April 9, 1951

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

I did not say anything different in Toronto.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

In Toronto the Minister of Trade and Commerce left the impression that he was most anxious not to see controls introduced because he believed that the circumstances did: not indicate that we would be able to carry forward our activities as effectively as we couldi under the system we now have.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

That was neither the statement nor the implication. I know because I made the speech.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Naturally I will let the speech stand by itself. I am prepared to accept without any balancing the statement I have just quoted as to the effect of price controls. The minister has now indicated that his view has not changed. He nods his head in approval so we can take the minister's statement on March 27, 1947, as his statement today and as to his views in regard to price controls, that is that he can conscientiously say that price controls have never hampered production.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Correct.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

The minister says "correct". The minister now brings his statement up to date. I am pointing out that the real issue before the house is not whether there should be price controls, but when. The government has made it clear, and the Minister of Trade and Commerce indicates that his views are still the same, that price controls at some point become desirable and necessary. Therefore the question with which we are mainly concerned today is not the form, is not the details, but when.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Now you are going away beyond the statement you just read.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

No. I shall read other statements which indicate how far the government has gone in that respect. I find it most difficult, in view of some of these statements, to understand the government's reluctance to deal with this situation today, unless it does not believe that inflation is serious in this

country. I believe it is. I believe that unless something is done right away, no matter how long ago it should have been done and it should have been done a long time ago, there are going to be increasing pressures which we have not even seen yet that will make the rise continue at an accelerated pace which will create great dangers to our whole economy in the months ahead. But the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) was not alone in comments of that nature. On April 1, 1947, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott), just a few days later than the Minister of Trade and Commerce, had this to say, as recorded at page 1938 of Hansard:

During the war our policy was to prevent inflation and to provide and enforce a fair distribution of goods which were in short supply. Prices were held under a pretty rigid price ceiling; but that policy worked. We are more than ever convinced that this over-all price ceiling policy was the only policy which could have worked successfully.

Granted that we are not yet in a struggle imposing the demands upon us which were imposed at that time, even though the degree may be different the effect is the same, and we see today what can happen if these pressures are allowed to continue unchecked. In 1945 the present Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), who was not then prime minister, had this to say on November 23 when he was arguing in favour of the retention of controls, but his argument for the retention of those controls applied to circumstances similar to those with which we are confronted today. In part this is what he said, as reported at page 2451 of Hansard for that session;

... it is my view that if all remaining controls were removed today the consequences would be immediate, drastic and far-reaching. Prices would rise sharply; the cost of living would move steeply upward: existing shortages in food, housing accommodation and clothing, which are the three most important items in living costs, are such that sharp price advances would appear to be inevitable. The immediate price increases resulting from the hungry market and the removal of subsidies on such key commodities as milk, bread, butter, cotton textiles would accumulate rapidly as workers sought to protect themselves through wage increases, as producers raised their prices in response to rising wages and material costs, as buyers scrambled for goods and shelter to protect their individual needs, and as the speculative tendency gained momentum.

May I repeat those words, "and as the speculative tendency gained momentum."

It would be difficult to say how high the cost of living would go before the inevitable collapse. At first, higher prices in the United States and in other countries would stimulate increases here. Later perhaps price levels of the United States, if that country maintained some measure of control, might provide a ceiling. Nevertheless it seems to me clear that the increase in the Canadian cost of living before the recession set in would be very substantial, and the consequences of this would appear to be serious. The weaker producer groups in the community would be unable to increase their incomes to compensate for the higher cost of living.

Cost of Living

Savings of the whole Canadian people would depreciate. The returned service man would get poor value for his gratuity and re-establishment grant. Dependents of those fighting men who, unfortunately, did not return, would face serious privations. Pensioners and others who have made provision for their old age, through life insurance or other means, would find that that provision Would be imperilled and their security materially lessened.

I have read at this length from the statement of the present Prime Minister because these words accurately describe the situation with which we are confronted today. These words clearly indicate that as far back as 1945 the present Prime Minister was fully possessed of all the information which would indicate to him why pressures of this kind would create a situation that could only be dealt with by price controls and by other appropriate controls, no matter how temporary they might be. It is for that very reason that I suggest that the government has itself brought about a considerable part of this inflation.

