February 1, 1955

LIB

Henry Alfred Hosking

Liberal

Mr. Hosking:

Mr. Speaker, I have just one more point which I felt should be made and which I did not have time to make before the house adjourned for dinner. The whip of our party has suggested that we on this side of the house should limit our speeches to something under 20 minutes. As I treat his wishes as I treated those of my colonel, as a command, I shall try to conclude my speech in the next few minutes.

I should like to say, through you, to the members of this house and to all citizens of Canada that all the opposition parties have done great damage to the farmers of this country through the lengthy questions and debate in connection with the butter situation. Throughout the country among those who buy butter the feeling has been created that our country is loaded down with stale butter. By their continual harping on this question I am certain many people have been led to believe that it would be better if they did not buy butter at this time.

I can remember, when the foot-and-mouth disease was being discussed in this house, going home and finding that for the first time since I was married we did not have a roast of beef on the table for our Sunday dinner. I just could not believe it, because I knew my wife felt that at a Sunday dinner we should have a choice cut of beef. We had a nice roast of pork, and I jokingly asked what was wrong with beef. My wife replied that with all the talk of foot-and-mouth disease she did not think we should be eating beef. I laughed and said, "You know that pork has the same trouble as beef with regard to foot-and-mouth disease." When I came home at the end of the following week after there had been a further debate in this house I found that we were having chicken for dinner.

I do not think my wife is different from any other housewife in the country. If she was influenced by the controversy that went on in this house regarding an agricultural product, then I think great damage is being done to our farmers by the present controversy over butter sales that is going on at this time. I should like to suggest through

you to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) that he make a statement to the house that we have the finest butter for sale, that it is in excellent condition, that we will have no stale butter to put on the market. We will then have the public of this country buying the best food they possibly can buy.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. E. Cardiff (Huron):

Mr. Speaker, like all other hon. members who have taken part in this debate I wish to congratulate not only the mover (Mr. Leduc) and the seconder (Mr. Carrick) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, but all those who have taken part in this debate. I think it is the privilege and duty of every hon. member who feels he has something to contribute to get up and make a speech.

I represent perhaps the best riding in Canada. The people of my riding are certainly the most intelligent in Canada. I rise tonight to make a personal protest against the importation of New Zealand cheese at a time when we have a surplus in Canada. I make this protest because of the pressure which has been brought to bear on me by my constituents, and the cheese producers and dairymen in my county. They have expressed dissatisfaction at the importation of cheese at a time when we have a surplus of 10 million pounds or more.

The cheese producers of Canada deserve better treatment from the government. During the past two years they have done their best to help themselves. They have relieved the government of the necessity of paying a subsidy on their product. They set up the necessary machinery to look after the sale of their product. Now they feel that the government has let them down. If this cheap New Zealand cheese was going to benefit the consumers of Canada it would not look so bad, but such is not the case. The processors who are importing this cheese are the only people who will receive any benefit. I understand that this cheese will be sold not as New Zealand cheese but as processed cheese, and at a straight profit of 5 cents per pound over Canadian cheese. Five cents per pound for 2-25 million pounds amounts to $110,000 which is a sizeable benefit for one organization.

One wonders sometimes where the nigger is in the woodpile. Farmers, especially dairymen who have tried to assume responsibility for their product by taking it out of the government's hands and doing a better job than the government in getting rid of their surpluses, now find that a quantity of cheese is being imported to disrupt the Canadian market. We just do not understand these things; we do not know what are the answers.

The farmer sometimes gets blamed for the high cost of food, but he is not responsible for

The Address-Mr. Cardiff the spread between the price he receives and what the consumer pays. Take eggs as an example. The government put a floor of 38 cents under eggs not so long ago, but what do we find? We find the farmer getting 26 to 28 cents for his eggs. If we are going to have a floor price why not give the benefit to the producer rather than to the retailer, or the middleman who steps in and takes all the profit out of it? If the government are going to interfere they should interfere right down the line and see that the producer gets his fair share of the price his eggs bring on the market.

Prices of farm products have dropped 13 per cent over the past two years on the overall cash production, with the price of some articles dropping as much as 40 per cent. Yet we find that the prices of the necessary things the farmer has to buy have gone up. I know of no government which can balance an economy with one important group of the population being imposed upon. I contend that the responsibility of the government is to find a remedy. Just the other day a carload of lamb was dumped on the Canadian market. Perhaps these things cannot be avoided; but when our farmers are getting such a small proportion of the national income, much less than is rightly theirs, I think it is time the government took some steps to protect their industry. It is not protecting their industry by permitting the dumping of quantities of food on our market when we cannot get rid of what we have.

