Surely they cannot blame the little clutch of Social Crediters for we have only been in existence as an organization for the past fifteen years. These same false accusers used to try to make people believe such foolish things as this, that the business cycles of boom and bust were somehow linked with the seven-year cycles of return of sun spots. I think a good many of you remember that was taught.
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Yes, that is the unfortunate part of it. For many years these same people have carefully hidden the facts from the general run of the citizens of the country. We now know that depressions arise as the result of deliberate policies conceived and imposed upon governments by these same Shylocks who are the sole beneficiaries of the system, and who are after their pound of flesh, no matter how many people suffer in the process. Certain it is that the Financial Post, their subservients and associates, and their predecessors, have already destroyed the economic system by their insistence upon retaining as a part of it those stupid and unrealistic practices that ensure that every seven years we have to throw men out of work under a deliberate policy of unemployment, destroy huge quantities of our precious production, bring on a first-class depression, force countless thousands of our people to live in poverty in the midst of abundance; and finally bring on a war and start the whole cycle over again. I say, let them show their good faith by bringing forward some effective proposals to cure our economic ills. When they do they may have some room to talk.
What Social Crediters are trying to do is to remove the abuses of the so-called free enterprise system so that it can be given a chance to demonstrate its superiority over any other system in the world, and it can. Just get these old men-of-the-sea off its back, and one of them is the Financial Post. Social Credit thinks of full enjoyment. We do not lay the stress on full employment, but we do declare that not one single willing worker should be idle if he wants to work. We claim that as long as there is demand for them anywhere in the world, no goods possible of production should go unproduced. If we ever come to the point where overproduction really threat-
The Address-Mr. Applewhaite ens, then cut down the hours of work and see to it that there is a fair distribution of the leisure time possible, without reducing the take-home pay of the workers. There never has been a sound proposal, except from Social Crediters, whereby these things can be accomplished in our Canadian economy.
We are not "gloomsters". No one has more faith than Social Crediters in the future of our great country, and in its ability to yield abundance and happiness to its people. No one works harder than we do to preserve the good things in our private enterprise economic system. There will be no question in our minds about a brilliant and secure future for Canada and the world if the government of this country will assert its independence of the control of the people who subscribe to some of the policies held dear by the Financial Post.
Kick them body and breeches out of the driver's seat; make a few fundamental changes in financial policy; take a sensible attitude towards trade and the other factors of internal security I have mentioned; let the government settle down to do what it was originally designed to do, that is, make its most important task the removal of all those barriers and artificial restrictions which prevent individual Canadians from achieving by their own efforts security for themselves and their families. Do these things and the private enterprise economic system will successfully weather the stresses and strains of the days and events that are to come.
I hope I have thrown out some suggestions, Mr. Speaker, and made some sort of positive contribution to this debate. If I have, and if those things are seriously considered, I certainly will not feel that my time has been wasted.
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Mr. Speaker, it is a real pleasure for one representing my constituency to take part in this debate on the address, because to all intents and purposes the adoption of the address is a vote of confidence in this government. This is the first time I have participated in a debate of this nature, and I find it not only a pleasure but also a natural duty to support anything in the nature of a vote of confidence in this government. Having just returned from my constituency there is one thing of which I am very certain; that is, that this government has the confidence of the country.
I returned from the west prouder than ever of Canada and of Canada's government. I found that our leader, the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) has captured the respect, the esteem, the affection and the confidence of at least my part of British Columbia to an extent I think never before equalled by any other prime minister. I
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The Address-Mr. Applewhaite hope in some small way to contribute to a continuation of that confidence, but I remind the government that such a continuation will depend to a large extent on their continuing to deal with the many local problems of the Skeena district, as well as the problems of the country as a whole, in an intelligent, sympathetic and encouraging manner. As far as our local problems are concerned, I propose to assist the government in dealing with them in that way; and further, as best I may, to insist upon their being dealt with as I know they deserve to be.
Before proceeding further may I offer my humble congratulations to the mover and seconder of the resolution we are now debating. Their constituents will read with real pride the many favourable comments their speeches have evoked. While I may be laying myself open to the charge of painting the lily, I should like also to thank and commend the right hon. Prime Minister on the fair, full, frank and comprehensive review he gave us this afternoon and evening.
Now, Mr. Speaker, without apology or hesitation I propose to take advantage of the time-honoured custom of using this debate as an opportunity to tell this house a little about the district I am trying to represent. The Skeena district of British Columbia is an empire in itself. I am not going to compare its size with that of some provinces or countries, but if I were to do so the comparison might be surprising. Skeena extends over nine degrees of latitude, from 51 north to 60 north. At a rough estimate it covers about 164,000 square miles, and I believe is the second largest dominion electoral district. Incidentally, this would not be such a difficult district for its member to cover if he could go so far and say, "From here on there are no residents, so I need go no further". It just happens that there are settlements in the remotest corners of the district; Lower Post in the extreme northeast, Bennett on the White Pass and Yukon railway on the extreme northwest; Allison Harbour on the very southern tip, the Queen Charlotte islands on the west and Endako on the eastern border.
That is not only a very large district; it is one of increasing importance to the country. Ours is one of the finest mineral areas in Canada, still barely scratched yet, with a marvellous record of production to our credit. We have one of Canada's major fishing industries which has contributed greatly to the world's food supply for many years. Our timber resources are extensive; not only do we supply many parts of the world with lumber and poles, we are also the source of supply for at least two of Canada's major
paper mills. Agriculture in Skeena is a small industry compared with some other parts of Canada, yet it is still an important factor in our economic life. We are now becoming the scene of industrial activity. Many hon. members know of the hydroelectric potentialities of the Skeena district which at this moment are of real interest to some of the world's leading industries.
It is lack of time, not of material, that causes me to end the list there. In my constituency is the famous little gold mining town of Atlin, and the lake and district of the same name. Early in 1898 Fritz Miller, a German, and Kenneth McLaren, a Canadian, left the Klondyke trail at Bennett and travelled on the ice across Taku Arm and Atlin lake. I am much more interested in the present and future-the immediate future- of this district than in its past, but there is always a certain amount of interest in the origin and discovery of new districts. The discovery of gold in the Atlin country by Miller and McLaren resulted in an influx of between five and ten thousand miners and tenderfeet; and from that day to this gold seeking and gold recovering in that district have never entirely ceased. Even today Transcontinental Resources and others are operating on a large scale. Atlin has a great deal of production ahead of it yet. Atlin is also a beauty spot; a district not unlike the Kootenays, with a series of lakes running north and south, it provides a spot of scenic beauty unexcelled anywhere in the world. Even the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge) would admit that were he to visit Atlin.
This government is to be highly commended for the part it played, together with the provincial government, in building a road from the Alcan highway into Atlin last year. Atlin will become a mecca for the wise angler and big game hunter. I sincerely hope the time is very near when the government will see fit to reopen the customs port of entry for aeroplanes there. The lake is the largest and most beautiful in British Columbia. Given the publicity and the transportation it deserves, the Atlin area may well become the most important tourist and recreation centre in western Canada.
Among the many outstanding attractions of the Skeena district is its large number of lakes, large and small. The names of some of them may be familiar to
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Babine, Takla, Francois, Ootsa and literally hundreds of others. These lakes lie mainly due north from Tweedsmuir park, and centre on one of the grandest fishing and hunting districts imaginable, covering thousands of square miles. As might be expected
of an extensive area still sufficiently virgin to provide so much game, the district numbers among its population many North American Indians.
That brings me to a subject which really justifies a full forty-minute speech in itself -in fact, I might make one. In the meantime, I should like to say a word about our Indian population. These people are people, Mr. Speaker, just as you and I. They are citizens of Canada. They are not only worthy of the interest and concern of this house, they are the responsibility of this house. It is a responsibility we must face up to. To what extent they are today inferior citizens, to that extent I am afraid we are largely to blame. Some betterments must, of course, take time; others can be speedily made. For instance, we have in many places native Indian villages which are headquarters for quite large bands. Some of these villages are remote and fairly expensive to reach. Nevertheless, I submit we should see that they are supplied with the same facilities with which we would supply white settlements of perhaps smaller population.
In this connection, the Post Office Department could be of tremendous help. Here, I should like to express my gratitude for and appreciation of the recently opened post office at Fort Babine, which will prove a real boon to many. But such other villages as Kitkatla and Kispiox and Kitimaat and so on, also justify such service. This is one very small way in which we can assist our Indian citizens to become a more integral part of Canada. I hope that the department and the house will continue to see that the advantages of better and improved services are given to the Indian villages.
