April 9, 1951

?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnoit:

I must repeat that.

-the redoubtable John Sinnott (L. Springfield) lost the contest. They will take part in Monday's debate. But Speaker Ross Macdonald has assured Opposition Leader Drew that he will have the floor first to lead off the discussion.

Then, in looking over a discussion of business of the house in April 5 Hansard, where there was reference to procedure in asking leave to move the adjournment, under standing order 31, it will be noted that J. S. Sinnott, the member for Springfield, was first on his feet. And it is only now, after waiting for five or six days, that I have the opportunity of having the floor, and sharing in the glory with the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew), although he had the floor first today.

Just to show that the leader of the opposition made sure that he was going to have 80709-113

Cost of Living

that privilege, I would refer hon. members to page 1641 of Hansard where they will see that he did not even give Mr. Speaker a chance to finish his remarks, before he was on his feet to say:

Mr. Speaker, I trust that the attempt to introduce the motion which you have declared to be irregular at that time will not in any way change the priority, in view of the fact that I have already indicated to you my intention of presenting a motion for the adjournment of the house at the proper time.

While there was a race for it, nevertheless the hon. member for Springfield was on his feet first.

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PC
LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

I was amused today to hear the leader of the opposition make reference first to the high cost of food. I never heard him say, though, that the farmers were getting too much money. Then he said that the proportion of increase in retail prices had not kept pace with the increased prices to the farmers themselves. I think that is an indication that he would like retailers to have a bigger profit than, they now have.

I want to make it clear that I am not falling for any bait or any attempt by the opposition to lead me to vote against the government in this debate. I want to make clear to the government my opinion in this matter, and I think that, taking a cross section of the country, I can say 1 represent what would be pretty close to the average individual in Canada. I am sure all hon. members will agree that it is necessary to curb the ever-soaring and rising prices.

In looking over the current review of agriculture, with particular reference to records in Canada, we find a larger population with a greater working force earning a higher income than in any previous record in Canada's history. As a result there is now a much greater demand for farm products, especially livestock and livestock products. We find that the volume of exports of farm products has now declined for the first time since 1940, and that there is no longer a Canada-United Kingdom food agreement.

Nevertheless production does not meet with the increased consumption which is taking place in Canada today. This is partly due to the small output of some farm produce, and partly due to the international currency situation. And, as the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) has rightly said, it is partly due to the export of cattle to the United States.

In spite of the conditions I have described, the demand for agricultural products still continues, and the wholesale prices of farm products at the major domestic markets have

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continued to rise since the end of 1950. Prices to the farmers have improved somewhat, as in the case of cattle but receipts on Canadian markets are not unduly heavy. During 1950 Canadian farmers have realized a cash income of $2,169-3 million. Comparing this with 1949, the income for 1950 is down by 11-7 per cent for the farmers. Parliament was called on January 29, 1959.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

He who laughs last laughs best -1951. Since that time a number of policies have been decided upon to strengthen Canada's defence resources and measures to combat inflation have been announced. The policy of the government is to prevent war, but in spite of this the danger is still great and ever present. On February 12 the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) had this to say:

Let me hasten to say at once, Mr. Speaker, and I am sure I am not revealing any budgetary secrets, that I do not think we have reached the practical limits of taxation. I intend to budget this year for a fully balanced budget which I think will be the fundamental attack on the problem of inflation.

Referring to the general economic controls at the present time, the minister stated on the same day in- the House of Commons:

I do not believe that a system of over-all price control would be either desirable or effective at this time. Make no mistake about it, one cannot go into this thing for any length of time in a piecemeal manner. Controls on any wide scale will mean control of prices, wages, allocations, and the rest.

He then went on to say:

We know how controls work, we know what their limitations are and we will use them to the full extent that we believe they will be necessary.

With this I go along with the Minister of Finance. It is a sound policy, as is also the part of the program dealing with credit restrictions and instalment buying. The government of the day has increased the down payment on many articles and in my opinion it is for the good of the country as a little more thought will be given by the people in their purchases, thus eliminating, wild spending. That had plenty to do with the trend of things, but I notice the leader of the opposition and the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) have had something to say about this. I give the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar credit for being fair in his remarks. He skated around the all-important matter of prices and wages until he was called to time by the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Ferrie). However, taxes as taxes go are not an answer to the problem of bringing down the cost of living. Taxing is a policy which is very harsh and in my opinion is one of the crudest devices to be used by a government on its people to curb inflation. What we need in this country at

fMr. Sinnott.]

the present time are subsidies on the actual necessities of life such as milk, meat and bread until such time as production catches up with consumption.