I should like for a few minutes to refer to the great loss of life and property through "Hurricane Hazel". We all felt very sorry for those who suffered loss and destruction, but there were other parts of the country where loss was sustained through storm and wet weather. The bean growers of my county lost many thousands of dollars because they were not able to harvest their beans. Losses as high as $10,000 were incurred by single farmers, yet you did not hear very much about it. "Hurricane Hazel" hit certain portions of the country and damaged property, but it also showered rain on a great part of western Ontario. The land w7as so wet all fall that people were unable to harvest their crops. Many growers in my part of the country never got in their beans at all. Some were earlier and were more fortunate in getting some of them off, but in many places the beans were never harvested. We did not hear very much about it; we heard little complaint.

The losses they suffered were almost unbearable. They lost not only the crop but the cost of planting and cultivating it prior to harvesting. In many places this almost ruined some of the younger farmers who had

744 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Cardiff just started up. The older men who have been in business for some years do not perhaps deserve the same degree of pity, but the younger men do not quite know what to do with themselves. They cannot meet their responsibilities, and the fact is that they will have to wait a full year before they can redeem themselves. They have not asked for government support nor do they expect any, but in many places there was as much loss, apart from loss of life, as was suffered during "Hurricane Hazel".

Much has been said about the question of unemployment, and I believe a great deal of that must be the responsibility of the government. Two years ago I drew the attention of the then minister of citizenship and immigration to the fact that a great number of immigrants were coming into this country who were supposed to work on farms, but after they arrived here they stayed a short time on the farms before migrating into industry in the towns and cities of this country. The farmers could have employed that labour and would, but for certain reasons, still be able to do so.

I emphasize the fact that those fellows had no intention of staying on the land. According to regulations they were supposed to remain on the land for 12 months after their arrival in Canada, but some stayed less than two weeks. It is my contention that if the policy had been changed and the regulation had specified that these immigrants would have to stay on the land two or three years, then many who did not intend to work on the farm at all would never have come here in the first place. Then we would not now have them on relief.

The government also could have helped to avoid the present unemployment situation by insisting that no one be allowed here unless he or she had a job. This, combined with firmer regulations as regards the land, might well have resulted in thousands upon thousands of farmers being able to absorb a greater labour force. The fact that the farmer is not getting his fair share of the national income and is not getting sufficient for his products has meant that he has been priced out of the labour market and cannot afford to employ assistance at the prevailing rates of wages. The result has been that the farmers have been compelled to carry on without that much-needed assistance and some of them, 60 years of age and over, are trying to farm 100 acres of land without assistance.

It seems to me regrettable that in a country where there are thousands of unemployed the farmers cannot get any help. Some might ask themselves why they should go to work on the land for 12 or 15 hours a day when

'Mr. Cardiff.]

they could work in industry for $1.50 or $2 an hour, and they may have some justification for doing so. But after all, if they have no jobs the money stops coming in, and they start getting hungry. Then I think they will find that working on the land is not quite so bad after all. As I have already said, farmers could absorb thousands of these men providing they could be hired at reasonable rates of pay.

High taxation is another reason we have so much unemployment. This government has taxed industrialists out of business in some places, for their taxes are so high they have no cushion left to enable them to keep men employed in industry for any reasonable length of time, with the result that these men are added to the growing number of unemployed. If taxes were not so high and industrialists were allowed to accumulate some surplus for a rainy day I think we would find that many of these men would be kept at work. The fact that they are not is again the fault of the government.

The government must also take responsibility for high wages. I can remember, as no doubt most hon. members can, that when the war broke out we drafted men into the army at $1.29 a day. But when munitions plants were set up and started working at full blast the government found they had to assist in the running of such plants, and advertised for men at twice or three times the pay the soldier was receiving, instead of drafting them into the plants as other men were drafted into the forces. This policy started the spiral of high wages which has been continued ever since, until we now find ourselves in a very difficult situation. That is another reason we have unemployment. I might say in all fairness that when everything goes well the government is fine, but when everything goes in reverse the government gets the blame, and sometimes they deserve it.

Before closing I want to express the hope that when the government submits amendments to the War Veterans Allowance Act, designed to raise the basic rates as well as the ceiling of permissible income of recipients of allowances, these men will receive not less than the Canadian Legion has requested from time to time over the past few years. In my opinion ex-servicemen are fine citizens, and should receive much more consideration than they have in the past. I for one hope that this time they will be properly looked after.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
LIB

Henry Philip Mang

Liberal

Mr. H. P. Mang (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to offer a few words in this debate I am quite conscious that we are nearing its close and that therefore if I should attempt to use all the notes I have in front of me it

would be a very fine method of becoming unpopular in this house. Not that I want to become popular, but I have some respect for your listening powers; therefore I am not going to tax them for any length of time.

Before making my few remarks I think I would be lacking in courtesy if I did not extend congratulations to the newly-elected members of this house. In particular I want to congratulate the mover (Mr. Leduc) and the seconder (Mr. Carrick) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I wish to do so for a particular reason and not merely as a matter of courtesy, for I think I should express my personal satisfaction at the prospect of sitting in the company of two such fine gentlemen on this side of the house.

