March 8, 1949

CONSTRUCTION OF WAREHOUSES IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND


On the orders of the day:


?

Mr. W. Chester S. McLure@Queens

desire to direct a question to the Minister of Agriculture, of which I have given him due notice, together with some information which may help him answer the question. Have any new agreements been entered into with the province of Prince Edward Island for the construction of potato warehouses, other than those provided for in the regulations approved by P.C. 4633 under date of December 3, 1947?

Topic:   POTATOES
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF WAREHOUSES IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture):

The short answer to the question, Mr. Speaker, is that there have been no changes in the regulations. As the hon. member has stated, he sent me his file along with notice of the question. To answer his question in full I would say that the telegram he sent on March 1 is in accordance with the facts. With respect to what has been stated by the premier of Prince Edward Island, I would say tha\ he has been to Ottawa and has discussed the possibility of making changes; and I take it from the newspaper reports that he intends to suggest that some changes be made. Up to the present time, however, we have not received the suggestions.

Topic:   POTATOES
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF WAREHOUSES IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
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SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed from Monday, March 7, consideration of the motion of Mr. D. F. Brown for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Drew, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coldwell.


PC

Harry Rutherford Jackman

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harry R. Jackman (Rosedale):

Mr. Speaker, at this stage of the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the

throne there are very few matters that can still usefully be brought up, or in respect of which one may submit a humble contribution, but I should like to say a few words about three matters in particular. The first is the very singular omission from the speech from the throne of any reference to old age pensions or a national retirement plan; the second is the matter of housing, which was touched upon very sketchily, and finally, I should like, before the budget is prepared, to make a few remarks on the subject of taxation.

The most striking omission from the speech from the throne was the complete absence of any reference to old age pensions or a national retirement plan. Last season we saw the present government reduce the rate on government annuities from four per cent to three per cent, making it that much more difficult for our people to provide a little self-help and thus in part at least look after themselves in their old age. Surely this was a backward step; for I do not suppose there is a single member of any party in this house who does not believe in contributory old age pensions. And what a little contribution it was, under the old dominion government annuities scheme, for the government to allow four per cent; it was not a high average rate, having in mind the average rate paid on government bonds over a long period. But the government saw fit to reduce it to three per cent.

I should like to bring before the house a suggestion I offered last year, the acceptance of which would enable the ordinary citizen to make some provision, before taxation, for his old age. Many industrial companies, as well as the government, have old age pension plans or superannuation benefits, and to these plans the employer, the employee and the state make contributions. The contribution made by the employee, usually about four or five per cent of his weekly wage, is tax free; in other words the employee does not pay any tax on the amount he puts into this superannuation or old age pension plan. According to an estimate made the other day by one of our fellow members there are

800,000 people in Canada today who are able to take advantage of government-approved plans under which one may save before taxation. If this government were genuinely and sincerely interested in the problems of old age and in making some kind of provision therefor, long ago they would have put on the statute books a plan under which any individual, whether a government employee, an employee of some large company with an approved plan, or anyone else, would be able to make a weekly contribution to a national retirement plan-which is the name I shall

give it. These contributions would all be deductible from earnings before tax is collected, and they would come off the top bracket. Thus it is possible for some fortunate individuals to save before taxation. The majority of our people, however, are not favoured by being permitted to come under such a plan.

Just to bring the idea home to hon. gentlemen may I suggest what it would do for members of this house. Our indemnities are $4,000. If we were allowed to put something by before taxation, as do 800,000 of our people, five per cent on $4,000 would be $200 that we might put into a retirement plan; and that $200 would not be subject to taxation at whatever our top bracket might be. A cabinet minister would be able to put by five per cent of his salary, or $800. These plans also contain provisions under which one may make contributions in respect of previous years of service, up to a maximum amount of $900 per year. Therefore a cabinet minister would be allowed to deduct $800 from his current earnings and to put by $900 per year until he had made up for his past services; he would have a total of $1,700 off his top bracket, and thus would be able to make some provision for his old age.

In the same way, Mr. Speaker, this plan can be adapted to all our people, and the savings are proportionate in all brackets. When the contributor under the plan receives his annuity he is taxed in respect of the whole amount; therefore the revenue department would not lose out entirely by allowing this saving before taxation. However, as will be readily seen, when a man retires he is no longer in receipt of his weekly pay envelope; he has only his small annuity, and if he is in any tax bracket it is a very low bracket.

What I complain about, sir, is that the government has accepted this principle of saving before taxation for a large proportion of our people, but it refuses to set up any plan under which the majority of our wage earners and others who want to make some provision for their old age may receive the same consideration. No one will deny the great social advantage of helping a man to help himself to provide for his old age. Why, then, should the government not make it possible for all our people to save up to five per cent of their earnings before taxation?

If the employer does not contribute because the majority of people work for small companies or are self-employed and there is no plan available, why should these people not be allowed to save up to ten per cent, if possible, of their yearly earnings, this amount to be put into a government-sponsored plan such as dominion government annuities? I throw 29087-79

The Address-Mr. Jackman out a challenge to the great life insurance companies of this country to design a plan which will receive government approval to the end that the individual who does not come under a superannuation plan may pay up to five per cent, or, as I have just suggested, up to ten per cent of his earnings where no employer is contributing on his behalf. By this method a very substantial sum would be accumulated which would permit a man a decent retiring allowance at a reasonable age.

If that were done in the case with the members of this house-so that the point will be readily understood-ten per cent of the $4,000 indemnity would be put aside. This amount would be deducted from the gross income and put into this government-supervised or government-approved plan. The deduction would be $400 per year, and the regular tax rates would apply on the balance of his income. I cannot advocate too strongly, Mr. Speaker, the plan I have been suggesting, because it does seem most unfair that some of us are enabled to take advantage of such a plan-and I may say I am one of these-while others cannot. As I have pointed out, there are some 800,000 people who do take advantage of such a plan, but there are probably several times that number who are unable to do so because of the laxity of the government in the matter of passing reasonable legislation based on principles which the government has already approved.

