February 13, 1948

PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. H. HARRIS (Danforth):

Mr. Speaker, after looking over the geography of Canada, and having something in the backs of our minds which made us think that those who came from Skeena were from a broad and strong part of the country, and would not lend themselves to anything which would not go down very well in the system of those of us who like to think we are strong men of the north, may I say that my conception of Skeena has not been raised very much this evening by the exhibition which I have witnessed, and to which I have listened within the last half hour.

When I think of a loquacious Irish schoolteacher of a decade ago who represented that great constituency in such a charming manner,

{Mr. Green.]

a man who never harmed anymne; then, when I think of the incumbent who immediately preceded the present one, a man who came to this country from Sweden, without a dollar to his name; when I think of his wholesomeness and of the private enterprise in which he took part; -when I think of the example he set to so many who have come to our shores, and how proud we were to know him; and when I think of how we on all sides of the house learned to love him. I must say that tonight I feel let down, after listening to the remarks of the present hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Archibald).

I hope, as he grows a little older, that perhaps he may mature a little. We all do. We do not like to, but we must admit that that maturing does take place. We hope that he will mature, and that he will take a viewpoint of Canada which is much broader than that narrow viewpoint which sets one group of our people against another. I belong to both groups, to the group who work for a living, and to the group who are honoured and privileged to have others working for them-and 1 have working for me several hundred-without strife. I love to know their families and their children, although they have become so numerous that it is not easy to keep track of them.

Yet we have a man rising in his place in (he house and referring to those people as stupid, frustrated little men. I do not hear quite so well now, Mr. Speaker; and when I thought I heard him say that, I thought he was referring to himself. WTe do not want little men-and I do not speak as to stature-* we do not want little men, men small of mind, in this country of ours. Whether they w'eigh 100 or 200 pounds, we want them to be big and broad men; because we have a big country, a broad country, and we are charged by Providence with the responsibility of developing this country for our children. The only ones who can develop it are men who will speak from their hearts and their minds, and will not read into the columns of Hansard theses which perhaps took weeks, or perhaps only a few moments to prepare. I wonder sometimes if those theses are the thoughts of the men who deliver them in the house, or are they the thoughts of others?

Until such time as young men in this honourable house, sir, have something to say which comes from within their own minds, which flows from their breadth of experience, from their reading, from their study, not from some essay handed to them by some outsider, or some outside organization telling them what to say I am wondering if this is really a parlia-

The Address-Mr. J. H. Harris

ment. Is it a parliament, or is it a chamber in which the views of others from outside can be placed on the record?

We are in parliament and, according to my idea of things, we speak for our constituents, and for what they think. And if you cannot say what you think, then I doubt very much whether you have a right to be in this chamber.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Pretty cheap.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

I rise to a point of order. I had thought that, after the generous way in which the Minister of Labour withdrew his remark, we would not have further remarks of that kind tonight. I call Your Honour's attention to Beauchesne's, second edition pages 98 and 99, where we find set out a list of unparliamentary phrases; and we are told that no member will be permitted to say of another that the house has a right to know whether that member meant what he said. We are also told farther down that no member can suggest that another member does not believe a statement he has made. If I interpret correctly what the hon. member for Danforth is now saying, he is casting doubt upon whether or not the hon. member for Skeena was expressing his own thoughts. That is getting pretty close to the line. I shall not make an issue out of it at this time, but perhaps it might be better if the hon. member for Danforth were to get on with his own speech.

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PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

I am very happy to submit to the suggestion of my learned, honoured and reverend friend. Perhaps the words should not have been used. If they are withdrawn I suppose I shall be in order; I suppose it is a case of whether it was good taste to call someone a stupid, frustrated little man. However, I am the last one that would want to say anything that would disturb any hon. member in this chamber. However, when I listen to someone talking about fifty-five cents a quart when he means 55 cents a hundred pounds I begin to wonder whether he is quite sure what a quart of milk is or what a hundred pounds of milk is. That is what led me to think that perhaps he was not just sure of what it was all about.

