January 19, 1956

LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration):

Nothing of that sort has come to my personal attention, Mr. Speaker, although it is conceivable that something might have been dealt with in the ordinary way by the department.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   LOSSES SUFFERED BY INDIANS
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HOUSING

INQUIRY AS TO REDEVELOPMENT IN MONTREAL .


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Claude Sartoris Richardson

Liberal

Mr. Claude Richardson (St. Lawrence-St. George):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Public Works. In view of the increased emphasis which the government is placing on housing redevelopment, can the minister tell the house what progress is being made in respect of housing redevelopment in the city of Montreal?

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO REDEVELOPMENT IN MONTREAL .
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. Robert H. Winters (Minister of Public Works):

The hon. member was kind enough to give me notice of his question. After the city of Montreal approached the federal government, with the consent of the provincial

government as required by the legislation, a joint committee consisting of representatives of the city of Montreal and of Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation was established in the latter part of September of last year. This committee has been actively studying the many problems involved in a large redevelopment undertaking of this nature.

I am informed that the committee is now prepared to recommend on many of the details, including the boundaries of the area to be redeveloped. The official report of the joint committee is expected early in February. This report will be submitted in the form of a recommendation for the consideration of the city of Montreal and the federal government. So far as the federal government is concerned, I can assure the hon. member that the report will receive prompt attention.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO REDEVELOPMENT IN MONTREAL .
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REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. Robert H. Winters (Minister of Public Works):

I understand that yesterday in my absence the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquit-lam asked the following question:

In view of yesterday's announcement by the banks indicating a decline in money being available for housing, would the government consider again supplying a portion of N.H.A. funds as it did before the first session of this parliament?

In reply, I should point out that I do not know of any general announcement by the banks regarding a decline in money available for housing. There has been no indication by prospective borrowers that there is a general shortage of mortgage money under the National Housing Act. As the hon. member knows, the act contains authority by which Central Mortgage may make loans directly to borrowers if loans are not being made available by approved lenders. If a shortage of mortgage money did occur it would be a matter of government policy, in light of the circumstances at that time, to determine to what extent the corporation's power to make direct loans should be used. At the present time this authority is being used in the smaller communities. It is the government's intention to ensure that a high level of house building continues.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
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SPEECH FROM THE THRONE


The house resumed, from Wednesday, January 18, consideration of the motion of Mrs. Shipley for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Drew, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coldwell. The Address-Mr. Hunter


LIB

John William Gordon Hunter

Liberal

Mr. John Hunter (Parkdale):

When the debate adjourned last night, Mr. Speaker, I had indicated that I intended to make some remarks on external affairs. However, before I go on with them I would call the attention of the house to the fact that another one of those very sad cases occurred last night in Toronto. A young girl of 13 was attacked and killed. I hope the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) together with the attorneys general of the provinces can work out some form of procedure to help control this type of thing.

In so far as my remarks on external affairs are concerned, I enter upon those with some timidity in view of the fact that there are experts on this subject in the house who know so much more about it than I do. However, I do want to make some remarks along this line. I suppose even a cat can look at a king. *

While there are many troubled spots throughout the world, some of which could boil over at any time into either a local conflict or a major conflict, yet I think it must be conceded that the long-term and enduring problem is that of Russian communism. Many of these hot spots throughout the world are caused by communist propaganda and communist infiltration. Therefore the main problem, the long-term and enduring problem, boils down to the question of Russia and her purposes.

The extent of her conquests have been rather drastic since the war. As we all know, she has the Baltic states, with the exception of Finland. She has taken over Poland; she has retained the Ukraine; she has Eastern Germany, Rumania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. China and northern French IndoChina have followed her policy.

In addition, from a political point of view her adherents have made considerable political gains in many countries. We just have to face the fact that any portion of the world where there is social, economic or political injustice, is a likely spot for communist infiltration. The communists have no scruples; they can promise anything, whereas when we try to help we have to fulfil our promises. Therefore ours are restrained, carefully thought out, and inclined to be rather smaller than the communist promises. Accordingly it is a more difficult problem for us; the same as it is more difficult for a government in power than for an opposition, who can make extravagant promises.

The armed forces of the Russians are there not entirely for protection. Of course they state they are there for protection, but they are there for other purposes. They are there also for intimidation, and if a suitable occasion arose I suggest they would be there for

The Address-Mr. Hunter aggression. At the moment we hope they are there mainly for intimidation. But the trouble with that type of thing is that their armed forces bear no relationship to their economy, because their economy is in the complete control of the government, which, of course, is a totalitarian government. By taking complete control of the government and of the economy, and certainly brooking no opposition of any kind, they are in the position where they can gear their economy to an armed forces economy and a heavy industry economy; whereas in a democracy we have to keep things on a sounder basis and aim at genuine prosperity rather than an enforced economy.

