February 2, 1955


Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

The second fault I have to find with the government is not novel, I am sure, because it has to do with the question of high taxation. The Conservatives have told us taxes are too high. The socialists have told us the same. The Social Credit members and independents also claim they are too high. Even the Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris) has said they are too high and, if it will help any, I shall say also that they are too high. That pretty well makes us unanimous.

But the question is, "What makes them too high?" There are probably two particular reasons. One is that we are a social welfare state to a degree, and the other is defence expenditure. I cannot devote too much time to this question, but in the matter of the social welfare state I would say I do not believe there are many hon. members in this house who are opposed to the social welfare legislation now on the statute books. I think I am right in saying that most of our social welfare legislation was born of the depression years or during a period of conflict. In view of that fact I believe it is time we stopped and assessed the situation.

The Minister of National Health and Welfare has indicated on more than one

occasion that he would be only too happy to assist the aged and others in need if he could only find the ways and means. It is evidently agreed, then, that they need this assistance and the government is prepared to supply it but does not know exactly how it can be done. I would suggest it is time that a committee or some other such organization were set up to determine the means whereby we can correct our existing legislation so as to make it possible to assist those who are in need of help. Each party has different ideas in this regard, and it might be well to take that factor into consideration. It is not a case of being indifferent to the need for this legislation, but there may be a considerable difference of views among hon. members as to the amount required and the means of implementation.

One might take for example the discrepancy now existing, whereby we have wealthy people of 70 years of age and over who are receiving $40 per month, while at the same time we have those younger people who are very poor indeed and are not receiving the required assistance. Some of them are even denied the right to work. Our own civil service regulations do not permit some of them to take on particular types of jobs. In fact the only thing they can get is the air. That is pretty cheap, but there was a time when we had to pay for it, and I am referring to the old radio licence.

But seriously, Mr. Speaker, it is highly important to this nation that we see to it that there is no one in want, whether he be aged, blind, crippled, or in any other position that makes it impossible for him to live in the manner in which he is entitled to live. In saying that I do not mean that an individual should become a charge on the state. He should rather be one who has the privilege of doing something if he so wishes and thereby supplement his allowance if he is in need. However, that is just a thought as to a method of modification.

I believe the people who do most for the economy of this country are those who spend everything they earn. If we have senior citizens in this country or disabled or blind and they need more money in order to live, and through government assistance receive that money, they will do more for the economy of this country than any half dozen wealthy men who do not spend their money, because these people spend every penny they can earn and it is put back into circulation so that it becomes part of the bloodstream of the state.

I would therefore consider that it is most important for us as a parliament to urge this

The Address

Mr. Hahn government to meet these needs if it is at all possible, and in this regard I would again emphasize that it is time to reassess our social welfare legislation. I shall probably have more to say on these particular items as they come up in the estimates later.

I have quite deliberately neglected to include war veterans allowances in this group, largely because I was pleased to note that the question is dealt with in the speech from the throne. I hope the impending legislation in this regard will meet the requests made by the veterans last year when they submitted their brief with respect to the amount of the allowance and the permissible ceiling. In this regard I wish to congratulate the hon. members for Vancouver-Burrard (Mr. MacDougall) and Hastings-Frontenac (Mr. White) for joining me this year in putting on the order paper a resolution similar to the one I submitted last year, asking for consideration of this matter. The reason I congratulate both these hon. members is that their action indicates there is some uniformity of view among hon. members in this house, and that many of us are anxious to see that the war veterans receive the consideration which is their due.

Before dealing with the question of fisheries I would like to congratulate the government for including the removal of Ripple Rock in the speech from the throne. This has caused us many worries in the past in British Columbia, and it has been of particular concern to the wives of fishermen and others employed on boats.

I would particularly draw to the attention of the Minister of Fisheries the remarks of the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Patterson). Speaking earlier in this debate the hon. member asked for an extension of fishing rights above the Pattullo bridge. I recall that last year the minister changed his ideas to a degree, and I was quite enthusiastic. However, the change was not sufficient. I applauded his action last year, and I would be very happy to continue that applause if he would only see fit to increase the period of time during which fishermen can fish above the Pattullo bridge.

In that regard, much has been said about the quality of the fish and the need for conservation. In this connection I should like to read some evidence taken from the Sloan report of 1940, pages 110 and 111, as given by Charles Lisson Smith, who was the production manager of Edmunds and Walker. I know the report is a few years old, but at the same time the fish are the same fish; they use the same river; the bridge is the same bridge, and I think the same situation

The Address-Mr. Hahn holds good today. At least the fishermen are convinced that it does. I read from the report:

Q. Will you repeat again what you were telling us as to what is the business of the company?

A. We buy all British Columbia fish for the purpose of freezing, selling fish, and curing.

Q. In that connection what variety of salmon do you buy?

A. Spring salmon mostly.

Q. And from whom are these purchases made?

A. From anyone offering; for instance in the river, we take them from any fisherman bringing them in, but mostly it is from collectors who buy the fish and resell to us.

Q. Do you buy gillnet caught fish?

A. Yes.

Q. And purse seine caught fish?

A. Not very much.

Q. Will you tell us why?

I want you to note this answer particularly.

A. Purse seine fish are not very suitable for our business.

Q. You are speaking only of spring salmon, aren't you?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell us why they are not very suitable?

A. They seem to be damaged in the process of fishing or in the collecting. In any case before they reach us they are of inferior quality to either the trolled or gillnetted fish.

Q. Damaged in what way? Can you give us that more particularly?

A. Presumably in the brailing.

Q. In what way is this damage apparent?

A. The fish are smashed, the scales are off and they are bruised, broken.

Q. And does that render the fish of an inferior quality or grade for the particular purpose you require these fish?

A. Most certainly.

Q. In what way does it affect them?

A. No one will buy a battered up fish if you want to sell them fresh. If you want to spend money and put them in cold storage or dress and process them in the way of curing, why naturally no one will take on an article that is all broken and battered; it is not a fine fish any more.

