November 19, 1953

CCF

Erhart Regier

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

Mr. Regier:

It is my belief that the government should eliminate the agencies that intervene between the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the man who is building homes. If this government is going to continue and extend its underwriting of the cost of house building-and I hope it will-and if the nation's credit is to be used, it is only right that this government should endeavour to get this credit to those who are building homes at as low an overhead cost as possible. Using the chartered banks or insurance companies is not serving that useful purpose; it is only adding to the cost of administration. When the people's money is used to underwrite the cost of homes, let us underwrite the cost of homes and not the cost of profits.

I have looked for an upward revision of family allowances, old age pensions and pensions for the blind and the elimination of the means test from all our regulations connected with pensions. For our senior citizens I think Canadians as a whole would welcome the announcement that this government is prepared to pay $65 at age 65 without a means test.

I have one observation to make with regard to the last federal election. I have been given to understand that had I been a candidate in some areas in this dominion I would have had to submit my election material to a municipal police officer for his approval. I have been told, what is more, that I would have had to obtain a licence or a permit for every one of my 400 volunteers who helped with the carrying of this literature into the homes. To me, Mr. Speaker, this is a serious matter. It is an infringement of the right of the people of Canada to be Canadians, and it violates the principle of free elections. We do not like the rigged elections that take place in other parts of the world. We greatly deplore them. Surely even a Liberal government will not stand idly by and let this type of election gain a foothold in our free land. When this government conducts an election, I submit it must be a free election. This government was freely elected by a politically free people in a democratic manner, and as such

I must accept it as my government and bear it allegiance, as I do. However, I would find it extremely difficult to pay my respects to a government that was elected otherwise than in the manner in which it has been elected. I respect my government because it has been elected in a free election. Let this parliament protect the political rights of our Canadian citizens and put its foot down on anyone, big or small, who will play with dynamite in our midst.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, may I refer to the sentence in the speech from the throne which reads as follows:

Much remains to be done before there can be permanent and durable peace in the world.

I regret that in this speech there is nothing to indicate that this government realizes the significance of that sentence. I regret that in his amendment the Leader of the Opposition fails to admit that free enterprise is a thing of the past.

Today we have monopoly enterprise. The issue today is who shall control monopoly enterprise. We cannot ever go back to free enterprise, no matter how much you wish it. It is a thing that belongs to the pages of history. The issue today is this. Shall the people, through their freely elected parliament, control the major industries of the nation in their own interests, or shall they be left to the whims of those who happen to have the management of the investment savings of the people and who claim those savings as their own and operate big industries therewith while paying a mere 3, 4, 5, or 6 per cent to the owners of life insurance policies and so on, yet who claim they are justly entitled to profits away over and above that. That is the issue today.

Here is a perfect example. I notice in the Canada Year Book, the issue of 1952-53, page 1132 and the pages immediately thereafter, a list of fire insurance companies registered with the dominion government. There is a list of their net premiums collected and the net claims they have had to pay since the year 1880. That is a long time, a period of 73 years. I must admit that not every year is given. For a long period only every fifth year is given. But for the last

II years every year is given.

The statistics there show that not once have the companies, taken as a whole, sustained a loss. The consumer has always taken the rap. For the year 1951 the percentage of claims to net premiums paid was 38-71 per cent. If I may be permitted to do so I will leave out the odd numbers and speak in round figures. Out of $134 million of premiums paid there were claims of but

The Address-Mr. Balcom $52 million. If you take from the net earnings the refunds that they made to the policyholders; if you take off their income tax, and if you take off all other forms of tax on these companies, they still had left a net profit of over $33 million. They had a net profit of $33 million after income taxes and refunds to the policyholders. Before income tax, other taxes and refunds to policyholders they had a profit of $46 million. Net claims paid, $52 million; gross profits, $46 million. There are 277 insurance companies in business. Where is the free competition? Where does the consumer get the break?

Mr. Speaker, I am now going to conclude. Canadians now know that there is no need for any of our citizens to be in want. Canadians also know that for the sake of our jobs, for the sake of our farms, for the sake of each and every one of us, and for the sake of world peace, our products must move in ever increasing quantities and with ever increasing speed to the hungry markets of the world.

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LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. S. R. Balcom (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker, in entering the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne I shall endeavour to deal with the problems concerning my own constituency, namely Halifax, as briefly as possible. The problems are many, but I shall not speak on all of them today.

I should first like to join all those who spoke before me in congratulating the mover (Mr. Hollingworth) and the seconder (Mr. Villeneuve) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I am sure the people back in the constituencies of York Centre and Roberval must have been highly elated when they read the splendid, thought-provoking speeches of the two new members.

I should also like to congratulate those members of the house who have received promotions during the year. I might perhaps be forgiven if I single out our own minister, the hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg (Mr. Winters), who is now Minister of Public Works, and the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth-Clare (Mr. Kirk) who has taken on the status of parliamentary assistant in that extremely important department, the Post Office.

The speech from the throne, which covers so much that is essentia], to my mind has one omission that is too important to overlook. There is no reference to a Canadian merchant navy. I believe it was the speech from the throne at the 1911 session of parliament, which opened on November 11, which contained a proposal to establish a Canadian navy. At that time, as some hon. members will recall, reciprocity was more to the

The Address-Mr. Balcorn fore than were thoughts of war. I had hoped that the similarity in the opening dates might have had a parallel in an announcement at the opening of this session regarding the Canadian merchant navy; a statement that the government was going to take action to keep a merchant shipping nucleus under direct Canadian control so that it could be in our hands in the event of an emergency. Spokesmen for the government have stated in the past that a merchant fleet was considered an essential. When the Canadian maritime commission was set up in 1947, it was to provide a means of assisting and encouraging our shipping and shipbuilding industry to maintain themselves in a healthy and efficient state. For a trading nation like Canada, there could surely be little doubt of the economic importance of merchant shipping. Even more important, in defence the merchant marine is in fact an arm of the navy.

Some action has been taken towards the maintenance of a Canadian merchant fleet. When the war ended and the merchant ships were sold to private concerns, the so-called flag covenant was made a condition of sale. Ships purchased from the government under these conditions had to continue to be operated under the Canadian flag. How effective has this policy been? The figures speak for themselves. In 1947, there were 215 ships operating under the Canadian flag. On June 30 of this year, there were 39.

Why has this come about? In the past few years the high cost of operating Canadian merchant ships has made it virtually impossible to compete with foreign vessels. Currency and import controls have added to the problem of high costs. Because Canadian flag ships must obtain most of their revenue in a convertible currency, the area in which business may be sought has been limited. The shipowners association estimated that the cost of operating a Canadian flag ship is $100,000 more than for a United Kingdom vessel of the same type. The main factor in this additional cost is wages. This figure does not include depreciation or a return on capital investment. Add to this the requirement that when replacements were made the owner was required to build a completely new vessel in a Canadian shipyard.

The costs of shipbuilding in Canadian yards are estimated to be at least 40 per cent higher than those in the United Kingdom or European yards. The government has recognized the handicaps of operating costs by permitting the transfer to United Kingdom registry of the bulk of the merchant fleet. The replacement policy permits the owner to dispose of Canadian flag ships provided the proceeds are used for an ocean-going dry cargo ship. Under

the new policy replacements need not be built in Canadian shipyards. This puts Canadian ship owners on an even footing with foreign competition as to capital costs. But what of the operating handicap of $100,000? Is it fair to require the owners to operate ships under the Canadian flag without offering any compensation for the attendant handicap?

I know there are very sound reasons against increasing the protection of industries, either by tariffs or by subsidies. Canada has a very large stake in both the spirit and the letter of the general agreement on tariffs and trade, to which this country is a signatory. Yet, the government has already indicated that the shipping business is in a special category by imposing the flag covenant. If it is in the national interest to maintain the nucleus of a merchant marine, then it is the responsibility of the taxpayers of Canada to meet the cost. Either the ship owners should be allowed to operate in a free market or they should be paid a subsidy equal to the additional cost of operating a Canadian merchant ship.

My own view is that Canada should have the nucleus of a merchant marine. We would then have a basis for expansion in case of emergency. There would be at least a nucleus of trained personnel and management upon which to build if the need arose. A subsidy of $5 million annually would keep 50 Canadian ships operating. It would be an inexpensive way to ensure the continuance of a small Canadian merchant fleet as a complement to the navy, which is part of our defensive armoury, and the expense should be treated as such. In terms of the cost of the Royal Canadian Navy, this is a minor item. However, one hardly makes sense without the other. In terms of the total volume of world shipping, it is not a major cost factor.

