March 9, 1948


On the orders of the day:


PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. L. SMITH (Calgary West):

I have a question to ask the Minister of Fisheries. I have been looking for an opportunity. Are those Winnipeg ciscoes we get in the parliamentary restaurant the same fish as the old Winnipeg goldeye?

The Address-Mr. Nicholson

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT-CISCOES AND WINNIPEG GOLDEYE
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Fisheries):

Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge they are not, but I may say for the information of the hon. member that at the present time plans are under way to tap a prolific source in the west from which to bring in Winnipeg goldeye.

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT-CISCOES AND WINNIPEG GOLDEYE
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GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed from Monday, March 8, consideration of the motion of Mr. J. A. Dion for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session.


PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FULTON:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of order and a question of privilege. Last night when I rose to speak on the address in reply there was some confusion in the chamber and I find that as a result of that con^ fusion the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson) had not realized that the order for the debate on the address had been called. He had moved the adjournment of the debate on Friday night. After waiting for a moment yesterday and seeing that no member rose, I rose to speak on the address. The result is that I have taken the place of the hon. member for Mackenzie, something I had no intention of doing. As he has lost his place as a result of the confusion, I would appreciate it if the house would give unanimous consent for him to take my place in the debate at this time.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I think the house will appreciate the gesture of the hon. member who has taken his seat and will be only too happy to give unanimous consent to repair the effect of the error that was made.

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

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

One point: I hope we are taking into consideration protection for the hon. member for Kamloops as well.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Oh, yes.

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

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. A. M. NICHOLSON (Mackenzie):

I must thank the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) for his generous gesture in permitting me to conclude my remarks. I also appreciate the spirit of the house in granting me unanimous consent to continue, and in view of the fact that this debate has carried on for a long while I will co-operate in bringing my remarks to an end as quickly as possible.

On Friday night I mentioned that my reason for participating in the debate at this stage was to protest against the policy of the government as far as it affected commercial

rentals. It is my opinion that, in view of the fact that a committee is investigating the causes of the rise in the cost of living, it should have studied the whole question of commercial rentals and reached some conclusion as to whether or not the landlords were having difficulty in meeting their commitments and whether the policy should be changed.

I find in the Olobe and Mail of Saturday, March 6, an article as follows:

Fear that small businesses will be injured or destroyed, particularly those launched in recent years ~by ex-servicemen as a result of rent increases and despite the protection of appeal to the courts, was expressed last night by W. Probert, director and past president of the retail merchants association, Toronto division.

I realize that the Minister of Finance mentioned on Friday that P.C. 9029 would still hold, and that consideration would be given cases where rents charged were higher than might be considered reasonable or just. But it will be extremely difficult to decide whether rentals are higher than what might be considered reasonable or just. I want to emphasize further that it will be extremely difficult for the rentals control division of the wartime prices and trade board to deal with complaints that might come to them. On February 3 one of my constituents wrote to me complaining about the prices of food in local stores as compared with the prices in Winnipeg and Saskatoon. The local price for strawberry jam, he said, was $1.15 to $1.20 as compared with 95 cents in Winnipeg and 95 cents in Saskatoon. Canned soups were 12 cents to 17, cents a tin locally as compared with 7 cents to 8 cents in Winnipeg and Saskatoon; Blue Ribbon tea was $1.15 as compared with 85 cents in Winnipeg and Saskatoon; canned milk was 16 cents a tin as compared with 14 cents in Winnipeg and Saskatoon. I brought the matter to the attention of the wartime prices and trade board, and I now have a report. I want to commend the board for dealing with the case so promptly, but a month has elapsed; and if my friend had not written to me by air mail and had not brought the matter to my attention in concise form, it is doubtful if the complaints would have been brought to the-attention of the authorities. The report from the board states that there are eight food stores in the town concerned; and it reads in part as follows:

In store No. 1, 13 items were found to be over, ranging from 1 cent to 5 cents, the 5-cent overage being Clark's mushroom soup, 10-ounce size, which should have sold for 10 cents and which was- priced 15 cents.

Store No. 2- was found to have 9 items over, overages ranging from 1 cent to 5 cents, the 5-cent item being the same -as store No. 1.

5849-128J

The Address-Mr. Nicholson

Store No. 3, was found to have 10 items over, overages ranging from 1 cent to 7 cents.

Store No. 4 revealed 12 items over, ranging from 1 cent to 13l cents.

Store No. 5, 2 items only -were over, both 1 cent.

Store No. 6 had 10 items over, ranging from 1 cent -to 10 cents.

Store No. 7 was found to have 10 items over, ranging from 1 cent to 4 cents.

Store No. 8 had: 22 items over, ranging from 1 cent to 5 cents.

The comments are of interest and are in part as follows:

Our investigator reports that the merchants adopted a rather independent attitude until he pointed out that certain of their merchandise was still under control and that the board held that it was just as serious to violate its orders today as it was at any time during the years of the war. These merchants, either by intent or accident, claimed that they were not completely familiar with what merchandise was still under board control. Out investigator rather came to the conclusion that these merchants generally were taking what the traffic would bear, feeling perhaps that they were a long way from board investigators, more particularly during the winter months.

The investigator expressed the hope that the merchants, after having the matter brought to their attention, would co-operate and bring their prices in line with the prices they should have been charging.