Q. Do you find the same condition where you purchase from the gillnet fishermen?

A. Sometimes, but not so much so. Up river the fishermen have been educated that way for some considerable time, at least the fishermen selling to us. We get a very good quality from the gill-netters up the river.

Q. Up the river from where?

A. From New Westminster bridge.

That is the Pattullo bridge. It indicates that the quality of fish is just as good as that of any that are caught by the seine vessels, or more so. In respect of conservation I would quote Major James A. Motherwell, chief supervisor of fisheries in British Columbia under the federal government from 1921 until at least 1940. At page 105 they were speaking about competition and he was asked this question:

Q. Is it-

"It" meaning competition.

-controlled from an economic standpoint or from a conservation standpoint?

A. Conservation is not affected because we can control any kind of fishing.

There we have a case not of quality but a case of conservation. We have the same fishermen, the same people, who are quite capable of looking after the fishing industry. The fishermen themselves can do the conserving. They are just as co-operative as they were at that time. Undoubtedly the only regulation that needs to be changed is to have the conservation of fish controlled in a progressive manner from the gulf right on up the Fraser past the Pattullo bridge and on into Mission and the area where they do their spawning.

From my studies I find that the prosperity of a nation can be traced to its basic industry; or I might put it this way. The prosperity of a nation is directly proportionate to the prosperity of the basic industry. Our prosperity therefore comes from our hinterland. This applies federally, provincially and, to a lesser degree, locally. When the returns from production do not equal the cost of consumption, then our enterprise begins to fail.

In this respect I find that the dairymen and poultrymen have long known their stock, and that it produces properly only when it consumes properly. They realize that in order to have a cow give sufficient milk, or as much as they think it should give, they must first feed that cow well. In other words it is what the cow consumes that makes the milk. The same thing applies to poultry or any other product.

Today we see certain signs of breakdown of this economy. We have the poultrymen, the dairy producers, the grain growers, the stock raisers, the potato growers, the fishermen and others who complain and have complained, not just this year but last year as well, of the conditions with which they are confronted. For instance, the price of eggs was discussed in this house. We were told that the price is too low, that we should have a higher floor price under them.

One of the causes behind this situation is the price of feed. As I mentioned earlier, the Minister of Agriculture could make us happier at the coast if he were to raise the contribution in respect of feed rates and give us back the $5 he deducted, and make it possible for poultrymen to buy their feed at a lower cost. Another question in respect of eggs is the price spread between the A quality and the B quality. That matter was also mentioned.

Then as to the turkey raisers, I had the privilege of indicating to this house last year that there was a problem. At that time some people in the business called it dumping. It was not dumping in the true sense of the

word because United States birds were selling for the same price in the United States as they were selling in Canada. However, the difference was this. The United States poultry raiser was the owner of a large feed plant and he was interested only in getting the price of his feed out of these birds, with the result that he made no profit on them. That put the Canadian producer in the awkward position of trying to compete with him.

As to the economic policy of this government-if there is such a thing as a policy in respect of some of these things, of which I am rather doubtful-let me say this. There has been much talk about butter and cheese and so on. It is a matter of argument as to whether or not there is a policy in respect of agriculture that is not just as loose as the minister's talk, when he says from time to time, "I did not mean that; I meant something else".

That is the essence of the whole thing. The only result of the increase in the price of feed is that the cost of production goes up, and with that increased cost of production we have, of necessity, an increase in the price to the ultimate consumer, whether it is eggs or whatever it may be. As to the wheat producers, they have their difficulties just as have the butter and cheese producers.

Therefore when you come to consider agriculture, what is the policy? Is the policy going to be that the government will pay for butter until it has a certain accumulation, then give it to hospitals? Is this to be a continuing policy? We should know these things. Certainly the merchants in this country are entitled to know something with regard to what they may expect.

The grain grower certainly has real cause for complaint. Here we have 19-5 per cent of the population receiving about 9 per cent of Canada's income. It is not enough that he is the backbone of the country but of necessity, because of our trade policy, he must be dependent only on the export market. This is true to a degree, but there is a domestic market over which we can have a certain measure of control. Because of this method of handling these things, he runs into difficulties. The same conditions apply to the hog producers. I know the Minister of Agriculture has received a telegram similar to the one I received concerning the effect of the feed situation on the hog raising business.

We all heard the excellent speeches by the hon. members for Queens (Mr. MacLean), and Victoria-Carleton (Mr. Montgomery) with regard to the potato growers. The same question was discussed last year in this house. I do not believe the solution lies so much in 50433-501

The Address-Mr. Poulin a tariff as in a change in the implementation of these regulations. It may be a matter that could be presented through our Minister of Finance. I would not be so ready to agree that we should increase the tariff. I am opposed to that in principle. I would rather see our tariff dates made more flexible, so they might come into operation at a time when they would be of much more assistance.

I realize that my time is getting short. I realize, as well, that the financial and economic policies of this government today are the same as they were when our good friend Adolf Schicklgruber, or Adolf Hitler as he was called, took us out of the last depression. I would, therefore, move, seconded by the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Johnston), that the amendment be amended by adding thereto the following:

We further regret that Your Excellency's advisers have failed to take or to recommend the necessary fundamental economic and financial measures to place Canadian producers and workers on a sound and prosperous basis, and to ensure our economy against recurring recessions.



Raoul Poulin


Mr. Raoul Poulin (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a few words on a subject which is of special interest to the rural constituencies of eastern Canada and that of Beauce in particular, that is, the support price of butter. Every local of the Catholic farmers union-of which, I am glad to say, there is one in each parish of the constituency I represent-has expressed its views to the government on this problem, which is of great importance to these people.

Indeed, the dairy industry, being the main source of revenue for eastern farmers, constitutes the very basis of their economy. They may possibly-I am speaking here of the farmers of my own constituency-accept some lowering of the price of eggs, for instance, or beef or pork. Only a very few would be seriously affected by anything of this kind. However, at least in my constituency, I know very few who could withstand the shock of a sudden and prolonged drop in the price of butter.