I am in sympathy with the government's unwillingness to limit the capacity of other countries to earn dollars, yet this is not an ordinary commodity for the reasons referred to. The volume of trade affected would not seriously affect the earning capacity of foreign shipping companies. In the foregoing, reference was made to the high cost of ship construction in Canada. The wages in the transportation equipment industry are undoubtedly high. Just think what it would mean if the shipbuilding industry received a subsidy proportionate to the duty on automobiles imported from the United States, and is there any reason why they should not? The backbone of sea power is not the battleship or the aircraft carrier but the humble, peaceful merchant ship. Sink these merchant ships and our powerful battle fleets would

never be able to leave harbour. All the airliners which zoom over the Atlantic would be grounded were it not for the plodding tankers which they pass en route. The loss of our merchant marine would reduce us to the status of a second-rate nation depending on other countries for our protection, for we would control no means of supplying our forces overseas or of conveying our saleable goods to their markets.

I should like to bring before the house and the government two matters which in a sense have a personal flavour, but which are in fact important to the proper representation of the people in the House of Commons.

First, the matter of office accommodation has bothered me greatly since I came here in 1950. I find myself in hearty agreement with the words of the hon. member for Simcoe North (Mr. Ferguson) speaking in the house last year, when he described as scandalous the office conditions that the people's representatives are asked to put up with in the House of Commons. During last session I shared an office with one of the most able and industrious members in the house. A better personal relationship could hardly be found, but I am sure he shares my sentiments in regard to the conditions that prevail. Between visitors, telephone calls, and delegations visiting one or other of us, not to mention office routine, concentrated thought was out of the question in a normal working day. That meant, in addition to the 9 a.m. to midnight round of activities, one had to find additional time to do work which had to be done in comparative quiet. Under these conditions it is virtually impossible to give proper service to a constituency and especially when that constituency is the largest in Canada and naturally, you will all agree, the most important.

The second problem, which is of particular moment because of the location of Ottawa in relation to Halifax, is the time required in travelling. I am sure those who live considerable distances from Ottawa, both east and west, must find this a hardship. I believe it would be in the public interest for the government to provide for transportation by air for members while the house is in session. Travelling by plane on passes should cover only journeys between Ottawa and one's constituency and should perhaps be limited to the period when the house is in session.

Mr. Speaker, one of the special problems concerning the people of our constituency, by virtue of its strategic position, is civil defence. Halifax city, Dartmouth and the surrounding communities constitute a target area. This has been recognized, and special 83276-12

The Address-Mr. Balcom efforts have been made toward civil defence. The city has a civil defence co-ordinator, and a great deal of useful work has been done in Halifax, but at considerable expense to the city.

Disaster is no respecter of city or municipal boundaries. The,need for protection extends to the congested suburban areas, and even beyond. But those communities are not in a position either to operate or to finance an efficient civil defence service. The federal government has gone some distance in recognizing the national character of the problem, but has not gone far enough. Success of the civil defence program depends upon widespread public interest and support. For, as the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) has said, voluntary effort is its real foundation. This voluntary effort must be translated into action on a community basis.

Many of the elements of an adequate program are services which are the responsibility of local government-services such as health welfare and protection. The province, too, provides facilities such as highways and traffic control, which are part of the pattern. It is proper that the responsibility for these should remain where it is, and for the overwhelming majority of communities the extension and co-ordination of these are adequate for any likely eventuality.

But what of the target zones, where extraordinary precautions have to be taken? In the Halifax-Dartmouth area the civilian population is subjected to more than ordinary wartime hazards. Witness the explosion in the harbour in 1917, when some 2,300 people were killed; and again at the Bedford magazine in 1945. Should not protection from such catastrophes be more than local or provincial responsibilities? I would strongly urge the government to make provision for the special needs of target areas, without requiring equal financial participation of provinces or municipalities. Such arrangements would involve co-ordination by federal authority of the services of all three governments, as well as the marshalling of the voluntary effort.

It seems sensible, from a practical standpoint, as well as in terms of moral responsibility, to establish the civil defence program for these target areas on the basis on which it will operate-that is, in conjunction with the military arm. A considerable financial obligation would thereby be removed from the local and provincial governments, an obligation which in five provinces has apparently gone by default, with a consequent absence of provision for catastrophe in these

The Address

Mr. Balcom

areas. Of course the federal government has decided that these strategic points are important to the whole nation.

These are times for preparedness in order to prevent total war. As King George VI said to the British people at the time of the war of 1939-45, "Everyone is in the front line in total war." Civil defence is just as much a part of total war as the army, the navy and the air force, ships, tanks, shells or guns. It is an anachronism that seeks to make any form or part of a defence system the responsibility of a collection of local authorities.

We have a national civil defence coordinator. Why, then, do we go on relying upon numerous local authorities to set up and conduct their own schemes under the national co-ordinator, when defence of all kinds is national in scope? We have tried piecemeal methods in connection with the old age pensions scheme, but it did not work well, and we finally went over to a wholly national scheme. And if this is desirable in the field of social services, how much more desirable-how much more imperative -is it where the very safety of the nation is involved?

Mr. Speaker, in the field of transportation, the auxiliary services are all important in attracting business. In Halifax, where transportation and related services are the very lifeblood of our business life, there are several very obvious shortcomings. They are all functions of the Canadian National Railways.

In my first speech in this house I urged extension of the Nova Scotian hotel to provide an additional 100 rooms. It is not necessary for me to point out the personal inconvenience, yes the hardships, and the restrictive effects on many kinds of business which result from inadequate hotel accommodation. I would point out that many of those seeking hotel services are patrons of the railway, of the Canadian National Steamships or the Trans-Canada Air Lines. It would surely be good business to provide adequate hotel space in order to promote the use of the travel facilities, all of which are publicly owned.

In applying the word inadequate to the Nova Scotian, I am not reflecting in any way upon the staff or the services given. The facilities are excellent as far as they go, but the hotel just has not enough guest rooms.

The story is quite different with the Canadian National baggage and express sheds which adjoin the station. These wooden buildings which were constructed about the time of the first world war are

now inefficient and unsuitable. They are unsightly and a potential fire menace. The face-lifting job which I hope will not be put off too long should include hard-surfacing the remaining part of the square in front of these buildings.

There are, in addition, several public projects for Halifax for which the time is now ripe. The customs building has been judged beyond repair by the Department of Public Works. The plan to renovate it to meet present-day needs has been shelved, and we hope that this site will be used in the near future.

Decision on a new public building has been long pending. Now that the heavy defence construction in the area is well under way and the construction industry is no longer extended, the reasons for further postponement can no longer hold. I hope we can look for action on this matter in the immediate future.

There is another project in the Halifax area which I want to see go forward, and that is the provision of a permanent building suitable for army headquarters. Appropriate accommodation has now been provided for the navy and the air force, but the army quarters, while much improved in appearance, are still in temporary buildings.

Unfortunately, but necessarily, we have to spend public money for defence; preparedness must be a part of our national life at present and in the foreseeable future. To house army headquarters in temporary buildings is quite sensible for an emergency period when our available resources have to be carefully rationed. But with the passage of time the cost of maintaining and repairing such buildings increases. From a business standpoint it becomes uneconomic to continue on such a basis. I submit that the time has come for the provision of a suitable permanent building for the army headquarters. It will provide a nucleus for expansion should the time come, God forbid, when hasty expansion is required.

Of course, our great desire is to make Halifax the No. 1 port on the Atlantic coast, equipped with all the facilities for handling the shipping of the world-surpassing Montreal and rivalling even New York. Halifax is up and coming but we want it to go further than that-we want it to arrive!

Today, one of the most important facilities we need is a modern airport. And we are able to say that the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) has indicated that such will be established in Halifax. We only hope that it will be in the near future, for to be really

a first-class port we need an airport other than that used by the military services.

Mr. Speaker, during the last session of parliament there was a great deal of criticism of the defence services for extravagance and waste. It is apparent from the election results that most of these charges were without real foundation. Many of them were vague and lacking in constructive suggestions for improvement. They deserve the oblivion which was their fate.

But we would be very unwise to assume that we have the best of all possible worlds, in our own defence expenditures, any more than in all aspects of our business life, both public and private.

