January 31, 1949

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Some hon. Members:

No.

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An hon. Member:

Go ahead.

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

With the unanimous consent of the house, the hon. member may continue.

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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

I will not delay the house for any great length of time, but I should just like to say this. I have already said that we are not at all afraid to place before the world exactly by what means we propose to put these unsaleable surpluses of goods into the hands of the Canadian people so that they can use them. Social credit, in its financial aspects, is the use of the national credit for the benefit of all members of society in the nation, not just a few members. The use of that national credit means that debt-free, interest-free money should be made available to the extent that it is required for the effective and proper distribution of all of the goods or things produced in the nation.

To bring this about, the first step required is to set up a national currency and credit commission to prepare and present to parliament an annual balance sheet, and to assess the relation between what the nation grows, makes and imports, on the one hand, and what it uses up and exports, on the other hand. If, in any year or period, the total production in our country, plus our imports, is found to exceed the total consumption so that unsaleable surpluses begin to appear, an appropriate amount of new money will be authorized and spent into circulation in one or both of two forms. The first of these forms is a national dividend to be distributed to every man, woman and child in the nation, which will provide for them some security and at least a modicum of freedom which will make it impossible for others to enslave them; this dividend to be provided through debt-free, interest-free money by the use of the national credit through the national currency and credit commission.

The second way would be a retail price discount on the things people buy, for which the retailer will be compensated with purchasing power provided by the issuance of debt-free, interest-free money through the national currency and credit commission. This constitutes the financial reform proposals for social credit. In its fundamentals it has been tried and found successful. I would point out that the dominion treasury right now creates, and spends into circulation, interest-free, about ten per cent of the new purchasing power that we use, without borrowing or taxing it away from the people. If they can create and spend directly into circulation that proportion of our new purchasing power requirements, then I say there is no logical reason under the

The Address-Mr. Low sun why a currency and credit commission should not, with a similar technique, put enough purchasing power into the hands of consumers to balance consumption with production so that embarrassing surpluses of goods need not appear.

People who champion what is loosely called the democratic way of life continue to protest their adherence to the idea that the teachings of Christ and the love of Almighty God bring democracy to its truest realization. Many of them insist that they believe in the sanctity of the human person and in individual freedom. Those who are associated with the social credit movement insist that human freedom and the highest ideals of democracy cannot be realized as long as people generally, or any section of our population, are the victims of economic pressure that results from man-made policies. We in the social credit movement insist that, in this age of plentiful production, the greatest single factor that can contribute to the release of people from economic pressures resulting from man-made policies is a reform of our monetary system whereby debt-free, interest-free money will be spent, not lent, into circulation by the national currency and credit commission to the extent that it is required, and only to that extent, for the efficient and proper distribution of all of the things Canadians produce.

In dealing with the so-called surpluses I have mentioned, I think it would probably be necessary to supplement the financial technique that I have outlined with regional conversion, processing and storage facilities, by government; and most certainly with international trade on a balanced two-way-street basis. We have already advocated the setting up of a world pool of food and other products to which the various nations of the world can bring their real surpluses; and when they have brought their real surpluses there, they can take back with them goods that they need and do not produce, to an equal value. We say that when that is done, and that when the nations have put their own houses in order, when they have removed social injustice, and have extended to the people, regardless of race, colour or creed, a full measure of social justice with freedom, then and then only shall we be able to achieve world peace.

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PC

Park Manross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Manross:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low) this question. Does he know that on the most important debate in the house, when he was speaking, there were present twenty-three Liberal members and four cabinet ministers? That is the real importance they attach to this debate.

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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

I did not know that because I was concentrating on making my speech. But I am sure the people of the country will like to know that fact.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. A. Ross (Souris):

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I should like to add my word of welcome to those new members who have been elected to this house since last session. I should also like to congratulate the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne.

On Friday evening and this afternoon I listened most attentively to the laborious efforts of the Prime Minister for some three and three-quarter hours-

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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

Is that not right?