The right hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) stated in this house on January 14, 1955, as reported on page 18G of Hansard, that the present support price for butter will be continued until May 1 and that he was not in the habit of making decisions for a more distant future. This is no doubt an excellent reply as far as the right hon. minister is concerned, but it is somewhat disturbing for the farmers.

to see what constitutes an asset for this country, he would have met other people than a small group of socialists, communists or harebrained people, as are found everywhere, but no more in Quebec than in British Columbia or in any other part of Canada. Such being the case a longer stay would have enabled him to discover that within this group which he calls "another nation" there are good farmers whose land was cleared 220 or even 300 years ago and which never fell into the hands of any other but the lineal descendants of the first occupants. He would also have seen thousands upon thousands of workers who are devoted to work well done and are in no way inferior to the skilled craftsman of other provinces. He would also have seen, built by members of this same group, large industries and businesses which contribute in no mean degree to the prosperity, not only of the province of Quebec but also of Canada as a whole. He would also have seen large hospitals or clinics of which some are unmatched in this country. He could have seen too three large universities, two or three smaller ones and a large number of colleges with an enrolment of 75,000, which annually confer degrees on those who have merited them in all branches of human endeavour.

Among these teaching institutions, he would have noted a great university and several colleges and schools directed by Anglo-Protestants enjoying the greatest freedom to teach according to the principles, beliefs and language of those directing and attending these institutions. He would have been greatly shocked, no doubt, to find out that in this part of the country in which, according to him, lives another nation, the taxpayers are never called upon to pay double tax for a double educational system, but instead choose freely to pay once only for the system they prefer. And his amazement would have reached a peak upon seeing that, moreover, of the money collected in taxes from a population, which is 82 per cent Catholic and French, a good part is turned over to Anglo-Protestant teaching institutions. His amazement would undoubtedly have been complete when he would have found out that the people of Quebec merely consider this a fair and normal situation.

The hon. member should then have been in a position to examine his conscience and ask himself whether the same thing

The Address-Mr. Boisvert

could not be done at Maillardville, in his own constituency, where Canadians, and I underline that word, Mr. Speaker, where Canadians are compelled to pay a double or triple tax when they want French or catechism taught to their young children. If the hon. member does not know it, he shall have to learn that Canadians of French descent are at home at Maillardville, in Burnaby-Coquitlam, and everywhere in British Columbia, just as Canadians of English origin are at home in the province of Quebec. It is on this condition only, on this essential condition that we may expect to achieve the national unity upon which he delights to expound.

The hon. member has stated that the people of Quebec are deprived or do not benefit in the fields of education and health of services they would like to get. I do not see the need of replying to that. It is quite obvious that we do not have in Quebec everything we would like to have, but the same applies everywhere else. However, I feel at least a little reassured when I find that in the last budget brought down at Quebec for the year 1955-56, $60 million are earmarked for health services, $46.5 million for education and $28 million for social welfare. I think that Quebec, for another year at least, will not need help from the province of British Columbia to settle her problems.

Those are a few of the remarks that came to my mind after the speech delivered by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam.

In spite of everything, I believe he is a gentleman, a man of good will who wants to increase his knowledge about his own country. Under the circumstances, I hope that my humble remarks will help him to understand better the group of Canadians who were the pioneers in Canada.



Maurice Boisvert


Mr. Maurice Boisvert (Nicolei-Yamaska):

Mr. Speaker, it had not been my intention to take part in this debate. However, the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway (Mr. Mac-Innis) having raised a question which is highly important, and I should add vitally important to national unity, I feel I should express my thoughts on the matter. I shall do so objectively, making no attempt to lay blame on any provincial legislature in particular. I think this is hardly the place to stir up resentment against any government which owes its existence to our constitution.

Here is the part of the speech which gives me serious concern. It was made in this house on January 27 by the hon. member, as reported at page 597 of Hansard:

May I tell the hon. member, and any other hon. member who does not know, that under our constitution in British Columbia we have a tree, non-sectarian public school system. No questions are asked of a child entering a British Columbia school as to whether he is Jew or Gentile, whether he is Roman Catholic or Protestant, whether he is Baptist or Witness of Jehovah. All that is necesary is that he be a resident of British Columbia and of school age.

Not only is our school system free and nonsectarian, it is also compulsory. If a child is living in an outlying district where no educational facilities are available he gets his education by correspondence. Children living in localities where there are schools must attend them. On occasion we have taken parents into court in British Columbia in order to force them to send their children to school. I have never known of a parent coming to courts in order to get a school to accept his children. This is something for those who would criticize the British Columbia school system to inform themselves about.

The hon. member went on to say:

If there are people in Maillardville or in any part of British Columbia who do not think the school system is good enough for them, who set up their own schools, then they are the people who are creating minorities; they are the people who are creating double taxation in British Columbia.

From these statements we infer that the school system of British Columbia is nondenominational in character. In other words, it is non-sectarian on the one hand and compulsory on the other. Therefore it takes no account of the race, religion, faith or language of the people. Before going more deeply into the problem which the statement made by the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway (Mr. Maclnnis) raises for each and every citizen in this country I should like to introduce into this debate other relevant utterances which have been made. On January 12, 1955, as reported on page 120 of Hansard, the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam (Mr. Regier) spoke as follows:

I also spent a fair amount of time In the province of Quebec. This province seems to be the sore spot in the matter of Canadian unity. I was raised in the west. For years the late Mackenzie King told us how he was building national unity, and for years most of us believed him. "Yes, that is the man to build national unity." How is it, Mr. Speaker, if the late Mackenzie King was really and truly building national unity that, after such a long premiership, almost the moment he ^ disappears from the scene we have less national unity than we have had in Canada for ages and ages?

