May 22, 1947

CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

That would be impossible.

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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FERGUSON:

The house has heard and remembers only too well the attempt of the Minister of Finance to hearten the people of Canada with the budget speech which has had so many holes shot in it that it now looks like the sieve the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith) spoke about today. The minister's eloquence only coated the speech with a very fine tissue, but nothing capable of withstanding the well directed, accurate and justifiable shots that so easily punctured this government's budget to such an extent that further criticism is now unnecessary. The great majority of the people of Ganada see quite clearly through the hoax that the Liberal government have endeavoured to foist on the Canadian people who sorely need, and are entitled to, at least some semblance of capable management and guidance of their public affairs.

I propose to bring out reasons that suggest more reasonable treatment for the people of Canada than they have been enjoying under a government that has mishandled the affairs of this country. W'e see on all sides government doubt, fear, contradiction, faltering in face of rising prices and possible acute chaos of the entire business of Canada. There is little promise for the wage-earners of this country if the government stubbornly persists in its present course. Too many people are complacent about the sinister shadows that hang over so much of the once civilized world. It can happen here. Canada lies squarely in the stream of history. It can guide that stream or be swept away by it. We can, and we should, be able to help in a momentous way to avert the decline of western civilization and a reversion to the dark ages. World conditions of today were not unexpected. Pestilence, suffering, famine, hardship and the complete economic and political dislocation of the world are a consequence of the devastating war through which the world has passed.

Germany is divided and broken, slowly starving. They are festering in ruin as a result of the poison of fascism and, worst of all, the virus of communism.

Thousands of Dutch wish to emigrate from broken Europe. Belgium suffers from wounds of ancient animosities. France, politically bankrupt, stands, yes, but feeble, with the vampire communism feasting on the blood of the weakened bodies of her labour unions, army and government. Communism is strong in Italy, and all eastern Europe lies behind the iron curtain. Only Greece, whom the Right Hon. Winston Churchill referred to as "small in numbers but great in spirit", is now the frontier between paganism and Christianity.

More important still is the plight of Britain and the attempted liquidation of the British empire bjr the Labour government which, we hope, is not so severely stricken by the cancer of communism that the British ministers may see the folly of their ways before it is too late, that they may understand the efforts of the enemy and combat these efforts successfully so that the great people of the British isles may, while there is still sufficient of the old spirit left, rally as they did at El Alamein, on the shores of Dunkirk and throughout the country as a whole when obliteration seemed inevitable, and return tc the true and tried, old but sure, form of real democratic government.

The British pound has lost its magic; the British people are stripped of the wealth of empire and bowed down under a crushing burden of taxation. British money is no

The Budget-Mr. Ferguson

longer available in Greece or any other place to support the forces of western civilization. Too well has the poison that has been slowly administered throughout the British empire taken effect by ruthless, ungrateful foreigners and guests of the empire; also, born British, those living in the lowest strata of humanity, despised, shunned and exterminated by all countries of the world for endeavouring to administer at a price, the death potion to their own beloved land. The chaos and ruin, the suffering and possibilities of the British isles today may have reached the stage, God forbid, that makes it incumbent on the dominions of the empire to come to the aid of the motherland, the land that spells freedom and fair play; but aid must also come from all those from other countries who have been fortunate to emigrate to the dominions within the empire.

Now, can Canada do her share? Have we ourselves clean hands? How light has been our burden when we consider all that God gave us and all the advantages we have had in facing the tasks that were ours? Have Canadians reached the stage when they can now say we have accomplished our great but pleasant task? I say, no. But we will, and can, rise to heights within the British empire mightier by far than the greatest patriots ever dreamed of.

If we would only put our own house in order and stop procrastinating! Can you believe, Mr. Speaker, that we have in Canada conditions similar to what they have in Europe. It is hard to believe, but we have. What is this government doing about the matter? The people have -the right to know. This government, through its Department of Labour, knows, or should know, full well that one of the greatest causes and reasons of rising prices is lack of production, housing shortage and all the many obstacles that the people of Canada rely on the government to eliminate. All these factors sap the energy of our people and expand the costs of government. Communism is making further inroads in every walk of endeavour throughout the dominion from coast to coast.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) knows in his heart of the deliberate attempt of those in the communist party in Russia to bring this country to a condition where it can be taken over in the not too far distant future just as easily as Roumania, Poland and other countries not so long ago proud, prosperous and successful. They have been made to lie in bed with the avowed enemy, countries once governed by the true democratic form of government.

Do the people of this country realize that the Prime Minister, when he was informed by the under-secretary of state for external affairs, Norman Robertson, of the first revelations of the Russian spy ring in Canada, stated, according to reports in the press- which have never been denied:

I do not think the government of Canada can take any action which would cause the soviet government to say that we were prying into their affairs . . .

And, on his thought and decision alone, on such an important matter, he suggested that the man who exposed the treachery should return to his embassy with the papers that were to prove to the people of Canada the almost unbelievable facts, disclosing the endeavours of a communist-ruled country to obtain, through almost any means whatsoever, information that would later aid them in bringing this Canada, one of the greatest parts of the empire, down to the level of the serfs residing, mostly by compulsion, in those countries now controlled by and under the yoke of communism.

Until recently, one Ruth McEwen worked in the office of the Prime Minister of Canada. She is the wife of Bert Hughes, an exemployee of the film board at Ottawa, and Hughes is an openly confessed communist and supporter of that bestial organization.

The Russian communistic government is holding forth at international conferences with voluble statements about peace and security. I believe the soviet government is simultaneously preparing secretly for a third world war, creating in all democratic countries, and certainly including Canada, a fifth column. In the organizing of this fifth column diplomatic officials of the soviet government have taken part.

Knowing this all to be true and believing that trade unions are one of the finest organizations that form part of the great bulwark of true democracy, I warn this government that the people of Canada are relying on them to do their duty openly and fearlessly in exterminating and' purging trade unions of all communistic elements. Bearing in mind that this year the communists of Canada are celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary of organized activity through the Labour Progressive political party, the name which they now use as a cloak to cover their true identity, let me point out that they are still endeavouring to elect men to this very parliament. The communistic party's name has changed, but their underlying strategy, leading straight to bloody revolution, remains unchanged. Their leaders have stated that, after they have mastered the political strife, a general strike

The Budget-Mr. Ferguson

is the gateway to revolution. The democracies advocate freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and, above all, freedom of all peoples residing within the boundaries of a democratic country, but the advocacy of and the willingness to give freedom as known only in democratic countries, surely do not go to the depths of permitting avowed enemies of the state to continue with their insidious work and to continue to contaminate trade unions and labour to such an extent that, even if their contamination be small, used in the manner that it is being used, it can be accountable for the downfall of such a great nation as our beloved dominion. The efforts of the communists in Canada are bearing fruit in retarding the progress of the country, thereby affecting its finances and the finances of this government.