I suppose that the thermonuclear weapons which are now possessed by the Russians may have an effect which is quite different from what people expect. Many people are frightened that there will be a world catastrophe, which could easily happen, but it might possibly have the other effect. If enough people realize the extreme danger, it may well be that instead of a thermonuclear war we will have peace, or in the alternative we might have more or less a stalemate in nuclear weapons and have the traditional type of war break out in which thermonuclear weapons would not be used. That is a strong possibility. If Russia attacked, obviously thermonuclear weapons would be used; but if a war started in a small way and slowly kindled into a major conflict we could easily have a war using traditional weapons only and not thermonuclear weapons.

Since Russia is a totalitarian state, they need not consult the wishes of their people, and do not. I do not think we quite appreciate how strong that makes them, in the sense that they can gear their whole economy to whatever particular phase of activity they wish to engage in at that time. Also, the people have no say in what the government does. If they venture a contrary opinion they are sent to labour camps. They are subject to excessive propaganda, really, of an active and inactive kind. Since they are subject to excessive propaganda from birth they are not in a position to even think clearly or from a detached or impartial point of view. They have no knowledge except what is imparted to them through government propaganda.

In addition there is a great inactive type of propaganda to which they are subject. They do not allow the people to move. They are not permitted to leave the country; they are not permitted to get education by travel, and accordingly they are not in a position to judge the propaganda that is incessantly

poured out to them in Russia, or at least partially counter it by seeing what is actually happening abroad.

As long as the Russians keep their people within the confines of their iron curtain it is quite obvious that they will not be in a position to gather any real knowledge of what happens outside. We may laugh at their propaganda and say it is incredible, but if you have heard nothing else, if it is continuous and persistent it is easy to understand that people may become adjusted to it and have complete faith in it. I am quite confident that the people of the satellite countries may not believe that propaganda because they have known better, but when two generations of Russian people have been brought up under that system it is easy to understand that they would believe in it and be willing to fight for it.

I believe it would be ridiculous to think that at any time we could have a revolution in Russia, barring the development of internal changes over a period of time. The present system is bound to last for a considerable length of time, subject to the outbreak of war which might destroy it. It must be remembered that this is not a moral government, it is an unmoral government. They are guided by what they wish to achieve, not by any moral principles. As long as they work on that basis no government should be naive enough to believe in their word or to believe in any signed agreement entered into by them, because they will keep it only as long as it suits their purpose.

It would be most unwise to expect a revolution in Russia and the establishment of a democratic government. That might happen under certain circumstances in the satellite countries, but certainly not in Russia proper at the present time. The people there have never known democracy. Russia is the largest police state in the world. The days when the peasants might gather up their scythes and go out and murder the aristocrats are over. Today a revolution requires scientific and modern weapons and well-trained men to handle them, and nothing in Russia would ever be permitted to reach that stage.

I think it is quite clear that there has been no change in the purpose of the Russians. Last year many people had hopes that after the death of Stalin the government there might become somewhat softer in its outlook, might be inclined to be more friendly toward the democratic nations, might be more inclined to indicate that they thought they could live side by side. I do not think the original purpose of the Russians has ever been lost. At the present time the Russians

The Address-Mr. Hunter

have no intention of giving up their eventual plans for world conquest and the establishment of world communism.

In view of that fact it is quite obvious that this will be a long drawn out proposition. Our first duty and obligation is to maintain our allegiance to the United Nations and to NATO, of which our Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) might be considered the father. While they are both equally important, I think it is most vital that we continue our adherence to NATO which is actually giving us the physical strength to resist if something does happen. Of course this involves the continuation of large armed forces, and I think for many years we must look forward to spending a large proportion of the money collected from the public on our armed forces. However, I think that will prove to be a cheap form of insurance in the long run.

Another thing we are going to have to do is guard our economy. I think it is most vital in any democratic country which desires to maintain itself against communism that the economy be watched most closely. We must remain prosperous; we must retain high employment, because everyone knows that part of the communist propaganda is directed at unemployment, bread lines and things of that kind. The hope of communist countries is that the democracies will have a breakdown in their economies. Accordingly that is something that will have to be watched very carefully. Fortunately it has been watched very carefully, and the present government will continue to watch it and prevent anything like the depression which was predicted last year by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew).

I think one thing we will have to recognize eventually is the importance of education, which is under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the provinces. We will have to realize the importance of giving what assistance we can. What form this assistance may take is something I will gladly leave to the judgment of our Prime Minister, but what I am getting at is this. Any country which hopes to compete with communism and keep up its scientific reputation and its rate of scientific advancement must have able instructors in its universities. It is only by having able instructors in our universities that we will be able to turn out trained scientists who will keep us abreast or ahead of the scientific competition which has been entered into between Russian communism and the democracies. Something must be done in this connection, particularly in keeping up the scientific progress of our country.

Of course we have done great things along these lines with our atomic energy plant at

Chalk River and our other research work, and I think the federal government has gone far beyond what many governments have done. We will certainly have to keep our eyes on this in order that we may not only keep abreast of scientific development but ahead of it if possible.

We must continue what we have been doing in helping less fortunate nations under the Colombo plan. We have made considerable contributions under this plan, and this year we are increasing them. It may be that eventually we will have to increase them again. If we are going to avoid trouble spots in the world we should try to help less fortunate countries. After all, we are not the biggest country in the world, but we should try to help cure the economic, social and political ills of these trouble spots. We will have to spend money to do it, and it will take a great deal of patience and a great deal of tact.

