George Carlyle Marler (Minister of Transport)
Hon. George C. Marler (Minister of Transport):
Mr. Speaker, I must answer that I am unable to give any reply to my hon. friend this afternoon.
Hon. George C. Marler (Minister of Transport):
Mr. Speaker, I must answer that I am unable to give any reply to my hon. friend this afternoon.
On the orders of the day:
Mr. J. Wilfrid Dufresne (Quebec West):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Transport. Could the minister tell the house if his department is still considering the possibility of changing
to "Chateau Maisonneuve" the name of the new Canadian National Railways hotel in Montreal?
Mr. Duplessis does not want to.
Whenever he does want to, he will not seek permission from the hon. member for St. Mary.
Hon. George C. Marler (Minister of Transport):
Mr. Speaker, I must inform my hon. friend that this matter lies within the purview of the Canadian National Railways authorities and not of the Department of Transport.
Has the Minister of Transport already recommended to the board of transport commissioners that this change be made or does he intend to do so?
The house proceeded to the consideration of the speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor General at the opening of the session.
Mrs. Ann Shipley (Timiskaming):
Mr. Speaker, when the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) asked me by telephone if I would move the address in reply to the speech from the throne, I of course immediately accepted the honour, but with some humility. However, I soon became proud indeed, because I realized that the honour was not for me primarily but for the people of my riding, Timiskaming, whom I have the honour to represent; and furthermore, I believe that the right hon. Prime Minister and the members of his cabinet were not unmindful of the fact that in their selection they would be honouring all the women of Canada, be they in public or in private life.
It is not very long ago that women did not have the vote, and not so long ago that they were not considered persons for the purpose of qualifying for most public offices.
Throughout my experience as a trustee of a public school board, as the head of a municipality, a member of council and as a member of this House of Commons, I have found no indication whatever that we are simply tolerated; on the contrary, I have been welcomed and immediately accepted as any other member.
I stand in this house today, Mr. Speaker, as the first woman in Canadian history to move the address in reply to the speech from
The Address-Mrs. Shipley the throne. I am deeply conscious of the significance it holds for the women of Canada. On their behalf and on behalf of the people of Timiskaming, I thank the right hon. Prime Minister and the members of his cabinet.
I was pleased to note in the speech from the throne that a bill will be introduced to provide that women will receive pay equal to that paid to men for equal work in industries which are under federal jurisdiction. This was indicated by the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gregg) last session. This legislation will not affect women who are employed in industries which are not under federal jurisdiction. I mention this because there appears to be great misunderstanding on this point. All other women employees come under the jurisdiction of the provincial governments.
Speaking on this subject on previous occasions I pointed out how difficult it is to evaluate what is equal work, and I shall be most interested to examine the methods of administration which will be proposed in the forthcoming bill. What I would like to see is some method of giving women equal opportunities for advancement, but I know of no way of putting that into legislation in order to ensure the desired results. I notice that there is a vacancy on the civil service commission and I urge strongly that this vacancy be filled by the appointment of a woman. Not only do I feel that this is necessary; I urge that this should be done if we are to attain our objective of equal opportunities for all.
I congratulate and welcome the new members to this house. The seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. La-flamme), will be telling you something of the accomplishments of those who come from his province, the province of Quebec. The hon. member for Bellechasse was outstanding as a student and won many honours. After graduating as a lawyer he took a most active interest in the work of the junior chamber of commerce and the affairs of his community and country and consequently was elected to this house at a very early age. In fact, I believe he is just two months short of being the youngest member in the house.
I am going to be brief in what I say as I am sure you are all anxious to hear le nouveau depute de Bellechasse who speaks the mother tongue of a large percentage of my electors. Unfortunately and obviously that is not one of mine. He takes his seat on the right side, le cote droit, le cote sans lequel le coeur ne pourrait fonctionner.
Mr. Speaker, I wish also to congratulate you, as chairman of the committee on rules and procedure, upon the improvement in our
The Address-Mrs. Shipley rules. When I first came to this house I could not understand why so much valuable time should be taken up by member after member speaking for the full 40 minutes, in effect saying what had been said by many other members who had spoken for the full 40 minutes and who had the same convictions. However, I soon learned that the privilege of speaking often and at length is valued most highly by some hon. members and that any effort to shorten debate would undoubtedly meet with strenuous opposition.