I think hon. members will appreciate the local resentment there is if a person has to pay 15 cents for a commodity that should be selling locally at 10 cents to give the local merchant the necessary spread to cover rent, taxes, wages and all the other items. It will be extremely difficult to check on the individual cases where commercial rents are to be increased across the country. In the United States a year ago there were two interesting hearings in connection with rent control. The senate committee heard a great many witnesses. I should like to mention- particularly some of the evidence given by J. B. Carey, secretary of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. He drew attention to the fact that representatives of the landlords were there and tried to present a case for the removal of these controls, but he reminded the committee of what happened during the ten-day period between July 1 and July 9, when 3,500 rent increases were given and 1,395 eviction notices were reported in Kansas City alone, and three out of ten of these cases showed rent increases of more than fifty per cent. Mr. Carey submitted documentary evidence to show that between 1939 and June 30, 1946, landlords' net operating income from residential rents had gone up from 35 to 40 per cent, but rents from commercials had gone up by 120 per cent.

Before the committee on banking and currency of the house of representatives the late Mayor LaGuardia of New York gave some interesting evidence. He said:

Gentlemen, I want to appeal to -this committee with all the earnestness I can muster to continue rent controls, unhampered and unrestricted, for at least another year . . .

It is absolutely necessary to do three things. One, preference to the veterans must be continued, and I will tell you why in just a moment. Secondly, we should not remove but enlarge the present provisions on priorities and absolutely restrict the use of any building material for any other purpose, except emergency repairs, until 1,500,000 dwelling units will have been constructed. . . .

Why should we have preference for the veterans? I think the gentleman here on the right said there were 14,000,000 veterans. They are the largest group of young families in our country. Most of them were married during the housing shortage. The greater percentage of the veterans' families have never had their own home, and certainly never had a proper, decent, sanitary, cheerful place to live in.

They are becoming discouraged, demoralized. They are splitting up. The birth rate is going down. You cannot ignore these conditions, gentlemen. All the talk of the chambers of commerce and the real estate boards and the landlords is mot going to cure the situation. They are concerned with returns. We are concerned with the happiness of the American family. . . .

I was very much amused by my neighbour, just a moment ago. He asked for a 15 per cent increase. But, he says: "Give the veterans an exemption. It wouldn't apply to them." We would have our veterans sleeping in the park.

Point to one landlord-just one, that is all I ask-who has a choice between a 15 per cent increase from a non-veteran and a 15 per cent less rent from a veteran who would give the preference to the veteran. Show me one. . . .

Gentlemen, did you ever go to a fire? I did. I don't like it, gentlemen. When you walk into a burning tenement and hear the cries of children and people trapped in there, and then you witness their charred bodies being removed -and those are the conditions that exist today in my city, and more so now in every other large city in this country. . . .

Without rent control, gentlemen, the situation will go wild. There will be 15, 20. 25 per cent increases. There will be a shifting of tenants. The evictions will get beyond control and we will reach the stage such as we met in 1932, I think it was, where marshals all over the country could not sell foreclosed farm lands. And any time a situation is created which brings about defiance of law, or resistance to the enforcement of the law, then you have a very serious situation and we must avoid it.

I realize, Mr. Speaker, that it is too late to do anything about the government policy so far as it affects commercial rentals, but I hope it is not too late to appeal to the government to refrain from removing any more of our controls until the committee has studied the problem carefully, and especially to continue domestic rent control until our present housing situation has been alleviated. I realize

The Address-Mr. Fulton

frankly that the present regulations create hardships, but I think that on balance we must agree that the establishing of these controls created a great deal more security than we would have had if there had not been controls. Until we have adequate housing units for all the people in Canada who want them, taking into account the effect that removing controls would have on the cost of living, I think the administration must continue these controls for a longer period.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the members of the house for permitting me to make these few comments.

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

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. E. D. FULTON (Kamloops):

It is not my purpose this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, to debate specific issues of foreign policy, nor is it my place to suggest what should be our policy on specific questions. But as I indicated last night, the reason, that I participate in this debate at this stage is that I feel that the question of foreign policy generally and the situation; confronting the world is so important, so fraught with possible consequences for good or ill, requires positive action on Canada's part to such an extent, that we should request once again that the government make a statement on foreign policy to the house and to the country so that people of Canada and the world at large will know where we stand. What I intend to do, this afternoon is to indicate some of the dangers and disadvantages, inherent in maintaining the present silence, which dictate that we should have a foreign policy known to all the world, and to press again for a statement at an early moment.

The background of events from 1935 to 1939 has already been referred to, and it has been stated that recent events in Europe bear a disturbing, an almost frightening, resemblance to what took place between 1935 and 1939. There is one event particularly which took place in 1935 to which I wish to refer in order to emphasize why that background for events today and the background for events in the past is so similar. It was an event which no Canadian can recall with pride. It took place at Geneva at the time when, the Canadian delegate having espoused the cause of oil sanctions against Italy, that attitude was repudiated by the Canadian government. It has been alleged, and I certainly believe, that this was the beginning of the end of collective security. From there on the smaller free nations of Europe and other continents were picked off one by one. No one believed there was any point in standing together or that any action would be taken to preserve them. There was no collective security. So the scene was laid, the

stage was set for the drama of the aggression and rise to power of Hitler and Mussolini. And because that death knell was sounded then; because the results were so tragic and disastrous, we cannot afford to let history repeat itself and allow the impression to go abroad once more that the countries of the west, the democracies, are not going to act together against aggression.