I should like to show how prices have risen during the period 1944 to 1950, and I wish to refer to the Canadian Statistical Review in order to give the house some idea of the labour trend between 1944 and 1950. On page 34 of the Canadian Statistical Review will be found the average basic wage for different industries in 1944 and 1950, as follows:

1944 1950

cents cents

Durable goods

77-9 116-4Non-durable goods

60-4 99Meat products

66-2 117-7Leather products

70 112-2Saw and planing mills

62-5 106-1Furniture

58-4 92-1Plant products-edible

52-9 83-4Pulp and paper

72 125-5Leather products

79 112-2Thread, yarn and cloth

48-4 91-9Hosiery and knitted goods

46-1 79-4Garments and furnishings

52-4 78-5Tobacco

47-4 100Electrical apparatus

68-6 117-8Steel and iron products

82-1 122-2Crude, rolled and forged products 76-4 129-1

It might be noted that tobacco products are not essential to the people of Canada, but nevertheless the increases in that industry indicate the labour trend. There is no one in this house who can deny that wages have gone up considerably. They say that liars can figure, but figures cannot lie. I should like to give a few comparisons in regard to canned goods which will give the house some idea of what prices were in 1944 and in 1950. Taking 1939 as indicating 100 we have the following prices:

1946 1950

Tomatoes

136-6 209-8Peas

119-7 149Com

138-3 183-1Pears

104 149

Those figures show that possibly labour has had something to do with the increases which have occurred. Since 1944 wages have increased 38 per cent while the cost of living has increased 35 per cent, according to the latest information we have from the bureau of statistics. Possibly I might say that at this time when there seems to be a shortage of production on the farm it would be proper to try to instil in the minds of many industrial workers the knowledge that the man who works on the farm, especially in the feeding of hogs and looking after livestock, does not have an eight hour day. It might be a good idea if they were to have it instilled in their minds that, in order to bring the cost of living down, by working an hour longer each day and therefore receiving a

bigger pay cheque possibly it would induce the farm boys to stay on the farms a little longer. However, in spite of the fact that most of our C.C.F. friends are always complaining about the cost of living, there is one who actually told the truth here.

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IND
LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnoit:

I will have to give the hon. gentleman credit. He happens to come from the constituency of Melfort, and at page 1623 of Hansard he had this to say:

. . . those wages have increased from a base of 100 to a base of 218 today.

Then on the next page he says:

The new cost of living index which was announced today now stands at 179-7.

He said that the cost of living index had risen to 179-7 and that wages had increased to 218. Therefore, according to his information, the cost of living has a long way to go yet before the labour unions will have to call meetings for the purpose of increasing wages to catch up with the cost of living. I should like to read a newspaper clipping concerning a policy that the United States government is putting into effect. The heading is, "Truman Signs Long Range Farm Legislation". The article reads:

President Truman Monday signed long range farm legislation which permits the United States government to support prices of most farm products at or near wartime levels. The measure, passed by the present Democratic congress, replaces most major provisions of the so-called Aiken law enacted by the Republican 80th congress. The Aiken law permitted somewhat lower supports for major crops.

That is all I will read of the article.

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PC
LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

Here is something from a man with whom the leader of the opposition was quite familiar not too long ago. I refer to the Ontario minister of agriculture, Mr. Kennedy. This is what he has to say:

The retailer and distributor get anywhere up to '8 per cent of the price the consumer pays for fruit and vegetables . . .

Bear in mind that the retailer and distributor get anywhere up to 78 per cent of what :he consumer pays.

-while the farmer who raised the food gets the short half of what it brings. Hon. T. L. Kennedy, Ontario minister of agi-iculture, disclosed yesterday. "We are determined to bring into proper proportion the ratio between what the farmer receives for his product and what he has to pay for non-agricultural products," Mr. Kennedy declared. Some change may' be made when the Ontario food terminal market in Etobicoke is opened, he hinted. He said an investigation made at his request in Toronto, November 2, showed certain farmers received 59 per cent of the retail price of their cabbages, 42 per cent on carrots, 22 per cent on celery and 42-59 per cent on potatoes.