You, sir, have accomplished what appeared to be the impossible in a truly statesmanlike manner. I need not have been surprised at this because hon. members who have been in this house for a long time have told me of your tact, sense of fairness, and above all complete understanding and knowledge of the rules, which has made you one of the best Speakers, if not the very best Speaker, that this house has ever known.
I was pleased to note the remarks with respect to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the speech from the throne. Last summer I had the privilege of joining a group of senators and members of parliament who journeyed to Paris to meet similar groups from other NATO countries. Invitations had been issued to the speakers of the assemblies of all NATO countries, but there was some doubt as to whether they would all attend. However, on our arrival we found that there was a representative group from every country. The representatives of two countries, the United States and Great Britain, about which there had been some doubt in the beginning, were outstanding in their enthusiasm.
Hon. Wishart Robertson, who headed our group, was made temporary chairman until it was determined what form the new organization should take. Subsequently Canada was honoured by the appointment of Hon. Wishart Robertson as chairman of the continuing organization.
Prior to the Canadian delegation meeting, there was some criticism in the press; in fact, I think in one or two cases they went so far as to call us busybodies. I was not disturbed about being called a busybody as I joined the group two years previously because, although I appreciated the importance of NATO in keeping peace in the world, I felt that as a member of this parliament I should know a great deal more about it.
Our meetings were held in the Palais de Chaillot, which is the headquarters of NATO. Every convenience was placed at our disposal. At the first meeting, we were made welcome by Lord Ismay, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He, of [Mrs. Shipley.1
course, stressed the importance of NATO and deplored the lack of knowledge on the part of the general public of the work being done by the NATO organization. Lord Ismay told of the various methods that had been adopted to bring knowledge and a greater understanding to the public, and went on to say that he was particularly pleased that we had come to NATO headquarters as he felt that perhaps we could do a better job of disseminating knowledge of NATO to the people of our countries than could be done by the other methods that had already been tried. I cannot, of course, speak for the others who attended, but I have spoken of little else since my return. I have made many speeches to both large and small audiences and over our local radio station. We have created a definite interest in the community, because I have many bookings to speak to other groups, as soon as I can find the time.
We in this house can imagine the frustrating delays that took place in the early months of NATO, particularly, when all decisions had to be unanimous. It would have been surprising indeed if there had not been delays and difficulties, for there was no precedent for such an organization in time of peace. Yet NATO has become the framework for the common defence of over 400 million people on both sides of the Atlantic. I for one agree with Lord Ismay that, if comparable arrangements had existed in 1914 or 1939, the history of the twentieth century might well have taken another course and the world been spared the carnage and waste of two world wars.
I could not in the time at my disposal today attempt to speak of all we learned at this conference. We were briefed by the top men of the various departments and divisions. We were taken to SHAPE and received by General Gruenther, the supreme commander, who spoke to us at some length and then introduced the heads of the various divisions of the armed forces. Here again the story was the same: the great work that was being done, the need of greater support, and again the lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the very people who were being protected by our NATO forces.
We met every day and all day for the week we were in Paris and, before the conference adjourned, we formed a continuing organization. As the primary reason for our existence is to further the aims and objectives of the North Atlantic treaty, it was felt that, excepting for enough members to ensure continuity, the same members of parliament should not attend the meeting each year, so that greater numbers would be taking an active interest in this vital organization.
It is perhaps a little difficult for Canadians to realize that there is active opposition to NATO within NATO countries, especially abroad. True, the numbers involved are not very great, but it is a very vocal minority. In fact, Lord Ismay stated in his report that a survey shows that 80 per cent of the people in the United States, United Kingdom and France had no idea what the word "NATO" stood for.
In particular, the NATO countries abroad are being bombarded with destructive propaganda and, if they are told again and again that NATO is indeed an offensive organization of nations and we do very little to tell them that it is solely to prevent aggression, we have no one but ourselves to blame that these minorities exist.
The officials of France, from the President down, welcomed us with open arms. We could not begin to accept all the hospitality offered, in the time at our disposal.