I listened to his lengthy address in which he discussed the speech from the throne and many other matters. We had a good deal of ancient history and many quotations. As I have only forty minutes, I wish to deal first of all with what appears to be a controversial subject in the province from which I come, as I think it probably is in some other provinces. I wish to refer to an article appearing in the Winnipeg Tribune of December 4, headed Killarney, and reading in part as follows:

J. C. Davis, past president of the Manitoba Liberal Progressive Association told the meeting it was in the interests of voters of Souris constituency possibly more than any other constituency in the province, to work for the election of a Liberal member.

The sitting member, he said, was a supporter of conservative leader Drew, who was in opposition to the implementation of the dominion-provincial agreement. This placed Col. J. A. Ross (P.C. Souris) in a similar position in direct antithesis to the rights of the prairie provinces.

No one took that very seriously at that time, but on January 12, the Winnipeg Free Press had this headline: "Ross, McDowell, Thor-valdson Denounced in Garson Address". In the Winnipeg Tribune of the same date appeared this heavy black headline: "Garson Attacks Souris M.P. over Tax Deal". In fact there is a good deal of detail in all three daily newspapers of that date. The Tribune goes on to say:

Justice Minister Stuart Garson Tuesday accused Colonel Arthur Ross, Progressive Conservative MP. for Souris, of "stabbing in the back" the tax agreement between the dominion and Manitoba.

Speaking to the Manitoba Liberal-Progressive convention at the Fort Garry hotel, Mr. Garson charged Colonel Ross of "outrageous and impudent falsehood," in saying that the agreement was a "bad deal for the provinces" and in alleging that Mr. King had "scuttled" the dominion-provincial conference.

Mr. Garson attributed these remarks to Colonel Ross at the Progressive Conservative convention in Ottawa last October, when he nominated George Drew for national leader of the party.

Then he goes on to point out that Mr. Drew had blocked a just deal, and said:

"If Colonel Ross . . . proposes to be an enemy of his province, the sooner he stops posing as a friend, the better.

It is a most singular coincidence that all the criticisms of the Manitoba government's position (on the tax agreements) have come from John McDowell and G. S. Thorvaldson, and from Colonel Ross."

Then I skip quite a bit, because the newspaper carried a detailed account of the hon. gentleman's speech, and I believe it was also carried over the C.B.C. that night, or at least the main portions of it. In another column the newspaper report goes on:

"An examination of this sessional paper and the text of Colonel Ross' speech shows that he has made a wholly improper use of these figures," Mr. Garson said, "and even his speech by itself shows that he does not know what he is talking about."

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

What has that to do with the speech from the throne?

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

Just as much as the speech of the Prime Minister I listened to for two or three hours this afternoon.

Mr. Garson said that in his speech Colonel Ross stated the figures he quoted were for the first four /ears operation of the dominion-provincial tax [DOT]entals agreement ending March 31, 1948.

"This does not make sense," Mr. Garson said, "as the dominion-provincial agreement commenced April 1, 1947, and concludes March 31, 1952, so that by the date named by Colonel Ross the agreement had been in operation not four years but only one year.

Well, this afternoon I heard the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) admit with some heat that words attributed to him were true but that he did not mean what they said because they had been taken out of their context and given the wrong meaning. That being so, I want to say that this is a gross misrepresentation, because I did not use those words and did not discuss any question of four years. I am going to have to quote the complete nomination speech I made, in order to keep the record straight. On January 15 of this year I wrote a reply to this statement by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) which I sent to several weekly newspapers as well as the three daily newspapers in Winnipeg. In it I said:

Dear Editor:

If you will permit me the use of space in your valuable newspaper, I should like to make some reference to a controversial subject.

At a Liberal provincial convention held in Winnipeg, January 11, 1949, as reported in the daily press of January 12, Justice Minister Garson, expremier of Manitoba, delivered a slashing attack, with respect to dominion-provincial agreement, on Mr. McDowell, Mr. Thorvaldson and myself. Stating "that the question which the electors of Souris have a right to ask Colonel Ross, is whether he should support the efforts of the Manitoba government, or whether he should pull chestnuts out of the fire for Colonel Drew."