The second point to which I wish to address a few remarks, Mr. Speaker, has to do with housing. It is of particular importance in my riding, because the Regent Park housing development, which is attracting attention not only throughout Canada but perhaps throughout the whole of North America, is located there. It is the first experiment in co-operation between the city, the province and the federal government in sharing the cost. In the city of Toronto the housing situation is probably more acute than it is in most other centres in Canada. I am informed that Toronto and its suburbs are today the fastest growing areas in Canada. This is partly due to a natural growth and partly due to a large influx of immigrants in that vicinity. At the same time we find that the amount of construction of housing units in Toronto proper in 1947 was less than seven per cent of the total construction. The remaining ninety-three per cent went into commercial enterprises, such as moving picture theatres, warehouses, stores, churches, hotels, etc. In 1947 almost as much construction was for the housing of automobiles as for the housing of people. A substantial amount of house construction

1248 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Jackman was undertaken in the adjoining municipalities.

In Toronto there is a shortage of land on which to construct any large-scale housing development. Nevertheless there is plenty of room for apartment house sites and multiple dwelling units. This is borne out by the construction figures for the city of Toronto proper in 1948. Instead of $2,156,000 being spent on housing, as in 1947, including apartments, we find that $3,563,000 was spent in 1948. In other words, whereas in 1947 only seven per cent of the total construction undertaken in Toronto was for housing units, in 1948 eleven per cent was for this purpose. Business and commercial enterprises undoubtedly had a priority over veterans' housing, but by 1948 the demands of industry and commerce were beginning to fall off. The failure of the government to adopt a system of permits from Ottawa until the post-war housing shortage was eliminated has resulted in a great diversion of labour and building materials from housing to commercial structures.

I make no apology, Mr. Speaker, for bringing up the subject of controls after the war period when so many hundreds of thousands of our young men were overseas. When these men returned they were getting married and beginning to raise families. During their long years of absence they were unable to provide themselves with a house. Undoubtedly, therefore, we were faced with an emergency at that time for which the government did nothing to find a satisfactory solution. The result was that the municipalities were left to control housing permits. One municipality could not say: No; you must not build this factory or this moving picture palace here, because the company or the moving picture exhibitor would simply go to the adjoining municipality. There would be no net gain for the country as a whole so far as housing units were concerned. The cost of building a moving picture theatre is not nearly as important to the exhibitor as the cost of building a house is to the returned man or any other young man who is endeavouring to set up his own home.

The result has been the outbidding of the prospective home owner for labour and materials, and his consequent inability to afford a house. Some control should have been exercised from Ottawa over the type of building which has been allowed during the last five years. Had such controls been put into operation, today we would have solved the real difficulty of a housing shortage. We might not have had quite so many motion picture houses as we have in some areas, and even now some people are alarmed over the possibility that all these theatres are not

going to be required. There is a possibility that the motion picture industry has overbuilt.

The minister of reconstruction is quoted as saying that even if the government and industry are successful in constructing 100,000 additional housing units in 1949, that could not come close to solving the housing shortage. He said the over-all housing situation was not good, Mr. Speaker-and this is after five years. A main factor in the demand for houses is the formation of new families. The minister said that last year there were 83,000 units completed, and new familiy formations were estimated at 80,000; so you can see that we gained only 3,000 units from that point of view alone.

The government has no adequate housing policy for our people. In fact the government, through one department and another, has done more to discourage housing than to assist it. While rent controls were necessary, the handling of them and the maladministration by the government has done much to discourage investment in rental housing. In my riding there are many people who, once they have acquired their own little home, put their savings into a neighbouring house as their nest egg. The administration of rental controls has been a definite discouragement to the construction of rental housing which the government would like to see brought about.

It might also be pointed out that just as our wheat farmers feel that they have been made to bear the whole burden of selling cheap wheat to the United Kingdom, so many landlords feel that they have been made to bear the full burden of rent controls based on pre-war rentals and vacancies. In both cases justice might well have dictated that the burden be borne by all our people rather than by the few.

One of the most serious handicaps to building in our suburban areas is municipal taxation. Small suburban municipalities had a difficult time in the thirties, and they do not want again to get themselves into a similar position. These communities are mostly residential, and the men work in the adjoining cities. If times become difficult, local taxation is hard to collect, and there are no large companies with reserves out of which taxes can be paid. Therefore one can understand the position of some of these small municipalities which do not want to increase their population too rapidly, and which therefore insist on fewer but costlier houses being built in a given land area.

It should be realized that when so many services, together with the cost of education,

are taxed against a small municipality, its tax burden may become great-indeed, in difficult times, impossible. It is lor this reason that the province of Ontario is now bearing more than fifty per cent of the cost of education. At the same time the unfair distribution of the cost of education and other services clearly shows why there should be a resumption of the dominion-provincial conference, to the end that the taxing power of our political authorities may be adjusted according to their needs and responsibilities. The leader of the official opposition (Mr. Drew) has long been aware of this situation, and it is for that reason that he has at all times desired the resumption of the sittings of the dominion-provincial conferences.

The government has done nothing to stimulate the chief bottleneck in the building industry. That bottleneck is not so much a scarcity of labour as it is a scarcity of building materials, such as electrical and plumbing fixtures, bricks, hardware items, and so on. For years I have recommended that the government stimulate the production of building materials to meet the acute housing shortage resulting from the lack of any building during the war years. In particular, in March, 1946, in a speech on housing, I recommended that the government allow manufacturers of building supplies to create additions to their factories in order to meet the emergency which at that time I said might last for five years, even though there might not be use for that additional capacity in the distant future. As I said then, it may last longer than that, but I do not see how it can last for less. I said that the government should allow the owners of these industries to write off the cost of the excess building material capacity during the period of the crisis. Nothing has been done in this regard, and we are still short of building materials.

The last suggestion for solving the housing difficulty, with which the government is admittedly making no headway, again brings me into the field of taxation. If building tradesmen and contractors were given some reward for additional production rather than a penalty by way of a higher tax rate, one might expect a material improvement in the number of housing units constructed. If it is made worth while, there is no doubt that many tradesmen would like to work on Saturday mornings in order to help to relieve the housing shortage, particularly where veterans are concerned, but not when the workmen are obliged to work for considerably less per hour than they do during the rest of the week because of the effect of getting into a higher income tax bracket.

29087-79J

The Address-Mr. Jackman

I should now like to make a few remarks about the bare statement in the speech from the throne with regard to taxation. It reads as follows:

Prosperous conditions now prevailing are being reflected in the buoyant level of national revenues; a condition to which due consideration is being given by my ministers in the preparation of forthcoming budgetary proposals.

