March 1, 1949

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

My time has almost expired, but I should like to say a word about the economic outlook. As I have said before the prosperity of a country can be gauged fairly well by the annual volume of its exports plus the annual volume of its investment.. In Canada, our capital investment program for the year 1948 stood at about $3 billion. By a coincidence, our exports from Canada during the year 1948 were also at about the level of $3 billion. At the same time our gross national product-that is, the value of everything produced in Canada during 1948 -was in excess of $15 billion. I might say to hon. gentlemen that each of those figures is just about three times the comparable figures of ten years ago and about six times the comparable figures of the period 1930-35 which hon. gentlemen opposite know something about.

In our department it is customary to attempt a forecast of the current economic period. Earlier today I tabled the results of a questionnaire that is sent out by the department to some eighteen thousand business firms in Canada. It is sent to municipalities, to provinces and to every agency that carries on construction work. It is a type of survey that has been made for the past several years which has proven to be remarkably accurate. Its importance has been recognized by business, and each year we are getting better co-operation from business in working out that survey. The survey reveals that the total investment intentions for 1949 exceed those of 1948 by about eight per cent. That is eight per cent in value, which means by about three per cent in volume. There are some changes in the pattern for 1949 investments. There is a higher proportion of investment, on the part of institutions, in utilities and in housing and a somewhat lower proportion in the manufacturing industries. That is indeed an exceedingly large investment program for a country of jour size, but the supply situation has improved considerably and there is every reason to believe that Canada will be able to complete the program that is there indicated.

A study of the gross national product figures indicates that the gross national product for 1949 promises to be about $1 billion higher than the $15,500 million estimate for

1948. There is an indication that the general level of business will be about the same as in

1949, with a leveling off in prices that will relieve the economy of the inflationary pressures that were caused in part by the short

[Mr. Howe.l

supply position. As a result of the survey, and of the studies that have been conducted by officers of my department who are competent to make such studies, I think I can say that, barring earthquakes, serious labour-management troubles or a change in government, the position of our economy during 1949 will not deteriorate, and the people of Canada can be assured that 1949 will be as prosperous a year as was 1948.

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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

May I ask the minister a question? He said there was an increase of eight per cent in value and three per cent in volume as between the years 1948 and 1949?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Talking about investment, yes.

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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

The expected investment will have an increase of eight per cent in value which, according to the minister's figure, is three per cent in volume?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

That is right.

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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

That is, in that period we have fallen that much in the relative purchasing power of the dollar.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

That is from a comparable period in 1948 to a comparable period in 1949.

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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. W. Ross Thatcher (Moose Jaw):

I am

sure, Mr. Speaker, that the house found the speech of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) most interesting, but I wonder if a great many of the Canadian people will not also find it a bit disappointing.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

This one certainly will

be disappointing.

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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. Thatcher:

I wonder if the minister

had cause to be as optimistic as he appeared to be. He made the statement that the condition of Canadian trade at the present time is healthy. I do not see how he can arrive at that conclusion, because a good deal of our trade at the moment is based on loans or credits that we have made to Great Britain, or on ERP aid; and I understand that there is every possibility that those loans will soon be used up, and that ERP aid will soon be gone. When that time comes, I wonder in what kind of position we Canadians will find ourselves.

This afternoon the minister talked, it seemed to me, a little bit too much about the present. He did not talk about the future. He did not tell us what he plans to do to increase British imports into this country, or what he plans to do to remedy the deteriorating position of our British-Canadian trade. I plan, for about fifteen minutes this afternoon, to talk about that subject. During the past year we have seen our exports to Britain shrink rapidly in almost every line. This

has been true particularly of manufactured and processed goods, on which we depend so heavily to maintain full employment; but it has also been true of such pre-war staples as bacon, livestock, agricultural products, timber and newsprint. Our apple markets in Britain are today practically gone. I understand that the apple growers on both coasts are facing virtual ruin.

Our exports to Britain have shrunk despite the fact that in the past several years we have given substantial loans to Britain. Our exports have shrunk despite the fact that in the past year the Americans have given to Britain more than $500 million in ERP aid directly, to finance Canadian purchases. As a matter of fact our trade relations with Great Britain have been strained practically since the end of the war. I do not think the minister was fair with the house this afternoon. Putting it bluntly, the way in which we have kept our exports to Great Britain, even at their present level, was only due to the fact that for the last two years-perhaps this is exaggerating slightly-we have virtually been giving many of those goods away.

The causes of our present trade difficulties with Great Britain are well known to every hon. member. Prior to the war Britain, year in and year out, was able to buy three times as much from Canada as we bought from her. Since the war, the financial position of Britain has been such that this trade relationship has no longer been possible. Britain has been forced by harsh realities to buy from those countries that bought from her. In other words, she has not been able to trade on the old basis, simply because she has lacked Canadian dollars to do so. Therefore I think the trade situation of Canada is much more serious than the minister a few moments ago gave us to believe. Unless we can do something to increase British imports into this country, and do it soon, we face the real prospect of losing in Great Britain many of our markets for our primary products.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

Do you want to bring

horse meat in here?

