March 9, 1950

TABLE III


Canadian Exports to all British Countries 1929 1931 1933 1935 1937



Highest-1926: $554,924,454 Lowest year: 1932 Increase from 1932 to 1935 : 73 per cent Decrease from 1928 to 1930 : 44 per cent 612 HOUSE OF The Address-Mr. Bater table rv Total exports to foreign countries including U.S.A. 1928 , $794,053,169 1929 757,115,272 1930 547,341,265 1931 367,872,034 1932 272,726,159 1933 274,268,848 1934 313,896,098 1935 \\\\\ 347,333.3461936 - 458,178,9051937 491,145,717 Highest-1928: $794,053,169 Lowest: 1932 Decrease from 1928 to 1930: 31 per cent Increase from 1932 to 1935: 27 per cent


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Mr. A. J. Baier@The Baiilefords

Mr. Speaker, in rising to support the motion for the adoption of the speech from the throne I first want to pay the usual tributes. I desire to pay a tribute to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), in that last December by a vote of several of the newspaper editors of our country he was selected as Canada's man of the year. I am happy to state also that running him a close second was an hon. gentleman to whom we listened with great interest this past week, none other than the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson). I regret that my tribute to you, Mr. Speaker, is rather belated; but while late, it is none the less sincere, and I take this opportunity of congratulating you upon your elevation to your high office and the manner in which you are carrying out your duties. I am sure the message you gave us last session on the occasion of the visit of the Prime Minister of India will long linger in our memory.

Since coming here for this session I have heard that there was an election in The Battlefords constituency just a month ago. I am not going to say anything more about that election; enough has been said already. Speaking of elections, however, early in this debate something was said about ballots and ballot boxes in the last election, and there was some reference to ballot boxes as they are used in Russia and ballots as they might be used in China. Well, Mr. Speaker, I contend that there is not and never will be any comparison between the ballots we use in this country and the ballots used in Russia or China, and that is so for one great reason. We have a great pillar of the democratic system which I believe will prevent anything like that happening in this country. That great pillar is none other than the Canadian press. As our press operates from day to day, during election campaigns, between campaigns, and even in this very, chamber, with its piercing eye and ever-listening ear, it will see to it that the ballot continues to mean just what it should mean. '[DOT] .

The Address-Mr. Bater a snowplane, but on horseback. On several occasions the policeman stayed tor dinner, fed his horse, and before leaving asked my father to sign his patrol book to show that he had been looking after the settlers to see that no one was going hungry or suffering. These are the men who, today, should not be allowed to want for the comforts or necessities of life. I hope that something will be done for them. Just prior to coming down here I was speaking to the wife of one of those members who is eighty-two years of age. She informed me that they were not in want but she knew others that had been in the forces along with her husband in the early days who, she thought, could well do with assistance. I hope the government will give consideration to these men. There are not many left and they should not be allowed to want.

should like to ask what price must be paid to attain a world of peace and plenty. The terms are easy and are such as will finally benefit all and harm none. We shall not have to surrender any greater measure of our national identity, aspirations or ideals than you and I have to surrender as individuals in co-operating to maintain law and order within the nation; but we shall have to abandon the fallacy which teaches that we can become prosperous by limiting production and restricting trade, because political co-operation and economic isolation cannot exist side by side. What is required does not involve some new and untried scheme of social relationship or fantastic economic theory; it is simply the removal of those artificial barriers between men and nations that have been at the root of all our international differences, and the restoration to all the people of that most valuable privilege of organized society, the right to trade freely, one with another. Freedom of trade and intercourse between men and nations goes hand in hand with understanding and good will, and provides the only way in which all can be assured of that equality of opportunity that should be the inherent right of citizenship.

As our ship of state takes to the high seas of nationhood and international affairs, with the Prime Minister as the captain, his cabinet colleagues as his officers and the hon. members who support him making up the crew, I think I can safely say that our Prime Minister is well aware of the fact that in order to reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. We must, however, sail; we cannot drift or lie at anchor.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I should like to quote a poem by Will Allen Dromgoole, which in my opinion should express the outlook of this parliament. I should also like these words to be my personal tribute IMr. Bater.]

to one whom it was not my privilege to know for a long period of time; I became acquainted with him during the last session. On a few occasions we walked together from this building down to the hotel. The person to whom I refer and to whom I wish to pay tribute is the late T. L. Church. The poem is as follows:

An old man going a lone highway Came in the evening, cold and grey,

To a chasm vast and deep and wide Through which there flowed a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,

The sullen stream had no fears for him,

But he stopped when safe on the other side And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man", said a fellow pilgrim near,

"You are wasting your strength with building here;

Your journey will end with the ending day, You never again will pass this way.

You've crossed the chasm deep and wide,

Why build you this bridge at evening tide?"

The builder lifted his old grey head,

"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said, "There followeth after me today A youth whose feet must pass this way.

"This chasm which has been naught to me To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

(Translation):

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IND

Raoul Poulin

Independent

Mr. Raoul Poulin (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker, I have only a few rather brief remarks to make in this debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I should be sorry, in fact, to take up an undue amount of the time of this house. I shall therefore be brief.

I am pleased to congratulate the mover (Mr. Larson) and the seconder (Mr. Dumas) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. In my humble opinion, both have done excellent work and any praise I might offer would not add to the intrinsic value of their speeches.

By means of the speech from the throne the government has made known the problem of unemployment in this country. Although I do not wish to indulge in unnecessary discussion, I feel it is my duty to point out that unemployment has reached alarming proportions in the constituency I have the honour to represent. From nearly all parishes in my constituency I received petitions signed by hundreds of people and resolutions from municipal councils expressing concern at the seriousness of the problem. After a summary survey, I am in a position to state that there are over 2,500 unemployed in my constituency at the present time. Some villages are greatly affected. And then the fact

that the great majority of the unemployed are labourers and lumberjacks, and therefore not entitled to unemployment insurance benefits, makes the situation all the more serious. One readily realizes, Mr. Speaker, the alarming situation of those men who, for the most part, are heads of families. They have been out of work for the past four, six and even ten months and their only income is derived from family allowances which, useful as they may be, under the circumstances are admittedly inadequate to ensure a decent standard of living. And yet the situation would not be so serious if all those who are fortunate enough to have a job were being paid fair wages.

Speaking in this house on February 20 last, the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), as reported at page 53 of Hansard, stated:

Our pulp and paper people felt that it would be a prudent thing to reduce the size of their inventories in which so much of their working capital was tied up at rather high costs of production.

I admit these production costs are rather high, but the companies have reduced their inventories. They have not omitted, however, to reduce, in a shameful manner, the price paid to small operators for pulpwood, and the salaries paid to woodcutters for job work. In view of the price the paper companies get for pulp, it really is a shame that they should be allowed to pay these forest labourers the meagre wages they force them to accept with a knife at their throat, if I may say so. The forest labourer is not concerned with the fact that the paper companies have reduced their inventories. He is uneasy and wonders what has suddenly happened in the pulp industry that his salary should be cut by one-half or even two-thirds, while paper is still selling as high as a year or two ago, and even higher.