Let me get to the subject before us, the speech from the throne, the vehicle which permits us to say something on behalf of our constituents, to make our requests, to tell of some of our difficulties. After having had four constituencies during the last two and a half decades, I think at this stage I might be permitted to say something about my own community.

Before doing so, may I express to the government my great disappointment with regard to the speech from the throne. I am thinking of what was in the minds of the Canadian people when it was presented. I am thinking of the words in the speech from the throne, how it bristled with one outstanding feature, the rise in prices and the high cost of living. My next two or three sentences may be out of order, Mr. Speaker, but I pray your indulgence. When the speech from the throne was introduced the committee on the cost of living was not functioning.

The people of Canada, reading this speech from the throne delivered on December 5, were happy that something would be done. By whom? By their elected representatives. The elected representatives hoped that each would have an. opportunity of saying what he would like to say about this matter. However. that hope is gone because we now have this committee set up. On behalf of the Canadian people I wish every success for the committee.

In what I am going to say now, I call to witness one or two of my hon. friends on the other side. The hon. member for Wellington South (Mr. Gladstone) served diligently on a committee day after day and month after month. I wonder what his thoughts are now as to the success of that committee. I wonder what are the thoughts of other hon. members in this chamber who, in days gone by, have served on committees. This committee is simply a stopgap; it is a waste of time. The government waited for something to happen but they were frustrated.

They did not get very far with the department. The staffs of the departments, having been engaged in parliamentary business all their lives, know more than the ordinary member of the House of Commons. Even though members of committees work with great diligence, they are not trained in that particular field. They are unable to match wits with deputy ministers and deputies' deputies and their deputies and their deputies behind them. They have nothing but parliamentary procedure in their blood, and the net result is that this committee will, in my opinion, not be able to give our people the satisfaction they are hoping to get. In the meantime we as members of the house are not able to discharge our responsibility to our people as we would like to discharge it.

What is the cause of some of these difficulties in connection with the austerity program and the loss of exchange and conditions generally? It is the tardiness of the

citizens who are out of pocket $44,000 after an audit, which is the responsibility of this institution, and that they give it consideration in order that we may clear that statement up and be happy about the service which we have been able to render.

I appreciate the opportunity I have had to mention this. I feel a little humble at this time. This is the first time in many years that I have said anything on behalf of my own constituents, and it is the first time in years that I have asked for something on their behalf. I hope that I am one who, when he asks for something, believes he should have it. I say through you, Mr. Speaker, to my hon. friends in the cabinet ajul to those who are responsible in any degree, that anything I have suggested or asked for, I feel I am sound in my request, sound in my judgment; and until such time as they can show reason why they will not acquiesce in these requests, from now until that time, I am determined that some consideration shall be given to the constituency of Danforth.

(Translation):

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. PIERRE GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

Mr. Speaker, you have no doubt noticed, that after a shower, storm-tossed clouds gradually melt away and finally let a sunbeam filter through which sets the human mind at rest. Just now we were caught up in a storm, marked by a shower of epithets, into which the previous speaker rushed fearlessly and, with your help, Mr. Speaker, he managed to restore peace. As he spoke, the clouds vanished, and now that he is through, you will allow the sun which usually follows, to shine once more-tonight in the shape of the beautiful, sweet, noble, delectable French language.

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LIB

Benoît Michaud

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Hear, hear!

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the mover of the address, the hon. member for Lake St. John-Roberval (Mr. Dion) whose eloquence, which flows like a flashing stream, we thoroughly enjoyed. We derived no less enjoyment from the fruit which he described to us with perfect knowledge and as ably as a painter with his brush. I compliment him for having uttered choice and convincing words first toward the house which he was addressing anti for having spoken with the dignity which characterizes

him, and secondly for having spoken convincing words on behalf of those who do him the honour of electing him as their representative in this house. Those who sit here have no doubt recognized the truth of his allegations and noted the moderation with which he views things and, especially, the eloquence of the words by which he expressed his deep gratitude to the people who have done him the honour I mentioned a few moments ago.