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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. Thatcher:

If the present situation is

serious, then I think the future situation appears even more difficult; because, should that artificial and temporary prop of ERP aid be removed, the bottom could fall out of our British market almost overnight, not twelve months from now, not six months from now. It could fall out in a month. There is apparently a strong possibility that ERP aid may be removed. I shall quote a few lines from the Financial Post of February 19, which reads as follows:

Canada stands in grave danger of losing ECA support for her wheat agreement with the United

The Address-Mr. Thatcher Kingdom-a trade which totalled $304 million in the ten months ended January 31, 1949. It's the biggest and most ominous problem Canadians have faced since the war. . . there is little doubt that unless there is intervention at the highest level, likelihood of Canada getting further ECA funds for the United Kingdom wheat deal is highly uncertain.

In the house the other day the Prime Minister was asked whether, while he was in Washington, he was given any assurance by the President that ERP aid would be continued. The best assurance that the Prime Minister could give the people of Canada was that he felt certain the President had a "friendly understanding" of our problem. That will help, but nevertheless we must face the possibility that ERP aid may soon be removed.

Recently, London concluded a billion-dollar barter agreement with Poland, and the products which Britain obtained from Poland were livestock, cheese, and other agricultural products. I believe I am not exaggerating, Mr. Speaker, when I say that that deal caused consternation in agricultural circles in Canada. We know that that is not the only barter deal that England has concluded with European countries. There have been dozens of others of a similar nature. Mr. Speaker, in almost every case, the products which Britain is securing from these countries are the products which formerly she obtained from Canada. In other words, as time goes on we are seeing the markets for our primary products evaporate.

In addition, today the United Kingdom authorities are spending substantial sums of money in developing the continent of Africa. When these food-producing areas commence to produce, it is reasonable to assume that in the future Great Britain will be even less dependent upon Canada for food than she is today. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, no matter in what way we look at it, the primary producers of this country are facing very serious marketing difficulties, and I do not see how these facts justify the speech made by the minister this afternoon that the future trade prospects of Canada are rosy.

We could look for markets elsewhere. Probably we could sell some of our farm surpluses to the United States. Yet, in the past, the United States has always been insecure so far as markets for Canadian primary products were concerned.

It would seem to me that the most sensible solution for this parliament to attempt would be to hold our British markets. In some way we must find methods of increasing British imports into this country. It seems to me that in the last few years the government has been most apathetic in devising ways and means to increase British imports. Far too

The Address-Mr. Thatcher often we Canadians forget that in order to be an exporting country we have to buy. If you want to sell to a customer you must give him the means to pay for the goods. Sir Stafford Cripps warned this parliament and the Dominion of Canada about two weeks ago, in a manner that we cannot overlook. Sir Stafford made this statement in Great Britain. Probably hon. members have read it but I should like to quote it from the Canadian Press.

Cripps issues warning Canada to lose exports unless it "buys British."

Britain will buy less food from Canada unless Canada buys more from Britain, Sir Stafford Cripps, chancellor of the exchequer, said Thursday.

... he said the crux of the post-war Anglo-Canadian trading problem is expansion of British exports to Canada.

He said the present difficulties in Anglo-Canadian trade could be eased by greater Canadian purchases in other sterling areas in addition to the United Kingdom.

Surely, Mr. Speaker, that statement puts our trade problem right up to this parliament. If we want to continue to hold our markets in Britain we have to increase our British imports. As a parliament, perhaps there are several methods we could adopt which would accomplish that objective. I think one of the first would be tariff concessions on British imports. The government should thoroughly explore the possibility of giving fairly substantial tariff concessions to the English on British merchandise. We have not yet passed the Geneva trade agreement. It may not be wise for this parliament to pass it. I was concerned the other day to read an article about tariffs in the same issue of the Financial Post which I quoted a moment ago. This is what it said:

Cotton, rayon quotas off, tariffs back on July 1.

Tariff rates on cotton and rayon textiles are expected to be restored after June 30.

... it is expected that the government will announce these decisions at least three months ahead of the effective date.

The British trade has been warned, it is understood, that the government is no longer able to permit suspension of rate, which gave British suppliers free entry to the market.

I questioned the Minister of Finance the other day as to the veracity of that report, and he denied that such notice had been given. Notwithstanding that denial, the next day an article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, written by Ross Munro, which was headed up:

To reimpose tariffs on United Kingdom cottons.

The government intends to reimpose the British preferential tariff on British cottons and rayon textiles after next June 30.

