January 12, 1956


George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I know the Prime Minister has made that remark lightly but I would not wish Hansard to carry the recorded statement that I had suggested that Mr. Hoover be brought here. I never have and I never would. I believe we are fully competent to deal with our own affairs.


Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)


Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

I used tbait name, Mr. Speaker, because Mr. Hoover did preside over the kind of commission in the United States thart has been suggested here. I did not use it to designate the former president of the United States as an individual but merely as an illustrious example of the kind of chairmanship the Leader of the Opposition had in mind for that kind of commission in our own country. But we now have a commission, which the hon. gentleman has qualified as a very good commission, investigating the economic prospects of the Canadian people. The chairman of that commission has in the past also given us valuable assistance in special examinations into the efficiency of certain branches of the Canadian administration. It may be that when this work he is now on is terminated he will be available for further service to the public. I know of few as public-spirited Canadians in our population willing to devote so much time to the service of their fellow citizens.

In spite of all the problems that face us at the present time I am confident that, as in the past, ways and means will be found to overcome them which will keep this country


The Address-Mr. Coldwell what many times in the past it has been described to be, and as I hope it will be described many times in the future, one of the bright spots in the world in which to work and to contribute to human progress.


Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roselown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, I want to join with the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) in congratulating the mover and the seconder of the address to His Excellency. I think it was peculiarly fitting that a lady should have been selected to move the address on this occasion, particularly as the one piece of new information in the speech from the throne was that as far as the federal authority was concerned, henceforth women who were doing the same work as men should receive the same remuneration.

I noted that the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister spoke of the efforts that have been made to secure that end in this house over the last three or four years. I think they overlooked this fact. I have been here for 20 years, and all of the ladies who have sat in this house over that period and long before I came-one, for example, was Agnes Macphail-urged on the government of Canada the adoption of this particular policy. On this occasion I do not think the work that was done by other ladies in former years should be overlooked by the house.

As one examines the many areas in which the speech from the throne has failed to deal effectively with issues confronting Canada, there is no conclusion to which one can come, in my opinion, other than that this government should be brought not only before the bar of this house but before the bar of public opinion as being not only bankrupt in ideas in many respects but bankrupt in policy.

I cannot deal with all the matters with which I should like to deal, including, for example, a national health program. I shall therefore have to confine myself to just a few of the matters that I think concern the house and the country.

A moment ago I referred to the government as being bankrupt in policy. Nowhere is this bankruptcy more clearly indicated than by the manner in which the government has failed to bring down a policy which will meet the needs of the farmers, particularly the western farmers, in the desperate cash position in which they find themselves at the present time. In spite of the fact that an abundant crop had been harvested in western Canada-and incidentally it is a crop that is of very fine quality-the virtual breakdown in the distribution of that crop from the producer to the consumer means that the

of 1944, and certainly explains why the average Canadian does not feel as prosperous as the government says he is. Indeed, it portrays an average annual increase in per capita gross national product of only one-tenth of one per cent over 1944. which in view of the increase in productivity year by year by an estimated 2-5 per cent is to say the least an astonishing reflection on federal government policies. Of course there was full employment in 1944 and this year, in spite of buoyant conditions in many industries and the enormous increase in the profits of many great corporations, there were still 230,000 unplaced applicants as at November 17, 1955, the latest estimate. It is true that is substantially lower than last year, but it is still much higher than human needs justify.

Now, year by year it is clear, some years more than others, that we bear the cost of this failure to plan consciously for full employment in the only way in which it can be done over the years, by the consistent application of a program of public investment and public planning, based upon the need for tremendous expenditures on highways, schools, hospitals and other forms of social investment.

This afternoon I paid particular attention to one of the closing paragraphs of the Prime Minister's address. He said the time might come when the federal government and the provinces co-operatively would have to play a bigger part in the development of our resources. I was glad to hear him say that because I believe the time has come when that should be undertaken; when through a public investment board, perhaps with a public investment authority, the savings of our people might be directed into desirable channels, that we might plan and use our resources in a planned way for the benefit of all our people, even if it requires, as I think it will, the extension of public ownership and socialization in this country.

I have referred to farm income and the unemployment situation. Basic to a high level in both these sectors is a solution of the fundamental problems of Canadian trade, which I shall refer to in a moment, and which I think the government has failed miserably to solve. For certainly the government has been content to adopt a wait and see policy, a policy that would have been disastrous in wartime and which I believe might be equally disastrous in peacetime.

With regard to wheat, it is clear that only a crop failure will enable the government to solve the problem if, of course, it maintains its present policies. The C.C.F. on its part, however, attacks that economic concept which

regards abundance as a tragedy and which welcomes scarcity and does nothing to relieve it. Yes, nature was generous last year, and I say that instead of showing concern we should be rejoicing. It is my view and that of my colleagues that abundance should be met with a determination to use it to meet the needs of people wherever they live. Yet even in Canada we read of people starving in Toronto, or at near-starvation level. While wheat is piled high on the western plains and butter stocks are the largest in our history, there are large numbers of our people who are undernourished and underfed. When some scheme should be devised to enable those people to get the butter, we have to sell it at from 25 to 29 cents a pound below the domestic price to countries behind the iron curtain. We do that rather than dispose of it to our own needy citizens.

Also, out on the broad reaches of Asia, Africa and Central and South America, and even in Europe, there are people without enough to eat, while here surpluses pile up. We must remove that tragic contradiction from our national fabric and from the international scene. I say rather than leave these surpluses to pile up as a glut, it is far better for some of this food to be used as part of our defence program to feed the hungry peoples of the world and improve their standard of living as the only way in which the totalitarian doctrines of communism or fascism can be effectively countered or eliminated. Mr. Speaker, this is a federal responsibility, and this at least is a responsibility that cannot be sloughed off on the province of Quebec, the province of Ontario, the province of Saskatchewan or on any province of Canada. Trade and commerce are under the jurisdiction of this parliament of Canada.

I say the government has failed to recognize that failure to sell wheat and a number of other commodities in sufficient volume is not owing to the abundance with which nature provided us, nor the entry of the United States into our normal markets on a large scale, though undoubtedly that was a factor, but is related to the vast and, we are told, ever-widening gulf between the standards of living of the privileged and underprivileged sections of the globe and the chronic shortage of dollars with which to buy those commodities.

The long-term solution requires a vast program of development in the underdeveloped parts of the world, and we ourselves feel the effects of the lack of such a policy in our own trading relationships. I am happy to see that the government is going to increase the amount that is to be allocated to the Colombo plan. But after all, that amount is relatively

The Address-Mr. Coldwell very small indeed, and will not amount to more than the cost to be borne by our government to pay the storage on grain over and above the normal amount of storage that the elevators have to use in a normal year. If we take all the grain in storage in elevators and elsewhere, it is considerably less than that amount. At 10 cents a bushel it will cost the elevator companies and the wheat board together, as the grain marketing organizations, something like $50 million.

There are a number of suggestions in that regard that I intended to make but I must now turn to something else; therefore 1 am going to leave it at that point.

As far as our marketing is concerned, we find the dollar problem arises out of the imbalance as between the amounts the dollar area exports as compared with the amounts it imports. As a matter of fact, as far as Canada is concerned it has meant the loss of the British market for one after another of its products, like cheese and apples. The acceptance of sterling and other currencies in part payment of our exports, as we have suggested from time to time, would not b>

itself solve this problem, and we are not suggesting that we should take full payment in the soft currencies for our exports; but it would mark a necesary first step by acting as a spur to encourage them to buy from us and for Canada to use that newly acquired sterling or other currency to buy in the commonwealth or other areas and thus eliminate to some extent our extraordinarily heavy dependence on imports from the United States. Yet the government, instead of seeking on its part to correct this imbalance, has since 1947 clearly followed a decision to link the Canadian economy inextricably to that of the United States.

For instance, while before the war exports were divided more evenly between the United States and the United Kingdom, today we depend upon the United States for export markets almost four times as much as we do to the United Kingdom. As far as imports are concerned, a similar pattern reveals itself; for while in the 20 years before the war less than two-thirds of our imports were from the United States, today the proportion has risen to almost three-quarters. On the other hand, before the war imports from the United Kingdom were almost one-fifth of our total, and now they are only one-twentieth.

We in this country must also face up to the effect this policy will have not only on our trade but on the whole field of economic and political policy. The government should seriously consider the implications that the concentration of our trade in the United States may have on the very independence of this


The Address-Mr. Coldwell country. I suggest this not in any narrow spirit but out of the profound conviction that this Canadian experiment on the northern half of the North American continent has something to offer the world at large, something which would be lost if the Canadian voice became merely an echo, which it has been all too frequently, of the larger and louder voice of the United States.