As the Minister of National Defence felt that our knowledge of the functions of NATO would be incomplete unless we visited our forces in Europe, the Canadian delegation left France and flew to Germany and visited our army bases there as well as all the air bases in both France and Germany. Before this tour was finished, I was beginning to feel that it was an endurance test because of the number of places we visited and the thousands of people to whom we talked in so short a period of time.
At every base we were shown the living quarters, the recreational and educational facilities, the working facilities and how well the men had been trained. We were given an opportunity to talk, unaccompanied by brass of any kind, to the men and women of all ranks. The only complaint I heard on the whole tour was from several of our men and their wives that they were sorry they could not stay longer.
I was deeply interested in the new permanent married quarters. The highest ranking officers live in quarters identical with those of the newest recruits. They have the same furniture and the same furnishings. The area allotted to each of the men is determined solely by the number of children, and it seems to be working perfectly. Incidentally, whoever was responsible for the selection of the furnishings should be highly complimented. Furnishings, of necessity, must be functional and durable. Nevertheless, the simplicity of design and natural finishes have created homes of undoubted charm. In spite of the fact that the only differences in the apartments are in the colours of walls, rugs and curtains, each has its own individuality.
The Address-Mrs. Shipley
The schools we visited had just recently been completed and are as fine as or finer than any of our newest schools. However, there is one very important difference: the cost of construction is much less than for a similar building here, because of the difference in the whole economy.
Either we went to visit the municipal authorities in the adjoining towns or they were invited to meet us at the base; and no matter where we went we were met with glowing praise of Canada and Canadians. We had met the same thing in Paris, and previously I had met the same reactions when I visited the United Nations. But I think it is most significant that in Germany this feeling was the same. It must be remembered that our men and women went to Germany as members of the NATO forces and, perhaps partly for this reason, the German people accepted them and became extremely friendly with them, even before there was any question of Germany herself joining the alliance. I asked several burgomasters why they felt so friendly to Canadians. They said we had so much in Canada in the way of land and forests and we were capable of building the best fighting plane in use in Europe today; but, in spite of this, we are not boastful.
They spoke in glowing terms of the wives of the servicemen, and this pleased me very much. It appears that the wives who first went over to join their husbands had to live on the economy of the country because there were no permanent married quarters ready for them. As land is so valuable and scarce in both France and Germany, our bases were situated, in so far as was stategically practicable, in the poorest farming areas. As a consequence, in many cases, the built-up areas nearest to the bases were small villages where there was no modern housing available. They rented quarters in buildings that had no running water. The burgomasters told me they knew the type of streamlined kitchens and other amenities that these wives were used to in Canada, but they did not complain. On the contrary, they and their husbands worked together to make this temporary home as convenient as they could.
I spoke to some of the officers in the various stations about the unusual public relations that seemed to exist wherever we went. They told me that, of course, that was their objective but they were extremely proud of the help they had had from their men and very proud of the job done by the wives.
I spent an evening with one young wife from my own community, and she told me how much she and her husband had learned from this posting abroad with the air force.
The Address-Mrs. Shipley She had known that our Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for External Affairs and others were highly regarded in the international field and that Canada was rapidly becoming one of the key nations, but what she did not know was that this warmth and trust were ready and waiting to be extended to Canadians as individuals.
She said she had come abroad proud to be a Canadian, but she is going to come back twice as proud and, in addition, with an understanding of other people in other countries that she never had before. She said she used to feel sorry for people who did not enjoy all the amenities of life as we know them in Canada; but now she knows that a streamlined kitchen is not everything; that the people with whom she came in contact over there, if given a choice between physical comforts and the financial wherewithal to maintain their beautiful parks, monuments and historic buildings, would not hesitate to choose the latter. She said something more that I think a great many older people, who should be wiser, have not yet learned, that in helping others we should help them to help themselves in their own way, because what we feel is an essential in our life might be the last thing they would want.
One frequently reads in our newspapers criticism of Canadians. They state that we are not proud enough, that we are inclined to be a little too critical of our own country, and so on. I wonder whether this is so. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that this very national characteristic is perhaps one of our greatest assets. The Canadian abroad is not a pushing or demanding person, though I do not mean he can be pushed around. We are quiet but we are also firm. In fact I think I can sum it up best by saying that I am very proud that we act like ladies and gentlemen.