I sincerely hope that that statement is not correct, Mr. Speaker, because it would be economic lunacy to put higher tariffs on British goods, at a time when Canada should be trying to encourage British imports. Therefore the first step that this parliament should

take would be to explore the possibility of reducing tariffs on British goods; but I hasten to say at once that I do not think that that step in itself would be sufficient to remedy our trade difficulties.

In recent months more and more Canadians have commenced to wonder whether a barter deal, or a bilateral deal between Britain and Canada might not be the solution to our problem. If European countries can make workable exchanges with Britain, it is difficult to understand why Canada cannot do likewise. Personally, I believe that in most cases barter is a retrogressive step. I think that, if most Canadians had any choice in the matter, they would prefer to retain multilateral trade; but it is beginning to appear in the world today that we may not have any choice.

I should like to quote another paragraph from the same issue of the Financial Post:

Records compiled from official sources by the Department of Trade and Commerce at Ottawa, reveal that there are betweeen 100 and 150 barter or bilateral deals now in existence, mostly between the countries of Europe.

Apparently the British have decided that in the future they are going to conduct most of their trade on a bilateral basis. If we wish to continue trading with Britain, it looks as if we are going to be forced to deal in that way.

On February 9 I asked the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) whether he had explored the possibilities of barter trade with Great Britain, and he made this reply, as reported on page 393 of Hansard:

The Canadian government is not favourably disposed toward barter agreements between governments ... It believes in multilateral trade and is opposed to any system of trading which tends to interfere with multilateral trade.

That is a pretty brusque statement, and at the risk of appearing presumptuous I would say that it was not a wise one. The minister should admit that there is something wrong with our trading system between Great Britain and Canada. If the old system will not work, perhaps we are going to have to try something new. We read a good deal about the rumours of another barter deal, this time concerning wheat, between Great Britain and Russia. This afternoon the minister was optimistic. He said that we have an assured market. That assured market will continue only for a few more months. If by some chance we should wake up some afternoon in this parliament, and find that Great Britain had concluded with Russia a barter deal for wheat, I think the whole economic structure, not only of the prairies but of this country, would be shaken to its very foundations. I say therefore that if barter or bilateral trade is the only way we can keep

our British market, then by all means let us adopt barter. It is not a question of whether or not we like barter-not a question of that at all. It is a question of whether in order to maintain our British market-indeed, in order to survive economically-we are prepared to adopt that method of trading, if the British ask or force us to do so.

As a matter of fact I found somewhat strange the aversion of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) to state trading. After all, I remember that the first year I was in Ottawa he and his ministers played a leading role in negotiating, between Canada and Great Britain, a wheat agreement under which the Dominion of Canada sold Great Britain 600 million bushels of wheat. If he could do it then, why is he afraid to do something like that at the present time?

I believe there are many Liberals across Canada who are not afraid of that kind of trading agreement. For instance, Premier Byron Johnson of British Columbia only a few weeks ago, in a letter to the London Times, openly suggested that British Columbia would be interested in exchanging British Columbia lumber for British steel.

I say a decision in respect of trade is pressing; it cannot wait indefinitely. In my home city of Moose Jaw we have a plant of the Swift Canadian Company in which normally five hundred men are employed. Today approximately two hundred are out of work because Great Britain no longer buys as much meat from us as she did formerly. Then, we have flour mills across Canada. Today many of them are either closed down or have laid men off because Great Britain is not buying as much flour as she did formerly.

I have already mentioned the position of the apple growers.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

In Saskatchewan?

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?

An hon. Member:

Horse feathers!

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

Apple growers in

Saskatchewan!

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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. Thatcher:

I say that our marketing difficulties are already upon us, whether we wish to admit it or not. It is not enough for parliament to continue to do nothing, to drift, and to hope something will turn up which will give us back our British market.

As Canadians we must understand the position of the British. One cannot help admiring the wonderful economic recovery they have made in the last several years.

Only last Saturday I picked up the Ottawa Citizen and noticed that one of the leading editorials dealt with the subject of the British government and trade. The editorial says this:

The truth is that the Labour government has proved a magnificent success. It was elected to

The Address-Mr. Thatcher power in one of the most difficult hours of Britain's history. But it has measured up to the grave tasks imposed upon it in a fashion that has won the admiration and reluctant approval even of individuals and publications which ordinarily would be expected to be among its bitterest critics.

A good deal of the success of which the Citizen speaks was accomplished by the British through these bilateral trade agreements. Using such trading methods the

United Kingdom has achieved a degree of rehabilitation and recovery which is almost incredible. Therefore if today they are somewhat reluctant to relinquish those trading methods, we can scarcely blame them. Nor can we blame the British government entirely if they maintain that the final answer to our trading impasse lies with the parliament of Canada.