That immediately raises the question: what, then, is Canada's attitude? What is Canada's policy in the light of these circumstances? In effect, Mr. Speaker, it raises the question directly: has Canada a foreign policy? That is a question which so far the government has not answered. We took pride, and a just pride, in our position as a leader among the middle powers. We achieved that position largely as a result of the efforts made by our armed forces during the war. At that time it was easy to have a foreign policy. Canada's voice was certain and sure, and was understood and respected by all powers, particularly the middle powers. But it is very doubtful if any middle power, particularly, could answer the question which they must be asking themselves at the moment: where does Canada stand? What is Canada's foreign policy? One has only to ask where the countries of South America or such of the democracies of central and western Europe as still survive can find an answer to that question. What will Canada do in any given set of circumstances? Has Canada a foreign policy? Will Canada help? After recent events in Czechoslovakia it is quite certain those countries could not find an answer to that question because our attitude-and this is the great objection to it-looks like the acceptance of a fait accompli. We have made no protest; we have barely even referred to the coup in Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovakian minister in this country has made his protest, one which I think might well evoke some response from Canada. The events now taking place in Europe with respect to Finland and Germany have raised the same question: what is Canada's policy? What is Canada's attitude with respect to those developments?

I should like to make this point, perhaps just in passing. The present government, as a matter of policy, has opposed' any move toward the development of a united commonwealth voice on foreign policy. At the moment I am not prepared to enter into a debate on the merits of that position, but I think that can be stated as a fact. However one may view that fact, unfortunately the government have not taken the other step which they might have been expected to take

The Address-Mr. Fulton

to complete the picture. They have not as yet developed Canada's own voice, or if they have it has not been announced. Canada does not speak with any clear and distinct voice, so we have neither a united commonwealth policy nor a distinctive Canadian foreign policy.

These great unanswered questions, because they are unanswered, mean that Canada's leadership of the middle powers, Canada's opportunity to take a position in world affairs befitting her stature and merited by her sacrifices, is being frittered1 away. This is a fact which is to be deplored, something which makes us bend every effort by persuasion and demand, if you like, upon the government to have steps taken and to have a statement issued to prevent that leadership slipping away to any greater extent.

In connection with the development of Canada's foreign policy, Mr. Speaker, I should like to put forward the suggestion that the voice with which we speak must be the voice of the country. A foreign policy is not or should not be a party question. It is a national question, because upon the success of the foreign policy developed depends the security of the nation, and1 that is the concern of every party, every organization and every citizen of the country. But if that foreign policy must represent and be chosen and supported by all the people, then its scope will be limited by the extent to which the vision of our people is limited. In other words it becomes necessary for the people to be fully informed about foreign affairs, the various issues which confront us, the various views and ideas on foreign policy which may be held by government spokesmen, by opposition spokesmen and others, so that, with these view's put forward clearly and assessed by the people, the people and their representatives in parliament may have an opportunity to arrive at a common foreign policy the success of which will ensure the national security. But it is impossible for the people to have that vision and that understanding of the problems which confront them; it is impossible for us to arrive at the foreign policy best designed to meet the circumstances in which we find ourselves as a nation, unless we have full discussion in parliament. I might point out here that in the case of the other great democracies, certainly in the case of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, their voices have been heard with respect to current events in Europe, and with respect to foreign affairs generally. So far in Canada, however, though this session is now three months old, no opportunity has been provided for a debate on these questions, and

no statement has been made by the government which might perhaps preclude the necessity of a debate by being so clear and so acceptable. Surely the government cannot escape the responsibility for one or other of those alternatives. They must either of their own volition say where they stand, or allow us to have a debate on foreign policy.

I am sure the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent), the house and country feel definitely that Canada has a legitimate claim to a voice in world affairs. The right to that voice arises partly from the fact that Canada has no territorial ambitions. There is no conquest, either economic or physical, which she wishes to make. There is no reason for her trying to play one group against another. So far as impartiality is possible, Canada speaks with the nearest approach to impartiality in respect to international affairs that could be achieved. So for that reason alone, other countries of the world would respect Canada's opinion, and, I believe it is fair to say, would be glad to hear her voice and to heed it.

But there is another reason why Canada is entitled to a place in world affairs, and why it is the inescapable duty of the Canadian government to make its voice known and heard. I refer now to the sacrifice Canada made in two great wars, neither of which was fought on her shores, but rather in Europe. In the first war particularly, there was no direct threat to Canada. As events developed in the second war it became obvious that there would have been a direct threat to our owTn territory had we not acted. But at the commencement of neither conflict was there any reason for Canada to fear physical violence to her territory. So that her participation in those wars arose from a disinterested belief that the right, wherever it is violated, is the concern of the whole world; and that we cannot isolate ourselves from the consequences of wrong, wherever it may be done. With that belief we felt we had to go to war, although no nation could have taken up arms more reluctantly than did Canada. We did take up arms, however, because we believed in the right, and in those things for which we fought.

Having made that sacrifice, are we then to see it frittered away because now, when wrong is being done, we take no action? We do not even raise our voices in protest. If we are content with this neglect, then we disregard the lessons of the recent past, indeed almost of the present, and also we do violence to the memory and the traditions of each of those who fought, and particularly those who died. The life and memory of every Canadian

The Address-Mr. Dionne

who made the supreme sacrifice in either world war cry out to this country and to its people for a declaration that their sacrifices were not in vain; and, if nothing more, for the raising of our voices in protest against the wrongs and injustices being perpetrated on the continent of Europe.