Last week I went through my constituency. It is inhabited by responsible people, by good workers who usually earn their living through hard work. A year or two ago, those people were getting between $5 and $7 to cut a cord of wood; this winter, under almost identical conditions, the companies are only paying $3, $2.50 and even $2. Would that be the result of exploitation by a combine or trust? With bitterness and resentment, the forest labourer ponders over the question. This would undoubtedly be an excellent field of inquiry for the investigating body that has become famous since last year's report on the flour milling industry.

The Address-Mr. Poulin

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LIB

Joseph Arthur Lesage

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Will the hon. member permit a question? Is he aware that a provincial law deals with minimum salaries for forest labourers in Quebec? Under the circumstances the law is administered by the provincial government. Therefore, as the matter concerns workers of the province of Quebec, it should be referred to Mr. Duplessis.

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IND

Raoul Poulin

Independent

Mr. Poulin:

I am perfectly aware of that legislation. It hardly matters what political party has the right and duty to see that people abide by the law. As far as I am concerned, I avail myself of the means at my disposal to defend the lumberjacks' rights.

In any case, I have not blamed the federal government for lumberjacks' low wages. If any combine is operating, however, this is a splendid opportunity for the investigating commission I mentioned earlier to resume its task. I therefore urge with all the energy I can muster that lumberjacks be paid wages worthy of human beings.

If the government should ever decide to undertake public works for the relief of unemployment in the Beauce district, our municipalities would gladly supply a list of practical, useful, feasible and reasonable projects that would prove an asset to our parishes.

Discussing means to relieve unemployment, the Prime Minister also stated in the house, on February 20 last, as reported on page 58 of Hansard:

But there will inevitably be some residuary problems from time to time in some areas, and the initiative in dealing with them must be taken by the local authorities.

That is, in my opinion, exactly what local authorities are doing and that is why the heads of municipalities in my constituency sent me several resolutions and petitions asking the federal government to help them solve a problem with which they did not feel competent to deal.

These municipal governments are acquainted with local needs. Better than anyone else, including members of the cabinet and the representatives of all the parties in this house, they know that inadequate means are at their disposal to meet these needs. Our parish authorities know perfectly well that local governments are not capable of coping with this crisis. Our municipal governments are prepared, or should be, to do their share, in a very small way, of course, towards paying for these projects I mentioned a moment ago.

Everywhere enlightened people ask us to intensify the struggle against communism

The Address-Mr. Poulin here in Canada. May I modestly point out that poverty is a poor counsellor, that it is always in the seedbed of undeserved poverty that communism takes root most easily. Would not the expenditure of a few hundred million dollars to give the poor jobs which would preserve their dignity as free men be a way of making them happy and, as a result, of making them impervious to the come-hither of communism? It is only fair, I think, that we should ask ourselves this question.

And now let us look into another matter.

I was very much interested in the remarks recently made in this house by the hon. member for Portneuf (Mr. Gauthier). In his capacity as a practising physician he dealt with a subject to which he has often addressed himself and which, to my mind also, is of great importance. As a matter of fact it is one which commends itself to both of us, since we are members of the same profession.

I am speaking now of alcoholism amongst our people.

Is there anyone here who has any doubt whatever in regard to the importance of that problem in this country? Let us consider the statistics which I am about to quote; they give a comparative estimate of what the average Canadian spent towards the necessities of life, during the year 1948. I quote:

(Text):

According to the Temperance Advocate of October, 1949, the average Canadian spent in

1948:

Private and university education $ 5 00

Jewelry

5 50Tobacco

24 00Fuel

27 00Medical and death charges

28 50House furnishings and appliances

47 00Alcoholic beverages

48 00

(Translation):

Those figures, as will be readily admitted, are worthy of consideration by any serious-minded person.

I believe that the hon. member for Portneuf is altogether right in requesting the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) to intensify his preventive medicine campaign by the inclusion of the fight against alcoholism.

The prevention of alcoholism is a matter of education at all levels: at home, at school and after graduation. I do not believe that either rules or the police can stop people from drinking. The experience of hundreds of years confirms my conviction. The following is a statement made a few weeks ago in Montreal by Dr. Adrien Plouffe, associate director of the health department of the city of Montreal:

The prevention of the manufacturing and of the sale of alcoholic beverages is a myth, a fabulous thing impossible of attainment. The prevention of alcoholism is a matter of education.

Mr. Speaker, no one is made virtuous by order in council, and long ago Cicero, the prince of lawmakers, said:

What good are laws without morals?

What good are laws without a willingness to respect them, and without the convictions necessary to accept their yoke? And where can we acquire such convictions, if not from education?

And such education must come from above. A Chinese proverb states:

If you start cleaning stairs at the bottom, they will always remain dirty.

To start teaching temperance to the lower classes is a good thing, I admit, but it is not enough. And in this connection, I wish to express my admiration and gratitude to an organization which has devoted itself to the fight against alcoholism through the simple practice of complete abstention. This organization is known as the Cercle Lacordaire. It extends over all of the province of Quebec and to part of the provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario.

Having reached its tenth anniversary, it already has 90,000 members who, as human beings, are apt to make mistakes but who nevertheless bring their important, I would say essential, contribution to the organization of the fight against alcoholism. I might call this group a sort of people's university. It is far from being sufficient, however, and I would urge the minister of health to launch and support a wide educational campaign of temperance. Again I ask the hon. minister, who is apparently well disposed, to use all his influence in order that our Canadian universities may join, support and even lead the movement. Besides, it would be of little avail for our universities to pour into our communities hundreds of graduates, technicians, and scientists if these very communities are being gnawed by the cancer of alcoholism.

What is done elsewhere, and especially in the United States, could and should also be applied in Canada. Every Canadian university should scientifically teach the nature of alcoholism, its evils, its prevention and cure. Each medical faculty in Canada should have a clinic for the treatment of alcoholics, not only to cure drunkards, but also for the purpose of teaching how to prevent alcoholism. All our universities and schools of medicine have departments or clinics dealing with social

scourges like tuberculosis, syphilis and infant mortality. But, like the monkey in the story that forgot to light the lantern, we forget only one thing: to look after that other social scourge that all too often breeds the others, alcoholism. And I have proof to support my contention.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to add a word about another matter which bears some relation to the one I have been discussing since it also deals with education. On April 8, 1949, the Prime Minister tabled in the house order in council P.C. 1786, setting up a royal commission on national development in the arts, letters and sciences. The commission was brought into being, among other reasons, to inquire into and submit recommendations on the following matters, as stated in section (d):

Relations of the government of Canada and any of its agencies with various national voluntary bodies operating in the field with which this inquiry will be concerned.

Public hearings have been held in many places in Canada and numerous organizations or individuals have stated their views on various aspects of the problem.