I believe that, through their efforts, the government has been called upon to make expenditures by way of aid in various ways that would not have been necessary if a great many of the minds of our people had not been poisoned with the doctrine of communism. The information divulged by one Pat Sullivan who until recently headed the seamen's union should, in my opinion, have been investigated thoroughly and speedily by a royal commission, and I think it would have been found that the accusations of Sullivan were absolutely correct regarding the guiding hands of the communist party amongst the leaders of the seamen's union. If this fact were established, surely we can make laws speedily and efficiently to meet such a situation. We owe it to all decent members of the seamen's union, as a government composed of men in charge of the affairs for Canada for the people of Canada and on behalf of the seamen's union, the great majority of whom have, I am sure, ideals, ambitions and desires for fair play both to themselves and to their employers.

I know many members of the seamen's union personally; many of them live right in my constituency, men who fought in the last war for democracy as we know it and the principles embodied in democracy as we know them, and men who fought in this war and gave their blood for the same type of democracy. These men chose to take as their vocation sailing on the great lakes and the high seas. This desire is their privilege as real Canadians, but they have the right to protection in order to carry on fearlessly and successfully and follow the class of labour which they select, without intimidation or threats of violence by many heads of the present seamen's union who have openly declared themselves as to the path they- are following, communism.

Only recently an ordinary dispute arose between some of the steamship companies and the seamen's union. A proven, outstanding citizen of Canada was asked to represent the companies as their representative on the marine arbitration board which is to meet in the capital of Canada to iron out disputes between several companies and the Canadian seamen's union. This gentleman, the Hon. J. Arthur Mathewson, K.C., tendered a letter to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell), refusing to sit on said board owing to the fact, as he stated in his letter, that it appeared to be established that the persons now occupying the positions of officers of the Canadian seamen's union were not properly elected in a democratic way but were forced into present positions by the manoeuvring of a relatively small cohesive group of avowed communists within the union. He stated that the officers of this union themselves had been publicly pronounced to be communists and that they had never denied the charge and, in some cases, had brazenly vouched for its correctness. Mr. Mathewson stated that the so-called communistic party is not a political party in the same category as political parties generally recognized in democratic Canada. He stated that it was a fifth column and that its subversive activities are continuously and deliberately promoting industrial friction to such an extent that it cannot be ignored.

Mr. Mathewson raised the question as to whether the men purporting to act can be considered, or should be recognized, as the spokesmen for the unlicensed personnel of their ships. Mr. Mathewson, as a true Canadian, I am sure could not conscientiously sit on any board with the knowledge of the personnel of the seamen's union that he has, and I do not believe that this government should recognize or permit to sit on any government arbitration board certain men who now hold executive offices in the seamen's union, because I do not consider that they are in a position or that their frame of mind will give a true and beneficial picture to the members of the seamen's union and the people's representatives . here in Ottawa or to the responsible officers of the steamship companies.

I feel confident that it is the desire of the government, the steamship owners and the seamen of Canada to arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement and to carry this agreement speedily into full force and effect; but, with such men as we now find heading the seamen's union, the intent of such agreement could never be carried out. I say that the government should take the same attitude as Mr. Mathewson and refuse to be a party to a communistic infiltrated board. The government should use its labour relations machinery to see that the men who represent the seamen

The Budget *-Mr. Cournoyer

in arbitrary disputes are elected by properly conducted elections and a secret ballot and that every member of the union has been given an opportunity to vote. Let it be known to all labour unions that the government of the people of Canada, with the proof they have before them, will not countenance any person or persons holding office in any union in Canada who have the slightest taint of communism or communistic leanings. We know what communism means and we must act on the knowledge we have. Tomorrow may be too late; we shall have nothing to fear if the situation is faced fairly and squarely now. But I shudder to think, if we hesitate in our duty to the British empire, Canada and the democracies of the world, what the peoples of the democracies will suffer if the encroachments of communism are permitted to expand much farther.

We are promised a new labour code. I make this eatnest plea to the minister: See that labour relations machinery is set up immediately that gives our organized workers protection against the bludgeoning, intimidation and constant blackmail to which they are now subjected by Soviet-directed vile communistic organizations in Canada.

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LIB

Gérard Cournoyer

Liberal

Mr. J. P. GERARD COURNOYER (Riche-lieu-Vercheres):

Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to say a few words in answer to the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay (Mr. Dorion), who referred to the decision reported in Dominion Law Reports in the case of Silver Brothers Limited versus the Attorney General of Quebec.

(Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to point out that in an interpretation based upon the standing orders of the house, the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay (Mr. Dorion) had no right to quote that judgment in support of his contention that the provinces have priority in the field of direct taxation.

I suggest that the judgment which the learned member has quoted and which he was kind enough to send me for perusal could not apply to such a case. Indeed, that case dealt with the Bankruptcy Act and the Special War Revenue Act, whereas the matter which was brought up concerned the two creditors of the company in bankruptcy, that is the dominion and the provincial governments. It dealt with the interpretation of a special statute and not of sections 91 and 92 of the British North America Act.

Hence, the only point which I wish to make in reply to my hon. friend is that the learned judges of the privy council have clearly stated, in the judgment which has been quoted, that they did not intend to give priority to the

provincial government. Let me read the decision reported on page 676 of the "Dominion Law Reports" for 1932:

(Text):

Now, looking at s. .17 and the way it speaks of the preference, it would not be difficult to hold that it was a rule only applicable in bankruptcy. If that is so, then the matter is ended for bankruptcy is head 21 of s. 91. But let it be assumed that it is rather a natural concomitant of taxation, then the case falls clearly under the fourth head laid down by Lord Tomlin. It runs thus:

"There can be a domain in which provincial and dominion legislation may overlap in which case neither legislation will be ultra vires if the field is clear, but if the field is not clear and the two legislations meet the dominion legislation must prevail."