I suppose one of the reasons the democracies are so powerful is the fact that they are governments of the people, but I think it is also quite clear that democracy in competition with communism, with the totalitarian government, has certain apparent weaknesses. In the long run I do not think they are weaknesses, I think they are evidence of strength; but we must face the fact that the communists have complete control over their people and can compel them to do anything whether they like it or not.

We do not believe in that sort of thing; we believe that the people must be convinced as to what we are doing. That is the strength of a democracy. But in the case of short-term urgency it could be a weakness, because a democracy cannot act as rapidly as a totalitarian state. What it boils down to is that as a long-term proposition we will have to continue to keep eternal vigilance and never relax.

I was astonished to hear the Leader of the Opposition say that the speech from the throne contained little but easy assurances and uninformative platitudes. I do not know exactly what the Leader of the Opposition was looking for, but if he was looking for a side show or something fascinating, then he came to the wrong place. The speech from the throne is an indication of government policy. It has to do with the serious business of governing the country, and for somebody to look for excitement or something of that kind in the speech from the throne is absolutely absurd. As I say, it is serious business.

The government was not in a position to say anything in the speech from the throne regarding the important matter of health

284 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. W. M. Howe insurance but there may be something later on because, as you all know, the Prime Minister has called a conference with the provinces to consider that particular phase of social security. To say that either we are doing nothing, or that there is a failure to disclose these things, is to my mind a most unfair statement; but I suppose it was not unexpected.

I shall close simply by saying that I hope the Secretary of State for External Affairs will forgive my temerity in entering into a discussion of external affairs, and I trust that what 1 have said has not been so bad that 1 shall be disowned immediately.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellinglon-Huron):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to join in the congratulations offered by other hon. members to the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and the seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne.

My initial address in this house, of considerable length, described my own riding and mentioned the necessity of some way of decentralizing industry. Many reasons for such decentralization can be seen by those who live in smaller communities. The fact that many people are crowding into large urban municipalities makes them very vulnerable to complete annihilation in this day and age of atomic warfare.

Decentralization would help many phases of our economy. For instance, if our population were more diversified and spread out, the carrying of freight throughout the country would bring additional revenue to our railroads. So I could go on. There are many reasons for this. However, as others have mentioned and I myself have mentioned, industry is moving out into the smaller communities to a considerable extent. Several industries have settled in my riding during the past few years.

In this connection I should like to congratulate all our local municipal councils and associated boards, such as the school boards and hospital boards, on the wonderful job they are doing to keep those communities attractive for industries that may be looking for good industrial sites. In the last year it has been interesting to note the increase in hospital facilities that has taken place in that particular part of the country from which I come. In one centre, that of Fergus, a new hospital was built with 56 beds at a cost of $541,000. The general hospital at Palmerston had an addition and was remodelled at a cost of $138,000. The Wing-ham hospital had an addition estimated to cost $610,000. The Louise Marshall hospital at Mount Forest had an addition at a cost of $112,064. As I have said, all this is an

indication that those communities are doing their best to look after the services and facilities so necessary in our smaller communities.

All this work, as all hon. members know, is done with the co-operation of provincial and federal governments, but I maintain that the initiative and the main part of the cost is borne by those municipalities themselves and neighbouring municipalities interested in those particular centres. In that connection, in my own riding alone well over a million dollars has been spent on hospital facilities in the last year. In the past few years well over a million dollars has also been spent on public and high school facilities.

I hope other hon. members in this house will join me in urging the Minister of Finance once again to give consideration to the necessity for dropping the sales tax on purchases by municipal councils and associated boards. The land and property taxes, are increasing and are a very heavy burden on the property and land owners in the small communities as well as in the large communities, but they are necessitated by the provision of modern and adequate facilities for these people.

Now I should like to turn to another phase of the economy. We are all interested in our own ridings, but this is one of the fundamental problems of agriculture throughout the country. The counties of Wellington and Huron do their share in providing agricultural products for this country's economy; in particular they are among the leaders in the production of oats, mixed grains, flax, butter, cattle, beef and many other associated products.

I was rather interested in a statement made by Dr. E. G. Pleva, professor of economic geography at the University of Western Ontario. This statement will bring to the attention of this house the importance of agriculture in that part of the dominion called the lowlands of the St. Lawrence. That district, which comprises 1 per cent of the land area of Canada, contains about two-thirds of the population and three-quarters of the industrial development, and receives-this fact was very interesting to me-one-half of the agricultural crop dollars. One can see why we who represent ridings in that district want to add our voices to the voices of those who are bringing to the attention of this house the condition of agriculture throughout our dominion.