The government in the election of 1945 at the end of the war conducted its campaign very largely on what it had accomplished in keeping down the cost of living by controls. It put forward the proposition that no country in the world had so effectively dealt with this situation without imperilling production or the ordinary living conditions of our people. Canadians had reason to remember that. Canadians had reason to believe that a government with such firm convictions expressed at that time would be likely to reassert those convictions in relation to precisely the same factors, even if those factors might be on a different scale.

Then I recall the words of the present Minister of Trade and Commerce when he raised the question as to whether the people of this country would be prepared to assume the burden of a huge bureaucracy to deal with this subject. Again I point out that the people of this country probably remembered how strongly the government had supported this position and some of the reasons it had given for accepting their arguments in this respect. I find that Mr. Ilsley, whose efforts as minister of finance have been extolled on many occasions by present members of the government, had this to say on April 1, 1947, as reported at page 1926 of Hansard for that year:

From these estimates it is possible to see that the cost of the control program was under $200 million a year, while the savings to the consumer purchasers and government as a buyer were on this hypothesis possibly $2,500 million a year. The figures are tentative, but do give some idea of the relative magnitude of the cost of and the savings effected by the government price control program.

If Mr. Ilsley's figures are correct, then relating the cost of the organization to its

Cost of Living

results we certainly would not be in a position to challenge, as contrary to economy, steps which would show an advantage to the Canadian people on any such proportionate basis. If that is so, then some of the arguments that have been made against setting up a vast bureaucracy to handle this matter would not apply in the same way that they would to a vast bureaucracy dealing with other things which would not produce any direct benefits to the people of Canada.

The people of Canada undoubtedly remember all these arguments that were put forward. Then there is another reason why we have inflation that goes beyond ordinary pressures. I have said before, and I repeat, that there are pressures today that are not to be measured in terms of the increased cost of our basic resources and the increased wages in this country. There is not one of us who does not know that prices have risen by a much higher figure. When the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) pointed out that one of the ways to tackle inflation was to stop the marking up of prices unnecessarily in this country he undoubtedly was putting his finger on one of the difficulties with which we are confronted today.

Nevertheless I am not going to suggest for one moment that we are confronted with widespread profiteering such as is sometimes suggested. Every Canadian is a human being, and human beings are inclined to act in similar ways under certain forms of encouragement. In this country we have not only had inflation as a result of the ordinary inflationary pressures of huge government purchases and the indication of more to come. We have not only had inflation because the people of Canada must have remembered the belief expressed by this government in the effect of price and other controls. We have also had definite inflation by invitation. Hon. members will recall that when the emergency measure was introduced in this house last fall to give the government wide powers to establish priority control, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) indicated at that time that under this act he could deal with the pressures that would result from government purchasing of this kind. He recognized the effect of that when he said in this house that one of the difficulties in establishing price control now was that they had not acted in the way they did before when they controlled production; that they had let the adjustment of prices take place on a broad scale or, to use his own words, "in other words they are all set." If they are all set, with prices high enough to escape any effective price controls, which was the implication his words carried, then that

Mr. Drew.]

somewhat cynical remark implied that those responsible for the price level in this country had in many cases accepted the invitation to get set for price controls when those should be introduced.

We can come to a later date when the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who is responsible for matters of this kind, again extended an invitation to get ready for controls of one kind or another. On March 5 the minister was asked by a reporter whether the government planned anything in the way of checking this rise. The minister replied:

We are studying that very carefully. We cannot announce plans so far in advance, but I think we will have something to propose before many weeks go by.

In that way the minister undoubtedly gave the suggestion that something was going to be done, because it would not be necessary for any announcement to be made if nothing at all was going to be done. I do not know how many weeks he had in mind, but that statement was made five weeks ago today, and it constituted another invitation to get ready for the imposition of controls of this nature.