The increasing United States dominance in Canadian industry is a matter of legitimate concern. I am sure this concern is shared by Canadians everywhere. However, I would say immediately that I have the most profound respect and the highest regard for citizens of the United States as citizens, but I do object to and I fear, and believe the vast majority of Canadians will agree with me, the vast power of huge United States corporations in the Canadian economy and hence some time or other perhaps in our political life.

I say this feeling is shared by many Canadians. I have here a report which appeared in the Montreal Gazette of an address given oni December 14 last by Mr. James Stewart, president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Mr. Stewart said:

Canadians are increasingly expressing concern about foreign control over their country's industry.

He then went on to elaborate. More significant still, I have here a copy of the script used by the ambassador of Canada at Washington when speaking to the New England export club at Boston, Massachusetts, on October 17, 1955. Anyone who reads Mr. Heeney's forthright speech to that organization can see the same ideas which I am expressing at this moment. I presume that since Mr. Heeney spoke as our ambassador probably the script was vetted before he used it in Boston last October. For example, he points out that in 1952 about a quarter of Canadian manufacturing, mining, smelting, petroleum exploration and development industries, Canadian railways and other utilities, taken together, was owned in the United States. He said:

I have no reason to believe that today's figures would show this situation to have shifted substantially to the Canadian side.

If I have the time I will produce some figures to show that there has been a vast increase since 1952 in this control, and will back up that statement with figures from the official records. I find the same thing in an editorial quoting extracts from an address by Mr. G. Edward Hall, president of the University of Western Ontario, speaking to the Boston conference of distributors. I should

like to quote a good deal of this speech, but I shall quote only one paragraph, which is as follows:

The term Canadian, associated with a company name, should be significant and meaningful. It should imply its stock is available to the Canadian public, that it is listed on Canadian stock exchanges, that its financial statements are made public and reflect only the Canadian operations, that the dividends are payable in Canadian funds, that, as one enlightened American company put it. ''our company is not just an American company doing business in Canada, but rather is a company jointly owned by Canadians and Americans doing business in both countries."

Many of our so-called Canadian companies have become more and more not merely subsidiaries of United States companies and corporations; they have become parts of United States corporations and companies. To the extent that this has happened I think it has become a danger.

I said I would try to give a few figures to show what this actually means. United States direct investment in Canadian companies has more than doubled since 1945, climbing from $2-3 billion to $5-7 billion in 1954, while in addition portfolio investment, other than government and municipal bonds, has climbed to $1-8 billion in 1954.

As a proportion of industries and merchandising-manufacturing, mining, smelting, petroleum exploration and development, steam railways, other utilities and merchandising- United States-owned direct investment has climbed to 24 per cent in 1951 and to 25 per cent in 1952, the latest year for which official figures are available. That is an indication of what is happening. Then if we turn to the manufacturing industry we find that the proportion of United States direct investment has climbed sharply from 33 per cent in 1950 to 36 per cent in 1951 and 38 per cent in 1952. In mining, smelting, and petroleum exploration and development it has climbed from 39 per cent to 53 per cent in the same three-year period.

Even this is not the complete picture, for in addition we must add portfolio investments held by United States individuals and institutions. In 1952 they totalled $1-4 billion. Assuming the same type of distribution as in direct investment we find an additional 10 per cent of capitalization in manufacturing industries must be credited to United States sources, which brings the total up to almost 50 per cent. We might well ask how much larger this figure may grow before we shall have lost effective control of our own destiny. If we lose effective control of our economic destiny how long shall we hope to retain effective control of our political independence?

In the field of trade we find that many significant decisions concerning Canadian

economic life are made outside of Canada, that many Canadian firms which are subsidiaries of United States companies buy in the United States from their parent companies or buy from firms with which their United States parent has also entered into contracts, thus placing obstacles in the way of the diversification of Canadian trade.

Should we then not insist that more of our own resources should be used in this country? Not long ago 1 read in the Montreal Gazette a statement made by John C. Doyle, president of Canadian Javelin, which referred to what he called the most valuable and largest iron ore deposit in the world in Labrador. He referred to talks which were going on between the company and United States steel and iron ore interests, and he seemed to suggest that it would be only a matter of time until the company was taken over lock, stock and barrel, as he put it, by United States concerns.

Of course we know what will happen. This iron ore will go down on the railways which are being built to the sea, it will be put into ships and go to the United States. Then it will come back to us in the form of expensive fabricated steel for use in Canada. Why should not we do what we have done in regard to gas and insist that at least a percentage of the iron ore in this country should be utilized by Canadian foundries giving employment to Canadian workmen? If necessary the government of Canada should undertake, as it did so successfully in connection with the artificial rubber plant, Polymer, the establishment of a steel industry under public ownership and public control. When we notice the extraordinary steps which the federal government, and it appears the Ontario government also, have been prepared to take to avoid having the trans-Canada natural gas pipe line come under public control and ownership from beginning to end, we fear that they will not undertake such a plan even if it were intelligent and feasible as it is.

We believe that great enterprises of this magnitude should have public control and public direction. However, I am not going to deal further with the question of the gas pipe line project because, as the Leader of the Opposition has said already, as well as the Prime Minister, legislation will be brought before the house. I do not know that the government need be precipitate about that, because when I look at the representations which are to be made before the federal power commission of the United States and read the accounts of what is likely to happen there I do not think there need be any hurry as far as this parliament is concerned,

The Address-Mr. Coldwell because we are not likely to see permission given by the federal power commission in the United States for the importation of gas into that country under this project in the next one, two or perhaps three years, if ever.

It is our profound conviction that the development of many great national projects should be participated in by all Canadians so that the wealth that is our heritage may be shared by the community as a whole. To do this the government must initiate a massive program of public development of the vast resources at Canada's disposal.

One other aspect of our national resources I should like to deal with briefly, because I have only a few minutes left to me now; that is, that we have failed to provide educational opportunities for our young people. The Ottawa Citizen of January 5 of this year had this to say:

In the United States, alarm at Russian competition is an increasingly influential factor in the demand for greater aid to education. The most recent voice raised in warning is that of Dr. John R. Dunning, dean of engineering at Columbia, who declares that "no high school anywhere in our country has even one-half the Russian requirements in mathematics, science, physics or chemistry." Dr. Dunning asserts that the Russians are graduating more scientists and engineers than American universities are.

Just last month Lewis L. Strauss, chairman of the atomic energy commission, reported that colleges and universities are providing less than half the scientists and engineers the United States needs. I am told that the situation is no better in Canada and may even be worse, yet again here the government has failed to provide imaginative leadership.

Indeed, the failure again of the throne speech to make any mention of the Canada Council is, I think, sufficient proof of that statement. The refusal to launch a national program of scholarships as part of the Canada Council project means yet another tragic postponement of the development of Canada's human resources.

Even in the United Kingdom, where today no child of ability can be denied a high school and university education because of lack of funds, we learned from the interesting address to the Ottawa Canadian Club yesterday by Mr. Norman Smith-I regret that I was unable to listen to it owing to another engagement, but I read it in the Ottawa Journal last night-the following:

Sir Winston Churchill, in his first major speech since the general election, said last month: "The behaviour of their leaders must not lead us to suppose that Russian power and capacity are not growing in many other directions. Technological education is an all-important subject in which


The Address-Mr. Hansell Great Britain has allowed herself to fall behind. We are already surpassed by Russia on a scale which is most alarming."

If that is true of Great Britain it is even more true of our own country and, if we can believe the statements I quoted from the United States, true of our great ally in the democratic cause.

I began by saying that I believe that the throne speech indicates clearly that the government has shown itself to be not only bankrupt in ideas but bankrupt in policy. I have been able to deal only with the plight of our farmers, some effects of inflation and of our trade policies, as well as the growing threat to the Canadian economic-and perchance political-independence through the failure of the government to take effective steps to safeguard our own economy. Latterly I have pointed out the failure of the government to take effective steps in the provision of opportunity to young Canadians through educational facilities to equip themselves to meet the growing demands made upon our schools and universities by industry and by our economic and social development.

I have, I believe, shown that the statement I made when I began to speak can be fully substantiated by an examination of government policy or, shall I put it this way, by the failure of the government to formulate policies to meet the needs of the Canadian people in 1956.

At six o'clock the house took recess.


AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, I wish also to follow the traditional practice of congratulating the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and the seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I congratulate them on the honour which has been bestowed upon them in being selected by the government for this honoured duty. Naturally, of course, I cannot very well lean over backwards and congratulate them on the subject matter of their speeches because almost their entire subject matter consisted of laudatory remarks paying their respects to the government which they naturally believe is doing a tremendous job but which other members of the house, including most of us on this side, would say has not been so well done.

Might I say at the outset that we are all aware of the illness of the national leader of the Social Credit party. For this reason

it is impossible for him to be here today. I believe this is the first opening of a session of parliament which he has missed in his rather long and somewhat distinguished career. It is the first time he will not have the privilege of taking part in the debate on the speech from the throne. He wishes me to express on his behalf his very sincere thanks to many of his colleagues in the house for the kind inquiries that so many have made both personally and by letter and other means of communication, and for the expression of their hopes that he will experience a complete recovery. I may say that he is doing remarkably well and that it is anticipated by his doctors that he will experience a complete recovery. It is expected that he will be back with us in the not too distant future.

The Social Credit party in Canada has always stood on what we believe to be good, sound, basic principles of life. Some of these principles we regard as very precious, very dear. We believe in the dignity of human personality. We believe that man is in fact the greatest of all God's creations. We believe that mankind was created free and should remain free, and that his freedom should be protected at all times. We believe too that the Creator who created us all has also provided for man's every welfare. We believe therefore that the administration of any nation should be done in such a way as to preserve the freedom of man and at the same time give him security to enjoy the good things of life without interfering with his God-given freedom.

We propose what we believe to be a scientifically sound economic policy which, if applied to the problem of distribution, will give to the people of this and other countries an abundant life while at the same time retaining for them their freedom to enjoy peace, prosperity and contentment. We have a phrase that we use quite often and which I am afraid others have to some extent copied from us, that that which is physically possible and desirable can and should be made financially possible.

In spite of the indications in the speech from the throne that Canada is enjoying a measure of prosperity, the fact remains that Canada, and western Canada in particular, is experiencing a situation which is almost comparable to that of the hungry thirties. There exists on the prairie provinces what might be stated to be starvation in the midst of plenty. This is something that no government should be very proud of. In fact when the over-all economic situation is reviewed and we find that such a vast industry as agriculture, not only as it exists in western

Canada but as it exists from one coast to the other, has to go through a period of time which is almost a duplication of the hungry thirties, then we cannot say that the economy of Canada is healthy by any means.

What is the situation, particularly in western Canada? The leader of the opposition party mentioned something about that this afternoon. The leader of the C.C.F. expressed himself along the same line. We have a situation here where those who are responsible for the production of the foodstuffs of this country find themselves, while having a reasonable amount of assets, with no cash. When I say "no cash" I mean just exactly that. Some of them find difficulty in getting the very bare necessities of life.

It has been said over and over again in western Canada that the only reliable income is that received from family allowances, pension cheques and war veterans allowances, and it is said that this money is about the only money that is keeping things going in western Canada at all. Yet we have this situation of a depressed agriculture in the midst of plenty. While having assets and while being responsible for the production of these life-giving products of the country, our farmers have to suffer.

This problem is not only that of the grain that is grown in western Canada. The same problem of what is almost starvation in the midst of abundance exists in the east. There is still the problem of the distribution of the abundance of foodstuffs other than grain. We have surpluses of potatoes in New Brunswick and apples in Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. We have heavy stocks of butter throughout all of Canada and of cheese in Ontario and Quebec.

Farmers all over the Dominion of Canada are caught in a sort of cost-price squeeze. The prices of farm products are continuing to decline while the costs of the things which the farmers have to buy continue to go up. Farm cash income reached its peak in Canada in the year 1951, but it has been on the decline ever since that time. The aggregate cash income of all the farmers of Canada last year was $1,200 million less than it was in 1951. That is a serious situation, and one which has been allowed to develop in our country right under the eyes of what should be a responsible government.

In 1954 the farmers made up 20 per cent of Canada's total population, but they received less than 10 per cent of the national income. As I was discussing the matter with him a few hours ago, one of my colleagues stated that he had heard that the figure was about only 8 per cent of the national income.

The Address-Mr. Hansell Considering the great service rendered to Canada and all its citizens by the farmers of this country, we maintain that this is shabby treatment indeed.

Let us remember that agriculture is the basic industry in Canada. Without agriculture people do not eat. Without agriculture people will have nothing to wear. Without a prosperous agriculture we cannot have a prosperous Canada. About 50 per cent of Canada's population lives in the towns and the rural areas. All these towns are contiguous to and are reliant upon agriculture for their very existence. It is in these small places that farmers get their groceries, repairs, clothing, household equipment, machinery, fuel, medical and dental services and such like. When a dollar is received by a farmer for some of his production it starts its way through a circuit which takes it through the service centres on down through the small businessmen in these small communities, right down to the great factories that make the things which the farmers want to buy. Consequently when a dollar starts on its way from the farmer it immediately creates a series of business transactions.

The hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low), the leader of the Social Credit party in Canada, has calculated that the dollar turns over about seven times as it circulates on its way back to its point of origin. Mr. Speaker, just put this process in reverse, in other words just short-change the farmer, and you will have just seven times less business being done. If business declines seven times, no wonder we have surpluses; no wonder we have what might be tantamount to starvation in the midst of plenty.

This government, Mr. Speaker, has now been in power for over 20 years, and throughout those 20 years it has sounded praises of its own efficiency and of its policies. I have really never been able to determine what its policies are; they change so often according to the particular political complexion of the country. As I say, the government have been in power in this country for 20 years. They therefore must take the blame for any blunders of the past. Surely the experience of the hungry thirties should have been enough for the government to exercise sufficient foresight to prepare and to adopt such policies-shall I say such financial policies- as would distribute our vast peacetime abundances.

Mr. Speaker, the government has blundered. I am going to take you back a few years and indicate to you where they made perhaps one of the biggest blunders of this century. That was in the signing of the Bretton Woods agreement, which this group opposed from

The Address-Mr. Hansell the very moment it was brought forward in this house. We were a small group. We attempted a sort of small-scale filibuster. I do not know how long that filibuster would have gone on had it not been for the fact that parliament was approaching the Christmas recess, when everything tended to close down parliamentary operations.

We opposed that agreement. We fought it tooth and nail. We were the only group in this house that opposed it. Both our Conservative friends and our C.C.F. friends voted for its adoption. I believe I am correct in saying that perhaps there was one gentleman in the Conservative party in this house who voted with us. I may have to stand corrected, but if my memory serves me rightly it was the venerable Mr. Tommy Church.

What effect has the Bretton Woods agreement had on the fiscal policies of nearly all governments, and what effect has it had on the trading nations of the world that signed that agreement? In this respect I think I should like to quote from a broadcast that was made by the hon. member for Peace River, the national leader of the Social Credit party. This broadcast was given over station CKYL, Peace River, on Tuesday, November 22. This is the part where Mr. Low refers to the Bretton Woods agreement:

. . . our federal government fell for the Bretton Woods plan in 1945. The plan was drafted and proposed at the Bretton Woods conference in New Hampshire by Harry Dexter White, a communist who wormed his way into a high position in the treasury of the United States ... It placed upon debtor nations the obligation of balancing their trade with the creditor nations by payments in the form of gold or United States dollars but it did not place upon the creditor nations any such obligation. Its net effect was to place all the nations who became parties to it under a worldwide gold standard. Bretton Woods came up for ratification by the Canadian parliament during my first session at Ottawa in 1945. After the most careful study of which I was capable I advised the federal government when I spoke on the floor of the house not to become a signer to the agreement, because I was quite sure I saw that it would cause widespread dislocation of trade that would hurt the debtor nations especially, nations like Great Britain. I saw also that the United States was bludgeoning Great Britain into signing the agreement by making that the price of a very large loan to Britain. I fought the proposal with all my might, but in spite of our opposition, the federal government ratified it and immediately came under its terms.

From that day in the late fall of 1945, Canada sat back and demanded gold or United States dollars in payment for our exports. Britain and some other countries who had been our traditional markets for many years did not have gold nor United States dollars, hence they couldn't buy from us. Britain therefore turned to other countries to obtain her foods and . some other necessities. They turned to Russia and China for grains and lumber and soya beans because those countries were ready to exchange those things for goods

which Britain could supply them. Right from 1945 my colleagues and I in the House of Commons pleaded with the federal government to offer to supply Britain and other countries our surplus food products, our lumber and other things in return for what they could send us in goods; or if they could not yet manufacture or produce sufficient goods to pay us with, we should be prepared to accept the only other thing they had-their own currency. Our government was not prepared to do so. Consequently, Canada lost some of the best of the markets we had enjoyed for many years, markets we could very well have today. Our government was not prepared to use the escape clause in the Bretton Woods agreement, and as a result trade was dislocated exactly as we said it would be.