That being so, it is the inescapable duty of the government to speak for the Canadian people; and one which I hope it will accept before the opportunity for it is too late, and before the good which can be done by it is no longer open to us to follow.

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

Ludger Dionne

Liberal

Mr. LUDGER DIONNE (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker, ever since the government abolished subsidies, lifted price ceilings on certain products and suggested definite steps in order to curb certain imports from the United States, they have been subjected to general criticism. Without even stopping to consider the reasons which may have caused them to act as they did, our people have held our legislative authorities responsible for all the trifling daily worries which are the common lot of every one of us.

Frankly I sometimes wonder if my fellow-citizens have not forgotten that Divine Providence has endowed them with intelligence so that they may judge current events according to the dictates of common sense. From the way they are asking what steps the government intends to take to protect their present standard of living and to provide them with what they call their due share of happiness, one would think their voices were the monotonous reproduction of a gramophone recorder. They resent being asked what they themselves intend to do in order to bring about this state of things, this happiness to which they claim they are entitled.

During the war our people used to complain about controls. While a great many were clamouring for the abolition of the same controls, a large portion of our population openly favoured black-market practices against which the government was trying to protect them by means of a nation-wide organization. Officials of this organization invited every Canadian to inform against those guilty of illegal practices. Committees were created in practically all important centres to gather, under the pledge of secrecy, information in connection with such infractions. Offices were opened all over Canada by the wartime prices and trade board in order to proceed against violators of the law.

The majority of our people refused to denounce black-market operators. They preferred to hide them in order to obtain more

easily sugar at $20 a bag, adulterated butter at 60 or 65 cents a pound, nails at $30 a keg, and so forth.

In general the working people refused to do overtime, and even absented themselves in order to avoid additional income tax payments. They spent lavishly, not only for necessities of life but for luxuries. Money spent on liquor in Canada gives us an idea of our people's extravagance. I shall quote the figures regarding our liquor consumption for the years 1939 to 1946 inclusive:

1939 $179,338,373

1940 191,709,976

1941 231,977,246

1942 287,446,107

1943 335,174,259

1944 341,892,135

1945 372,866,288

1946 483,681,678

These figures are based on the price per bottle or per case. We could easily double these amounts by adding the profits on liquor sold by the glass or in blind pigs.

Our people were completely taken by a frenzy of pleasure, which was evidenced by long queues outside liquor stores, theatres and other places of amusement, and it often ended in orgies at night-clubs. During that same period, China, Japan and the whole of Europe were under the iron heel and were subjected to all kinds of privations, and the flower of their youth was being sacrificed on battlefields, among indescribable sufferings.

After the war, while controls and subsidies were still in force, our workers demanded salary increases, holidays with pay, shorter working hours and so forth, which were granted willingly or otherwise. Canadians received in wages, salaries and supplementary labour income a total of $530,000,000 in September. The figure was $13,000,000 higher than for August and $84,000,000 more than in September 1946, according to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. For the first nine months of 1947, labour income amounted to $4,404,000,000 an increase of 18 per cent over the corresponding period of 1946. Our total production was around $12 billion; our labour for twelve months received $5,872,000,000, or nearly fifty per cent of our total production. I mention these figures for the information of those who believe that increase in salaries is insignificant in the cost of the finished products.

In 1947 our imports from the United States amounted to fantastic figures. Automobiles could not be purchased without payment of a bonus ranging from $500 to $1,000. United States imports were at such a premium in the stores, and it was such a problem for dealers to keep their shelves stocked, that Canadians

The Address-Mr. Dionne

crossed the border to buy coveted luxury articles at fancy prices. Such a spending spree is without parallel in the history of the country.

In the meantime the government gained house approval of legislation setting the price of wheat at SI .55 a bushel, thus making it possible for our agricultural classes to produce and feed the people of Canada at reasonable prices while providing producers with a stable market.

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

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

On- a point of order, Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the hon. members for Fraser Valley (Mr. Cruickshank) and Vancouver North (Mr. Sinclair), I think I should make their usual complaint and tell you that the speech is being read by the hon. member. I know I shall get nowhere with that, but I do not think the speech should be read with the hon. member having his back turned squarely towards you, sir.

Mr. CHEVR'IER: That was described as cheap politics the other day.

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

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

This is a new point.

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

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Not at all; it is exactly the same.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would ask the hon. gentleman not to read his speech. Of course he is quoting a lot of figures and I understand has to make reference to his notes.

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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. THATCHER:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, when a member is speaking a language not his own I think some allowance should be made.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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LIB

Ludger Dionne

Liberal

Mr. DIONNE (Beauce):

Recently the

president of the Argentine republic stated that although his country sold its wheat at S5.10 a bushel the farmer's proceeds amounted to only $1.70. It is, I presume, expressly to spare the country from the distressing inflation that has spread all over the world that government restrictions still prevent us from exporting various foodstuffs to the United States. There is no embargo on salmon. Sockeye brings $36 per case in the United States and $25 in Canada.

While protecting those nations that must purchase in order to feed the hungry, the Canadian government is trying, by every means at its disposal, to prevent prices from rising too steeply in this country. When the government, faced with the rising costs of manufactured goods and realizing that the producers who feed our people were entitled to a fair reward for their hard work, decided to remove controls so that the farmers could sell their

products at prices in line with those they have to pay for the manufactured goods they need, everybody in the country starts clamouring hysterically against the high cost of living. Some newspapers hail with screaming headlines the victories scored by trade unions in gaining wage increases, while they storm at the rising cost of living. Looking at this situation dispassionately, one must wonder whether people are not completely out of touch with reality.