As a matter of fact, this is the textual reproduction of what has been said by Lord Dunedin as long ago as '1907, in the case of G.T.R. v. A.G. Can., (1907) A.C. 65. Now, here so far as taxation itself is concerned, the field is clear. The two taxations, dominion and provincial, can stand side by side without interfering with each other, but as soon as you come to the concomitant privileges of absolute priority they cannot stand side by side and must clash; consequently the dominion must prevail.

(Translation):

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that in view of this quotation I may conclude that the hon. member, though he be independent, should not have been so independent of the written word as to infer that section 92 should apply without any reference to section 91 of the British North America Act.

(Text):

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LIB

Matthew MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MATTHEW MacLEAN (Cape Breton Norlfc-Victoria):

Mr. Speaker, I have never

been anxious to take part in any debate, although schooled in politics from my earliest days. I have always endeavoured, since coming here, to get in touch with the different departments in connection with the needs of my constituency but have been continually reminded that I should discuss certain matters in the house. So tonight I shall for a brief period trespass on your time and hope, as far as possible, to avoid repeating any of the matters so far discussed in this debate.

I listened with a great deal of interest to the able budget speech of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) and compliment him on the manner of his presentation. I think he will go a long way in the political life of this country.

I also wish to pay tribute to his able predecessor (Mr. Ilsley), who had borne the burden of that portfolio in the most trying times in our history. When I think of two able men, former ministers of finance, who broke down under the strain in the days

The Budget-Mr. MacLean

before the war, I am convinced that he is made of good stuff, such as we generally produce in Nova Scotia.

We are glad of the measure of relief afforded in the budget to so many of the taxpayers. Of course all would have been more satisfied if the exemptions had been greater for both single and married people, but we must proceed slowly if the measures of social security about which we hear so much are to become effective. We cannot obtain these measures unless someone pays for them, and money does not grow on trees, nor is it the product of a printing press. All wealth must come from the soil, and only by industry and hard work may we hope to achieve the high aims we have set out in the different pieces of legislation to come before the house.

I was sorry to notice that the financial critic of the opposition was not in good form when he answered the minister. He has always been a genial soul and, I believe, has the respect of all members in this house.

It is amusing to have in the amendment anything relating to the cost of the necessaries of life, after the arguments put forward by the opposition objecting to the proposals to retain controls on certain products for a further period and the dogged determination with which the Progressive Conservative part>

fought against them.

The subamendment also shows a lack of consistency when each day members of the C.C.F. party are pressing for more social security, such as increased old age pensions, health insurance and other social benefits, which, they must know, cannot be obtmned without the people being taxed for them.

I am in favour of a much larger increase in old age pensions, particularly for those who have no one on whom they can depend for any help, because the present pension is utterly inadequate. There are also the blind to whom we must give the utmost consideration. There are mothers with helpless children who cannot care for themselves, and the mothers, not being eligible for the old age pension and being unable to do any work for the support of their children, must depend on charity. Yet I must say that today I am alarmed when I think of the many young people who are well able to care for their parents who endeavour to cast the full burden of their responsibility upon the state. If the opinions of some people prevailed they would make of us a nation of leeches. We have in Nova Scotia a statute which compels children to look after and support their parents and those who necessarily would be dependent on them for support.

I am in favour of lowering the age limit for the old age pension and I should also like to see a contributory old age pension scheme introduced with contributions being assessed against the worker whenever he or she became regularly employed.

There is one tax which is not being cancelled, one about which most if not all the members of the house have received letters, and that is the tax on soft drinks. I think it would be well for the Minister of Finance to consider the removal of this tax as speedily as possible.

Another matter I would urge upon the government is that of continuing the services afforded veterans on Cape Breton island by the D.V.A. hospital at Westmount, not only as a matter of convenience to the veterans, but also to save transportation costs to the government.

I have listened to the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis), who has always been an apostle of gloom, discussing labour conditions in Nova Scotia. With his views I seldom agree, but I am in agreement with his views on the unemployment situation now obtaining in Nova Scotia. Before the outbreak of war there were many young men who were unable to obtain work and who enlisted in the armed forces. Since they were not employed before the outbreak of war, the coal and steel companies were not obliged to hire them, so that they have returned to their native heath and can find nothing to do unless they leave the county. I cannot blame any government for this state of affairs, because we have no industries in the county where they may receive work and the government is not engaged in industry.

The hon. member for Cape Breton South spoke of the many corporations which had left Nova Scotia to locate in central Canada, but surely this cannot be laid at the feet of any government. Rather I think the people who were engaged in these particular industries are to blame, because they found that, by selling out their shares in such industries they were obtaining sufficient remuneration to make the sale attractive and did not consider the welfare of their fellow citizens. I do not wish to see our boys and girls leave our shores and go to other provinces to earn a livelihood, and I think it is about time that some of our business men came to a realization. of the necessity of establishing some industries in our province to keep our boys and girls at home.

When one realizes the amount of money that was subscribed to the various victory

The Budget-Mr. MacLean

loans by the people of our island during the war years, I think it is about time that some of the leading men on our boards of trade should look into the matter and start some manufacturing industries, so as to help our unemployed obtain work at home. The idea of helping their fellow men should be more of an incentive than the immediate receipt of dividends. But we want some leadership in our unions today, and management and men should endeavour to cooperate in the best interests of all, rather than, as at present, regard each other as enemies.

In Nova Scotia at present we have a coal strike on our hands, and while I do not agree with the method adopted in voting on this strike, yet the government commissioner has stated that the men are entitled to $1.40 more a day. How is this increase to be obtained? Well, in one of three ways or in a combination of the three: (1) an increase in the output per man; (2) an increase in the price per ton of coal; (3) a subsidy from the government. I am glad to know that the trouble is about settled, although I do not know whether a vote has yet been taken by the men. It is primarily a matter for the local government, the company, and the union; but I am glad that the federal government, through its Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) and the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply (Mr. Howe), have endeavoured to bring about a settlement.