Prices may have reached a point far beyond what the government would like to see in introducing price controls, but that is no argument for not introducing whatever appropriate controls may be regarded as effective at this time. The minister has indicated that this would not be done by legislation brought before the house, but would be done under the wide powers of the emergency legislation passed a short time ago, which gave the minister and the government such sweeping authority.

When it is advocated that price controls and if necessary subsidies, to the extent they may be required, and other controls be introduced to balance the effect of controls over supply of resources and production, it is sometimes said, "You must be specific as to how those controls will be carried out." The government does not permit us to know what controls it is going to put in over supply and production. The government insists upon retaining complete control, without giving any details. Therefore it would be utterly futile to attempt to deal step by step with each measure the government should take when we do not know what steps the government is going to take in regard to production and supply.

The government has contended that no nation in the world did a better job on price and other controls than Canada did during the last war. In that effort they were

assisted by very able economists. The experience of those men and women is available today. The government can take advantage of that experience and with the knowledge they possess, knowledge we do not possess as to what controls they are going to impose on production and supply, they can design price and other controls appropriate to meet the situation which will result from their action at the production and supply level. I would point out that I am not alone in suggesting that we need controls of a less severe type than were imposed during the war, and that we can have flexible controls. Some of those most prominently associated with price controls have made that very statement. They have set forth that broad proposition, without going into detail. In fact they have made it clear that the detail must be the responsibility of the government.

I would refer to Mr. Donald Gordon, who was chairman of that board. Mr. Donald Gordon has expressed his own belief that we would be better without price controls; but he has also said without reservation that price controls are infinitely better than runaway inflation. I believe we have runaway

inflation, and we have the statement of Mr. Donald Gordon that the situation we now have demands price and the other controls that go with it. I would refer to another Mr. Gordon, not related but one of the most brilliant younger economists in this country; that is Mr. Walter Gordon of Toronto. He went much further and said that with the introduction of price and other controls in the United States a demand for price and similar controls in Canada was inevitable. Then he went on to use the very words that I have used, that what we would need in this country would be a flexible system of controls, and he then went on to make the recommendation which I and other hon. members have made in this house.

The situation is such that we cannot disregard the likelihood of having to introduce controls of some kind. That being so, and recognizing that it would take months to set up effective machinery to deal with this, before now a price control organization should have been set up that would be able to introduce in this country the most efficient, most flexible and most easily adjusted price control system that could be devised on the basis of our extensive experience during the last war and in the years following. Certainly all hon. members are prepared to concede that we had working for us in this country unselfish, brilliant, efficient Canadians who gave of their best to make this system effective. Most of them have pointed out weaknesses they would not like to see repeated. Most of them are in a position to suggest

Cost of Living

many improvements. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, with the evidence now before us of the need for action, that there be no further delay in setting up some such machinery with the expert assistance available to us, and that we immediately proceed to have such appropriate controls as would deal effectively with the situation we face.

As I indicated before, all the things that have been done by the government not only invite price increases by those who establish the prices at the retail level, but they also encourage panic buying. Everyone is in some way a part of this great problem. It is not the government alone, although I believe the government has a heavy responsibility to give an example by reducing all non-defence expenditures on a level that they have not attempted in any way to do. The consumer who hoards goods and goes in for panic buying, the producer who cynically exploits that panic, the manufacturer who tries to get the largest profit he can out of the demand for scarce supplies, are all germ carriers of the dangerous disease of inflation. This is something for which our citizens generally are responsible as well as the government. The response of the citizen to the demand that he co-operate will however be much more positive, and much more effective, if the government itself gives positive and convincing evidence that it is doing everything within its power to give the sort of lead that is necessary and adequate to do this job. That is one reason why I think that the time is not only overdue, but long overdue, for positive and vigorous action to deal with this problem.

There is one other consideration of the most vital importance, and that is the cost of defence production. It is only a few days ago that the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton), speaking in New York on March 30, emphasized one of the dangers in our defence preparations. I quote from the text of his speech on that occasion:

The armed forces and industry combined must make a frontal attack on the cost of defence equipment. This has become so costly that neither we nor our allies can get what we know we need without going on an all-out war economy.