I can sense already how some people will react against increased prices of farm products. They will claim that such increases do not benefit the producer but the go-between. How can we hope to deal fairly with the Canadian public by imposing ceiling prices without controlling wages?

In the newspaper La Presse, of Friday, February 20, I read an article announcing the intention of the unions to ask for a forty-hour week and an increase in wages from the contractors. If this request on the part of labour is satisfied, and I would not be surprised to see it go through, it will increase the price of construction and will aggravate the housing situation. How can you expect to induce a labouring man to become the owner of his own house when he can see no end to its costs, which are already exorbitant? Do you think that labour will be happier if they work only forty hours a week? My experience has taught me that happy and satisfied people are only those that work full time. After all, who is the first one penalized by the increase in prices? The labouring man, because he has to buy everything he needs. What is the cause of increasing prices? Unjustified increases in wages, and loss of production. No one can expect to correct this situation by increasing wages and reducing working time.

Let us not forget Sir Stafford Cripps' recent appeal to British workers, begging them not to ask for wage increases if they did not wish their country to go bankrupt and face starvation, and beseeching them to increase production in order to prevent impending ruin.

Glancing at developments in England, let us be realistic. While in Great Britain last April, I stayed at a big hotel where the bill of fare was so meagre that I could not have bread at one meal if I accepted a lettuce leaf as an entree. I did not see milk, butter, eggs, coffee, steak, ham, and more than very little sugar, during my stay over there. Yet I was paying $10 a day for my hotel room. I had to keep on my overcoat and hat because the room was unheated. At that time, English papers were reporting that seventy ships loaded with

The Address-Mr. Dionne

foodstuffs bad been lying at anchor in Glasgow harbour for thirty-nine days while stevedores went on strike.

Have you ever considered what huge quantities of coal, iron, textiles and other products England could ship to us and thus be in a position to feed her people properly? Unfortunately she does not produce enough of them to meet her own needs. Workers' salaries have been raised to the saturation point in so far as the security of the national economy is concerned. Working hours have been reduced and absenteeism is becoming more and more noticeable, besides the fact that strikes are frequent all over the country. To what cause can they be ascribed? To destructive criticism and to reckless promises made to the labouring class. -

Now that England is at the edge of the abyss, things have come to such a pass that the workers are being besought to prevent the country from being thrown into anarchy.

Since I am discussing the hardships suffered in England, why should I not consider what is occurring elsewhere? In France, for instance, where workers had to pay last spring 350 francs for a frugal meal in the restaurant around the corner. In Germany, where all cities except three or four have been demolished in the proportion of sixty-five to ninety per cent, and where the people have to live on United States charity, supplemented by the black market. In Russia, where thirty million people are starving and shelterless, according to the report of Brazil's ambassador Mario Premental Brandao, published in the December 26 issue of the Montreal Star.

In view of this tragic situation, which affects eighty to ninety per cent of the world population, compelling them to do without even the necessaries of life, forcing the majority of the people in war devastated countries to live in cellars, in improvised shelters, if not in the open, I wonder whether we are not defying Providence when we criticize in and out of season. What is to be gained by such sterile and pessimistic criticism? To convince our people they are unhappy, whereas we are living in a garden of Eden compared to the rest of the world.

I remember Mr. R. B. Bennett's election around 1930. Quebec farmers were told then that they were giving away their butter at 30 cents a pound, due, among other things, to poor government administration. What happened? Butter, if I remember rightly, later sold at 15 cents a pound. Real estate was selling at a tenth of its value and at that often found no takers. Is there anybody here who really believes that this campaign of defeatism has really helped this country? Why

do we carry on like this today? Why do we inveigh against the cost of living when we ourselves are primarily to blame for it because of our lenient attitude towards the black market and the activities of the trade unions which operate in a vicious circle? Besides, if we would only stop being the mouthpieces of trouble seekers and show ourselves capable of independent thought, could we conclude that the cost of living could reach such heights without a corresponding rise in revenue?

In the Toronto Worker on January 26 last, we find a passage which is extremely significant in this regard. I quote:

Present cost-of-living index is only about 12 per cent above 1929, the greatest pre-war year in Canadian history. Present wages are about 70 per cent higher than in 1929.

If this is true, and I believe it is, it clearly shows that the main reason for the rise in the cost of living is the rise in wages. If any proof were needed, the building industry would provide it. Standing timber should cost the company who owns it no more than it did several years ago, and yet when it is bought on the market it costs 300 to 400 per cent more today than it did a few years ago. There has been little increase in the price of nails, cement and asphalt shingles, since they are mainly machine made; yet the price of a finished house is prohibitive. It is evident that higher building costs are due to the increase in every class of wages.