I seemed to sense in their remarks that they were sitting on this side of the house for certain reasons having to do with the principles underlying the party which they represent. After all it is the principles upon which a party is built that are the important things. It is not the party that is the most important thing in our political set-up, but the principles upon which that party is built. The political party is merely the instrument through which certain principles are applied to the conduct of the affairs of the country. I congratulate them most warmly because I feel that they are men who will help to make the Liberal party live for a long time and be the government of this country for quite some time to come.

As this will be, I think, the only appropriate opportunity to tell the house something about the constituency of Qu'Appelle, perhaps I may tax your patience for a few moments while I introduce you to that pioneer constituency of Saskatchewan. It extends from the city of Regina to the Manitoba boundary south of the beautiful Qu'Appelle valley, and comprises some 6 million acres with a population of about 40,000. Through it runs the original line of the Canadian Pacific Railway and also the trans-Canada highway. Because it is the area where the first main line across Canada, that of the C.P.R., was built, it is the pioneer agricultural area of the province. The first large-scale shipments out of that area were made from the town of Indian Head in Qu'Appelle constituency.

Because of the location of the C.P.R. the first settlers were those who pushed into that wheat-growing country from Manitoba, but later came the pioneers from Ontario. We have a great many MacPhersons, Macdonalds and MacDougalls, all kinds of "Macs", along that line, and Saskatchewan had its beginnings in that particular area. After the 50433-48

The Address-Mr. Mang region around the main line was settled as a result of the building of the railroad the great immigration policy, so dramatically dealt with this afternoon by the hon. member for Athabaska (Mr. Dechene), resulted in a great flood of immigrants in the seventies, eighties and nineties settling some 20, 30, 40 and even 50 miles from the main line. They came from all over Europe. We have Scandinavians. There is a place called New Finland. We have people from southeastern Europe, a great many from the Volga river basin in Russia, people from Hungary and practically every part of Europe.

At this point I want to give voice to a sentiment which I have often hoped I would be able to express. With this great influx of people from all parts of Europe the greatest Canadianizing influence was derived not from the laws of the country or the different political set-up here, but from the Cana-dianism taught them by the pioneers from Ontario who had settled along the main line. They accepted them and called them by name, sometimes "Big Jim" or "Black Joe" and so on because the European names were unpronounceable. They learned from this British stock what it meant to be a Canadian. From the way the implement dealer dealt with those people, giving them a good or a bad deal, they learned how life in Canada would be of benefit to them.

Qu'Appelle is also a constituency which has had its celebrities. It is the birthplace of General McNaughton, the great scientist and soldier. He was born at Moosomin, where his father's store is still in operation. The first native-born lieutenant governor of the province of Saskatchewan, Lieutenant Governor Patterson, was also born in Qu'Appelle constituency. We also have Father Murray's Notre Dame college south of Regina, which has become internationally known. I could name many more people. We have had our Olympic champions and have produced other personalities. Perhaps some of you will remember that the constituency was at one time represented by the late Ernie Perley who for so many years sat as Conservative member for Qu'Appelle in this house, and a grand fighter for the west he was.

Then too we have some 18 branches of the Legion. Last year I was privileged to attend the opening of the armouries in the town of Grenfell by the Hon. Brooke Claxton, then minister of national defence, and we were told then that the town of Grenfell holds the record for the greatest percentage of voluntary enlistments in all wars since the Boer war. It had the greatest percentage of voluntary enlistments in the Boer war, the first world war and the second world war. The town is therefore most deserving of the

The Address-Mr. Mang armouries, and we want to express our appreciation to the department for assisting in the construction of that building.

Farming conditions last year in that great cattle and grain producing area were not good. We were hit by rust, as were other portions of the province. Where the year before we had 20, 30, 40 or 50 bushels to the acre, this year we had 2, 3, 4, or 5. In the eastern part of the constituency there was a very poor crop. A good deal of the land was flooded out after some 40 inches of rain, something that is almost inconceivable on the prairies.

Conditions are not too good. We have in that area-and I mention this for a particular reason

a drainage problem with which we hope the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), who has control of P.F.R.A., will assist us. The precipitation was so great there this year that water which should have drained into the Pipestone river to the south actually changed its course and flowed into the Qu'Appelle river to the north. This resulted in the flooding of municipal roads and many thousands of acres of land in that area.

As the member for Qu'Appelle I do want to express our appreciation of the work done under the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act under the direction of the Minister of Agriculture and Dr. Thomson. Last year a dam was completed on the Pipestone river which will create a lake some nine miles long. This will help with the drainage problems and alleviate the flooding in the Souris valley. It will provide also a water level for the many wells that this stock-producing area needs so much. We want to express our appreciation for that undertaking. I hope that next summer when some of you go along the trans-Canada highway you will stop off at Mooso-min, go nine miles south and see some of the work the P.F.R.A. is doing in the west.