Now, before the hearings had come to an end, before the commissioners paid by the public treasury had finished gathering and collecting the evidence, one of them prematurely issued a statement which is questionable in content. Indeed, Reverend Father Levesque of Quebec city, a member of this commission, is alleged to have said something to this effect:

Mere academic education and culture are two different things, when education in general is being referred to. The former comes under the direct jurisdiction of the provinces, while the latter might be a matter to be dealt with by the federal government. No one is more anxious than we are to leave exclusively academic education within the purview of the provinces. There remains popular education or culture in general. We are concerned here with human thought. In this field, the federal government can legitimately play its part. I have quoted Le Devoir of February 20, 1950. Since then, I have never seen any denial of this quotation. I therefore have every reason to assume that the quotation agrees with the facts.

The least I can say is that nothing was forcing this commissioner to make so hasty a statement. Had he waited until the end of the survey, he might have altered his judgment. Perhaps he would not have uttered a statement disapproved of by an important section of the people of his province.

I hold this great educationist in the highest regard, yet I feel I have a right to discuss his opinions just as he is entitled to discuss mine. Is he ready to accept for our young

The Address-Mr. Poulin people all that will come from federal institutions? If not, who will distinguish between what is acceptable and what is not? For my part I refuse to accept that and I am far from being the only one who holds that opinion in the province of Quebec.

Moreover that premature judgment is liable to influence the reports which have been or will be submitted to the commission. Why make a survey if the minds of the commissioners are already made up?

I would therefore advise those who are responsible for this commission to make representations to the commissioners and suggest that some of them show themselves less anxious to hand over to the federal government those things which, in my humble opinion, are better left with the provinces. Should the federal government assist education under certain well-defined conditions? Yes, of course. But I am humbly though unalterably opposed to any direct intervention such as has been prematurely expounded by Father Levesque.

I wish to add that the Canadian government should give the utmost consideration to the solving of the problem of the marketing and prices of our agricultural products. I know that this is a very complex problem and the government should therefore deal with it carefully. I recognize that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) has done a great deal in the past few months to try and solve this problem. I am aware that the minister has followed a reasonable part of the suggestions which he received from the farmers. Some progress has been made but much remains to be accomplished. It must not be forgotten that in many provinces of Canada, including the province of Quebec, the success of agriculture is the very foundation of our economic and social security.

Agricultural associations are unable by themselves to solve the problem but they are in a position to advise the government. I wish to point out this particular aspect of the question. I believe that the professional agricultural associations who have made a detailed study of this problem and who, therefore, are well acquainted with it have already submitted many suggestions to the minister.

As for myself, several agricultural organizations in my constituency have acquainted me with their views and I have duly forwarded them to the authorities concerned.

I am confident that in the light of this information and with the good will of the minister it will be possible to better the lot of an extremely important and extremely interesting group: the Canadian farmers.

The Address-Mr. T. A. M. Kirk

Even if I am perhaps imposing, Mr. Speaker, I would not want to conclude my remarks without recalling an incident in which you took part yourself last night, that is the handicraft exhibition of the province of Quebec now being held at the Chateau Laurier. This was not the first time that I saw most of the exhibits but to see them all exhibited in one place, especially outside the province of Quebec, and in a city so hospitable and sympathetic as Ottawa the beautiful, I believe is something that gives us a feeling of legitimate pride.

I noticed two items in particular. I might have been somewhat prejudiced at that moment, since the exhibits were being displayed by people from my own constituency of Beauce, Mr. Henri-Louis Levesque and Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Poulin. These people have done magnificent work. The house will allow me to extend to them my congratulations and to assure them that their achievements are truly wonderful.

(Text):

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LIB

Thomas Andrew Murray Kirk

Liberal

Mr. T. A. M. Kirk (Digby-Yarmouih):

Mr. Speaker, to the mover (Mr. Larson) and seconder (Mr. Dumas) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne may I extend my hearty congratulations and assure them that the brevity of my comment is in inverse proportion to the respect and admiration I have for their most excellent presentations.

As a new member I am deeply conscious of the outstanding representatives from western Nova Scotia who have sat in this house during the last two decades. One calls to mind immediately such eminent and outstanding parliamentarians as the Right Hon. J. L. Ilsley, who is now chief justice of the supreme court of Nova Scotia, and the late Colonel the Hon. J. L. Ralston, both of whom filled with great distinction many portfolios in the government. One also recalls Vincent J. Pottier, K.C., now a county court judge in the province of Nova Scotia, and judge in admiralty for Nova Scotia of the Exchequer Court of Canada, and Major Loran E. Baker, former parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Defence.

Although the new constituency of Digby-Yarmouth had its borders altered to conform with county lines, with Digby municipality replacing Shelburne county, its general make-up as to economy and population is practically unchanged. The constituency is essentially a district of small primary producers, each with his own particular problems, and it is still unique in its inclusion of two great races-each bringing its own special characteristics to the moulding of a common citizenship. The counties of Yarmouth and Digby are a part of Canada where for genera-

tions those two great races, English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians, have lived side by side in perfect sympathy and understanding.

With reference to one of our primary industries, may I say that the statement made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) on Monday last in the house, to the effect that trade commissioners in several countries are working on the sale of pit props and that there is some hope that sales will be made, is a ray of encouragement to the farmers and truckers of Digby county in particular.

As to the primary industry of fishing, may I say that during the last thirty years the production of fish in western Nova Scotia has doubled, and in my constituency the fishing industry is keenly aware of the program of development outlined by the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Mayhew) to the house on December 6 last.

Canada has access to the world's greatest fishing resources in the Atlantic, and we want to see an expansion program that will not in any way permit the reappearance of any economic weak spots. The trend from salt fish to the fresh and frozen products is continuing, and we are fully cognizant of the necessity of modern processing in filleting, packaging and freezing.

Along the Digby coast investigations have been and are being made into the effect of dragging operations with particular reference to the complaint that the feeding grounds are being destroyed. The complaint that draggers are interfering with other methods of fishing by inshore fishermen is also being investigated. We await with keen interest the report on these two specific investigations.

There are certain other matters pertaining to the fishing industry which I look forward to discussing at a later date when the estimates of the Department of Fisheries are before the house.

Upon leaving the subject of commercial fishing, may I refer briefly to the international tuna tournaments held annually at Wedge-port, a centre of 1,500 people, practically all of whom are of Acadian French descent. The headquarters of the tuna tournament is Wedgeport, and from here the boats set out for the now internationally known Soldier's Rip, where the huge blue fin are caught by rod and line.

Last fall teams from the Argentine, Brazil, the British empire, Cuba and the United States took part in this competition. Next year we expect that there will be at least two teams from the Scandinavian countries. Last year in a period of a few weeks the anglers caught approximately 1,800 tuna, most of them

in the four, five and six hundred pound class. The largest caught to date by rod and line weighed 890 pounds. Tuna fishing is rapidly becoming one of Nova Scotia's greatest tourist attractions, and next summer we hope to have two of the hon. members from the front benches to the right of the Speaker take part in this sport as guests of the Wedgeport tuna guides association.

