February 3, 1955

LIB
LIB
CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

That leaves $11 million, and out of that $11 million only a little more than $1| million went for the support of butter. On the other hand, many other .products that were supported cost more than the butter support. For instance, there is gold. With the tremendous importance of the dairy industry the amount of $1J million was well spent money to keep that industry functioning.

I am sure everyone realizes that butter or butterfat is the key to the whole dairy industry. If you do not maintain this floor price then you are going to bring calamity and disaster to the dairy industry. If the people who are idle were provided with employment no doubt they would eat butter and there would be no surplus. I want to draw to the attention of the house that I am speaking not only for myself as a farmer, but on behalf of this group, who are representative of farmers who are dependent upon the dairy industry for their livelihood. I would be bold enough to say I am speaking for 400,000 dairy farmers who are facing disaster, if the government does not announce this butter price and let those farmers know what is going to be done before the cows freshen in the spring.

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PC

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. W. Murphy (Lambton West):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. member who just concluded his speech that he is not the only one, nor is his group the only group or party in the house that speaks for the farmers. I know he has heard a great many speeches from the official opposition since the opening of this session which should warrant his coming to the sound conclusion that if any party has spoken at this session on behalf of the farmers, there can be no mistake as to its being the official opposition.

I should like to make two or three points briefly. The first is that in the last several years many parts of Canada have experienced misfortune. Since coming to the house I recall the disaster of the Fraser river flood, the fires at Rimouski and Cabano, the Red river or Winnipeg disaster and "Hurricane Hazel" which did so much damage not only in the Toronto area but in other parts of Canada.

Nor am I unmindful of the tragedy that befell the city of Sarnia because of the tornado in 1953. It so happened that it occurred almost exactly at six o'clock in the evening when the youngsters were probably in their kitchens, and citizens were

not on the streets. Otherwise we would have suffered a terrific death toll, because on street after street buildings were blown down, and the streets were littered with fallen trees and other debris. It is miraculous that we escaped without serious death loss.

My point is that in the event of tornadoes, hurricanes or fires such as I have mentioned, or in the event of flood damage, exemptions should be given from income tax. The nonbusiness property would be under one classification. I would suggest briefly that the difference between the value of the property immediately before the disaster and its value immediately after should be taken into consideration, and that such amount, less the insurance allocated to the insurers, should be the amount deducted for purposes of income tax.

Business loss would be in a different category, and income tax deductions could be the same as in the United States where the loss is in the proportion of the adjusted basis of the entire property which the value of the destroyed part bears to the value of the entire property. And such loss must also be reduced by any insurance or other compensations.

Mr. Speaker, some three years ago this coming April I spoke at length upon the necessity for lowering the level of the great lakes, not only because of the serious damage the lake levels have been doing to lake shore property, but for other reasons which should be taken into consideration immediately. We know that the St. Lawrence seaway project is under way, and that when it is completed the lake level will be lower than it is now. But I believe that at this time we must face the serious loss which property owners must endure before the lake level is reduced.

We have seen in the press recently that in the county of Essex and elsewhere in Ontario there is bound to be considerable damage this coming spring. And I can say without hesitation, living on the shore of lake Huron, that the high lake levels are doing a terrific amount of damage to very valuable property. I am not going to speak at length about the cause of these high levels, because there is some idea that permitting certain waters to flow into lake Superior, thus increasing the flow into lake Huron, could be controlled, and that the damage done by the increased flow is someone's responsibility. We hear it said from time to time that the federal government is responsible, or could be held responsible.

I am not arguing the merits of that particular case, but I think perhaps a sound case 50433-53J

The Address-Mr. J. W. Murphy could be made out. The point I make is that, pending completion of the St. Lawrence seaway scheme, action must be taken now. There is action that could be taken to lower the lake levels now. We understand that when the seaway is completed the levels of lakes Huron, Ontario and Superior may be lowered by some three or four feet. At the moment however lake levels are very high. I have here a graph giving information back as far as 90 years, but unfortunately it cannot be placed on Hansard in this form. It is available to anyone who would like to see it, however.

Some years ago Canada was greatly alarmed about the amount of water the Chicago drainage scheme was taking from lake Michigan. I believe that at the height of intake some 9,000 cubic feet per second were going in through that scheme. Action was taken in the United States courts, and as a result this flow was reduced to about 3,200 cubic feet per second. I would suggest that this government should consult with that of the United States in an endeavour to see if we cannot put more water through that scheme now, thus lowering the level of lake Huron and the levels of the lakes and rivers between that and the St. Lawrence river. I believe this is necessary, because if we could have, let us say, 8,000 or 9,000 more cubic feet per second going through that drainage scheme the lake level would be reduced by some 12 or 15 inches within a year. And we want to have the lake level reduced.