The speech from the throne contains many features, most of which have been dealt with rather thoroughly. I find that some people have dealt with features which they claimed were not in that speech. However, it is only to be expected that there would be differences of opinion expressed in this house. What interested me particularly in the speech from the throne was the recognition of the definite influence the western economy has upon the national economy as a whole. The total production of the country this year has suffered in proportion to the smaller crop in western Canada. This reflects to a definite degree the important place of the west in our national economy.

The Address-Mr. Mang responsibility could not be placed upon the government, but rather that all these groups must accept a share of it.

What do we see today? In western Canada, as well as other parts of the country, agriculture is being asked to reduce its wages. Let us keep in mind that we from western Canada have had to take a reduction in the price of our wheat, not because we wanted to but because we had to if we were going to trade in the highly competitive markets of the world.

On the other hand what do we see in respect of labour? In this evening's paper I see where a group is asking for more wages and shorter hours, and with greater benefits all the way around. How the agricultural community in this country can stay in business in the face of the high wages received by those who build their combines, motorcars, trucks and their other machinery of production, it is difficult to see. I believe these other groups to whom I have referred will have to do some very hard thinking on their own. It is not just a matter of coming to the government and saying, "Here is our problem; you solve it."

I do not know how many more Ford cars and trucks are going to be sold in western Canada as a result of the wage rates obtained recently. But the fact remains that while the rate of agricultural income has been going down-and some people say it has decreased as much as 12 per cent in the last few years- the production costs of certain industrial concerns has been going up. As a matter of fact a few business combines have been disclosed-and I am not now referring to the combine used in harvesting grain. The situation disclosed demands the full co-operation and consideration of all.

Last winter I received a delegation from the farm machinery association; and when discussing the matter they tried to make the point to me, a western farmer, that if we would only be satisfied with lower prices for our wheat and other grains we would be able to sell more of them and thus obtain more money to buy their machinery. I said, "Well, how can this thing work if you are constantly asking for more and we are supposed to take less for our grain?"

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
CCF

Edward George McCullough

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

Mr. McCullough (Moose Mountain):

Will the hon. member give the name of the petitioners who made the request to him that western farmers take a smaller net return for their grain? Will he name the labour union that he said represented the workers-

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
LIB

Henry Philip Mang

Liberal

Mr. Mang:

It was a point that came up in the discussion. I do not just remember the names.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
CCF

Edward George McCullough

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

Mr. McCullough (Moose Mountain):

It is

not right.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
LIB

Henry Philip Mang

Liberal

Mr. Mang:

Well, I would not say that. I can check it. I will talk it over with the hon. gentleman because, among other things,

I think I can straighten him out in his thinking in that regard.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. Noseworthy:

You made the charge. Substantiate it.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
LIB

Henry Philip Mang

Liberal

Mr. Mang:

I shall look it up; I shall get the details, but it came out of the discussion. It may not have been a responsible individual, but the idea was-

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
CCF

Edward George McCullough

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

Mr. McCullough (Moose Mountain):

You are

wrong.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
LIB

Henry Philip Mang

Liberal

Mr. Mang:

You say I am wrong; I say I am right. The idea was that we should sell our grain so that they would be able to sell more of their machinery. It cannot be denied that in western Canada today we are short of cash. A lot of other people in other parts of Canada are also short of cash, but that does not mean the western farmer is broke. We have grown billions of bushels of grain. For that grain we have received billions of dollars. What have we done with them? We have paid off mortgages; we have improved our farms; we have bought combines, cars, trucks and we have even gone into rural electrification. When you ask "Where is all your money?" I reply that a great part of it is in Oshawa, in Windsor, in Toronto, in Montreal and in Hamilton. I am not saying that it should not be there, because those people were good enough to make for us all those assets that we now have on our farms.

These things should be kept in mind. I am not expressing it adequately, I know, but you can charge that up to my inexperience. The point I am trying to make is that we should not in this house or even in the country keep on asking the government to reduce taxes because they are one of the causes of unemployment. We should not be asking the government to pay subsidies all the way down the line, though the pressure for subsidization is beginning to grow even in western Canada in one way or another. The two do not go together. How can you raise subsidies and social benefits which are costing us today $1,250 million? How are you going to do all that if we do not have taxes? To me it is a very peculiar way of approaching the economic problem which faces Canada today to say in the one breath, reduce taxes and in the

other, increase all these government services. To me it just does not add up, and when the Canadian public realize it they will come to the same conclusion.

There is confusion in the country today. These various groups in our country should examine their position with regard to world markets. They should co-operate with each other. I said to the farmers' union the other day, "You should be meeting with the government, but you should also meet with the two large labour unions and thresh out the problems as you are trying to thresh them out with us."