A constituency which depends in so large a measure on fishing and which has a coast line of several hundreds of miles is of course always in the minds of the officers and officials of the departments of fisheries, transport and public works. Such a coast line, with its many small peninsulas, capes, bays, harbours and coves, must of necessity have innumerable aids to navigation. Aids such as buoys, spars, lighthouses and lightships must be continually serviced and repaired. As a large part of this work must be done from a ship, it is the feeling of those who are always making use of these aids that it would be more economical and efficient if one of the ships being used for this purpose were stationed at Yarmouth, which is the central point of the coastal area from point Prim to Cape Sable.

At this time may I bring to the attention of the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) the request for the basing of such a ship at Yarmouth and refer him to the various resolutions concerning this matter which have already been forwarded to his department by interested organizations.

Now that the main estimates have been tabled, we of Digby-Yarmouth are exceptionally pleased to note certain specific items which have been included, but we regret particularly the exclusion of certain other items of great importance. I have already brought to the attention of the Department of Public Works certain of these projects which are of extreme necessity to the fishermen of the areas concerned. May I urge on their behalf that these projects be included in the supplementary estimates.

I know that the residents of the coastal areas of my constituency are exceedingly pleased with the field personnel of the Department of Public Works with whom they come in contact, and look forward to seeing the membership of the district engineer's staff brought up to full strength in the near future. In bringing these matters to the attention of the hon. the Minister of Public Works may I add one more request; that is, that additional small dredging units be made available in order to maintain full use at low water of the small fishing harbours, channels and wharves.

55946-40^

The Address-Mr. T. A. M. Kirk

The inclusion in the estimates of one million dollars to be applied towards the construction of the automobile ferry which is to run between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and a port in Maine was received with acclaim by Nova Scotians in general. As announced by the Minister of Transport on December 7 last, the federal government and the government of the province of Nova Scotia are sharing in the capital cost of this ferry, which it is estimated will amount to three million dollars. The announcement of the inclusion of the one million dollar vote in the estimates is evidence of the intention of the federal government to proceed with the project as rapidly as possible. It is my understanding that at present Ottawa is awaiting a reply from the Nova Scotia government indicating its agreement with the details of the proposal. Just as soon as this is received the committee representing the various departments concerned will, I understand, be able to proceed immediately from the already prepared sketch plans to the detailed scale plans of the ship and to finalize the decisions concerning propulsion machinery and docking facilities.

This proposed ferry service will aid in maintaining the prominence of Yarmouth, the southwestern gateway to Nova Scotia, which for many years prior to world war II was the port of entry through which the greatest number of people entered Nova Scotia. It is the considered opinion of objective-minded citizens of western Nova Scotia that the inauguration of an automobile ferry service between Yarmouth and a port in Maine is as forward-looking a project as was the inauguration of a steamship service between Yarmouth and Boston during the latter years of the last century. Travel conditions have changed greatly in the last two decades, and a short daylight run across the Bay of Fundy from Maine to Yarmouth will prove of inestimable value. Such a ferry, designed primarily for passenger and automobile traffic will, I am certain, permit the development of both refrigerated truck and passenger bus businesses.

In closing may I say that many of those in various lines of business in the constituency of Digby-Yarmouth are now considering, and upon the announcement of the start of construction of the ferry will be making, definite plans to handle the increased tourist traffic and business in 1951.

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. J. Browne (Si. John's West):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to join with other hon. members in congratulating the hon. member for Kindersley (Mr. Larson) on the way he carried out his task of moving the adoption of the address to His Excellency, and also

620 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. W. J. Browne the hon. member for Villeneuve (Mr. Dumas) on the admirable way in which, in two languages, he seconded the motion.

I was especially interested in the description of life in that strange province of Saskatchewan given by the mover of the resolution. It was interesting to hear of the busy ranches, the golden grain gleaming in the late summer sun, and all the happy, contented homes, where the people live long lives of Arcadian simplicity. But I think hon. members will agree that they had a rude awakening when the hon. member for Maple Creek (Mr. Studer) rose and said that taxes in that province were so high he was considering selling his farm, and recommended that the portion of the province west of the third meridian should be given to Alberta and the portion east of the third meridian should be given to Manitoba.

The hon. member for Villeneuve told us how rich and varied were the resources of his constituency, and painted a picture of giant ore carriers sailing up the deepened St. Lawrence with iron ore from the Quebec-Labrador mines to smelters that would be established in Quebec. That brought no applause from hon. members from the maritime provinces, because already established at Sydney are great blast furnaces which have been in operation for fifty years, where the coal from Sydney is used to smelt iron ore that comes from Bell island in Newfoundland, while the limestone from the west coast of Newfoundland is also brought in to help out in the process.

Iron is considered the most necessary element in the establishment and development of industry; and today Canada seems to be the richest country in the world in that respect. In addition to the iron ore mines of Bell island, which are capable of almost unlimited expansion, we have the new workings at Steep Rock, as well as the recent discoveries on the Quebec-Labrador boundary. There should be no reason why in addition to the blast furnaces in Sydney we could not have other blast furnaces in Quebec and Ontario. The future of Canada seems very bright with such large supplies of iron ore within our boundaries, particularly since the supplies of the United States in Minnesota appear to be on the verge of petering out.

The hon. member for Charlotte (Mr. Stuart) complained, as I have heard him complain before, about the indifference and neglect which the maritimes have suffered from the central provinces. He stated, as I am quite sure is the fact, that the goods purchased by the maritimes from the central provinces far exceed in value the goods which the central provinces buy from the maritimes.

[Mr. Browne (St. John's West).)

Yet in many sections of the maritimes, as those who have travelled there know, particularly in the country districts, there are homes that have an air of solid comfort.

There have been many interesting speeches and many very fine speeches during this debate, and one is tempted to discuss many subjects that have been brought to light. For example, the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) went to a great deal of trouble to give a detailed analysis of the unemployment situation which the government have been trying to minimize. He also gave us the work projects in hand for the construction season of 1950. However, I am very much puzzled by the various statements we have heard from members of the government. Listening to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) and the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) one would not think there was any great amount of unemployment in the country; but the figures show differently. Unemployment insurance paid out for the month of December was equal to that paid out for April of last year, a little over $7 million; but in January the amount paid out almost equalled the amount received in insurance premiums, nearly $12 million. So we had the spectacle of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin), acting in the absence of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell), bringing in a bill and beseeching hon. members to let him rush it through the house as quickly as possible because so many people were out of employment and had been without work for so long that they had exhausted all the benefits to which they were entitled, and it was necessary to extend the benefits until April 30 of this year and provide that in future years those benefits should be extended for three months beyond January 1.