After all, from the figures the minister gave us a few moments ago, the fact remains that Great Britain is still buying at least two and a half times more from Canada than we are buying from her. It is one of the main duties of parliament at this session to face up to that situation. While we are looking for a solution we must hope that the British will give us sympathetic and generous understanding, particularly when they remember the billions of dollars we poured into Great Britain in our joint war effort, when they remember the billions of dollars we have given them in loans, credits and gifts since the war, and when they remember the hundreds of millions of dollars which our primary producers have given them through selling our products at sacrifice prices. With those things in mind I feel sure the British will give the people of Canada every consideration.

I would urge the government of Canada immediately to adopt the following steps, in order to improve British-Canadian trade:

1. Call an immediate trade conference between top-level Canadian and British governmental authorities, at either Ottawa or London, to explore the trade situation thoroughly and completely. I believe the Canadian delegation should include representatives from all the major political parties of the House of Commons.

2. The Canadian government at that conference should be prepared to make major tariff concessions to Britain, in order to encourage British imports.

3. The Canadian delegation should express complete willingness to enter bilateral or barter agreements with the British, if they desire it.

4. Import boards should be established immediately in Canada to direct the disposition of British goods in this country, and to encourage British imports generally.

1018 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Webb

5. Long-term agreements for primary products such as wheat, apples, fish, lumber, et cetera, should be particularly sought by the Canadian delegation.

I emphasize once again that I believe the time for action of that sort is limited. Some may deplore the fact that it might be necessary to use barter trade. We must realize however that, in the world as it is today, that type of trading is being carried on more and more extensively. If we wish to protect our British markets, then I suggest these steps be taken soon by parliament.

On February 8, Harold Wilson, president of the British board of trade, said:

The British government is prepared to examine any suggestion "however unorthodox" to increase exports to Canada.

The British government is desirous and willing to co-operate. I suggest therefore that this parliament should proceed-and let us proceed soon before, as I said a moment ago, some morning we awaken to find that Britain has concluded a wheat agreement with Russia.

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PC

George Robert Webb

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. Webb (Leeds):

Mr. Speaker, may I add my voice by way of congratulation of the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. May I also add a word of welcome to those new members who have taken their seats at this session, and an especially enthusiastic welcome to my leader, the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Drew). Not only has he given a great deal of inspiration to hon. members on this side of the house, but he has created a sense of interest throughout the house and has given high hopes to men and women in all walks of life for a greater and more united Canada. His presence here portrays vividly great changes, one being the fact that it has created a housing problem within the seating arrangement for hon. members of the Progressive Conservative party. Every available seat is now taken. I think it only fair to give notice at this time that, should any further by-elections be fought, further seating arrangement be made accordingly.

The speech from the throne begins with these words:

The first concern of government in world affairs is to ensure peace and security.

May I hasten to say that I am fully in accord with those sentiments and I believe all hon. members of the house and in fact all people across Canada are also in accord with those sentiments. After spending many days listening to the speeches that have been delivered in this house, some good and some not good- probably mine will not be so good-I have not as yet been able to develop any great feeling of comfort, especially from what has been said on the government side of the house. I

realize that there are many problems that present themselves in carrying out those high aims and achievements and I should like to deal with a few of those problems as I see them as well as with some of the things that have come to my attention as I have gone across the country. It seems to me that there are two things, both closely linked together, which are spoken of more than anything else, namely, the high cost of living and the very high taxation.

We hear a lot about the need of keeping down prices, but we do not hear so much, especially from some quarters, about the need of keeping down all kinds of government taxes. In my opinion the various government taxes, direct and indirect, are as much a part of the high cost of living as are prices. High prices are sometimes escapable, but I have yet to find a way to escape high taxes. Therefore, to my way of thinking, high taxes are in reality a greater factor in the high cost of living which affects the people of Canada so much at the present time.

Not only are high taxes hard on the individual, not only do they constitute an important factor in the high cost of living; they affect adversely the whole economy of Canada. High taxation adds to the cost of production, which in turn means higher price tags on the things we have to sell. For a country which must sell about one-third of what it produces in order to keep prosperous, that does not seem to me to be a healthy situation. The nations that buy our goods are not particularly interested in our high taxes, in our production or other costs. If our prices are too high, it follows that they are going to buy from other countries whose price tags are lower. I think we must accept that as being reasonable.

Therefore I submit that something must be done to overcome these extremely high taxes. They are crippling enterprise, stifling development and denying adventure. More and more capital is shrinking from too great risk. More and more businessmen, including farmers, are asking themselves whether it is worth while to work for the state by extending their efforts or whether it is not better just to coast along. High taxes affect people in all walks of life. While it is not my purpose to pick out any particular class, for just a moment I should like to refer to the effect high taxes have had upon the farmers. May I say right here that I have had very close connections with farmers all my life and I know something of their ways.