Now, Mr. Speaker, much has been said in the last few months about the fact that the United States of America has been following a sort of give-away program. The fact is that the United States of America accepted and took advantage of that escape clause, and were able to go out in the world and offer their surplus agricultural products to those who would take them. When he was speaking along these lines some few weeks ago the Minister of Trade and Commerce wept some crocodile tears when he said that the United States, with their vast surplus of agricultural products, had not stayed within the Bretton Woods agreement and because they had adopted a sort of give-away program they had upset all the normal channels of trade.

Personally, Mr. Speaker, I find it very difficult to criticize the United States government for the way they have handled their surplus production. They set up the commodity credit corporation to take over all agricultural products which were in surplus. The farmer was paid for them and was reasonably satisfied. They piled up billions of dollars worth of surplus agricultural products. Then they looked around at the world and said, "Do you want these agricultural products?" Is there any harm, I ask, in a nation going out and asking if other nations want to be fed?" That is exactly what they did. The other nations said, "Yes, we will take these agricultural products," and the hungry peoples were fed. I find it very difficult to criticize a government that will take surplus agricultural products from the farmers, reasonably satisfy the farmers by paying for them, and then turn around and see that they are distributed to the peoples of the world who need them. I find it very difficult to criticize a government for that sort of action.

It is obvious that the present government of Canada looks upon the surplus foodstuffs in Canada as a sort of calamity. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if you noticed carefully the

reading of that paragraph in the speech from the throne that deals with this particular matter. It says this:

Canada has enjoyed, on the whole, a high level of prosperity. Some sectors of the economy have not fully participated in this increased well-being.

Now, notice that. This high level of prosperity, which the government calls "increased well-being", was not fully participated in by some sectors of the economy.

In particular, although sales of wheat in the cast five years have been at record levels-

They do not say what they have been for the last year or two.

-an unprecedented series of bumper harvests has made necessary the storage of abnormal stocks of grain both in elevators and on farms.

Let us analyse that paragraph. Putting it another way, you might just as well say this. Canada has enjoyed, on the whole, a high level of prosperity but the farmers of this country who have produced the foodstuffs which make for the well-being of our people have not been able to enjoy the well-being that they have brought about. You might just as well put it in that fashion. The farmers cannot enjoy this well-being because they have produced so much. Now, how can too much be a tragedy? Surely that should not be a tragedy. The tragedy exists in policies that are being pursued by this government which make the distribution of this vast abundance of foodstuffs impossible; that is the tragedy and that is the calamity.

Surely the criterion of the well-being of a nation should be its ability to produce, and surely any policy pursued by the government-and since money is the medium of exchange it must be financial policy-should be applied to the distribution of these foodstuffs. I believe I heard the Minister of Finance, or it may have been his predecessor, state on one occasion, "We believe that which is physically possible can be made financially possible". Well, it was a nice slogan to accept from us, but evidently this government has not succeeded in working it out. We are able to produce the foodstuffs, but because of the financial policies being pursued we are not able to distribute them.

The Social Crediters of this country, this party to which I have the honour to belong for a good many years, are in the position of advocating financial proposals which would be geared to the solution of what some might term the problem of abundance. Social Credit has never regarded abundances as a calamity, because that is the great objective of industry. What is industry here for if it is not to produce goods? What is the farmer working his land for if it is not for the purpose of producing an abundance? Our

The Address-Mr. Hansell philosophy is that an abundance of the good things of the earth makes people happy and contented, and the proper distribution of the abundances of this earth will do away with all the calamities of war upon war upon war. But until the financial policy is changed we will always meet the problem of distribution, and it will be regarded by governments that are on the wrong track financially as a calamity.

I have only a few minutes of my time left. What are we able to do in the physical world? In my imagination I see a conference room. We call in the scientists. We say to them, "We want you to sit around the table. We are going to lock the door on you and after you have had a conference on what you are able to do, just rap on the door and we shall open it and you can give us your verdict." Well, our scientists gather in there and on the basis of physical realities, on the basis of what they know can be done in this physical world, they rap on the door. We let them out and we say, "Gentlemen, what are you able to do for the advancement of civilization?"

Well, what are they able to do? They will tell you that they are able to travel to the moon. Do not think that is something that cannot be accomplished. Physicists are holding conferences almost every day, discussing and perfecting formulae that have already been worked out to travel to the moon. They tell us that they are able to pick up the sea, transport it over wide areas and cause the deserts of the earth to be flooded so that they blossom like the rose and bring forth millions more bushels of grain, if you please. Is that going to be a tragedy? They tell us they are able to transport the atmosphere of the tropics, take it to the north and south poles and make those areas tropical areas.

We are going to discuss pipe lines in a few days. As for power, they say, "Well, you can discuss pipe lines if you like, but just about the time you get them built we shall have atomic energy here, and gas and oil pipe lines could conceivably be obsolete." Then some of the more advanced scientists say, "Well, don't talk like that. The very moment you get atomic energy to run the factories and heat the homes we shall be able to harness the energy of the sun and by a series of-" oh, they use some technical language that I do not understand-"power stations around the globe, pick up the energy of the sun, absorb the heat and energy, radiate it out, and that will last forever and ever, just as long as the sun is in the sky." We say to the scientists, "Can you do all that?" And they

The Address-Mr. Hansell * say to us, "Brother, you imagine it and we shall do it." That is what our modern-day scientists say.

We go to the Minister of Finance and we say, "Mr. Minister, we want you to get your financial brains around this table. We have a simple problem for you to solve. In a nutshell the problem is this. Here are six loaves of bread and here are six hungry men with no money in their pockets. We want you to move these six loaves of bread to these six hungry men." Well, of course, our present problem is this. We have vast supplies of agricultural products. We have people who need them; we have nations who need them, but our farmers who raise the agricultural products, the foodstuffs, have no money in their pockets. "Now, then, you financial wizards of the country, when you are ready with a solution tap on the door, come out and we shall await the solution."

We wait and we wait. Eventually a little faint rap comes on the door. We open the door and they walk out. We look at them. Their hair is all dishevelled and they are bleary-eyed. They look as if they had been on a ten-day toot. We say to them, "Well, what is your verdict; what have the financial brains of this country come up with as a solution to this great problem?" They say, "Yes, we have a solution." We reply, "What is your solution? All Canada awaits it." What is it? They have decided to adopt the Wool-worth plan; that is the five, ten and fifteen plan. They have decided to guarantee the banks against loss if they will only lend to the farmers a little bit of loose change at 5 per cent.

Can you beat that, Mr. Speaker? We are able to do everything under the sun in this physical world; nothing is impossible. But somehow or other the government have not adopted and cannot discover any financial policy that they can apply to the distribution of our abundances. And what makes it worse than ever is this. What do the banks do when they lend the money? Well, all they do by right and by power given to them by the laws of this country is simply write the figures in a book and expand the credit of the country. Nobody will deny that, Mr. Speaker. Why, the expansion of credit every time loans are made is money created out of nothing, by the stroke of a pen, and the farmer has to pay 5 per cent to the banks for writing figures in their books. They have to pay through the nose because of a tragedy for which they are not responsible, a tragedy which we must place at the door of the present government, because they refuse to face the reality of the problem of distribution in the midst of plenty.

[Mr. Hansell.l

I could go on, Mr. Speaker, and I have a good many things in my notes here. Opportunity will be given on the legislation that is to come down in future for us to discuss even the wheat situation and the problem of abundances; but I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that there would not be any great problem in Canada if this government faced the realities which can be faced and only faced as they change their financial policies to apply to the distribution of the good things of the earth; for, in the final analysis, those are the things that give life and security, abundance and contentment, and bring peace and prosperity to the nation. If the government does not wish to pursue the right policies, then all I can say to this parliament and to the people of Canada is that they had better wake up and change the government or this country will go down into absolute economic chaos. This is the choice; it is one thing or the other, and the people of this country had better wake up to that one thing.

They are waking up to it here and there and all over. I know something of that because it is my business to learn it. There are two Social Credit governments in Canada. Just one more and you will not stop this party from sweeping this country from one coast of Canada to the other. Just one more provincial government is all that is needed. That is my belief, and it may not take very long to prove that by actual fact. One more government is all we need and we will sweep this country.


An hon. Member:

Which government, provincial or federal?


Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

One more provincial



An hon. Member:



An hon. Member:

Prince Edward Island?


Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the attention of the gentlemen of my own group. See how the house is hushed when we tell them of our political progress.