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
CCF
LIB

Henry Philip Mang

Liberal

Mr. Mang:

It is no use for one group to operate one way and another group another way. If we are to have and maintain a unified country and a high standard of living, then we had better have a royal commission. It would be a good thing to appoint a royal commission to investigate the whole Canadian trade position, both in the export and the domestic markets. This investigation should determine the relative cost factors in the Canadian economy which create a high production cost level. It should report on the relative influence on the high cost of production level in Canada, first, of company profits; second, investors' returns; third, labour costs; fourth, transportation costs and fifth, taxation. If we had a royal commission we would get away from these "black is white" and "white is black" statements. Hon. members know what I mean. Too many statements are being made today that are confusing the public. If a royal commission did what I have outlined it would bring all these groups together and we would be able to get somewhere.

At the present time our government is doing everything possible along that line. Our government realizes that we must have international markets. We should give credit to our government for being in the forefront of the battle for freer international markets. All these factors are involved. Let me emphasize that it is not just the responsibility of the government. I want a royal commission appointed to show where every group in the Canadian economic picture fits in. It is only by that co-operation that we can get anywhere.

In conclusion I want to congratulate the government on its efforts toward world peace. I read in the newspapers today about the meeting of the prime ministers in London. They represent 585 million people. Of those 585 million people our delegation represents 15 million. I was struck with the

The Address-Mr. McBain fact that, compared with the size of our population, our influence in world affairs is tremendous. That is something of which we should be proud.

We are on the brink of very important decisions. I do not think international relations will deteriorate to the point where we shall have a thermonuclear war, which could only mean the destruction of civilization as we know it. We must realize that unless peace is established we shall not have very much to worry about in this or any other parliament. We must realize that we are living in an era when, unless we have world peace, we shall all be doomed. We can only have world peace by establishing trust in the world.

That is our difficulty today. One of our difficulties in discussing the protocol last week was that we did not trust those people with whom we are associated. As soon as you establish trust in the world you will have peace, and you will not have it any sooner. I hope the government will continue to press forward, on the economic front and on the world peace front, in the direction they are pointing. When that goal is achieved we shall have the prosperity and peace that we all desire so much.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
PC

James Alexander McBain

Progressive Conservative

Mr. James A. McBain (Elgin):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to participate in this throne speech debate I, as one of the comparatively new members of this house, feel like various other hon. members who have so ably spoken before me and expressed the view that much has been said already in this debate. May I also extend my congratulations to the hon. members who have expressed themselves in moving and seconding this motion.

As this is the first session at which I as a member have had an opportunity to express my opinion and offer suggestions to this house during the throne speech debate it will be my desire to follow the path set by other hon. members. Being born of Scotch ancestors, as my name would indicate, and as my forefathers from the highlands of Scotland were known for their thrift and saving habits, I shall endeavour to do what other hon. members have endeavoured to do at this session, that is make my remarks as brief as possible and thus save the time of this house.

The constituency of Elgin which I have the honour to represent is steeped in history, as are many other ridings in this part of Ontario. The name Elgin was chosen in honour of the late Earl of Elgin, the grandfather of the present Earl of Elgin who periodically pays visits to his namesake county. The hon. member for London (Mr. Mitchell) extended an

The Address-Mr. McBain invitation to hon. members to join in the celebration of their centennial anniversary, but I cannot do the same since Elgin celebrated its centennial in 1952.

I represent a riding which is partly rural and partly urban. The rural areas are engaged in many phases of agriculture, such as livestock production, both dairy and beef, fodder corn, soybeans, white and yellow-eyed beans, potatoes, sugar beets and flue-cured tobacco. Elgin orchards are known for the fine quality of apples they produce, and as proof of their high quality they recently were awarded the horticultural trophy at the Royal winter fair.

St. Thomas is known as the railroad city of Canada by reason of the fact that within its boundaries are some six railways, namely Canadian National Railways, Wabash, Michigan Central-known as the New York Central in the United States-Canadian Pacific, Chesapeake and Ohio and the London and Port Stanley, an electrified road.

During the expansion of railroads in Canada these numerous railways operating through the riding of Elgin established repair shops in St. Thomas which gave employment to several hundred people, and at the peak employment was well over the thousand mark. Today the situation is vastly changed due to many factors. In my opinion one of the main factors is the almost complete dieselization of three of these railroads. These three were American-owned roads, and they found it more economical to haul longer trains from border to border across western Ontario without the necessity of stopping at St. Thomas to have the engines and trains serviced and repaired.

