March 10, 1953

LIB

André Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier (Porineuf):

Do you mean the Foster horses of the first war?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Chesley William Carter

Liberal

Mr. Carter:

Before any member of this house makes a charge of waste and extravagance I think we should consider whether we might not be guilty of the same thing ourselves. I think our people have the right to question our honesty and sincerity of purpose if they find us doing the same thing when we are pointing the finger at others. We can waste the taxpayers' money when we take up the time of this house unnecessarily. It costs money to keep this parliament in session. I do not know what the exact figures are-I have not been able to find out-but I believe it costs around $10,000 per day. At that rate the debate on the Currie report cost the taxpayers around $150,000.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

You have cost us about $1,000 tonight.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Chesley William Carter

Liberal

Mr. Carter:

$150,000 or even half of that figure represents a lot of teapots and neckties.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

Sit down; the meter is running.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraiih:

No, you are not a meter.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

The meter is ticking.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraiih:

You are not a meter and should not call yourself a meter.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Chesley William Carter

Liberal

Mr. Carter:

Finally, Mr. Speaker, if I am going to be truly responsible for the people who sent me here I must never single out one particular group, hold them out and set other classes against them, not even the $10,000 group. This particular group has been singled out and held up before the people as not bearing their full share of the tax burden. We all know that if the income is derived from dividends the taxes have already been paid on it before the person received it, and it is just a matter of whether we are going to tax those people twice.

I have tried to indicate some of the ways in which I, as a private member, am responsible for the people who sent me here. I should like to stress the point that my responsibility holds good no matter on which side of the house I sit, and no matter to which party I belong. It is the same battle on both sides of the house. It is the battle for higher morality in the nation and greater responsibility for each other.

Mr. Speaker, the budget proves that Canada is a great and growing country

destined to wield great influence among the nations of the world. It is a story of the achievement of a free people in a free economy under a system of free enterprise. The Liberal party has always placed its main stress on freedom, and under the leadership of the Liberal party we have achieved a large measure of political and economic freedom. But if Canada is to achieve her true destiny we must go on to develop a still higher form of freedom-responsible freedom, which is the very heart and core both of Liberalism and of democracy.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon):

Mr. Speaker, I was interested in a remark made by the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Ward) when he commenced his address to the house yesterday. He said that during his early experience in this house he discovered that a good deal of the time during speech-making was spent in propaganda and, as a result, he resolved not to spend too much time making speeches in this chamber.

I agree with him that during this budget debate there has been considerable propaganda uttered that perhaps is more designed for consumption outside this house than by members in the chamber. However, I cannot agree with him that the same thing applies in every debate. Since I came to this house a relatively short time ago I have had the privilege of sitting in on some very significant discussions dealing with problems of extreme importance both to our internal economy and with regard to our external affairs.

I suppose it is inevitable that during the budget speech in a pre-election period the tenor of the discussion should take on something of an electioneering aspect. Indeed, as I sat and listened here that night almost three weeks ago when the minister delivered the budget address, I would say that the minister himself established the pace because primarily I believe the budget for this year was designed to appeal directly to the electorate. Since that time, as various members have discussed the subject, they have followed along on the same line.

During the discussion it seems that the press outside Canada has become most interested in affairs relating to the government of this country. We have had one hon. member after another make reference to the editorials appearing particularly in the press across the line with regard to the excellence of this government and the excellence of the budget that was presented to the house. I was most intrigued to discover that even the press in Ireland made some reference to the budget speech. I thought that reference perhaps was most suitable to the occasion, because the Irish are notable for having

kissed the blarney stone. A good many of the references from south of the line also showed a similar influence even though they did not come from Ireland itself.

I should like to mention a quotation that comes to my mind-it is a good Irish quotation-which runs something like this: The sweetest memories of life are the recollections of things forgotten. It seems to me that in the skilful manner in which the budget was presented there was, on the part of the minister, an attempt to have the Canadian people forget a great many things that have occurred during the past few years in this country.