Mr. Garson charged that Colonel Ross in discussing the taxation agreement, when nominating

The Address-Mr. J. A. Ross

Colonel Drew as Conservative leader, had been guilty of some grave misstatements of facts. May I say that all the facts and figures used by me at that time were taken from government records, and that at the first opportunity, in the approaching session of parliament, for the benefit of the electors of Souris, and of Manitoba, I will, with the justice minister, Mr. Garson, sitting opposite me, deal with the matter of dominion-provincial conference on tax agreements, and other matters, and quoting from Hansard proceedings, prove as to who has been falsifying the records.

Mr. Thorvaldson informs me that he has never, to date, discussed in public the present dominion-provincial tax agreement.

At the last annual Manitoba municipal convention, I did oppose Mr. Garson's proposal to place an added tax burden on land by way of dividing extra old age pension payments municipally and provincially, a matter which is rightfully a federal obligation, and the convention voted down his proposal approximately 650 to 7.

Keeping in mind a speech delivered by Mr. J. C. Davis, past president of Manitoba Liberal association, in Killarney on December 2, this is apparently all deliberate, cheap and false political propaganda developed by Winnipeg Free Press, Mr. Garson and others. Remember that Mr. Drew was premier of Ontario since August 1943, and Mr. Garson was premier of Manitoba since January 1943, and compare, during those years of increasing national revenue, what each provincial government has done, and is doing, by way of provincial payments for education, hospitalization, old age pensions and human welfare.

Thanking you for printing this and the detailed copy of my nomination speech of last October 1 which I enclose herewith.

Yours faithfully,

J. Arthur Ross.

I now quote the nomination speech, referred to in my letter:

Fellow Canadians-It is my privilege and honour to propose the name of a great Canadian, a man of great physical and mental strength, a person of charm, culture and dignity, one who was himself wounded on the field of battle-a personal friend with whom I have worked in the past on behalf of war veterans and their dependents-a journalist who has written several important articles on military matters.

He was chairman at the conference of defence associations in 1935 which was responsible for the reorganization of Canadian military forces.

In case of international difficulties he has the ability and vision to co-operate with the great nation to the south of us. He is recognized by many people as a North American Churchill.

He has won three provincial elections in succession. In his cabinet he has chosen young men of exceptional ability and vision. He has developed a highly efficient governmental system along business lines-has given the province the most progressive and advanced legislation of any province within Canada.

With respect to education-his government contributes at least 50 per cent of the cost, and in some cases as high as 90 per cent; thus relieving the municipalities of great financial outlays and with great improvement to the entire educational structure. Health services have been trebled. Capital grants to hospitals, depending on the type of hospital, are as high as $2,000 per bed.

Resources have been developed on a scale never before attempted, federally or provincially.

Farmers are permitted to conduct their business with a minimum of government interference as possible. As a result, the present number of rural seats now held by his government is greater than

The Address-Mr. J. A. Ross has been held by any government in the history of the province, and those many rural M.L.A.'s were all elected by the common people of the land.

He insisted that the dominion-provincial conference must continue when Prime Minister Mackenzie King scuttled the meeting. He has repeatedly asked Prime Minister King to reconvene the conference but without success.

According to the sessional paper from the Department of Finance, under date of April 26, 1948, for the first full year's operation of the dominion-provincial tax rental agreements ending March 31, 1948-

British Columbia gave to the dominion taxing field $144 million (round figures) and received $20 million-seven to one.

Alberta gave $47 million and received $13 million -three and one-half to one.

Saskatchewan gave $33 million and received $13 million-two and one-half to one.

Manitoba, my own province, gave $64 million and received $12 million-five to one.

New Brunswick gave $23 million and received $7 million-three to one.

Nova Scotia gave $29 million and received $10 million-three to one.

Prince Edward Island gave $2 million and received $1J million.

As a result of the dominion-provincial taxing agreement, British Columbia found it necessary to impose provincial sales tax, while Ontario was showing a surplus of $25 million. On the basis of these figures this has not been a good deal for the provinces.

I followed every minute of the conference proceedings and according to the record of May 3, 1946, when the dominion government was standing rigidly by a take-it-or-leave-it line of its own Mr. Drew said "Ontario's attitude is not one of 'take our offer or leave it'.'' Later on, Mr. Drew said- "Decide how long it will take to revise your position in the light of the clearly stated position of the provinces, then call us together to consider a transitional tax agreement."