We are all painfully aware of the high cost of medical services. Further, the demand for such services is so great that economy in their use is essential. Moreover, we all feel that every Canadian should have the best health care possible. In particular, our service personnel must be assured of the best available medical services, in peace or in war, either in preparation for combat duty or in treatment after injury, or sickness. This is demanded not only for humanitarian reasons; it is vital for morale as well.

I suggest that a more efficient and effective organization of our medical services is possible. Why should the army, navy and air force be in competition with one another in the medical field? With the specialized training required and the relatively limited personnel in terms of numbers, would it not be more sensible to have a single corps serve the three forces? Thereby you would have a more intimate, and a broader, opinion from the knowledge of the combined medical brains.

The dental services are already consolidated. So why not follow their example in the medical corps? A limited sharing of hospital facilities takes place now but this process could go further if the medical services, both doctors and nurses, were unified too. In my opinion, this is one branch where the same or better services could be obtained at less cost to the taxpayer.

I would like to speak for a moment on the matter of immigrants coming to Canada from England to take up permanent residence. I, with many others, feel that some consideration should be given to British subjects on the question of our Canadian old age pension. As British subjects coming to Canada, they should not be subject to the rule of twenty years' residence before they are entitled to the pension.

The application of this restrictive clause puts immigrants coming to us from the

83276-12i

The Address-Mr. Balcom British Isles on the same basis with those coming from foreign countries such as Germany, Holland, Czechoslovakia. I do not single these countries out particularly. I want to mention some. I submit that this clause should not apply to the British Isles people, subjects of Her Majesty, citizens of the commonwealth.

And then again I would like to draw to your attention the fact that English immigrants have been contributing to the pension scheme in vogue in the old country, but they have to forfeit that on leaving. In my humble opinion some sort of recognition should be in effect to create a continuity of pensionable years. It seems to me that this is the least we could do for these people.

I would like to mention also the question of post-war credits in England which almost everyone holds. These are not payable until 65 years of age. This, therefore, prevents many people from coming to Canada. If these post-war credits were released by the British government to persons emigrating to Canada, it would be a great assistance towards passage money. And I am suggesting to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration that the officials give this matter serious consideration and endeavour to arrange with the British government for the release of these credits.

Mr. Speaker, although this government has done much in the field of health, welfare and pensions, there are still groups that appear to have been forgotten over the years and who now should be given sympathetic consideration. I shall refer to only some of those who are affected, such as retired government employees, and this would include Canadian National staff who retired ten, fifteen years ago on a pension as low as $25 per month.

This just should not be, and some arrangement should be made to bring these payments up to a point commensurate with the present-day cost of living. The same situation exists with service personnel of the navy and army who retired with a pension that is completely out of line today. To be specific, I would mention the case of a major, retired on an earned pension of $75 per month about fifteen years ago, who is expected to live on that at present-day costs. Today a major retiring under the same terms of service would receive practically four times that.

This brings me into the matter of superannuation. We appreciate that every eventuality cannot be provided for, but I would respectfully suggest that somewhere along the line the old department of veterans affairs employees, or department of soldiers civil re-establishment of 1919 and 1924, have a grievance that should be righted. It appears

The Address-Mr. Balcom that a number of civil servants who have been employed, since 1919 and 1924, in the department of pensions and national health and soldier settlement board of Canada were granted permanency. But later these permanent certificates of employment were withdrawn, and again later reinstated. But the delay in reinstatement penalized these same employees from benefiting under part II of the superannuation act.

Under this superannuation act, the amount of an employee's superannuation is based on the annual average salary received by him during his last ten years of service. The act covering employees in the public service of Canada should, in fairness to these men who have worked faithfully and well, serving with the veterans of two world wars, be amended in order to give the benefit of superannuation, calculated on the average annual salary received by them during their last five years of service. We hope that all members will agree with this proposal and give it their support so that the minister may show justification for action he may consider taking.

And while speaking of the benefits to the Canadian people, I would like to see the five-day week, which has already been granted to the administrative staffs of the civil service, extended to those employees of the civil service excluded from the original order. I do not believe that you can make flesh of one and fish of another.

If one may judge by the statement of the parliamentary assistant to the Postmaster General, they are doing this in the Post Office Department and I should like to see it in other services.

Since we have a Minister of National Health and Welfare who is so conscious of the needs of the blind, the sick and the disabled, it was more or less expected that he would propose further legislation for assistance to totally disabled persons. I had hoped though that the federal authority would pay the full shot in this case, and thus relieve the provinces-particularly was I thinking of the maritime provinces-from this burden. We should remember that some of the provinces, including Nova Scotia, are carrying as heavy a load as it is possible for them to finance.

We have received information in the house this week that the cash income of the prairie farmers from the Canadian wheat board for wheat, oats and barley for the calendar year 1953 will be around $1,104 million-the highest cash income ever enjoyed by the farmers of western Canada.

To support this statement I should like to read from the Daily Bulletin of Wednesday, November 18, put out by the dominion bureau of statistics:

All regions had increased sales in the nine-month period-

That is retail sales.

-but for September moderate declines were recorded in the Atlantic provinces, Alberta and British Columbia. Saskatchewan had the largest percentage increase over last year both in the nine-month period and September, the former rising 9-5 per cent and the latter 9-7 per cent;

What a healthy state that is for anyone to be in!

Since the opening of the house, and it is a repetition of other years, we have heard of practically nothing but wheat and the alleged precarious position of the wheat farmer.

I wish the fishermen and coal miners in Nova Scotia were in the happy position of the western farmer. One thing that amazes me is that with such a glut of wheat on Canadian and world markets the price does not come down as it would if any other commodity were in surplus supply to the present needs of the people. With the price of wheat down it would be expected to be reflected in the price of bread to the public.

Were the market glutted with fish, even to the extent of one or two shiploads, the price would immediately react to the producer, the fisherman and the latter might not be able to sell his products. Not only that, he might have to take it out and dump it, but not as the western farmer dumps his wheat and then goes back in the spring and picks it up undamaged and receives a good price for it. No, the fisherman would sustain a total loss. The fisherman has a most perishable commodity to market. There are no cold storage plants at our doors as the farmers have elevators all over the country. I want to say that I have great sympathy for the farmers because I know they work very hard, but they do have these facilities which are not available to the fisherman.

When it comes to price there is no comparison in the basic production prices. Wheat prices have been at the dollar level while fish prices have been away down in the penny class. You can understand what I mean when I say that a fisherman has to sell 18 herring to buy a loaf of bread, 120 herring to buy a pound of coffee, and 175 herring to buy a pound of twine. If the inshore fisherman who relies on fishing for a living were to be so ambitious as to aspire to the ownership of an automobile, St. Peter would have to be in the boat with him, at least in spirit, so he could catch enough fish to accumulate the wealth required to purchase it. You can

figure out how many fish would be required in order to be able to send to Windsor or Oshawa to purchase a car. But I suppose the fisherman can dream that some day he will reach those heights by changing from Atlantic fishing to western farming.

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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon-Souris):

Mr. Speaker, when I first entered this house in 1951 I did so as the member for Brandon constituency. At this time I return as the member for Brandon-Souris constituency, a situation resulting from the redistribution that became necessary following the 1951 census. In taking my place in this house for Canada's twenty-second parliament I am aware of the enlarged responsibilities that redistribution has brought about. Hon. members who have spent several years here will recall with affection the former member for Souris constituency, Colonel Art Ross. It is my responsibility to combine the work that he did during 13 years in the house with the work that I undertook formerly on behalf of Brandon constituency.

I am sure that hon. members will be glad to hear that Colonel Ross's talents in public affairs are not going to be wasted. I believe most hon. members are aware that he was successful in being elected a member of the Manitoba legislature for the constituency of Arthur. Incidentally that was a gain for the official opposition in the Manitoba legislature. I feel sure that the talents and skill in debate displayed in this chamber will stand him in good stead as he takes his place in that legislature.

If I were to fully discharge my responsibility to him I would be making an extended address this afternoon in connection with the wheat situation on the prairies. However, that subject has been covered most thoroughly by several other speakers who represent the west and I shall come back to it only if I have time at the end of my general discussion this afternoon.