I have never found farmers to be opposed to the payment of taxes provided they are applied on a fair basis, but they are certainly opposed to the present government's method

and basis of taxation and the manner in which the laws governing taxation are being enforced. On February 1 the hon. member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. White) went into this matter in some detail and I need hardly say that I am heartily in accord with everything he said at that time. It is not my purpose to take up the time of the house by repeating what he said, but I would direct the attention of hon. members to his remarks as reported on pages 150 and 151 of Hansard.

I suggest that anyone who has not given particular attention to what the hon. member said, in so far as his remarks applied to farmers, would find his time well spent by reading his speech. What he said applies to farmers in general, and certainly to the farmers in my district.

I believe that if the farmers were approached in the proper way, if the tax form they are required to fill out did not require such an extensive bookkeeping system, if they were allowed the exemptions to which they are justly entitled, if the government would eliminate the present questionable and mysterious method of enforcing the income tax laws, they would be ready to pay just the same as anyone else. I submit that a large portion of the present vast army of tax collectors and what-have-you might be dispensed with and the Department of National Revenue would thus be able to save some money.

Just in passing, may I enlarge upon what I mean by just exemptions, to which I think the farmer is entitled. Anyone inside or outside the house who has had any experience in farming knows that the farmer works anywhere from ten to fifteen hours a day. That is not a three or four day week, it is a seven day week. Then consideration should be given to the assistance which he receives from his wife, not only in connection with running the household but also in connection with outside work. Then assistance is provided by any sons and daughters, in fact by everyone connected with the farm household.

As far as I can figure out, our farmers do not get the exemptions I have just referred to. They are not given consideration for the hours of work they put in. If that were considered, and if consideration were given to the exemptions to which they are justly entitled, then I think you would have an entirely different situation in connection with the collecting of income taxes from farmers. In addition it seems to me that, in the result, you would have a much happier and more satisfied people. Urban and rural people would be brought more closely together, and would eventually understand one another

The Address-Mr. Webb much better; but in my opinion the farmer has done a great deal, especially during the war years, to bring about a balanced economy. We read in the press, and in fact we hear from many other sources, about the possibility of a reduction in income tax this year. We are led to believe that we should expect one when the budget is presented to the house.

I hope this is not only wishful thinking, because it is long overdue. I can only say that I believe the Canadian people are, and have been, very suspicious of the government withholding relief from taxation until a time when they might hold it out as an inducement to the people of Canada to return the present government to power. That is hardly fair, but from the reports I receive from people right across Canada it would seem that any relief in taxation which may be forthcoming in the budget will probably be too little, and definitely too late, to accomplish the desired result.

There are many taxes to which I might refer, but it is pretty hard to pick out one tax which seems to be more discriminatory than another. I believe that almost all members of the house have been receiving letters, and have been approached on many occasions, about the tax on jewelry. That is only one article, and I am not going to spend very much time on it at the moment because other speakers have dealt with the matter. I refer particularly to the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Shaw), who made a speech the other night. I have read his speech, and I should like to refer members to page 751 of Hansard where it seems to me that he has set out the situation very well. I believe that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) has been pressed on many occasions with representations about this tax. Therefore we can only hope that some consideration will be given to this particular business, because we are all anxious to have businesses in our respective communities carry on in a prosperous way. I know they are very much affected at this time.

I had intended to say a good deal about the wartime prices and trade board, but I do not want to repeat any more than is necessary. At this stage of the debate it is pretty hard to talk about anything that has not already been referred to. Dealing with the activities of the wartime prices and trade board in my community, I cannot do better than to refer you to the remarks that the hon. member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. White) made not long ago. After listening to his speech and reading it, I can only say that my experience in the constituency of Leeds has been very similar. I refer the members of the house to pages 152 and 153 of

1020 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Webb Hansard, where the hon. member states his experiences. I only wish to add that I concur in his remarks. It seems to me that it is about time that drastic changes were made.

I want to turn to another matter to which I have referred on different occasions when the estimates were before the house, the question of rural postal service. At the beginning of my remarks I said I was going to mention several items, and this is one of them. On several occasions I have brought to the attention of the postal department the fact that a large number of families in our rural areas are not receiving postal service. It has always been my contention that, if one person is going to receive postal delivery in a rural district, then everyone within that area should receive the same service, if at all possible. I know of cases in my part of the country where there seems to be definite discrimination, and for reasons that are pretty hard- to understand. I suggested in the house at one time that I thought it would be reasonable to make a survey of the various postal routes. I know there are some of them that are much shorter than others but which really should get more money. The condition of roads varies, and there are many other conditions which should be taken into consideration. Until such time as a survey is made, may 1 say that I cannot see how anyone can possibly sit in an office in Ottawa and know the type of delivery that should be made, how often it should be made, and what the cost of the delivery should be on a reasonable basis. I am not going to say anything more on that subject.