Is it not paradoxical that in this great, rich country, where the grain elevators are filled to overflowing with wheat, where there are surpluses at various seasons of the year in some commodities-even at the moment in butter, cheese, eggs and bacon-unsold and sometimes unsalable, that there should be 400,000 people receiving unemployment insurance? These people, because of the small amount received in proportion to their ordinary earnings, must be living at a reduced level. I ask hon. members of the government to give serious consideration to that paradox. It seems to me to be an extremely serious situation, which unemployment insurance does not cure. Public works on a large scale will not cure it either, because those are only temporary expedients and do nothing to eliminate the cause.

You will find, Mr. Speaker, that in talking about this subject most hon. members think of the income the people receive, without thinking of the property from which income is derived. It would be much better for the government to attempt to arrange for people to have productive property in their possession, as has been done in the administration of veterans affairs. When the veterans came home, they were assisted in securing land, from which they could earn a livelihood. Many of them were also taught trades. It seems to me that the huge amounts of money that are being spent on unemployment insurance are not producing the permanent results that we would like to see. Year after year, we are faced with this problem. It may become a serious problem. Neither the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe), nor the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott), nor any member of this house, can tell what will happen in the next twelve months in this country. One can only surmise. There is wealth here, but has it been well distributed? It is for that reason that I say it is urgent for all, whether in the provincial government or the federal government, to do all they can to assist people in getting possession of productive property, because that is what counts, more than mere income.

Only recently we heard that there were surpluses of farm products in the United States as well as in Canada. In that country there has been destruction of these products, as there was in the thirties. There has been destruction of potatoes, just as there was destruction of sows in the thirties. I remember at one time in 1933 when the government of Newfoundland was encouraged by the late Sir Wilfred Grenfell to ask the United States government to give us some of the sows that were being destroyed. We were not able to get them. If they had been available, the people of Newfoundland would have been able to raise pork. The government of the United States has arranged for the sale of a large quantity of potatoes to Spain at a nominal price. Owing to the drought in that country, there is a scarcity of vegetables and wheat. If Canada has a surplus of food, and I understand there are surpluses in some commodities, it would be better to give them away than to destroy them.

Another interesting speaker, who gave us a delightful speech in many respects, was the member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight). He argued in favour of the recognition of the government of communist China, and stated that the sweep of the communist armies over China did not constitute a communist revolution. I should like to know what the

The Address-Mr. W. J. Browne hop. member desires to have as evidence of a communist revolution. I feel quite sure that Mao Tse-tung would not consider it a compliment if he were called something other than a communist, or something other than a revolutionary. I wonder if my hon. friend would ask the missionaries, who have escaped from that country, what they think of what happened out there. Missionaries have been insulted, murdered; and their churches have been desecrated. The missionary dispensaries that were used for the benefit of the people of China have been confiscated and destroyed.

The hon. member for Saskatoon also made an extraordinary statement, which he challenged anyone to deny, when he said at page 189 of Hansard:

The only political force active at this moment against communism between the iron curtain and the Atlantic coast of Spain is the socialism of the democratic socialist nations such as Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Great Britain. Such socialist nations stand on guard for democracy in the Europe of today. I doubt if there is a member in the house who can deny that.

I am sure that my hon. friend will recognize that the presence of United States forces and United States officials in Europe administering the Marshall aid plan are also to be considered as political forces of some value. I think my hon. friend will recognize that in Belgium there is a strong Catholic "party, and that in France the government of the day is mainly composed of members of the Mouvement Republique Populaire. The alliance between the socialists and the M.R.P. is intended to keep General de Gaulle from getting into power. In Western Germany there is a government of Christian Democrats, in which the Catholics and Protestants have combined to run the country through the dangerous and difficult problems confronting it as a result of the welter of hate that was engendered during the war. In Italy there is the Christian Democratic government of de Gasperi, assisted by the socialists it is true, but socialists of the right rather than socialists of the left. In Holland, there is a Christian Democratic government. I consider, Mr. Speaker, that the socialism of those two Scandinavian countries, Norway and Sweden, is not the kind of socialism to be found in other European countries. The people of those two countries are quite individualistic, and there are strong capitalistic enterprises in both of them.

Then, what would my hon. friend say of the government of General Franco? Would he not call that a bulwark against communism? In 1936, General Franco came over from Africa and fought his way through Spain until he had conquered the communists. Surely he is to be regarded as a political force of some account in the area the hon.

622 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. W. J. Browne member mentioned. What does he say of the government of Salazar in Portugal? He has been in office for 24 years; once when he resigned he was invited by the people to return. What does he say, after the election in Great Britain, when the number of people who voted against the socialist government amounted to 15 million, while the number who voted for it amounted to 12 million? Will he not say they are a political force of some value who stand on guard against communism? "Christian Democrat", which is the term I have used to denote these Christian Democratic parties, was a term that was coined by Leo XIII. It meant that the government was to be guided by Christian principles. As my friend may be aware, the socialist parties of Europe are largely anti-Christian, and have not the same Christian outlook which I presume my hon. friend has.

I shall leave the members of the C.C.F. party alone for the moment, and revert once more to the members of the government. I am sure that many of us listened with amusement as well as amazement to the speech delivered by the Minister of Agriculture yesterday. No one will deny that the minister is a patriotic man. He is the most attentive person in this house. I should like to give him credit for that. He listens to all the speeches, even some which he must find quite uninteresting. I did not think he did himself justice yesterday. In the future, I do not think the minister will be proud of the exhibition he gave us. He knew that he was not giving a fair picture of the situation. He was exaggerating, and he was stating things that were entirely out of proportion. I listened to him speak about the great work which the Liberal party has done. I have no doubt the Liberal party has done good work; it has done wonderful work. During the past ten years trade has flourished under the Liberal government. If it had not flourished during the last ten years, it would not say very much for the intelligence of the members of the Liberal government.

After listening to the hon. gentleman, Mr. Speaker, I went to the library and asked for a book that would give the statistics on world trade. I found the United Nations statistical year book for 1948, and I have here many pages dealing with the trade of the whole world, or of the principal countries of the world. The Minister of Agriculture knows better than anybody else that the picture of trade between 1928 and 1948 was practically the same in every country throughout the world except in Europe during the war; there was a decline certainly beginning in 1929 with the stock market crash of that year when the bonds of some countries plunged down from $100 to $10, and the shares of all the stocks

(Mr. Browne (St. John's West).]

on the stock markets went down like an avalanche. For several years following that there was a depression all over the world, and it had not really finished when the war began. In 1939 I remember being in an ordinarily busy station in Boston and seeing the porters playing baseball because there were no people travelling on the trains. I remember travelling from Boston to New York in May, 1939, when there was only one other person besides me in the car on the train. There was a world depression on. I could show my hon. friend the figures for trade in Newfoundland since the war began. We did not have the blessings of a Liberal government in Newfoundland at that time. We had a commission of government; and even a commission of government was able to build up surpluses. I would say this for the benefit of the hon. member. If we had had a responsible government in power in Newfoundland in those days, we would have been able to build up large surpluses, just as the commission of government had done.