An hon. Member:

We are waiting for you to sprout wings.


Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

Everyone wants to know which province is going Social Credit next, but I am not going to tell them because I like to keep them on edge. That is part of our strategy.

I appreciate the time that has been given me. We will have more to say about this on another occasion. Those of my group who are to follow me in the days to come during this debate will perhaps amplify what I have said and also bring to your attention and to

the attention of parliament some other salient factors which we believe should be brought to the attention of this country.


Samuel Rosborough Balcom


Mr. S. R. Balcom (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker, may I first congratulate the hon. member for Timiskaming (Mrs. Shipley) upon her most excellent speech in moving the adoption of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, and the hon. member for Belle-chasse (Mr. Laflamme) upon his most thoughtful remarks in seconding that motion. The constituencies of both these hon. members must be proud of them. In particular the women of Canada must be happy at their emancipation which was so ably demonstrated by the hon. member for Timiskaming. What has happened confirms the fact that there are now no doors closed to women in business or in the professional and political world. At last women's suffrage has reached fruition.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity early in this debate of bringing some matters to the attention of the house, but before dealing with them I should like to commend the decision which has been made to expedite our proceedings. The day to day business of government is work, and we should get on with it as quickly as possible.

The generally optimistic tone of the speech from the throne regarding our economic position is most encouraging. It is in line with official statements of cabinet ministers, heads of important private institutions, banks and business houses. However if you read the fine print in most of these statements you will find that it is recognized frankly that there are major problems to be dealt with. These are sometimes overlooked except by the people directly affected. As long as we are aware of this and take steps to meet them, this optimism is healthy.

It is proper that we Canadians should appreciate our own robust stature and good fortune, but there is some danger that a too-glowing picture may create false impressions abroad and obscure our pathway at home. An eminent Canadian, our ambassador to the United States, referred to this possibility in a recent speech to a United States audience when he said:

We Canadians appreciate your good opinion. And we, of course, share American optimism and faith in Canada's future. Nevertheless, the very generosity of the praise sometimes makes me uneasy and I am not infrequently disturbed by the more extravagant reports that I encounter. And I often find myself wishing that some of those who express such high opinions of things Canadian were better informed about our people and our economy.

The Address-Mr. Balcom

After mentioning some of the problems, he said further:

I mention these points simply to indicate that we have in Canada no magic formula and that our streets are not quite paved with gold, or even uranium, as some of the stock promoters would have you beileve. Like other countries, we are not without difficult political, economic and social problems . . .

One of these problems is the dominion-provincial relationship about which we shall hear a great deal in parliament and elsewhere. These relations are never static and the need for flexibility in dealing with common problems was never more apparent.

At the confederation table when arrangements were worked out the vision of a great nation prevailed, but future events were but dimly foreseen. It is not surprising in view of the great developments that have taken place that some changes in our thinking are necessary. Rather it is a matter for wonder that the main principles have held good in spite of the stresses and strains and growing pains.

One very important event which took place in our early history was the purchase by the Dominion of Canada of lands held by the Hudson's Bay Company, now the northern parts of Ontario and Quebec. Like the Louisiana purchase by the United States from Napoleon this was a wise move in the building of a great nation, but in Canada the disposition of the lands in the course of time led to the building up of the two large central provinces of Ontario and Quebec. These provinces benefited directly from the addition of very extensive land areas to their territories. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the other two original partners at confederation, gained indirectly with the growth of the Canadian nation but lost ground in their relative position within confederation.

At the time these arrangements were accepted the lands were considered to be only wilderness. As the frontiers of knowledge and geography have been pushed back the wonderful storehouse of mineral treasures is now being appreciated and exploited. Here is just one example of how the benefits of nationhood have accrued disproportionately to certain provinces.

You may say that this is now history and that we maritimers may as well accept the facts of geography and history. The lands that were parcelled out as of little value have become a storehouse of wealth and the deal perhaps should be considered closed. The fact remains that the acquisition and the later development of these resources were based on the national credit, the national transportation system and in some cases the national market.

The Address-Mr. Balcorn

Are the benefits then to be limited to some provinces? Is it too late for Nova Scotia to benefit or to be considered entitled to land in the far northern reaches of this country which some day may produce great wealth or become strategically important? If any in this house think that is so, I would ask them to study the map of Canada hanging in the railway committee room. I am sure they would be convinced that Nova Scotia with so little has done a great deal, and as an original partner of confederation with New Brunswick, should receive the consideration due it.

In our present distribution of taxable wealth as related to the responsibility of the provinces lies a problem affecting our greatest resources, our young people. It is the question of educational opportunities. The financial resources of Nova Scotia, for example, are not such as to support a modern school system and the necessary variety and quality of higher educational facilities as well. This I believe to be true of some other provinces. With respect to Nova Scotia, we are very proud of the advances made in the last year in education, but our resources are not sufficient to make complete provision for higher education as well.

In Canada we do not have the great number of large corporations and wealthy foundations upon which to draw for financial support that they have in the United States. Even in that great country to the south the privately supported universities are having a very difficult time. Statistics published there show that university professors have suffered losses in real income during the past 15 years, a period when most other groups in society have enjoyed a substantial rise in living standards. Put dramatically in an advertisement drawing attention to this situation, it was said that as to higher education, "we have been living on borrowed time." If this is so in the United States colleges, to which we have been losing teachers for a long time, how much more so is it true of our Canadian universities?

Financial problems hang over our colleges at a time when university graduates are in demand everywhere as teachers, administrators, doctors, executives in business, engineers and scientists. Not long ago a particular aspect of this problem was forcefully emphasized by Dr. O. M. Solandt, the former head of the defence research board. He warned that the shortage of engineers and scientists was a real threat to our defence program. This is not simply a question of continuing material prosperity or higher standards of living; it becomes a question of survival. But along with the scientists, in fact more vital to our well-being as a nation,

(Mr. Balcom ]

is the teaching of languages, law, music and the arts generally. These must be maintained and allowed to flourish if we are to have a society and culture worth preserving.

Our present arrangements for university financing are inadequate. The federal government is already giving substantial aid, but the problem has not been solved by any means. Either the provinces must receive enough money to meet this and other responsibilities under the dominion-provincial fiscal arrangements or more money must be obtained the hard way through direct means by the universities.

Under our constitution, education is a provincial responsibility. That division of power is appropriate today, as it seems to me our school system is best administered by provincial and local authorities. Nevertheless the federal government has for a long time shared the costs of vocational training without interference with the administration of the school system. In the same manner, a larger share of the cost of higher education, of professional training and of the liberal arts courses could be borne by the federal government without interfering with the operation of the private institutions.

Now I come to what hon. members might regard as a theme song, my criticism of the present method of distributing the Massey grants. As I have just stated, geography, not per capita equality, determined the allocation of the Hudson's Bay lands. Why has this population principle become so sacred now? If there were no other standard of measure, it might be acceptable, but on the contrary a perfectly fair and acceptable basis was devised for the post-war training of service personnel.

In the veterans' training program a uniform national rate per student was paid. This worked very well, gave the student freedom of choice as to the college he attended, and imposed no relative advantage on particular institutions. Compare the results of this per capita distribution to those of the Massey grants, and I shall cite only a few instances from the 1954-55 estimates. One province received $105.41 per student; another, $162.96; another, well over $400; while Nova Scotia received only $85.23, the lowest of all the provinces. We would urge that the Massey grants be distributed on the basis of a uniform national rate per student.

The dominion-provincial program providing allowances for disabled persons was a forward step in our social legislation. Yet seldom have we heard so much criticism of a well-intentioned measure. Last year, only a few months after the act came into force, I spoke in this house asking the government to look

into some specific problems. These difficulties came to light very early and had been brought to my attention by interested people. I am sure other hon. members have had a great many complaints too.

Most of the difficulties arise out of the rather rigid regulations and their interpretation-perhaps more with the interpretation than the regulations. I shall refer to only some of them. For example, the disabled applicant who has been rejected should have the right of an appeal from the board's decision, a privilege enjoyed by those turned down for old age assistance and war veterans assistance. Arrested tuberculosis patients, paraplegics and similar cases should certainly have the same consideration.

The nature of the criticism suggests that an early review of the legislation and its application is desirable. It is good to know that a conference of federal and provincial welfare officials will be held in Ottawa soon to review the program. I trust, however, that their deliberations and the government's action will go beyond revisions aimed at improving only the present program of assistance to the totally disabled.

