February 9, 1955

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Mr. Speaker, I know that the hon. gentleman is versed in the English language, and when he says that a motion is a fraud, he is going beyond what should be said in this house about any motion that is moved.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I shall withdraw the word "fraud", sir.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

Will the minister let me tell him what the word "fraud" means?

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. May I remind hon. members that the hon. member who has the floor cannot be interrupted without his consent.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

He has my consent, sir.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I wish to make it clear that the hon. minister, who has the floor, cannot impute motives to the proposer of the resolution, and it was to that aspect of the matter I directed my attention a few moments ago. I understood the minister's remarks to be directed to the resolution and to its wording. I could not find any objection to that. I understand the minister has withdrawn the word "fraud" so surely we can take the matter as being at an end.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Perhaps I can confer in private with the hon. member for Greenwood and thereby improve my own education-

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

-because some day, as hon. members opposite have pointed out, I may need it.

However, I think no exception was taken to my statement that in my opinion this resolution is misleading; and I want to say why I think it is misleading. I think it is misleading because it recommends, to use the hon. member's own words, "more support from the consolidated revenue fund for the provinces". I do not think you could be sure of having in every province more support from the consolidated revenue fund for the provinces for purposes of education, unless you stipulated that the provinces had to continue to spend the amount they are spending now, and that whatever was contributed must be added to it.

I think the moment you did that you would be transgressing the other part of the resolution, which says that you must not interfere with provincial jurisdiction.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. Even after granting a generous allowance to the minister for the time consumed by myself in discussing points of order, I must advise him that his time has expired.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Go ahead.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Finish it.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

If there is unanimous consent the minister may proceed.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I thank the house for its indulgence. I was hoping, Mr. Speaker, to have finished in about two more sentences, but it may take three or four to get back to the thread of what I was saying.

The point I was really making was this; that it seems to me, as I said earlier, that in this motion we have a contradiction in terms. If, instead, the hon. member had moved a simple resolution-

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

You would have opposed it anyway.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

-in which he said that because of the financial crisis in education- and I would not have agreed with him, but I would not have quarrelled with that phrase in the motion-the tax rental payments to the provinces should be increased so the provincial governments would be in a position to discharge their responsibilities properly, I would have thought that was a perfectly proper kind of suggestion for a member of parliament to make.

But when we try to make people think we are voting for more aid for education, when we have no way of making sure, if we did it, that it would go for education, then I think it is-I see the hon. member for Greenwood looking at me, and I am trying to think of a synonym for the word he and I cannot use-I think it is very misleading to the public.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to answer the arguments of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Pickersgill), or to attempt to meet the variations and changes in his viewpoint from paragraph to paragraph.

The issue before the house is important, and I compliment the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight) for having brought it to the attention of hon. members. I am sure he is conscious of the constitutional difficulties, but at least he has brought before us a problem that is close to the hearts of all Canadians today. I was somewhat interested in the speech just delivered by the minister. I listened, too, to the hon. member for Saskatoon. There is no doubt that the Minister of

Educatior

Citizenship and Immigration, while perhaps he did not intend to, could have provoked an interesting debate on many points if he had been permitted to deviate that far from the subject matter of the resolution.

However, I was glad to learn that the minister and the late Hon. George Brown were in agreement, even if each believed that he should not give any subsidies without having control; and yet we know that both did it. I do not see the great danger the minister has mentioned of infringing provincial rights. He says the only procedure would be by means of a redistribution of national revenue, but he says this could not be done unless it were followed up with controllers to look after it. The minister says it is all right to give aid to education to children in one district, because there has been common agreement in advance, but that it could not be granted in another district because control would be required. It seems to me that what he said could be summed up in this way. The minister seemed to say that what we want to do we can do constitutionally, but what we do not want to do we are afraid might not be constitutional.

I must say I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever taught school. But if I had been a school teacher and had offered the arguments he has offered concerning education I would be afraid that my students would doubt me. It is not my intention to get into any controversy with the minister, because he is still a young man. He says he has been in the House of Commons only about a year and a half, and I know he is associated with men who have had wide experience. We know, too, that the minister has had a colourful career in the civil service, and I hope his career in the House of Commons is equally colourful, even if I cannot understand exactly the direction in which he is going.

I do not wish to take up much time in this discussion because I know there are others in the house today who are keenly interested in this matter and who would not take kindly to my encroaching upon their time. Therefore I shall not repeat many of the statements that have been made. It will be recalled, however, that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) in 1952 and 1953, as well as on other occasions, emphasized where he stood on this issue, and pointed out the difficulties the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration touched upon today, and how they might be met. No one realized more than he did, when he was minister of education in Ontario, the importance of this growing problem, the education of our youth. But I submit that today it is even more vital, and that it grows more important as the years pass. As our national

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

One has been called.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I am glad to know that. We have been pressing for it for four or five years. We have not had one for some years. I am glad to know that, and I am sure the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) will be glad to learn when he returns that somebody has announced it.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Read the Prime Minister's letter.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink

February 9, 1955