On July 12, 1946, speaking in this house, I suggested that the tax be abolished on incomes up to $1,500 in the case of single persons and $3,000 in the case of married people. I advocated making up this loss of revenue by means of a ten per cent tax on the retail price of clothing, home furnishings and automobiles, such tax being collected by affixing a stamp on each article. If a women wanted to buy a dress with a 75 cent stamp sewn inside the lining, she would never agree to pay $10 or $20 for it. The same thing applies to ladies' hats, which contain about one or two dollars worth of material but retail at $10 to $15, or even more. Such a measure would afford protection to the buyers against any unfair advantage taken by dishonest dealers and would put a stop to black market operations. When controls were lifted, all the government would have had to do was to add to its order in council a clause maintaining the prices shown by the stamp. This measure would have been a powerful means of curbing all exploitation. Prices would have increased gradually as old stocks became exhausted throughout the country. The price of a suit selling at $35 on September 12 would not have gone up to $50 the day after controls were

The Address-Mr. Dionne

removed, and so on. Because of this measure, workers could hardly have claimed such heavy wage increases, for tax reductions would have relieved them to a certain extent, and the protection against exploitation by dishonest traders would have bettered their lot automatically. Not a member of the house paid the least attention to my suggestions. I hold no grudge against anyone. I am not one to take offence because my suggestions were ignored. Nevertheless I wonder if we really are justified in protesting against the high cost of living after such indifference toward means to prevent it.

Are the members of this house fully aware of their responsibilities when they criticize the government at every turn'-using the rise in the cost of living to make their speeches more high sounding, when they have not even taken the trouble to consider all the means which could at least have considerably delayed that rise or regulated its pace so that it would have been much less noticeable?

It is strange that such protests against the high cost of living should relate to necessaries of life, like milk, butter and beef, which are produced by a class of people who are busy every day of the year and whose working hours exceed one hundred per week. Let us take butter at 73 cents, for instance. After deducting 3 cents for the retailer, 3 cents for the -wholesaler, 6 cents for the factory and one cent for freight, there remains 60 cents net to the farmer. One hundred pounds of milk average four pounds of butter; therefore the farmer is paid $2.40 for producing 100 pounds of milk.

The average yearly quantity of milk given by a cow in the province of Quebec is about 4,000 pounds. That will give about 170 pounds of butter. Now, 170 pounds of butter at 60 cents makes a total of $102 a year or, 28 cents a day. To obtain that paltry sum of 28 cents the farmer must invest money in a farm and all the necessary equipment; he must purchase the cow and pay for it; he must, with his wife and children, work to put that farm on a production basis; he must buy the feeds he lacks for increasing his milk production; he must care for and feed that cow in the stable every morning and evening during six months a year; he must milk her twice a day during nine or ten. months of the year. For all that work, from sunrise to sunset, for the risks assumed the farmer only gets 28 cents a day. Is there any worker who would consent to do that work for such a small remuneration?

Having spent all my life among farmers I am conversant with their problems; above all I know that a farmer must work hard, with the help of his family to stay and live on his farm.

I am also aware of the daily sacrifices which are

imposed upon him; I know that he must reason things out in a practical way when he compares his lot with that of the industrial worker. I know that his heart bleeds when he is compelled to refuse a new dress or a new hat to his daughter, because he is unable to afford the expense. I know how difficult it is for him to get his sons to stay on the farm and help him in his agricultural pursuits. He has all my sympathy, and I will never criticize if he can manage to obtain 60 cents net for his butter.

One has but to think the matter over briefly to admit that the general concern about the price of agricultural products is but a storm in a teacup. When the price of butter or beef goes up a few cents people make shrill pro' tests, but we do not hear them criticize the price of a $5 bottle of liquor, the price of cigars and cigarettes, theatre admission and so forth. In view of the fabulous amount spent on liquor in 1946, are our people justified in complaining?

Our people are spending their money lavishly on things which are not only useless, but detrimental to their health, yet they have the impudence to complain when the price of milk increases a few cents a bottle. When I think of citizens of foreign countries who are deprived of everything, have no money and cannot even work in order to buy what they need, while we in this country are spending our money foolishly, I wonder how1 long that situation is going to last. How can we reasonably expect it to continue when between eighty and ninety per cent of the world's population is deprived of the bare necessities of life, while we in North America, who form the other ten or twenty per cent, live a life of plenty?

To what meritorious deed can we attribute the fact that we have been spared the evils which afflict at least three-quarters of our fellow men? If Canadians would only avoid excesses of all kinds they would be the happiest nation on earth. Unfortunately such a wish cannot materialize unless people show good judgment and strength of purpose. Our people, bent on enjoying themselves, no longer have the leisure to pause and think. Searching for something different in the way of entertainment, giving in to every whim, they have no time to consider anything else. People live mechanically, criticize the government and expect it to cure all evils, real or imaginary.

Is the time not yet ripe for the government to. introduce legislation designed to correct these manifold abuses? Why not begin by curbing excessive use of spirits? In 1939 our people spent $179 million on alcoholic beverages, and $483 million in 1946. Could this latter figure not be reduced to the 1939 level,

The Address-Mr. Dionne

that is to say, to $179 million? How many trials, headaches and family quarrels would thus be eliminated? How many tears alcohol has caused deserted mothers and children to shed 1 Think of the worries it brings to parents whose sons left home without ever having touched a drop but return, after a while, addicted to the 40-ounce habit. Think of the highway accidents, the broken lives, the ruined prospects attributable to this disastrous evil. Think of the unfortunate victims of over-indulgence who now await death in lunatic asylums. If you look into divorce statistics you will find that nine times out of ten, alcohol is at the root of the trouble. Slums would vanish if the $750 million wasted yearly on spirits were devoted to the building and improvement of homes. Is there any reason why Canadians should now indulge in alcoholic beverages more than in 1939? The huge amounts of grain required for the distilling of spirits could be exported to needy countries and would thus help untold numbers of starving people.