Then on January 17, 1955, as reported at page 274 of Hansard, the hon. member for Pontiac-Timiskaming (Mr. Proudfoot) had this to say:

Why does not the hon. member take time off to compare the rights of minority groups in his province of British Columbia with those in Quebec?

The Address-Mr. Boisvert At this time I have in mind a place called Maillard-ville, British Columbia, and if I am not wrong X think possibly Maillardville is in the constituency of Burnaby-Coquitlam. I would ask him to examine the school laws of his province before he launches an attack on my province, and before he presumes to give advice to the people of Canada.

On January 26, 1955, as reported on page 556 of Hansard, the hon. member for Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Mr. Cannon) quoting excerpts from the Vancouver Province denounced a statement attributed to the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch), who is alleged to have said on September 15, 1954:

Winch hits use of French language in the house.

The article quoted the hon. member as saying:

"I have yet to meet a French-Canadian MP who does not understand or speak English", he explained. "Yet this minority group insists on using French in the house. We have to wait 24 hours for a transcript to find out what they said."

The article continues:

It is their God-given right to use the French tongue but why do they insist on it when they know the majority of the members are Englishspeaking and can speak it themselves.

Coming back to the statements made by the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway, he sought to answer the hon. member for Pontiac-Timiskaming. In so doing he went far beyond the bounds within which the debate should have remained. The statements made by the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway, the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam and the hon. member for Vancouver East would seem to be motivated by feelings far removed from what the fathers of confederation had in mind when together they drafted the imperial statute we know as the British North America Act. Whether that statute be a pact or a legislative provision enacted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain, it cannot be argued that it is not in any event the result of a compromise reached with difficulty and a great deal of apprehension at the Charlottetown conference, at the Quebec conference and during the debates in the provincial legislatures in 1865 and in England immediately prior to the adoption of the imperial statute. Here is the preamble of 30-31 Victoria, that is to say the preamble to the British North America Act:

Whereas the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have expressed their desire to be federally united into one dominion under the crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom:

And whereas such a union would conduce to the welfare of the provinces and promote the interests of the British Empire:

Then the last paragraph reads:

And whereas it is expedient that provision be made for the eventual admission into the union of other parts of British North America:

There was provision in that act to cover the entry of other parts of the country into confederation. In 1867 British Columbia was not yet a part of the Canadian confederation; it was only in 1871 it became such.

Those who worked toward the elaboration of the British North America Act found that the main stumbling block was the problem of the duality of origin, of language and of religion. For a great many years this proved to be the main obstacle to the expression of their good will. A formula had to be found, and this consisted of joining the three provinces of Canada in a confederation with certain powers being vested in the federal government and certain powers being vested in the provincial legislatures.

Those Canadians who were of French origin were desirous of retaining the rights that had been granted them in the instruments of capitulation, guaranteed by the treaty of Paris, and recognized by subsequent constitutions when Canada was a colony of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Never from that day have they retreated from this stand and they never will. It seems to be forgotten in some quarters that the King of France by the treaty of Paris of 1763 ceded to His Britannic Majesty all the French possessions he held or claimed to hold in North America. Here is the relevant part of article 4 of that treaty:

His Most Christian Majesty renounces all pretensions which he has heretofore formed or might have formed to Nova Scotia or Acadie in all its parts and guaranties the whole to it, and with all its dependencies, to the King of Great Britain-Moreover, his Most Christian Majesty cedes and guaranties to his said Britannick Majesty, in full right, Canada, with all its dependencies, as well as the Island of Cape Breton and all the other islands and coasts in the gulph and river of St Lawrence, and. in general, everything that depends on the said countries, lands, islands and coasts, with the sovereignty, property, possession and all rights acquired by treaty or otherwise, which the Most Christian King and the Crown of France have had till now over the said countries ' lands islands, places, coasts and their inhabitants . . ' ... His Britannick Majesty on his side, agrees to grant the liberty of the Catholick religion to the inhabitants of Canada: he will in consequence give the most precise and most effectual orders that his new Roman Catholick subjects may profess the worship of their religion according to the rites of the Romish church, as far as the laws of Great Britain permit. His Britannick Majesty further agrees, that the French inhabitants or other who had been subjects of the Most Christian King in Canada, may retire with all safety and freedom whenever they shall think proper, and may sell their estates, provided it be to the subjects of His Britannick Majesty, and bring away their effects as well as their persons without being restrained in their emigration, under any pretence whatsoever, except that of debts or of criminal prosecutions.

According to this treaty, sovereignty over that territory which became the Canadian confederation has been transferred step by step since 1867 from the British crown to the government of Canada. The whole of the Canadian territory, from east to west and from north to south, became the common possession of all Canadians, that is of all those who, by birth or naturalization, are Canadian subjects. In other words they may come and go from one province to another, they may settle in any province, whether they be of French origin, Roman Catholic, of English origin, or Protestant.

This is an inalienable right by virtue of the very constitution under which we live. The boundaries between the provinces are imaginary, and are solely designed to limit to a given territory the jurisdiction granted provincial legislatures in certain matters set out in sections 92 and 93 of the British North America Act. These boundaries are by no means such as to prevent a Canadian citizen from exercising the right he has of settling down, earning his living, and bringing up his family in whatever province he may choose.

To that right of living in any province must be added the natural freedom that parents enjoy with regard to the education they wish to give their children. This natural right implies that they may, if they so wish, bring up their children in their own language and faith, that is the culture, language and faith they have themselves. Obviously every Canadian citizen must conform to the laws of that part of the country in which he lives, in any matter which, under sections 92 and 93 of the Canadian constitution, comes within the jurisdiction of the province. I am however of the opinion that any Canadian of French origin has the right and the duty, in whatever province he may be, to see to it that his children receive an education which subtracts nothing from their soul, unless he so desires. Liberty of choice does exist, and it is quite possible that a citizen may choose another language.