Some members of the press and others have taken this to mean the foreshadowing of some reduction from the present discouraging rates of taxation. This is by no means a necessary inference. Last year, because of the "buoyancy"-a word which the officials of the Department of Finance seem to be fond of using-of our national income and of our national economy, no relief could be given to the taxpayer. Indeed, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) in his budget address of May 18, 1948, said, by way of apology and justification for not reducing the discouraging rate of taxation, that there was never a better time to continue high taxation and to reduce the burden of our national debt. On page 4057 of Hansard of that date the Minister of Finance is reported to have said:

We can do it now-

That is, debt reduction.

-without hardship and thereby get ourselves in better position to bear the extra burdens we may have to assume when our national income becomes less buoyant or other untoward developments occur.

We have seen nothing to indicate that we are not to have a prosperous 1949. Indeed the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) only a few weeks ago said that the volume of business and the total of our national income would be most satisfactory and would compare most favourably with 1948. If therefore we are to take the reasoning of the Minister of Finance last year, we cannot expect any reduction in taxation.

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?

An hon. Member:

We can expect higher taxation.

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PC

Harry Rutherford Jackman

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jackman:

Yes. As one of my colleagues remarked, if the national income is higher, as I think the minister said it might be, we may expect higher taxation.

In the speech from the throne the government declares that:

Prosperous conditions now prevailing are being reflected in the buoyant level of national revenues-

-and that this is to be given due consideration in the forthcoming budget. What does the government mean? Is it ambiguity and double talk? If we are to give them credit for honesty of intention and language last year, it can only mean that no relief from discouraging taxation is promised to our people at

1250 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Jackman the present time, despite their insistent clamour. However, 1949 is likely to be an election year; and although the government has declared its belief in the principle that taxation should not be reduced when our economy is prosperous, they will no doubt give "due consideration" to abandoning their declared principles and to descending to what in their eyes must be the low level of political expediency.

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, I wonder what the bureaucrats in the Department of Finance will say to the ministers when apparently the ministers now refuse to follow the dictates of these men who have for so long been controlling the destinies not only of our country but of our individual lives.

The Progressive Conservatives, on the other hand, have always believed in fairness and a rate of taxation which would not discourage production; for without production there can be no increase in the standard of living of our people, which is our chief desire and aim. It is not unreasonable to expect that, with a growing and expanding volume of national business, under reasonable rates of taxation the total of national revenues would be greater rather than less, and that any necessary debt reduction could be better achieved in this manner. Particularly do we believe that relief from discouraging rates of taxation should be given when our surplus of revenues over expenditures amounts to no less than $600 million for the present fiscal year, or an amount equal to $50 per head for every man, woman and child.

I wonder what the great majority of the people in Rosedale riding would say if you were to call on them and say: Not only have you paid your federal bills, but here is a rebate of $50 per head. They could do so many things with that. It would be very much like four or five Christmases rolled into one. First of all, they could pay their bills. Second, they could acquire a few more necessities which they badly need. I have already mentioned the Regent Park development and the improvements which are planned for that large area. Third, many of my people would ibe able to send their boys and girls to high school instead of letting them go to work when they are fifteen or sixteen years of age, if they could only get this $50 per head which the government has wrongly taken from them this year, as it did last year. Fourth, many of my people have never had a decent holiday in their lives. If it were not for the fresh air camps in some of the areas in Rosedale riding, many of the children would never have had a summer camp holiday. If you could give them back $50 of their own money-not the government's money- these children would be able to build up their

little bodies for the school season and the rigours of the winter. There would be much greater satisfaction all round if the government wguld not seek to overtax the people as it does at the present time.

If debt reduction, sir, were the sole byproduct of high taxation and surplus revenue, the government might have some measure of justification; but everyone knows what one does when one's pocket is full-he spends. Last year the budget surplus was $670 million. This year it promises to be well over $600 million, an amount greater than the total of all the taxes on personal incomes. It is almost incomprehensible to many of us that the surplus which the government hardly expected to get is greater than the total of all the taxes on personal incomes-and I am not now speaking of corporation incomes. In other words, if we did not believe that personal income tax was a substantial and worth-while part of our tax structure, because of the revenues which we have taken this year and in 1947, we could abolish the whole thing. But the added by-product of this surplus and excessive taxation is not only that the people are deprived of what is justly theirs, but that the government, with an overflowing treasury, spends with a free hand. Free spending is the inevitable result of a full pocketbook-easy come, easy go.

If we are to have taxation reduced to a reasonable level, then not only must the government budget more closely, but it must reduce its expenditures. The estimates now take up over 300 pages of closely-printed material; but in many cases there is no fault to find with the purposes for which the money is asked. The same thing would apply to every individual in Canada if he or she were to budget his or her expenditures for a ten per cent or a twenty-five per cent increase. In practically every instance a very good case could be made out, not only for the desirability but for the necessity of these increased expenditures. But the reason that we ordinary people live within our incomes is that we have to. We cannot levy taxes on someone else as does the Liberal government. We have to earn by the sweat of our brows the money which we spend, and we adjust our expenditures accordingly. Unfortunately the government can itself earn nothing, because it can create nothing. But by the same token the government should say that it will spend of the national income so much and no more. Only by this means can taxation be held within reasonable levels and the people be left with some share to meet their own increasing costs, to provide a down payment on the house that they wish to buy, or to put something by for their old age.

The present rates of taxation are simply an aftermath of wartime taxation. The government has grown accustomed to these extraordinary rates of taxation, and the people, while complaining, have not yet put up that resistance which will be more manifest when this government shortly goes to the polls. The government is reluctant to give up these high taxing powers, and the people are becoming insistent on getting some reasonable share of their own income to spend in the way in which they see fit.

What is the effect of the present discouraging rate of taxation? In 1939 the total personal income tax collected from our people amounted to $57 million. Can hon. members believe that? In 1948 it amounted to $659 million, an increase of over 1,100 per cent. In 1939 the personal income tax exemptions were $1,000 for a single person and $2,000 for married persons. Now these exemptions are $750 and $1,500. During the same period the cost of living index has risen from 100 to 160, or sixty per cent. Relating this increase to the cost of living in terms of ability to buy things or to maintain a standard of living, the exemptions allowed in 1939-that is, $1,000 and $2,000

would in 1949 be worth $1,600 for a single person and $3,200 for a married couple. Thus we find that not only have income tax rates gone up excessively, but present day exemptions of $750 and $1,500 are less than half, so far as ability to live is concerned, what they were in 1939. The present low exemptions reduce the standard of living of our people below the level which the resources of our country and a reasonable standard of living demand.