If we need an all-out war economy to get the things we need, then the Minister of national Defence has put forward the most powerful argument to indicate our need for price controls, rent controls and similar controls without any further delay. He has also warned us of a great danger. Every time the cost of living index goes up we are going to have much more difficulty purchasing the things that we need. The people of Russia, Poland and Czechoslovakia, with their great armament plants, have not a

Cost of Living

similar problem. They have no inflation there. They have other ways of tackling this problem. We do not want those methods ever to become necessary in Canada. It is to avoid methods of that kind that, in terms of reality and of a practical appreciation of the situation with which we are confronted, we say that, because we do believe in a free economy, because we do believe in the free play of prices in a free economy in normal times, we want to see that economy protected against the spiralling inflation. We want to see the people of this country given the assurance that their investments in bonds, in insurance and other investments of that kind will not lose their value and deprive the people of the protection they expected in their old age.

Mr. Speaker, I hope that no one in this chamber will again suggest it is not appropriate we should point out that danger. I would remind members of this house that it was in 1945 the present Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), in the words I have already quoted, pointed out that very danger, that insurance, bank deposits and other investments of that kind, including victory bonds and such securities which are regarded as the safest of all, would lose their value and deprive our people of the security which they believed they had the right to expect. I believe this is the most vital issue now facing the people of Canada. The steps, inadequate though they may be in some respects, to deal with national defence, are under way on a large scale. This is a subject that does call for action at the earliest possible date.

Before sitting down, I should like to read further words of the minister charged with the responsibility for the administration of the act under which those controls would come. This is the text of the speech made to the Empire and Canadian clubs in Toronto on February 26 of this year, to which I have already referred:

The Canadian government has never been opposed to price controls as such. In fact, legislation is now under discussion in parliament which would give the government power to impose economic controls of all kinds as the need may arise.

We will not impose any system of price controls, however, unless and until we are satisfied that those controls will serve a helpful and not a harmful purpose in combating inflation. It may seem strange to speak about price controls as having a harmful effect in the fight against inflation but that can easily happen. Price controls would be harmful if they did not have overwhelming public support. They would be harmful if they were relied upon as a substitute for more fundamental measures such as taxes and credit controls. They would be harmful if they were not accompanied by adequate wage controls.

Nor do I think it would be wise, even if it were theoretically possible, to move into price controls until there is reasonable assurance of price stability in the United States.

The minister who would be responsible for the administration of those controls under the emergency legislation passed in this house has indicated that the government is not opposed to price controls as such. He has indicated they are considering this subject. He has indicated they are ready to act if and when they believe action should be taken. The question is whether the circumstances justify the demand that it should be done. Right across this country today there are people who are not only in a desperate position because of the necessity of buying food and other vital needs with a dollar that represents about half of what it did, and in the case of food less than half of what it did a few years ago. There are young people who do not know how they are going to own and equip a home in which to start their married life. There are many people across this country today who are looking to the future with concern because they do not know where this is going to stop. In addition to all the reasons I have put forward, Mr. Speaker, with all the earnestness I possess I urge the government to act now, no matter what steps should have been taken earlier, to give the people of Canada confidence that no matter what may happen in other countries the cost of living is going to be brought under some measure of control so that they can look forward to the years ahead with that confidence which we should have in a land with such vast possibilities as we possess today in Canada.

Before sitting down, Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon):

That all the words after "That" to the end of the question be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

"this house is of the opinion that in view of the announcement made on Wednesday last of the greatest monthly increase in Canadian cost of living during the month of February to the disastrously high level of 179-7 points, immediate consideration should be given to the adoption of appropriate measures to hold down the cost of living and halt inflation."