Since coming to this house it has been rather interesting to see how much is said for the western farmer. Certainly he is an important and integral part of the economy of

this great dominion and is having his problems. We have surpluses. The Minister of Trade and Commerce, in a speech the other day, seemed to welcome these surpluses. The Minister of Agriculture, using a Biblical term which he has quoted many times in this house, about the seven good years and seven bad years, indicated they were a good thing. However, I feel that with the recent trend of improved methods in all phases of agriculture, increased production is going to continue; it is not going to be the exception. Unless we have some major national setback, which does not happen very often, conditions of increased crop production are going to continue.

In that connection I should like to mention the recent speech by the hon. member for Parkdale, in which he mentioned the necessity for increased research. I would say that every medium possible should be used in order that research in agriculture may be continued and fostered, and so that costs of production may be reduced, the quality of products improved and our agricultural products made able to compete in the markets of the world as regards price and quality.

As I have said, the western farmer has been spoken of a good deal in this house since I have been here, and no doubt a good many times before that. But what was predicted a few years ago by many farming organizations in this country has happened. The effective surplus in the west has had a bad effect on agriculture throughout the whole economy. Farming prices have fallen to such an extent that the farmer is having a very difficult problem.

In connection with the farmers of southern Ontario, a report of the Searle Grain Company of Wednesday, January 11, gives a very definite reason for our problems down here. Under the heading, "The Underlying Reason for Concern" the report has this to say:

Without entering into the debatable question whether the western farmers should or should not be encouraged to raise more livestock at this time we do feel that the suggestion is of great interest, not only because it reflects the concern felt by eastern producers about the trend in this particular branch of the agricultural industry, but also because it brings out clearly the chain of reaction and the difficulties that can follow when the natural order of events and the natural flow of marketing is disturbed. The actual background which provoked this suggestion from Ontario stems largely from the distress selling of quantities of grain in parts of western Canada, and particularly in Alberta, at prices far below the regular Canadian wheat board prices. These sales, conducted along legal lines, entirely outside board operations, were from farm to farm as well as to feeders of poultry and other livestock and they are indicative of the desire of the farmers concerned to find an outlet for their grain to provide ready cash at a time when restrictive quotas are in effect. It is the competition of the feeders who enjoy cheap feed resulting

The Address-Mr. W. M. Howe

from this distress selling of grain that is most feared by the eastern livestock group.

To bear that out, I have a recent hog producers' survey conducted by my own Wellington county federation of agriculture, which would indicate that 27-6 per cent more hogs were raised in western Canada in 1955 than in 1954. In eastern Canada the figure is down by 11-6 per cent, which is an indication that what was predicted would happen has taken place. The Minister of Agriculture suggested to the western farmers that they diversify their production, and that their only solution was to raise more livestock.

Throughout the world today we are coming closer together from an economic point of view, so what happens in one part of the world affects every other part. The same is true of our dominion. The fact that the western farmer has of necessity had to become a general farmer has affected the farmers of southern Ontario. What has happened? In a recent address Professor Mac-Dougall, professor of economic agriculture at the Ontario Agricultural College, advised that some of the younger men who are farming should leave the farms, that they would be happier in the cities. Many of these young farmers are boys who went overseas and fought for us in the last war. When they came home they used their war benefit's and gratuities to do what they had fought for and felt they had the right to do. They used them to become farmers, to carry on the occupation they had chosen in this supposedly free world, to live in the way they wanted to live. Now they are faced with the inability of the government to sell the products of the farmers on the markets of the world.

I should like to endorse what the hon. member for Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) said about the operations of the income tax department as they affect farmers. It has been brought to my attention that income tax collectors go about the country and drop in quietly and unobtrusively on farmers who have been paying their income tax to the best of their ability. They sit down with them and ask them about their living costs. They ask them how much they have spent on meat, vegetables, clothing and so on, and the prices are all taken at the retail level.

The farmer unknowingly goes along with the income tax official, and when the official is all through he asks the farmer to sign a paper. Then the income tax inspector goes away and shortly afterwards an amount is added to the income the farmer has already declared. He receives a new assessment which is away out of line from the point of view of what he should pay by way of income tax.

286 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. W. M. Howe

Instances have also been brought to my attention respecting applications by farmers to the farm loan board. Regardless of whether the farmer has assets to cover the loan he requires, if he owes money to the bank or to an implement agency or somebody else in his district he is refused a loan. He is told that if he will pay off the bank and pay off the amount he owes the implement agency he will then be given a loan. How is he going to do that? He has to sell his stock in trade, his cattle and hogs, and practically go out of business. The farm loan board is no use to him. They do not help him to put his eggs all in one basket, consolidate his loans and give him a longer time to pay, thus permitting him to stay in business by maintaining his agricultural establishment. Then the farmer could carry on, but in so many cases he has been refused a loan. I notice that legislation is to be introduced respecting the Canadian farm loan board and I hope some consideration will be given to extending a little leniency to so many of these people that need help so badly.

There is only one other thing I should like to mention. It has to do with the statement of Professor MacDougall to which I referred before. He apparently believes that our small farms will disappear and that we will become a country of great farms. I say the same thing is happening in the case of the small retail merchant. Today with the increased number of great shopping centres and the spreading out of big retail buying organizations, the small retail merchant is being caught in the squeeze. The day when he lived in his own small community and catered to the needs and necessities of the people there is disappearing. With improved means of transportation he is caught in the squeeze. He not only has to compete with merchants in his own town but has to compete with big buying organizations who get special discounts.