Why mot re-educate our people to save, or at least to do without the superfluous? Some may claim that Canadians cam no longer save because of the high cost of living. Yet I was reading last week in a Montreal newspaper that the company responsible for distributing juke boxes in Montreal restaurants collected weekly dues amounting to $250,000, or more than $12,000,000 a year. Millions of dollars are spent on soft drinks. I could go on quoting examples of similar squandering. Canadians are incredibly wasteful and improvident.

If the Canadian worker cannot make any savings out of the wages he is earning in this country, how could he manage to make both ends meet if he earned only $59.85 per month as in Russia and had to pay $5.50 for a pound of butter, $3.50 for seven quarts of milk, $2.50 for a dozen eggs, $7 for a pound of coffee, $6 for three pounds of veal, $1.20 for one pound of sugar, $1.20 for one package of cigarettes, $1.35 for one bottle of beer, $54 for a pair of shoes and $285 for a suit?

I know that this speech will certainly not be popular. I think however that it is more constructive than the boot-licking eulogies which some men are wont to deliver. It is high time our people were told the evils which are gnawing at our way of life. Take away alcohol, wastefulness and immorality from Canada and you will have the happiest country in the world.

Many will say this is impossible. Let me remind you that if as much energy were spent by public men in fighting these three curses as in promoting their political philosophies, beneficial effects would follow in short order.

A great many people, it must be admitted, experience hardships as a result of the rising cost of living. Those with fixed income or wages who are unable to better their financial standing in relation to the cost of living are much to be pitied. But we cannot improve their lot with any degree of efficiency by reducing farm prices. Let us strike at the very root of price increases, which stem from such evils as-

(1) Unfair price increases by profiteers. The present inquiry into rising costs of living will no doubt reveal the names of many dishonest dealers, and, let us hope, teach them a good lesson. Besides, exploitation of the public by a few dishonest dealers cam be only of short duration. As soon as goods become more plentiful, competition will necessarily cause the price of manufactured products to fall and the dishonest dealers will be the first victims of their exploitation.

(2) Unwarranted pay increases in industry. Before allowing am industry to grant wage increases, it should be ascertained what difference they will mean in the price of the finished product. If the increase demanded causes the final price of the manufactured article to go up to such am extent as to be detrimental to the general well being it should simply be refused. The manufacturer of whom a wage increase is demanded almost invariably refuses it at first. Trade unions then enter the picture and, through the press and by many other means, as often as not illegal ones, attempt to blacken the manufacturer's reputation in the eyes of the public. Jostled and threatened from all quarters, he weakens and gives in. What happens? The next day he increases the price of his product. This state of affairs will continue until the union leaders demand a new wage increase. And so it goes on, the same process being repeated several times, until the cost of the article becomes prohibitive. Who will suffer from all this? Everybody, including the worker himself.

As long as we allow such methods to be employed it is useless to look for really efficient means of relieving the consumer. We shall not find any. That was not the way our ancestors built up this country and left us our national heritage. That is not the way in which we should pass on this heritage to our descendants.

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PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to speak for a very few minutes on this occasion. I spoke on the amendment moved on this side and my reason for speaking on the main motion now is to direct the attention of the government to the grave injustice under which the people in our city

The Address-Mr. Church

are suffering at this moment in consequence of the rentals that are being charged. I refer particularly to the small store keepers and business people in the retail and wholesale part of our city. The regulations refer to rentals which are "just and reasonable", but the interpretation of these terms has given rise throughout the years to great differences of opinion in the law courts as to its meaning.

County court judges sit in the division courts in the county of York throughout the week and my suggestion is that it would be better to give the county court judges jurisdiction in this matter, fixing a limit at ten per cent increase in the discretion of the trial judge. The whole problem is a very serious one in the city from which I come and I hope that something will be done along these lines. I do not think there is any reason why our judges should not have jurisdiction, up to ten per cent, to determine what they deem just or reasonable according to the circumstances.

There are one or two other matters to which I should like to refer. The Prime Minister listened to the first lesson from the hon. member who preceded me and I am sorry he did not wait for the second lesson which I am now making. On the 26th day of this month, that is to say on Good Friday, Their Majesties the King and Queen will observe the twenty-fifth anniversary of their wedding. The visit of Their Majesties in 1939 showed their tremendous popularity in every province in Canada. I suggest that the government consider the passing of a resolution by both houses of parliament extending congratulations to Their Majesties on that happy occasion. I understand that they are having some kind of celebration on Saturday, the day after. Will the government give this consideration? I suggest that a proclamation be issued by the government calling it to the attention of the public of Canada and of the provinces for action.

Here is the last suggestion I have. Christianity is part of the law of England, and automatically by the Constitution Act, 1791, of Canada, I claim that it is thus part of the law of Canada. I have called on the government in previous years to see to the proper observance of Good Friday this year, because we are a Christian nation and a Christian country. I think there should be some proper observance of that day as a religious holiday throughout Canada. The C.B.C. should be instructed to have no jazz or no advertising on that particular day. It is largely a religious day.

I am glad to see the interest taken now in the house in foreign affairs and external affairs. Just yesterday in our city a gentleman from Washington, John Foster Dulles, made a political speech at the Canadian club. I think the doctrine of pan-Americanism that he was advocating is dangerous. Some of these Latin republics in South America have not been friendly to Britain, and it was Britain who gave the Americas the protection they had at sea, as the Monroe doctrine was the supremacy of the British fleet. I am surprised at Canadian clubs having speakers like that. I do not belong to them because at times some of them are not any more Canadian than some of the empire clubs are imperial. It was a great mistake to have a speaker like that at that time. There should be no attempt to trifle with the question of pan-Americanism. These Latin republics will lead us into a war if we join and follow them.