The problem of education in Canada, before the enactment of the British North America Act and ever since, has never ceased to be a really sore point with regard to national unity. Lord Carnarvon, in presenting the British North America bill to the House of Lords in 1867, had this to say with respect to section 93 of the bill:

Lastly, in the 93rd clause, which contains the exceptional provisions to which I referred Your Lordships will observe some rather complicated arrangements in reference to education. I need hardly say that that great question gives rise to nearly as much earnestness and division of opinion on that as on this side of the Atlantic. This clause has been framed after long and anxious controversy, in which all parties have been represented, and on conditions to which all have given

The Address-Mr. Boisvert

their consent. It is an understanding which, as it only concerns the local interests affected, is not one that parliament would be willing to disturb, even if in the opinion of parliament it were susceptible of amendment, but I am bound to add, as the expression of my own opinion, that the terms of the agreement appear to me to be equitable and judicious. For the object of the clause is to secure to the religious minority of one province the same rights, privileges, and protection which the religious minority of another province may enjoy. The Roman Catholic minority of Upper Canada, the Protestant minority of Lower Canada, and the Roman Catholic minority of the maritime provinces, will thus stand on a footing of entire equality.

With respect to Lower Canada, now the province of Quebec, Lord Carnarvon goes on to say:

Lower Canada, too, is jealous, as she is deservedly proud, of her ancestral customs and traditions: she is welded to her peculiar institution, and will enter this union only upon the distinct understanding that she retains them.

What is section 93 of the B.N.A.A.? It reads as follows:

93. In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education,, subject and according to the following provisions:

(1) Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union:

(2) All the powers, privileges, and duties at the union by law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the separate schools and school trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the dissentient schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic subjects in Quebec.

It must be recognized that it is incumbent upon the provinces, which after 1867 were united under the confederation, to determine the school system which shall prevail. That is a right which could not be challenged, and I have no intention of denying the provinces their constitutional right to adopt the . school system they prefer. But I surely have the right to ask the racial majorities in provinces outside Quebec to achieve a compromise in order that Canadians of French descent and of the Roman Catholic creed in any province of Canada may give their children the education which they consider it their duty to give.

Why should it be impossible to find a compromise? Now that Canada has progressed toward greater unity, why not give the minorities the same rights, privileges, and advantages with regard to education of their children, in view of the fact that these minorities are made up of Canadian citizens who, anywhere they elect to live, have the right to bring with them and retain the treasure of their traditions, their religion, the language they cherish, and the culture which constitutes their background.

In the province of Quebec the majority, made up of Canadians of French descent, has

The Address-Mr. Boisvert its educational institutions at all levels, as have the minority, made up ol Canadians of English descent. The government of the provinces of Quebec gives grants to our colleges and our universities, regardless of the language and religion being taught in these institutions, which serve to educate the children of both the majority and the minority. This year English-speaking McGill University will receive a provincial grant of more than $1 million. No one in the province of Quebec complains about that. On the contrary, everyone is happy in the light of the fact that this situation is based on justice, freedom and natural right.

By finding a solution to the problem of education in Canada we would also settle for good and all the problem of national unity, and Canada would then set an example that other countries would follow. By virtue of the constitution, the majority may have the right to do one thing. Before the common conscience of a young nation, it could exercise this right so as to place all children on an equal footing, without discrimination as to their race, language and religion.

On January 7, 1955, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) gave notice of motion of the following resolution:

That, In the opinion of this house, consideration should be given to the taking of whatever steps are necessary to amend the British North America Act so as to include therein the following heading and sections:

"Human Rights

148. Notwithstanding anything in this act, it shall not be lawful for the parliament of Canada or the legislatures of any of the provinces to make laws:

(a) Abridging freedom of speech and expression, or freedom of religion, or of the press or other means of communication or the right of lawful assembly, association or organization.

(b) Depriving any person of life or liberty by arbitrary or abusive measures, or denying to^ any person the equal protection of the laws . . ."

I am in full agreement with the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar as regards the principles involved in that resolution. Among the liberties most precious to the individual are the ones concerning his tongue, his religion, his faith and his traditions. The school has been the first medium of transmission of human thought. Can it be claimed, as has been the case in this house, that Canadians of French origin living in British Columbia must suffer their lot because they constitute a minority? They might as well be told, "If you are not satisfied, move out. Take your belongings, your children and go wherever you want; it is no concern of ours". It amounts to denying them the fundamental right to live in their country and to live wherever they choose on our Canadian soil.

Canadians of French origin are stubborn but at the same time they are excellent

Canadian citizens. They love their country; they love the laws governing them; they love to live in society with their English-speaking compatriots. The best proof of this is that all of them are making efforts to learn the language of the majority in order to be able to entertain better relations with all their fellow Canadians.

It is being said that in British Columbia Canadians of French descent cannot legally have the same rights they would have, by virtue of the constitution, in some other provinces. That is no doubt the reason they have to build their own schools, pay for the cost of these schools and pay for the education they want for their children. They have, moreover, to contribute, by paying school taxes, to the education of Canadian children of other racial origins who are obliged to attend public school. It is contrary to human rights that there should exist somewhere in our country a system which forces children to receive an education which their parents cannot recognize and which destroys in their souls both appreciation of liberty and love of country.

All governments in the world must adopt wise laws. It is the enactment of these wise laws-laws respectful of natural rights- which makes just governments. A state is great in so far as it respects the rights of man. On May 6, 1954, in Montreal, Mr. Murray Ballantyne stated:

We must accept the fact that Canada is called by history to be basically bilingual and bicultural. Our national destiny is difficult but enriching. Canada is the French-Canadians' home, and they ought to be able to feel at home in it from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Together we French and English speaking Canadians can build a great nation. Apart, neither can succeed.

I therefore say to those who, in this house, have expressed opinions which to your humble servant are contrary to the spirit of confederation, that they should seek a formula which will cause provincial legislatures, where education is subjected to the weight of the majority, to put the minorities on an equal footing so that double taxation may disappear. Majorities by themselves have no rights. Rights are attached to the individual. True it is that in a democracy individuals, subjects by right, vest the state with the right to legislate. Law then becomes an obligation for all. If law becomes unfair to a group of citizens, it is then proper to revise it with a view to the disappearance of inequality before the law. It would only be fair that all should benefit by law on an equal basis. It would only make for a greater, finer country and Canada would see her already worldwide reputation further enhanced.