To get back to NATO, my opinion is perhaps not worth very much on such an important and complex question. Nevertheless I am the mother of children who would be in the thick of any war that might involve Canada. I am convinced that not only must we make every effort to keep NATO strong, but we must become more active in sponsoring an intimate friendship and understanding between NATO countries and their peoples. This must be done or in my opinion there is grave danger of those who would like to see us quarrelling with each other and mistrusting each other having some success. NATO is too vital to our well-being and to peace in this world to allow us to sit idly by and just hope for the best. We not only must do these things but if more
financial support and more men and materials are deemed necessary we should not hesitate to provide them.
I was deeply impressed with one paragraph in the statement made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) following the most recent NATO meeting, to the effect that the meeting emphasized that we cannot relax either in defence or in diplomacy in the face of new Soviet tactics. He said that this was agreed by all, and that if the Soviet union can be made to realize the determination of the fifteen NATO members to work closely together to resist aggression and infiltration, the world will be spared a lot of unnecessary trouble.
At the time of the Geneva conference I was very worried because so many people seemed to think that the peace proposals would immediately make these defence measures unnecessary. It is my firm conviction, Mr. Speaker, that so long as there is a single country of any size whose people are not free to come and go at will, to read what they wish, and across whose borders we may not go freely and unaccompanied, then we are not safe from aggression.
Being a definite supporter of the short and, if possible, pertinent speech, I do not intend to take advantage of the honour accorded me today and speak at great length. However, I must avail myself of tradition and say something about my constituency, Timiska-ming, that part of the great province of Ontario that starts approximately 100 miles north of North Bay, runs to within 250 miles of James bay and east and west 100 miles. We have a population of over 50,000 people. Mining, lumbering and farming are our major fields of employment. Lumbering carries with it all the seasonal unemployment problems.
The lower belt of the riding spreading east and west from Cobalt is chiefly rock, more or less mineralized. The upper belt spreading from Kirkland Lake is the same. In the centre spreading from New Liskeard we have the small clay belt. This soil, although it is limited in area, produces fine crops, particularly root vegetables of outstanding flavour and excellence.
The mines have created untold wealth for the nation, employment for thousands, a ready market for the produce of the local farmer, and modern municipalities have also been created. With the present price of gold and the inevitable depletion of ore reserves, these municipalities are now facing serious problems. The development of the north country has all taken place in the short period of the past 50 years. In 1904 the first claims were staked at Larder Lake. The second
staking was in 1906, and was part of the claims now known as Kerr-Addison Gold Mines Limited. About this time the railroad being built by the province of Ontario as a farming development railway reached Cobalt, where almost pure silver was blasted from the rock cuts for the rail line. This fabulous find attracted prospectors from all over the continent. From Cobalt the prospectors spread north. Travel was still very difficult, chiefly by canoe and portage, but by 1909 the Porcupine camp was discovered and the Kirkland Lake camp was discovered in 1911.
In Timiskaming it has been our misfortune that no great base metal mines have yet been brought into production. To the east, about 25 miles away in northern Quebec, there are the great copper mines of Noranda and others, and to the west there are the fabulous nickel mines at Sudbury. We do produce cobalt which was invaluable to the Canadian and United States governments during the war but for which we now have to find or develop a commercial market. We produce a little copper, silver and certain other metals that are by-products, but our chief production is gold.
To have a gold mine used to be the equivalent of sitting on top of the world, but today with controls and a set price it is not the unalloyed joy of old. Without the help given under the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act many of our gold mines would be forced to close, thereby creating mass unemployment. If such should happen, properties in most gold mining communities would be valueless. The millions invested in schools and public utilities would be worthless, as in most cases we have relatively no secondary industry. We have tried and are still trying to attract industry, but it is very difficult to persuade them to locate in other than the congestion of big centres. Regardless of the price of gold or the assistance given, mining is a depleting industry. Therefore it is inevitable that a day will arrive when there is no more ore. Now is the time when action should be taken.
Perhaps it will be necessary to offer special inducements to industry, such as special freight rates or reduced hydro rates or both. This is obviously beyond the capabilities of the municipalaties concerned, and in any event is a provincial or, if necessary, even a national matter^ In the case of northern Ontario it should not be too difficult, as the province not only owns the hydro but the railroad as well.
