Oh, Mr. Speaker, we have no apologies to make to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) about 1944 or any other year in the history of our progress in this country. It is always interesting and amusing, in fact it is often more amusing than a picture show, to hear these men assert what they will do for this country when they know they have not a hope in heaven of ever assuming responsibility.
The progress that is necessary to keep those services going that we have already established and paid for out of the production of our people cannot be maintained by placing our economy under the shackles of government ownership and state control. History will show that our national progress is still in its infancy, although it has already been great under a private enterprise economy. Our people will not risk, and do not intend to risk, the folly of state ownership and control. The strength we have shown in meeting what we have met in the past was established under that very system. I do not think anyone who pauses to think about what might happen if some of these wild suggestions were put into practice would want to see that done.
If you place the economy of this country in shackles of that kind you are going to place every social service in the same kind of strait-jacket. Just as our economy would be curtailed and doomed if that happened, so would our social services. Those who want the social services most are usually the ones who have contributed the least. It is for that reason that I believe my hon. friends to the
left have lost all hope of ever being called upon to form a government. By reason of the nature of their socialistic philosophy, their theory of state ownership and control, they could never become a government in this free enterprise country. In the meantime, Mr. Speaker, they are not even good in opposition because of their reckless advocacy of state ownership. Their only contribution to the political life of this country, to this free enterprise country, unconscious though it may be, is to perpetuate the life of this rather dead government that is in power.
Now, Mr. Speaker, freedom of enterprise and political freedom go hand in hand. History has shown that neither can stand alone. Wherever they have fallen, freedom of religion has also tottered in slow, tragic succession. We talk about world peace, but can you imagine for a moment what it would be like if you built state controls and state monopolies? You would be pitting one state against another instead of encouraging world peace as you do under a sound economic policy of trade and fellowship. It is a wrong philosophy, Mr. Speaker, in every respect.
I am not going to give any more reasons than I have given, and my hon. friends can expect me to vote against their subamendment. I can assure you now that we on this side of the house have no intention of voting for any such economic folly. I know my friends-
You have voted with them oftener than I have. I am always interested, however, when I hear those from the other side of the house being so doubtful about our stand on this and that. When I noticed a lull and heard a whisper and looked at them, I found some of their faces were as long as a clock when we moved the amendment concerning health insurance. No, Mr. Speaker, even those to your right say, "Oh, it is a terrible thing." Even the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) twisted and squirmed-
I know you do not like him either. I must say that from almost eveyy member on all sides of the house I have had messages of sympathy and good wishes for my absent leader, which I have passed on to him.
Whether or not some hon. members would rather have me here than him- they are more afraid of him than they are of me-he is going to be back soon anyway. It is rather amusing to me that these same gentlemen find a peculiar objection to anything we might move. They seem to be afraid they might be hurt a little bit. Whenever we bring in something new they find the same objections they keep finding about our leadership. I have sat in this house now for well over a quarter of a century, and we never had an effective leader since I have been the member for Dufferin-Simcoe-
He laughs best who laughs last; just hold on. We never had one as effective as our present leader-we have never had any leader that the same element in political society did not find fault with, just as they find fault when we suggest something on which they think they have a monopoly. It seems to me my socialist friends to the left think they have a monopoly on everything that is good for humankind. They are past masters at giving away somebody else's money. They have shown no indication of economic soundness on how to get the money.
Some of these large corporations that my hon. friends dislike so much pay the Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris)-he does not keep it long because he spends it rapidly-about 50 per cent of everything they make. My hon. friends to the left are all the time talking about how much we can give away.
I have no apologies to make on behalf of this party for the last clause in our amendment. Surely it cannot be said to be too long, for those past masters in parliamentary procedure have added another paragraph to it and suggested we should adopt the whole thing. I know that Mr. Speaker has some doubts about it. I know there are some members in the house who think it is a little long. I know some would rather have several parts of it left out.
I know that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, since you come from my own county, are a student
The Address-Mr. Rowe of parliamentary procedure. I would suggest to you that despite the fact Mr. Speaker has some doubts about it, you should make a careful study of the amendment. I submit that if the amendment reached from here to you it would not be too long in principle. We are not moving a motion to ask that something be done; we are asking for a recommendation.
I am glad, Mr. Speaker, to see the rules of the house being enforced.
I have said I have no apologies to make, and neither I have. May I remind those hon. members who do not understand the Conservative party as well as they think they do that as long ago as 1942 we had passed at our annual convention an exactly similar policy. And may I remind my friends across the way that we are ready to do something about it. Even though they passed their resolution in 1919, ours has grown more in 13 years than theirs has in 36 years. Now, this is nothing new.
Oh, I am not apologizing. On the contrary, I am trying to apologize for you. I say, Mr. Speaker, that it is nothing new when we suggest a policy such as this. It is nothing very spectacular. Surely my hon. friends who sit to your right, Mr. Speaker, those old champions of free enterprise, those old, dusty free traders of the one wing and high protectionists of the other wing, those men who all down through the years have brought far more spectacular things to parliament, will not say this is new. But the Liberal members have not said a word about it. What the Conservative party has said I will say now, that while we do not expect to come into power tomorrow, you would think the socialist members thought they wei e going to come into power tomorrow Certainly we can say that there is no alternative to the present government except this party.
But, Mr. Speaker, I do not want to worry the Minister of National Health and Welfare tonight.
I like him, and since he has reduced he seems to be in such good health that I do not want to hurt him. My health is not so good tonight. I thought at one time I would not have to speak until tomorrow, and if I had waited until tomorrow perhaps I could have been better than I am tonight. But I do feel that I must make it clear that while some no doubt are worried as to what this will do, my hon. friends to your right do not expect that we will have the opportunity to put it into effect
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The Address-Mr. Rowe until after the next election, at least. But I assure you that it will not take us 36 years.
And, Mr. Speaker, when we do I assure you and my friends to my left that it is not going to be state medicine, or a socialistic plan. It is not going to interfere with the splendid services of the Blue Cross or other insurance plans.
Oh, we will look after you fellows after a while. It will not be interference with the provinces, but it will be in co-operation with them.
There seems to be some confusion, but everyone knows that this party I have the honour temporarily to lead stands for the very opposite of state socialism. We do not believe in state medicine; but down through the years we have just as much to our credit in the matter of social welfare and social services as any party in this country. We do not take second place to anyone in that regard. I have just as many friends among the labour movement; in fact I have more friends among the labour movement than I have among you fellows who champion it. And I have just as much concern as anybody in this house over the man who lives by the side of the road, who works hard and toils into the night to keep his family, and who shudders at the very thought of hospitalization. Our aim is to provide for those men who have not had a chance to protect themselves. And it is just as important to have a careful plan of that kind-careful, sound, successful and more or less non-political assistance-as it is to give-