What I wish for with all my heart is that the principle of equality of rights in matters

of labour be accepted in the field of education. On May 14, 1954, we passed an act stating that no employer may discriminate against any person in regard to employment because of his race, colour, religion, or national origin, and no trade union may exclude anyone from membership or discriminate against anyone in regard to membership or employment on these grounds.

We have welcomed that legislation of nondiscrimination as a further step toward national unity. Let us promote the application of the same principle with respect to education, without infringing upon the rights of the provinces to determine their school laws, but by good will, good advice and good understanding. What succeeded in 1867 could surely be attained in 1955 if all wished together to pursue the same aim.

For our part we shall always persist in the way set for us. Our ancestors from France opened this North American continent to colonization, trade, agriculture and industry. After the treaty of Paris our ancestors demonstrated more than four times their love of Canada and their attachment to the British crown. After 1867 they co-operated with their English-speaking fellow citizens to the edification of the Canadian nation, and their descendants will continue to follow their destiny despite wars, times and crises. They want to see in the hearts of their children the blossoming of the love of Canada, and in their minds the development of a sense of and desire for her moral, political and economic greatness, so they may always breathe the incense of liberty and cultivate, as free men, the joy of living. Nothing shall alter their determination. Neither "Attleeism" nor atheism shall find room in the depths of their souls as Canadians.

It is often said that history repeats itself, but it must be repeated more often if we want it to be retained by men, who pass rapidly, history keeping only what is lasting: faith in God, faith in ourselves, faith in our country which makes men capable of building an imperishable progress.

Before closing, Mr. Speaker, I should like to congratulate in French the mover (Mr. Leduc) and the seconder (Mr. Carrick) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne.


Mr. Speaker, like all previous speakers, I would like to offer my congratulations to the mover (Mr. Leduc) and the seconder (Mr. Carrick) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. The complimentary remarks I would like to make would never be good enough for what they deserve. I shall therefore simply say "very well done" and "all honour to them."

The Address-Mr. W. M. Hamilton (Text):


William McLean Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. M. Hamilton (Notre Dame de Grace):

On the first occasion on which it is possible for me to do so this year, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Postmaster General (Mr. Cote) very much indeed for the shining, new and bright post office which was opened in our area of Notre Dame de Grace just a month or two ago. It shows the co-operation that exists between the Postmaster General and myself.

Those of us who come from Montreal, and who are Conservative, would be perhaps saying something hypocritical if we said we were happy to see the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) come into this house. We would have been happier had it been someone on this side. But if they had to choose from amongst the group of Liberals in Quebec to fill that post I believe they made a good choice, because he is a very fine man. I am sure, too, that the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Richardson), who has just come into this house, will make quite a contribution to our proceedings because in the Herald for Tuesday, November 9, he said:

My experience and background and ability show that I can speak for this riding far better than my three opponents combined.

This statement was made just after the election.

During the summer I was happy to see that the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Lesage) was spending his time travelling in Canada. I believe he is a little bit out of place with the other cabinet ministers, but it is a good thing that at least one of them is staying at home and examining that tremendously important territory for which he is responsible.

One of the advantages of this debate, Mr. Speaker, is that it allows us to put forward ideas or suggestions which may occur to us which we could not otherwise encompass in the course of the debates on the legislation which comes before this house. We in this house must concern ourselves with the problem of democratic government, purely as democratic government, to ascertain whether the government is continuing to fulfil its democratic responsibilities. There is little opportunity to discuss that in detail under any specific piece of legislation; therefore I should like to take a few minutes this afternoon to examine this particular aspect of our parliamentary and political life in Canada.

The other day the hon. member for Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) suggested that this whole question of our democratic operation is the most important problem of our free world, because it matters very little if we strike off the encircling chains of captivity from others if,

The Address-Mr. W. M. Hamilton in the process, we bind ourselves. We do not have to go to the hon. member for Oxford for that suggestion. We can go back almost a century to Abraham Lincoln, who put it quite succinctly when he said:

Must a government of necessity be too strong for the liberties of its people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?

This challenge to the ability of free men to develop a means of restricting certain of their activities in the interests of society while still remaining free has been met at different times in different ways. Essentially free governments everywhere are patterned after one or another of the three parliamentary democracies of Great Britain, France or the United States. Each of these systems has its strength and each its weakness. Sir Arthur Salter, whose record in the British house is known to most of us here, has made the following comment:

Each of these three systems has its distinctive merits and each of them has a distinctive inherent danger. The danger of the French system is instability. The danger of the American system is deadlock. The danger of the British system is cabinet tyranny.

Under the British system, which is the one we follow in Canada, such cabinet tyranny can be cloaked in many ways. It will depend largely on the cleverness of the party in power in dissimulating its intentions and misleading the public as to whether or not the people generally realize the dangerous course their government may be following. When you have a government that has the political morality of an alley cat and the lust for power of a Genghis Khan, it behooves those of us-and that includes all of us Conservatives on this side-who hold democracy precious to be on guard for all the people.

It is well to remember, Mr. Speaker, that the existence of the ballot itself and some form of free election is no indication of either political freedom or freedom of the individual. The Germany of the thirties had an elective parliament sitting concurrently with the Hitler regime; Russia today has an elective parliament which meets from time to time for the discussion of public affairs.

In our society in Canada, government is a living organism. It is a dynamic, not a static part of our existence. Its role, its responsibilities, its way of operation and, to some extent, its entire function must change from time to time to adapt itself to changing conditions. This I admit. But I do not admit that in this changing process we need to, or should, surrender those democratic privileges that men have fought and died for all down through the centuries.