There is another matter that is of great interest to me, and on which I have spoken on different occasions. In passing I want to bring to your attention again my opinion about national parks. I believe the government-and I will give them a little credit here-are on sound ground in increasing the expenditure on national parks. In my view such parks constitute a great Canadian asset which should return dividends from year to year. As time passes, and the number of tourists increases, they will prove immensely valuable. I feel that very soon eastern Ontario-and incidentally I think it would be quite in order for me to suggest the county of Leeds, which after all is the most popular resort area in eastern Ontario-should also have a national park on a basis that is really worthy of this country, and in keeping with the natural beauties and attractions of this section of Canada.

Closely linked with that subject, of course, is the tourist business. Every session since I have come to the house I have spoken about the value of tourists to our country, not only because we need hard currency, but also

because we need the friendship of those who come here. People with whom we have played golf, fished, and possibly sailed, and whom we consider as personal friends, will feel favourably disposed to trade with us if we extend the right hand of fellowship, and if we do not withdraw the hand too quickly to count the tourist dollars which we hope repose therein.

The tourist industry has been kicked around in various departments of the government since I have been here, but I do not think it should be regarded any longer as a sideline. I think it should take a major place in some department of the government which will be able to familiarize itself with it, and carry on year after year, instead of having it turned over to a different department every year or two. I think that our efforts in this direction certainly should be increased, because after all it is a very important factor in our everyday life, especially in my particular part of the country. The hon. member for Lamb ton West (Mr. Murphy) touched on this question in his speech the other day. He asked for a commission. I have not had an opportunity of talking with him since, but I think last year we both asked for something a little different from what we have had. This might be the answer. In closing this particular portion of my address, I should like to say that I no longer consider this a sideline of this government and I hope the department concerned will give the matter special consideration.

I should like to mention one other item which seems very important to me and which has not been mentioned in the present debate. It concerns accidents at level crossings, about which we read every day in our newspapers. In this modern age, nothing is more antiquated than the average level crossing. Most of these crossings were constructed in the horse and buggy days. The tremendous increase in the pace and volume of traffic today has made these crossings entirely inadequate and extremely dangerous. I made a survey of the accidents at these crossings during the last two years and although I did not bring the figures with me, I can tell you they were shocking. A large number of people lost their lives or were maimed for life in level-crossing accidents throughout this country. This week I read a newspaper report of five people who were killed at a level crossing near Kirkland Lake. Within the last two days two more people have been killed. So often when we pick up our morning newspaper we read of another accident at one of these dangerous railway crossings.

Most of these crossings are going to be with us for a long time. I realize that the

elimination of all level crossings within a short period of time is quite impossible. All we can do in the immediate future is to eliminate the more dangerous crossings which exist on the heavily traveled highways and streets. I trust you will bear with me if I give you an example of one of the most dangerous level crossings in the province of Ontario. This crossing is located on the main line of the Canadian National Railways close to the railway station in the town of Brockville. At this point the railway line intersects Perth street, which is the street used by most north and south bound traffic in the town of Brockville. I travel this highway frequently and it is a very rare occasion when I am not halted at this crossing for a considerable length of time. I am not going into too much detail at the moment, but this is the main east and west line of the Canadian National Railways and is consequently heavily traveled. Incidentally, the railway yards are also in that area. A considerable portion of the town is on the north side of the track and it is not unusual to see hundreds of school children waiting to cross at this point. On many occasions the fire department has been delayed at that crossing, with very serious results.

I am sorry the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) is not in his seat at the moment because I believe he is familiar with this particular crossing. If he were here I am sure he would agree with me when I say that this crossing is one of the most dangerous in this province; in fact, I would not be surprised if it were one of the most dangerous in Canada. I have described this particular crossing and tried to tell you of the inconveniences and the hazards that prevail there. I firmly believe that the correction of this situation would be a great relief to the railway men who have the responsibility of handling rail and road traffic at this busy point, and it would add to the safety and convenience of the pedestrians and vehicles using the crossing.

In discussing possible solutions with the local citizens, I have been informed that vigorous complaints have already been lodged with the representatives of the Canadian National Railways. So far this has brought no results. For the present I must be content to let my case rest at this point, but I feel this is an important matter. While I have mentioned a specific case in my own constituency, I would not want anyone in the house to feel I am selfish about this, because I know there are many equally dangerous crossings in other parts of Canada. As I said before, I do not believe all level crossings can be eliminated at once, but I do feel that some of the more dangerous ones, at which acci-

The Address-Mr. Hansell dents have been frequent, should receive some special consideration by the Department of Transport.

It is not my intention to labour this question, but I should like the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) to note that I have not finished with it. I trust that, before the minister's estimates are before the house, he will be able to give me some sort of satisfactory reply as to the possibility of improvement at this particular crossing. I believe it is important to the people in my constituency.