In congratulating you, Mr. Speaker, I do so in more than a formal and perfunctory way. As a young member of this house I always felt that you were trying to put me at ease by at least seeming to take an intelligent interest in what I was trying to say. Sometimes when you look around this chamber you find it not too well populated and you wonder whether your remarks are being absorbed by anyone. Therefore it is always encouraging to see an intelligent gleam from the Speaker's eye.

In mentioning the mover (Mr. Holling-worth) and the seconder (Mr. Villeneuve) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne may I say that I was impressed with the youthfulness of both these hon. members.

The Address-Mr. Dinsdale I think it is encouraging as we look around this chamber during the first session of our new parliament to find younger members in all the parties.

A young man who takes it upon himself to enter public service as a member of the House of Commons finds certain peculiar problems confronting him. He must face certain handicaps in connection with his family, his professional ambitions and so forth. I feel that hitherto these have been a deterrent to many younger citizens of this country entering public service. I am hoping that as modern air transportation and other rapid means of transportation and communication become more readily available their use will be extended to members of parliament, particularly those from the farther western points or the maritimes, so that they may be able to overcome some of these difficulties and be in a position to more effectively represent their constituencies.

I admired the confidence of the mover and seconder of the address in reply but I suppose it is fairly easy to strike a note of confidence when you are returned to this house as a member of the majority party, particularly when that party has been returned once again with an unfortunately overwhelming majority. I say "unfortunately", and I shall enlarge upon that after I have dealt generally with the situation that confronts us.

Notwithstanding that majority I sense an underlying uneasiness on the part of those on the government benches. That is a healthy and wholesome sign in a democracy because it is at least a recognition that they are aware of the tremendous responsibilities they are carrying at this time.

I have taken part in three throne speech debates. The last time I spoke in a debate of this kind I was looking forward to what I referred to then as the day of deliverance. It did appear as if the unbalanced situation that has prevailed in our Canadian House of Commons for the past four or five years was about to be corrected. There was a growing dissatisfaction across the country concerning many matters-the inevitable problems that arise when one party has been in power too long and with too large a majority. Those issues were hashed and rehashed during the campaign, as they had been discussed in this house: the increasing cost of government, increasing taxation, increasing government control and complexity of government, the tendency towards government by decree and order in council rather than by parliament. Those things are bound to occur in any democratic form of government when one group holds power too long. Notwithstanding the dissatisfaotion

The Address-Mr. Dinsdale that seemed to be rising in the country just prior to the election, we are back just where we started from on prorogation last summer.

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?

An hon. Member:

Good.

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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dinsdale:

Someone says, "Good",

but that depends on where you sit. I hope to analyse the situation a little further and present my viewpoint on it. As I went through the recent election I got the impression that Canada was enjoying what some might call midsummer madness; because we were going through a very important election and yet a very small part of the population seemed to be aware of the vital issues at stake. There seemed to be prevailing a holiday mood. I think some hon. members were themselves in a holiday mood and failed to return to this chamber through negligence on their part. There seemed to be an increase in the feeling of apathy that besets all levels of government in these very complex and confusing days. We see that apathy in municipal affairs, in provincial affairs and in federal affairs. We find in municipal affairs that year after year councils, school boards, reeves and mayors are returned by acclamation because of the lack of interest on the part of a large section of the population. I do not think we need remind citizens in a democracy that the apathy and the apathist are far more dangerous to the well-being of democracy than are communists and similar positive threats to our way of life.

Perhaps it was inevitable that the situation should exist because we are enjoying an unprecedented period of what I would term artificial prosperity on this continent. 1 use the phrase "artificial prosperity" because, compared to most other nations of the world, with the exception perhaps of our neighbour to the south, we are enjoying the highest standard of living that mankind in any nation at any time in history has ever enjoyed. That, of course, is due to many factors but mainly because Canada came out of world war II practically unscarred physically, and with a growing industrial potential. On the other hand, European and some Asiatic countries, particularly Japan, were badly devastated by the effects of the second world war. We enjoyed an unlimited demand for goods of all kinds; as the phrase has it, we enjoyed the position of a sellers' market. Moreover, and we hardly realized it at the time, although we are quite aware of it now, North America had become the centre of world influence and Canada was of necessity drawn into the orbit by the pull of the new position of the United States in world affairs. Our experience in international affairs before the war was not one that was worthy of any

degree of credit. In fact, Canada had hardly been aware of its international responsibility up until 1939

and even then there was some reluctance, as the history of those days reveals, for the government to commit itself wholeheartedly in the initial days of the crisis. Today, however, we have been precipitated into the stream of world events because of more or less accidental circumstances. Certainly, we should not take too much credit for all this as it is due to the isolated position of the North American continent in relation to the trouble spots of the world, and to the fact that we have here the richest resources of all kinds of any country in the world.

Our government has been stressing that material prosperity. It was used in the campaign, or at least in my particular corner, as one of the trump cards-that things were never better. I would like to emphasize this afternoon that I feel that we are putting too much stress on material well-being at the sacrifice of such things as the maintenance of democratic balance and responsible government.

There is another point that emerges from the situation that faced us at the election, and I refer to the matter of disfranchisement. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) raised the matter the other day in a question and the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) replied that he was aware of no situation of that kind. Well, I received several protests during the campaign and I think that this is an appropriate time to mention them in the house. I received, for example, a protest from the students attending the summer school at the University of Manitoba. They were not able to exercise their franchise because no special provision was established for them during this midsummer madness election. They, together with the director of the school, in no uncertain terms suggested that I make reference to it when I had opportunity. They are largely a group of school teachers who return for summer study in order to improve their teaching qualifications. As such they constituted a very important part of the electorate and they were very unhappy about the situation. Not only do they constitute a very important part of the electorate but usually they are very active and vocal in political campaigns. They were taken out of circulation because of the summer election.

On that point I would just like to say in conclusion that during the summer holiday period today we cannot undertake matters of major importance. We do not run our community chest campaigns during the summer. We do not conduct anything of importance

during the summer holidays in this mechanized, industrialized era. I think, therefore, that we should avoid a repetition of what took place-a repetition of this midsummer madness-even though it means the possibility of a threat to this overwhelming majority that we will have to put up with in this house for the next few years. I am glad to see that the hon. member for York West (Mr. Adamson) has placed a resolution on the order paper that makes some concrete suggestions about this particular problem.

I am sure that if the election had come this fall, for example, when the people of Canada had awakened to their responsibilities, and when the new economic situations had taken shape, the result would have been much different and we would have had a much healthier political state of affairs in the country.

I deal with this subject because I feel that something is happening to our parliamentary system. We in the House of Commons are actually too close to the situation to see it happening; we cannot see the woods for the trees. But there are many authorities in the field who are wringing their hands and are wondering what is to become of parliamentary democracy. The hon. member for Bumaby-Coquitlam (Mr. Regier) made some reference to it in his remarks, and I was quite interested in what he said. A recent book published under the title of "The Passing of Parliament"-I have forgotten the name of the author-deals with this sobering problem and the fate of our parliamentary system. Recently at the University of Toronto, Lady Violet Carter, who was delivering the Sir Robert Falconer lectures, among many remarks said something to the effect that parliamentary government is being replaced by party government. I feel that this statement applies particularly to Canada at the present time where we have had one party in power continuously for 18 years, with only a brief break in between; and by the time the record of this twenty-second parliament is completed, it will have completed 22 years. Our Canadian political situation has become confused by an excess of compromise and political expediency.

I recall that yesterday the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) got on to this point briefly. He was trying to discover whether the present majority party in the house was socialistic or whether it was Liberal, and no one could quite come to a conclusion as to its proper designation because it has been watered down by long years of compromise and political expediency. This has serious

The Address-Mr. Dinsdale implications, I feel, for public affairs and for our parliamentary system in Canada.

Canada has a special difficulty confronting it as a federal state. We have always been faced with the problem of maintaining federal unity in the face of diversity. This problem always comes up during elections. Some say the Conservative party contributes to disunity and maintain that the Liberal party contributes to unity. Of course, that is the opinion of Liberal spokesmen. During my campaign I had several episodes of this kind that disturbed me because I do not think it is in the best interests of confederation in this country. We had an advertisement that appeared in all my weekly papers as follows:

Manitoba now receives $23 million yearly under the dominion tax agreement. Drew would scrap this to fatten the money bags of Ontario and Quebec. Dare we take a chance? . . . Vote Liberal.