I have a resolution from the northern district native brotherhood of British Columbia urging, among other things, the immediate consideration of the revision of the Indian Act. I note with pleasure, as they will, that this matter is to come before us at this session. I trust that it will come before us early, so we may give it ample study.
There is only one incorporated city in my whole district and that is the city of Prince Rupert. Built as the terminus, not a terminus but the terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific, Prince Rupert, through a combination of circumstances entirely beyond local control, has lived through thirty years of depression, disappointment and frustration, to emerge in the recent war as one of British Columbia's most important cities. Originally visioned as a port for transpacific shipping, Prince Rupert now finds itself achieving its destiny along other lines. It has always had
The Address-Mr. Applewhaite a large fishing industry. It is the halibut capital of the world. More halibut is landed at Prince Rupert than anywhere else on the globe. I hope that fishing will always continue to be a major factor in Prince Rupert's economy. Fishing deserves, as it is getting under the present Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Mayhew), the attention and consideration which is due a major industry. My hon. friends from Newfoundland will agree with that.
Two large organizations, I regret to admit that neither of them was originally Canadian, have now realized and acted upon the strategic value of Prince Rupert's location. First, the United States government in the recent war chose Prince Rupert as one of its chief Pacific ports. That activity, of course, is over now. Second, the Celanese Corporation of America, through its Canadian subsidiary, Columbia Cellulose Limited, saw the true picture of a combination of Prince Rupert's location and the resources of the district. They have under construction an immense pulp plant which will provide payrolls and industrial activity in perpetuity.
Prince Rupert, by geography, is the logical supply port for Alaska. I sincerely trust that this government will continue to work along all possible lines to ease all restrictions on international trade, and thus encourage our American friends to do likewise. In this way, Prince Rupert and other Canadian ports may take their logical place in the Alaskan trade. Nothing can stop Prince Rupert's forward march, but governmental help can easily speed it up.
There is just one other section of my district which I wish to mention specifically, the Portland canal-Alice Arm district. This is one of the best known mineral producing areas in British Columbia. The old Granby Consolidated copper mine at Anyox produced a gross value of close to $96 million. The famous Premier mine at Premier near Stewart, British Columbia, has to date a gross production value of $75 million. At Alice Arm, Torbit Silver Mines are today in regular production of silver which, incidentally, is all going to the photographic industry in the United States, thus materially helping our dollar situation. The little mining town of Stewart, a most picturesque spot, situated at the head of the Portland canal right on the Alaskan border, is the centre of a mineralized area whose potentialities I predict will still not be fully known one hundred years from now.
I was up there the other day, and I saw some of the electrum they are now shipping from that place. I saw some ore recently shipped from Tide lake, which is about 25
The Address-Mr. Applewhaite miles from Stewart, from a property owned by one A. L. Phillips. This was a small shipment and it assayed 1,896 ounces of gold and 2,386 ounces of silver per ton. A small shipment which weighed 40 pounds netted after smelter costs $1,306. Mr. Speaker, I am not claiming that these values are usual but they do indicate that the mineral is there. At Tide lake this winter, ore is being mined which is so valuable they can afford to fly it from Tide lake to Stewart by chartered planes equipped with skis.
When the real Alaska highway is built up the western route from Hazelton to Whitehorse and that district has land connections with the rest of Canada, there will be more wealth produced from "them thar hills" than has as yet been dreamed of. When that happens, Stewart will take its logical place as another important north Pacific port.
I should like to turn my attention for a few moments, Mr. Speaker, from the physical aspects of the district to the reactions which we may expect from the people I represent to the speech from the throne. The people of Skeena, and I think I am capable of speaking for them, will welcome and receive a lot of comfort from this speech from the throne. My people happen to take quite an interest and a deep concern in matters of more than purely local interest. We are naturally interested in the outcome of the dominion-provincial conference because we realize that the final solution of many problems which are worrying us today must depend first upon some working formula between dominion and provincial governments. The people of Skeena riding, therefore, will welcome those words in the speech from the throne:
This conference marked a promising beginning in working out a satisfactory procedure-
Agreement was reached on certain general principles and a continuing committee was established to further the work of the conference.
I do not think it would be letting any secrets out to say that we rather feared for the future of the conference. We are now extremely happy to know that it is working, and working as well as might be expected.