The most notable thing, however, about the right hon. gentleman's speech was not what he said but rather what he did not say; and, Mr. Speaker, I am going to ask you and the other members of this house to listen to what I have to say just now. I imagine that when the right hon. gentleman had finished that radio speech there was another voice that came on immediately after, the still small voice of conscience which spoke as follows:

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An hon. Member:

Oh, no.

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William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

"Listen, folks; I have to tell you a secret".

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An hon. Member:

Quiet!

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William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

"Mr. F. A. McGregor, the commissioner under the combines act, considered that the flour millers of this country had agreed to put up the prices of flour all over Canada and in September, 1947, he started the investigation which he finished in December, 1948. He put in a report. The Minister of Trade and Commerce was mad about it. He of course has tremendous influence with the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), who has great confidence in him; and he persuaded the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson), who is new at the job and did not know much about it, not to publish the report".

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An hon. Member:

Rubbish.

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William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

The voice went on, "We are not going to publish the report, folks. We did not tell parliament about this report when parliament was sitting. We kept it secret because the Conservatives might make use of it in the election; and the C.C.F., if they ever got hold of

it, might be the next government of Canada. So we did not tell them anything about it, and we are not going to tell the people either. What the people don't know won't hurt them". I have imagined that the right hon. gentleman was frank enough to tell the people what his conscience was pricking him about all the time. The right hon. gentleman, I think, has some ground to boast about his accomplishments, although there are many who would not say that. But I would say, Mr. Speaker, that this country would be more greatly honoured in the United Nations and everywhere else among right-thinking men if it would put respect for law and love of justice before its ability as a trading nation; it would be better for this country to have respect for the law so that rich and poor would be equal before the law. I ask hon. members who sit to my right and hon. members who sit on the other side of this house if they would not rather have Canada known as a country where the law was respected and justice was carried out by those entrusted with that duty, whether a man was rich or poor, than that it should have the greatest trade of any nation in the world.

At the last session of this house I drew attention to the fact that in negotiations leading up to confederation a principle which was considered at Charlottetown, at Quebec and at London and which found a place in the British North America Act, was thrust aside by the members of the Canadian government. I refer to the fact that Newfoundland, when she was negotiating a pact of union with Canada, had at the time a large surplus and a low per capita debt. That principle was enshrined in those documents which are so highly respected and which have become the law of this country. If hon. members would take the trouble some time to look at the Quebec conference resolutions they will find laid down in paragraphs 60 to 63, and especially in paragraph 63, the principles that I have outlined, that Newfoundland at that time, and Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, were to be given a credit of 5 per cent per annum on the difference between the total debt of the country and what it would be if it was the same per capita as the debt of Canada. If that had been done for Newfoundland we would have had a large annual allowance instead of what we have now as a diminishing transitional grant.

While I am on that subject I want to support what my hon. and learned colleague, the hon. member for St. John's East (Mr. Higgins), said about representation in the Senate. If hon. members will look at paragraph 14 in the Quebec resolutions and paragraph 15 in the London resolutions they

The Address-Mr. W. J. Browne will find there the principle which I recommend to the Prime Minister and the members of the government. "The first selection of the members of the legislative council (as the Senate was called then), shall be made, except as regards Prince Edward Island, from the legislative councils of the various provinces. Such members shall be appointed by the crown at the recommendation of the general executive government upon the nomination of the respective local governments, and in such nominations due regard shall be had to the claims of the members of the legislative council and the position in each province, so that all political parties as nearly as possible be fairly represented."

I ask if hon. members of the government feel that they own the Senate. Can they appoint members who are their supporters and nobody else from Newfoundland? So far we have four appointments; and four of those were supporters of the Liberal party and four of them were supporters of confederation. What about those representing the 48 per cent of the people who voted against confederation? What about the people who voted against the Liberal party? Have they no right to representation? When a province comes into this great dominion, is it fair that it should be without representation by parties in that chamber? I suggest to these hon. gentlemen, especially to the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier), who is sitting there and doing me the honour of listening to what I have to say tonight-and he is a fair-minded man; he has told me he is a fair-minded man-

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Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

And you believed it.

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James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

We were just discussing the matter of how few Liberals there were in the Senate when we came into power.

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William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Yes, maybe there were. But two wrongs don't make a right. If that was done in the past the Liberal party with its huge majority here and in the other place could now afford to be a little generous with that little province.

If the principle I mentioned, which is contained in the British North America Act, of the difference in the per capita debt, had been recognized it would have made a striking difference to the present government of the province of Newfoundland. They would have had a substantial annual allowance which they have not got at the present time.

After three years have expired, the grant that they are getting now of a little over $6 million begins to diminish, and where are they going to find the revenue? At the fisheries conference the other day down in

The Address-Mr. W. J. Browne the east the minister of fisheries and cooperatives said that the island was eighty-years behind the rest of Canada. That is because Newfoundland did not have the advantage of the great industries in the central provinces from which to draw its taxes. It was unable to have the same developments that took place in Canada. But now that we are a part of Canada we should have the means to have these things carried on.

One outstanding fact, Mr. Speaker, is that Newfoundland's economy has deteriorated during the past twelve months more rapidly than that of any other province of Canada. I would not attempt to say that it should be attributed to confederation, although it is partly due to that fact, as I shall show in a moment. We who opposed confederation foresaw it. We warned the people about what was going to happen, especially in St. John's, and it is recognized by all Liberals and Conservatives now that what we said was true. I suppose the Liberals knew then that it was true. The factories in St. John's cannot compete with the great factories in the central provinces, and so they have had to close down. By November eight of them had closed down, and when I left one was going-on short time, two days a week. It will be only a matter of time when it will have to close down unless something happens to help them.

That is not a very bright picture for those of us like my hon. friend and the hon. member for Trinity-Conception (Mr. Stick) and myself who were born and bred in that city and who have spent so much of our lives there. It is hard for people to see the factories closing down and to see work coming to a standstill. We have a regard for that city. It has a great history behind it. It was the first place in the new world where European sailors dropped anchor. Six years before the Spanish Armada, Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed it for the English crown. Before Cartier came up the St. Lawrence he visited Newfoundland. Before Champlain, before Maisonneuve, fleets from Spain, Portugal and England mingled together in the harbour of St. John's. It has a long and interesting history. It played a prominent part in the Napoleonic wars, in the war of American independence, in the war of 1812, and in the last great war it was the chief base of the Royal Canadian Navy. That is a fact that I should like to bring to the attention of the members of the government and ask them not to overlook it.

The present government of Newfoundland inherited a wonderful legacy of over $40 million, but I do not think that the federal

government should assume that that is going to last forever. The provincial government is trying to put their province on the same basis as the other provinces in regard to social benefits. That is what they are doing, and they are working with feverish energy and zeal to make the country prosperous, but that money will not last forever. With the diminishing transitional grant they will be faced with what I consider to be the insuperable problem of trying to balance the budget with expenditures on a par with those of the maritime provinces when there is so much unemployment in the country.