I speak for the small automobile retailer as well as the ordinary retailer in our different communities. How is the small car dealer going to compete with the great sales agencies in the cities who get special discounts because of the number of cars they sell? I believe it is not a good indication for our economy to be heading in this direction.

I believe that the small property owner, the farmer and the retailer, who have been the backbone of the country, who have been ready to take their places on municipal councils and various municipal boards; these people who have been big taxpayers in our small communities, who have provided the streets, hospitals, schools and all the other facilities

that are so necessary, still have a definite place in our economy and should be protected.

There is just one other thing I want to say. The fact has been mentioned in the house before that our farmers could and would produce more on the farms if the bugbear of surpluses was removed. They feel now that if they increase their production their products will come on the market at a time when prices are depressed. In connection with the butter surplus, which was mentioned the other day, I sometimes feel that we might deal with it in the same way we dealt with the pork surplus a few years ago. The butter has been bought and paid for by the people of Canada. The farmers do not like the opposition of margarine. If this No. 1 storage butter were thrown on the market at prices comparable with those at which it is being sold to communist countries, I feel that such action would be a good advertising medium for the butter producers of this country, that it would get butter into homes that have not used it for years, and that the people of Canada would benefit thereby.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

William Albert Pommer

Liberal

Mr. W. A. Pommer (Lisgar):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in this debate may I briefly add my congratulations to the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and the seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne on the exceedingly able manner in which they discharged their duties. The hon. member for Timiskaming set a precedent by becoming the first woman in our history to move the traditional address in reply to the speech from the throne with which His Excellency the Governor General opens our sessions of parliament.

The hon. member was pleased to say that in selecting her the Prime Minister had in mind the honouring of all the women of Canada in public and in private life. I have no doubt that was one of the things the Prime Minister had in mind. But after listening to the competent and informed speech which she made, and witnessing the manner in which she discussed some of the problems confronting the people of her constituency, our country as a whole and the great alliance of free nations with which we are associated,

I am convinced that the Prime Minister had more in mind. I am sure he felt as I do, that it was not only an honour due to the hon. member as a representative of the women of Canada, but was in recognition of her own abilities, her own performance in this house and in the administration of the municipal affairs of the township of Teck of which she was reeve for so many years.

The seconder of the motion, the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Laflamme), has been recently elected to the house and was making

his first speech. We are sure that the people of Bellechasse have an able representative in this house, and I congratulate him on his excellent speech. I am sure it augurs well for his future parliamentary career in the House of Commons.

I should just like to say a few words about the constituency I represent. The constituency of Lisgar is one of the historical political subdivisions in Canada. It was first known as Selkirk. The boundaries have been somewhat changed over the years, but it has been electing members to this house since the time of the entry of Manitoba into confederation. The first member was one of the great builders of Canada, namely Mr. Donald Smith, later known as Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal. The constituency covers an area of about five thousand square miles and has a population of about 49,000 people. I am proud to say that in enterprise, culture, respect for the laws of God and of the nation, and friendliness and kindliness, the people of Lisgar take second place to no other people in Canada or indeed in the world. I speak from 35 years of experience when I say that. I have seen them face bad times with fortitude and good times with humility and moderation.

Unlike many other constituencies in Canada, especially in the west, the whole area of Lisgar is fertile and populated. It is primarily a farming area. Serving the people and providing centres for social and business activity are some 60 towns and villages. Mixed farming is general throughout the area, but we produce plenty of good wheat and many other things as well. Some of the best purebred livestock will be found on the farms in Lisgar.

In the southern and eastern parts of the constituency row crops such as sugar beets, corn, peas, beans and tomatoes are successfully grown. Sunflowers do well and have been a good source of income for many farmers in recent years. Last year, for the first time in Manitoba, locally-grown tomatoes were canned. They were grown in the Morden, Winkler and Plum Coulee areas and were processed by the Aylmer plant at Morden.

I mention the range and variety of our farm output by way of notice to the Minister of Agriculture that our people are interested in the whole range of policies followed by his department. The minister, however, knows western Canada better than do most other men, and probably needs no notice. Perhaps I should direct these remarks to the Leader of the Opposition and to the other

The Address-Mr. Pommer party leaders who aspire to office. Their agricultural policies must be sound, practical and well balanced if they are to appeal to the people of my constituency.

Along with the hon. member who moved the address in reply I was privileged to attend the first interparliamentary conference of the NATO countries at Paris last July.

I agree with everything she said about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its importance to the preservation of freedom in the world. It is tragic that, so soon after a terrible war, nations should be obliged to band together in order to prevent another conflict by means of a show of force. Yet it would be more than tragic, it would be stupid if we were to ignore the facts and leave the way open to an aggressor to subdue us one by one.