I suggest, as I did at that time, that the Welland canal should be kept open all winter. A good deal of water can go through there, if it is kept open-and it certainly cannot if it is closed.

As stated before, consideration should be given to controlling the amount of water flowing from lake Superior into lake Huron. This is absolutely necessary and, according to engineers both in Canada and the United States, quite feasible. The Trent canal is another physical means of increasing the flow and lowering these lake levels. And the blasting of the rock at Galop, with the control system at Iroquois, is another means whereby the level of lake Huron could be reduced very rapidly.

I cannot emphasize too strongly the necessity for action now. There is no occasion to wait two or three years. Lake levels are going to be reduced, and if there is action we can take, then let us take it without delay.

Do not wait until another $4 million or $5 million worth of damage is done before any action is taken. As I said a moment ago, and I am going to repeat it, the simple way to do

836 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. J. W. Murphy it is to permit another 10,000 or 12,000 cubic feet a second to go through the Chicago drainage canal, lessen the flow from lake Superior into lake Huron by 5,000 to 7,000 cubic feet per second. That would alleviate the distress which many people in the province of Ontario are going to experience in the coming spring.

The next matter I should like to mention is the plight of the municipalities. Over the years since I have been here I have emphasized this problem, as have many members of my party. We have urged that we have a dominion-provincial conference, a continuing conference incidentally, because when there is a delay between conferences a great deal is lost. When this conference is called it is most necessary that the plight of the municipalities be one of the major considerations dealt with. We all come from a city, or a town or a rural area. There is not one person in this house who does not know the serious difficulties that the junior municipalities are facing. Unfortunately their tax revenues are practically dried up. They depend on real estate taxation, and their projects are held up. They are subject to suggestions and practically orders from senior governments to set certain standards which these municipalities cannot meet because of their narrow revenue bases. They are confronted with a rapidly developing financial crisis. Let there be no mistake about that.

The increased cost for education and highways, the increased cost of administration, and I would include in that the increased salaries of their employees such as policemen, firemen and so forth, to which they are entitled if they are to maintain a high standard of living, have become a burden. Because of the limited revenues of these municipalities their plight is becoming so acute that some action must be taken, and it can be taken only through a conference. I have suggested before in this house, and so have other members of my party-it was suggested yesterday by the hon. member for London (Mr. Mitchell)- that the municipalities should be exempt from sales tax on any purchases that they make. I have said this before, and in fact it is a plank in our platform. It is one of the soundest arguments that anyone can advance, because the provincial governments of this country are exempt from sales tax, and yet the municipal governments and the boards of education who require anything for the service of their people must pay a sales tax. Probably because of our arguments over the last several years there has been an exemption on fire equipment and road equipment if it costs $1,000 or more, but that is not good enough. The amount that could be saved by

my city of Sarnia if it were exempt from sales tax would amount to something over $75,000 this year. That is no small item. In larger centres it would be many times that amount. They need it.

Another matter that I should like to mention is the payment of taxes by all crown property. Since 1945 we have argued in this house for the payment of taxes, or an amount in lieu of taxes, by crown companies and by the government on all crown properties. When I say "crown properties" I mean provincial crown property as well as federal crown property. I have pressed persistently for the taxation of crown companies or payment in lieu of taxes and I am happy to say that that formula was accepted by this government in November 1949 despite previous strong objection. We are fortunate in Sarnia in having the Polymer Corporation, one of the most successful corporations that ever operated in this or any other country. Today they pay into the coffers of the city of Sarnia some $285,000 as their share of taxes in that particular city. We do have a formula today under which, if crown property amounts to a certain percentage of the total assessment, there is some relief. That is not good enough, Mr. Speaker. I sincerely feel that all crown buildings and properties whether in the city of Ottawa, in the city of Sarnia, the city of Winnipeg, the city of Vancouver or any place else, should pay the same tax as the property next door which is owned by an individual or an industry.

I am going to say something that has not been said in this house before. The next dominion-provincial conference should deal with the science of government. May I give one illustration? Our townships and counties were laid out in the days of oxen. I will confine myself to Ontario; in fact I will confine myself to western Ontario. I have sat on a township council and I have attended county council meetings. In the county of Lambton we have 10 townships that were laid out in the days of the ox-cart. We are almost beyond the oil age and into the atomic era. We must streamline our governments, whether municipal, provincial or federal, to the needs of the day. Where we have 10 townships in my county or 12 in others, as the case may be, we could well do with four. So far as voting is concerned- I am not going into details-the county councils could be represented by population. We have to get away from this idea of adhering to something that was enacted in 1867 or 1868 as it affects the boundaries of our townships. Extra costs are imposed on the administration of our counties because they

were laid out before the days of the automobile. It is time we considered that together with the other matters which concern the plight of the municipalities.