The terms of union contain a provision, section 29, which I should like to draw to the attention of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), who had something to do with drafting them:

29. In view of the difficulty of predicting with sufficient accuracy the financial consequences to Newfoundland of becoming a province of Canada, the government of Canada will appoint a royal commission within eight years from the date of union to review the financial position of the province of Newfoundland and to recommend the form and scale of additional financial assistance, if any, that may be required by the government of the province of Newfoundland to enable it to continue public services at the levels and standards reached subsequent to the date of union, without resorting to taxation more burdensome, having regard to capacity to pay, than that obtaining generally in the region comprising the maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

I consider that the presence of this section in the terms of union is evidence of the good will of the government of Canada, and shows a recognition of the problem that has now come to the forefront. To set up a sound economy in Newfoundland, agriculture must be fostered and developed. At the last session I asked the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) whether he would do all that he could to assist Newfoundland to get its agriculture on its feet. So far as I know, not very much assistance has yet been given; but I am going to plead with the minister now because agriculture is the most important thing in Newfoundland.

We cannot eat all the fish we catch, but we can eat all the agricultural products that we produce. During the past season we have had many ships from the neighbouring provinces come down there to sell their produce. They peddled their produce from cove to cove and harbour to harbour around the island. I know they have great surpluses of potatoes in the maritimes-100,000 tons, I was told in Prince Edward Island-and they can bring them very cheaply across the short neck of water over to Newfoundland and sell them around. But if Newfoundland is not to be encouraged to develop its own agriculture

what is going to become of it? It is going to go back 450 years and become what it was in Cabot's day, just a fishing vessel moored to the banks. If we want to see that country develop, we have to develop its agriculture. Agriculture is the basic industry of Canada and of the province of Newfoundland. It will surprise hon. members to know that we can produce all the agricultural products that we need. I am thinking now of vegetables. I am not going to say that we could produce all the milk, butter and meat. We could do that, but perhaps it would be at too great a cost. It would be a comparatively simple thing to produce all the vegetables that we need. I am going to tell hon. members that the quality of the vegetables we produce in Newfoundland is as good as any that you will find in Canada, so far as I can see.

I noticed in the report of the Duncan com- [DOT] mission of 1926 that the same thing happened in Nova Scotia after confederation. The people got into the habit of importing their produce. They brought in from outside Nova Scotia huge quantities of agricultural products that they could have produced themselves.

In Newfoundland before confederation we were accustomed to our own legislation. We did the best we could. We had a railway and we had a few highroads. We did the best we could with public health. Nevertheless our population increased at a higher rate than that of the maritimes. It did not increase at a higher rate than Canada generally. It is very hard to calculate the actual natural increase in Canada because there is so much immigration into this country, but we were increasing when Prince Edward Island was decreasing. In 1910 the population was 220,000. Today it is nearly 350,000. It will not stay at that figure very long if the factories are closing down in St. John's and Bell island ore is to be curtailed. If we cannot sell our fish and the produce from the maritimes is to be sent down there, who is going to stay in Newfoundland?

I am aware of the great benefits that we receive from the social services in this country provided by the federal government. The old age pensions have brought blessings to many an old man and woman. Family allowances, which I have advocated personally since 1933, have brought untold blessings to hundreds of families in Newfoundland, but I think hon. members will agree when I say that a country cannot exist on those things alone. They have social benefits in the province of Quebec and those who are unemployed at the head of the lakes get unemployment relief, but are they satisfied? Who would be satisfied? Certainly no man or woman over 16 years of age and

The Address-Mr. W. J. Browne under 70 years would want to stay in a country for the sake of those things. They will leave and come up here to swell the ranks of your unemployed, or perhaps try to get to the United States.

The greatest advocate of confederation in our country stated the same thing that I am stating now. He has said that the future of Newfoundland depends, not on these things but on the energy and ability of the people. They must "produce or die" and it is the intention of the present provincial government to "make her or break her" in the next three years. I am afraid that honourable gentleman will break his heart before he will be will be able to succeed under such circumstances unless he gets the assistance he should have had in the first place by way of a substantial annual grant from the federal treasury.

Any reasonable man listening to these desperate statements can come to no other conclusion than that confederation in itself has not meant the salvation of Newfoundland. Hon. members here have been most kind and gracious to us all. They frequently say to me, "How are things down home?" I would like to be able to say they are fine, but I must say, "I am sorry to tell you that they are not so good." Then hon. members get a little disinterested, they become a little bored, but I tell them that it is true. Industry is slowing down and places are closing. At Bell island two great mines have closed down and the third one is working on short shifts. We had a contract for ten years with Great Britain for 1,250,000 tons of ore. That was reduced to 300,000, and then that was wiped out. We had a contract to sell 350,000 tons of ore to Germany, but that is gone. All that is left is the market at Sydney. I ask the government on behalf of this poor little sister, this new little sister of Newfoundland: Cannot you give us some help in selling that ore to Great Britain? I am sure that the Secretary of State for External Affairs is a most influential man in the United Nations and he should be able to have funds provided so that Germany can take that 350,000 tons. That would make all the difference between poverty and wealth in my hon. friend's constituency of St. John's East.

These men work very hard. If it is hard for John L. Lewis' coal miners to shovel coal for $14.75 or $15 per day with other bonuses, how hard do you think it is to shovel iron ore which weighs much more? If hon. members were to try that for a day I think it would be a good thing. If we went down in the mine for a day we would have more sympathy with miners than perhaps we have at the present time.

The Address-Mr. W. J. Browne

When I tell hon. members of the difficulties we have they say, "You just came in in time to get the benefits of unemployment insurance and family allowances." This matter is very serious for us. As the great advocate of confederation said, "We must produce or die." We cannot live on social benefits. The government of this country must recognize that the terms were inadequate. We do not desire to have to wait forty years as Nova Scotia had to wait until 1907. Listen to what Sir Wilfrid Laurier said when he introduced the amending legislation on March 25, 1907, and I quote from column 5297 of Hansard of that date:

The experience of forty years has brought this fact again and again to the attention of the parliament and the people of Canada. If I needed any evidence in support of that assertion, I might remind the house, that not once, nor twice, nor thrice, but periodically and systematically parliament has been asked, at almost regular intervals, to vote in favour of now one province and now another province, appropriations far in excess of anything that had been stipulated in the British North America Act; and, every province which has since joined confederation has entered upon terms in excess of the terms provided for in that act.

Whether we entered on terms in excess of those provided in that act, we did not enter on equal terms. There is a great necessity to have those terms ameliorated unless we are going to duplicate the sad history of Nova Scotia. The royal commission known as the Duncan commission when making its report in 1926 said that the representatives of the federal government were overweighted with fear when they went to deal with this question; they were afraid of what someone in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or British Columbia was going to say. But they should have no fear when they are going to deal out justice.