I was impressed by what I saw and heard at NATO headquarters in Paris and on our visits to the Canadian forces serving in Europe. I was particularly impressed with the achievements of NATO and with Canada's role in those achievements. We can be proud of that role; but I wish more Canadians knew more about the challenge which the communist dictatorship presents to us and about the necessity of maintaining, enlarging and improving our common defence effort so long as that challenge exists.

It has been said by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, and by others as well, that ignorance is one of the great obstacles in the way of enduring peace. We know that the ignorance of the free world which exists in the minds of the Russian people is deliberately fostered by the communist government. We also know that some of the ignorance which exists in our own country and in other free countries about the Russian people, their conditions of life, their achievements and their opinions is due to the iron curtain which the communists have placed in the way of the exchange of information between the citizens of Russia on the one hand and those of the free countries on the other.

Between the countries of NATO, however, there are no artificial barriers to the exchange of information. We members of parliament who were privileged to take part in that assembly owe it to our country, and to the common cause of freedom, to tell the story of NATO. None of us could tell it better than did the hon. member for Timiskaming.

I was intrigued by a few of the things the hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) said last week. He seemed to belittle the references to the general prosperity of our country which are contained in the speech from the throne. He said they reminded him of what was being said in

The Address-Mr. Pommer 1929 on the eve of the great depression. I have heard this line of talk from opposition speakers before, from the socialists as well as the Conservatives. Never since our government came into power in Canada, according to them, have we ceased to be on the eve of a depression. No matter how prosperous in fact we have continued to be, their endlessly repeated refrain has been that this is not true prosperity; it is merely a Liberal prosperity. We seem to be prosperous, but it cannot last. Things are bound to get worse. We are surprised they are not worse already. The government is not doing the right thing and this false prosperity is a deceptive accident.

Then when things slow down just a little they scream that the depression has arrived, and call upon us to take desperate remedies which they have thought up to meet the depression for which they have been hoping. Ever since the last traces of the great depression were wiped out in the second world war and a wave of expansion followed it, the socialists and Conservatives have been predicting blue ruin. The Minister of Trade and Commerce is one of the chief architects of the economic policies which have brought a long succession of prosperous years. He has been ridiculed as an optimist, but his optimistic predictions have been more than justified by subsequent events.

Just a year ago we had more unemployment in this country than most of us like to see. Week after week we listened to the opposition labouring, almost gloating, over that fact. The Minister of Trade and Commerce told us the situation would soon improve. The government took certain measures to see that it did improve. We were told the measures were inadequate, that various emergency steps should be taken. Within a few months the situation did improve. We have heard little about unemployment in the debate so far this session.

What do we hear about? We hear about the wheat crisis. We hear that it is going to be a lot worse. We are told drastic steps must be taken. I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I do not know long prosperity is going to continue. I will not be surprised if we have a few ups and downs. Right now I should like to see our farmers selling more wheat and getting more cash for it, but I do not believe western Canada is going to the dogs as fast as the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the C.C.F. would have us believe. Western Canada was built on faith and optimism. It was not built by men who always expected the worst. If everybody believed all the stories we hear from the opposition about calamities, both present and to come, no one

would put another dollar into this country. Yet we find that capital investment last year was higher than ever before.

Not long ago Douglas Gibson of the Bank of Nova Scotia, one of our recognized authorities on economics, was quoted in the Financial Post as saying that the underlying trend in Canada is decidedly upward. I agree with him. I do not think any of the prophets of gloom have much in the way of a real basis for their predictions. The other day the C.C.F. leader said this government was bankrupt of ideas. I say that any party which pins its hope of beating this government on prophesying a depression is rather bankrupt in political ideas.

A year ago these gentlemen were talking about unemployment. There was unemployment. They said the government was to blame and that the government could stop unemployment if it would only do the things they wanted done, such as putting a lot of people to work building things to be paid for by the taxpayers. Had all the things they suggested been done there would not have been enough people to produce the goods which went to swell our gross national product in 1955 to a record figure in excess of $26 billion. Now they have changed their tune. They do not talk about unemployment; they talk about the wheat surplus. There is a big wheat surplus. I do not say it will disappear as quickly as last year's unemployment problem, but we may be surprised.

What has happened in the past year to make the blue ruin boys talk about wheat this session? It has been nothing but a good crop, 494 million bushels and most of it of high grade. This makes five bumper crops in the last six years. Is that bad? I do not think it is as bad as our critics make out. Things could have been a lot worse if we had not had the wheat board system of marketing, which guarantees a fair price and enables every farmer to move a proportion of his crop when elevator storage is limited.

During those six years the farmers have marketed more wheat than in any other period in their history. They have received cash for it. They still have a lot left on their farms, but I can remember times when they were a lot worse off. I can remember when they did not have good crops, when many had no crops at all, and when those who had crops received very little cash for what they sold. We had a Conservative government in those days, and I daresay they did the best they could but I do not recall any miracles.

This government perfected the wheat board system of marketing. It has taken the lead in getting co-operation among the

leading wheat exporting and importing nations in stabilizing wheat prices. The speech from the throne tells us about two other things that are to be done, one temporary and one permanent, to improve our wheat marketing system. There are to be guaranteed bank loans for the farmer with wheat on his farm who is short of cash. Our friends say that idea is no good. They say there should be unlimited advances from the wheat board through the elevator agents against wheat stored on the farms.