In conclusion, I submit that the immediate necessity is for a revolution in the government's thinking. Whether such apprehension can come to this government, which seems entirely out of touch with the man* on the street, is of course another matter. It may be that no redress can be hoped for without a deeper and more drastic change.

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Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

In rising to speak in this debate, Mr. Speaker, I am not going to take the time of the house to analyse all that the speech from the throne contained. I am going to confine myself to one line of thought which I believe is paramount in the world today. I shall of course direct my remarks to the present administration. I recall on one occasion hearing of a young doctor who said: "I do not understand why that patient died; I gave him every kind of medicine I could think of." If the story be true, obviously the young medico was frustrated, and his frustration resulted in his trying anything and everything. As I listen to much that is said in this house, particularly by those whose words should mean something-I mean those who sit in the seats of the mighty, those whom I call head-cheese politicians who sometimes appear, politically, to be neither fish, flesh nor fowl-those in authority over us, I wonder if they are not like the young doctor. To me at least one thing seems to be certain; that is, that they could not have properly diagnosed the ills of the nation or of the world. If those in power had correctly diagnosed the world's headache, they would have discovered something of the enemy behind the scenes.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I shall suggest that no administration of any nation on the face of the earth can adequately solve the problems of that nation if they do not properly search out the enemy behind the scenes. Have our government done that? I think not. Instead, they have assumed that all is well with the human race. And so they strut around with their heads in the clouds, still believing that the moon is made of green cheese; they assume that the Canadian people are what some people term "a bunch of suckers", and proceed to spread it on thick.

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The Address-Mr. Hansell

I do not believe that we shall recognize the seriousness of the world situation until we also recognize that there is a tremendous battle going on behind the. scenes of human affairs, and that battle is between the forces of right and the forces of wrong. That battle is between the forces of righteousness and unrighteousness, Christianity and anti-Christianity, Christ and anti-Christ. The sooner we understand that, the better. Then we shall recognize something of the tremendous struggle that is taking place for the survival of the human race. The battle that we must fight, if we are to be known as a Christian democracy, is a battle against evil, ungodly and satanic forces. I might say, Mr. Speaker, that the prize to be won in the battle is the human 'race. The ultimate objective of these forces of evil is the complete enslavement of the human race.

It appears to me that some of us are a bit lax in our thinking as we attempt to trace through the movements of the world and see in them the processes taking place, even before our very eyes, for the ultimate enslavement of the world. That is one reason I personally am against this clamour for world government. World government means only one thing-world enslavement.

What are the processes that are taking place? I shall mention one. I believe it was mentioned the other night by one of the other members of this group. These forces that are out to enslave the human race attempt to do so by dispossessing man of all that is rightfully his. One thing in our social credit movement' that charms me is the fact that our one great plank is the establishment of man in his own right. How is this process of dispossession taking place? I shall mention a number of ways. In the first place, there is this terrible system imposed upon us by almost every government, the system of taxation which I will designate as legalized robbery or legalized dispossession.

We ask why governments tax, and they say: We must have money, and the only way in which we can get it is by taxation. Who said that was the only way we could get money? Mr. Abbott. Who told him so? Where has he been, and who has moulded his thinking? He might say: We have been taught that by the economists. If that is so, Mr. Speaker, these men who adhere to this taxation system have been taught to believe one colossal, gigantic lie. I would say that it is a national disgrace that learned professors of history, economics, money, banking and political economy, in our high schools and in our higher schools of learning, have not been and are not now telling us the truth. These so-called higher schools of learning have within them

professors who have been taught by professors who in turn have been taught by professors; and over the decades of time one great big lie has been propagated.

To the question, where does money come from, ninety-nine out of one hundred of those you ask will give you the wrong answer. I say that the so-called higher education has degenerated into a system of colossal falsehoods perpetrated by professional, muddleheaded robots. I ask this question. Does the present Liberal administration believe that the only source from which they can get money with which to run this country is taxation? If they believe that, then they are a party to the lie. I turn to my Conservative friends and I ask them: Do you believe that the only source from which governments can get money is taxation? I ask our socialist friends to my right if they believe that.

I say to you that if political parties believe that that is the only source from which they can get money, then they are accessories after the lie. And all lies are evil, all lies are antiChrist. This process of dispossession is gradually but surely taking place. I pose taxation as one of these methods of dispossession. It is gradually but surely taking place. The failure of the masses to sense the approach of their own doom is in accord with historical precedents. It was ever thus. Perhaps it is not expected that the people en masse will understand. Masses are swayed by emotional appeal, not by studious technical logic. The destructive forces know that and have already designated the people as the common herd. But we who sit in this house, men who are supposed to have intelligence, men who sit on the treasury benches guiding the affairs of the nation, men who have been highly regarded as those who ought to know; we men who sit in the house and in whom the masses have placed their confidence, are we so stupid as to fail to sense this situation and to see that, over the processes of time, eventually this taxation will dispossess each and every individual of that which is rightfully his?