I cannot but make a special mention of the seconder of the address, the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Dickey). I listened to him with attention and I especially appreciated what he said in my own language. As we are now going on with the same debate, permit me, Mr. Speaker, to quote the following excerpt from his speech:

Mr. Speaker, my election to this parliament will, I believe, afford me. among other privileges, an exceptional opportunity to appreciate and improve m.v knowledge of fellow citizens whose language I speak with, of course, great difficulty, but among whom, I am happy to say, I have close and valuable friends.

There you have evidence of what broadmindedness is needed to achieve co-operation between the citizens living within the four corners of this wonderful country. I am sure this example will be followed by all those who do not entirely share our views and opinions or who cannot speak our language, so that we may achieve the measure of understanding which we so badly need, which the whole of Canada so deeply needs to remain a great country, to become greater if possible, and to hold the place assigned to it by Providence in the course of past and coming centuries.

The following statement is found in the first paragraph of the speech from the throne:

In many countries, political and social unrest is serious. Failure to agree on peace settlements with Germany and Austria is preventing the recovery of Europe.

No wonder such a situation exists, especially when, in many countries, the powers that be entirely lack good faith and, instead of striving to spread among the nations of the world a spirit of goodwill necessary for an enduring peace, seek rather to promote a dubious philosophy, philosophy they seek to spread the world over, so as to achieve an aim envisioned by the followers of that theory since its inception: to crush under its iron heel humanity which yearns only for peace and mutual understanding.

The Address-Mr. P. Gauthier

We are surprised at the delay in the signing of peace treaties. But such delay is only normal. See what is happening in Europe and in several countries I could mention. After the war, Russia got more in the way of war reparations than was obtained by any other allied country from the nations which fought under the swastika. Russia received larger reparations than some countries which have probably suffered more than she did. Further, not content with accepting, taking, extracting from these countries the amount of money required, Russia bleeds them white, throws their industries out of gear, undermines their culture and, to reward them, tries to spread within their borders the questionable philosophy of communism which I mentioned at the beginning of my speech. Such is the reward bestowed by the hammer and sickle.

Another paragraph of the speech from the throne reads as follows:

In view of the price fixed for the 1948-1949 crop year under the wheat agreement with the United Kingdom, you will be asked to consider a measure to provide for an increase in the initial payment to producers.

If my understanding is correct, this means that we will be asked to pay western wheat growers a certain sum of money because under the British agreement they did not get a fair price for their wheat. The eastern farmers will be good fellows as usual and, through their representatives who will co-operate with the western members, they will compensate those who claim that they have been plundered-strong language, perhaps, but this is how I feel at present. As I say, we shall be good fellows, but I hope that when the time comes to take steps that will benefit our Eastern farmers and workers, those same Western farmers will also be good fellows by asking their representatives to act as we did, and will not hesitate to comfort our farmers with grateful words. The Western farmers will understand that if they sometimes find themselves in a critical position, the Eastern farmers also have to cope with similar difficulties, especially as far as the dairy industry is concerned. In that connection, we hope our farmers will receive the same consideration as Western producers.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hearl

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

The other

day I mentioned a project put forth by an official of the Quebec Department of Agriculture; the same idea has been advocated by the hon. member for The Battlefords (Mr. Campbell) who described it as a wheat or grain bank. I feel it is an apt description and I am pleased to accept it. I hope our Western brothers will support us when we officially request that the Government or the Department of Agriculture help our Eastern farmers, by providing them, all year round, with the grain they do not produce or do not grow in sufficient quantity, so that they will not have to await the freight cars that are often late in arriving, and will not be at the mercy of the Winnipeg Pool, of the Grain Exchange or any other concern.

I quote another paragraph found in the speech from the throne:

You will be asked to consider plans for a low rental housing project for veterans.

This I fully endorse, Mr. Speaker. I feel that our veterans are entitled to every consideration since they risked everything to save democracy and Christianity as well as to prevent national socialist or fascist ideas from taking root in our country. Heaven grant that we be spared the need of resorting to similar methods in order to stop communist ideas from spreading in our country, following the activities we have uncovered and which I shall discuss again later. However, we must think not only of our veterans but of the rest of the population, of all those who are homeless.

