April 9, 1951

LIB
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I wish my hon. friend from Mackenzie would just take a little time to study some of these questions, and then get up and make a speech about them, instead of interrupting someone who has given a good deal of time and study to the problem before coming to the house to make a speech. In other words, he might pay a compliment to the House of Commons by assuming that it expects to hear intelligent remarks in this house.

I am pointing out that this situation is imposing great hardship on many classes of people in this country. I mention the children particularly. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) mentioned the young people who are getting married.

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

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

They are hard hit. When I hear young people discussing how they are going to manage to get a house, how they are going to pay for the necessary equipment for the house, how they are going to burden themselves with an impossible debt in order to get the things they need, I sometimes contrast the manner in which some of us began our first homes even though at that time we thought we were undertaking heavy obligations. The fact is that we did not undertake obligations in any way comparable to what these young people are called upon to undertake today.

But apart from the youngsters, the children, the young people, what about the aged? A few days ago the Hamilton Spectator contained a report of some surveys that had been made in that city of the condition of old age pensioners and families. We are told that in the group of old age pensioners aged from 70 to 80 years, 135 cases were surveyed and the financial picture was the same in each case- it was bad.

The need for more nursing, the rising cost of living and the loss of family support had brought more suffering to these old folk. In the cases surveyed it was found that there

Cost of Living

were 67 persons who were considered to be receiving inadequate nutrition. The reasons given were the high cost of living, insufficient income, no one to prepare, plan and shop and, in some cases, poor management. But the main factor was of necessity the high cost of living. We have a group of Canadians in this one city who are suffering from malnutrition or slow starvation, in their declining years. That is not only a reflection on this country, it offers great encouragement to communist propagandists to come forward with their propaganda in an effort to undermine our institutions.

I could give several other instances of unnecessary suffering from the same survey. During the month of March twelve families known to the family bureau of that city had met with consistent refusal when applying for the rental of rooms. Each family had children. There were other families which had scraped together enough money for a down payment on a wartime house but who had been either ineligible or without sufficient points to establish a priority.

I should like to put on record the details of one family. The father had served in the air force for seven years fighting for freedom, fighting for democracy, fighting to prevent our being placed under a nazi dictatorship at that time. Probably he would fight again to prevent our being placed under a bolshevik dictatorship. During the last week because of unusual circumstances this family found themselves with their furniture on the street. Their three children had to be placed with friends. Even now they are living in temporary quarters and are still searching for permanent living accommodation.

All this after the grand promises that were made to our Canadian service men and women during the war, after all the grand promises that were made to all the Canadian people during the war. Remember what the late Mr. Mackenzie King, then prime minister, said. He said that unless we were prepared now to improve social conditions immediately after the war, we shall prepare in vain. We did not prepare. We had a wonderful white paper suggesting worthwhile post-war plans, which was tabled in the house, I believe by the present Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe), but which has been filed away and largely forgotten.

I am referring to conditions in Hamilton as an illustration because it is the most recent report on a city that I have seen. The report says further that the increased cost of living is going to hit persons such as those in one family with seven children the father of which earns $42.50 per week and whose food costs

Cost of Living

are $40. That father earning $42.50 a week earns more than some of the more lowly paid people in the city of Ottawa, and I am thinking of family men at that.

According to Miss McTaggart, executive secretary of the Hamilton family service bureau, that family gets three quarts of milk a day, three loaves of bread a day and has almost eliminated meat from their diet. A family of that size should get seven quarts of milk a day. The family sublets rooms in their house and uses the family allowance cheques to buy clothing for the children.

The father of another family reported on earns $82 every two weeks with which to support five children. Every month $86 is spent for food, and according to the food schedule they should buy $105 worth of food during that period. It was found that medical bills, glasses and paying off debts took $40. That gives some idea of the situation faced by many families in Canada.