The government should immediately undertake some essential public works to help relieve the unemployment. One project which has been discussed both in this house and outside it for many years is the construction of a bridge or causeway over the strait of Canso. I have heard of that for many years, but nothing has been done. I feel sure that such an undertaking would meet with the approval of all the members of this house and would provide employment for many men over a period of several years. I have on the order paper a resolution proposing that adequate provision be made for our fishermen, such as wharves and other matters directly concerned with fishing and lumber operations; but since I am mentioning these matters tonight, I shall drop the resolution when the time comes.

Some of these projects I have mentioned are now under way, but there are one or two in which I am deeply interested. One is the construction of a modern wharf in the town of North Sydney, so that the large boats coming to that port may have adequate docking facilities. No such accommodation exists at the present time. We have many large trawlers, French, Spanish and others, visiting this port and taking on supplies, and I am told

that each of these boats leaves in that port about $75,000 a year, consisting of payments for food, clothing, oil fuel, coal and necessary repairs. If repairs are required the men making them must work under the handicap of going out in the stream to do the work.

In the town of Baddeck, from which considerable lumber is exported to the United Kingdom, an addition to the wharf is urgently ' requested to enable these large boats to load, instead of this lumber having to be shipped by rail and taken on at another port, thus increasing the costs to a considerable extent.

The fishermen at North Sydney and Little Bras d'Or are continually requesting that some necessary dredging be undertaken so as to enable them to land their catches on the wharf, instead of having to load them in dories and then unload again at the cold storage plants, thus causing a handling of the catch twice. As you know, sir, this double handling does not improve the fish, so I would impress upon the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier) to consider these matters at the earliest possible moment in order to bring about a more satisfactory condition than at present obtains.

When we look at conditions in the world, I stop and wonder where we are going and when this chaotic condition will end. Of one thing I am finally convinced. It is this: We have departed so far from the fundamentals of the Christian faith that we are, as General Smuts once said, "milling around like lost sheep without a shepherd." The church, which through the ages has been the greatest force in the world to make men think of the right and best interests of their fellow beings, in many instances has drifted and is still drifting from the truth. It used to be as a great lighthouse to guide us and show us the path to follow to arrive in a safe haven, but I am afraid this light has been hidden to no small extent by the fogs of heresy and unbelief so that many have lost their way. We have sent men to universities abroad for a higher education; they have come back to occupy our pulpits and have taught doctrines which they imbibed from atheistic professors; and, instead of receiving the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in interpreting the word, they are polluting the minds of their congregations with these false doctrines learned in some of these colleges.

I am reminded of one instance in Nova Scotia, in the particular denomination to which I belong, where a young clergyman was ordered to recant or get out of the church. For what reason? Was he teaching false doctrine? No; but because he was telling truths

The Budget-Mr. MacLean

that apparently did not suit the religious convictions of some, particularly the one who presided at his trial.

I cut a clipping from the Globe and Mail on Saturday in which I noticed an advertisement of the services of a United church in Toronto, and at 7 p.m. it reads "Third of a political series-speaker"-I will not mention any names. The subject was, "The Future of the C.C.F. in Canada"; and in the same advertisement-May 18, a Conservative member, presenting Progressive Conservative views.

Mr. Speaker, do you wonder if the judgment of heaven was visited upon us, when the church, dedicated to Almighty God for the saving of the souls of men, should be used for political propaganda? I do not know if any Liberals have taken part in the desecration of the House of God, but I trust not. There are other days of the week and other places where this propaganda may be carried on.

We in Nova Scotia had quite a barrage last fall. After this house adjourned, we had a number of prominent political visitors in Nova Scotia. The first was the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), who came down when the steel strike was about over; and I may say, if correctly reported in the press, he brought no soothing balm to help in the difficult situation with which we were faced, but his speech had the same tendency to settle the trouble as the pouring of gasoline would have in quenching a flame. Then we had a visit, from the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken). Later the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. Macdonnell) came down to see us. Then we had the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis), whose chief contribution was a eulogy of the hon. member for Cape Breton South. Then who think you came next? No less a personage than one Tim Buck, and in my home town we had a visit from the hon. member for Cape Breton South, who told our people of the wonderful contribution his party was making to the progress of government in this country. He stated how they arranged to speak in relays to hinder the progress of the business of this house and how they had succeeded so that the session continued until the last of August. Now, Mr. Speaker, was this not a notable contribution to responsible government?

We have listened day after day to certain hon. members advocating certain social measures for the alleviation of the ills of humanity, and they have laid great stress on the subject of social security. But I believe that their objectives will never be attained in

this life, that social security, as they term it, will never be secured until we are covered by six feet of soil.

We have listened to certain hon. members talk incessantly about these measures by which they hope to attain in this world all the blessings that are promised to those who 'observe the laws as ordained by higher authority. They wish to provide, by legislation, something that can be obtained only by compliance with these laws, and I should like to quote three promises given in the days long ago: first, the promise to Joshua which stated that, if he observed all the laws and turned not aside, he would make his way prosperous and would have good success. Later there was the Psalmist of Israel who said, "I was a young man and now am old and yet never have I seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread". Later there was the one Infallible Authority who stated that we should take no thought for the morrow, what we should eat, or drink, or wherewithal we shall be clothed, that our Heavenly Father knew we had need of these things; but attached to this promise there was a condition precedent that we should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things would be added unto us. We are not following these principles today, rather the reverse. If we were, many of the worries that trouble us would disappear overnight.

Strange to say, many of the most ardent advocates of all these social legislative measures are those who once taught other doctrines but are now endeavouring to solve life's difficulties 'by the advocacy of measures, placing second things in first place, thus putting their finite judgment against that of the infinite. In other words, they are trying to appease the Almighty by advocating good works, which is one of the characteristics of a troubled conscience when undertaken in substitution for first principles. If we wish to bring about that happy day of which Tennyson wrote when he said:

When the war drums throb no longer and the battle flags are furled,

In the parliament of man, the federation of the world-

-then we must come back to these first principles.

We listen to some of these people using disparaging remarks about their homeland and always pointing to some other better country. Most of these remarks come from the sandwich party over there. To those born beneath our skies who talk thus, I would say that they should be ashamed of their actions. And to those who have come to Canada and have been

The Budget-Mr. Bryce___________

adopted into our family, I would say that it is exceedingly bad form for them to engage in such criticism.

