That is right. There is only one way to prevent it. Take a look at the profits. Take a look at them both in Canada
and in the United States. Just check over the people who threw in the $16 a ton increase on basic steel in the past two years. Take a look at their profits over the last two years. They said they could not afford an increase in wages in 1955. I have the figures here. I am not going to bother to put them on the record and delay the house in doing so. In 1955, when United States Steel hiked their prices by $7.50 a ton, they could have reduced the price of steel on the basis of their profits in that year. They could have reduced the price of basic steel by $7.50 a ton. Mind you, those are the people who are not very much concerned about inflation, or about what it is doing to a country, as long as the profit picture is bright for them. That is their one concern.
I might refer to the increase that General Motors brought about just recently, after the wage negotiations. They said they could not pay the wage increases. Well, their profit pictures show they could have done pretty much the same thing. We are going to have to start considering the matter. The government of the country that gets blamed for everything is not managing the economy of the country. They have no control over people who will throw in devices of their own for their own convenience without any regard for the public interest.
I believe we are just beginning to think about this problem. If we are to correct the situation and keep ourselves in balance over the next two or three years we shall have to consider either an excess profits tax or a price control policy. In my opinion there is no other way out of it because, as I said a moment ago, the government is not responsible for the increases in prices. The small operator or the small businessman will be driven out of business, because he is not going to get money to refinance himself from year to year. The big fellow who has his roots in the banks will be able to control the whole economy of the country.
I just wished to say this briefly, because it is something we have to begin to think about. I do not think the device we are using now will be sufficient to take care of the situation.