There is an old saying that half a loaf is better than none, but in this case it has not worked out. Speaking politically-which may possibly be poor politics-this has been a poor bet, partly because there are those who are cruel enough to exploit the misunderstanding and false hopes that were built up when the plan was first announced. However, the weakness of the program was foreseen by a group which is generally interested in seeing that the most effective measures to rehabilitate the disabled are incorporated in the act. In its brief on the subject of disability allowances, in May, 1954, the Canadian Welfare Council summed up the situation thus:

While recognizing the need for disability allowances for totally and permanently disabled persons, we are strongly of the view that such allowances must be thought of in terms of their effect upon those who are not eligible as well as upon those who are eligible for benefit from them. When this is done the need for a broader program becomes at once clearly apparent . . .

In its outline of a comprehensive program the council recommended that maintenance for the disabled should be provided through, first, a disability allowance for the hard core of disabled persons who must be regarded as incapable of rehabilitation. This would include the totally disabled provided for in the 1954 act. Second, it recommended a rehabilitation allowance for those people for whom there is any hope of rehabilitation, regardless of how meagre that hope may be, to provide maintenance during the whole process of rehabilitation similar to that now offered during retraining under schedule R of the

The Address-Mr. Balcorn Canadian vocational training act. Third, it recommended maintenance for those partially disabled who are not eligible for either of the above programs through public assistance provided by the province or local authority.

The weakness in the present program arises, I suggest, from the gap, the absence of assistance for the people who are not totally and permanently disabled and for whom there is a chance of rehabilitation. I would urge the minister, who is always thoughtful and co-operative, to consider carefully the need for more flexibility in the regulations and the additional provision for maintenance during rehabilitation for those who may benefit from it.

May I add that some advocates of changes in welfare programs have suggested that when amendments are being made to one particular piece of welfare legislation an across the board survey should be made which would embrace war veterans allowances and assistance and legislation that has been enacted for the benefit of the blind, which in the latter case would cover the appeal now being made by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind whereby a specific allowance free from the means test would be granted to all blind adults to cover the costs of guiding and other essential expenses peculiar to blindness.

With regard to national health insurance, mlJch progress has been made in building up facilities and in the training of personnel. As we have talked at length about this before, I now have only one thing to add. Let us get on with further preparations as quickly as possible, and let us relax our demands on the provinces, for some of them just have not the resources for such a huge undertaking.

Among the major pieces of legislation to come before us this session is the proposed revision of the Dominion Succession Duty Act. Without going into detail, which would be more appropriate when the act is under consideration, I should like to draw attention to certain general provisions which seem to me to be unfair. First, I should like to recommend that in the case of a widow up to $50,000 of her husband's estate be a true exemption and not just an exemption that excludes from taxation estates under $50,000. At present if an estate is $50,000 or under no tax is levied, but if it is even one dollar over that amount the tax is levied on the entire estate.

A second objection to the present law is that when a widow has a survivor's pension or a life interest in an estate full succession duties, assuming normal life span, must be paid within four years in equal instalments.

The Address-Mr. Balcorn This may mean that the widow pays taxes on income she never receives if she dies before her allotted span of years. It amounts to double or triple taxation in any event, income tax on the original earnings, estate tax and then tax on the widow's income if she lives to receive the income.

A lot of these inequities would not be so severe if the wife were viewed as a married partner. It has been recommended that one-haif of a husband's estate should pass on to his widow free of duties. This seems to me a fair proposition provided a reasonable limit be fixed. I realize that there are many who are not so well off financially that they need worry about estate duties. In some cases when a man dies in his active working years some assistance could be given on the basis of unclaimed benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act. I ask the minister if consideration could be given to paying the unemployment benefits, to which a worker would have been entitled had he lived, to the widow and children.

Another matter of a similar nature relates to the payment of war veterans allowance and assistance. Those veterans of the first war who for one reason or another, in many cases not of their own doing, served in England but not in France or another theatre of war should be eligible for benefits under the War Veterans Allowance Act. These men and women, particularly of the early contingents, the first and second contingents, soldiered under great difficulties. They had to contend with mud, slush, cold, disease, veritably the conditions of the trenches. Anyone who was stationed in the early war years at Salisbury Plains, as the hon. member for Royal (Mr. Brooks) probably was, Westenhanger or Moore Plain, came home full of rheumatism, arthritis and allied diseases. They served under physical conditions as bad as if not worse than those which prevailed in England during the second world war and are, I suggest, entitled to the same consideration.

The constituency of Halifax which I have the honour to represent is of more than ordinary importance to the nation. The evidence of this is found in cold cash. Payments by the dominion government in lieu of taxation for 1955 were greatly increased and brought up more in line with the tax paid by the average citizen. Our high tax rate over the years can be attributed to the small share borne by the federal authorities, whose contributions were all out of proportion to the value receivted from the Halifax, Dartmouth and Halifax county [DOT] taxpayers.

I am sure the increase in these payments pleased the citizens of Halifax and the municipalities very much. In addition, the national

[Mr. Balcom.l

harbours board paid $75,000 in taxes to the city of Halifax. However, this payment is anything but in line with the tax they should pay in view of the fact that they control practically all the waterfront in Halifax. It was a great surprise to me that the payment was not at least double this amount, for it seems fantastic and all out of proportion for the national harbours board to be paying merely $75,000- In so doing they are adding to the burden of the individual taxpayer of Halifax, in particular the businessman who is already staggering under his tax load.

In spite of this shortchanging, the national harbours board is deserving of commendation for its endeavours in bringing the port of Halifax to a higher standard of efficiency each year. There is no doubt that this improvement has been a factor in the growth in the volume of business handled by the port. But more remains to be done, and I would urge that docking and handling facilities be maintained and extended to keep ahead of and create demand, as well as to meet any emergency such as war.

To give aid to the national harbours board and to assist in every way possible in promoting trade through our port, the city of Halifax has tried to do its part. About two years ago they organized the port of Halifax commission, the members all working without remuneration and doing a major job well in soliciting and directing traffic through our port and in advising the national harbours board management of the needs of a modern, efficient harbour.

In addition to our commission we also have a group of men, the finest in North America, whose aim is to assist the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) in his administration. I refer to the members of the Halifax longshoremen's association and other waterfront workers who efficiently load and unload ships in fair weather and foul, and give service far beyond the call of duty, thus expediting the business of the nation.

On several occasions in the past reference has been made to the volume of Canadian manufactured goods shipped through United States ports. One of the big-volume commodities using these channels is automobiles. As we all know the automobile industry is a highly protected one in Canada. Naturally we in Halifax would like to see this business come our way over Canadian railways.

We realize that there are many factors which determine the choice of a port of shipment and that the competition is very keen. Our facilities must be of a very high order and our * reputation for service must be first rate if . .we are to compete with the big

United States ports. Much depends upon our shipping companies and their employees, but they must have the very best port facilities with which to work. A port without adequate railway and air services is like the proverbial flower, "born to blush unseen".

Now that railway business has increased considerably, it is expected that the Canadian National Railways can afford express accommodation which is advanced beyond the village stage. The old wooden buildings constructed during the war of 1814-18, which serve as express sheds and offices, must be most inefficient for their operations. Certainly they give the appearance of makeshift arrangements, and I am sure they impose unnecessary burdens on the staff working there. They should be replaced by fireproof structures as early as possible. Condemned as a fire menace some years ago, their continued use must constitute a hazard to shippers, not to mention the effect on the morale of those employed.

This is an important year for Canada in the field of tariffs and trade. The GATT conference to take place shortly is of vital Concern to those as dependent on exports as are we in Nova Scotia. It is to be hoped that the tariff gains of the last few years can be held and that our relative position can be improved.

Another conference to which we look with great interest is the British Caribbean conference to be held in London in the near future. Canada has a particular interest in the hoped-for federation of the British West Indies, for here is another embryo organization which is, in a sense, following in our footsteps in its growth toward a firmer political and economic foundation. We have an interest in this matter as it is the evolution within the commonwealth of another group of territories taking steps, by peaceful means, toward the control of their own. affairs.

We have a very direct interest, too, in trade with this area. It is a natural market for some of our goods, and is of particular importance to the Atlantic provinces. Trade has been hampered not by lack of demand but by exchange difficulties in the whole sterling area. With federation, we can look for improvement in the economic position of the group of islands and for the growth of trade, a mutual advantage.

May I conclude by asking that a trade mission, whose specific aim would be to improve our trade in fish, be organized to go to the West Indies and to South America. I. suggest that it might be organized along the lines of that successful mission headed


The Address-Mr. Dupuis by the Minister of Trade and Commerce a year or so ago.