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That goes to show that a large portion of what is received for the farmer's produce goes to the middleman. The government should make some effort to see that the consumer is not robbed in this regard. I have several clippings along the same line. They all indicate that the spread between the producer and the consumer is far too much. As the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) said, many of these boys have been all set for a long time. No wonder it is hard to get farm help after reviewing these reports. Farm boys and girls by the thousand are lured away from the farms to labour in other fields.

I am given to understand that the labour force on the farms at the present time in the whole of Canada is only 18-7 per cent while 26 per cent are in manufacturing and the balance in basic industries. This will give an idea of how difficult it is for farmers to secure competent help. Eighty-two per cent of the labour force over the period of years have demanded more and more wages with the net result that the rise in the cost of living is what it is today. The house which labour has built is now falling around their very own heads. I am very sympathetic to labour and had to work hard myself before coming to this house. Back in 1926- and this is not a laughing matter-I cut pulpwood for $1.85 a cord, built my own camp, cut spruce boughs for my bed, dug my well, hauled in all my supplies seven miles from a railroad on a toboggan I constructed myself, did my own cooking and lived on 50 cents a day. That should be enough to indicate that I have had something to do with hard work. I also recall the days of the 1930's when we milked cows, shipped cream to the city of Winnipeg and received $1.65 for five gallons of cream testing 38 per cent butterfat.

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?

Donald MacInnis

Mr. Maclnnis:

What were wages in those days?

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

I do not wish to go back to those days but it is an indication of what some of us had to go through. However, Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that labour itself is the cause of present-day conditions. The situation has arisen because of their leaders who, in order to save their own hides and positions, are constantly seeking some scheme to keep their members' interest aroused in labour unions. I do not despise legitimate pay for legitimate work but labour must be told the naked truth that 18 per cent of the population in Canada cannot and will not work twice as many hours on the farms without three weeks' holidays with pay, without Sundays off and the many other advantages and conveniences which are to

Cost of Living

be found in the cities. Therefore I say to labour in the most sympathetic way that justice must prevail, and that it is to a large extent because of high- labour costs that the cost of living is what it is today. I think I have made that plain enough. Eighteen per cent of the population will not remain on the farms and work under those conditions for the amount of wages they receive when their fellow citizens in industries in the cities are receiving far more. That is why living costs have risen to what they are.

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SC
LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

In order to press a point with respect to the curbing of inflation, I must refer to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). I see him in his seat now, and I would not do this if he were not here. I will give him full marks for making an honest effort to have the house follow strictly the rules of Beauchesne. He has been a very aggressive worker in this regard, and I admire him for his careful and studious efforts. However, Mr. Speaker, he seems to have lost track completely of Canada's national aspect, or at least the building of Canada, and has concentrated his efforts on giving everything away instead of building up the country's assets. I am sorry to have to reveal that in my opinion he is public enemy No. 1 as far as the cost of living is concerned. Any time there was something to be given away, any time there was any labour dispute, the hon. member has been Johnny on the spot.

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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I see that the hon.

member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) is in his seat. He has not objected to the remark, but I do not think the words "public enemy" should be applied to a member of this house.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

Then with your permission I will withdraw those words and say he would be contributor No. 1. I feel that justice is long overdue, and 1 am sure the minds and hearts of many Canadians would be filled with appreciation by a quick move on the part of the government to curb this terrible inflationary trend.

I believe that just criticism is always welcome, but when one criticizes he should be able to contribute to a solution of whatever he may be criticizing. I am sure nothing would be more satisfying to Joe Stalin and the communists in this country than to have the present trend continue. While we are not actually at war today, nevertheless our position is exactly the same as when subsidies were introduced during the last war. The very fact that a bill has been introduced at the present time to subsidize gold mining in

Canada is evidence of that. Gold mining is an industry very essential to Canada's progress, and the hon. member for Cochrane (Mr. Bradette) ably presented his views in support of that bill. In the same way it is necessary at the present time to give essential foodstuffs some substantial support. I followed the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) very carefully this evening. He did not disclose that he was opposed to subsidies, and I believe he was quite impressed that something had to be done in order to keep down the rising cost of food. I believe subsidies on the essential articles we require to keep our families alive must be provided immediately.

I know the government must be careful in the matter of subsidies; yet the mothers of large families, the wives of men in the lower income brackets, earning under $3,000 a year, need some assistance in making ends meet. Those with incomes of more than $3,000 a year can very well look after themselves. Things are very difficult also for those living on fixed incomes, and we need not go very far to find them. I could take any member of this cabinet to many places in the -city of Ottawa where people are finding it very difficult to feed their families. In my opinion subsidies must be provided for milk, bread, meat and the other bare essentials of life until such time as production catches up with consumption. There must also be control of the legitimate profits between the producer and the consumer, since many men in business today have been all set for overall price control. While I am not in favour of such over-all price control I believe subsidies on a few commodities such as I mentioned a moment ago are essential at the present time.