Where is the opposition to controls coming from? It is not coming from the farmers. It is not coming from labour. It is not coming from the co-operatives. It is not coming from any people's organization that I know of. I have before me statements by some of these organizations. For example, there is the statement by Mr. Hannam, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, who had this to say last January:

At the last meeting of the directors of the CFA the following resolution was passed:

That the government be asked to name a competent body immediately to undertake a continuous study of the position of the various economic groups in the nation, and to make recommendations looking towards the most equitable basis possible upon which to impose controls if and when such are needed.

And then again:

Moreover, organized agriculture believes that no imposition of general price controls should be entertained without making them effective clear across the board on all prices, profits, fees, salaries, and wages. To exempt the economic returns from any one of these groups would be to grant a privilege which cannot be justified. To do so would discriminate unfairly against the other groups.

We agree with that, and so does labour agree with that. Labour and the farmers are of one mind in that regard. What does labour say? In a brief presented to the government on February 20 this year labour had this to say:

The labour movement recognizes that wages could go up fast enough and far enough to break a price ceiling, though it sees no immediate danger of anything of the sort. It believes that the proper way to deal with this question is a government-labour-management conference to work out methods of wage stabilization. This offers a prospect of a wage policy which will do two things, both essential: (a) preserve the spirit, the principle, of collective bargaining, and (b) bring the experience of labour and

[Mr. Coldwell.l

management into the defence effort. If our government institutes a general policy of price and production controls, labour is ready to take part in a joint government-labour-management conference to consider wage stabilization.

Just before I came down to the house I was fortunate enough to get a copy of a brief presented this morning, I believe, to the federal government by the prairie farm unions. It is the brief presented to the federal cabinet at Ottawa today by Jacob Schulz, president of the Manitoba farmers union, J. L. Phelps, president of the Saskatchewan farmers union, and Henry Young, president of the farmers union of Alberta. They were accompanied by some other officials of the unions named and a representative of the British Columbia bloc. I imagine that means the Peace river bloc, the prairie bloc of British Columbia. What do they say? In part the brief reads as follows:

This leads us to repeat a previous request that the federal government implement price control immediately. We wish it to be clearly understood that in making this request we do not desire nor will we agree to a "price freeze" that would mean fixing prices at present inequitable levels.

In other words, they are saying exactly what labour has said. Labour does not want a wage freeze freezing certain wages 'at inequitable levels and the farmers do not want a price freeze freezing some farm prices at inequitable levels. They suggest something similar to what labour has suggested, namely:

What we definitely seek, and shall insist upon, is an adjustment of prices on a basis of parity. We further request that in the establishment of boards to ascertain the basis of these prices, as well as subsequent boards for administration on the policy level, the agricultural industry be given adequate representation thereon.

In other words, there should be a national organization, a national committee, or a national commission on which the farmers are adequately represented, on which labour is adequately represented, on which the consumer is adequately represented, on which management is adequately represented, in order to bring about a reasonable and proper relationship between farm and other prices, wages and so on, within the economy. Of course that means a considerable measure of economic and social planning in order to get parity among economic groups.

The co-operative union of Canada, which I think may be said to represent a very large segment of the consuming public of this country as well as certain producers organizations, wrote a letter to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) on September 15, 1950, some time ago, before the present heavy impact was felt by the bulk of the Canadian people. They referred to the interim budget and said:

The action of your government in presenting its interim budget on September 7 was most welcome. In so far as it will serve to reduce excessive spending power, where such may exist, the legislation will tend to hold inflation in check. However, in our view, its provisions are not sufficiently far-reaching in their scope. It is apparent to us, and we would strongly urge upon you, sir, that additional and more specific controls must be introduced. The statements of various organizations representing the consuming public indicate a willingness to submit to these necessary restrictions in the interest of the national welfare.

Then they went on to say:

This belief in the effectiveness of a well administered control structure is substantiated by our experience during world war II.