That is the old technique of dividing one section against another and actually it is as dead as the dodo because very few of us in the west now look upon either Ontario or Quebec as the big bad wolf, as the westerners used to do back in the 1920's or perhaps back in the period 1910 to 1920; but it still keeps coming up, and in some sections of our western provinces it has serious 'effects during an election. It is that sort of thing that has resulted partly in the unfortunate splintering on the prairies, where we have each one of our prairie provinces split among the four political parties in this country.

I again was interested in the phrase and the words that were used by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam when he referred to the necessity of consolidation in this country politically. I think that is one of the urgent necessities if we are going to continue to realize the great potential of Canada in the modern world and if we are going to move towards increasing national unity rather than be divided up as we have been, particularly since the depression.

It is unfortunate that there is a tendency for political parties to get hived up in certain sections. We are reaching a stage in Canada where we have a different political party for almost each province. I think it is especially unfortunate that the majority party in this house has 111 of its seats from the two central provinces. The Liberal party has not been getting a very good reception out west in recent years, and the reasons for that are all too obvious. That might be the reason for the disappearance of the red ties among the Liberal ranks. You were not in the house, Mr. Speaker, when that phrase was used, but most of what they used to call "the ginger group" among the Liberals came from

The Address-Mr. Dinsdale the prairies, the home of those wild and woolly westerners. There are not too many of them in the Liberal ranks at the moment. It is an unfortunate thing because it seems to suggest that political power in this country tends to concentrate in the more populous, more wealthy and more powerful provinces. I say that it will be a happy day when this consolidation does take place and when we have a two-party system that embraces a broad cross-section of national interest and not any particular sectional interest. After all, democracy is compromise. I look forward to that development even in the next four years in Canada.

Our general problem-that is, the general problem that I briefly referred to-has been aggravated by the general confusion of this twentieth century of ours which began on a wave of bright promise but which, as we stand here in mid-century, does not look too bright for the next fifty years. When the western world moved into the 1900's, into the twentieth century, everybody believed in inevitable progress towards perfection. We thought it was just a matter of time until we reached the golden age just around the corner. All sorts of ideas were abroad in the world. For example, Marxism, or scientific socialism as they sometimes called it, was making its impact in a practical way. Social Darwinism or, as it is sometimes called, social evolution was also becoming effective particularly among the universities, colleges and the intellectual leaders. It gave rise to a practical political movement known as Fabianism, which believed in the inevitability of gradualness. This is an old idea that every day in every way we are getting better and better. Those bright hopes have diminished and there is abroad in the world a wave of pessimism rather than a wave of optimism. I know that in my own short experience-if I may make a personal reference-I have come through three or four successive stages that are rather confusing, to say the least: First a war baby; then part of the flaming youth of the 1920's; then the forgotten generation of the depression; and finally the fighting generation of 1939 to 1949-and all that in the short space of two or three decades. These influences, which have affected all the young men and women who have been growing up in the modern world, have had their impact upon governments as well.

Because of the increasing confusion and uncertainty in the modern world people in the free world have tended to fall back more and more upon government controls, regulations, and coercion. I have often heard the late Dr. Innis, that outstanding economist

from the University of Toronto, use the phrase that periods of disturbance economically always result in appeals to force and coercion. Certainly the political record since the twenties has demonstrated the truth of that statement. Growing out of this confusion there have been all sorts of new social movements, political movements and religious movements, each one in its own way promising to solve all the problems that are confronting us and bringing in the new Jerusalem by its own particular form of panacea. Political movements have tended towards materialistic emphasis because in the twentieth century the emphasis is on materialism, and political parties have usually oversimplified the problems by suggesting that some economic manipulation would usher in the golden age.

In some cases there has been a confusion of religion and politics in political groups. In fact, it is hard in some European countries where political movements have grown up to say whether they are religious movements or whether they are political movements. I think it is rather dangerous when politicians in a democracy take themselves too seriously and begin to think that they hold the solution for all the problems; that they are infallible and everybody else is all wrong. That is a heresy that is not in the best interests of the democratic form of government, because the democrat must always take into consideration the possibility that he may be wrong and by means of discussion, negotiation and so forth arrive at some common basis of action and understanding.

All this leads to the super-state. The resulting loss of faith in our other basic social institutions in a free society has resulted in an increasing dependence by the individual citizen upon a paternalistic and all-powerful government. This is the situation I feel that emerges out of our recent unfortunate election, and this is not just sour grapes. I do not just speak from a partisan viewpoint. I believe it is an unfortunate situation because as I interpreted the political pulse before the election there was a movement of protest afoot, and it could have come to fruition. I am sure the common sense of the people of this country would have ushered in a more balanced democratic state of affairs had they really been given a chance.

Some of the leaders of the Liberal party are aware of these developments and they are sensitive on the point; quite self-conscious about it. The Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), for example, speaking on October 12 at the Montreal shoe and leather fair, had this to say:

It certainly will be the practice of any government with which I am associated that, except in

grave emergencies such as total war when all national resources have been marshalled for survival, government should not interfere in the affairs of business so long as it is operating legally and performing a public service.

The minister of external affairs also, speaking last March at the 25th anniversary of Yorkminster church in Toronto, had this to say, according to a press dispatch:

. . . 'the combination of reliance on the all-powerful state and a passion for material progress may become as great a menace to our future as Russia's 175 divisions.'

He spoke out against the tendency to 'become more and more accustomed to lean on' the government and called on the churches to emphasize the moral worth and value of the individual as a counter-balance.

And of course we have that classical expression from the dean of the Liberal party, the hon. member for Quebec South, which, I imagine, has been quoted many times, when he referred to the office-holding mania of the party now in power in this house. He said that the traditional party for progress and reform had gone right off the track and was travelling in the ditch of expediency and improvisation. What it required was a rebirth and resurgence of liberalism and a clear re-statement of its principles.

That was said in 1947. This situation has not developed overnight. It is one that has been developing slowly since the thirties in this country.

These statements, particularly the statement by the Prime Minister and the minister of external affairs, would tend to suggest that the Liberal party is trying to become conservative by evolution rather than by election, and I submit, Mr. Speaker, that this cannot be done. In this case the leopard cannot change its spots. Only a change in administration can accomplish the desired end. It is possible to move forward towards what has been described in this chamber as socialism, or nationalism or state socialism; but a political party cannot juggle indefinitely in the middle of the political highway in order to catch the prevailing tide of public opinion. I suggest that only a change in administration can bring this very necessary state of affairs to pass in this country. I would re-echo the words of the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam, when he said it was high time that this country returned to a strong two-party system because it was the only basis upon which our British parliamentary institutions can operate successfully.

Speaking directly now to the resolution by the leader of this party, I feel that he highlights this situation when he says, as appears at page 43 of Hansard dated November 16, 1953:

The Address-Mr. Dinsdale

We respectfully represent to Your Excellency that the welfare of Canada is dependent upon free competition; and that the prosperity and security of all Canadians will be advanced by government policies which will restore markets for primary products and generally promote a high volume of international trade.

I know that will be misunderstood in certain quarters as depreciating the new emphasis upon social responsibility in our twentieth century world, but I think that it does highlight one of the major problems and indicates a retreat from statism. I think most hon. members in this house will agree with me that governments can become too big, too powerful and too successful for their own good as well as for the good of the country. After all, big government is much more dangerous to freedom than so-called big business or big labour, for that matter.

I do not know whether I should give another quotation at this time. The hon. member for Eglinton hit this point yesterday, though I do not know if he hit it heavily enough, when he mentioned a particular emphasis in a particular constituency for the sake of political advantage. This came over my local radio station during the campaign *on July 28, 1953:

Have you thought of what it has cost the Brandon-Souris constituency to have an opposition member in Ottawa?

Well, in terms of indemnity it does not cost very much, as I am discovering. Going back to the quote:

The businessmen of Brandon, Souris, Virden, Killarney, Boissevain, Deloraine and Melita and other towns have felt the costs. When a Liberal represented Brandon, our skilled workmen found ready employment in government projects throughout this constituency.

We have seen Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie benefit by government projects. These cities had spokesmen in Ottawa on the government side of the house. Brandon-Souris languished because we had an opposition member.

Then, skipping part of this, I continue:

Consider the high cost of opposition representation at Ottawa, when you mark your ballot on August 10. If we are to share in large government projects, we must send a government member to Ottawa.