I am going to refer to something which some people will say is a provincial matter. I am going to refer to many school sections in our province. Perhaps I should confine myself to my own. There are many school houses, the little old red school house in which the sanitary conditions are substandard. Perhaps the floors are scrubbed three or four times a year. I was amazed the other day when I read a report of a medical health officer which said that in 65 per cent of two townships the schools had substandard sanitary conditions. That also applied to the purity of the water. That may come within provincial or school board jurisdiction according to some people, but that is not the way I see it, because the health and welfare of the children of this country are the concern of everyone whether they sit in this parliament or in any junior parliament. It is about time that we put teeth into some of our laws. We hesitate to put into the batteries of our cars water that is not pure, and yet we allow our young children from coast to coast who go to these little red school houses to drink polluted or contaminated water. These municipalities need increased assistance for education and highways. I am going to suggest for consideration that when they get around to this dominion-provincial conference the municipalities be allowed the three cents per gallon gasoline tax which is now imposed and which was an extra imposition during the war. Later this government relieved us of that particular three cents. Other governments then took it upon themselves to collect it.

I have no hesitation in saying right now that I think that in order to save the municipalities from the plight they are facing they should be given some measure of revenue, and this three cents per gallon could be collected in the municipalities and would be a big factor in their being able to provide better services to the people.

The amusement tax may not mean a great deal in revenue, but I submit it should be collected by the municipalities and thus provide another means of increasing the revenues which they so badly need.

For the few minutes left at my disposal I am going to refer to a matter and I have no apology to make for doing so. During the discussion of the estimates a year ago I referred to the sale by Canadian National Railways of some property in Point Edward, which is just next door to Sarnia. It is just off the bridge crossing to Port Huron.

The Address-Mr. J. W. Murphy

At that time I was wondering what had happened to some 30-odd acres lying on the shores of the river St. Clair which is part of the St. Lawrence seaway scheme. These 30-odd acres would have made an excellent industrial site and no government or government agency should have disposed of them because they were located on the banks of the seaway. No one knew better than the Canadian National Railways and the Department of Transport the full details of the seaway development. We were all assured that this was in the offing, and yet we find that these 30-odd acres were sold for $10,500, about half the price of good farm land in western Ontario.

As I say, this was a choice industrial site, or even a residential site. Let me say for the record that good industrial sites are being purchased in that area by the chemical industries at prices up to $2,000 or more an acre. Yet we find the Canadian National Railways which owned this particular property selling it for the small sum of $10,500.

I can understand the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) not answering my question but in fact it gave me free-wheeling to discuss it. I understand that part of this property has been sold for residential purposes at somewhere around $45,000 and no doubt the remainder will be sold for the same amount. This sale was made within months of the purchase.

There may be some significance in the fact that the purchaser, who happened to have been the Liberal defeated candidate in the last election, purchased this property just after the 1949 election.

Another piece of property comprising about 14 acres was sold for $8,000-odd. This adjoined the other property I just mentioned. Within months of its being purchased from the Canadian National Railways part of it was sold for $45,000.

It is about time that somebody in this house had the courage and conviction to say to the C.N.R. officials that somebody in Canada is entitled to think for himself. Apparently they want to save us the painful chore of thinking for ourselves. In view of what I have told the house tonight I am saying that we have in that system $2,000 or $3,000 men who are drawing $10,000, $15,000 or more a year. Surely anyone who would make such a silly, asinine decision is not competent to hold a $10,000 or $15,000 job.

The matter of weeding out inefficiency is just as indispensable in our system as is the rewarding of the energetic and efficient. We must never lose sight of the fact that our so-called profit system is a profit and loss

The Address-Mr. Rowe system. I think it is about time that the officials in the Canadian National Railways woke up and found that out.

In this chemical valley of Canada we find the Canadian National Telegraphs office located in an old passenger railway car down on the waterfront, a location which certainly is not a credit to the Canadian National Railways. They need not wonder why they are not getting their share of the business; neither is it fair to the employees.

The staff of the Canadian National express are housed in another old passenger car up by the railway sheds. If you call that efficiency and sound business I must say that I disagree with you.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. Earl Rowe (Dufferin-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to delay the house for more than a few minutes before this subamendment is voted on. The subamendment as moved by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Hahn) reads:

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.