Therefore you have the great labour unions of this country, the great farm organizations and the great consumers organizations, including co-operative societies, saying to the government or through the person of the Prime Minister: We think this country

is entitled to protection against this runaway inflation. We therefore ask you to introduce a system of controls that will not perhaps be as arbitrary as they were during the war, and perhaps will not need to include some of the lesser things that were included during the war but which will give the Canadian people protection in their standards of living. We add to that and say that by means of subsidies we should endeavour to roll back prices to some extent, that by means of subsidies we should be able to provide the children of this country with such basic things as milk and so on.

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

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

What would be the rollback? How far back?

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. Coldwell:

I would not care to say offhand.

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

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I am just interested in knowing how far.

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. Coldwell:

I think prices have to be rolled back somewhat. I would say, however, that we should not ask the farmers to subsidize the milk of the people. The western farmer subsidized the bread of the people from February 1, 1945, to March 1, 1947, to the extent of $48 million.

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

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

That was an unfair imposition upon one group of Canadian producers, and at the very least I think western farmers are entitled today to the additional reimbursement for the $48 million which they contributed to maintain the price of the Canadian loaf during the two years that I have mentioned. I am not going beyond that but I will say that if we are going to ask any producers to do something in the interest of the whole country then the whole country must bear the cost of

Cost of Living

what those producers are going to do in the interests of the entire country. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, we are supporting the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew). If he had not moved such an amendment I would have moved one. I am not happy that the situation has brought the leader of the opposition to the point where he has introduced a proposal of this description. I am not happy about that but I am happy that the opposition is combining. I hope that the opposition will combine, and I hope that certain members of the Liberal party will join with us.

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

An hon. Member:

What a hope.

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. Coldwell:

May I say that a remark like that, "what a hope"-and I am not rebuking the hon. member-should not be significant in a democratic institution because in a democratic institution members should act democratically, and on vital matters of this description should not be controlled by the government whip. Let them rise in their places on this occasion and vote as their constituents would expect them to vote. The Gallup poll a few months ago showed 75 per cent but I am convinced that 80 per cent of the people of the country are groaning under this inflation.

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

An hon. Member:

Make it 90.

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. Coldwell:

Well, I should be quite satisfied to make it 90. I always like to be conservative-with a small "c"-in my judgment, though usually I am liberal-with a small "1"-in my views. So may I say I hope that in this house we may have a vote which will reflect the real opinions of the members and the real desires of the people of this country. We had such a vote once before, again when the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) was doing as he is doing today, leading the house. He suggested that we have a free vote on the milk subsidy. We did, and as a result the government was instructed to continue the subsidy.

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

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Which they did not do.

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

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Which they did not do. Six weeks later they passed an order in council discontinuing the subsidy. I am a little more optimistic this time. I suggest to hon. members opposite that if they vote with us and we have a good majority that may perhaps not compel but impel the government to introduce controls. In the past the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce has warmly defended controls, and I thought the leader of the opposition brought that defence vu-y well up to date today, so we may expect the government to take some action provided the house authorizes it to do so.

Cost of Living

I do not intend to say more. I have spoken more or less of the economic impact of the inflationary situation. I could join the leader of the opposition in speaking of the effect it has had on our educational institutions, on the cultural activities of many of our people, and so on. I know the buying of books has been cut down in some places where people are not so close to libraries where they can get new and desirable books; and the effect has been felt in many other ways. I believe every consideration warrants this house voting in favour of this amendment. Indeed I would go a step further and say that the arguments that have been and will be advanced should persuade the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the government to rise and simply say, "There is no need to press this to a division. We accept the point of view and we are going to introduce beneficial controls and subsidies immediately."

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):

At the

outset, Mr. Speaker, I want to say that we too are very happy to be able to support the amendment introduced by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew). As the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) said, we are not happy because the situation has developed to the point where that amendment has become necessary, but because it gives us a chance to speak what we think is in the minds and hearts of people across this country.