If some of our cabinet ministers would become better acquainted with the life of our people they would find what deprivations have to be made in order that people may meet their bills and at the same time pay their taxes. Any restaurant proprietor in Ottawa will tell you that the customary lunch of many government employees in the lower salary brackets consists of a sandwich and a cup of coffee, a diet which is inadequate for health and efficiency. Yet the same employees have pay-roll deductions from their small income.

How it is possible for any single person to live, particularly in the larger cities and away from home, on $750 per annum is something that the government should take some pains to demonstrate. Or how a married couple can live on $1,500 a year, with the present high cost of nearly everything they require, is a problem which hundreds of thousands of our citizens are finding great difficulty in solving. Yet once anything over these small exemptions is earned, the income tax applies, starting at 10 per cent on the first $100 of

The Address-Mr. Jackman income over the minimum exemptions and 20 per cent on anything over $500. Then the tax proceeds up to 80 per cent with an additional four per cent on investment income. Are these not discouraging rates?

Not only have government expenditures been excessive, but the overtaxation which is now being carried on has resulted in a surplus of over $600 million. There are many points which I should like to make, Mr. Speaker, in regard to matters which I hope might be given some consideration when the budget comes down. The reason I have taken this opportunity to put forward a few of them is that the budget is a hard and fast document, and a debate on the budget affords very little hope of having constructive suggestions adopted. Yet we find that over half the income tax is paid by people whose incomes are $5,000 or less; we find these taxes going down to the lower brackets, with the result that production is discouraged. We cannot expect to have a better standard of living if we do not do something to encourage production.

Here may I draw attention to the platform of the Progressive Conservative party as laid down at its convention last October. The suggestion was that exemptions for children should be increased by $200 per child. That is to say, it would be $300 per child where the mother of such child is in receipt of family allowances, and $500 per child where family allowances are not received. At the same time personal exemptions should be increased to at least $2,500 for married persons and $1,250 for single persons.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Time.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshanlt:

Too bad you couldn't read the last page.

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LIB

Léonard-David Sweezey Tremblay

Liberal

Mr. L. D. Tremblay (Dorchester):

Mr. Speaker, I wish in the first place to join wholeheartedly in the well-deserved compliments which have been paid to the mover and seconder by hon. members who have preceded me. The hon. member for Essex West (Mr. Brown), who was elected to the house in 1945, was not long in winning the friendship of his fellow members.. No sooner had he arrived here than he was noticed for his industry and his regular attendance in the house as well as in committees of which he was a member. He was noticed for his courtesy and his ever-present cheerfulness, and for his understanding of the various problems constantly brought to the attention of hon. members. Those qualities were strikingly exemplified by the splendid speech he delivered in moving the address. I am glad indeed to congratulate him.

1252 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Tremblay

(Translation):

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LIB

Léonard-David Sweezey Tremblay

Liberal

Mr. Tremblay:

Mr. Speaker, the hon.

member for Laval-Two Mountains (Mr. Demers), who seconded the motion on the address in reply, had just crossed the threshold of this house for the first time, when, in his maiden speech, he displayed the great qualities of heart and mind that immediately earned him the esteem and regard of all his colleagues, after the splendid tribute of confidence he had received from the constituents of the county he represents here with such distinction. We congratulate him most heartily.

(Text):

No one needs to have a gift of prophecy to predict for both these hon. members a long and fruitful political career.

I do not claim that these few words of mine will add much to the thousand and one testimonials of affection and appreciation which flowed from all parts of the country after the rise to the position of Prime Minister of the man whom we are now so proud to have as our leader. Ever since the right hon. member for Glengarry (Mr. Mackenzie King) decided to relinquish the office he had held for so long because of the high confidence placed in him by the Canadian people, Canada and all democratic countries have found cause to rejoice in the fact that our country ha? been able to find among its most distinguished sons a worthy successor to that great man, the right hon. member for Glengarry, and his predecessors. Since he has been at the helm of state, each day we find cause to thank Providence for the wisdom, common sense, efficiency and enlightened patriotism which the new Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) has constantly shown in the directing and managing of our national affairs.

The speech from the throne, which I intend to discuss in a moment, truly indicates his never-failing concern for all matters in the field of our political, social, economic and family life. On January 31 last in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix Bruce Hutchison, referring to our Prime Minister's "curious instinctive shyness" said, among other things:

At first meeting with a stranger this shyness is maintained as a kind of protective armour, but not for long.

As the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) experienced at the very outset. Mr. Hutchison goes on to say:

Within five minutes it drops off suddenly to reveal the composite thing we call the Canadian, the authentic article by birth, instinct and environment.

And in conclusion he says:

Such a man is now to undergo the test of parliament. But parliament itself will be tested in the process. We shall now see St. Laurent: the qualities of simplicity, frankness and homeliness, are the

Canadian confederation. Like the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), I believe that the great majority of Canadians, and all members of this house with a single exception, sincerely rejoice that the people of Newfoundland will now contribute to the greatness of our country. To our new fellow countrymen we extend our heartiest and most fraternal welcome.

I wish to point to certain other matters mentioned in the speech from the throne, such as the economic recovery of European countries in spite of the social and economic agitation systematically planned by the communists; the industrial development of Canada; the unprecedented level of employment; the freedom of trade in our country capable of ensuring to all a high standard of living, of social justice and of individual liberty; the St. Lawrence deep waterway project; the abrogation of appeals to the privy council; Canada's part in drafting the United Nations' trade charter and the general agreement on customs tariffs and trade to be submitted for parliament's approval during the present session. This brief and incomplete list is sufficient to show the variety and far-reaching effects of the problems our government must consider and solve, and to which I am sure it brings all the attention, patriotism and high degree of efficiency required.

There is one field of government policy to which I would like to draw particular attention; that is the health and welfare program. In this connection the speech from the throne states:

The national health program inaugurated by the government last year, is receiving co-operation from all the provinces. In supplementing provincial health measures, the program has already made a contribution to the health facilities of Canada and will thereby bring increasing benefit to our people.