I hope that some day before Easter will be set aside, afternoon and evening, to discuss the whole question of foreign affairs. They have had such a debate in the old country. I hope that something will be done to call the attention of the house to the grave danger which our country is in at the present time. We can no longer depend, as the British government have announced, on the mother country for all our defence. If we are to have any defence, we must re-establish the empire air training plan for the defence of the commonwealth. I hope before Easter a day or so may be set aside for that particular discussion.

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CCF

Eric Bowness McKay

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

Mr. E. B. McKAY (Weyburn):

I have not spoken om this motion before, Mr. Speaker, and I had no intention of doing so until recently when I received a great number of letters from farmers in my constituency and throughout western Canada protesting with regard to the T-l prairie farmers' 1947 income tax form. It seems to me that this form is a most unpopular piece of work. The farmers complain that the forms are too long and too complicated. I believe the promise has been held out to the farmers that this year at least they would receive forms that were simpler than the ones commonly used in the past. But on the contrary they are worse now than they have ever been before. In most cases it seems to require the payment of fees to have the forms completed. The farmers are resentful also of the insistence of the Department of National Revenue on completion of the part of the form with regard to net worth. The following extract from a letter I have just

The Address-Mr. McKay

received seems to indicate the position that a great number of farmers of the west are taking. It reads:

For months now we have been hearing on the radio and reading in the papers about the new "Prairie farmers' income tax guide" book and how much more simplified it would be to fill the forms.

Well, this week we got the book and also the new forms. We just can't believe it's possible that in a country which is supposed to be democratic and support the four freedoms that such a fascist piece of dictatorship could be used against the prairie farmer. We strongly suspect some very sinister motives behind it all, because all this information has been withheld from us until the time we have to fill the forms. Then too, it's going to be a lot of guesswork to fill in the questions asked, how many farmers are educated or able to fill in or even keep a record of what we are supposed to do?

Surely, Mr. Speaker, there are brains enough in the Department of National Revenue to devise a simpler form than this. If, as the minister has intimated, the income tax is here to stay, it would appear that it is about time a simpler tax form was devised so that the farmers at least would be satisfied that, while they have the taxes to pay, everything is fair and aboveboard. Every year the same complaints are heard. This year there are more than there have ever been before. I urge upon the minister that he recall the tax form known as the T-l prairie farmers 1947 and prepare something simpler; I urge that he have them circulated early enough, so that the farmers will be able to fill them out this year without all the trouble to which they are now being subjected. Everybody knows the paying of income tax is onerous enough without adding to it the extra burden of a complicated and unreasonable income tax form.

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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. CASE (Grey North):

I do not intend to detain the house long, but I have received some petitions and information which I thought I should like to put on the record.

I wish to underline some of the things the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) has said. I am conscious of the fact that Canada has made certain commitments or assumed certain obligations with respect to our foreign relations, and I sincerely hope that an opportunity will be presented to the house in the near future to debate our foreign policy. I realize that a certain formula was adopted for procedure at the beginning of this session, but so many things have taken place since then, in Europe particularly, that I think we should have an opportunity not only to learn for ourselves but to indicate to the outside world, and particularly to our friends, the position we take.

I today received a copy of the Windsor Daily Star dated Monday, March 8, with the first of what will be a series of articles on the communist threat to Canada. This enemy is boring from within, and while one would not want to be classified or considered as an alarmist, nevertheless to be forewarned is to be forearmed. When I think of the magnificent reception today for Miss Barbara Ann Scott, who returned to Ottawa with her skating laurels, I recognize the depth of enthusiasm and admiration for this beautiful Canadian girl, a product of our way of life in this great freedom-loving nation. I feel that we should give consideration almost immediately to the means we propose to employ to preserve, for this generation and those who are yet to come, that way of life.

I have a letter from the Kelowna branch of the citizens' committee, with respect to our military position. I am going to read only two paragraphs, to indicate their concern in this regard:

With reference to our earlier letter regarding the need' for compulsory military service.

We, the citizens committee of the reserve army in ICelowna, continue to be deeply concerned over the failure of repeated recruiting drives; and at the apparent lack of response to the efforts made 'to produce a sufficient body of trained personnel for active service, if and when the need arises.

Then this is the last paragraph:

We would respectfully draw your attention to General Crerar's article in Maclean's magazine of the 15th July, 1947, which bears on the matter, and ask your support of our proposal, to the end1 that action may be taken at the present session of parliament.

It is not my responsibility to say what I think the government should do or what their fixed policy should be, but I do say the government should have a manpower policy which *would have the full support of all the Canadian people. I think the time to decide such a policy is when we are at peace. We are said now to be in the midst of a cold war. Events are indeed startling but it is my considered opinion that if war does come it will indeed be a war of survival, with the Christian world pitted against the godless world, or however you may care to describe it, because in the main the democracies have never been aggressors. We should take time by the forelock and be prepared at least to defend ourselves, and to this end the people should know something about the art of self-defence.

Then I have a communication by way of telegram from the Canadian association of radio and appliance dealers, signed by A. G. Frame, their secretary, and supported by other

The Address-Mr. Case

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March 9, 1948