That actually came over the air, and it highlights most forcefully the state of affairs with which I have been trying to deal briefly this afternoon. Man in spite of himself becomes impressed with his own importance. If we carried the implication of that statement to its logical conclusion it would of course mean a one-party state, with no one other than a government member elected. And I am sure no member even on the government side of the house wishes to have that.

Turning again to the amendment of the Progressive Conservative party, I believe there

The Address-Mr. Leboe will be a tendency to misrepresent it, to emphasize the phrase "free competition" as a return to principles of dog-eat-dog, every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost. In anticipation of that argument I would emphasize that every party in the house, every group in society is now aware of the new social responsibilities in the modem world. This does not apply to political parties only, but has a wider application embracing service clubs which have developed in the last twenty or thirty years. It also applies to industry, which now recognizes its social responsibilities.

We have a new profession in the social worker, as a result of the new social order that has evolved from the industrial revolution. The record of the party to which I belong is, both provincially and federally, second to none in its recognition of social responsibilities in modern society.

The time at my disposal has almost expired. I should like to say in closing that I think the late member for Peel, for whom I had the most profound admiration, hit the nail squarely on the head, and in a very simple and kindly way, as was his custom. Speaking to me one day, he told me about an experience he had bad at the United Nations, when it was his privilege to meet one of the members of the Russian delegation. He was introduced by our Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) as a member of the opposition in the Canadian House of Commons. The late Mr. Graydon, in his usual penetrating style, ended the conversation abruptly by asking the member of the Russian delegation if he, Mr. Graydon, could be introduced to some of the members of the Russian opposition.

That is the situation we want to avoid in this country. And, of course, we will avoid it as the good sense of the Canadian public is aroused. I hope that through the discussions in the forthcoming sessions of the twenty-second parliament the political consciousness of the public of Canada will be awakened, and that four years hence we will see the dawn of the day of deliverance long past due.

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Bert Raymond Leboe

Social Credit

Mr. B. R. Leboe (Cariboo):

Mr. Speaker, first of all I should like, as other members have done, to congratulate you upon your election to the very important office of Speaker of the house. We are certain you will discharge your duties well, as you have done thus far. We are certain, too, that you will receive the appreciation of each and every one of us at the close of your term of office. It gives us pleasure to note that you have accepted this highly responsible position.

Now, I do not expect to take up the whole of the forty minutes allotted to me this afternoon. As a new member, and this being the first time I have been privileged to speak in the house, I hope that, in common with other new members, I shall find my place in the deliberations, and that I shall be able to serve the people back in the electoral district of Cariboo as well as the people of British Columbia and of Canada as a whole. I do feel certain however that the people of British Columbia, and more particularly those of Skeena, are not going to be flattered by the remarks of the hon. member from that electoral district. To say the people of British Columbia have gone rather "wacky", and thus imply temporary insanity because they do not agree with the hon. member's politics, is to insult the intelligence of the people of that great area. I think they were exercising their democratic right when they went to the polls and did as they did, removing from office a government that had been guilty of very bad rule.

The hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Apple-whaite) talks like one of those old-time politicians.

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?

An hon. Member:

He is.

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Bert Raymond Leboe

Social Credit

Mr. Leboe:

I hear someone say that he is, although I cannot vouch for that point. However, I remember well, back in the years around 1935, when the Social Credit government took over in Alberta. Those people were the ones who said that grass would grow in the streets of the cities, the capital would leave Alberta, and that there would be a general depression throughout the province. Yes, people would even wager that within a year's time there would be no such thing as an Alberta government, with those supporting Social Credit principles forming it.

Well, eighteen years have gone by, and I think I can say without successful contradiction that the Social Credit government in Alberta in the last election returned to power with the greatest over-all vote it ever enjoyed. These are things of which the people might well take note. The administration of public affairs in Alberta is as the people want it; it is what they desire, and it is what we will eventually have.

I was neither concerned nor impressed with the remarks of the hon. member for Skeena when he cast reflection upon the people of British Columbia. The day is not too far distant when we will be sufficiently well organized, and with an educational program available to us to give the people of Canada the opportunity to learn for themselves that we have a practical solution to

our greatest problems. We will place men and women in nomination across Canada offering the alternative which will seal the fate of the party now in power in Canada, just as surely as the voters have sealed the fate of the self-same party provincially in most of the provinces of Canada.

Pre-election spending, which is merely placing the real nature of things in a more favourable light, will not, in my humble opinion, fool the people of Canada very long.

As soon as Canadians realize that in our movement they have a bona fide alternative, there will be a change of government in Canada, and we will provide that alternative on the basis of-get this-a positive program of policies based on truth, and free of patronage.

I have been told by many people in my riding that my riding would be sadly neglected by this government by reason of the fact that I do not sit with the government. As a matter of fact, I noticed that in some of the advertisements that were published during our federal campaign. This point of view, I am certain, will prove unfounded. Certainly, since after a member is elected he is presumed, in the best tradition of democracy, to represent all of the people of his electoral district without fear, favour or regard to political views, one would hardly expect the polite hard-luck story from any department with respect to any real need that should be met in that particular district. We do hope that those who suspect this government would favour districts with members elected to the government and disregard the needs of those districts who elected members now sitting in the opposition are entirely wrong, and that events will show that we still have a government of all the people, even if they should fail to govern well.

Perhaps there are some here who do not realize the size of some of these northern electoral districts and the need for assistance in air travel to serve the area adequately. The distance from the southern boundary of the Cariboo riding to the northern boundary is about the same as from Ottawa to Fort William, and if you want to go east it is the same distance as from Ottawa to the northern point of Nova Scotia. That is one riding. I may say that that riding cannot be covered by railway, because the railway is not there-I hope it will be there some day. I feel that we should have some sort of equalization of expense money or some other means adequately to compensate these great distances that people have to travel in these northern ridings. The people are just as important at the very far north of the riding as they are in the south.

The Address-Mr. Leboe

One fellow told me he had a riding every part of which he could reach within ten minutes from one point. I have a riding that is over 1,000 miles from south to north, and I have an expense account of $2,000 and a pass on a railway that does not exist. Some people may think that is funny; but to those people who certainly want to do a job in looking after their riding let me say it is no joke. This proposition of air travel will come up perhaps at a later stage in the session and we are going to be looking forward to a little assistance for those coming from Alberta and from the British Columbia area especially.

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LIB

Tom Goode

Liberal

Mr. Goode:

Will the hon. member permit a question?

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Bert Raymond Leboe

Social Credit

Mr. Leboe:

I am sorry; after six o'clock. We should keep in mind the distance from the coast of British Columbia to Ottawa and also to Newfoundland. It takes these people five days to get here by train, but they can fly over in a few hours. I think consideration should be given to them in that respect.

I notice that the clock is getting on and I would ask you to call it six o'clock, Mr. Speaker.

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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I understand that the hon. member wishes to embark upon a different division of his speech.

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Bert Raymond Leboe

Social Credit

Mr. Leboe:

That is true, Mr. Speaker.

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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

And therefore he has asked at this time that I call it six o'clock. Is it agreed?

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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

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AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


SC

Bert Raymond Leboe

Social Credit

Mr. Leboe:

Mr. Speaker, I was quite

prepared to answer the question asked by the hon. member for Burnaby-Richmond (Mr. Goode), but I notice that the hon. member is not with us, so I shall proceed. Our people in the Cariboo have a great many needs. That is nothing unusual, but there are certain needs in some districts that are most vital not only to the well-being of the people in those districts but because of the part they play in national defence. I should like to mention a few of those needs tonight.

Our people, in the part of British Columbia which I represent, lack adequate telephone communications. Prince George is 265 miles distant from Dawson Creek and yet there is no telephone service between those two points. We often find when a highway is

The Address-Mr. Leboe newly constructed that a ribbon development occurs along the highway to take care of tourist traffic. The Hart highway is just such a highway. There is no telephone service for the ribbon development between Dawson Creek and Prince George.

Many of the telephone lines upon which the farmers in the district depend for communication in case of emergency and so on are in a bad state of repair. In my estimation, this should have been corrected a long time ago. However, I shall bring this matter to the attention of the various departments in due course with the necessary facts and figures in the hope that we will get somewhere.