Before I launch into the things I would like to say in support of the amendment which I have already announced we are going to support, I want to place on record a few facts. These facts are basic to what I shall have to say, and are found in the Canadian Statistical Review for February, 1951. The first fact is that during 1950 the gross national production of the country increased by 8 per cent. Of that, 4 per cent represents write-up in prices, so only the remaining 4 per cent would be an increase in volume. The second point is that during 1950 the gross national expenditure of the people of Canada increased by 7 per cent. Of the total 4 per cent represents a write-up in prices and only 3 per cent an increase in volume or an actual increase in purchases by the Canadian people. The third fact is that during 1950 the personal incomes of the Canadian people increased by 5 per cent, but during the same year their personal expenditures increased by 7 per cent. The next important point is that during 1950 retail prices rose by 10.6 points. The next important fact is that the general cost of living index rose to 179-7 in February of this year, a rise of 4-5 points, and that in the first two months of 1951 the index rose by 7-2 points. One other very important thing

I think should be placed on record as basic to this whole discussion is that the net farm income declined by 6 per cent between 1949 and 1950. This supports the claim made by both previous speakers that the high cost of food products in Canada today has not resulted from the fact that the farmers are demanding and getting unreasonably high prices for their products.

With these things in mind, Mr. Speaker, for a little while I should like to deal with some important causes of the present dilemma. I am in agreement with the previous speakers when they say the most important problem facing the people of Canada today is that of runaway inflationary prices. The high cost of living is a problem which must be tackled. It must be given the most intensive thought and work it is possible to give. I do not mean to suggest, of course, that the government can do it all. The general run of the Canadian people will have to take their share of responsibility for seeing to it that scientific means are adopted which will give the people of Canada relief from this terrible burden of living costs. It seems to me we ought to be giving, and in fact we ought to have been giving long ago, a great deal more thought to the causes of present high prices than we have given thus far. Because we have been derelict in giving that careful thought and attention to the causes, it seems to me that now we must get. down to basic principles and find out what has given rise to the inflationary situation we-face today. The present government is reaping what it has sown, but unfortunately it is: not only the government that is reaping. It is a tragic thing that the poor people of this country, who had nothing whatever to do-with bringing about the present situation, are also doing the reaping and suffering the-real hardships.

The present inflationary situation had its. roots, to some extent at least, in the way the-government financed the war. Early in world, war II the minister of finance declared that he intended to follow what was then called a pay-as-you-go policy. But it did not take him very long to abandon that policy, if he-ever started it, and go back to the old system of debt financing under which the national debt was run up from $3-5 billion to $16' billion in the course of less than six years. That was not a pay-as-you-go policy, in spite-of the government's earlier declaration that they would follow a pay-as-you-go policy. Some very foolish things were done in the-course of the attempts made to finance during the war years. Some very foolish- things were done in the bond drives. Early in the war the government attempted a bond drive-

throughout the country to induce individual Canadians to buy bonds, not so much because the government needed the money to pay for the war but, as they openly declared, the major reason was to get out of the hands of the potential consumers in this country their purchasing power so as not to create inflation. The government was to use it as an antiinflationary measure.

Let us examine one simple example of what happened after they made that declaration to the Canadian people that this was largely an anti-inflationary measure. Under whatever regulation the government may have been operating, the chartered banks of this country were allowed to finance bond purchases on the part of individual Canadians. An individual Canadian could subscribe to a certain amount of bond purchases, and he could go to the bank for a loan to meet ninety per cent of the cost of the bond. A credit entry in the amount of the bond purchase was created on the books of the bank, which simply meant new purchasing power being injected into the bloodstream of this country. A large amount of that sort of purchasing power was injected into the bloodstream of Canada, and what happened? A great many of those people could not possibly pay for those bonds. They bought them for patriotic reasons or because pressure had been placed upon them. Eventually the bank took over the bond and simply repaid the person the amount of the cash equity he had in the bond.