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, my first word is that I have been extremely interested this afternoon to hear the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) repeat so many of the arguments that we have made in our pleas for price controls over the last several years and, indeed, to put once again on the records of this house many of the quotations which we have put on the record on previous occasions-in fact, quotations which I had intended to put on the record this afternoon, but I shall not do so now because they are already there. I am glad, however, to see the official opposition taking the attitude it is now taking. I want to say to the leader

of the opposition that I am not going to discuss the problem of controls from any doctrinaire standpoint today. As a matter of fact, over the last few years the rising cost of living has meant that the problem became not one of doctrinaire argument but one of practical consideration. The day may come again when we can discuss this matter from the point of view of fundamental principles of political difference, from the point of view of the necessity of relating prices and the earnings of various groups of people to one another under an intelligent economic national plan. But that is not the problem before us today.

The problem before this house at the moment has been stated clearly, I think, by the leader of the opposition this afternoon. The problem is that of protecting the Canadian people against the effect of the runaway inflation from which they are suffering at the present time. I want to add this thought. While they may be suffering from runaway inflation at the present time, the prospects in the near future are such that we may expect further inflation, since the huge expenditures which we are making, and are about to make, for defence preparedness create, first, a shortage of basic supplies and materials; second, a shortage of labour; and' third, a general shortage of consumer goods. If that situation develops, as it must develop over the next few months, the present inflation will become intensified.

While I agree, as everyone in this house must, that in normal times increased production is the real cure for rising prices, increased production today will not take care of the demand for consumer goods when we have such keen competition from the government in the production of supplies for our armed forces and for our allies overseas. Indeed, in our arguments ever since 1946, when inflation began to develop, when we saw demand for Canadian goods becoming great in Europe, through Marshall aid, and through our desire to rehabilitate the countries that have been devastated, we resisted the removal of beneficial controls and subsidies because we of the C.C.F. saw that year by year the cost of living must increase and the difficulties of the Canadian people become greater as the days went by.

If we look at the statistics of this situation -and, may I say, the statistics not compiled by any person or group of persons perhaps of my economic and political viewpoint but by the dominion bureau of statistics and quoted by the Bank of Canada in its statistical summary of February, 1951-we see the extent of this inflationary process. Incidentally, all

Cost of Living

the basic figures I am going to use are taken from the bureau of statistics and from the February report of the Bank of Canada.

If we look first of all at 1946 we find in that year, according to the Bank of Canada, that total personal incomes amounted to $9,671 million. In that year the population was 12,307,000. The per capita income is given as $786. The cost of living index-1935-39 being 100-was 123-6. That meant that the per capita income stated in dollar purchasing power, in terms of 1935-39, amounted to $636.

In 1947 the total personal income had risen to $10,342 million. The population had risen to 12,582,000. The per capita income had risen to $822 but the cost of living index had risen to 135-5. Therefore the result was that the actual purchasing power per capita, in terms of 1935-39, was $607.

In the following year, 1948, we have total personal income totalling $11,842 million; population 12,883,000; per capita personal income, again in dollars of that year, $919. The cost of living index had gone up to 155. Consequently the actual purchasing power per capita, again in terms of the 1935-39 level, was $593.

In 1949, total personal income, $12,674 million; population, 13,549,000; per capita income, in dollars of that year, $935; cost of living index, 160-8. Therefore the per capita income, again in dollar values of 1935-39, $582.

In 1950, total personal income, $13,320 million; population 13,845,000; per capita income in that year's dollars, $962; cost of living index, 166-5; per capita personal income went down to $578 in terms of 1935-39 dollars. And if we look at the recent change-and permit me to say that I shall consider the per capita personal income on March 1 as the same as the average for 1950; there may have been a little difference, but not much-the cost of living index having risen to 179-7, in 1935-39 dollars the actual purchasing power of Canadian income on the same basis as in former years would be $535, or a drop of $101 annually in per capita real purchasing power between 1946 and March 1, 1951.

This has been going on year after year, and no attempt has been made by the government to apply any remedy. Indeed the only hon. members who have drawn this to the attention of the house over and over again, and who have moved at every session of parliament that we should reintroduce beneficial controls and subsidies in order to protect the Canadian people against this sharp drop in per capita income purchasing power, is the party with which I am associated.

