May 22, 1952

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

With all due deference, the rule here is that we can have a pretty wide discussion on the first section of the bill. I see no reason why that rule should be abandoned in the case of this particular bill. I really believe that if the discussion is allowed to take its normal course that will not only be more nearly in line with the rules of the house but will save us considerable time.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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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):

I wish to intervene at this stage. We spent a half day on the resolution without being able to complete it. We continued a day or two later in committee, and that discussion lasted quite a long time. We have spent the time from the opening of the house until now in the debate on second reading. We have had a fine general discussion on gold and I have become interested in it, though I have not seen any for a long time.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

There has been a gold robbery, now.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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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):

Perhaps that is inciting the people to get more gold, but I believe that right now we should apply the rule which is applied in committee, that remarks should be relevant to the item.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

This is something-

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Before anything else is said, may I say that I believe the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra and myself are in agreement, but where we differ is that he seems to believe that what is before the committee at the moment is an act called the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act, but what is before the committee is a bill to amend the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act. If he looks at the explanatory notes he will see that. There may be a general discussion as to these two amendments, and that is quite in order.

On the first section of the bill in committee, however, we always cover what is in the bill. I think hon. members generally will agree with me on that score. We cannot have a general discussion on gold because we have before us a bill amending the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act. We may have a general discussion on the amending bill but not on the sections of the bill.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Of course the first section of

the bill, as a matter of fact, deals primarily with assistance to the gold industry, and that opens up the whole question. I submit that the hon. member is quite in order in asking the question he has just asked of the hon. member for York West. We always have this trouble, Mr. Chairman. We have had the Minister of Public Works, who is the house leader-

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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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):

I am not troublesome.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

-and he is an efficient and amiable house leader-rise whenever he thinks sufficient time has been spent on debate. We have him or some other member of the government getting to his feet and saying that now we should cut off this debate. He said today that because there was some extended debate at the resolution stage, the debate at this stage should therefore be short. The two have absolutely no connection. It is just the urge on the government side to cut off the debate and, I suggest, the urge on the opposition side to bring out all the facts. I submit that the hon. member for Lethbridge is quite in order in asking the question which he has asked.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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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):

Mr. Chairman, I

cannot agree. What I should like is for the chairman to see that the rules of the house are complied with once in a while. Generally I so greatly enjoy the speeches that I do not object; but I have heard a great deal about gold. If it is the intention to start the debate over again, I think it would be against the rules to do so. We are in committee. We have before us section 1 of the bill which provides for a change in the rate of assistance to the gold mining industry. I think an hon. member could discuss that rate. If he is not satisfied with it, but wants it increased or decreased, he would be quite in order to discuss that matter but it would not be in order for him to enter upon a review of the gold situation in the world generally. I think a discussion of that kind would be out of order.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

Mr. Chairman, the reason for my asking the question is simply this. The hon. member for York West is advancing, as one reason for passing this bill, the fact that the gold standard ultimately is important to Canada and that consequently we should take care of our gold industry. My question is directed to examining the basis for his general assertion that gold, as a backing for currency, has been a stabilizing factor throughout the world and the only anchor which could be used in relation to money. That is the only reason that I am asking the question. The question goes right straight to

Gold Mining

the core of one of the major reasons advanced by the hon. member for passing this bill. It is not my desire to repeat the arguments which have been advanced, but certainly when a member like the hon. member for York West, with the position he holds, makes a statement in this chamber which in the opinion of other hon. members is fallacious, the other members should have the privilege of probing into the extent of his knowledge. That is the reason I asked the question. I will just say this. No doubt he has got off balance. He just has no information on this matter.

He wants to put the price of gold on the speculative market. I will just use one illustration and then I will say no more unless he provokes me. All you have to do in order to know what happens to the price of a commodity when it is on the open market is just remember what used to happen to the wheat crop in western Canada when the price of wheat was on the free exchange in Winnipeg. What the hon. member in effect is advocating is that gold should be put on the open market and that the price thereof should be determined not by supply and demand but by speculative supply and demand which results in the organization of bulls and bears, with all the drastic fluctuations that can take place in price. When the hon. member is ready to answer that statement let him come forward and do it, and not make general statements.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask a question or two. I was interested in listening to the exposition of the point of view of the hon. member for York West. I heartily disagree with his statement that it would benefit the Canadian people to have a return to the gold standard. I support what the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre said.

I want to draw to the minister's attention the suggestion that came from another direction and was unique, and I want to get his opinion on it. The hon. member for Comox-Alberni, when speaking on this subject in the house on February 12, 1951, made a most interesting and original contribution to the debate.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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IND

John Lambert Gibson

Independent

Mr. Gibson:

Somebody has to have some intelligence around here.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

He suggested that if gold were staked out in ore bodies, the government could issue a certain amount of currency against the gold in the ground. That was not a frivolous remark, Mr. Chairman. I am sure it was made as the result of a good deal of thought and meditation on his part.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

It would be the first time.

Gold Mining

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

The suggestion came from a distinguished member who sits on the front bench, a gentleman with considerable business experience, one with a good parliamentary record and who is an original and creative thinker. I want to ask the minister this question. Has the minister given consideration to the proposal made by the hon. member for Comox-Alberni? If so, what objection would he have to an economic system or monetary and fiscal policy such as that suggested by the hon. member for Comox-Albemi?

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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LIB

George Prudham (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Liberal

Mr. Prudham:

Mr. Chairman, I do not see that this question is directed to, or deals in any way with, the question that is before the committee.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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IND

John Lambert Gibson

Independent

Mr. Gibson:

Mr. Chairman, I think I should try to clear up some of the misapprehension in the mind of the hon. member for Kootenay West.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Are you speaking for your party?

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
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IND

John Lambert Gibson

Independent

Mr. Gibson:

I am afraid the hon. member for Kootenay West has not read his Hansard. I am sure he can read; and I am quite sure that his powers of analysis are such that if he read a quotation from my speech at that time he would realize that what I said was this. Wo were setting up a manpower council at that time in order to try to allocate manpow er to most essential uses in Canada. I said that if we were short of manpower for the defence of our country, I thought probably the first thing we could divert was the manpower from gold mines in Canada. I still believe that to be so. Happily, however, since that time we found that we had sufficient manpower to maintain our gold mining as well as our other projects as far as national defence is concerned.

The hon. member will also recall that I did not say that paper should be issued against gold lying in the ground. I said that if it was necessary for Canada to have gold backing its paper dollars-and that is something for which I am quite prepared to take the word of the economists on the government benches-if we were short of manpower, I thought possibly we could take proven gold ore reserves in the ground and use those at their net value for the issue of paper currency. I still believe that to be possible.

Topic:   EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF APPLICATION TO YEARS
Permalink

May 22, 1952