In the masterful summary which he gave this house on February 23 last, the untiring Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) made known the strong impetus given to national health throughout Canada by the federal government's policy of helping the province. Recalling to us the outline of the national health program announced on May 14 last by the former Prime Minister, the Minister of National Health and Welfare declared, as reported at page 833 of Hansard for February 23, 1949:

(1) Federal grants totaling $620,000 have been provided to enable the provinces to make comprehensive surveys of the Canadian health scene.

(2) To strengthen and extend provincial health services, initial grants of $16,495,000 will be available each year for public health research and public health projects; to train professional health workers, to help crippled children, to fight venereal disease, to control tuberculosis, to strengthen cancer control campaigns, and to promote mental health.

(3) Great increases in hospital accommodation are being encouraged by annual grants to the provinces, totalling $13 million a year.

These grants make possible an additional expenditure of $30 million or more each year on Canada's hospitals and health services. This is almost as much money as was spent on public health by all governments in Canada-federal, provincial and municipal-as recently as 1933. This program of federal health grants is twice as much on a per capita basis as the federal health grants program in the United States.

Mr. Speaker, this is how the Liberal government of Canada co-operates with the provincial governments towards the health and welfare of Canadians. I take this opportunity to thank the government and more particularly my good friend the Minister of National Health and Welfare for having allowed my constituency, under the order concerning grants for building hospitals, a grant of $200,557.50. My constituents and all the citizens of Canada will not fail to note, I am sure, the spirit of justice, the broadmindedness, the generosity and impartiality of the Liberal government at Ottawa in the distribution of its bounty to the provinces of the Canadian confederation. Whether in the field of public health, family welfare or any other sphere, the Liberal government does not ask the provinces if they have a Liberal, a Conservative or other kind of government; it does not try to find out whether or not the mother who has just given a son to the nation supports the government; its beneficial legislation comes to the help of all the provinces and all the citizens of the country, and its solicitude extends to every Canadian, regardless of race, religion, language or political creed.

Among the most beneficial measures mentioned in the speech from the throne there is one, Mr. Speaker, which perhaps more than any other will warm the heart of every Canadian mother and father and which proves conclusively the concern of the government and its leader for the constant improvement of the living conditions of our large families. I refer to the one mentioned in paragraph 10, page 3 of Hansard of January 26, which reads as follows:

A bill will be introduced to broaden the scope of the Family Allowances Act, as a further instalment of the policy of the government to provide a national standard of social security and human welfare designed to assure the greatest possible measure of social justice for all Canadians.

We will always be happy and proud, Mr. Speaker, to be able to state that the Liberal party was the originator, the father of social legislation in Canada. I pay tribute to the leader of the government for his courageous and patriotic stand on the matter. It will remain to his credit and glory that at the very first session of his administration he made the welfare of our fine large Canadian families his first concern. Is it not strange, Mr. Speaker, that the elimination of the decreasing rate under the Family Allowances

The Address-Mr. Tremblay Act by the new Prime Minister, at his first session, should coincide with the entry into parliament of the new leader of the opposition, the most bitter opponent of family allowances who, when this act was introduced, stated on August 3, 1944, as reported in the Globe and Mail:

This bill is an outrageous bribe offered to the people of Quebec immediately before an election on which Mr. King's last chance of political survival depends.

And who, again on August 9, 1944, said over the radio:

But I assure you that the government of Ontario-

-of which he was then prime minister- -intends to do everything within its power to make sure that this iniquitous bill does not go into effect.

After that Mr. Sabourin, the juggler, will rummage through his master's past in order to prove to the people of Quebec that "Drew is the father of family allowances." How ironical fate can be, Mr. Speaker, when it deals with political opportunists!

Knowing as I do the good disposition of the leader of the Canadian nation, who is also a good father, I shall conclude by calling his attention and that of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) to a feature of our taxation system which constitutes a heavy, if not unjust, burden upon the shoulders of the heads of households. It is the paltry $100 exemption granted for each child in receipt of family allowances and the inadequate $300 exemption in the case of each dependent child over sixteen years of age and under twenty-one still attending school.

A memorandum recently forwarded to the' proper authorities by the chamber of commerce of Montreal contained the following recommendations:

That the $750 exemption granted taxpayers having no dependents be increased to at least $1,000.

That the $1,500 exemption granted taxpayers having married status be increased to at least $2,000.

That all exemptions granted in favour of children and other dependents be increased to at least $400 per dependent instead of $100 and $300, family allowances being excluded from consideration and being entirely separated from the system of taxation applicable to taxpayers with dependents.

Not only do I fully agree with the above suggestions, but I would go even farther. I believe that the legal exemptions from income tax should be increased to $3,000 for the heads of families and $1,500 for a single person. I am asking the government to enact this. Those who have gone through the hardship which the raising of a large family entails, and who have sacrificed themselves to give their children the benefit of a university education, know quite well that it is not when the children are fifteen, eighteen or even twenty years old that the cost of their education is the highest. It is highest when

1256 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Bowerman the children are between twenty and twenty-five. The burden upon the father of a family with two, three or four children attending university is a frightening and crushing one. The government should extend the exemption granted for children until the children graduate from the university. Furthermore, this exemption should be increased to at least $400 for each child.

These suggestions are being offered to the government on behalf of thousands of Canadian fathers. I am confident that the budget will show how far the government is prepared to go in helping them.

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CCF

Edward LeRoy Bowerman

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

Mr. E. L. Bowerman (Prince Albert):

Mr. Speaker, there is a matter with which I should like to deal before this debate is concluded. It has to do with the treatment of Indians in northern Saskatchewan, of which my constituency is a part. The throne speech fails to refer to this matter and some of us are wondering why. For the basis of my remarks, Mr. Speaker, on the educational requirements of treaty Indians, I intend to use a brief submitted by Mr. M. F. Norris, Saskatchewan government field agent for northern Saskatchewan, and a survey made by C. H. Piercy, the northern education administrator for the same government.

While treaty Indians are constitutionally the responsibility of the federal government and the department of Indian Affairs, they are also citizens domiciled within the provinces.

I should like to call to the attention of this house that the government of the province of Saskatchewan has fulfilled its obligation towards providing educational facilities in the northern settlements of Saskatchewan for Metis and other franchised citizens. This is in keeping with the mandate given that government which maintains that, so long as any person or group of people in this province is under-privileged, the social and economic democracy to which the government is pledged cannot be realized. In the case of the Indian settlements the responsibility is primarily upon this government and the department of Indian Affairs.

In a report of a survey made by C. H. Piercy, northern education administrator, he submits the need for schools in settlements in northern Saskatchewan where the population is predominantly treaty Indians. Twelve such settlements in northern Saskatchewan are mentioned in which schools are required. In addition, he recommended the replacement of three schools. He further recommended that construction of these schools and grants for them be shared by the dominion and provincial governments on a proportional basis according to enrolment. In the case of Stanley and other such similar settlements where

treaty Indians predominate, the responsibility is primarily that of the department of Indian affairs.

Mr. Speaker, the crown promised to provide schools for Indians. In the book "The Treaties of Canada", Lieutenant Governor Alexander Morris stated:

The treaties provide for the establishment of schools, for the instruction of Indian children. This is a very important feature, and is deserving of being pressed with utmost energy. The new generation can be trained in the habits and ways of civilized life-prepared to encounter the difficulties with which they will be surrounded by the influx of settlers, and fitted for maintaining themselves as tillers of the soil.

While such an eminent person as the former lieutenant governor advocated that education should be pressed with utmost energy, it is unfortunate that subsequent agents of the crown have not fulfilled their obligations to treaty Indians in this regard.

The union of Saskatchewan Indians, representing treaty Indians in every part of the province, have long realized the urgent need for a progressive program of education. They have made repeated requests for this through the proper constitutional channels. In a brief submitted by that organization in May of 1947, there is a detailed outline of their educational requirements. Again at their annual convention, held in the city of Saskatoon in January of 1948, they reaffirmed their request for educational facilities in the following resolutions:

(a) Whereas the treaty Indians, members of the John Ballantyne, Amos Charles and John Roberts bands, resident at Deschambault lake, Pelican Narrows, Lac La Ronge and Stanley settlements, represent bona fide locals of the union of Saskatchewan Indians and,

Whereas we reaffirm the representations made by the union in May, 1947, with regard to education and schools, and

Whereas we have forty-six children, twenty-nine of whom are of school age at Deschambault lake and greater numbers at Pelican Narrows, Lac La Ronge and Stanley, all of whom reside with their parents at their respective settlements.

Be it resolved that we petition the Indian Affairs branch, requesting that day schools with teacher's residence be established at the places hereinbefore mentioned at the earliest possible time.

(b) Whereas the union of Saskatchewan Indians have made representations to the Indian Affairs branch with regard to education, and

Whereas the need for education is such that early and immediate implementation of education facilities is of paramount importance, and

Whereas in the third report of the special joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons, to both houses of parliament at the conclusion of the 1947 sittings, it is recommended among other things, "That the whole matter of the education of Indians be left over for further consideration,"

Be it resolved, that we urge in the strongest terms possible that immediate implementation be effected to our representations for educational facilities in northern Saskatchewan.

With respect, sir, to the above resolutions, attention is directed to a subsequent report made by the special joint committee hereinbefore mentioned, at the conclusion of the 1948 sittings wherein it is mentioned that since May 13, 1946, the said committee had held one hundred and twenty-eight meetings with one hundred and twenty-two witnesses heard. In addition, 411 written briefs from Indian bands and organizations have been received. In the report submitted the committee recommends, among other things, the following:

Your committee recommends the revision of those sections of the act which pertain to education, in order to prepare Indian children to take their place as citizens.

Your committee, therefore, recommends that wherever and whenever possible Indian children should be educated in association with other children.

Further, sir, the union of Saskatchewan Indians assert that there are in the province of Saskatchewan at least one thousand treaty Indian children who are without school facilities. Of this number it is estimated that approximately sixty per cent or six hundred are residing in northern Saskatchewan.

The following figures, covering four settlements only in northern Saskatchewan, were recently supplied to me by the person I have already named:

No. of No.

treaty attending BalanceIndian residential notchildren of school at attendingSettlement school age Prince Albert schoolStanley ... 67 12 55Pelican Narrows.. 45 9 36Deschambault ... 25 3 22Lac La Ronge. ... 60 33 27Total ... 197 57 140

These figures are representative for treaty Indians in northern Saskatchewan. It will be observed that only approximately thirty per cent of the children of school age are attending school. It may be argued by those who are unsympathetic to the establishment of day schools for treaty Indians that there is at Prince Albert a residential school which they may attend. I should like, however, to call to the attention of the house a statement made by one of the chiefs of one of the Indian groups. I shall quote his letter in full. It reads as follows:

My belief and my earnest desires are these. I believe that our government should abide by their treaties with us Indians in the way of education; to establish day schools on our reserves they will be contributing the greatest single factor for our advancement. Education is something that should be continually improving. The children of today will be the men and women of tomorrow. It is therefore very important that our children are equipped with facilities for earning a living in a modern world.

The Address-Mr. Bowerman

The children should learn to be able to think for themselves, and be prepared for living with others. Does the present system give us the highest standard of education? No. We have come to the stage where we are more particularly interested in education as a way of life. We want it to teach our children how to live among their fellow men, how to adapt themselves to others and how to meet life's situations in the school room, from which they will derive lessons which will govern their conduct in later years. Working for the common good of all is the basic principle. It is up to all of us to work for better educational facilities, as we want our boys and girls to be able to accept the responsibilities of tomorrow. We are now living in a time of great opportunity.

We Indians feel that we have not been treated in the past as if we were members of the human family, or like citizens of Canada. Nor do we feel that we are at present considered worthy to participate in the benefits arising from the modem way of thinking. We resent this as an insult to the dignity of man in us-that feeling which we have inherited from our worthy fathers, the Indian chiefs, whose advance towards a brighter life has been so cruelly interrupted by the unscrupulous usurpers of our rights. We demand that the government of Canada accept our petition of rights in the same spirit that other rights of mankind throughout the world are accepted.

When our country suffered a depression and the governments found it necessary to relieve the situation by various relief measures, we Indians were not considered for the same benefits, and we starved when our neighbours, some of whom were not even required to be Canadian citizens, were given help by the government. That was not right, was it?

When all the people of the provinces are having schools in their communities, our children are taken from us and we don't see them for a year at a time. Don't we love our children? Don't our hearts break with longing for the only thing we have in life? Does not blood run through our veins? Are we made of different material to the white man? Do our children need the loving companionship of their mothers and fathers less than the white children?