I believe that if Joseph Stalin has a secret weapon, that secret weapon is not a fifth column; that secret weapon is inflation. It

Cost of Living

was inflation that Lenin used following the revolution, in 1917 to destroy the basis of the Russian economy of that day, and to bring about the permanent imposition of the bolshevik dictatorship which took power at that time and retained it subsequently. It was inflation that was used in Germany to destroy the German economy. It was inflation that was used in every country in Europe to undermine and to destroy the basis of the economies and the governments of several countries. And while some of those governments and some of those economies should have been removed and should have been changed by other means, I am pointing out that one weapon which has been used since 1917 by the bolsheviks in their world-wide campaign has been the weapon of inflation.

Consequently I say that if Stalin has a secret weapon today, it is inflation. And I would add this for the information of the house, that some of us get resolutions from various labour organizations across the country. I think it is very significant that we have recently received resolutions from local unions that we know are under communist control, and those resolutions oppose price controls. All of a sudden, in opposition to the major labour organizations of this country that are asking for price controls, one finds here and there a local union that is either known to be associated1 with a major union under communist control or is under communist control itself, opposing price controls. That, I suggest, has some significance in this context.

So I say that inflation is one of the secret weapons that may be used to undermine our economy and our institutions and, indeed, to circumvent or even to destroy the effectiveness of our defence effort. Because, after all, every time there is inflation, the dollar the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) takes out of the pocket of a Canadian citizen for expenditures in defence will buy less in the way of preparedness; it will buy fewer tanks, fewer guns, less ammunition and fewer soldiers' uniforms.

Consequently I say that this is a very effective secret weapon. And the tragedy is that the people who should be standing against inflation have in some instances, as the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) indicated this afternoon, promoted this inflation because of their own selfish interests.

There are many pieces of evidence indicating the suffering being caused the people of Canada by this runaway inflation. And, you know, I think it adds insult to injury when a government department sends out the kind of literature I hold in my hand to fathers and mothers whose children are on family

allowances. The copy I have went out with the February cheques to parents receiving family allowances. What does it say? It says:

Your food dollar can be stretched. Here are some tips on how to get the best value for your food dollar! Plan meals ahead to be sure to have-

What, in the diet for your children?

-milk, fruits, vegetables, cereals, meat, fish, eggs or cheese, plus four hundred International units of vitamin D for every child every day.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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SC
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

How on earth, with prices of those goods what they are today, can the parents of these children buy a sufficient quantity of milk, a sufficient quantity of meat, a sufficient quantity of fish, a sufficient quantity of fruit, to say nothing of cod liver oil or vitamins, to give these children the standard of nutrition the government's own department says they should be getting?

Then they instruct parents to keep these commodities fresh and in a cool place. So I suppose the parents need refrigeration as well as, incidentally, a home in which to place a refrigerator, as well as the children who are to live on the contents of the refrigerator. Then it says:

Children' need good food. Family allowances are for your children.

Yes, family allowances are for your children. And ever since family allowances came into effect, as I have shown by the figures I placed on record this afternoon, the beneficial effect of the family allowance has been whittled away by the tremendous increase in the cost of these basic foods, which are necessary for the health of the children of this country.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

The food index has gone up a hundred points since family allowances were introduced.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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LIB
SC
LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

You stated about all those prices-

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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SC

William Duncan McKay Wylie

Social Credit

Mr. Wylie:

Why don't you make a speech?

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

Mind your own business. You made this statement with reference to the rise in costs. Where did those costs come from? They are rising prices to the farmers you represent. Why should you condemn those costs?

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I am not condemning the farmers for asking higher prices for their products; because I want to tell the hon. member-and he should know it, since he is a farmer himself-that if you take the cost

of the machines and supplies used in the production of these foods on the farms you will find that they have increased to an even greater extent than the farm prices of the foods to which I have referred. But let me say to my hon. friend-

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
Permalink
LIB
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

All right, yes, wages are a factor in the cost of production; but wages generally have not kept pace with the increased costs of living and of production on the farm.

Topic:   COST OF LIVING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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April 9, 1951