At another point in the conference he said-"The concern of each of us is to find the highest possible standard of life for every Canadian." He then went on to say-"Our proposals are made in the belief that they should be equally acceptable in every part of Canada and are in no instance put forward with the thought of giving any special advantage to those who live in the province of Ontario." "Ontario has said, and said very emphatically, that it recognizes certain advantages it possesses and that it is not only willing, it is insistent upon combining with the other provinces of Canada to share any advantages it possesses."

Premier Angus Macdonald of Nova Scotia suggested that the conference adjourn to meet at a later date.

The then Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley), moved that it adjourn sine die and Prime Minister King, who was chairman, promptly put the question and declared it carried.

On many occasions since Mr. Drew and Mr. Macdonald have urged that the conference be reconvened. The dominion government has never done so.

This is not a time for sectionalism. We must have a united Canada and the federal state must be preserved.

I believe that the leadership in progressive legislation for Ontario during the past few years can, to a large extent, be duplicated across Canada by the leadership and vision of this man.

He is one of the greatest Conservatives of the day. Conservatism means "loyalty to persons," that is, loyalty to human brotherhood, loyalty to the proposition that the dignity of man and his happiness are more precious things than the power or the dignity of a state.

Canada now requires greater leadership. This man, with a national and international reputation has proven his administrative and leadership ability. Canada must have Drew as leader.

Friends, for your most earnest and serious consideration I place in nomination for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party of Canada, the name of my friend and comrade, George Drew.

I ask the house to compare that detail with the reported speech of the Minister of Justice Mr. Garson) in those three daily papers. I have before me the dominion and provincial submissions and the plenary conference discussions in 1945 and 1946. Let me first of all refer to page 113 of the dominion tax proposals, where it states:

The dominion government proposes that after the war the provincial governments should by agreement forgo the imposition of personal income taxes, corporation taxes and succession duties, leaving the dominion government the full and exclusive access to these revenue sources. The dominion government further proposes that as a condition of such agreement the dominion should substantially expand its present payments to the provincial governments under an arrangement which would ensure stable revenues and provide for their growth in proportion to increases in population and per capita national production.

And then at page 129, the Manitoba government presentation is as follows:

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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Premier of Manitoba):

Mr. Chairman and fellow provincial premiers and delegates, like the premier of New Brunswick, I want to say that I am in agreement with the statesmanlike utterances made by the premiers of Ontario and Quebec with regard to the necessity of a non-partisan approach to this problem of the value of discussing in committee the proposals which have been brought out at the plenary sessions of the conference. However, I differ from them in one respect. I have not understood from the course of events during the past eight years that we were to come here merely to consider dominion proposals. We understood, rightly or wrongly that we were being invited to present proposals of our own. The proposals which I intend to make this afternoon are not in any sense counter-proposals. They are proposals that were prepared before we had any idea as to what the dominion proposals were going to be.

And then at page 323, again quoting the premier of Manitoba (Mr. Garson):

There should be one system of national old age pensions.

The dominion proposals regarding old age pensions envisage a dual system of administration. One system would be administered and paid for by the dominion government itself, providing pensions of $30 per month beginning at age 70 without means test. The other would provide payment of old age assistance for ages 65 to 69, subject to a means test and would be administered and paid for by the provinces and municipalities, with the dominion contributing one-half of the cost. The Manitoba government contends that the dominion government, having recognized its responsibility for the payment of old age pensions without means test to persons of 70 years and upwards, should provide old age pensions without means test below 70 as well. We contend that for two old age pension systems to be operating at the same time, one administered wholly by the dominion government without means test, and the other administered by the municipalities and provinces subject to a means

test, would surely create friction and misunderstanding, and would require, at large expense, duplicate administrative machinery in both the federal and provincial fields. In our view it is much preferable to have one system administered and paid for by the federal government, even although this may involve adjustments in other fields.

Then, at page 391 the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) is reported to have said:

The main purpose of the dominion-provincial conference (1945) is to place the dominion and the provincial governments in the best possible position to use their combined powers for the most effective advancement of the welfare of the people of Canada and the strength of one national economy.