We have modern towns with excellent schools, many churches, good roads, air and rail transportation and recreational facilities
The Address-Mrs. Shipley available to us that others spend hundreds of dollars to come and enjoy. The trans-Canada highway goes right through the centre of Timiskaming and thanks to this government, with some help from the province, so will the trans-Canada pipe line. We have some available housing and enjoy moderate rentals, but above all we have the finest, friendliest people in the world. In the north you are not judged on who your parents were, their success or the lack of it, or on where you came from or what language you happen to speak at the moment. You are judged simply on what you are. If you want to work and become a leading citizen you have exactly the same chance as the next fellow.
Much has been written of the great fortunes that have been made from gold mines but very little of the heartbreaks and losses. Of all the claims staked, but a very small fraction of 1 per cent ever become profitable undertakings. As the Kerr-Addison gold mine is in my riding and was one of the very first group of claims staked in northern Ontario, I am going to give a very brief outline of its history. In 1906, when the claims were first staked, we must bear in mind that there were no roads, no railway and no electricity; but by 1907 or 1908 a shaft had been sunk, a steam-operated mill built and some gold produced. I do not even know the names of those involved nor the name under which the mine operated at that time, but I do know that the gold produced was part of the gold used in minting the first gold coins in Canada.
The company failed to find enough gold to carry on, closed the mine and lost their entire investment. No one seems to know how many times the claims changed hands, how much money and time were spent in exploration or how many heartbreaks ensued. During the period of 1919 to 1922, another group gathered together enough money to sink a second shaft. They went down 300 feet and had to quit. Ironically the bottom of the shaft stopped immediately over one of the best ore bodies in operation today. Eventually a new company was formed, shafts were sunk, a modem mill was built and today Kerr-Addison Gold Mines Limited processes by far the greatest tonnage of ore and is the second largest producer of gold in the western hemisphere.
This sounds like a success story and indeed it is, if we forget all about those who fell by the wayside. Prior to the Kerr-Addison success, hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on this prospect. Prospector after prospector, and others willing to risk their savings, put everything they had into trying to develop a profitable mine but all was lost.
The Address-Mrs. Shipley
Fortunately experiences such as this do not stop prospectors. They are a special breed of Canadian. I have often tried to describe them without success. Westerners are very proud of their forebears, the pioneers. We of the mining areas of Canada are no less proud of our pioneers, the prospectors.
What makes a prospector may be difficult to define, but what the prospectors have done for Canada is a much different matter. By their very doggedness, or maybe their dreams of finding the pot of gold, they have opened the door to two of Canada's greatest assets, namely our mines and our oil fields. In 1955 Canada's mineral production soared to the record-breaking figure of $1,700 million. This unprecedented expansion is a tremendous help in balancing our international trade and provides employment for thousands of persons, not only in the actual production of minerals but in the factories all over Canada that manufacture the necessary equipment and supplies.
Just a few years ago you would have been laughed at if you had predicted that Canada's production of metals would reach the figure of $1,700 million in one year, but today it is generally accepted that this is only the beginning of the development of our mineral resources. In proof of this contention I would point out that in 1955 the groundwork was laid to bring more and more mines into production.
As Canadians we are pleased and proud of this great development, but how many of us give a thought to how it came about? The Department of Mines and Technical Surveys provides an excellent service that is most helpful, but it still takes the old-fashioned slugging, prospecting and diamond drilling, to find the mines. Of all the completely new mines brought into profitable production during the past ten years, almost 50 per cent are attributed to ordinary prospecting. You can trace the development of most of the mines in Canada right back to the men and women of the Cobalt, the Porcupine and the Kirkland-Larder camps. You will find them in there, if you care to look, either as the prospectors, the management or those providing the initial risk capital. Sometimes they are all three.
I think, Mr. Speaker, that those of us who were left behind in these areas and are carrying on under somewhat difficult circumstances, may be forgiven for expecting co-operation in facing our problems and for being so proud of what our pioneers have done for Canada.