This resulted over a period of years in the almost complete shutdown of the repair shops in St. Thomas. This in turn forced the railways to release many men who had long years of service and in many instances were very near the pensionable age. They were forced to seek employment in other lines of industry. I have a brief presented and signed by the committee chairman of practically all the railway committees in St. Thomas. This has to do with a clause deleted some years ago from the contract forms, to which the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Stanton) has already referred. I should like to read into the record a few of the clauses in this contract form which the employees wish to have reinstated:

Individually and collectively, we the railway employees of St. Thomas hold a very dim view of the action of the government in the deletion from its public contracts in the departments of public works and transport of certain clauses which give to the railways and their employees a measure of well-merited protection. In the past the government has, through the operation of the departments of public works and transport, recognized the merits of the claims of all the railways in Canada by Inserting in the specifications of contracts involving

fMr. McBain.]

the transport of goods and equipment. In 1934 the minister of public works inserted in the contract forms in the Department of Public Works the following clause:

"Transportation of material and plant:- All material and plant used in connection with the execution of this contract must be transported over railways operating in Canada, or waterways, to the greatest possible extent."

We feel that this action was sound, just, fair and worthy of the highest commendation. The Department of Transport construction contract forms contained a similar clause except that the transportation of goods and materials was directed over Canadian National Railways, which should have been amended to include all agencies of transportation under the jurisdiction and control of the federal government. It is with keen regret that we have learned that the Department of Public Works and the Department of Transport have caused the deletion of the above-mentioned clauses from their contract forms directing the movement of goods and materials. This action will unquestionably deprive the railways of much valuable traffic they formerly enjoyed and, with the passing of jurisdiction, the railways will continue to be subject to government regulations and control which will not be applicable to the highway competitor.

Therefore I submit that in the interests of all railway employees across Canada this clause should be restored to the contract forms of the departments of public works and transport. I can see no objection to having the clause revised to include all transport agencies operated by or under the control of the government of Canada.

Elgin produces, as I have mentioned, many kinds of cash crops, and I just wish to note a few of them and the value they represent to the riding. The cash value of production in 1953 was as follows: Grain corn, $2,081,900; soybeans, $1,013,700; potatoes, $232,800; fodder corn, $542,600.

Elgin is the second largest flue-cured tobacco producing county in Ontario. Last year over 24,000 acres of this type of tobacco were grown in Elgin, approximately one-fifth of the entire acreage for Ontario. As in many other counties, tobacco acreage was substantially increased in 1954. In 1927 only 500 acres were grown in our county, while by 1937 this had increased to 7,229 acres, which had again expanded to 21,476 acres in 1950. Today flue-cured tobacco is the largest cash crop of this county. The gross returns from this crop in Elgin county for 1954 can be estimated at approximately $15 million. In Ontario and Quebec the flue-cured tobacco acreage amounts to around 120,000 acres, producing in 1954 some 170 million pounds of tobacco. Of this larger than average crop less than 8 million pounds remain to be purchased from the grower.

This crop is processed by the tobacco plants during the winter months, and at the present time the Imperial Leaf Tobacco Company at Aylmer gives employment to between 700 and

800 persons, operating 24 hours a day, alleviating to some extent the seasonable unemployment situation in this district.

By this I do not mean that we do not have unemployment at the present time, for we have over 700 registered unemployed at the office in St. Thomas and I know there are many others who do not register, who are temporarily unemployed and cannot collect unemployment insurance.

I am very glad to note that in the estimates $100,000 is being revoted for a new post office and public building in St. Thomas; but I regret, and I know many of my constituents regret also, that no additional funds are provided in the 1955-56 estimates. This is a building that has been needed for a great number of years. I know the employees of this postal department strive to give the very best service possible, but owing to their very cramped quarters and outmoded methods by reason of lack of space, they find it very difficult to give the service they would wish to give. Therefore I ask the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Winters) to give his utmost consideration to making a start on this new building this year. This project would give some relief to the unemployment situation in the area and assure the constituents of St. Thomas that they are at long last going to have a new post office and public building, not just some election propaganda.

Before I endeavour to turn to a few of the problems of agriculture, as I see them, I wish to refer to a petition I have in my hand. This is from the cheese producers in Elgin county, protesting the importation of New Zealand cheese. It is signed by practically 100 per cent of our cheese producers, and also by the heads of the dairy production industry and various other organizations in the county of Elgin. The news that 2,250,000 pounds of cheap New Zealand cheese was on its way to Canadian markets came as a distinct shock to Canadian farmers, especially to those in the dairy industry.

Several hon. members have already spoken in this house on this importation, and we have received the reply from the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) that no more shipments of this cheese will come to Canada for at least six months. It is my opinion that other companies which are in the cheese processing business will be seeking cheaper cheese; therefore I can assure the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) and the Minister of Trade and Commerce that similar petitions will be sent to them if they have not already received some. I will also see that they receive the petition I have in my hand.

The Address-Mr. McBain

Agriculture is the oldest profession, for it began when Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden; the other profession did not begin until at least one more woman entered the world. It should be remembered that both these professions sprang from two fundamental urges of man, the necessity to eat and the urge to propagate, whether illegitimately, indiscriminately or otherwise, since to exist at all man must eat, and to ensure his continuance on this earth he must propagate.