At long last, let them build homes for our people. In the province of Quebec, especially, veterans as others, have families of five to ten children or more. What good, therefore, are those tiny postwar houses? Despite the legislation designed to promote harmony between industry and labour and between large and small farm producers, true co-operation will not be achieved among our people unless they are provided with decent shelters for their families. Many of the dwellings built after the war are by far too small for large families. Why not be realistic? Thank God, in the province of Quebec large families are not and will not for a long time yet be things of the past. We are not depending upon immigration to increase our population and, as I said before, we need houses large enough to provide our families with a decent standard of living.

The Address-Mr. P. Gauthier

If the bill passes or when private builders and building concerns are granted housing contracts, I hope that the plans approved by the government will take into account large families which are also to be found in other provinces. They are very numerous in Quebec, but I know they also exist in the other provinces. Such plans should therefore be suitable for all the provinces in this dominion.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

Let me read another paragraph of the speech from the throne:

A measure similar to the one introduced at the last session of parliament to provide more effective machinery for the adjustment of differences between employers and employees will be submitted for your consideration.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, if recrimination on the part of both employers and employees is of the kind we have been hearing tonight, such co-operation is very unlikely to prevail. I am not used to hearing very bitter discussions between industrialists in my county, and I am grateful for it.

My constituency is half-agricultural, halfindustrial. I believe that the agricultural element is the larger of the two, but nevertheless one will find there a mining region which is unfortunately closed down as an aftermath of the war. The quarrying industry is flourishing in two districts, at Riviere-a-Pierre and Saint Marc, whence comes the limestone of which I have spoken. Portneuf has roofing nnd kraft paper industries at Portneuf Station and at Pont Rouge, plus two newsprint plants, one at Saint Raymond, the other at Donna-cona.

We are not used to strikes in my constituency. To my knowledge, we have had but one strike. That lasted one week and was settled to the satisfaction of both parties, as far as I know.

I do not remember any strike ever having taken place at Saint Raymond. There was one at Donnacona, and it lasted only one day. At the present time I may say that the lowest salary paid there, that is to the labourer, is 85 cents per hour. The most perfect co-operation exists between industry and labour. We have but one labour union, the "syndicats catholiques" which, I believe, have more than 800 members. There is perfect agreement between the company's management, civil

cause-I say so with some reluctance but with the knowledge that it is true

because there and church authorities and labour leaders. The company even affords advantages to those workers who wish to join the union. Why does it do so, some one may ask? Simply because before letting any disagreement come to a head, they meet, negotiate and manage to come to terms. Strikes do not occur when things are done that way.

Why do not like conditions always prevail in other parts of this country? Simply be-are people who profit from strikes, who seek to divert workers from their jobs by turning them against their employers, because it fits in with their design-I do not hesitate to say it-their design to foment revolution. That is perhaps premature in Canada; I sincerely hope so, but in other countries, talk of revolution was sometimes thought premature but it burst upon them like a hail-storm.

At Donnacona or anywhere else in my riding, there are no trouble-makers, in other words no communists. That is why we have no strikes. We have people who were not born in our constituency, people who were born in other countries. They are not troublemakers, they are good citizens who get along well with native Canadians. Why? Because they do not entertain dubious philosophies, because they know they have the right to work, and they are not unaware that if they have rights, they also have duties to perform.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear!

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

And, because both employers and employees understand their rights and duties, there is co-operation between them and these good people's sole ambition is to live in peace together and to secure for their families, whether large or small, the necessary food and clothing, the degree of welfare which every human being is entitled to in this world.

That is why strikes are unknown in my district. This condition is due to the full understanding and co-operation which mark industry and labour relations. Tonight I was anxious to pay this tribute to the fine county of Portneuf which I have represented for nearly twenty-one years. There was, it is true, a nine-month gap but I have forgotten it and I have continued to serve those who do me the honour of electing me.

The Address-Mr. P. Gauthier

In the speech from the throne mention is also made of the proposed amendment to the Indian Act. I shall only make a few brief remarks on this subject, and I ask the government to review the situation of Indians in Canada most closely and from all angles. Among other things, I request that in the case of any given area, when a religious denomination has a majority and the establishment of a hospital, or a first aid station is contemplated, the government should at least send to that area physicians, nurses and attendants of the same faith as the majority in the locality. I feel that such a request is only fair.