Telephone service is most vital to many people in British Columbia, Alberta and throughout Canada, and proper telephone service can be most important for national defence purposes. While I am dealing with needs connected with defence I should like to refer to the fact that there is no highway through the Rocky mountains between the Kicking Horse pass at lake Louise and Pine pass west of Dawson Creek, a distance of some 600 miles. This is a situation which should be remedied at once. A highway west from Jasper, Alberta, to Prince George, British Columbia, would provide urgently needed protection for and access to the Pacific coast. As such a highway is most essential for successful defence I think it involves federal attention and action. I am sure that a casual glance at the map would convince every hon. member of this house that this highway is a "must".

This would also afford an opportunity to help out thousands of people while taking care of a dangerous situation in the event of a national emergency if war should involve the west coast of Canada. British Columbia, with only a population of 1,200,000, has as many miles of highway as the combined road mileages in the states of Washington, Oregon and the northern part of California. Many miles of these roads require rehabilitation and rebuilding in order to meet the demands put upon them, and it can readily be seen that a highway from Jasper west will have to take its place on the priority list from the provincial point of view. Because of the cost involved it may remain on that priority list for some years.

This highway would be an arterial transprovincial highway to the north. Since the federal government have arrogated to themselves such a large portion of the tax field it is felt strongly in the west, and no doubt in the central and eastern parts of Canada as well, that there should be federal participation in all highways classed as arterial. It

[Mr. Leboe.I

is hoped that the committee on northern development will study the situation carefully, and here I am making reference to Bill No. 6.

While I am speaking about highways I should like to direct the attention of the government to a situation which has arisen in my area largely because the people concerned used very poor judgment and failed to keep in mind the needs of the people. There is one thing in government which we should never forget, and1 that is the needs of the people. A ridiculous situation has arisen where the right of way of a provincial road has been taken over by the Department of National Defence. The department then built what they termed an access road on the same location. The old road, while not a first-class highway, was a usable and serviceable road. In its place today we find that we have a road on which two trucks cannot pass. May I repeat? The old road, while not a first-class highway, was a usable, serviceable road. In its place today we find that we have a road on which two trucks cannot pass.

It is apparent that in taking this action no regard has been had for the use of the taxpayers' money and to see that they got the most for their dollar. Why should the Department of National Defence put a 16-foot top on a road, simply because it suits the department's needs, and ruin the road for the use of the people?

While on this subject I should like to deal with another situation which is quite serious and which has to do with co-operation between the Department of National Defence, the Department of Public Works and the provincial government. I refer now to the piece of the Alaska highway between Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. That is a wonderful gravel road but the traffic is very heavy. During nine months of the year the people using this road must travel continually in a cloud of dust which creates a very dangerous situation. I cannot vouch for the figure, but I have been given to understand that the maintenance of the Alaska highway runs to between $8 million and $10 million a year. If the Department of National Defence and the provincial government would get together and black-top this road it would save money for the people of Canada as a whole and do away with a terrible hazard which now exists because of the amount of traffic going up and down the Alaska highway.

I do not know how many hon. members have travelled over the Alaska highway and witnessed the traffic there, but any who have will know what I am talking about.

It may surprise some hon. members of this house to know that Dawson Creek in my riding has the largest volume of grain received from the producers of any place in Canada, and I believe of any place on the continent. One would think that that was something of which we should be very proud. It may be, but the fact is that the reason for this situation is the dire need of more adequate railroad facilities in the country north of the Peace river.

The hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low) has brought before this house the need of a coast outlet for rail cargo. It seems incredible that transcontinental railroads could be built 30 years ago with what would be considered today to be obsolete machinery and at a time when there was a much smaller population, but now when we have modern machines and methods we seem to be horrified at the thought of having to build a comparatively few miles of railroad to bring relief to the Peace river area and aid in the development of an area so rich in natural resources. Surely it should not be necessary in this day and age to have grain, livestock and other commodities hauled by truck over 100 to 150 miles before reaching the railhead. Grain quotas in this district, which loads more grain than any other shipping point, must certainly add to the bottleneck.

I remember being in that area and hearing a farmer say-and, as a matter of fact, he said it to me: If 1 can only haul day and night now that the quota has been raised I will be able to get all my grain into the elevators before grain starts pouring in from north of the river. In other words, he was not concerned with what happened to the grain that came in from north of the river so long as he got his grain into the elevator. It could very well be that some of the people who would have to haul their grain from north of the river, from the large grain-producing area from north of the Peace, would not be able to put their grain in storage at Dawson Creek. It is a ridiculous situation if ever there was one.

Figures as to available tonnage and possible development which would result from the building of this rail outlet to the coast from present railheads in the Peace river area are known to our government and certainly warrant immediate action to see that what should have been done 25 years ago is done. Provision should be made for adequate rail facilities for the people of this part of Canada. The people in this part of the country need to get their supplies in and their products out to market.

I am not going to take very much longer, Mr. Speaker, but before I conclude, for the

The Address-Mr. Leboe benefit of some of those who are here, I would like to mention a few important points in the riding of Cariboo. I want to let you know that this is not a wilderness. It is not some place where Eskimos live. I have lived there for 35 years and I have never seen an Eskimo. As a matter of fact, people often ask me what kind of clothes I wear up there and I tell them that I wear the same kind of clothes at home as I do in Victoria. That surprises them because they think we have fur on our backs a foot thick up there.

The country is real country but it needs development. I think the government should take a forward step to provide some of the facilities for the development and not wait for the development and then say that they will do something about it. I think the government should show a little leadership in that respect. I was up at Fort Nelson not so long ago on a visit. It is only a small place but even there they have problems- wharving problems on the river. I noticed there a large installation for national defence purposes, but of the pieces of equipment in the very large heating plant I noticed that only the little blower that blows coal into the furnace was made in Vancouver. The rest of it was shipped in from Toronto. I know that these other things are made right in Vancouver and could have been purchased there. I imagine that Vancouver firms had a chance to bid and perhaps they should have made their bids a little lower, but I would like to see some Vancouver products in these places.

Some of you, I suppose, will know from reading about Fort St. John, and perhaps from being there, that it is going to develop into one of the greatest oil producing areas in Canada. As a matter of fact I have heard geologists say that the mother pool may well be found in the Fort St. John area of the Peace river district. These points all add up to the need for railroad facilities and a better understanding of required development in that particular part of the country.

In Pouce Coupe we find that the people have gone all out to provide themselves with a hospital. It was built largely through private donations and it is a real asset to that part of the country. Coming down to the southern part of the riding we have Quesnel, a lumbering town with a large plywood plant. It would not be fair for me to go on without mention of Wells and Barkerville, the gold mining area. I would like to call the attention of this house and the government to the historical value of the Barkerville area. Those historical assets should be looked into and

The Address-Mr. Leboe preserved. It is something that should have immediate attention and action on the part of the federal government in order to preserve the historical value of the old gold mining town of Barkerville.

The only elevator that we have in my district on the west side of the Rocky mountains is located at Vanderhoof. That town has become more and more of an agricultural community and it has to support it a great deal of lumbering in the surrounding area. Lumber comes in from Fort St. James and Stuart lake area where millions and millions of feet of virgin timber are yet to be harvested. At the east end of the riding, east of Prince George, we have the famous upper Fraser valley and the town of McBride. The most important centre and the hub of the northern interior part of the province of British Columbia is Prince George. Since I come from Prince George I am not going to say too much about it at this time. There will be other times, I hope, when I will be heard from regarding Prince George-and not without good reason.

In closing my remarks I just want to make one thing clear to this house. I was not under any illusion when I moved into politics. I was, with my brother, in partnership in a sound business. We were doing all right but I came to the conclusion that money was not everything in this world. I know that to lots of people it does mean everything, but I wish they would consider that one can eat only three meals a day, sleep in one bed at a time, occupy one seat at a time on an airplane or one berth on a train.

Hon. members of this house, you can only take so much out of life and I fear that the use of money today by some is not necessarily for security and the good things of life. To lots of people money means power which they can exercise over their fellow men. Mrs. Leboe is the one who is making the sacrifice. We have six children and they have to be looked after. Our children are our greatest asset and it is for that asset, the protection of their liberties, their right to make their own way in this world, that I am in politics today. I have forsaken a great part of the business I had back home in British Columbia and have come here with real purpose and real conviction.

As time goes on I hope not only that I can be of some benefit to the members of the Social Credit group but that I can be of some influence for the betterment of mankind. Let us give to the youth of Canada, the generations who are putting their trust in us, who are this day playing in the school yards throughout the country and are entering into life in a real way, the hope that some

day when they grow up to be men and women all is going to be well in Canada. I think we can do those things if we have a sincere conviction in this matter and remember, with regard to any money that we have over and above the amount we need, that while it is all very well to use it for security we should not use it to the detriment of mankind.