There are still many things in the realm of agriculture we do not understand. As we discover new laws and facts and gradually penetrate the fog of mystery we make strides toward improving the conditions of the human race, its health, its happiness and its living standards, and also the possible realization of the hope of a continued peace. In this complex modern world peace and war are largely determined by the world's supply and distribution of food, raw materials, and markets. As the population of the world increases at the rate of over 25 persons a minute the food sources in many countries appear to diminish. Food, therefore, becomes a dominant factor.

During the debate we have heard the word "surplus" mentioned many times, but I believe we should not be misled by such references. For a thousand years there has been no real surplus of food produced on the farms of the world, but there has been poor and inefficient distribution, added to which there has been exploitation by the buyer causing higher prices for this distribution. This inefficient distribution, in addition to causing higher prices, creates artificial surpluses which have no reality in a world where half the people suffer all their lives from malnutrition and associated diseases, and where at least 500 million are born and die without ever having had enough to eat at least one day of their lives. Some farmers, pointing to accumulating surpluses of certain foodstuffs in Canada, and fearful of dropping prices, suggest a slow-up of production, but while half the world is hungry any overall curtailment of production looks like a shortsighted policy.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I urgently request this government to consider ways and means of regaining and retaining a healthy economic position for agriculture, not necessarily through subsidies that postpone but do not correct, not through restrictions that stifle, but through sound policies designed to promote a freer movement of agricultural products within Canada and to the needy people

752 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. McBain of the world, and at the same time to institute policies which will provide adequate protection for our most important resource, the soil.

Canada is one of the few countries capable of producing foodstuffs to help feed the hungry peoples of the world. Our farmers are willing and anxious to do their part, but they cannot do the whole job without irreparable damage to the soil. We therefore look for national and provincial policies that will protect and conserve for continuing use our renewable natural resources. It is a strange paradox that we must, by law, pay all other debts ahead of our debt to the land, yet our debt to the land is more important than any other. Morally, and according to the laws of economics and nature, the payment of debt to the soil ranks first, because over the years only by maintaining a balance of soil fertility in nature's bank can we continue to pay all other debts. Legally, however, andi according to man-made laws which so often ignore the laws of nature, all other debts must be paid ahead of our debt to the soil. Indeed, our law permits us to borrow at will from nature's bank with no compulsion to repay the loan or even to pay interest. Of course, nature has her own penalties. Slowly but surely she withdraws credit from those who misuse her resources.

Let us turn back the pages of history to where once the Babylonian empire flourished. Let us take a look at the Gobi desert which has crowded millions of Mongolians into the corners of its once rich and fertile land. We well remember Rommel's advance and retreat across the Libyan desert during the last war over land that once fed the Roman empire. All these lost empires tell precisely the same story of vanishing forests, overgrazing, fertility losses, and finally erosion and loss of top soil. They all tell a story of man's failure to come to terms with nature. In every case nature withdrew her credit, and in every case the people starved or moved on to exploit new lands, and now there are no longer any important land areas left to exploit.

In Canada and the United States it is true that we are only in the early stages of exploitation. We still have a long way to go to achieve the complete destruction of the Romans. On the other hand we have only been working at it for a hundred years or so, while the Romans had a thousand years to achieve complete soil depletion. But it is now quite possible for us to wear out soil 10 times as fast as a generation ago, when only horsepower was available, and a hundred times faster than the Romans whose main power was that of their slaves and oxen, and their main tools the hoe and the wooden plow.

Fortunately there is a sunny side to this picture of the decline and fall of man-made civilizations. This same efficiency and technological advance that enables us to destroy soil so quickly also enables us to accomplish the almost miraculous in maintaining soil fertility at highly productive levels, in reviving tired, worn-out soils and even, on occasion, reclaiming deserts. More and more we are learning to look at the land as the major source of real wealth, and to farming as a high art. We are learning that while soil fertility is highly perishable it is also a renewable resource, and herein lies the art of good farming, namely how to extract a living from the soil in such a manner as to be able to pass on the farm to the next generation in a more fertile condition than that in which we found it.

What we need most for Canada is a readjustment of basic values so the dollar will once more be the servant of man, not his master. Half the world's population is hungry and needs our surplus food, but we have priced ourselves out of world markets. Over half our soils are hungry, but we have put such a high value on the services of labour, industry and commerce that there is seldom enough left over to feed the soil. The crux of the whole matter today is that our greatest natural resource, the soil, must subsist as best it can on the scraps left over from the banquets of our highly artificial way of life. This was the way of all vanished civilizations of the past, and we are travelling along the same road but at the speed of jet propulsion.