I have given what I think is the major reason for this inflationary trend. In conclusion I repeat that some way must be found to assure the farmers of this country that farm labour will be encouraged to remain on the land. Under our immigration policy of the past few years many immigrants have come into this country as farm labour. I do not think that policy has been rigidly followed up, because many of those immigrants remain on the farms only for a year or so and leave. It is not particularly nice to have an unwilling worker on the farm; still when a man comes here under a contract, I believe he should be kept to that contract. Many of those who have come here under this immigration policy have remained on the farm for only four or five months. Then they visit friends in the city, find out the wages they are making, and as a result leave the farms.

In my opinion subsidies on the essentials of food would be one of the finest security measures this government could take at the present time. I have presented my views, and I hope the government will take heed.

I do not intend to vote against them, because I believe they appreciate that there is unrest throughout the country because of the rising cost of living, and will take steps immediately to provide some relief.

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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Ellen L. Fairclough (Hamilton West):

Mr. Speaker, I listened very carefully to the hon. member who preceded me, but I am still somewhat at a loss to appreciate just what was the urgent matter on which he wished to adjourn the house the other day. In the course of his remarks the hon. member referred to the adage, he who laughs last. While I think every hon. member of this house appreciates to the full the brand of humour to which the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Sinnott) treats us on occasion, I should like to return to a more serious vein and say that this is no laughing matter to the housewives of this nation. Less than a month ago, speaking on approximately the same subject, I made this remark at page 1156 of Hansard for March 12:

May I draw to the attention of the house the fact that the heaviest single monthly increases in 1950 were in the months of March and July. We are already well into March; and while I am well aware that the figures that are reported are for the preceding month, I predict that the March report will follow the 1950 pattern, and probably the April one also.

I am now convinced that the April report is going to follow the same pattern. To arrive at that opinion it is only necessary to read the advertisements in the daily newspapers, notably those appearing on Thursdays when a great many retail houses run their full page ads to entice purchasers into their premises. Some of these prices, instead of attracting purchasers, would very nearly frighten them away. The most trying problem of this day for the average worker in this country is this very high cost of living. To those on the government side of the house charged with the responsibility of giving this country the leadership they were elected to provide, I would say that this matter cannot be cured by taking away the credit of the consumer. Nor can it be cured by taking away a still greater portion of his income through taxation, either direct or indirect, because already he has too little with which to purcnase the necessities of life. These actions merely aggravate an already complicated situation which has become a nightmare for the little man and his family.

Cost of Living

Apart from those who have some means of sustenance and perhaps the hope of augmenting their regular income through added employment there are those who have no such hope at all, including pensioners of many kinds. There are the old age pensioners, the blind, the veterans and their dependents, those trying to raise families on the mother's allowance, those trying to raise families on the proceeds of workmen's compensation where the breadwinner of the family has been lost. In every mail I receive letters from all over this country, from Victoria, from Saint John, New Brunswick, from Toronto, from the city of Ottawa and many from Hamilton. There is one from Beams-ville. I picked out a few of these, and I should like to read just a sentence from the various letters, because I believe they will express to this house more eloquently than I can possibly do the feelings of the people in this country on this very serious situation. Here is one referring to the old people:

These men and women who, through self-denial, have saved what some years ago would be enough for their needs in old age now find themselves facing poverty through wars and economical conditions beyond' their control-people with small fixed incomes, shelter and necessities rising, many of them are worried sick to know what to do.

Here is another one.

Is it possible to obtain a cost of living bonus for the old age pensioners . . .

Eloquent, is it not? Here is another:

May I bring to your attention the helplessness of our aged people? There is no union to help them as have the workers; the aged cannot go on strike. You know that $40 will not pay for rent, heat, clothing, food, etc.

Still another:

Old folks here agree that the present $40 is now not quite so good as the $20 we started with. The cost of food has more than doubled and rents have been raised three times. But it is a long time since pensions have been raised.

Here is another:

After spending a lifetime in the service of the C.N.R. got pensioned off with $25 a month to keep my wife and self.

Further in the same letter:

After thirty-three years' service, we have about 50 cents a week to live on after paying taxes, buying coal, electric and gas bills, with nothing left for clothes.