It is not only the mining output that has gone ahead by leaps and bounds during the
last year. The economic review shows the gross national product to be up by 10 per cent, that our export trade has increased, and that our unemployment has receded. In almost every field there are improvements; better still, all indications in economic activity for 1956 point upward.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, seconded by the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. La-flamme), I have the honour to move:
That the following address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General of Canada:
To His Excellency the Bight Honourable Vincent Massey, C.H., Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada:
May it please Your Excellency:
We, Her Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the House of Commons of Canada, in parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Excellency for the gracious speech which Your Excellency has addressed to both houses of parliament.
Mr. Ovide Laflamme (Bellechasse):
Mr. Speaker, I fully realize that, in inviting me to second the motion for an address in reply to the speech from the throne, the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) wished to show his consideration for the constituency I have the honour of representing in this house. On behalf of all my electors and in my own name, I thank him most sincerely.
It might have been better for me and for you if, before risking my first words, I had had the opportunity of familiarizing myself with the atmosphere of the house. However, I did not wish to miss the opportunity that had been offered me of publicly expressing my deep appreciation to my electors who thought that I could represent them worthily in the parliament of my country.
I recognize however, Mr. Speaker, that this confidence of my electors is an unequivocal tribute to the man who, for us and for the people throughout the country, is the undisputed leader of the Canadian nation, the right hon. the Prime Minister.
I do not want to delay any longer, Mr. Speaker, before offering you my humble tribute; I make myself the spokesman of all members of the house in congratulating you most sincerely on the admirable way in which you have unfailingly exercised your delicate duties. Even outside the house, I had already heard of your tact, fairness, firmness and wisdom.
May I heartily congratulate the new members who, like myself, sit in this house for the
first time: the hon. members for Temiscouata (Mr. St. Laurent), Quebec South (Mr. Power) and St. Jean-Iberville-Napierville (Mr. Menard). I am convinced that the house will benefit by their presence here and that their electors will only have cause to be proud of having sent them here. On your behalf, I wish them all possible success in a new career that will undoubtedly be fruitful to their constituency and their country.
As for the other new members, I will leave to people who know them better than I do the care and particularly the pleasure of congratulating them. Words of congratulation will be better felt and expressed by those who share their opinions. However, I have no doubt that, like all of us, they are anxious to promote the greatness of our country and the welfare of all Canadians.
Allow me, Mr. Speaker, to extend to our new Postmaster General (Mr. Lapointe) our most sincere congratulations for that new obvious mark of confidence he has received. A tireless worker, a living example of dignity and of devotion to duty, the hon. member for Lotbiniere does great honour to his constituency and to his fellow citizens of his province and of his country.
My presence here reminds you of my predecessor who, since 1940, has represented my constituency, His Excellency the Canadian ambassador to Argentina, Mr. Philippe Picard. He has been serving his country for almost 30 years now and the new post to which he has been called testifies to his great qualifications, to his vast experience in international affairs and to his devotion to his fellow citizens.
I wish, in the name of all members, to pay homage to one who is no longer among us, one who was loved and respected by the house and by everyone, the late Hon. Alcide Cote. Well liked in his constituency, esteemed by all those who had the advantage of knowing him, he had risen very rapidly in public life. His memory will long live in our minds. To his relatives and to his numerous friends I extend our deepest sympathies.
Mr. Speaker, you will no doubt allow me to turn for a moment to my constituency and to satisfy to some extent my desire to say a few words about it.
Located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, between Levis and Montmagny, and extending southward to the American frontier, my constituency of Belleehasse is one of the oldest counties in the province of Quebec. Settled mostly in the 18th century,
The Address-Mr. Laflamme Belleehasse has always remained essentially agricultural; it is made up today of 21 parishes with some a little more populated than others.
Parish life has always been most intense in these parts, a fact which undoubtedly speaks for the devotion my fellow citizens have for their origin, their language and their faith.
To increase its population and retain its many native sons, my constituency needs industry. But its geographic position and proximity to Quebec city make this difficult. Still, it is with pleasure that I note that some industries, thanks to the courage and tenacity of those who have set them up, have undergone remarkable expansion. May I mention among others the Industries Provinciales Limitee, of St. Damien, my native community, the A. Garant et Fils Limitee of St. Francois and the Filature Saint-Charles Limitee, of St. Charles. The development of these firms is a tribute to their directors and it is fitting that I should point this out.