This is my plea to this government and its leaders in agriculture, not only in their own interests but in the interests of private citizens, that they make room for agriculture at the first table so that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren may not have to join the ranks of the half-fed.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, it is my opinion that the government should give more consideration to aiming at a balanced economy by widespread recognition of the importance of conserving our natural resources, the most important of which is the soil, especially that valuable top six inches. It should also give more consideration to establishing a joint federal-provincial land use policy designed to perpetuate and improve our renewable resources, and to the further education and application of Christian principles at all levels among all peoples at home and abroad.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
PC

William Earl Rowe (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. Earl Rowe (Acting Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, the subamendment to the amendment I moved at the beginning of the debate on the speech from the throne is rather surprising. It was moved by those who said our amendment was already too

long, but in spite of that they moved a negative addition to it. It is negative because it proposes a philosophy of socialism that would make impossible the amendment I had already put forward. Therefore I feel it incumbent upon me to make a few observations about the subamendment at this stage of the debate.

I do not agree that private enterprise has done in the past what my socialist friends have intimated. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, as one looks back over the history of this North American continent it would be very difficult to accept such a novel philosophy in this day and age. I would say to my friends on my left, who seem to believe in state ownership and government control, that all they need to do is look at this great young country and the North American continent itself to realize just how the reverse is true. Can anyone read the history of the progress of the North American continent, the greatest free enterprise continent in the world, and say that we are going backward and that industry, production and government are stifled by private enterprise? Why, Mr. Speaker, the historical facts stream past the eyes of the most stupid in Canada to show what really has happened.

In 1900 not one out of 100 of the urban people of the North American continent had a horse and buggy to ride from place to place. Yet today on this same continent, which has been such an outstanding example of free enterprise and initiative of the individual, we now have an automobile for every four people. Just imagine the difference.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
PC

William Earl Rowe (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Probably my hon. friend never even had a horse and buggy, by the sound of it. But, Mr. Speaker, to my mind that is evidence, and there is plenty of other evidence. During that 50 years we have had two hot wars and a cold one which is probably getting hotter than it should be right now. This North American continent participated in those two hot wars and did more in the four or five years of each of those wars than any socialist state in history did in 50 years previously. It was the free enterprise and the pioneering spirit of those boys who flew the Lancasters and manned the ships that crossed the English channel; it was the initiative and incentive born and bred into them that saved the day when old Britain stood almost alone in 1940. It was that spirit of enterprise that made our industries hum. Where would those industries have been had it not been for private enterprise in this country?

Yes, I am proud of the fact that I and the party I represent stand foursquare for private

The Address-Mr. Rowe enterprise. We are making no apology. My socialist friends to the left can call it what they wish. They can call it the capitalistic system or they can call it the profit system, though I am sure there are not many of them who like to work for no profit. The profit system is after all the very essence and lifeblood of the free enterprise system. We are all too timid, too chicken-hearted to say what we mean in politics these days. We are all too chicken-hearted to say that we believe in the profit system, that we believe in the capitalist system. That is what made this country so strong. If this country had not been quite so strong where would we be standing tonight, when the world does not understand anything but power in the negotiations that are going on?

No, Mr. Speaker, there is no other energizing force that has ever stirred human beings like reward based on results. Let us not kid ourselves. The spark of our whole free enterprise system is that there is a profit in thrift, a reasonable recompense for reasonable endeavour, and that competition is the life of trade. These are among the incentives that prompt the farmer to toil early in the morning and the business executive to study plans late into the night. These are the things that have made the country what it is. These are the principles that give employment. These are the principles that give national strength. These are the principles that make national character. We do not need to restrict free enterprise, Mr. Speaker. We do not need to apologize for the capitalistic system. We should be proud of it. It is the newest system.

My friends to the left are talking as if what they are putting forward is the newest system in the world, but it is the oldest and it has never worked any place. Rather than restriction we need more enterprise. We need more incentive for enterprise. We need more production. We need more gadgets, more tools, more capitalistic expenditures, more consumer goods, and they can be secured if we have sound economic policies.

As far as the labour unions are concerned, a system such as is suggested by my friends to the left, who pretend to be friends of labour, would leave labour in a futile position. Labour would never need to sit across the table from employers, for they would have nothing to talk about. Why, Mr. Speaker, the only way labour can bargain for real wages is by a system that stirs the inventive genius of people who will risk their capital and build plants to give people employment.

Yes, I know my friends would like to have a socialist state. They never ran anything before, but they believe they could run such

The Address-Mr. Rowe a state. They want a state, evidently, where everybody owns everything and nobody owns anything. They want a state where no one has any authority except the politician. You would have a situation where everybody would be going to the politicians or the government with an empty dinner pail in one hand and a state coupon for a government dole in the other.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, the initiative and genius of our people must be given more incentive rather than less. It must if we ever hope to maintain and increase that dynamic leadership that stands behind our economy, if we are going to support the great structure of social services with their tremendous cost that has been established in this country, to say nothing of the great cost of defence.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Family allowances.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink
PC

William Earl Rowe (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

We call that a social service. I do not know what you call it.

Topic:   UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA
Permalink

February 1, 1955