I wish it could be done that way, but the wheat board takes the position that it was not set up, nor is it organized, to do that kind of business. It is quite clear the wheat board is right. It certainly was not organized to lend money. It was organized to sell wheat, and has its hands full at the present time selling wheat. The board has no staff experienced in money lending, and would have to cast around for persons whom it could employ who are experienced and at the moment unemployed. It is rather strange that those who profess to be such supporters of the wheat board should, at a critical period in its existence, wish upon it overnight a new and invidious responsibility. I know that if the wheat board did undertake that job and made a few mistakes, we would soon hear about it from those whose chief aim in life is to discredit and destroy the wheat board.

No member from the western plains need offer any apology for discussing wheat on the floor of this house. Right now we are confronted with problems of storage and the financing of storage. They are important, but they should not be confused with the troubles we have had in the past, problems of short crops and hence lack of cash income, or problems of price. We have had good crops; we have had a steady flow of wheat to the markets, and we have had a reasonably stable price structure.

For the good crops we can thank divine Providence. For the stable price structure we can thank the marketing system which this government has developed with the support of our farm organizations, and which the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Minister of Agriculture have stoutly defended. They have defended it against the attacks of the advocates of an open market, whose system would have meant disastrously low prices at this time. They have defended against the advocates of socialism, whose system would have put the western farmer in bondage to the state.

For many years our farmers hoped for a system of orderly marketing. Now they have it. What has it meant? Well, let me give you a few figures. For the ten-year period from 67509-19

The Address-Mr. Pommer 1940 to 1950 the average annual wheat crop in all Canada was 391 million bushels. The average annual exports were 275 million bushels. There was no surplus. In the last six years, with five bumper crops and only one poor crop, the average annual production was 522 million bushels. The average annual export was 286 million bushels.

To those who say there is something wrong with our foreign markets, the answer is in the fact that exports in recent years have been above the ten-year average. We have had above normal crops. In that situation, I submit that orderly marketing does not mean selling all that is produced right away. The selling of it all could mean disastrously low prices for the farmer, which is what happened in similar circumstances in the old days of the open market. It could mean subsidized export or dumping, which would cost the taxpayers of all Canada millions of dollars. I submit that it makes sense to follow the policy of orderly marketing which has meant much to the western farmer, and that it makes sense to ask the taxpayer to pay part of the cost of storage. I submit that subsidized dumping on a grand scale at the expense of the taxpayer could only bring demands that the western farmer curtail his production, to his long-term disadvantage.

I welcome the proposed measure to provide for payment of carrying charges on abnormal wheat carryovers. It will put more cash in the hands of the wheat grower this year when he needs it badly. It is one more step in reducing the risks attendant on wheat growing to something like the risks that pertain to other businesses in this country. It is not a special benefit to the wheat grower at the expense of the whole country. It will prove a long-range stabilizing influence on our whole economy. Every sector of the economy benefits when the western farmer sells his wheat at a fair price.

The western farmer has been blessed with a succession of bumper crops. He has been selling enough on export markets and otherwise to dispose of normal crops. It is clearly in the national interest that the excess be stored against the time when demand may increase or we may have a short crop. The cost of that storage should not all fall on the farmer. So, Mr. Speaker, I welcome the loan plan as a sincere attempt to make money available to the small wheat farmer during this time of slow marketing. I hail the plan for payment of storage as an important constructive move which belies any suggestion that this government is bankrupt of ideas. I deplore blue ruin talk which pictures a good crop as a disaster.

The Address-Mr. Castleden

There are other announcements in the speech from the throne of special interest to my constituency. The Industrial Development Bank Act is to be amended. I hope the amendments will permit the bank to advance capital for the establishment of seed cleaning plants. The inability of the bank to assist an industry of this kind came to my attention in connection with a proposed plant at Pilot Mound. I wrote to the Minister of Finance, and received his assurance the matter would be taken up.

The proposed amendments to the Canadian Farm Loan Act and the Farm Improvement Loans Act will make those important measures of greater use to the farmers. The Prairie Farm Assistance Act has been a benefit to many farmers in the west in cases of crop failure. I am glad to note that amendments are proposed, but will wait for the introduction of legislation to present certain views in detail. Briefly, I believe the act should make it somewhat easier for Manitoba farmers to qualify for assistance than it has been up to now. Since the establishment of the scheme, Manitoba farmers have paid in $4,500,000 more than they have drawn out in crop failure benefits. This is in comparison with Saskatchewan and Alberta, who have taken out $90 million more than was paid in by the producers.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the future with confidence. Never has the outlook for Canada been brighter. We have problems in Canada, but they are small compared with those of other countries. They are problems associated with growth and expansion. They pale into insignificance in comparison with the larger problems of the world, the problem of avoiding war, the problem of bringing a better standard of living to the overcrowded and economically undeveloped areas. As a Canadian I am proud of the part our country is playing in building the defences of the free world through NATO. I am proud of our contributions to what I regard as the equally important and more enduring additions to the structure of peace through the United Nations, the Colombo plan and other agencies of economic co-operation.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. G. H. Castleden (Yorkton):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just preceded me is something like the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who tries to tell this house that the opposition considers a big wheat crop is a calamity. Such a statement is very far from the truth. We consider abundant crops to be of great benefit to the people of this country and they should be of great benefit to the world. But when we see a recession in the areas where the people produce those crops; when we see the rest of Canada enjoy-

[Mr. Pommer.l

ing great prosperity while the people engaged in agriculture on the prairies are suffering recession caused by increasing costs and inability to deliver their grain or sell it because of the maladministration of this government, we say the calamity is the government.