The member for Gloucester a few evenings ago quoted a short poem in which the words Canada and home were mentioned. I was reminded of a lecturer I heard some years ago, whose name I have long since forgotten, but the words I now quote have always been fresh in my memory. He said:

What is England to me? There is not a drop of English blood in my veins. What is Scotland to me, though my mother came from the land of the heath and the heather? What is Ireland to me, though my father came from that gem of the ocean and loved it with that patriotic ardor that every Irishman has for his native land? I am a Canadian, born beneath Canadian skies, educated in Canadian schools. I love this Canada as I do no other country, and it is my home.

To me, Canada, is the one country, above all others, I love. We have more freedom, happiness and contentment here than in any other country I know of. It is my home and I am proud of it. May I, in closing, quote the words of Montgomery:

Home

There is a land of every land the pride,

Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside, Where brighter suns dispense serener light, And milder moons emparadise the night,

A land of beauty, virtue, valour, truth, Time-tutored age, and love exalted youth,

The wandering mariner, whose eye explores The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting shores, _

Views not a realm so bountiful and fair Nor breathes the spirit of a purer air;

In every clime, the magnet of his soul, Touched by remembrance, trembles to that pole;

For in this land of Heaven's peculiar grace The heritage of Nature's noblest race.

There is a spot of earth supremely blest,

A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest. Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found?

Art thou a man, a patriot? Look around,

O thou shalt find, howe'er thy footsteps roam, That land thy country, and that spot thy home.

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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. WILLIAM BRYCE (Selkirk):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in this debate which has been going on for two weeks, it is pretty hard to talk about something which has not already been mentioned. Along with other hon. members. I should like to congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) on bringing down his first budget. While it gave considerable joy to his supporters on the other side of the house, I am sorry to say that I was disappointed. I realize that the Minister of Finance who will bring down a budget giving the most social security to the people and who will collect the least taxes will be the most popular man who ever

sat in the House of Commons. I also realize that the government-either this one or the one that follows it-that can produce a minister of finance who will do that, will be the one that will stay in power.

I do not wish to labour any of the points which have been raised by the other speakers, but I have had many letters from the constituency of Selkirk asking that I appeal to the government for the removal of the tax on soft drinks, which a great many members have referred to as a nuisance tax. I might say that most of the letters I have received with regard to that tax were from schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, who have the responsibility of the young people. I regret that the minister has not seen fit to do something regarding the removal of that tax.

I have also had considerable correspondence regarding the twenty-five per cent luxury tax.

I think the time has come when such things as wedding rings, cutlery, watches and alarm clocks should not be termed "luxuries", inasmuch as they are used by the average family.

I had hoped that the minister would have seen fit to revise this list.

Much has been said by previous speakers regarding the exemption levels. I still feel, as I felt last year, that these exemptions should have been raised to at least $1,000 for single men and women and $2,000 for married people. While speaking about income tax, I wish to say that I am very much disappointed that something has not been done with respect to the family unit, more especially on the farms. Of course I realize that there are family units other than the farmer's, but might I take the farmer's unit as an example to show how unreasonable the present situation is. In the interlake country, which is in the constituency of Selkirk, where mixed farming and dairying are carried on extensively, the production of the necessities in the food line other than wheat is the main source of income. Let me take the production of butter, for instance. This is a good example, because the cream has to be shipped to the local creamery to be made into butter, and in order to produce this commodity, the farmer, the farmer's wife and the farmer's family all participate in its production. In the busy seasons of the spring and fall, this work is carried on entirely by the farmer's wife and family, as the farmer is too busy with seeding operations in the spring and harvesting in the fall. Surely it is only reasonable to expect that when the farmer's income has been produced by himself, his wife and family, it should be taken into consideration as a unit and not as the earnings of one man. When this matter was brought up in the house before, the present Minister of Justice (Mr. Ilsley), who

The Budget-Mr. Bryce

was then Minister of Finance, stated that he would have to apply this concession to other groups if it were granted to the farmer. Well, if the farmer is receiving an injustice, then the other person employing his family is receiving an injustice too, and both injustices should be corrected.

At the present time we in this country are in need of butter and pork, and I am going to make another suggestion which I have made on a previous occasion. It is this. When the government plan their programme, and such things in short supply as butter and pork are needed to fill our quotas to the domestic market or the overseas market, would it not be possible and sensible at the same time to do away with the payment of income tax on these items for certain periods in order to encourage their production, so that we could maintain these markets? The producer of cream and the producer of hogs can be compared to the industrial worker who works overtime. He is reluctant to work four hours overtime knowing that he has to give perhaps one-third or one-quartex of his earnings back to the Minister of Finance. The same thing applies to the farmer today. He milks cows before he starts his work in the morning and he milks cows when he has finished his day's work at night. The feeding of hogs is done before and after the day's work. Then, when computing his income tax he finds that by doing his work in this fashion, which is equivalent to overtime for him, perhaps one-third of his earnings is taken away by the Minister of Finance. I am sure that if the tax were taken off such things as butter, hogs-and I give those just as an example-and other products in short supply, for a year at a time or perhaps two years, we would have ample production to relieve the tremendous shortage in the world today. Perhaps it is not the income tax which the farmer has had to pay or will have to pay that he resents so much as it is the idea of working sixteen hours a day and then having to pay the extra earned income back to the Minister of Finance by way of income tax. The suggestion I have made would, I am sure, give the desired result. We would have increased production of the things we need, and the farmer would be satisfied that he was not the victim of unfair taxation.

I know, Mr. Speaker, that you would rule me out of order should I attempt to discuss old age pensions, so I am refraining from doing so. The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) has on the order paper a resolution, which is found at page 352 of Votes and Proceedings and reads as follows:

That it is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the Old Age Pensions Act which will enlarge the scope ot the act by providing in-, creases in the pension payable and the income allowable to pensioners and by modifying certain of the eligibility requirements for pension.

I welcome his intentions and hope that he will do most of the things which I have been asking for since I came to the house. I should also like to see the government take into consideration the plight of the blind people. They should have their pensions raised because of the high cost of living.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

The government is taking that into consideration.

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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. BRYCE:

I have great confidence in the Minister of National Health and Welfare; and if he does not come through with what I expect, I shall be greatly disappointed.