Are we made of stone that has no feeling? Don't we feel the pain of a hungry heart as does every human being? Why are we deprived of the simple rights that God has conceded to every one of his children? We want the white man-our white brothers-to practise his Christianity the same which he has preached to us Indians. We want him to demonstrate that God's love covers all people. Indians are unable to exercise the cruelty of depriving children of their parents as the present system of education facilities provided the Indians entails. We should have our schools right at home, where parents, teachers and the children will be in constant living contact with each other. This would relieve the present heartache suffered by Indians in their separation from their children.

And, Mr. Speaker, he continues in this manner:

Why do our sons fight for the principle of democracy when at home we Indians are not accorded these simple fundamentals of decent living? Give us back our freedom and our privileges which we enjoyed before we were dispossessed. We Indians are sometimes subjected to the kind of indignities that our fascist enemies have inflicted on freedom-loving peoples. This situation makes it difficult for us to distinguish between the evils we hear about in fascism and the democracy that we are fighting for. Is there a special justice for Indians? We do not believe it! We'll fight for our rights! We

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The Address-Mr. Bowerman

would rather be dead heroes, worthy of our forefathers, than to be like rats, a shame to our ancestors, a disgrace to our children. When the four freedoms finally come to this world, may we have our share?

I should like to give a little bit of additional information concerning these educational matters as they affect the residents of northern Saskatchewan. I wish to refer to certain settlements in particular, in order to give a brief picture of the situation in those settlements.

At Stony lake and Black lake there are 255 treaty Indians and sixty-five Metis people. There are no educational facilities for the treaty Indians. At this place there is an Indian agency. A residence was built for the agent and completed last fall. The estimated cost, fully furnished, is $17,000, but in that settlement there are no school privileges for some 255 children. Of medical services there are none.

At Fond du Lac there are 258 treaty Indians. There are no educational services for the treaty Indians in that settlement. There are no medical services for these Indians. There are no statistics as to the numbers at Garson lake, but there are no educational and medical facilities there. While at this settlement money has been provided by the Saskatchewan provincial government, through the department of education, for the erection of a school, this has not been built owing to a suggestion emanating from J. P. B. Ostrander, superintendent of Indian agencies, Saskatchewan, that the treaty Indians residing there at the present time would be moved to the north end of Peter Pond lake. That was two years ago. These two years have gone by and nothing has been done.

At Dillon the Indian population is 221. There are no educational facilities for the treaty Indians. At the Clear lake settlement situated on the west bank of Churchill lake, approximately twenty-five miles from Buffalo Narrows, there are 309 children. There are no educational facilities for these treaty Indian children. I could go over the whole list of these Indian settlements in the upper part of Saskatchewan.

I have gone to some length to place on the record the immediate need of our northern Saskatchewan treaty Indians for schools and educational facilities, which we promised long ago. I have done so because it seems to me that the government's refusal up to now to reconstitute the committee on Indian affairs, or to mention it in the speech from the throne, is evidence that they have decided to drop the whole matter, or have failed to arrive at any definite decision on policy. Meanwhile, as in the past, in many instances

the government is permitting this disgraceful neglect to continue. So far the work of the committee has been that of investigating the deplorable conditions existing among the vast majority of our Indians. It was the unanimous opinion of this committee that the Indian Act needs to be revised in order to implement the necessary changes required to complete the work assigned to the committee. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I would urge that without delay the government implement the recommendations of the committee with regard to setting up immediately a claims commission and the redrafting of the Indian Act.

The manner in which we have fulfilled our treaties and obligations to the original citizens of this land is a disgrace to us. Canadians everywhere are incensed at the indifference of this and past governments in regard to this matter.

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PC

Robert James Henderson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. J. Henderson (Lambion-Kent):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to make a small contribution, humble though it may be, to this debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne. Without going any further may I say that I have noticed that nearly all hon. members have had a bundle of papers in their hands when they rose to speak. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I hope that you will overlook the fact if I adhere very closely to my notes.

By now we realize that many worthy contributions have been made by the previous speakers, and we would almost think that nothing more could be said; but ideas are inexhaustible. Some of the speakers that I have heard have been very critical of the government and its policies. Others have come to the rescue of the several government activities, and still others, like myself, have been neutral and have suggested ways and means to make this Canada of ours greater and better. In many instances these ideas have been worthy of consideration. In many other instances, because of our financial structure, they were well nigh impossible of implementation.

Before proceeding further I shall pay my respectful tribute to the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. To the mover, the hon. member for Essex West (Mr. Brown), I wish to pay a special tribute and extend to him sincere congratulations on a job well done. The hon. member is from my home town of Petrolia, having been born and having received his elementary education there. He was initiated into the language, the ways and the smell of our product, hard rock oil, in infancy and even yet he pays tribute to that town, and divides his allegiance between his present city of Windsor and his boyhood home of

Petrolia. I do feel that his first love is for Petrolia. It is more abiding, and no prouder tribute can be paid to him, nor one that gives him a greater thrill, than to be called, as we all proudly are, a hard oiler.

I wish also to pay a tribute to the seconder, and extend to him my congratulations on his excellent reply. I had to read the speech of the hon. member for Essex West in Hansard the next day. He stood so far away from where I sat that I could not hear it all and get the exact connections. The same is true of the seconder. Although he spoke loudly, he spoke in his native tongue; and, like many others, I had to wait for the translation before enjoying its contents. It was an experience that will live long in the memory of these two young men, and it is an honour which is extended to the very few.

As is customary on occasions of this kind, I wish to extol the many virtues of my home constituency of Lambton-Kent. I think it is fitting and proper that I do so now, since in this year, 1949, we are celebrating our one hundredth anniversary. Committees have been set up by the Lambton-Kent council to prepare plans and make arrangements for this gala event. I do not know what the final arrangements are, but I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, hon. members and the members of the press gallery also, that everything worth while will be done to make this an historic occasion.

Incidentally, in mentioning this centennial in Lambton county I should like to take this opportunity to mention another one hundredth birthday. It is that of the London Free Press, which has rendered one hundred years of service to its home city and to all western Ontario. The Free Press this year rounds out a full century of service. I should like to voice on behalf of all members of parliament who represent constituencies in western Ontario-and there are more than twenty of them in the two larger parties-the congratulations expressed respecting this public service newspaper. I hope it will continue to serve and continue to share in the advancement and further development of western Ontario for another full century at least.