(Translation) :


Hector Dupuis


Mr. Hector Dupuis (St. Mary):

Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of my remarks may I be permitted, not only because it is the custom but because the parties concerned deserve it, to offer my sincere congratulations to the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and the seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne.

As for the latter, his name will be added to the long list of able public representatives and he has truly shown that he is a very gifted speaker. I know that his future will be a brilliant one and I beg him to accept my best wishes for a most prosperous career.

As for the hon. member for Timiskaming, we had had the opportunity of hearing her previously in the house. We knew she had talent, but she has proven once again that her constituents have reason to be proud of electing her as their representative in this house. However, as has already been said, her part in this debate has been a happy event, because it is the first time that a woman has been called upon to move the address. I want to congratulate the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the members of his cabinet for their thoughtful move, thereby taking official note of the increasing participation of women in public affairs.

Before making certain requests of particular concern to the district I represent, I would like to draw attention to some of the main features of the speech from the throne which is now under consideration.

Last year a disaster had been forecast, just as it was tonight by the spokesman of the Social predit party; I thought that Canada would again go through that period of great darkness that has left vivid memories in the minds of those who have gone through it or have heard about it. There are very few here tonight who have lived through that dark period.

According to the forecasts of the opposition, our economy was doomed, everything was going to ruin through the government's lack of foresight or because of the political party which, unfortunately for them, has now controlled the fortunes of this country for 20 years.

The Address-Mr. Dupuis

We had then heard the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) foretell, as he did today, these calamities; in spite of our present prosperity he tries again to dictate to us his policy.

We would ask the Leader of the Opposition a simple question. We would like to know what means are available to him to improve conditions further. We have put this same question every year since I have been a member of the house and yet I have never heard from the opposition a single suggestion likely to add, if this should prove possible, to the progress and prosperity achieved under the Liberal administrations which, one after the other for 20 years, have held power in this country.

For example, when it comes to helping the western farmers, as this government wants to, I ask the Leader of the Opposition to tell us by what other means we could help them. He says that there are many, but fails to mention any one in particular.

He also claims that our trade was not given the expansion which could reasonably have been expected and that we are not taking advantage of economic possibilities. I see him going, like former prime minister Mr. Bennett, with a load of t.n.t., to blast his way into commonwealth and other markets. We have already seen, on the other side of the house, some of those gallant champions of social and political economy but they have never pointed to any means likely to further improve present conditions.

Well, I remember that one day a member from the other side of the house told us: "We know of many ways of pulling the country out of its present depression, but we do not tell anybody, because we keep them for the hustings, for our political contests." Well, when people have good methods or know how we could further improve the situation, I think it is high treason against the nation if they do not make it their duty to show these methods to their colleagues in this house. However, we know only too well that the hon. members across the way have no suggestions to offer; they can only look enviously at the achievements of the party to which I have the honour and the advantage to belong and in which Canadians at large put their trust these last 20 years.

We will be asked to come to the assistance of the western farmers. Well, this shows once more that, in spite of what can be said in certain circles-certain circles which, by

the way, are growing ever more restricted- of the people of Quebec and of those who represent them, our fellow citizens will have noticed once more that we are not confined in our thinking to our own immediate surroundings, that there is nothing jingoistic about us, but that we are part of the great Canadian people, and that, as citizens of Quebec, we realize that we must help every part of the country which depends upon us to emerge from a difficult situation. Still, it is the Liberal party which has national unity as its aim. It is to this party, which some people are attempting to condemn, that those farmers who keep complaining, in spite of the very generous treatment they have received, will possibly owe their escape from bankruptcy this year or in years to come.

Last year we also heard the opposition, in plaintive tones and shedding many a crocodile tear-tears to which the hon. representative of the Social Credit party referred to a moment ago-harp regretfully on the theme of unemployment. I represent an electoral riding with a population made up of workers in the proportion of about 85 per cent, and I too was sorry last year that so many people were jobless. I belong to a family of 14 children, and my father was a worker. I therefore have a fellow-feeling for the workingman and I too was saddened by the plight of some families in the city where I live. This year, things took a turn for the better, but the situation is not yet what it should be.

I hope that one day things will settle in such a way that we shall be able in all seasons to guarantee work to those who are able to supply it. However, there again the government, mindful of the welfare of the country and especially of the labouring class, took steps to convince some industries to carry out works in winter rather than in other seasons because it is then that the majority of labourers are out of work. This attempt on the part of the government has had the result of greatly reducing the number of unemployed this year. If we compare the situation as it is today with that of years past, even if there are still a great many jobless, we note that never have workers had so much work. The situation today, even if there are still too many unemployed, is different from what it was 25 years ago, when, in thousands of homes, not a single person had a job, when neither the father nor the older children who were able to work could find employment.

That was real unemployment, when the whole family was out of a job. Today, you may, no doubt, see the father or one of the children out of work but there is always someone to bring home his earnings. Never have there been so many people with jobs. Moreover, there is no more of that anxiety that was felt by the workers during those periods to which I have referred. No longer are they afraid of not having enough to eat. All this is due to the social measures brought about by the Liberal government.

Today, the unemployed man has sons and daughters in gainful occupation. When he himself is unable to work, he can benefit from unemployment insurance, family allowances, and when he reaches a certain age, the old age pension.

Those are social measures which have not always been welcomed by our opponents. As a matter of fact, they have opposed them at all times.

Today, when a member of a family is unable to work, he may draw certain benefits which he did not receive when our friends opposite were handling this nation's business.

I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gregg) for the special consideration he gave to the case submitted to him by the stevedores of Montreal and elsewhere who wanted to be treated like any other worker. They had been classified as seasonal workers; I note, however, that the government agreed to the humble request of the member for St. Mary. As a matter of fact, I conferred with the Minister of Labour and the administrators of the Unemployment Insurance Act. I am not saying that I alone was responsible for this result; I am pointing out that I am proud to have taken part in this effort. I am happy to thank the Minister of Labour on behalf of those workers who were really counting on these benefits in order to live through a period when they have much difficulty in finding work. For that matter, it is quite legitimate since I do not believe the stevedore's job is more seasonal than that of the construction worker, for instance, who does not work for a greater number of days during a year than a longshoreman in the Montreal harbour or elsewhere.

In any event, the Minister of Labour met the request of that class of workers and I am quite happy to have been in a position to contribute myself to securing the support of the Minister to that point of view. It is a further step taken by the Liberal party for the workers.

The Address-Mr. Dupuis

Now I shall touch on the federal provincial relations in the realm of taxation.

We already took cognizance of the offers made by the federal government. The provinces concerned will be studying them. Is there one member in this house, no matter where he sits, who is not willing to pay tribute to our great statesman, the present Prime Minister, who presided with extraordinary diplomacy over the sittings when the thorny problem of the distribution of revenue among the provinces was debated. Let us congratulate the right hon. the Prime Minister for the manner in which he conducted those talks. I also congratulate all the provincial premiers although I do not know them all-I know one of them-who maintained the atmosphere that should prevail in such circumstances. We can therefore hope that the problem will be settled to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Once again I wish to stress the generosity or the liberality-those terms are synonymous and they go well with the Liberal party -of the federal government's share in the construction of the trans-Canada highway, to which the federal government contributes 90 per cent. I need not analyse the intentions of the government of my province but, as a citizen of that province and as a member of this parliament, I have reason to wonder what prevents my own province-of course, I am not speaking for the government but in my own name-from benefiting from that 90 per cent of the cost of construction of that highway which, as we know, is already built in some Canadian provinces. I therefore express the hope, without trying to dictate a policy to anyone, that my province will accept this generous offer. Very many things have been said in that connection. We have heard about autonomy. Would the province of Ontario have sold its autonomy by accepting this 90 per cent on the construction of the trans-Canada highway? Neither the premier of that province nor any member of the party opposite has uttered the least protest on account of that 90 per cent. None of them has said that this would jeopardize the autonomy of the province. If the autonomy of my province were threatened, I would be the first to rise and state publicly that I disagree with any government who would attempt to interfere with its autonomy. There are perhaps reasons that we do not understand for which the province of Quebec refuses to accept that 90 per cent share of the cost of construction of the trans-Canada highway; I do not want to make any insinuation. If I had to repeat everything that I have heard in this connection, I suppose that some people would be unhappy about it;

The Address-Mr. Dupuis I think that the hon. member for Three Rivers (Mr. Balcer) would not like it very much.

We must also emphasize particularly the amendments which can be made to the housing act with respect to unsanitary dwellings.