I have also had many requests from my constituency, which has a large fishing industry, that the Fisheries Prices Support Act be put into operation to give protection to these fishermen, since the price of fish has been falling, while, with the removal of controls, the price of equipment and gear and the costs of the fishermen have been increasing. If this board could be put into operation to establish a floor, it would give the fishermen some degree of protection.

The farmers who started out to seed this spring were somewhat alarmed to find that the ceilings had been taken off gasoline and tractor distillate, which meant that the prices of these commodities would be completely under the control of the new firms handling gasoline and oil products. I supported the wheat agreement, not because it established a parity price, which it did not, but because it placed a floor below which the price of wheat could not go, and gave a guaranteed price over a number of years. Farmers generally agreed to this price, assuming, of course, that the government would place a ceiling on the things the farmer had to buy, so that his cost of production would leave him some margin of safety. From the events of the last two months, however, it would seem that controls will be taken off most commodities but will remain on a large proportion of the things the farmers produce. As a matter of fact, many controls are being taken off which I should have liked to see kept on for some time yet, especially those controls which would tend to give the farmer and worker some stability. The Canadian housewife also notices how different manufacturers have produced articles of lower quality. Those who profit most from the removal of controls today are the manufacturers and the privileged groups. The

The Budget-Mr. Bryce

Canadian. Manufacturers' Association, which met in Toronto on January 28 last, unanimously demanded that all controls be removed. A number of agricultural and and labour conferences have taken place since that time. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian Congress of Labour, consumer organizations, the United Farmers of Canada and other groups have urged the maintenance of controls in the interests of both the Canadian producer and the Canadian consumer. If the government is to meet the desires of a large majority of the Canadian people, the office workers, the industrial workers, the fishermen and the farmers, the necessary ceilings will be maintained.

With regard to the first two groups I mentioned, the office workers and the industrial workers, they find that prices of clothes, shoes and food have advanced considerably, and the removal of subsidies has also helped reduce their standard of living, causing considerable hardship in both large and small families. The fisherman has the same problems and, in addition, the ceilings have been taken off the materials that go into the manufacture of his nets and gear. While these things now cost him so much more, he is receiving less for his fish. The farmer is alarmed and annoyed at the removal of price ceilings on gasoline, tractor distillate and binder twine. If the government would listen to the people to whom I have referred they would not remove these ceilings; for it will be seen by a review of the situation that when the government removes controls it does not mean that our economy is free, but merely that we go under the control of those who produce the things we require. When farmers' costs rise, and, later, prices of farm produce rise, then these foods cost the consumer more. The result is a rising cost of living and a lower standard of living for the consumer who has to purchase the goods.

I do not wish to be critical of the speech of the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. Macdonnell), whom I saw in the chamber a few moments ago but who apparently has stepped out for a moment; however, his remarks in regard to interest seemed to annoy me more than I can explain. I should like to quote at some length from the speech of the hon. member, so that no one may say I have misquoted or misunderstood him. At page 2803 of Hansard for May 6, 1947, the hon. member said:

Fifty years ago the man who retired with a modest competency could get five or six per cent on it and he could reckon on living the rest of

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S3166-215


his life upon the proceeds. What happens today when he receives three per cent? And he is lucky if he gets that. I believe that when we are considering this matter of the low interest rate policy-and I know it is difficult, though it is attractive from the government's point of view-when, I say, we are considering this low interest rate policy I suggest that this very important factor be taken into consideration-it is very important indeed-that there are large elements in the community who are suffering greatly by that policy. One other thing I would like to say in this connection. I would ask whether we can go on freeing other things and leaving the rate of interest tied down tight. Personally I very much doubt it and I think it is a matter worthy of the most serious consideration. Personally I have always thought money should be lent by branches of the Bank of Canada to the man or woman who needed it for developing the resources of this country, at a service charge. I do not know enough about finance to know just what the percentage should be, but my hon. friend speaks of it being quite easy in the old days to get five and six per cent. I can assure you. Mr. Speaker, and hon. members that when I came to the west, which was only thirty years ago, it was quite common to ask farmers to pay eight per cent on mortgages. Excessive interest and compound interest have caused farmers and home owners more grief and disappointment than anything else I know of. Had our soldier settlers of the first war who still do not own their farms been lent money at a service charge, instead of at five or six per cent, I am sure they would have had their farms paid for by now. I do not want to labour this point, but in my thirty years in Canada I have seen many people ruined by a high rate of interest. Might I give one instance, that of a man I ran across when I was president of the Manitoba federation of agriculture. I need not give his name, but any hon. gentleman who wants it may have it from me privately. This man came to me with his problem. In 1909 he bought a farm on which there was an outstanding mortgage of $9,300. In 1939, twenty-hine years later, he still owed $3,100 on the farm. During that time he had paid to the mortgage company $29,000. He had receipts for that amount. Here is a man who, for a period of twenty-nine years, paid $1,000 every year. He was paying eight per cent interest, and had it reduced to six per cent in 1937. Here we have an instance of a man who, over a period of twenty-nine years, paid $29,000 to the mortgage company which held the mortgage on his farm. This man reared his family, he sent two boys overseas; he is seventy-one years of age now and still owes $3,100 on his farm. I have seen many cases of this kind, but I shall