Originally my county of Lambton actually formed part of the counties of Kent and Essex. But when our population reached the 7,000 mark we were able, by provincial legislation, to become a separate unit. We were given legislative representation and local municipal government by both local township councils and county council authority.

We have a fine municipality of an area of some 1,000 square miles, comprising ten townships, three towns and eight villages, and also the large and thriving city of Sarnia. Origin-

The Address-Mr. Henderson ally Lambton county was a very heavily timbered area with hardwood forests in the north and on the higher gravelly soils, and the soft woods, elm and ash, on the lower and swampy areas. I have mentioned that these forests were a great source of revenue to the hardy pioneers. But eventually the land was cleared and agriculture and mixed farming on our many well-tilled farms was developed, and is now carried on successfully. To assist our farmers we have an excellent department, of agriculture. This department is headed by a graduate of the agricultural college at Guelph, with junior assistants helping him. The department has done much to put our several farming activities on a higher plane; and we now have as our slogan: If a farmer cannot succeed in Lambton he cannot succeed elsewhere.

It is true we have a fine type of agricultural soil, varying from the lighter gravelly loams to the heavier clay types. We have no natural drainage, and ditches must be dug and maintained to drain off the top water and provide outlets for our underdrainage.

This adds materially to the heavy burden of municipal taxation. But we have learned that drainage, and even more drainage, is not only essential but compulsory. This, and the maintenance of our soil fertility, comprise: two of the problems which we have learned! to master. This leads to a diversity of farm projects, varying from our fine fruit land of the north, our celery beds and onion surpluses, to the growing of wheat and the coarser grains, our large acreage of husking hybrid corn and beans, and last but not least our canning products and large acreage of sugar beets. All these, with our rich and succulent pasturage areas with their cows and fine herds of beef cattle or, as the case may be, dairy herds, have given our farmers an era and degree of prosperity that is not surpassed elsewhere.

But like all other areas across Canada we have our social problems with which to contend. One of these, which has been stressed and illuminated by many other hon. members in this debate, is that of old age social security for the rising generation, and particularly for those who have already reached the age of seventy and, one might say, the stage of insecurity.

It is true that we have what might be called an old age pension plan, making provision for $30 a month, with a means test. The federal government contributes 75 per cent or $22.50 and the several provincial governments 25 per cent or $7.50 a month. The provinces are to administer the act and, because of this administration cost, their payment is about the same as that from the federal treasury.

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The Address-Mr. Henderson

In addition to this $30 a month the provincial treasury could augment this by any sum it saw fit and practical. We in Ontario can get from the provincial treasury an extra $10 a month in cases of extreme need or where circumstances warrant it.

Practically every pensioner felt he or she was eligible and applied for this extra, which meant an immense amount of reviewing and detailed examination of applications and living requirements. Little by little pensions are being increased, but even yet with the increase due to the high cost of living, particularly of food and fuel, many of these senior citizens find they must skimp and sacrifice to eke out a bare existence.

Some will argue that our financial circumstances will allow us to raise the pension to $50 a month at the age of sixty-five for males and at the age of sixty for females, with the abolition of the means test; and others who are in responsible positions will argue that this would impose a greatly increased financial burden which our young and growing country could not undertake.

Much has been said about the means test; and as I had much to do with filling out many applications, while serving as a municipal clerk, I shall try to place on Hansard just what this means. I note the new and modern applications vary but little from the older ones. In many instances they are most embarrassing for the applicant to answer.

However, as long as the means test is in vogue, I cannot find much out of place with the line of questioning followed. I do believe, of course, that this iniquitous test should be abolished entirely.

I wrote to the Department of National Health and Welfare here in Ottawa, and they were good enough to forward to me an application form which a person applying for old age pension would have to fill out in the presence of a municipal clerk. We hear a good deal about the means test. I imagine a good many people have never seen this application form, and I trust they will never reach the stage where they may have to ask that same be filled out in their names.

The first requirements on the form are for age and name. Then we come to the request for the date of birth. As one who has occupied the position of a municipal clerk,

I know it is most difficult in many instances to find out and to trace the date of birth of an applicant. This is a most necessary requirement, however, and the filling out of the application must be deferred until that information is secured.

Before 1869, I believe it was, there were no registrations of births. The municipal clerk

who preceded me in office was, at the date of his retirement, well advanced in years. He had reached the age of eighty-five, having held office at the time of the Fenian raids. When the registration of births was made compulsory many people were averse to having the births of their sons registered because they felt such registration would make those sons eligible for military service. The result is that there are many now reaching the age of seventy who find, when they search for their birth certificates, that they are not registered anywhere. Yet on many occasions I have conducted searches in family bibles. The old age pensions commission accepts the bible as a registration to prove age. All of us will recall that in the pioneer homes the family bible was an essential part of the furniture, and held the place of honour in the centre of the table in the parlour.

The difficulty with respect to getting the date of birth is now overcome through the clerk filling out a form and sending it to the vital statistics branch at Ottawa, which branch in turn goes through old census records to get the required information. Now that matter is expedited, and applications are not so long in being granted. There is in this form the means test about which we hear so much. Question No. 20 has to do with the income of the applicant and spouse, and involves a description of what their income is, and from what source it comes. Then the income of the applicant has to be shown as so much and in the next column the income of the spouse is shown as so much. Question 21 deals with the means of subsistence of the applicant and spouse. I find that, when these old people reach the age of seventy, they have not very much on which to exist. Question 22 is about real property owned by the applicant and spouse at the dates of the application. If the applicant owns a small house he has to give a description of the property and must show the assessed value. If it is owned by the spouse the assessed value also has to be shown. In 1948, I believe, all property up to a value of $2,000 was exempted under the Old Age Pensions Act.

A good many old people have become very hesitant about applying for the pension because they are afraid they will have to assign their small properties or small holdings to the government, and that on their death the government will be able to step in and take them away from them. For that reason they were very hesitant about applying, but in the year 1948 property up to a value of $2,000 was exempted.

Question 23 concerns personal property owned by the applicant and spouse at the date

of the application including cash on hand owned by the applicant and owned by the spouse, which is sometimes very small, money in post office, savings bank, chartered bank or other institution.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

Is that a dominion government form or a provincial form?

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PC

Robert James Henderson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Henderson:

It is a form of the department of welfare.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

But what government?

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PC

Robert James Henderson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Henderson:

It is the Old Age Pensions Act, 1948.

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March 8, 1949