Once more, and it is my duty to say so, I must say how sorry I am that the province of Quebec and the city of Montreal have not used the means put at their disposal in order to bring about slum clearance. I hope that they will avail themselves of the opportunity to do so offered them at this time by the extension of the provisions of the act and the increase in the amount of the subsidy. I would like to be allowed to offer a few suggestions along this line.

In my constituency there may be found homes which are really a menace to the health, if not to the morals of those who live there, especially the children. To my mind the problem has not been attacked in the proper way. The point is not so much to clear slums but, first and foremost-I repeat this once more

to find a way to provide, at a reasonable rent, sufficiently large homes for large families.

There is a project under discussion in Montreal at the present time. I do not know if it has been approved definitely. It may have been. I refer to the project bearing the name of a commissioner of the city of Montreal. It is proposed to clear out, in this particular district, a number of slums. On that point there is agreement. However, no solution is brought to the problem of large families, to sanitary and moral conditions, by building seven-storey tenements in a sector as unsanitary as the block bounded by St. Denis, St. Lawrence, De Montigny and Ontario streets. If this is the way to solve the slum problem, then, I do not know anything about it. Apartments will no doubt be cleaner, but will sanitary conditions be improved by crowding adults and children in a rather restricted sector? Just imagine the chore of the mother of the family lodging on the sixth or seventh floor. Just imagine the promiscuousness of all these people in the same building.

To my mind, the solution of the problem of healthy housing lies in a way-and it is possible under the present legislation-which would allow us to put a tenant, if it has to be so, or a home owner in a house of his own where he could breathe fresh air in surroundings where children can grow up properly. The plan is not without merit of course, but I do not favour the carrying out of such a plan for the solution of the slum clearance problem.

I hope once again-and I wonder why more has not been done so far-that the province of Quebec and the city of Montreal will go ahead, will make great strides, and as quickly as possible, to take advantage of that legislation which can materially improve the living conditions which are the lot of some people.

Now we all have noted, more specifically the member for Hamilton West (Mrs. Fair-clough), the fact that the government had decided women will receive equal pay for equal work. For 25 years I have been in public life and I have been advocating such a step, and that is the reason why last year I did not hesitate to support by my words and by my vote as well the motion which was then before the house.

This is what I said last year:

My opinion is that there should be no discrimination in the treatment meted out to women or men. Human rights have already been discussed in this house. This question will be referred to again, and, in my opinion, we should give the women of our country equal pay for equal work.

Well, this measure has been included in the policy of the government, which recognizes that it has to be extended to the fields under its jurisdiction. I have been sponsoring a motion of this kind for the past 25 years, and I do not hesitate to express to the government my most sincere appreciation for its gesture in this instance.

Now, before referring to two questions, of which one at least is of particular interest to me, may I be allowed to add my congratulations to those already conveyed to the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) for the leading part he has played recently in the United Nations Organization. It is fortunate that the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), who cannot be everywhere at once, is able to choose a substitute, and one who fulfils his task very well indeed, probably because both are in such excellent agreement. As a matter of fact the foreign press is forever praising them. While again congratulating the Minister of National Health and Welfare for his recent participation in the United Nations discussions and the success he reaped there, I also indirectly congratulate the Secretary of State for External Affairs, who has been able to build up an enviable reputation in his own sphere at home as well as throughout the world.

I do not know whether the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) will scold me-I doubt

he will, though-but once more I want to draw his attention to the question of bridges, and more particularly the Jacques Cartier bridge. I must in the first place congratulate him for widening the carriage roads, and I hope both the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec will make the necessary improvements to the approaches at both ends of the bridge.


Pierre Gauthier


Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf):

Are you talking about the Three Rivers bridge?


Hector Dupuis


Mr. Dupuis:

At Three Rivers, the second bridge is being rebuilt.

The Minister of Transport told me recently in a private conversation that Montreal will have a new bridge. I congratulate him on that. Unmistakably, that is imperative. It will be a toll bridge like certain bridges which were built after the Jacques Cartier bridge.

I must also put several questions on the order paper. I will not labour the point, but some people hold the view that we cannot do away with the toll on that bridge. Maybe we shall discuss the issue later on, but I do not have the time tonight; however, let us take for granted the toll will be maintained. I wonder if it would not be advisable to have standard rates for the whole island of Montreal. I think it would be advisable also to consider having a toll only on cars and not on their passengers. The reason for that suggestion is quite simple when we realize that 38,000 people use the Jacques Cartier bridge to go to work in Montreal, while some 10 or 15 years ago there were perhaps only 8,000 who used it, and that these workers, who cannot make a living in the small communities where they live, come to Montreal, the metropolis, to work and have to pay every day, besides their street car tickets, a toll on the car in which they sometimes ride free, but not always. In addition all the American tourists and many other travellers have to pay the tolls. In my opinion that should be abolished in order to do away as much as possible with the bothersome task of collecting tickets. I believe that the suggestion of collecting only for the automobile deserves special attention from the Minister of Transport and from the government.

Now, needless to say, in my humble opinion there are many reasons why the tolls should be abolished altogether. But on the other hand I do not know whether the province of Quebec, which is a party to the contract, would agree to change the contract, because I have been told that all the replies

The Address-Mr. Dupuis which should have been received from the provincial authorities on this matter of tolls have not yet been received.

There is another matter which I would like to mention but I am somewhat reluctant to do so, Mr. Speaker, not so much on account of the principle involved but because it might be said in certain quarters that I intend, through the following remarks, to raise a racial matter. I wish to draw the attention of this house and of the government -it is my duty to do so-to the fact that, in the matter of bilingualism, although great improvements have been achieved under the Liberal party, there is still much to be done, more particularly in the matter of telephone exchanges.

I believe that the Bell Telephone Company should be able to provide operators who speak English and French equally well in order to avoid trouble to people who do not speak English and who, sometimes, are unable to reach those to whom they want to speak. For long distance calls, one is asked to wait for a French-speaking operator, which adds to the delay in putting the call through. Ottawa, which boasts of being an intelligent city, a practical, intellectual city, all of which is quite true-and it is quite true and I am not speaking of the quality of the administrators because I do not know them.


An hon. Member:

Do you mean Charlotte?


Hector Dupuis


Mr. Dupuis:

I only know her by name. I have heard various things about her. In any event I have nothing to add. I might leave that to one of my colleagues with whom she has had some differences of opinion on certain occasions.

But Ottawa, which fancies itself to be an intelligent city and which, in fact, is a practical, intellectual and intelligent community, should understand that it is in its interest, in a field like that of telephone communications, to see that its operators should at least speak the two official languages of this country.

I would like to give you a few amusing details. I have personally tried to make myself understood in French by pronouncing the names of certain French members sitting in this house-if I were to name them, you could see how easy it is to pronounce these names-but I was unable to get in touch with the person I wished to call up precisely because it was a French name. That is regrettable. However, I do not blame only the government and we certainly have no lesson to take from the other side of the house as regards bilingualism in official positions. How-

The Address-Mr. Dupuis ever, there is room for considerable improvement in this situation. Thus a person from the country, who is not without intelligence but who cannot speak English, can in no way be put in touch with someone when telephoning to Ottawa because that person speaks only French. It seems to me that there is a gap that should be filled, which would add to the beneficent measures of a government which has reached near-perfection as regards wise administration.

I hope that my remarks will be taken in good part and given effect to by the officers of the Bell Telephone Company, which will enable them to ensure an excellent bilingual service in Ottawa, contributing at the same time to making it a more efficient one.

Since Mr. Speaker is now in the chair, I conclude my remarks by extending to him my best wishes for the new year, as I have not yet had an opportunity of meeting him personally, due to the fact that other occupations are now taking all my time. Some of you know what I mean. At the same time, he will allow me to emphasize his fairmindedness and his vast knowledge, and the way he discharges his duties, which make him one of the greatest of the House of Commons Speakers Canada has ever known.

As to the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent)-having no portfolio to ask for myself, although I would not refuse one- he will allow me to extend to him publicly the tribute of the workers' representative of a Montreal constituency. I want to tell him how everybody admires his way of handling public business. First of all, he is one of the greatest Canadians we have ever known and, though I run the risk of repeating myself, I think that the best way to describe him is to say that he certainly is the greatest champion of national unity we have ever known.


Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)


Mr. Speaker:

Before moving the adjournment, and as we have read in the papers that the hon. member for St. Mary (Mr. Dupuis) is getting married this coming Saturday, may I extend to him our sincere congratulations and ask him to convey our respects to his future wife. Our best wishes to both of them.

(Text) :

On motion of Mr. Robinson (Bruce) the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Harris the house adjourned at 9.56 p.m.

Friday, January 13, 1956


January 12, 1956