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The Budget-Mr. Bryce



not put any more on the record. I wish only to show that this sort of thing does exist in western Canada. A few years ago in Winnipeg I sat in on a debt conference with the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken), when men of this type were referred to as misfits in agriculture. They said these men were misfits-men who were able to pay their taxes, to rear their families and, as in the instance I have described, to pay $1,000 a year to a mortgage company. Men like this are not misfits in agriculture; they are slaves to agriculture; or, should I say, they are slaves to the mortgage companies which finance them. We have heard hon. members in different parts of the house refer to the good financial standing of farmers in the prairie provinces who have been able to reduce their debts. But do not let us forget the sacrifices the men and women of this country made when their sons went overseas to win the war. During the war we had controlled prices and guaranteed prices. That is the only time since the last war that the farmer ever came near getting his fair share of the national income. It is a disgrace to think we have to have a war to permit men, such as those I have described, to get enough money to clear off the debts they have been struggling for thirty years to liquidate. I hope the day will come when men and women with ambition and a pioneering spirit who set out to buy their own farms, or couples who want to build their own homes, will be able to borrow money at a service charge, instead of under the present system, as a result of which men and women spend the best part of their lives working for mortgage companies which do not do anything to earn the interest paid to them. I am sorry the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) is not in his seat tonight. However I would again appeal to him to give some consideration to the establishment of a board of live stock commissioners. I have done this before, as have many other hon. members. It is something that organized farmers across Canada have asked for; but they have been turned down for different reasons. Now that the war is over and we are getting back to more normal conditions I think it would be only right and proper for the government to give this matter some consideration. I remember some considerable time ago when it was discussed the minister defended it by saying that it was difficult to find money for such a board. When I spoke on this subject in the house on the last occasion I suggested that it would be a board similar to the board of grain commissioners. When the fMr. Bryce.1 minister replied he pointed out the question of the constitutional validity of legislation setting up such a board, because there had been doubts cast on the legality of the board of grain commissioners, and it was suggested that a board of live stock commissioners would be more open to criticism. But if that should be so-and I am sure the minister has given it consideration-the British North America Act should be altered, or amendments brought in to make it possible for the government to set up a board of live stock commissioners. Perhaps the editorial in the Western Producer of November 1, 1945, sums up the situation very well, when it states: Owing to the complexity of modern society as compared with the society of 1867 it is becoming more and more difficult to adjust with efficiency our economic, social and political relations within the conceptions of 1867, plus decisions of the judicial committee of the privy council. Because of an archaic constitution and these decisions it appears that as the Sirois commission reported, nobody knows how to draft an adequate and valid dominion marketing act. But we have to make up our minds as to what we want. Do we want to retain a constitution and a set of relations which make it increasingly difficult to adapt our social relations to modern ideas and the demands of modern conditions or do we want to keep these relations more or less parochially confined? Are we to expand the circle of social activities or keep it stationary? It is objected that the suggested changes lead to a greater centralization of political power, which in its turn is a menace to liberty. The changes asked for, however, are required for the purpose of expanding liberty by increasing the power of the individual in improving his economic condition. We must of course realize that there is a risk; but it can be maintained that the gain considerably more than offsets the risk. Care should be taken that organization does not run to arbitrary regimentation, but it can no longer be denied that we must learn to build our civilization or soon there will be no civilization. And this means that we must learn how effectively to organize the marketing of all our farm produce so as to take all the exploitation out of it and make it of benefit to producers and consumers alike, no matter what constitutions may say and obsolescent institutions do. It can be done because there is no real obstacle to it in this democratic country except the will of the people. If we want it strongly enough we can get it. I do not want to use the board of grain commissioners as an example any longer, but might I just draw hon. members' attention to this, that the demand by the grain producers for a neutral board was met by the establishment of the board of grain commissioners, and although there were objections to the establishment of it, now that it has been in operation for a number of years, I am sure everyone agrees that it serves a good and useful purpose. In advancing the argument for a board of live stock commissioners, I would say the The Budget-Mr. Bryce very same argument applies in connection with live stock to an even greater degree inasmuch as grain is a non-perishable product and samples can be retained to a greater extent than in the case of live stock products. In the case of grading grain, the grades carry right through to the miller, with the same grades prevailing from producer to manufacturer; but in the case of live stock, the grades the animals are sold on are quite different from the grades the consumer buys. The grade at which the packer buys the hogs from the farmer is entirely different from the grade the packer supplies to the meat board for shipment overseas, and while the meat board controls the quality and grades of the export market, they do not have anything to do with the product going into the domestic market. Surely the time has come when there should be a neutral board to regulate this business and a board of live stock commissioners would be the right and proper thing for the purpose of regulating, controlling, assembling, transporting, grading, marketing and exporting of live stock and live stock products. As years go on, there are fewer cattle and hogs being delivered to the stockyards across Canada. More live stock is being delivered directly to the packing plants. Perhaps this has been caused by the increase in transportation by truck. There has been a pronounced trend in Canada toward larger business organizations, and in many cases toward monopolistic enterprise. * The meat packing industry, as well as other distributing organizations, have in general followed this trend, and a large part of the purchasing of western live stock is represented by the purchases of three or four packing concerns. Concentration of buying in the hands of a relatively few firms creates a condition of imperfect competition, because markets may be unduly affected by the operation of one or all of these large buyers. The concentration in the buying of live stock has been accompanied by a weakening of the position of the producer as a marketer. The protection which the producer had in the public market has now practically disappeared. It is my view that the position with respect to the marketing of live stock is simply that buying is now concentrated in a relatively few hands and selling is largely disorganized and ineffective. Under these conditions we cannot expect adequate protection of the producer's interest, nor do I expect those conditions which will make for a sound live stock industry in this country. Two complaints are brought against the method of marketing: first, it is claimed that 83166-215^ the packers buy live stock from truckers at less than the stockyards' price. The packer has complete freedom of grading when buying direct. In addition, direct purchases are made on an off-car basis, while in the stockyards animals are fed and watered before being sold. Second, it is argued that the weakening of the stockyards' system by direct sales is detrimental to the producer. This seems a reasonable argument. Elimination of the central competitive market would probably put producers at a considerable disadvantage in selling to the few large buyers. About ten years ago a royal commission was set up to investigate price spreads. The commission went into many phases of the live stock industry and the report makes interesting reading. It investigated the production, collection, processing and rharketing of all live stock products. The findings of the commission were definite and given in detail. I suggest to hon. members that they look up that report. [DOT] The conditions we had then are now returning and with different boards set up under the War Measures Act, which will no doubt be discontinued in the future, the time is opportune for the government to do something about this matter. To have a healthy live stock industry, it will be necessary to have the confidence of all Canadian live stock producers, and there is no better way of maintaining the fertility of our soil than by a large live stock population. With a gradual return to normal conditions, farmers will again resort to the feeding of more coarse grains and: then market the live stock. The estimated value of all live stock marketed for slaughter is $346 million for 1946, which is a tremendous volume of business. Hogs, which have helped to swell this amount,, are now entirely sold on grade, which means; that the farmer brings them to the packer and takes what the packer gives him. What I mean by that is that he gets the standard price of that day, but if he is dissatisfied with the grade, he has no appeal. The system of the meat board has encouraged this as far as cattle are concerned, because the meat board does not deal with live stock on the hoof; to get the protection of the meat board, you must have your live stock graded on the rail. I feel quite sure that the grading of live stock on the rail, as advocated by some people, would be more popular today if it were not so definitely in the hands of the packer and the producer could have some neutral body to appeal to in the case of a complaint. Another point that could be taken care of by a board of live stock commissioners is that The Budget-Mr. Fontaine