There was a time when it was popular, particularly in the west, to refer to the C.C.F. as Liberals in a hurry; and as Canada moved toward the social welfare state as a result of the major disturbances of the depression it almost seemed as though that statement were true. But this time we have a budget that is back-tracking in a rather extreme fashion. There seems to be a swing back to what we might call free enterprise or, to use the phrase that is sometimes preferred, responsible enterprise. The new look that is supposed to have appeared on the faces of the members of the opposition during the delivery of the budget speech that night is, I think, nothing more or less than a look of incredulity because, among the many incredible things this government has done during the past 18 years, this was an extreme example of its flexibility and its ability to swing backward and forward in order to meet the demands of the situation.

Before proceeding to some of the aspects of the budget I want to quote from an article which appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press of May 17, 1951. I think this article expresses in a precise manner what the government is attempting to do as it moves backward and forward and changes complexion almost with the same dexterity as the chameleon. I once heard a story about the chameleon. As hon. members know, it is that little lizard which has the power to adapt itself to various colours and hues. A rather nasty trick was once played on the poor little creature by putting it on a Scotsman's plaid, and it burst as it attempted to adapt itself to the various colours. That just might happen in the case of a government that becomes too flexible with regard to its policies.

Incidentally, this article is entitled "The Collapse of the Opposition". I think it expresses the secret desire or the wishful thinking on the part of the government that that state of affairs was or is going to happen, namely that the opposition will collapse completely and that we shall move toward the

The Budget-Mr. Dinsdale one-party state where power in perpetuity would be carried on.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Leonard T. Stick

Liberal

Mr. Stick:

Where did you get the article?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dinsdale:

From the Winnipeg Free Press of May 17, 1951. It reads as follows:

The Liberal party, on the other hand, has achieved such an unchallenged sense of regnancy and success that it can afford to admit that the total disequilibrium of politics is a bad thing for the country, perhaps even for itself.

In a minor but significant fashion the present political calculations of this capital will be tested by four federal by-elections in June-two in Manitoba, one in Ontario and one on Prince Edward Island. It will surprise government and opposition alike if any of these seats-three Liberal, one Conservative-switch from one party to the other.

As it turned out, this prophecy was completely wrong. To go on a little bit further in the article, summing up the general discussion the writer says:

The Liberal party, in short, has found a way of occupying so fully the middle ground of politics, moving right or left as the occasion requires, that there is presently no adequate room for a successful opponent on either side. The government's pragmatism has become almost a science.

I would agree with that article, as we see the swing that has been indicated in the budget that was brought into the house just a few weeks ago.

As we have engaged in pre-electioneering discussion, the keynote from the government benches has been to make an appeal on the basis of the prevailing wave of prosperity in Canada. This prosperity has been emphasized particularly by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), who the other day brought down statistics in order to make a comparison and to contrast the buoyancy of today with the stagnation of the depression period. The Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) has also made reference many times to this prevailing high level of prosperity; and again, the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Ward) dwelt upon it at length in his remarks.

I first became politically aware during the latter thirties, and if I may speak on a personal note I should like to do so. Usually the depression is emphasized as covering the years 1930 to 1935. As soon as the Liberals returned to office the depression was supposed to have miraculously withered away. But I was quite politically aware as a young chap in 1937, and I do not recall that things were unusually buoyant during that year. As a matter of fact I, along with several other graduates fresh from college in 1937, had absolutely no job opportunities available. Hundreds of our young men, myself included, were obliged to look for work in any direction in which they could possibly find it. I did not discover in 1937 that our economy

The Budget-Mr. Dinsdale was unduly buoyant. In fact it was the continuing economic distress that turned my thinking toward some form of social work.

I remember that as late as the year 1939-

I was working in the city of Montreal-I was discussing this problem with some knights of the road who had been on the go for almost ten years, travelling up and down the country, as so many of our young men did during the decade of the thirties. They were discussing the period when relief camps had been provided for unemployed men.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

By Bennett.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dinsdale:

Yes; and those were abruptly done away with, as I recall it, after the Liberals returned to power. This chap commenting said: "Mr. Bennett gave us relief camps at least, but all that the Liberals gave us was the highways to pound". He had been pounding them across the country for quite a considerable period of time. Therefore, from a personal recollection of those events, I do not think there was a miraculous recovery, a miraculous return to prosperous conditions overnight, as is sometimes suggested by members from the government side of this chamber.