And further down on the page:

These principles are stated at the outset so that it may be clearly understood that our proposals are made in the belief that they should be equally acceptable in every part of Canada and are in no instance put forward with the thought of giving any special advantage to those who live in Ontario.

And again at page 394 the leader of the opposition said:

I am very glad to see in the statement read by the Prime Minister of Canada this morning that the suggestion is made that the co-ordinating committee should continue to sit at least once every six months. As may be recalled, that was the suggestion of the province of Ontario. I am not boasting of that fact, it is a simple matter of record. It is also a matter of record that the motion to set up the co-ordinating committee was a motion of the province of Ontario. Therefore the combined results of these discussions which are now showing form in these suggestions, which do bring us close together, have come from contributions made by all the representatives of all the governments. I say most emphatically that everyone sitting around this table has contributed some substantial part to the advancement of these proceedings to this point.

And again at page 397, the leader of the opposition:

The Ontario government is still of the opinion that the proposals put forward in its printed brief, and submitted to this conference, do offer a satisfactory basis for a temporary agreement, combining the full legislative, administrative and taxing powers of the dominion and the provincial governments in such a way as to produce the best results for all the people of Canada.

And again at page 425, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) said:

Now, sir, the Manitoba government is fully in favour of concluding an agreement based upon the dominion's proposals, modified in the manner I have suggested, not because they meet the views of the Manitoba government in every particular, but because of the two alternative courses of action to which our choice now is limited. In our judgment the conclusion of such an agreement would be a much better choice both for Canada and for Manitoba.

And then at page 509 the premier of Nova Scotia, Mr. Macdonald,-and this is a reference which no one has ever read in the Winnipeg Free Press-

Let me ask you, Mr. Chairman, and the delegates here, whether they represent the dominion govem-

105

The Address-Mr. J. A. Ross

ment or tne provinces, let me ask anyone who is within sound of my voice, let me ask that greater body to which we as public servants are all accountable, the citizens of our provinces, or of Canada, let me ask any of those people whether they think that it is a fair or honourable or dignified position in which to place the provinces in this dominion. Provincial autonomy will be gone. Provincial independence will vanish. Provincial dignity will disappear. Provincial governments will become mere annuitants of Ottawa. Provincial public life-and I do not think these words are too strong-will be debased and degraded. I cannot think that such a state of affairs is desired by the representatives of the government of Canada here today, my one-time colleagues. I am sure that they have no wish or desire to see such a state of affairs come to pass in this country, nor can I believe that such a state of affairs is desired by the people of this country.

And then Mr. Manning, at page 535-and I have not read this in the Winnipeg Free Press, either:

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Charles Avery Dunning

Mr. Manning:

Mr. Prime Minister and gentlemen, this is an occasion which obviously calls for plain speaking and a frank expression of our reaction to the address delivered this morning by the Minister of Finance. Mr. Ilsley's comprehensive address might well have been reduced to one simple word of two letters: No! For that reason his statement conveyed much more than just an unsatisfactory negative answer to the considered opinions expressed around this conference table by the provincial premiers. It conveyed an attitude of uncompromising rigidity on the part of the dominion government that is indefensible in the light of the circumstances as they are.

Then Mr. Manning is reported again on page 538 as follows:

Now, Mr. Prime Minister, I cite these facts not in a spirit of bitterness, but rather for the sole purpose of emphasizing the attitude of uncompromising rigidity which the dominion government has adopted in this matter.

And again:

I am forced to say this after listening to the reply of the Minister of Finance to the submissions of the provincial premiers that, if this conference fails, and I sincerely hope that even yet it will not fail-but if this conference fails, the responsibility for its failure will rest squarely on the doorstep of the dominion government and will be due to the attitude of uncompromising rigidity expressed on behalf of the government by the Minister of Finance this morning.

Then as to the apparent reason for the real charge made by the Minister of Justice I should like to quote Mr. Ilsley from page 624, the final page, as follows:

As the Prime Minister reminds me, I must proceed at once with the preparation of the budget. It is not possible for me to wait until an agreement is reached, and I will have to prepare the budget in the light of the fact that no agreement has been reached. In the meantime my suggestion is that we should adjourn sine die, and that the government take into consideration the points of view that have been expressed here today, and then arrive at a decision as to the procedure to follow and the position to take.

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William Chisholm Macdonald

Mr. Macdonald:

Mr. Chairman, I take it that

Mr. Ilsley is not suggesting that there will not be another conference. The premier of Quebec who is not here said he would come back at any time.

The Address-Mr. J. A. Ross

I would hope that the representatives of the dominion government here stand in the same position, and are prepared to try it.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King

Liberal

Mr. Mackenzie King:

Gentlemen, it has been moved that the conference adjourn sine die. All those in favour of the motion will please say "aye."

Some premiers: Aye.

I was sitting in the gallery and had watched the little whispering campaign between the then Prime Minister and Mr. Ilsley before he rose. I do not think I am wrong when I say that the Prime Minister scuttled the conference and it certainly has not been called since. Let me go on to deal with the charges made by the former premier of Manitoba. I happened to attend a municipal gathering last fall and I listened to a discourse by a very able gentleman, the Hon. William Morton, municipal commissioner. In his address to the delegates attending the forty-fifth annual meeting of the union of Manitoba municipalities Mr. Morton outlined the reasons why their taxes had had to be raised and he reviewed the financial position of the municipalities and referred to the financial assistance which they had received as a result of the dominion-provincial agreement in 1947 amounting to some $2,750,000. He went on to refer to their revenue deficits of nearly $3,000,000 and he stated that the municipalities were some $3,000,000 poorer in realizable assets than they were at the beginning of 1945. At that time he had the figures only up to the fall of 1948 and for 1947. He stated that only 73 municipalities had operated on a cash basis in 1947, the lowest in the past twelve years. Actually there was an operating cash loss of over $600,000.

That speech certainly was not in keeping with the story the premier had left with them. I was rather surprised to hear the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) make the following statement on Friday evening. I intend to quote the whole paragraph so that he cannot accuse me of doing what he has accused others of doing. He said, as reported at page 60 of Hansard:

Before doing that, however, I want to say to the leader of the opposition that there are many of the things he said in his speech concerning dominion-provincial relations, and concerning the constitution of Canada, and its principles, with which I am in entire agreement. And if there was any hope anywhere that an issue could be created upon that, then I am sorry that we shall have to disappoint those who may have entertained such hopes.

I sincerely trust that the new Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) and the Winnipeg Free Press will give as much publicity to the statement of the Prime Minister as they have given on many other occasions to different phases of the dominion-provincial agreement, some of which were not in keeping with the printed record.

I said also at that municipal convention that the former premier of Manitoba and his government had agreed to a much less advantageous deal than they now have with the province of Manitoba. 1 said that they could thank Premier McNair of New Brunswick, who had bettered the arrangement for his province on the basis of what had been given to British Columbia.

The Minister of Justice took advantage of every opportunity to pose in Manitoba as an expert on dominion-provincial taxation matters, but we certainly owe thanks to Premier McNair of New Brunswick for the present deal we have. I should like the municipal officials of Manitoba to compare the particular submissions made to the conference in 1946 with the old age pension proposals that he made to them during the fall of 1948 when he offered to split an increase up to an additional $10, thus adding another tax burden to real estate and making the municipal officials responsible for administration.

Of course he did not tell them that he was leaving the premiership of Manitoba and going to Ottawa. The old age pensioners throughout this country certainly require more than the allowance they are now getting in order to live. There is no argument anywhere about that. I remember during the last session of parliament the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Gibson) placed on the record an editorial from the Vancouver Sun. This will be found on page 4307 of Hansard. The editorial was headed, "Hello Sucker!" and went on to show what British Columbia was getting from the dominion government.

I think everyone knows that the Vancouver Sun is not a friend of the official opposition. If, as this editorial in this Liberal paper in Vancouver says, British Columbia has been sucker No. 1, Manitoba qualifies as sucker No. 2 under the arrangement.