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LIB

Donald Ferguson Brown

Liberal

Mr. D. F. Brown (Essex West):

Mr Speaker, some have expressed the opinion in this house that we should not avail ourselves of the opportunity of expressing our congratulations to those who have performed services and attained an office of prominence. I am not one of those who subscribe to such views. I think that this debate permits each one of us, as members of this house, to express our thanks for work well done and also to express our congratulations on the services performed on our behalf in the past and on the positions attained today. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, may I congratulate you on your elevation to the position you now hold. It is the result of conscientious hard work on behalf of the members of this house over a period of time. With your courtesy, geniality and fairmindedness I am sure that we in this house will have reason to be extremely proud of the position which you hold and you will, I am sure, lend dignity to all of us. As an English-speaking member from the province of Ontario, I think we are doubly proud of the fact that you, representing a Frenchspeaking seat in the province of Quebec, have been elected to this high office. We in Ontario are also proud and most favoured in having the Deputy Speaker appointed from our province by the members of this house. We know that he will give you support. He too will lend dignity and grace to the debates.

I too, Mr. Speaker, should like to extend my congratulations to the mover (Mr. Hol-lingworth) and the seconder (Mr. Villeneuve) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I am not so well acquainted with the seconder, but from what he has done in this house and the way he has conducted himself I am sure that we shall be hearing a great deal from him and that we shall be proud of the work which he will accomplish in the term now commencing.

The mover is better known to me, and I am sure he is well known to all members of the house. Over a period of years he has performed many services on behalf not only of the people of his own constituency but of all the people of Canada, a fact which is greatly appreciated. He has recently been elected. He fought a good, clean, hard fight.

It is interesting to note that his chief opponent, who was a man of great influence and, I think, probably of great wealth, has now sought refuge in the old country following the example of one of his predecessors. I think it is only fitting that I recommend to the mother country that suitable rewards should be given to him for the service which he has accomplished in Canada in acquiring a great chain of newspapers and in serving the people of our country.

The people whom I represent in the constituency of Essex West are. for the most part, engaged in the automobile industry. We have, of course, the largest concentration of the pharmaceutical industry in the British Empire; but in addition to that we are known as the centre of the automobile industry in the British Empire. We have a large plant of the General Motors Corporation which manufactures the motors used in trucks and motor cars. Then too we have a large plant of the Ford Motor Company which recently has expended about $7 million or $8 million on the expansion of a power plant and which now has embarked on a program of expansion of their plant there to the extent of some several millions of dollars. I am not certain as to the amount but I think it is in the neighbourhood of about $20 million. The third large corporation which we have is the Chrysler Corporation of Canada. They have never been known as any particular supporters of mine, I might tell you; but they have shown their faith in this country of ours and their hopes for the future by embarking on a program under which they will, in the next eighteen months or so, expend approximately $41 million in enlarging considerably the plants they now have.

On looking back over the years, Mr. Speaker-if I may be facetious for a moment-we recall that the automobile industry started here in Canada about 50 years ago. They are making quite a few sales. There are quite a few automobiles in the hands of our people-whether that is good or bad-and we are all endeavouring to get possession of one if we do not already have one. As I say, if I may be facetious, I have been coming to the conclusion that the automobile is really here to stay.

In its plant the Chrysler corporation employs, as of the present time, some 6,463 persons. They have an annual payroll of $23,857,000. Through this operation they produce on the average about 58,000 passenger cars and 13,000 trucks which is a total of about 71,000 motor vehicles altogether per annum. If you figure this out I think you will come to the conclusion that there are

The Address-Mr. D. F. Brown nearly 300 motor vehicles produced every working day of the year by that plant alone.

This is not just for the benefit of one locality or one corporation, for the expenditure which is made by that corporation is spread over the whole of Canada from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. All of us benefit by the materials which are purchased and the sales which are made to the various dealers.

These companies sell through dealers and these dealers give a warranty backed up by the company. That warranty is for the good workmanship of the car and is for the period of the first 90 days or the first 4,000 miles driven by the purchaser or whichever occurs first. That, Mr. Speaker, is the practice not of one company only; it is the practice of all the companies.

I am sorry that the hon. member for Hastings-Frontenac (Mr. White) is not present in his seat, although I have notified his office that I was going to bring this matter up tonight.* However, I may say that he and I are the very best of friends, and as a member of the opposition he is, I can safely say, probably one of my closest friends and severest critics. But Mr. Speaker, I abhor the practice of using this forum of the House of Commons for the purpose of airing personal grievances, and I do so for these reasons. First, that it is an abuse of our regularly constituted courts in this country which are set up for the purpose of providing redress for any wrong that may be suffered.

Second, it is a wanton waste of taxpayers' money to air these grievances here at such expense to the people of Canada on what is a purely personal matter.

Third, it precludes the person charged from defending himself in a fair and honest manner. He is not permitted to come to this house for the purpose of giving his evidence, defending himself and taking his own chances.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, it is my opinion that such practice, if adhered to, will result in a form of legal blackmail.

As I said before, I would like to refer to the remarks made by the hon. member for Hastings-Frontenac during the course of this debate which may be found on page 86 of Hansard dated November 17, 1953, and on page 87, where you will find he says:

In a recent matter that came through my law office I was amazed to find that the great Chrysler Corporation of Canada, which manufactures Chrysler, De Soto, Dodge and Plymouth cars, makes no warranty in the sale of their cars.

As I have said, I have no brief for any corporation, but I do hold a brief for the people of my constituency, and for the workers in the factories, for in addition to

*(See page 195.)

The Address-Mr. D. F. Brown all the large automobile factories we have some 50-odd feeder plants which supply parts and materials to these manufacturing agencies, and these people have a great pride in their workmanship. They have a great love of their work and they take great satisfaction in having accomplished a good job.

In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, while not intended to be so, it is a rebuff to say the least to the little people of my constituency who are charged with having performed a bad job.

I continue to quote from his speech. He says:

In fact, under the terms of the purchase, any such representation or warranty is specifically excluded.

And he continues further on-I want to quote him fairly:

But the Chrysler corporation made it very plain to me that no such warranty exists, and if someone is unlucky or unfortunate enough to purchase one of their cars which is defective, a car that is a "lemon", he is simply out of luck as far as the corporation is concerned.

And further down he says:

It appeared that everything that could possibly be wrong was wrong with the car.

Now, I do not deny for one moment that my friend, the hon. member for Hastings-Frontenac, had some complaint about the car. But let us see what his complaint is and how it was handled. I find later on in his speech he says this:

It would appear that an important company such as Chrysler, having turned out a lemon of a car like this, would at least replace it with a new car in proper shape.

This is the crucial part of his speech. I think that is most effective. This is a report, as he puts it, of a client of the hon. member.

Well now, I am not going to say that that old legal maxim is correct, that he who acts as his own solicitor ... I will not say that because it will not apply, but I had a search made in the offices of the company concerned and they could find no record of any such client of my hon. friend having made any complaint. But they did find that my hon. friend made a complaint so that he is the client referred to in his speech.

I have with me correspondence on this matter and I would like to review it for members of this house. This is correspondence which was had with my hon. friend and I again regret that he is not here.

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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Since the hon. member for Hastings-Frontenac is not here I do not think the hon. member should refer to correspondence which has been exchanged between an outside corporation and the hon. member.

I think perhaps the hon. member should continue his speech without any reference at this time to correspondence in which an hon. member of this house is involved at a time when he is not present in the house.

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LIB

Donald Ferguson Brown

Liberal

Mr. Brown (Essex West):

But, Mr. Speaker, if I might refer you to the debate, you will see that the hon. member has referred in his speech to the correspondence. And if it is your ruling that I cannot read-

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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

May I point out to the hon. member that the hon. member for Hastings-Frontenac (Mr. White) referred to correspondence between the corporation and a client. Now, although the hon. member for Essex West may be in a position to establish that there were some difficulties mentioned in certain correspondence, between the hon. member for Hastings-Frontenac and the corporation, that hon. member is not here at the moment; and therefore I do not think I should permit the hon. member for Essex West to establish this very point in the absence of the other hon. member.

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November 19, 1953