They must know that there is a minimum below which the provincial government cannot possibly carry on. That government is now bringing in new social benefits in the way of mothers' allowances and allowances for crippled people, such as they have in Nova Scotia, I believe, and such as were brought before this house in the form of a motion asking for the opinion of this house at the last session. They are doing that in Newfoundland today. I am afraid they are more enthusiastic about the welfare state than the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin). In addition to that they are trying to promote industrial development as I have said already.

There is another matter that must be considered by Newfoundland, a matter coming under the Minister of Resources and Development (Mr. Winters). I refer to the trans-Canada highway. Much of our country is unpopulated and when you have a stretch of highway going 500 miles across such a country it will take a large sum to keep it

up. Where is the revenue going to come from to keep up that new road? It is not going to come in immediately and the provincial government will be faced with further difficulty. Any proposition that is made to the province will require their consideration of what is going to be expended and where the revenue will be obtained. With dwindling employment and revenue how can the province keep this new amenity in repair as it should be kept?

The present revenue with the addition of the transitional grants is insufficient to balance the provincial budget by several millions. This year there will be a deficit of between $8 million and $10 million which will have to be drawn from the surplus. Under the British North America Act, Nova Scotia was promised the Intercolonial Railway, but it was built 250 miles longer than was needed for [DOT]strategic reasons. I believe that is one reason why freight rates to the maritimes have been reduced below what they are in other provinces.

I do not want Newfoundland to have to bear a burden which it cannot bear, and I believe that is the situation today. When the surplus runs out the provincial government will quickly find out that they must come here, as they have had to come for many things which were not properly set out under the terms of union. While the situation is not desperate at the present time, it is very serious and urgent. I submit that this is the first test of the good will and sense of justice possessed by members of the federal government.

All down through the years since the railroad was built we carried goods across the strait from North Sydney to Port aux Basques free. What goods were carried? Canadian goods were carried without any subsidies whatsoever. Last year before confederation we bought $55 million worth of goods from Canada while Canada bought only $10 million worth of goods from Newfoundland. As my hon. colleague said, formerly we had a favourable balance of trade with the United States of over $25 million which has now been diverted to Canada. Canada's trade has been increased by $40 million. I am quoting him as my authority for that. I do know that a large quantity of that United States trade has been diverted to Canada. That will bring benefits to the central provinces. Therefore I think it entitles us to some consideration on the question of freight rates that is now before the government. In addition to that, there are special geographical and other considerations such as the narrow gauge track which should be considered in our favour as a reason for giving us extra benefits so far as freight rates are concerned rather than as a penalty whereby we will have to pay higher rates than are paid in the maritimes.

The federal government has an army of ambassadors, consuls, and trade commissioners abroad. In paying taxes I presume the people of Newfoundland help to keep them there. What benefit are they to us unless they are going to help our trade? I hope they will help us out. I am very glad to be able to say-and I presume the hon. member for Trinity-Conception (Mr. Stick) will be glad to know this-that Spain has agreed to buy 200,000 quintals of fish this year. I raised that matter last year on several occasions, and I am glad to see that the deal is going through. I trust that trade will continue. It is an old trade which goes back 400 years. We should also have trade with Italy and Greece because those countries want our cod. The little province of Newfoundland only has 350,000 people, and codfish is a commodity which I believe means more to a larger number of people in Newfoundland than any other commodity means to the people of any other province of Canada. It will be very helpful to the people of Newfoundland if codfish can be sold in these countries. That means that dollars must be found for the sterling with which we will be paid.

I hope I am not unmindful of all the difficulties confronting the government, the huge expenditures involved in foreign affairs, the transportation system, social benefits, national defence, industry and agriculture. I believe the social benefits provided to Newfoundland by the federal government amount to over $20 million a year which is a very sizable sum indeed, and we are certainly grateful. Nevertheless it must be remembered, and I think everyone will admit, that we have to pay our share towards these expenditures. Beneficial as they are, the welfare of any country depends more on the development of its agriculture, trade and commerce and other industries than on social benefits. It is not possible to tell how confederation is going to work out for Newfoundland, but it is not a one-way street. We pay taxes to the dominion also. On the purchase of goods we spend money which is put into circulation in the other provinces of the dominion. It is very difficult to estimate the amount of money which we pay in taxes. Of course the solution of the problem will depend upon the policy of the dominion in regard to the matters I have mentioned.

Finally, I trust hon. members will appreciate what I am about to say. When I came here last year I did not come with any special love for Canada. I admit that I was welcomed and received as a brother, and I appreciate that. I took the attitude that I would use whatever talent or ability I possessed to

The Address-Mr. W. J. Browne further the interests of the whole nation. I can understand the feelings of my colleague as expressed in his passionate outburst the other night. I know how he feels about things. I believe I understand how he feels better than anybody else. We are only flesh and blood and we can be stirred to say the things that are deep in our hearts. I am prepared to work for the prosperity of this country in any way that I can with my poor humble ability.

Therefore, in all seriousness I should like to make the following recommendations as a concrete suggestion. Hon. members of the government may think they are extravagant, and they may find them difficult to accept. Nevertheless I recommend that now, and not eight years from now when Newfoundland has gone into a morass: 1. A royal commission should be set up under section 29 of the terms of union (a) to determine the annual grant necessary for Newfoundland to carry on its provincial activities, bearing in mind the revenue it can produce itself, and (b) to determine the freight rate structure. If they cannot come to a final decision at the present time let them make a temporary decision on the freight rate question. Let that be a subject into which the royal commission can go more fully at their leisure, (c) They should investigate how they can best assist the fisheries because these mean so much to the people of that province.

Then I recommend that the federal government do all it can to assist the development of agriculture. Last year the sum of $80 million or $90 million was spent on agriculture. What proportion of that was spent in Newfoundland? I suggest that it was very small, much less than we were entitled to. I also recommend that the federal government arrange for the provision of dollars for the sale of fish to the sterling area. The merchants of Newfoundland must carry on that fish export business. They have a nightmare and constant headache with 28,000 fishermen to consider. Think of how many families and how many thousands of people are involved in that proposition. That arrangement should be made by the federal government. They should create a national harbour at St. John's. There are national harbours in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and there should be one at St. John's. The government should provide more funds for the construction and improvement of public and marine works which were neglected for so many years. The Minister of Public Works knows- I have drawn conditions in my district to his attention from time to time. He also knows he is spending a good deal of money in other districts. Wharves have fallen down and

The Address-Mr. Noseworthy harbours are full of silt. I hope he will soon be able to get his dredge completed so that it will be able to go down there and start operations.

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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

It is nearly on its way.

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Finally, as an assurance that the government will act fairly to all Newfoundlanders, I recommend that they grant equal representation to all political parties in the other place.

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March 9, 1950