Mr. Raymond Bruneau (Prescott):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to associate my voice with those of the other members who have taken part in the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne, in congratulating the mover and the seconder.
Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted to subscribe to the noble thoughts expressed by the hon. member for Beauharnois (Mr. Cauchon) on national unity in this country.
As a representative of a constituency where two great races live side by side, it is heartening to hear harmony and understanding preached on the very floor of the house. How proud we are, therefore, to be able to march under the banner of a leader who has undertaken the forging of a link between French and English-speaking citizens.
While listening to the seconder of the address, the hon. member for Yukon-Mac-kenzie River (Mr. Simmons), it was comforting to hear that probably never before in history has our country had the natural resources at her disposal for becoming a great nation that she has at the present time, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Sir Wilfrid Laurier that the twentieth century would be that of our country.
One of the main items under study during the current session will be a measure to provide increased security for our older citizens through payment of pensions. I would like to see my government study the possibility of including with old people the invalids, the needy ones who are incapable of providing for themselves. We have a duty to assist those whom nature did not favour, and I think that the people we would include in our security program would be forever grateful. In voicing this opinion I am sure I also voice that of a good majority of the members of this house. A lot of the cases that are brought to our attention are those of people who through mental or physical deficiency see themselves at the mercy of charitable institutions or relatives to ensure a meagre subsistence. Life is already gloomy enough for them and I should think that if we were to bring a ray of sunshine and some hope into their existence, we would have accomplished something.
In reading in the speech from the throne that "our national effort to provide for the security of our country in co-operation with other peace-loving nations continues to receive the constant attention of the ministers", it is most comforting to know that we are doing our utmost, in these troubled
times, to achieve peace through preparedness. We are giving lull support to our Canadian forces in Korea who are upholding the ideals of the United Nations which have pledged themselves to defeat aggression, and we can be proud of the fact that following the deliberations at the NATO conference held in this house the nations are steadily increasing their combined strength in their determined effort to maintain true principles of democracy throughout the world. Let us hope that before too long Greece and Turkey will join the north Atlantic alliance, thus reinforcing the position of the free world, so close to the iron curtain, in the vicinity of the Mediterranean world where at present serious trouble is brewing. I could not help but think how fortunate we are to be living in a free country, where our Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) can go about without bodyguards, while every one of us here was stunned to hear yesterday of the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, who paid the supreme sacrifice for upholding those same principles of democracy which we are doing our best to achieve.
Another item of great importance under study will be the rising cost of living. We are given the assurance by the Prime Minister that every measure will be taken to counteract inflation. I am sure that no effort will be spared to make possible a stabilization of our economy.
As regards the seaway and the power phases of the St. Lawrence project recently discussed in Washington by the President of the United States and our Prime Minister, I am sure this question is of vital importance to the security as well as the economy of the two countries, and let us hope that this project, long debated, will be implemented. While dealing here with a question relative to the Department of Transport, I wish to tell the minister of that department how grateful the members of the Hawkesbury flying club are for the beacon he has provided them with for the purpose of night flying in the region.
I should like at this point to ask the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) to have the people of his department undertake a study of the possibility of re-opening the two airports of St. Eugene and Pendleton in my riding. With the tenseness of the present international situation there is no doubt that these two airfields, ideally situated in the Ottawa valley, could best be used for the training of our airmen.
The Address-Mr. Bruneau
One other question not mentioned in the speech from the throne but which I believe is of great importance is the decentralization of industry. With the ever-growing possibility of a third world war I am sure our heavy industries, concentrated as they are in the main cities around the land, would suffer a terrible blow from air attacks and our national economy could be wrecked in no time. For that reason I am sure it would be wise to spread industry across our vast continent where there is certainly no scarcity of space. Prescott county, ideally situated on a flat stretch of land, half way between the two most important cities in Canada, the capital, Ottawa, and the metropolis, Montreal, offers immense possibilities for the establishment of such industries.
When we study the recommendations submitted by the royal commission on national development in the arts, letters and sciences, I should like to see a debate initiated as to the suitability and opportunity of implementing a program, or setting up a department, for the purpose of helping our young people in Canada. We have great possibilities in our country if our citizens of tomorrow are properly coached and allowed to carve out for themselves a future suited to their aptitude in different fields of learning. We have able young men who, given a chance, would be in a better position to help themselves and the country at large if they had the means at their disposal to improve along the lines for which they are best suited. Such a department already exists in different European countries and has proved to be of very great importance.
There is also another group of people in our country to whom we could lend a helping hand. I have in mind the agricultural class. The main industry in my riding is dairy farming, and for some time now I have received quite a number of postal cards calling to my attention the danger of large imports of vegetable oils for the manufacturing of substitutes for dairy products, thus reducing the yearly income of farmers. I would ask the government to adopt, at its earliest convenience, the necessary measures to give the dairy industry sufficient protection, by levying a duty on the import of such oils.
Keeping in mind the implementation of a program of security for our old people and invalids while studying the possibility of helping and preparing our citizens of tomorrow, let us spare no energy in developing the natural resources with which Providence has endowed us to such an extent. Let us also go all-out on a preparedness
The Address-Mr. J. A. Ross program, thus enabling the free nations of the world to continue to enjoy this liberty so long and dearly sought after by the unfortunate people now living under a regime of terror behind the iron curtain. Our country, young in years but rich in promise and realization, has already taken a firm attitude in her determination to see that truth prevails and freedom is spread to the four corners of the earth. This is an achievement of which I am sure every one of us here has reason to be proud.
We have barely started a new session and I am sure that our deliberations, carried on in this house in the spirit of good will under the guiding light of democracy, will be those of a government of the people, for the people, by the people.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY