what our minimum requirements were. They were 150 men, only, in the brick industry, so that bricks might be supplied; 150 men in the concrete block industry, so that concrete blocks could be supplied, and about 75 men in the plumbing industry so that we might have bathtubs. As it happened, no men were supplied at all, and right there the building of houses in the city of Toronto and environs bogged down.

Let us face the facts. In 1946 sufficient houses were not provided even to begin to catch up with the needs of the country. Now we are starting into 1947 with the same plan we had in 1946, for the providing of homes. I say that the government has no real housing plan. Now is the time for a plan to be fully and effectually established, if we are to have the maximum housing that can be produced in Canada in 1947.

The speech from the throne says:

Progress is being made in overcoming the shortages in building supplies, thereby accelerating the provision of additional housing.

Let us see what the facts are. We have in this country at the present time under the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act a system of priorities operating in respect of building materials. We had1 a priorities system in building materials during the war, but it did not work and had to be discarded. In 1946, and following on into 1947 this priorities system has been revived. I believe hon. members are acquainted with the groups which get these priorities, but for the sake of clarity I should like to mention them again.

First of all, there is Wartime Housing Limited, which is a federal emanation. Then there is the Veterans' Land Act with houses built under its provisions. We heard something about houses built under the Veterans' Land Act when the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Murphy) spoke last evening. Then there is Housing Enterprises Limited, which is a crown company in which the life insurance companies have an interest. They are building a number of homes and apartment houses throughout Canada. Finally we have integrated building, the plan of which is, that

The Address-Mr. Timmins

the builder must build and sell to veterans, the prices at which he sells being more or less fixed.

These groups are all controlled by the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. These are the groups which are entitled to obtain priorities and to receive materials from the building supply houses. All other groups which build or which construct homes must scramble in the best way they can in order to get materials.

For example, in Toronto there are probably nine builders who build under the integrated housing plan, whereas there are probably 250 builders in that city who have to scrounge for materials in whatever way they can get them.

In the speech of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) on Monday last we were told that the building objective for this government is 80,000 homes in 1947, which means that if the four groups named could produce, at the most, twenty per cent of these houses, the independent builders must find materials in whatever way they can to build 64,000 housing units. It seems crystal clear that there is very little government planning in an objective which has such a hit-or-miss method of control.

But there is another feature in respect of this matter of building homes, because commerce and industry has to be served, too. They are most active with respect to the construction of warehouses and factories, in addition to commercial premises. So that we find in Toronto in 1946 that twice as much industrial building was done as was done in respect of houses. Is there much planning there, with respect to homes where they are needed?

It seems perfectly obvious, therefore, that after these four preferential groups have been taken care of under their priorities for building materials, builders in the industrial and commercial fields, and builders of residential homes are in direct competition for materials to build houses and to build industrial plants. Last year the homes lost out, and very badly. There is not much government control in a situation like that!

During these winter months stock piling is going on in the lumber yards, brick yards, concrete-block yards and in plumbing supplies. All these materials are being held now for the groups which are to get the materials through priorities. I know of an instance in Toronto of a builder who has a block of homes of, we will say, between twenty and thirty, which are in various stages of completion; but because of the supply situation he cannot get material, although they are

staring him in the face in the yard. However, he cannot get materials because one of these other groups has a priority list, and the materials cannot be released.

I say that in this month of February', 1947, those houses which are incomplete should be completed, that a survey should be made in those various districts where the building of houses of that kind is now at a standstill, and that some governmental measure should be introduced to release the necessary materials for the potential houses, many of which are more than half completed.

When I discuss some of these matters with those in authority I am told that the matter of priorities is one of governmental policy, and it is for that reason I am discussing the matter here this evening. It was discussed last year, but I am saying, just as pointedly as I can-having had some connection with the building industry for the last twenty-five years -that this policy of priorities is stifling home building in Canada.

Now, at the beginning of 1947, is the time to make the necessary changes. I am satisfied the change which should be made is that the Department of Reconstruction and Supply should immediately get rid of this system of priorities. I am suggesting further that the government should assume the responsibility of determining what is, and what is not, essential building in every community, so as to give home builders an opportunity to raise their sights in respect of home building in this country in 1947.

I agree that there are many industrial projects which are necessary, and which must be classed as essential building. On the other hand, I believe that a formula could easily be worked out by the department which would indicate what is, and what is not, essential building, and that this formula should be handed on to the building superintendents and commissioners in the various municipalities throughout Canada, with a view to giving them a yardstick to which they must work. If that were done we would not find a situation such as we had in Toronto in 1946 when there was twice as much industrial building going on, as there was of homes.

In the United States, controls in the building industry have been taken off and, for the most part, priorities have been eliminated. I read now from a report of the National Association of Home Builders of the United States the largest association of its kind in that country. The report of December 18, 1946, states:

The home-building industry has said that removal of these controls was necessary so they could build more houses and complete them faster. In the brief time since the announce-

The Address-Mr. Timmins

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

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

That is what is called a surprise gift!

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

Maxime Raymond

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. RAYMOND (Beauharnois-Laprairie):

That address has a mover and a seconder.

Afterwards, they are paid an endless series of compliments. What they have said does not matter. It is customary to tender them congratulations. Later, the motion gives rise to one or many amendments and subamendments which open the way for a lengthy discussion, which lasts for weeks.

Well, Mr. Speaker, the custom of moving an address should, to my mind, be abolished. Such action would put an end to useless and costly discussions.

Besides, it would not deprive the members of the privileges they enjoy under the rules of the house. Thus, every Thursday, during the first four weeks of the session, is reserved for consideration of members' resolutions. A protracted debate on the motion for the presen-83166-13

tation of that address of thanks precludes the discussion of a large number of those resolutions.

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

Benoît Michaud

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

That is true.

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

February 6, 1947