I was very interested, Mr. Speaker, in the speech made by the hon. member for St. John's West (Mr. Browne) this afternoon in which he tried to deal in some detail with this situation. It is high time someone did take it upon himself to be intellectually honest on this matter. With respect to many speeches that have been made on the subject, there tends to be intellectual dishonesty in this house. I do not think there is any more glaring example of intellectual dishonesty than the tendency, by subtle propaganda, to insinuate that the depression was caused by any particular group; or, on the other hand, that the prevailing prosperity today is on account of the machinations of any particular group that might be in office. This point must be emphasized over and over again if we are to have a responsible and enlightened attitude on the part of the electorate in this country.

I do not need to emphasize it; it should be almost obvious enough to be self-explanatory. If I had time, or if the occasion warranted it, I could go on and mention positive contributions that have been made by the Conservative party when we have had periods of power in this country. Of course everyone admits that the same could be said of the Liberals when they have enjoyed periods of power. The Conservative party, one of the historical political parties of this country, in fact the party that was largely responsible for initiating confederation, is steeped in the traditions of this country. It

has been the champion of the rights of parliament and of the people of Canada down through the years. According to that very interesting book "The Incredible Canadian", the fact that the Conservatives won the 1930 election was later recognized by the late prime minister, Mr. Mackenzie King, as the most fortunate thing that had ever happened to his party. Had the reverse situation prevailed, then the political story of Canada since that time would have been much different from what it has actually been.

It was encouraging to me-and this represents one of the occasions when discussion in this house reached a relatively high level -to hear references made from all sides of the house to the work of Sir Robert Borden during world war I, in connection with the provision of a sum of money to have his statue erected on parliament hill. Without any political consideration entering into the discussion the true stature of the man was measured, and even though he belonged to a party other than that in office at the moment he was given credit for having brought Canada a long step forward under his leadership toward the national autonomy within the framework of the British commonwealth of nations that has been completely established today.

Even during the depression some creditable efforts were made. I need only mention the imperial conference, the establishment of the central bank and others. I have been interested on several occasions to hear the leader of the C.C.F. party refer in complimentary tones to some of the policies that Mr. Bennett tried to bring forward under the new deal in an attempt to grapple with the extremely difficult economic situation that prevailed in the early thirties as well as in the late thirties. The whole country was slow to move toward the emergency legislation necessary to cope with an almost complete collapse of our economy, and that applied to other countries in the western world as well. In fact some of the countries of Europe, as we only too well know, were not as successful in grappling with the problems as we were, and dictatorship, tyranny and general political and economic confusion resulted. Therefore in making this unfair comparison-and it seems to be one of the chief appeals to the people of Canada at this time-contrasting prevailing prosperity with so-called Tory depression, I think we have a glaring example of intellectual dishonesty.

Associated with this same technique we have the constant reference to the tariff issue. During the twenties the tariff issue proved very helpful in pitting the east against the west, and thus making it possible for

the Liberal party to hold power on the basis of dividing and conquering.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

No.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dinsdale:

The hon. member for Dauphin has made reference to this so-called Tory protectionism. I can quite understand his opinion because he was closely associated with the Progressive movement back in the early twenties, and it was the absorption of the Progressives into the Liberal party during that period, after the Progressives had sent some 65 or 66 agrarian representatives to this house, that forced the Liberal group at least to give lip service to the principle of free trade. The agrarian reformers were ardent free traders.

The old struggle, the old attitude, the old conflict of the east versus the west, the suspicion of the west toward the east, still persists on the prairies. During the twenties it crystallized into the protection versus free trade issue. It was a red herring issue then, if we examine it to its source, and it is even more of a red herring today than it was during the twenties.

I was reading in the report on the South Saskatchewan dam at page 72, where it refers to the policy of national development which was first initiated by John A. Macdonald, and has been carried forth by successive governments since that day. The policy included the construction of the transcontinental railway and the opening of the west to settlement. In reference to the Liberal contribution to that policy after 1896 this report says:

Liberal governments which followed in power after 1896-

That is which followed Conservative governments.