I might say that the hon. member who preceded me does not read nearly as well as the minister does in presenting his case. The hon. member also referred to the fact that Canada is enjoying unprecedented investment in industry. We are enjoying an unprecedented peacetime boom because of terrific government expenditures in defence and defence contracts, and also tremendous investments coming from the great giant that lives to the south of us on this continent, the United States.

On other occasions I have referred to the danger facing Canada because we are living on the same continent with this very wealthy nation of 160 million people. I have referred to the danger that faces this small country because that great country to the south, with all its wealth, can move in here and buy into and absorb Canadian industry through their subsidiary companies in this country and gradually obtain control, economically, of our natural wealth and the industrial life of our nation.

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PC

Owen C. Trainor

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Trainor:

Where would you get it elsewhere?

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

Why should Canada not be doing this? Why should not Canada be developing her own natural resources? Why should United States firms be doing that? Why does not this government have a fiscal policy which will provide money for investment in these developments, and thus keep these things for Canada?

During his speech the other night the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar put some excellent figures on the record to indicate the way United States industry was infiltrating into Canada to such a degree as to give concern to many Canadians. I have here another example which may be of interest to the people of Canada. I should like to quote from an article by the financial editor which appeared in the Globe and Mail of January 6:

In Canada three names dominate the soap industry-Lever Brothers, Colgate-Palmolive and Procter and Gamble. From these three giant firms come the three most widely known and used soaps-Lux, Palmolive and Ivory, and there are few readers whose homes will not contain at least some of the products of these companies.

Yet not one of these companies is Canadian, none of them sell shares in the Canadian end of their operations, and not one of them even lists the parent company stock on Canadian exchanges.

They have certainly made the Canadian people soap conscious.

Procter and Gamble, whose headquarters are in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been operating a branch plant in Canada since 1913-43 years. Since the beginning of this operation, the firm that makes soap that is 99 4tioo pure has kept its subsidiary 100 per cent pure, as far as outside ownership is concerned.

And since this is the case surely the time has come for these huge soap firms to share the made in Canada profits with Canada's soap-conscious citizens.

Another article on January 3 referred to a possible change in the control of Algoma Steel following the death of Sir James Dunn. It was indicated that there was a possibility that Bethlehem, the great steel combine in the United States, was interested in purchasing a controlling interest in Algoma, but this will be known only after the will has been disposed of. Take our iron ore deposits, our power, our pulp-[DOT]

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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Will the hon. member permit a question?

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

I am sorry, I have not the time. I think every Canadian should be made aware of the rapid increase in United States control of Canadian industry. The ultimate result of this will be political control, and the citizens of Canada should be kept constantly aware of that development. Many people are viewing it with deep concern, and Canadians should know about it.

In connection with the plight of the agricultural producer on the western prairies and this trend which is taking place in industry in Canada, this government deserves censure by the opposition. It is the duty of the opposition to censure the government, and I think that censure is to be found in the amendment now before the house which reads:

We respectfully represent that Your Excellency's advisers, by reason of their indifference, inertia and lack of leadership in the face of serious national problems, including their failure to provide cash advances on farm-stored grain, equal to not less than 75 per cent of the initial price, to alleviate the serious financial crisis now confronting western farmers and the entire economy of the prairie provinces, and their disregard of the rights of parliament, are not entitled to the confidence of this house.

The part of the amendment referring to the failure to provide cash advances on farm-stored grain of not less than 75 per cent of the initial payment is a real fact. I am pleased to support that amendment as representing the opinion of people whom I represent in this house. For three years now the situation has been getting steadily worse, and we in the opposition have pointed out that a continuation of present policies, with the costs of operating a farm constantly increas-67509-19J

The Address-Mr. Castleden ing, as well as the costs of operating all other businesses in Canada in the face of less returns is something that is causing great concern to those people who operate these businesses. Surely it is elementary that unless those who are operating businesses and farms receive an increased return as a result of their operations they must face bankruptcy.

All kinds of reasons are being presented for the increasing costs of operation of these enterprises. When this government took off price controls in 1947 and 1948 we saw the beginning of a spiral. We in this party stressed the danger of the policy the government was adopting at that time, but we were told that while there might be a slight rise in the cost of living, it would only be for a year or two and then the law of supply and demand would operate and things would level off. But the fact is that since that time the cost of manufacturing and the cost of living everywhere in Canada has increased.

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January 19, 1956