There are those who do not agree with this thesis. These people are prone to argue

that the adaptation of government to our changing society must of necessity mean the invasion of our rights as free men and as free legislators. For example, in a speech on the role of government delivered by Monsieur Maurice Lamontagne, then of Laval University in Quebec, we find this statement:

The society of tomorrow will have to face the problem of bureaucracy. To solve it, it will be necessary to create new methods of democratic control and perhaps also to revise our concept of democracy.

Here is a clear-cut case of the sort of confused thinking to which I refer, the suggestion that to deal with the changing role of government in our society we must revise our concept of democracy. I noted with interest that the author of this suggestion, shortly after making it, moved from his university in Quebec to a senior post in our government bureaucracy at Ottawa. I predict a brilliant future for him. His pathway has been blazed by a number of other civil servants, including the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Pickersgill), the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Campney), all of whom came into the cabinet from the civil service.

Amongst Canadians it is commonly assumed that the nature of our government, and the way in which the democratic process operates in our Canadian parliamentary system, has not changed in the period since 1935 when the Liberal party began its long tenure of office. This misconception is fostered by the fact th^t things are done very much as they used to be done. The Speaker still presides; resolutions and bills are still proposed, debated, and with almost complete uniformity passed. All the trappings of a parliamentary democracy are observed. But this does not necessarily mean that democracy and parliamentary control extend below the surface. Appearances can sometimes be deceiving, as they are in this case.

For those who would claim that this is not so, let me remind them of the evolution of the message we are today debating, the message of His Excellency the Governor General which we term more popularly the speech from the throne. There was a point in British parliamentary history when this message was just what it purports to be today, direction from the monarch to his parliament regarding legislation. Today, though couched in the same archaic language and using the same pronouns, even the schoolboy knows that the speech is conceived and written, exactly as delivered, by the cabinet of the day. Yet outwardly there is no change; and this simple example, plus many others from our procedure, proves to us beyond any

doubt that the realities can undergo great change while surface appearances remain constant.

The fact that these subsurface changes are taking place is generally admitted, and has been for many years, even among the stanchest adherents of the Liberal party. Senator Roebuck, the former Liberal member for Trinity, said in a debate in the other place in 1947:

The direction in which we are travelling is a regulated society in which the rights of the individual are set aside, purportedly for the good of the public, but the final result is next door to a controlled society or a police state in which the private individual and the business of the [DOT]country are bossed by a few civil servants.

Later in the same speech he remarked:

I know we are drifting towards the abolition of government by legislation and the substitution therefor of government by order in council.

The member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) made the following statement, first in an article in a national magazine and later before the national Liberal convention in 1948:

From the ideology of the C.C.F. we have lifted the worship of bureaucratic controls, leaving parliament-and the reference is to the present, not to wartime-little more than the role of a debating society, controlled from outside, not by the people who elect its members, but by minor czars and petty dictators.

We all know what happens to such free thinkers in the Liberal party and in this government, and the hon. member for Quebec South is an example; he got bounced from the cabinet by those who have "a new concept of democracy". These are not isolated quotations. They have been echoed time and time again by Liberals of every rank, and from every part of this country.

The judiciary of our country has warned time and time again against the increasing abuse of government powers. In 1948, for example, in reporting a judgment of Mr. Justice E. R. Angers of the exchequer court, the Canadian Press said:

A justice of the exchequer court warned today that uncurtailed use of discretionary powers placed in government officials could lead to a dictatorial government in Canada. There are, in my judgment, far too many encroachments by ministers, deputy ministers and functionaries in the judicial as well as the legislative field.

Said Mr. Justice Angers:

If they are not curtailed, the country may In a not too remote future be ruled by a dictatorial government.

Last year, in a case where the Department of National Revenue had refused to reveal certain information to a British Columbia court, Mr. Justice Rand of the supreme court said:

To eliminate the courts in a function with which the tradition of the common law has invested them

The Address-Mr. W. M. Hamilton and to hold them subject to any opinion formed, rational or irrational, by a member of the executive to the prejudice, it might be, of the lives of private individuals, is not in harmony with the basic conception of our policy.

And a few sentences later he said:

What is secured by attributing to the courts this preliminary determination of possible prejudice is protection against executive encroachment upon the administration of justice: and in the present trend of government little can be more essential to the maintenance of individual security.

Thus apparently two of Canada's top jurists distrust the present trend of government, and many similar judicial observations could be cited. The press of Canada has an acute awareness of the dangers facing us. The Winnipeg Tribune, in an editorial on March 6, 1954, said in part:

The decline of parliament's power, prestige and control is real and distressing. The encroachment of the executive on parliament's traditional functions has brought parliament to the status of a sounding board and a place in which grievances may be aired. The authority of parliament is rapidly disappearing.

What's more, there is considerable danger that the cabinet, which has done much to undermine parliament, is now in serious danger of itself becoming captive.

The cabinet is becoming more and more reliant on anonymous civil servant policy-makers, who are not responsible to parliament or the courts for their actions. The senior officials of government departments have acquired wider and wider powers of law making and law breaking.

Newspaper after newspaper across our country has pointed out these facts, in editorial after editorial.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in developing my argument to this point I have attempted to show three things: first, that under our British and Canadian type of parliamentary government the inherent danger to democratic processes is the chance of power passing from the legislative body to the cabinet or, beyond it, to the bureaucracy; second, that such a transition of power may well take place without any definable change in the parliamentary process and without the public becoming aware of the change; and, third, I have attempted to show that such a change is taking place in Canada, and that we have entered upon a period of cabinet tyranny and bureaucratic control.

Given these facts, we have to ask ourselves what can we do about it, or whether we propose to do anything about it. The situation reminds me of a story of two friends who were up in the gallery of the house when a cabinet minister was making a speech during the presentation of his estimates. Iri that speech he was extolling the virtues of his government, and also making a vigorous attack against suggestions put forward by the Conservative party. His attack became more vigorous by the moment, and one man


The Address-Mr. W. M. Hamilton turned to the other and asked, "Are the Conservatives going to take this lying down?" The friend replied, "No, that is what they have Hansard for." Well, we Conservatives are not going to take this change in democratic government principles lying down, either.