Each year, however, many of Bellechasse's native sons have to look elsewhere for jobs. That is a problem which could be solved, at least in part, by the development of small scale industry. These young people leave our constituency for larger centres where, especially in winter, they merely swell the ranks of the unemployed. I feel that government assistance to small industries would go a long way towards solving the difficult problem of unemployment as well as the housing shortage.
It is with pleasure in this connection that I point out that the present government, through the industrial development bank, has already helped the expansion of small scale industries by making provision for loans.
According to the annual report for the 1955 fiscal year, the bank, between November 1, 1944 and September 30, 1955 had authorized 1,468 loans, amounting to $123,724,603.
I would nevertheless like to suggest that a lowering of the interest rate and an easing of the conditions of the loans would possibly promote greater progress in the small industries field.
I have noted with pleasure in the speech from the throne the fact that the government does wish to broaden the scope of the work of this important agency. To my mind, this will promote greater development in this field.
As regards unemployment, the present government has already adopted highly beneficial measures. I am happy to point out that the
18 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. Laflamme amendments made last year by this government to the Unemployment Insurance Act were intended to make it easier for more of the unemployed to receive higher benefits. It is gratifying to point out that the number of unemployed has decreased remarkably all across the country at this time as compared with the corresponding period of the years
1953 and 1954. According to the report issued by the dominion bureau of statistics up to December 20, 1955, the comparison between the weeks ending November 19 for both years
1954 and 1955 shows an increase of 143,000 workers in employment. In all sectors of employment, there has been a decrease of seasonal unemployment.
In my opinion, this thorny problem of unemployment in particular cannot be solved satisfactorily solely by means of legislation and the intervention of the state. Its solution requires the combined efforts of all levels of government, of all municipalities, social bodies and businessmen.
It is very gratifying to observe that all across the country many employers, cities, municipalities, labour unions and social groups such as chambers of commerce, as well as newspapers, are hard at work, and co-operate in efforts to keep employment at a reasonable level throughout winter. For its part, the government has set an example through its departments by keeping a backlog of important wintertime works that can be carried out during that period. Permit me, Mr. Speaker, to congratulate all of these groups who are eager to co-operate in the solution of this serious problem and who realize that the government, by direct intervention in this field, could only bring about an incomplete and temporary solution which could possibly have disastrous consequences for the economic situation of the country.
At the last federal-provincial talks on ways and means to alleviate or remedy the unemployment situation, the federal government laid before the provinces a sharing plan to which three provinces have already given their agreement, namely Newfoundland, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.
Under that scheme, when the number of unemployed in any given province, whether employable or not, exceeds .45 per cent of the population of the province concerned, the government is prepared to share the average cost of relief granted by that province to the unemployed.
The present government has contributed and is still contributing to relieve the unem-
ployment situation through the housing act, which promotes the building of new homes in this country. In 1955, that act, which deals with these two great social problems, unemployment and housing, has made it possible to build in this country more than 125,000 new homes. It is unfortunate that the severity of our climate is slowing down this boom in construction.
Last year, the present government amended this act in order to guarantee loans with regard to accommodation already built. This year, we find in the speech from the throne that parliament will be called upon to vote new amendments enabling and facilitating the building of new low-priced homes while tending, more particularly, to eliminate slum areas and to raise the amounts loaned for the improvement of existing accommodation.
To my mind, the expansion of new home building cannot fail to increase again to a considerable degree this year, because the population as a whole is realizing more and more all the benefits the government is allowing them on this point and also because the growing number of new housing units sprouting up everywhere lessens their apprehensions with regard to the risk involved in a loan which may seem too high for the building of a home.
Aware of its responsibilities and acting with a wise and clear perception, this government thus enables Canadians at all economic levels to realize their dream of becoming home owners while supplying at the same time a great deal of employment.
Canada has just experienced the most prosperous year of its history. Immediately after the last war, some calamity howlers who were opposing the government deemed it their duty to propagate apprehension with regard to the future. This was ten years ago. Now, we have passed through this period of transition from war to peace, which is so difficult. After a whole decade, may we not say now that Canada's constant progress seems assured to the present and future generations.
The opposition has often criticized the means chosen by the government to warrant the advancement of this country. I am perfectly aware that, if an economic recession were to take place, the opposition would blame the government all the more, because they are able to recognize the economic progress of Canada.
The past ten years have shown that the government was efficient in its action. Events are proving it was right.