Here is another one:

How about those who are over eighty and cannot, like myself, do any work, must we starve? My wife was ill for seven years, the last four nearly blind and I could not do any work; had to look after her. From July 1, 1949, to August, 1950, when she died her expenses came to nearly $1,200.

Down further in the same letter:

I also had to sell all furniture and go into a boarding house and I pay $50 a month. I have $300

Cost of Living

left from furniture which I hope to save for my funeral (but I cannot do so). I have $450 to take me from now till November.

That was written on March 12, 1951. Here is another one:

Try as I might I cannot manage on what I am getting.

I am just picking out a sentence here and there which I think is pertinent, Mr. Speaker, to this discussion. Another one reads:

We are both up in years, in fact one over the eighty mark. Have had a lot of sickness and have a little left but cannot pay rent and have necessary food.

Here is still another:

We have been greatly concerned about so many refined old people who would never let the world know of their plight and yet they are living almost over the edge all the time.

Further in the same letter:

Old people who had enough to see them through life until costs became so outrageous . . .

I believe the leader of the opposition, in presenting his amendment today, referred to those who are too proud to ask for help, but who are suffering from malnutrition. There are many of them. I recall reading in the paper not long where an aged couple were found who had died from malnutrition.

Here is another letter:

My husband has been in business for sixty years. Has had to give up on account of health. We have had to spend thousands on doctors all our life. We have a little but can't pay rent and live.

Here is another:

I would be so pleased if you could help me in any way, and it would ease my mind about the near future, for even bare necessities run high by the end of the year these days. Fuel and taxes take the rent, and the little that is left goes on urgent repairs, and the home is getting old too, like myself.

Another one reads:

We do not ask for luxuries, but as prices are now how does the government think an aged person can get even the necessities of life out of $40 per month? Take room rent out, and what is left to live on for a month?

Mr. Speaker, I think those few-I may say I have probably twenty times as many in my office-excerpts from letters describe, more eloquently than any words anyone in this house could use, the plight of those who are on fixed incomes. Prices are still rising. The next index will undoubtedly show a still further increase. Where will it stop? We have listened tonight, Mr. Speaker, to theory; we have listened to explanations, and I think we have listened to excuses. I should like to leave this one word with this house. In the eyes of the women of Canada, those who are charged with feeding their families and

'Mrs. Fairclough.]

clothing their children, excuses will not feed those families nor will explanations clothe their children.

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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, I just want to make a few brief remarks in connection with this most important subject. I must say it is always a pleasure for me to follow the member for Springfield (Mr. Sinnott). I love to listen to his pedestrian eloquence and his unusual philosophy. I thought this evening, Mr. Speaker, he made a masterly defence of continuing profits and static wages. I was much interested in his new economic philosophy- I think it was an economic philosophy which he advanced tonight. It concerned the question of subsidies being applied without increasing taxes. I wonder if the hon. member realizes that the moment you begin to apply subsidies you must have some control over the price of the product. At least I must give the member for Springfield credit for starting a new economic movement in Canada this evening. I was much interested, Mr. Speaker, while I sat here to listen to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) congratulating the member for Springfield on the excellent speech he had delivered this evening.

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest this evening to the remarks of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe). I was glad to note that the government was concerned about the question of the rising cost of living. I believe it is the first time those remarks have been used by a government speaker in recent weeks in replying to questions posed by the increased cost of living. I believe, Mr. Speaker, we can safely conclude from the minister's remarks that the government is now getting seriously concerned about the increasing cost of living.

I listened to the Minister of Trade and Commerce with great interest because, as a matter of fact, he is one member of the cabinet who I believe speaks his mind, speaks bluntly and flatly. He said the government recognized the fact that inflation could undermine the foundations of society. I believe that is further evidence, Mr. Speaker, that the government is growing quite conscious of the demand of the Canadian people for some form of price control and subsidies, and of the increasing need for some form of price control and subsidies. The minister also mentioned that prices had increased ten per cent in the last ten months. That is an average increase of one per cent per month. If that continues for many more months, Mr. Speaker, we will certainly be approaching runaway inflation.

I do not think anyone would deny that it is because of the serious nature of the situation

today, because of the crying demand of the Canadian people for some action, that the opposition parties have taken the opportunity presented by the motion to go into supply to raise this question at this time.