-maintained the protective system with only minor modifications in the direction of imperial preference. The protective system has been the national policy to Canadians to the present day.

That is so, with minor variations and flexibility. And let me quote further from a definitive statement on the subject by Robert MacGregor Dawson in his book "The Government of Canada". This is one of the few text books on the subject of Canadian government. At page 502, referring to the platforms or policies of Liberal and Conservative governments he says:

The nearest approach to a constant policy has been furnished by the stand of each party on the protective tariff. The more extreme Liberal tendencies towards free trade, as noted above, were already toned down before the party victory of 1896; but the introduction of the imperial preference indicated that Liberal principles had not been entirely forsaken. The party, however, then rested on its achievement and retained a tariff which was unmistakably protectionist in character until the

10, 1953 2827

The Budget-Mr. Dinsdale government brought down its proposals for reciprocity with the United States in 1911. It was an ironical turn of events that when the Liberals at last made a sincere attempt to carry one of their neglected principles into practice they sustained defeat. In 1921, when they returned to power, they reduced the tariff in piecemeal fashion over a number of years; but it would be an exaggeration to state that this resulted in anything more than a moderate tariff which never lost sight of its protective function. Moreover, while there may be a strong likelihood, there is no assurance that the Liberals at this time would, if left to themselves, have gone even as far as they did, for their position in parliament was so uncertain that they were by no means free to do as they pleased. They lacked a genuine majority and were being kept in office by Progressive support, and the tariff reductions were moves in a long courtship which was designed to soften the heart of the western free-trading farmers.

Then, if I might quote further, I would turn to Hansard for 1935 where, at page 1962, Mr. Rhodes, speaking in the budget debate and referring to this old tariff bogey, had this to say:

In 1933, at the world economic conference the delegates from Canada strongly advocated the general adoption of a policy of removing the excessive restrictions which were strangling world trade, and the responsibility for the failure to adopt it must rest elsewhere. Since that time we have been carrying on negotiations with various individual countries some of which have been completed, others are still in progress. During the last few days you have been made acquainted with the comprehensive trade agreement which has been concluded with France and which, it may be said, for the first time places our trade relations with that country on an entirely satisfactory basis. Negotiations have been practically completed with Poland for a treaty which will enable Canadian trade to be carried on satisfactorily with that growingly important country from which, in the absence of a treaty, our products have been hitherto almost entirely excluded.

During recent months, an opportunity has presented itself for the first time since this government assumed office to enter into negotiations with a view to effecting a trade agreement with the United States of America.

Those negotiations, as I recall, had been restricted or prevented by the existence of the Hawley-Smoot tariff in the United States. It was the beginning of negotiations referred to in the speech by Mr. Rhodes that led the way to the establishment of an agreement to which reference has been made by the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdon-nell) and the hon. member for Dauphin. Those preliminary negotiations, as Mr. Rhodes indicated, were undertaken by a Conservative administration, and were only finalized after the election to office of a Liberal government in 1935.

It is a phony issue. It is a red herring issue. It is designed to appeal primarily to the west; and to bring it up in this day and age as a significant plank in a party platform indicates a failure to understand the changes which have taken place in the west since

2828 HOUSE OF

The Budget-Mr. Dinsdale the depression, and particularly since the war. Today the west is driving very strenuously and enthusiastically toward a diversified economy, and they will not be deterred from their purpose by the resurrection from the dead of an issue which no longer has any appeal among prairie farmers.

We now know that if we are going to cope with some of the tremendous economic problems which are facing us on the prairies, problems which have been brought into focus within recent days by the loss of prairie parliamentary representation in the house, when two of the prairie provinces, namely Manitoba and Saskatchewan, have lost membership in the house because of their relative decline in population-I say that if we are to cope with these problems we realize that we must diversify our economy. And if we are going to do that it must be by way of an

expansion of this national policy which began with confederation, and which has been moving forward slowly since that time under succeeding administrations, both Conservative and Liberal.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to deal with one or two other subjects. Perhaps, as it is ten o'clock, I might be permitted to move the adjournment of the debate.

On motion of Mr. Dinsdale the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Tomorrow we shall continue this debate.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

At ten, o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.


March 10, 1953