What was the net result? Instead of being an anti-inflationary measure it became the worst possible kind of inflation because, while through that method individual Canadians were enabled to buy bonds, what happened was that a large amount of new purchasing power was injected into our economy without a corresponding increase in the production of goods and services. The banks' holding of dominion securities increased. Now, that is the kind of antiinflationary policy that was followed. It is only one example of the sort of foolish thing that was done during attempts to finance the war on what Mr. Usley said was going to be a pay-as-you-go policy.

The second important thing we have to keep in our mind is the way the government refused to shoulder the responsibility of a specific policy for regulating the money supply of our country. This was another thing that contributed during wartime to the setting of the roots of inflation. The government shifted the responsibility to the chartered banks a good many years ago. During wartime they simply left the regulation of the money supply

Cost of Living

to the chartered banks of the country, and that was during one of the most dangerous times in Canada's history. The result was that the money supply became totally unrelated to goods and services available for purchase.

Another point, Mr. Speaker, is that since 1945 the government definitely discouraged production by their taxation policy. There are some, of course, who deny that is true. If the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) were in his seat, I imagine he would be one of the first to say that was not true. The facts show that it is true. At the end of the war what we needed more than anything else was abundant production of all kinds of goods and services, but the government failed. The high rates of income tax and the low exemptions they initiated, and a most fiendish tax enforcement policy, discouraged the farmers from all-out production. The iniquitous system of net worth which was introduced did more harm to the farmers of western Canada than anything else of which I know. If anyone takes the trouble to examine into the true facts of the situation, he will see that in the province of Alberta our cattle population in 1939 was 1,230,000. By 1945, owing to the almost superhuman effort of the farmers, the cattle population was lifted to 1,860,000, and in the meantime they had marketed a great many thousands to help the war effort. By 1949 the cattle population had shrunk to 1,465,000, nearly 400,000 less. This decrease was largely as a result of the foolish taxation and other restrictive measures adopted by the government.

If the government was aware of what was happening, they did not seem to care. Proper policies at that time certainly would have induced an increase of production of the very things that were needed. If the government had, during that period between 1945 and 1950, kept its word and established stabilized prices on farm produce in this country, there is no end to the productive effort those people would have made. The amount of productive effort they made during the war, which has drawn tributes from thinking men the world over, would have been continued.

High income tax rates and the excess profits tax also did much to discourage production in the industrial field. Those high rates of tax that were continued for some time after the war caused a shift to plant expansion or to needless modernization of machinery in the plant, and the installation of new machinery long before the old machinery became obsolescent. Everyone knows that these things, in themselves, are inflationary because money so spent in the expansion of plant and in putting in new machinery produced no consumer goods. The balance of purchasing power was disturbed, so we find inflation.

Cost of Living

The government's tax policy also tended to push prices up, as has already been said. The tendency all along has been to increase hidden taxes. It will be recalled that in 1947, when the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) followed the most unusual practice of announcing to the people over the airways that he was introducing certain excise taxes, a number of things were included, some of which were essential. Everyone could see this excise tax. Everyone recalls, however, that it was not long until it was converted into a sales tax at the manufacturer's level. It did as much as anything to force prices up and bring on the present state of inflation.

Mr. Speaker, one could go on multiplying these examples all evening to indicate that the government certainly was derelict in its duty, and by its neglect, or by its deliberate policies, contributed to the present situation of inflation. The government created a most unusual situation wherein the economic law of supply and demand simply could not work. The whole population of Canada was adversely affected by these policies. Before I leave the farmers, may I say that the government put ceiling prices on many of the products that came from the farm, but allowed the prices of the commodities the farmers had to buy to go up to whatever level the manufacturers wanted to push them. Machinery, repairs, clothing, as well as various other things were allowed to go up, and as a result the spirit of get all you can while you can became the spirit that activated the people. There was the spirit of gouge to which I have referred before on a number of occasions. Primary producers therefore were discouraged about prospects for the years to come. Right from the end of world war II the Liberal government advised and pleaded with the people of this country to go slowly in making purchases. "Do not buy now," they said, "but wait a while until prices come down. Everything will be hunky-dory then." A good many people took the government at its word, and they tried to co-operate with the government in their attempt to control the rising prices and the inflationary situation. The tragic part of it, Mr. Speaker, is that prices did not come down. These very people who did everything they possibly could to 00-ioperate with the government, on the government's assurance that prices would come down before they had to buy, today find that they have been dreadfully penalized. They are having to pay greatly increased prices now for the things that they cannot defer buying.