Regardless of the statements made in the last two months by the Minister of Finance and by other spokesmen representing the government, as to the use of fiscal and monetary measures to combat inflation and as to the use of credit restrictions, it is obvious that those measures are insufficient. Like previous speakers, I would not for one moment suggest that price control is the complete answer to an extremely complicated and complex situation. But with prices rising as they are at the present time and the ineffectiveness to date of the government's methods, I think there is an indication that some further measure must be taken to regulate and control inflation of this economy.

To counter the arguments presented by government speakers, I think we cannot produce better evidence than the statements of members of the government themselves throughout the years in situations similar to this one. First of all, I am going to requote a statement that was mentioned this afternoon by the leader of the opposition and which I understood the Minister of Trade and Commerce to say that he concurred in today after the leader of the opposition had read it. On March 27, 1947, as reported at page 1813 of Hansard, the Minister of Trade and Commerce said:

The primary question that was asked of me was whether controls had hampered production. I can conscientiously say that since I have been associated with controls, which is from their inception, controls have never been permitted to hamper production.

There is a definite argument on the part of the minister against the suggestion that the imposition of controls would hamper production. The minister continued:

In fact, controls at the moment are greatly stimulating production in several important lines. In my opinion the over-all production today would not be improved by the immediate removal of controls. If the control of lumber were removed today -and lumber shows the greatest discrepancy between export and domestic prices of any commodity -I doubt if one additional tree would be cut. If the control of steel were removed, the over-all production of steel today would drop by at least twenty per cent. The reason is that under control we are able to take the surplus primary production from Sault Ste. Marie and move it to the finishing mills at Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal. We are able to bring billets from Sydney, Nova Scotia, something that is never done under ordinary conditions, and move them to Montreal and Hamilton and convert them into finished steel. Were this not possible, the over-all production of steel in this country would be at least twenty per cent less than it is at this moment.

Cost of Living

I think the minister was extremely correct in that statement, and I think conditions that prevailed after that statement was made proved it to be correct.

In addition to that, Mr. Speaker, I remember that on March 19, 1947 the present Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Mayhew), then parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Fisheries, made a radio broadcast-and I may say it was an excellent radio broadcast- which I quite well remember listening to. The minister took practically the whole period of that broadcast to indicate the beneficial effect that controls had had on the Canadian economy. The whole tenor of his remarks at that time was in support of the principle of controls and the benefits that the Canadian people had received from price control, subsidies and certain regulations that were necessary during that period.

I want also to refer to a statement by the former minister of finance, Right Hon. J. L. Ilsley, in the debate in March, 1947, on the emergency powers bill. I am just going to quote briefly what he said, as reported at page 1585 of Hansard of that year. During that debate the minister said:.

One can readily imagine how an abrupt and substantial rise in living costs would contribute to an unsettled state of industrial relations and to delays and interruption in the production of goods which are so eagerly demanded. It is not difficult to appreciate the hardship and the reduction in living standards that would result for the many families whose incomes are relatively fixed-wage-earners, school teachers, white-collar workers, pensioners, and so on.

Those are the very classes of people that the opposition have been, concerned about today and whose plight they have been presenting to the government.

That there would be profiteering and speculation in the necessities of life can be taken for granted. And it is an absolute certainty that many prices, after rising suddenly, would fluctuate widely, and later on decline perhaps as abruptly as they went up. To remove all controls now would be to ask for a sudden and disruptive jump in our prices and living costs at the very time when we can begin to see ahead of us the completion of the job of orderly readjustment. We would be throwing away many of the advantages of the policy which Canada has successfully followed when, with a little more persistence and a little more patience, we could pilot ourselves through the difficult period of readjustment without the dislocation and economic disorder which usually follows war.

If the government had only exercised a little more patience and had carried on those policies for a little longer period, in our opinion-that is, the opinion of the group to which I belong-we would not have entered the present condition of instability and insecurity.

On motion of Mr. Herridge the debate was adjourned.

Business of the House BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

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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):

Tomorrow we wish to proceed with those two government notices of motions setting up the committees mentioned by them. I understand that some members are anxious that those committees should start their studies. Then we shall move to go into supply, or continue debate on this motion we have been discussing all day, with the amendment of the leader of the opposition

(Mr. Drew), hoping that we will get a vote before six o'clock. At eight o'clock the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) will present his budget. Then the debate on the budget will be adjourned, I understand, for some time. We could then take up Bills No. 191 and No. 192 that are on the order paper.

Topic:   DOMINION OP CANADA-SUMMARY-ESTIMATES
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.


April 9, 1951