It would not be the truth, Mr. Speaker, if I were to claim that the people of my district are happy about the international situation with regard to the security angle. It is not surprising that the district which borders upon Alaska and the north Pacific ocean, and upon what is advertised in so many sensational and not so sensational magazine articles as the highroad between Russia and the United States, should be somewhat worried. They will therefore welcome the evidence in the speech from the throne that this government
is conversant with the necessity of doing two things at once, of taking every possible step to prevent threats of aggression and yet at the same time taking the necessary steps to do what we can to avert that aggression should it take place.
I wish to read from the speech from the throne certain words which will be of great comfort to the people of my district:
. . . our country continues to give full support to the charter of the United Nations.
The cold war nevertheless still continues and imposes on all the free nations heavy burdens for the provision of defence forces and modem armaments. Preparedness to meet any sudden onslaught is essential and the means must be provided.
In the development of Canada's defence forces, constant attention is being given to the best use of our resources, to the encouragement of joint research and experimental development and to the co-ordination of Canadian efforts with those of the other signatories of the North Atlantic treaty.
It would be surprising, Mr. Speaker, if the people of a riding situated where mine is did not get comfort from such a clear statement and such clear proof that this government realizes the situation.
There is another aspect of the speech which will also bring comfort-admittedly it may be delayed-to the people of my district. Representing a riding which produces almost entirely primary products and which will pin its hopes for the future to quite a large extent on building up international trade and providing the seaports for such trade, these words will be of comfort:
My ministers will continue their effort to secure reductions in trade barriers. To this end preparations are actively under way for further multilateral trade negotiations later in the present year.
If the people of Skeena riding had been given the opportunity to write one sentence and put it in the speech from the throne, I think that is, to all intents and purposes, the sentence they would have written. But all cannot be perfect. I regret, as I think they will regret, an omission from the speech from the throne. In spite of suggestions which have reached us from various quarters in this house that one who occupies an obscure position on the back benches of this side of the house dare not raise his voice in criticism at any time, I still propose to express my regret that the speech from the throne does not contain some definite statement of intention with regard to a coastguard service. I speak, of course, particularly for the Pacific coast. I realize that a subcommittee of the Canadian maritime commission on search and rescue has been doing some work upon this matter, and I dare say further action will depend upon their submitting a report. But, Mr. Speaker,
it is impossible to overemphasize the importance of providing on the Pacific coast-I cannot speak for the other one-an adequate coastguard service. I use the word "coastguard" for want of a better one, because I think the service provided by the United States coastguard is just about what our people want. I am not going to try to tell this government or the officers of the department exactly what that service should consist of. That is a job for the specialists and the experts. But as this move started, so far as I am aware, about seven years ago in Prince Rupert, and as it has certainly received the backing of practically every major organization within my riding within two hundred miles of the coast I feel that I must-and I gladly do it-add my word of support to it.
Proceeding logically from the question of a coastguard service, next comes the question of radio as it affects ships and ship-to-shore communication. I notice that the speech from the throne tells us that the Canada Shipping Act is to be reopened in conjunction with the international convention for the safety of life at sea. I am no expert in reading international conventions; and while I have spent hours with the international convention for the safety of life at sea, I still have some doubts as to what it covers in certain districts and as to certain tonnages. I therefore want to make this suggestion most strongly to the government in conjunction with but not dependent upon a coastguard service. That is, that the Canada Shipping Act or other appropriate legislation should provide that every ship of, shall we say, fifty tons or more, and every ship chartered for the carrying of passengers, should carry at least one full-time radio operator who shall have no other duties but the maintenance of radio equipment and the keeping of radio watches.
The answer which is likely to be made is this: "On your coast practically every ship of any size carries a radio operator who is also perhaps assistant purser or freight clerk or something of that sort; but what does that matter, because if the ship gets into difficulties he can easily go up to his little shack and send out his message?" But that is only half the situation, Mr. Speaker. That makes it fine for that ship itself if it strikes a rock, but it makes that ship absolutely useless to give any help to another vessel twenty-five or thirty-five miles away, and out of sight, if the first ship has not a radio operator keeping watch. What is the use of a radio operator on the ship which is being wrecked dashing up to his cabin and sending off SOS's if no other radio operator is going to be in his shack until he too has an SOS or a message to send? I grant that is a reductio
The Address-Mr. Applewhaite ad absurdum but it is not so ad absurdum as it sounds because that is how the thing will work out in practice.