I regret to say that, during the last year, the farmer has reaped less benefit from this expansion than any other part of our economy. The problem of farm surpluses remains to be solved. Everybody realizes how manifold it is. The farming population of my county is thankful to the government, to which it has given its support since 1921-because they believe in liberalism-for maintaining the price of butter. The dairy industry is the basis of the rural economy in my district, and if the government were to abandon this support before the market for this product has become more stable, it would, I think, endanger the economy of all the farmers from my county and our province.
Still to be solved is also the question of other just as important products, to which I wish to draw the attention of the right hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner). If a diversified agricultural production such as this were better organized it might help to remedy the situation. When agricultural production will enjoy a stable market at home it will mark the opening of an era of unprecedented progress.
After overcoming the numerous difficulties that followed the war, Canada is now on the road of progress and continues to co-operate closely in the solution of international problems. Within the framework of the Colombo plan, she has contributed, since 1950, to increase the living standards of the peoples of south and southeast Asia. Without peace in the world, to what avail would be all our projects? Since the last Geneva conference, it seems that the Russians have shifted the conflict. In my opinion, their diplomatic offensive in Asia can only encourage free nations to give greater help to the underfed populations of that continent, to the full measure of our resources.
I am glad to hear that parliament will be asked to increase its contribution to the Colombo plan in order to accelerate the execution of many big projects, such as the erection of a dam at Warsak in northwestern Pakistan to be used for irrigation as well as for the production of electrical power so necessary to industrialization, the construction of a research atomic reactor offered to India and the implementation of other projects of lesser magnitude but at the same time important for some countries that did not receive much help from us. The rise of nationalism in Asia means the awakening of the masses. Those nations will no doubt seek to improve their living conditions. They will always have sympathy for those who will be the first to help them.
The Address-Mr. Laflamme
In a spirit of solidarity and charity, Canada must show to those nations that she contributes to their economic emancipation in order to ensure the triumph and expansion of our civilization. It would seem that throughout the world the unity of the free countries and their joint efforts to ensure peace in the world through a show of force capable of discouraging any would-be aggressor have achieved the desired results. Canada, with the understanding and support of her people, has borne her share of responsibilities towards this defence community.
This unity of strength of the free peoples will no doubt bring about a change in the tactics of the communist countries. It appears evident even now that Russia is attempting, by a diplomatic offensive, to render this force inoperative. It therefore appears all important for the free world to spread knowledge of the advantages of our democratic institutions, chief among which, to my mind, is the freedom of our people to choose the form of government they desire.
Before I resume my seat, I do not wish to omit mentioning publicly the great success achieved by the Canadian delegation at the last meeting of the United Nations general assembly. The acceptance of sixteen new member nations, which was one of the main features of this meeting, has undoubtedly strenghtened the position of this world assembly, widening its influence in its purpose to maintain peace through better understanding between nations, and all this is the result of the work of our delegation.
May I, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the hon. members of this house, offer my very warm congratulations to the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) for the efficiency he has shown as head of our delegation.
In the eyes of the world, I would say that the result shows that our nation earnestly desires peace and understanding between all nations and has no selfish ambitions.
I should like in closing to express heartfelt congratulations to the hon. member for Timiskaming (Mrs. Shipley) for the fine account she has given in moving the address to His Excellency the Governor General.
Her condensed outline of the economy and of the projects for the future of Canada is proof of her high qualifications, which are an honour to the constituency she represents with such dignity in the house, and indicative of her wide experience in public affairs.
Her speech is a brilliant testimony to the glory and talents of all Canadian womenfolk,
Grain-Proposed Cash Advances which the government has always so fittingly recognized.
Mr. Speaker, I eagerly second the motion of the hon. member for Timiskaming.
On motion of Mr. Drew the debate was adjourned.
We shall continue this debate tomorrow and Friday.
Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Rosetown-Biggar):
Before the house adjourns I would like to move a motion for the adjournment of the house to consider a matter of urgent public importance. I am one of those who-
May I interrupt the hon.
member at this point, because he says he wishes to move the adjournment of the house for a certain purpose. A motion to adjourn the debate has already been passed. Is the hon. member going to indicate that his motion to adjourn the house for a definite purpose is in order at this stage?