Take our social service schemes, Mr. Speaker. Many of them are coming into operation. Some of them may appear to be legitimate and schemes which should be given legislative sanction, but in order to make these schemes effective they will eventually dispossess us of that which we have.

The other day we listened to the interesting speech of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin). Undoubtedly he has in mind a great program. Undoubtedly he has been able to filch from the people of Canada by way of taxation enough money to give certain grants to the provinces in order

to bring into existence a better health scheme. It is hailed as a progressive step; but let us not forget that in that progressive step, because of the adherence by this government to a taxation system, a process of dispossession is taking place. Take our old age pension scheme. I do not even like to mention that they are old age pension schemes; they are glorified relief schemes, glossing them over with a certain respectability. I shall prophesy something. I prophesy that, when the Minister of National Health and Welfare brings in a new old age pension scheme, under which the old age pensions may be larger, and under which there may be some attempt to grant them without a means test, any new legislation he brings in along that line will be on a contributory basis. I make that prophecy, and I shall turn to this particular page of Hansard and read it to him when that day comes. If his scheme is to be on a contributory basis, then it will mean that this process of dispossession is gradually fastening itself upon the people.

During this session we have heard a good deal about pensions for the incurables. I happen to be greatly interested in that, for a couple of years ago I was instrumental in having something to do with the organization which now numbers its membership in the thousands, and is growing rapidly throughout Canada. I know something of what the minister will have in mind when he brings down some sort of relief for incurables. What he has in mind is that it must be on a contributory basis. In the first place, an incurable has not the wherewithal to contribute. Nevertheless, if it is to be on a contributory basis, then the process of dispossession is taking place.

We have other schemes. There is unemployment insurance. I am not going to say that under the present system of taxation an unemployment insurance scheme has not some merit in it; but I do say that that is also a part of the process of dispossession. We hear a familiar phrase being used in labour circles with respect to their pay envelopes. The phrase is "take home pay". We have so much "take home pay". All I ask is: "What is the matter? What do you mean by take home pay? Don't you take it all home?" My answer is: "Why not; is it not yours?" The answer I get is: "There is a deduction for this and a deduction for that and a deduction for the other thing. And now that our union has gone into politics there is a deduction for this and a deduction for something else", and so on and so forth. "All I have now is my take home pay." I ask: "What has happened to the rest?" The answer I get is that it has

The Address-Mr. Hansell been taken from the labourer legally. But he did not say that they could take it. Did they consult the labourer? Do they consult the populace when they want to take this money from them? No, of course they do not. I say that the process of dispossession is taking place. If it goes far enough the take home pay will result in an empty envelope. There will not be anything for us to take home. If the process goes still further and we are dispossessed of our homes we shall take nothing home because we shall not have any homes to take nothing home to. That will be the situation.

Unless we get at the basic and fundamental origin of what all this fight is about, we shall never solve anything. It is a little secret. We have to learn that these forces which are out to wreck humanity are, in the first place, out to dispossess us of that which we have; and, when once we are dispossessed, we, the human race, become the slaves of a huge bureaucratic state. Let us make no mistake about that. Dispossession by means of debt, interest and taxation is a deep-seated plot to enslave the human race. Look at what we are headed for: state medicine. That is what we are headed for. State distribution of' foods; that is what we are headed for. State labour; that is what we are headed for, if it keeps on. Under the socialization of industry, labour toils for the state. Let us make no mistake about that. When that process is complete, you have the human race in a state of slavery.

I do not wish to go out of my way to refer to socialist Britain. I am going to refer to it, however, because it appears to me that Britain, which we once called Great Britain, is no longer great. At least she is not great in the sense of being a great economic factor in the world.

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An hon. Member:

Nonsense.

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Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

My hon. friend says "nonsense". I shall not break up my speech to answer all the interjections; but I have heard them often. These socialist gentlemen who say that should have been sitting in the house thirteen or fourteen years ago, when some of us first came here. I am not going to take time to reply to these interjections; but the debate on controls is not yet over. The last word has not yet been said. Someone will answer my socialist friends who sit immediately to my right.

I am not blaming them for Great Britain's state. I do not know that we should place too much blame upon the British socialist government today; I want to be fair. But what I am saying is that in this battle of the ages one of the objectives in the minds of

1024 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Hansell these forces of evil has been the destruction of a great empire. Let us not fool ourselves about that. And they are on their way; do not forget it. A socialized Britain is one step in the process.

Only the other day I read-and I had to smile when I read it-where a butcher in England was arrested for putting too much meat in his sausage.

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March 1, 1949