To me that is only an anaemic mockery of the amendment moved by the official opposition. It does not appear to me to be an amendment at all. It is only a watered-down reiteration of the amendment which it is supposed to amend.

If members of the Social Credit party are so serious in their admiration of our amendment that they want to try to copy it, then rather than trying to amend it I think they should support it.

I may say that we in the official opposition have no intention of supporting it. There is nothing new in the subamendment and there is no reason that I can see why this party should support it. I am not going to enlarge on our reasons. We have no confidence in that party. I do not think they will ever have a chance to put such a motion into effect.

I have no confidence in the subamendment. It simply mimics the amendment we have moved and therefore I intend to vote against it. I hope my party will vote against it.

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CCF
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

May I ask the hon. member if it would be possible for him to make his views known at this time so that we could have a vote on the one subamendment.

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?

An hon. Member:

Ten o'clock.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

I cannot very well accommodate the leader of the house unless I have unanimous support, which apparently I have not.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Go ahead.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver-Kingsway):

I shall not detain the house for more than a few minutes. I want to do something similar to that done by the Acting Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Rowe) when he spoke a moment ago. I want to state our position in regard to the amendment to the amendment moved by the Social Credit member for New Westminster (Mr. Hahn) yesterday. The amendment reads:

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.

We are able to vote for that subamendment, Mr. Speaker, because It is the kind of subamendment we have been moving on such occasions as this in this house for the last, I do not know how many years. As a matter of fact, it is the kind of subamendment we moved to this address which was voted upon the other day. When I heard that the genial member for New Westminster was going to move the amendment for the Social Credit party, I knew it would be an innocent, reasonable amendment for which any reasonable person could vote, that is any reasonable person who wanted to see the government do something to keep the economy going. If the amendment had been moved by my stern friend the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Hansell) or by the very knowledgeable member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blackmore), I am sure it would have been quite a different amendment. Perhaps we would not have been able to vote for it. As I said, the amendment is quite a reasonable one which regrets that the government has not done certain things.

The only way in which we differ from both the members on my left and the members on my right is that they insist the government should do things but they are always unwilling to give the government the necessary means of control to do those things. If you ask the hired man to do something, you have to give him the tools to do the job. You cannot complain about controls or that the government interferes and at the same time expect the government to promote business. At least, you cannot logically do that, but I have long ago given up expecting logic of the members either to my right or to my left. For that reason,

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

we are going to vote for the subamendment. We are not playing politics. It is something we do because we want to do it.

I should like to refer to one other matter. When the Acting Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Rowe) was speaking in this house on Tuesday night, he said, as reported at page 756 of Hansard for February 1, 1955:

I have never doubted the integrity of purpose of hon. members, not even my hon. friends to my left.

Well, you know that sort of patronizing attitude gets my goat. Even the members to his left! Surely, the hon. gentleman does not think he is better than we are. Supposing I say I have never doubted the integrity of hon. members, even of the member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe) ? We are members who, I think, are just as highly respected in our several communities as any other hon. member either on this side or on that side of the house.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

When my friend has to find fault with us, I imagine there is a great deal in our program and in our policies that could be legitimately criticized by people who do not agree with it. Nevertheless, I want to tell members in this house that there are very few men, women and children in this dominion who are not better off today because there is a C.C.F. party.

Let me read to you from an editorial that appeared in one of the Vancouver newspapers some time ago concerning this party. It says:

Canada needs a strong party of the left, a party of protest, a party which advocates policies entirely opposed to those of the existing government. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation is that party and it is doing a good job . . .

This newspaper is the Vancouver Sun.

This newspaper does not believe in the socialist theories of the C.C.F., but it believes in letting the people judge these theories for themselves.

Then the editorial finishes in this way:

It has been the C.C.F. in British Columbia and in Canada, fighting day in and day out for the poor people, that has compelled the government to progress, to adopt reforms which otherwise would not have been adopted . . . the C.C.F. remains the only sure voice of social protest in the country.

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IND
CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

You can "huh" as much as you like, but you cannot "huh" that off.

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PC
CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

The Vancouver Sun, a Liberal paper. I have no doubt I could get an equally good editorial from a Conservative paper. As a matter of fact, when election day

comes around there is no political party in this house that has anything to offer that has any appeal to the mass of the people except some of the things that the C.C.F. has popularized.

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PC
CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

All right, so we have not a monopoly. It is there for you to have if you want it. We would not want a monopoly if that were possible. We do not care who brings these things about, as long as things are done for the people of Canada.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I could say much more along the same line, but I just wish to say again-

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PC

February 3, 1955