Earlier in this address I pointed out the fact that government is a living organism which must adjust itself to the needs of a dynamic society, but that in the process of such adaptation we should be constantly on guard against the surrender of any of our democratic rights, both as individuals and as a legislature. One of the ways in which we can lose these rights is to delegate certain of our powers and then, having delegated them, not keep continuous control of and inspection over those powers and over those to whom the powers have been delegated.

Lack of action such as that represents a very large part of the menace of delegated legislation. Years ago, when government was a comparatively simple matter, parliament could go at great length into all the details of its legislation and the implementation of that legislation. The rules under which it would be carried out could be brought before the house for discussion and debate. But the growth of government activities makes it no longer possible to do such detailed work in this house. In a great many cases all parliament can do is to set up the framework and basic principles by means of a bill, and then leave to the cabinet and to the bureaucracy the detailed working out of the provisions, which are then regularized and given the force of law by orders in council.

The theory behind this method of operation is that such actions, being available for inspection and study by individual members of this house, may be brought before the house in certain ways if it is considered they are not consistent with the desires of the house.

There are two weaknesses with such a procedure as it presently exists. First, the volume of such delegated legislation has grown to a point where its voluntary review by members of this house is almost an impossibility; and, second, no organized committee of members of this house has been set up for such review. For example, the last two volumes of the Canada Gazette, part II, one of which appeared on December 22, 1954 and the other on Wednesday, January 12, 1955, totalled 1,462 pages. That gives some idea of the volume of this work which should be subject to review by this house.

This government, in debates at the end of May, 1950, indicated its position, that it considers parliamentary review of such delegated legislation unnecessary. My position on

this attitude may be summed up in the words of Professor Mallory of McGill University who, in the Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science for November, 1953, says:

Evidently, in the Prime Minister's mind, careful ministerial consideration could be regarded as a substitute for parliamentary review. There are perhaps not many persons outside of ministerial and official circles who would agree with him.

In the field of the financial activities of the government there is provision for such a review, independent of the government of the day, with the report on the legality and correctness of these actions being made direct to parliament itself. I refer, of course, to the activities of the Auditor General. I think every member of this house looks forward with considerable interest to the arrival of the Auditor General's annual report-the opposition with anticipation and the government with trepidation.

If we accept, as we must, the fact that every action of this government is done in good faith and with every intention of complying with the wishes of this house and the laws of the land, the annual report of the Auditor General indicates quite clearly that none of us, whatever our intentions, is perfect. I do not know how hard the government tries to be perfect; I suspect sometimes not very hard. Each year we receive a report which points out numerous mistakes on the part of the bureaucracy. This year, for example, they ranged from highly questionable accounting procedures on the part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation through highly questionable uses of public funds in a number of cases, to highly questionable rental arrangements for officials of the government at various points in Canada.

Such a review of government activities tends to act as a check on irregular activities, and to bring to the attention of this house much information which we otherwise would not receive. This information is supplementary and additional to all that which comes to us from our inspection of the estimates and the discussions we engage in during their examination. I think most of us, certainly on this side of the house and perhaps with the exception of the cabinet, would agree that the function of the Auditor General is highly important and one which is of tremendous value to us in our work of governing this country efficiently and well.

In the light of these remarks and this demonstrated tendency for delegated legislation and actions to be concentrated in the hands of a comparatively small and select group of people outside this house, I would like to put forward for the consideration of the house the thought that a similar office

to that of the Auditor General might be established to deal with activities of the government in the field of delegated legislation, with special reference to orders in council and rulings made by various departmental heads as the result of powers delegated by this house in its legislation.

Within this field such an officer should be on a status comparable with that of the Auditor General. He would be an officer of this house, reporting directly to this house in his own right, with the same protection against interference as that enjoyed by the Auditor General. In this respect he would differ greatly from the present departmental solicitors and Department of Justice; for while we must realize that activities in the field of delegated legislation are reviewed by these gentlemen, we must also realize that their responsibilities fall in the line of command of departmental organization, and it is logical to expect that their reasoning may be influenced to some extent by this fact.

The function of this officer of the house, as I have indicated, would be to review orders in council and departmental rulings with the force of law, to determine whether in his opinion they complied with the provisions of the bill authorizing them. As with the Auditor General, he would have the power to investigate and study subsidiary material and to enter governmental files in order to determine the circumstances surrounding a particular item of delegated legislation under study, because goodness knows they have great reservations about making adequate material available to us.

The report of this officer, made directly to this house, would be similar to that of the Auditor General. It would point out particular circumstances in which he felt that

The Address-Mr. W. M. Hamilton action on the part of the cabinet or its subsidiary officials transgressed the provisions of legislation of this house.

I do not propose to develop in any further detail the functions and responsibilities of this particular official, because I think I have gone far enough to show rather clearly the value of such an undertaking to hon. members. I make this statement very definitely; this is not a super-bureaucracy; it is not setting up a man to check on others which will grow and grow as many of those bureaucracies have done. It is a function parallel to that of the Auditor General, serving this house directly, and not a servant to the government.

However, I do suggest that this is the type of thinking which the government should have undertaken a long time ago. All of us are aware that both in the business field and in the governmental field conditions are vastly changed from those of a generation ago. We cannot set back the clock, nor would we wish to do so in some respects. Rather, we must work out ways and means of dealing with circumstances as we find them in the changing life which we are facing today.

One of these circumstances is the increased responsibility of government and the increased volume of work being handled by this house. I think it has been obvious since the advent of world war II that we had to find ways and means of keeping democratic control in this house and still delegating some of the details with which in the late 1800's and the early 1900's the house could deal.

On motion of Mr. Hamilton (Notre Dame de Grace) the debate was adjourned.


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

Thursday, February 3, 1955

February 2, 1955