It will be remembered that the Minister of Justice nominated the right hon. Prime Minister for leadership last summer. That was his prerogative. But according to newspaper reports he is very resentful of the fact that I, a humble member from Manitoba, should have nominated the present leader of the opposition as leader of the Progressive Conservative party. I am one, among many, who is quite sure that he will be Prime Minister once the public have an opportunity at the polls. I think this is sufficient for that subject. I think the Hansard record of the conference will show what happened then.

I should like to refer to the first press report of the Minister of Justice's campaign in Marquette. It is rather odd considering that he was only a few days away from his

TMr. Ross (Souris).)

position as head of the coalition government of Manitoba. The article reads:

It was possible, he admitted, to foresee the defeat of the party at the next general election but it was not possible to see any other party being capable of forming a government. The only alternative would be some sort of weak nondescript coalition.

I am sure that his colleagues whom he had left a few days ago in Winnipeg appreciated that statement. Here is another report headed "Garson Outlines Liberal Policies" and reading:

The lifting of the embargo on cattle shipments to the United States had meant, in the few short months since it had occurred, that $65 million worth of cattle and meat products has gone across the border.

"Think what this means in terms of income business for western Canada," Mr. Garson said.

"Can any sensible person believe that another government more than likely composed of a coalition could equal or better this record," he continued.

It is rather odd, you know, that he never reminded his electors that this same Canadian government had imposed controls and embargoes in 1942 and the following years up to date which have cost the agricultural producers of the prairie provinces in the neighbourhood of $2,000 million. He neglected to remind them that it is the same government.

In that respect I want to refer again to the Searle index of December 1, 1948, with reference to the British-Canadian wheat agreement.

Between now and December 31 prices have to be set for the sale of Canadian wheat to Great Britain, all according to a clause contained in the British-Canadian wheat agreement. As we have frequently shown in these columns, the losses for the first two years on the wheat supplied to Britain amounted to $352 million. There was a further loss of $170 million on the wheat farmers supplied for Canadian domestic consumption.

A clause in the agreement says as follows:

"In determining the prices for these two crop years, 1948-49 and 1949-50, the United Kingdom government will have regard to any difference between the prices paid under this agreement in 194647 and 1947-48 crop years and the world prices for wheat in the 1946-47 and 1947-48 crop years."

This paragraph has been explained by those who support the agreement to mean that in the third and fourth year Britain would add such an additional price to the world price as would recompense our farmers for the losses they may have sustained during the first two years. We were assured our farmers would lose nothing by the agreement.

The price for the third year was set at $2. But far from making up for any losses sustained during the first two years, this price of $2 merely added further to the losses, because for the first three months, namely August, September and October of this third year, the average price for Canadian Class 2 wheat set by the wheat board, and sold on world markets, and which is therefore the world price for Canadian wheat, has been $2.38, making a further loss for these three months on wheat supplied to Britain of $33 million so far, and it will most probably be more by August 1 next, the end of this crop year. The price for the fourth year of the agreement, then, to make up for these gigantic losses, would have to be over $5 a bushel.

29087-8i

The Address-Mr. J. A. Ross

I recollect that the minister was asked his opinion on that matter also, but as I read his answer even at this late date he is still giving the matter consideration. I have contended at every session that this is altogether too great a contribution to ask one class of people in Canada to make for the consumers of Great Britain and of Canada.

There was some discussion this afternoon about communism in this country. It is rather strange that in all the newspapers of the country in the year 1945 the Labour Progressive people, who were recognized as the communists, were asking their followers to support the Liberals in the pending election. I well remember the advertising, particularly that in the Grey North election. Now they have switched their allegiance and they are asking their followers to support the C.C.F.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

They have changed their line

again.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

That is my latest information. Then we have the peculiar coincidence that whenever the government seems to be getting into a jam in the House of Commons, the leader of the C.C.F. party (Mr. Coldwell) brings in his group to support the government, although professing to stand for their own principles.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Nonsense.

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

That is not quite nonsense.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

I should like to warn

the people of this country that it can happen in this Canada of ours, and that they should not take things for granted. It can very easily happen. To have a real working democracy we must have free enterprise on the one side of the scale balanced by human welfare on the other. Then we will have a real democracy. I will have much more to say on agricultural matters, old age pensions, veterans' allowances, and veterans' problems when the opportunity presents itself.

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January 31, 1949