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LIB

Hervé-Edgar Brunelle

Liberal

Mr. BRUNELLE:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

Mr. Speaker, not long ago it was reported in the press that some immigrants had found their way into this country using spurious passports. The latter, which they had obtained in England, were English passports illegally secured in the name of British subjects born in the British isles; and, with such spurious passports, these illegal immigrants violated this land of ours and well intended to remain here. It is our reasonable right and privilege to ask ourselves what kind of citizens these gentlemen could have become here in Canada. There surely were reasons for their not being able to enter legally; however, I shall not deal with them at length tonight, but I may be given an occasion of discussing them later on, in another debate.

Under the circumstances, it therefore affords me great pleasure to very heartily congratulate the hon. the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Glen) on his firm stand with respect to these immigrants.

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LIB

Benoît Michaud

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Hear, hear!

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER:

And I trust that he will continue-to quote an expression much in use amongst French Canadians-to stand up and resist the influences which will no doubt make themselves felt on behalf of these illegal immigrants, and that he will not rest-no more than we will in fact-until they have gone back where they belong.

Once again I hope that the Minister of Immigration will remain adamant and that the arguments and reasons he has advanced in support of the firm stand he has taken will be accepted by all.

Canada, he says, has provided for the entry of a considerable number of displaced persons

from Europe, of which a large proportion, having been examined and accepted, are patiently waiting for the necessary transport facilities. It would be inconceivable that advantage be taken of these people by a recourse to illegal means. Any other decision would not only be unfair, but would encourage these people to again resort to the same tactics and to benefit financially and otherwise from such illegal ventures.

Again I am not the only one to congratulate the minister. I am sure that the Canadian people will also give him credit for his courage in- taking this attitude which I feel he will preserve until justice has been done in this particular case.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

In fact,

current events justify the minister and his officials for being adamant in the choice of immigrants to whom Canadian citizenship is to be granted.

I have here a picture taken from the Montreal Gazette of February 13, 1948. Am accompanying article tells of the seizure by provincial and city police of certain documents, lottery tickets which show that the communist party is not to be found only in Moscow or in the Cominform, the new organization set up in lieu of the Comintern. Those lottery tickets came from Italy. This picture shows first Tim Buck, of Toronto, leader of the Labour Progressive party, and, just under, one of those lottery tickets, the proceeds of which were to be used) for the consolidation of the Italian republic. Lower down, I read these words which I translate as I go along: "This subscription is in favour of the Italian communist party to promote elections to the national assembly. In spite of my limited knowledge of the Italian language, I can give a literal translation. We are fully justified, Mr. Speaker, in asking that the Immigration Department or division be more adamant in these matters. Those lottery tickets were surely smuggled somehow into Canada. In Montreal, they were distributed in several places. There is evidence that the communist party is supplying funds for the Italian elections next April. Are we not justified in asking the authorities, federal, provincial and municipal to be on the alert and to work untiringly in order to unearth the subversive propaganda with which we are literally swamped in Canada? I am not afraid to

The Address-Mr. Stanfield

speak frankly. Those documents have been seized, but how many more are circulating ini the country and ini our homes.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, that any or all of our government authorities will not stop investigating nor relax their vigilance and thus spare themselves our censure for their guilty weakness and apathy. In 1937, when I mentioned communist activities in this country, all I got was more or less derisive laughter from the house. That happened just a little over ten years ago and yet, today, in Canada, we find a communist party that styles itself labour progressive. What matters, however, is not its name but the fact that it has recognized leaders and is extremely active. I do not claim that we should ban these radicals in order to curb the party's activities in the most effective fashion, but I do contend that we must be well acquainted with the communist theory in order to fight it successfully. For Christians, the best way to oppose communism is to live a Christian life. We must not hesitate, even in public, to show that we are Christians, nor must we refrain from studying this questionable philosophy, for when we have become familiar with it, we shall be better equipped to fight it, the weapon of knowledge being even more effective than that of legislation.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear!

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February 13, 1948