March 10, 1953

LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. Ward:

From the dominion bureau of statistics.

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

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

You got them from Truman.

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

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

Who added them up for you?

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

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. Ward:

This is very interesting.

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

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

You are $3 million out.

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

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. Ward:

Our total national product that year was $2,380 million. What is it today? Twenty-four billion dollars-or ten times greater than it was then.

Are the people of Canada so simple, so credulous, as to return a government which left us with a trade picture like that in comparison with what we have today? We can thank men like the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe), one of the greatest salesmen on earth. We can thank the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) for having saved the economy of our livestock people during the last year.

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

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

Give him better than that.

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

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. Ward:

If it bad not been for the fourway meat deal he made involving Britain, New Zealand, United States and Canada, beef in Canada might have dropped to 10 cents a pound. That has been avoided through the ingenuity of our good Minister of Agriculture, who is always on the job, always on top of the responsibility that is given to him in his department, and he saw to it that nothing of that sort did happen. We are very, very fortunate, and every farmer and every stock raiser in Canada should go down on his knees and thank God we had a Jimmy Gardiner.

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

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

For Jimmy Gardiner.

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

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. Ward:

I am pleased to note that our friends over there think I am right.

I have a lot more figures, Mr. Speaker, which I could give the house which would be of interest, I am sure; but you have been very patient and the house has been very patient so I will just say that I appreciate your consideration very much.

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

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. J. Browne (St. John's West):

Mr. Speaker, after the modest claims made by the previous speaker I think we ought to get back to a little sanity and a little reality.

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

An hon. Member:

Where are we going to get that?

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

J. G. Léopold Langlois (Parliamentary Assistant to the Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. Langlois (Gaspe):

You had better sit down then.

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

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

We are confronted here with an array of potential prime ministers. I hope there will not be -the same argument about succession here as there has been in Russia, since the death of their leader the other day.

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

J. G. Léopold Langlois (Parliamentary Assistant to the Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. Langlois (Gaspe):

Nobody wants to succeed your leader.

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

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

Quiet, Postmaster General.

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

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

The previous speaker has brought up a number of points on which discussions took place in this house during the last couple of years and, sir, if we were to be diverted from the business before the house we could go into those discussions again and have a very interesting time. Not everything that would be said would be in favour of the points brought up by the hon. member.

Now, sir, it is not quite three weeks since the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) brought down his budget. Since listening to him I have read it over a couple of times and I must say that it is a very interesting document until he comes to the disposal of the prospective surplus for the 1953-54 year. I think it is true to say that most of the correspondents throughout the country had his budget surplus distributed for him before his announcement of it in the house. Everyone expected that we were going to get a little bit off the income tax, that corporation taxes were going to be reduced, that the tax on cigarettes was going to be reduced, and that the radio licence was going to be taken off. All these things were anticipated and I saw many references in the press before the budget indicating that these things were going to be done-which was an indication that the public generally, and certainly the intelligent members of the press, expected that in an

election year the Minister of Finance would try to do things which would give him the best returns politically.

At the beginning of his speech he paid a graceful tribute to the late Dr. Clark, former deputy minister of finance, and I noticed that he stated that gentleman was appointed during the time when the Right Hon. R. B. Bennett was prime minister and minister of finance. During the 20 years that Dr. Clark acted as deputy minister of finance we have had an upturn in the material prosperity of the world and especially in Canada. It seems to have engaged the attention of many of the previous speakers and also, outside the house, of members of the government as well.

Today I would like to make some references to the changes which have taken place in those years. They have been used by the previous speaker, in his closing remarks, to illustrate the superiority of this government over any competitor that could possibly come upon the scene in Canada. I think, sir, when references are made to the government of this country, we should remember that behind the facade of the government there is a very brilliant civil service. It is largely to them, to their ability, to their honesty, to their integrity and to their industry that this country owes its success. I think that was implicit in the remarks which the Minister of Finance made about his late deputy. There are other men in the civil service about whom nothing has been said. I suppose that they must wait until they die to have such things said about them. Having had a lot of association with members of the civil service in Newfoundland, I know that they are deserving of recognition of their valuable services before they die.

The other day a deputation went to see the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) about higher wages and better conditions but it was not opportune to grant these concessions at the present time.

It is my impression that the civil service association, representing the civil servants of this country, is doing a magnificent job for the members of their organization but I feel satisfied that they are up against great difficulty when they go to negotiate with the government for better terms. It seems to me that some way must be found so that they may obtain justice for their claims; for it has always been my experience that they do not receive justice. They always get increases when it is too late and the increases which they get are always less than they deserve.