I know of people who were planning to build houses two or three years ago. They were inclined to take the government at its

(Mr. Low.]

word and they said, "Well, I think we had better not go into the market and compete for the materials to build these houses; the government has assured us that everything will be all right and that prices will come down." One man told me today that simply because the home builder that he knew waited for a year, on the strength of the promise of the government that everything would be all right, he now finds that he will have to pay $800 more for the same materials to build the house that he wanted to build last year. It looks to me, Mr. Speaker, as though that situation alone is sufficient reason for the fast-waning support that the Liberal party enjoys in this country today.

In the past few months this government also has issued what amounted to invitations to merchants and others to boost their prices; and those people did boost their prices. On several occasions the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe)-and I have his words here in Hansard; if it becomes necessary I can easily put them on the record-made about controls statements which were clear invitations to the people of this country to boost their prices as far as they possibly could-"controls if necessary, but not necessarily controls." It sounds a good deal like the old Mackenzie King cry, does it not? That is what has happened.

On those occasions when we on this side of the house have brought up for discussion the high cost of living and especially when direct controls were advocated by the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge), the Minister of Trade and Commerce, in speaking to that motion, made the statement that it was not anticipated that direct government controls would be introduced but, he said: "If it becomes necessary later, certainly we will give it most thorough consideration." We all know what has happened. The spirit of gouge has spread over the whole country; and that seems to be the spirit that is activating a good many of the people today.

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

An hon. Member:

And they have got set.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENT, MR. DREW
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

Yes, and they have got set. There is no question about that. They increased their prices to a point where there would not be any danger to them if price controls were found to be necessary.

Right from the time of the ending of world war II the Liberal government began to become party to international arrangements like the United Nations, Bretton Woods and other things, under which it became necessary for them to drain off a certain amount of Canadian production to send to other nations. We also followed the policy

of making available to other nations vast quantities of supplies, in the form of outright gifts or in the form of long-term loans; and so the drawing-off of the top portion of our production in Canada to be sent to other countries became a serious contributor to the present inflationary situation.

The potential inflationary condition of 1945 therefore developed into a real one as decontrol took place and as the government did nothing else to prevent the situation from becoming as serious as it now is. We have now become parties to NATO and toColombo, under which international arrangements a good many billions of dollars' worth of our Canadian production is to be sent to other countries. The money generated in this production will be left behind to be spent here in competition for the goods that are left. What is the result? The government says: "It is necessary for us now to put before the House of Commons a huge budget". That budget provides for the expenditurethis year of $3,586,915,657. That is exclusive of certain supplementary estimates that have been introduced to cover expenditures for the last fiscal year and perhaps some more for this year. That huge amount of money during the next fiscal year will go out to be spent in competition with the purchasingpower of nearly fourteen million individual Canadians; and they will be competing for goods that are now, in many branches, in short supply. What is going to be the

situation?

I should like to be able to put on the record some figures, Mr. Speaker, in the way of an analysis or a break-down of the present estimates that were tabled in this house about

9, 1951 1747

Cost of Living

two weeks ago, in order to show hon. members and the people of the country just exactly what that budget is going to do to the Canadian people; but it being six o'clock, I presume it would be wise to hold this matter over until we resume at eight o'clock.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

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

AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


April 9, 1951