of condemnation insurance. This has been going on for a long time, and while no one begrudges paying fifty cents an animal, or half of one per cent, to insure his animal against condemnation, control of this insurance being left entirely in the hands of the packing industry has been a bone of contention with the farmer for many years. If this were brought under the jurisdiction of a neutral body, such as I have advocated, and an audited statement put in the papers as to the actual condemnation insurance collected by the different packing plants across the dominion, it would give some assurance and satisfaction to the farmer as to how this money is being applied. It seems strange to the farmer or producer that T.B. free areas have been set up over parts of the Dominion of Canada with wonderful results, but we are still paying the same condemnation insurance as we did in 1910. In closing, might I assure the hon. members that I could go into great detail regarding a board of live stock commissioners, but it has been so often put on the records of this house, not only by myself, but by members of all political parties that asking for a board of live stock commissioners is not political; it is something that 400.000 farmers across the Dominion of Canada have asked for. Surely if they ask for this it is worthy of consideration by the government, and I, in closing, appeal to the minister to give this further -consideration. As far as being legal is con-[DOT]cerned, I know this government, or any other government that may follow it, has enough brains, or at least enough lawyers, in the various departments, to set up a board of live stock commissioners that will comply, not -only with the legal requirements of the provinces and the dominion, but with the British North America Act as well.


LIB
LIB
LIB

Joseph Louis Rosario Fontaine

Liberal

Mr. FONTAINE:

I therefore ask the Right Hon. the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) to consider including in his departmental estimates items amounting to S5,000 for class A exhibitions and $4,000 for class B exhibitions.

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LIB
LIB

Joseph Louis Rosario Fontaine

Liberal

Mr. FONTAINE:

The grants could be applied, according to the society's needs, to the payment of prizes, land improvements and the erection of buildings required by the organization. As a representative of a farming constituency, I strongly recommend the payment of subsidies of this nature, which, in my view, are calculated to foster and promote the breeding of thoroughbred stock, not only in the province of Quebec but throughout Canada. The government would thus give concrete evidence of its interest in the farming community.

Before concluding these remarks on behalf of our farming population, I must thank the government for granting farmers, last session, the privilege of spreading income over a three year period in the computation of income tax. I was glad to support this proposal in the best interests of the farmers of my own constituency. I also warmly supported the government's generous attitude on the taxation of co-operatives. We have quite a number of them in my part of the country and I am sure that the government's attitude towards them will greatly contribute to their advancement and progress.

Mr. Speaker, I also feel it my duty to tender my sincere congratulations to the Hon. the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) for the splendid budget he has brought down. Like his predecessor, now Minister of Justice (Mr. Usley), the present Minister of Finance

has shown his concern for all classes of Canadian citizens, especially in the lower income brackets. In the best interests of both our urban and rural wage-earners, I shall give my utmost support to the budget now before the house, because of this very generosity of the Minister of Finance towards our low-income groups.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Joseph Louis Rosario Fontaine

Liberal

Mr. FONTAINE:

The proposed higher exemptions on lower salaries take into account the earned salary and the dependents of our family men. Our country has just emerged from a costly war and our greatest economists themselves are astounded to realize how far we have progressed in returning to a stable peacetime economy. It is proof that the management of our national affairs is in excellent hands when, these results being apparent, the government is in a position to introduce such a favourable budget as the present one.

Mr. Speaker, it is imperative here to indicate that, our country is also far advanced on the road to reconversion and the time has come to apply ourselves to the task of building for peace. I have in mind, at this time, the post-war reconstruction programme of which we have been told so much in the many years just passed.

In my constituency, there is a whole series of public works that should be carried out. I shall mention just a few, because I do not choose to list once more the numerous requests I have had the honour of forwarding to the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier). First of all, there is a dyke to be built at St. Hyacinthe; at St. Damase, Acton Vale and in Notre Dame parish, main sewers need to be installed. While I am speaking of requests. I might as well say that post office buildings are required in St. Pie and St. Cesaire parishes. I know that in connection with some of these public works of a municipal character the delay is due to a voluntary and obstinate lack of cooperation on the part of the provincial government.

Our farming class, as producers, and our working class as consumers, have already greatly suffered from the removal of the milk, butter and cheese subsidies. When the federal government handed back to the provinces, who were clamouring for their autonomy, those two administrative responsibilities, we were expecting that our provincial premiers would be anxious to assume their obligations and continue to pay these subsidies which helped to keep production and consumption in a proper balance.

If, for financial reasons, the province of Quebec is unable to assume the payment of

The Budget-Mr. Fontaine

this subsidy, why does the premier refuse the means of doing so, generously offered by the federal government? As a practical farmer, I am in a position to state that, at the present time, the difference between the price of milk sold for consumption and of milk delivered to butter and cheese factories, is far too great. This is why, today, there is a scarcity of butter in the province and in the whole of Canada. I therefore strongly urge, on behalf of my constituents, that the butter and cheese subsidies be restored.

Let us hope that, in the interest of my constituency and of my province in general, the premier of Quebec will soon realize that the welfare of our population must have priority over his own political interests.

I wish also to thank the Hon. the Postmaster General who recently acknowledged the unfair condition of our rural mail carriers and granted an increase on such contracts as were signed before the rise in operating costs. The minister did not hesitate to take this measure of simple justice which was sorely needed by our rural mail carriers. Let him be commended for so doing.

In conclusion, I wish to express my approval of all the social measures brought forth these last few years by the present government, and which have greatly contributed to promote the welfare of our people as a whole. In this respect, it should be sufficient to mention the family allowances. I favour also an increase of the old age pensions as well as all legislation liable to protect our people, and especially our modest and labouring classes, against sickness. I give unqualified support to the resolution presented last year by the hon. member for Terrebonne (Mr. Bertrand) and which appears in his name again this year on the order paper, asking for a pension for crippled and disabled Canadians. The government must not forget that class of our population which heretofore has been insufficiently helped and protected. The Liberal party has to its credit wonderful achievements. Much still remains to be done and the Canadian people place great confidence in this party.

(Text):

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May 22, 1947