It is only natural that errors and scandals are to be found in a civil service as large as that in Canada where there are 160,000 civil servants. If they do occur I do not

10, 1953 2789

The Budget-Mr. W. J. Browne altogether blame the individuals concerned. For instance, there is the example of the army works services mentioned by the previous speaker in connection with Petawawa. In my opinion, the responsibility in that case should be placed upon the shoulders of the minister in charge of the department where those people are engaged.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson), in a radio talk given over the C.B.C. about one month ago, made this statement:

When the Liberals came into office in 1935, we were still in the depths of depression from which the Conservative policies of Mr. Bennett had failed to lift us. Three weeks after taking office, Mr. Mackenzie King had reversed Mr. Bennett's Tory policy of "blasting" our way into world markets, by making a two-way trade agreement with the United States, followed in rapid succession by some twenty other such trade agreements with other countries.

Since that time Canadian trade and Canadian income have gone up every year.

The hon. member for Wetaskiwin (Mr. Thomas) last night made the statement that it was Liberal policies prior to 1930 which put Canada into the depression and that Conservative policies did nothing to take Canada out of the depression. I think we ought to look at things here from the point of view of a sense of justice with regard to what actually occurred. In justice, I think it must be agreed that the Liberal government had nothing whatever to do with putting Canada into the depression and that the Conservative government moved heaven and earth to try to take us out of the depression, that the country was just on the way out of the depression in 1935 when the Liberal government came into office. If they are honest men-and I am sure most of the hon. gentlemen on the other side normally are honest men; I am speaking now of intellectual honesty-they must admit that their government or the previous government of Mackenzie King in 1929 did not put the country into the depression, and they must admit that it was not the fault of the Conservative government if we were not riding the waves of prosperity as we are today.

Let us remember those things. There are in the house young men perhaps who do not remember those days and who do not appreciate the difficulties of those days; but I well remember 1929, and I remember the stock market crash in October of that year. I remember it for a special reason. I was a practising lawyer at the time and I had a wealthy client whose will I made. He had a large amount of Canadian and United States stocks. The next day the stock market broke and his fortune was lost. The day before the stock market broke, as solicitor

2790 HOUSE OF

The Budget-Mr. W. J. Browne I had made lor a client a contract with the International Power and Paper Company to purchase a mining interest in Newfoundland. The next day the stock market broke and the deal was off. Those were just two personal incidents in my life that impressed upon me the tremendous effect of that stock market crash. But who cannot remember the suicides that followed it, the companies that went into liquidation, and the depression that followed over the whole wide world? Not a country in the whole world, as far as I know, was exempt from the terrible depression.

The people of today who are not familiar with these facts do not know what depressions are; they do not know what the depression was that struck Canada at that time, or of the millions of people that had to be given relief. In Newfoundland, which was quite close to Canada and whose economy was somewhat the same, we had a third or over of the population on relief. I am sure there must have been about a quarter of the population on relief in this country. That condition prevailed until the beginning of war in 1939 with some upsurge. It did not matter what government was in power between 1929 and 1939, in Canada or elsewhere; the story would have been much the same.

I remember other things in connection with that particular time. When the stock market broke in New York, all prices dropped. Goods became unsaleable. The farmer could not sell his wheat except at a sacrifice price. The farmer could not sell his potatoes; he could not get rid of them except by giving them away.

If I may make another personal reference, I may say that in 1932 when the late Viscount Bennett called the imperial economic conference which met here in this city, we were invited to send a delegation from Newfoundland. I was a member of the government in Newfoundland at the time, and it was accidental that I did not come here then. Someone else came and I acted as minister of finance while the minister of finance was up here. I know of the terrible ordeal that we were going through down there, and of the efforts to try to get a barter agreement with England, to exchange pulp, wood or iron ore for coal, or to try to have a three-way agreement of barter for this and barter for that.

I know of the run that would have been made on the banks, if people had known their rights, to try to get gold for deposits they had there. We never got the gold. We had $26 million in the savings banks and our government could have demanded about 36 per cent more for that money because we

TMr. Browne (St. John's West).]

had not gone off the gold standard at the same time as Canada had. But our government played ball with the government of Canada and went off the gold standard too; and the people lost that amount of money. I mention these little things, which were tremendous in those days, in order to show how terrible the depression was.

In 1930 you had these conditions all over the world. What did the governments do when they were faced with unemployment and with poor trade? Everywhere trade went down. I defy any hon. member-even the potential prime ministers who, except for the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. McCann), are all absent at this time-to contradict one statement that I am making. All over the world the countries began to try to raise revenue by putting up their tariffs. Every country to which Canada was exporting its produce had higher tariffs against Canada than they had ever had in Canada's history before that.

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

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnolt:

That is all history.

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

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Yes; that is all history; but that is something which we have to recognize. When the Bennett government came into office this is what they had to face. Our party has been charged with being a high-tariff party because the Bennett government had high tariffs. But the Bennett government had to face high tariffs, and the Bennett government had the responsibility for feeding over one million people who were on relief for several years, and they had to try to take this country out of the terrible depression into which it had fallen, through nobody's fault. It is no use for the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) or the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) or those other spokesmen for the Liberal party or the Social Credit party to try to blame the Conservative party-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 10, 1953