I do not want to waste words by repeating myself, but I urge that, when the Canada Shipping Act is being opened this year, we make absolutely certain that no vessel of, say, fifty tons or more and no vessel carrying passengers for hire be allowed to sail without a full-time radio operator-and I mean "full-time", not having other duties as well.
The speech from the throne announced a long-desired decision in the matter of veterans' affairs. At last the imperial is to receive the war veterans' allowance. The only criticism one can possibly make of that proposal is that we should like to have seen it sooner. At the same time, we cannot expect to have everything at once; neither can we expect to have everything as soon as we ask for it. I wish to commend the department and the minister most strongly for their decision at last to bring the war veterans' allowance to the imperial. This means that the War Veterans Allowance Act is going to be reopened; and I do not doubt that every minister in this government knows that the minute you open an act for one purpose, you are going to have some other requests. Hence they will not be surprised if we mention another matter in connection with the war veterans' allowance. Let me make this matter clear, Mr. Speaker. I know, and this country knows, that this government has given the veteran in Canada generous and more than generous treatment. Of that there can be no criticism. All one has to do is to compare it with any other country in the world. Unfortunately it a ways happens that some injustices may creep in, and some unforeseen difficulties may arise. As I understand, the veterans' allowance act-in fact I know what I am talking about because I was for fourteen years secretary of a Legion branch-was brought in primarily on the basis that a veteran who had served in a theatre of war during world war I was prematurely aged, and therefore the war veterans' allowance was given to him at age 65, whereas he would have to wait until age 70 to get the old age pension. Assuming that that is so-and it is so-we find a most unfortunate situation. We find that in certain generous provinces, such as British Columbia, the old age pensioner finds that he can draw, assuming he is single, $50 a month. I grant you that that does not all come from the dominion, whereas the war veterans' allowance does. I know that when that situation was brought to the attention of the departmental officials a year or so ago a subsidiary allowance arrangement
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The Address-Mr. Applewhaite was brought in, and that it is the intention of the department to give that special allowance an opportunity to see how it works.
I want to express my personal thanks for the courtesy and consideration which the minister and the rest of his department have given to me on every occasion on which I have approached them on this subject. But I do wish to suggest that it would be the wish of the country that those old men who draw the war veterans' allowance should not draw less than the old man who draws the civilian old age pension.
The people of the Skeena district, Mr. Speaker, on whose behalf I have been speaking, do not suspect this government of being perfect. They realize that this government is composed of human beings, and that as long as human beings are human, and as long as this world is going to be an interesting place in which to live, human beings are not going to be perfect. And so they, and their representative, realize that at times there may be some reason for criticism or some places where something might have been a little better. But I want to tell you that the people of my district would sooner put their confidence in the sponsors of this speech from the throne, who mean what they say, than they would in the apostles of gloom and despair who presumably also mean what they say, and incidentally who in the past six months-and it has been my pleasure to be opposite them-seem to have spent a very great part of their time, effort and energy in twitting the Prime Minister upon the size of his majority and in advising the Prime Minister what to do with his majority, and in advising the majority what to do with their Prime Minister. That may not be hard to understand, Mr. Speaker. It is possible ' that the leaders of the opposition and some of their followers may have quite a feeling of responsibility for the size of this majority, because they helped to put it here.
I want to conclude on the note on which I started these rambling remarks. In company, I think, with every hon. member in this house, no matter where he sits, I would like to offer my personal assistance and cooperation to the government and to each
member thereof in so far as local problems of our district are concerned. I will even go further than that. I will promise not to support or endorse any expenditure or undertaking which I am not fully satisfied is in the best interests of the country. Quite apart from where we sit, we know that local ambition and local pride will cause many communities to ask for government expenditures which we cannot really state are justified in the public interest. I do not think any of us want to endorse that. I do not think any of us would want to support harebrained legislation. On the other hand, I would respectfully submit to the government that we who are the elected representatives from the different districts and who have, or who should have, or else we do not belong here, an intimate personal knowledge of the problems of our districts, should have our representations and our views, irrespective of whether they are from the opposition or from the government side, given consideration. Our local knowledge should be given consideration.
I should like to say to the government that as long as they will continue to operate along these lines and to conduct the affairs of this country as they have been doing, with the willingness to serve, with the courage and with the faith in Canada's future that they have, they and we will continue to enjoy the confidence of the country.
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