March 21, 1957


On the orders of the day:


PC

Wallace Bickford (Wally) Nesbitt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. B. Nesbitt (Oxford):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to address a question to the Minister of National Health and Welfare. Is the minister in a position today to make a reply to the question I asked him yesterday?

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   ONTARIO
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED FEDERAL REFUSAL TO FULLY PARTICIPATE IN REHABILITATION
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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. Milton F. Gregg (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, the question addressed to the Minister of National Health and Welfare happens to come under the vocational training agreement between my department and a department of the provincial government of Ontario. Since the item has been brought to my attention, and since the statement by the minister of welfare of Ontario was given a good deal of publicity in the press, I think the best thing I can do is to quote from a letter I have addressed today to the Hon. Mr. Cecile:

Yesterday I read with some concern and no little surprise certain statements in a news article of the Globe and Mail allegedly taken from a speech made by you in the legislative assembly.

You are quoted as having said that the province was told that professional training in a university Is not covered by the terms of schedule "R", and that "we are constantly running into these negative attitudes and frustrations in every one of the programs in which we share expenditures with the federal government, etc." I hasten to assure you that not only has provision been made for sharing in the costs of professional training in universities, but special arrangements were made in the province of Ontario for having such cases approved without direct referral to Ottawa in order to avoid misunderstanding and delays when dealing with individual cases.

In the cases to which you referred the delay in approval has been due to genuine doubt on the part of the federal district treasury officer regarding eligibility of the claim and failure on the part

Inquiries of the Ministry of provincial officials in notifying the federal director of vocational training that approval has been granted by Mr. Moon on his behalf.

That is one of the provincial officials.

We have made inquiries and find that the claim to which you refer is now in process of payment.

I sincerely trust that the statements printed by the Globe do not represent your personal feelings and opinion regarding our mutual efforts to provide suitable satisfactory training programs for disabled civilians under the provisions of the vocational training agreement and schedule "R". If so, I can assure you that, in so far as I know, there has been no reason for such accusations and I sincerely hope that you will never have just cause for such opinion.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   ONTARIO
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED FEDERAL REFUSAL TO FULLY PARTICIPATE IN REHABILITATION
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


On the orders of the day:


PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard C. Green (Vancouver-Quadra):

Mr. Speaker, will the Secretary of State for External Affairs tell the house the function of the United Nations emergency force in the Gaza strip in view of recent developments? As you will remember, I asked him this question two days ago. He said he expected to be able to answer either yesterday or today.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED WITHDRAWAL OF UNEF TO DEMARCATION LINE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of Stale for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I said I would answer that question to the best of my ability, I thought either today or tomorrow, but perhaps it was yesterday or today. I would prefer to postpone my answer until tomorrow in the hope that I shall be able to obtain some information from Cairo about the results of the secretary general's visit to the Egyptian government. However, I will try to answer the question tomorrow.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED WITHDRAWAL OF UNEF TO DEMARCATION LINE
Permalink

SUEZ CANAL

REPORTED IMPOSITION OF TOLLS BY EGYPT


On the orders of the day:


PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard C. Green (Vancouver-Quadra):

There is one other question I asked yesterday about the memorandum from the Egyptian government concerning the use of the Suez canal. Can the minister give us that answer today and in particular let us know what provision there is that all tolls must be paid to Egypt?

Topic:   SUEZ CANAL
Subtopic:   REPORTED IMPOSITION OF TOLLS BY EGYPT
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I could make a short statement on that question now. Last summer, July I think it was, the government stated its position in this house regarding the nationalization of the Suez canal company. At that time we indicated our view that Egyptian rights in regard to the operation of the canal, derived from the sovereignty of Egypt because the canal goes through Egyptian territory, must be

The Budget-Mr. Zaplitny reconciled with the international interest in the canal recognized, among other things, by the Constantinople convention of 1888.

We have also expressed our support for the six principles agreed on by the security council last October to govern the operation and control of the canal and any arrangement for that purpose which might be made.

As my hon. friend will know, one of those principles was that this international waterway was to be "insulated from the politics of any one state". Mr. Speaker, we have not weakened in any way in our support for these principles. As I stated the other day in the house, proposals have now been made by the four powers probably most concerned with passage through the canal to the Secretary General of the United Nations for the operation of the canal when clearance is completed. I indicated then what those proposals were. They have been passed by the secretary general to the government of Egypt.

The day before yesterday, I think it was, an Egyptian memorandum was circulated to all governments represented in Cairo with certain proposals governing this matter. This memorandum was tabled this morning, Mr. Speaker.

The memorandum, as we understand it, is not a reply to the four-power proposals I have mentioned, but was presumably issued at this time for negotiation purposes on the eve of the secretary general's visit and indeed on the eve of the opening of the canal.

Since receiving this memorandum, Mr. Speaker, we have discussed the significance of these proposals, which the Egyptian government itself has indicated are not final proposals, with other friendly governments more concerned than Canada is with navigation through the canal. While these exchanges of views are going on, and while the secretary general is negotiating in Cairo on this subject, we do not feel it would be wise or desirable for Canada alone, and before any other country has done so, to make any formal diplomatic protest as was suggested. Such a protest at this time would not appear to us to be either sensible or effective.

Topic:   SUEZ CANAL
Subtopic:   REPORTED IMPOSITION OF TOLLS BY EGYPT
Permalink

THE BUDGET

ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed, from Tuesday, March 19, consideration of the motion of Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the house to go into committee of ways and means, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Macdonnell, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo).


CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. F. S. Zaplitny (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, when the debate was adjourned on Tuesday evening the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River had just completed an address in defence of the budget. It is not my intention to follow to any great extent the remarks he made, but there were two particular remarks to which I should like to make reference.

First of all, in his speech which in my opinion exposed rather serious inconsistencies in what was advocated by the official opposition, he made an assumption of his own which I think was rather noteworthy, when he stated that in his opinion the government had endeavoured to do most for the people who, to use his own words, suffer most under present conditions of inflation. It seemed to me that after having gone to quite an extent to try to prove there was no inflation or no great danger of inflation, he ended up by admitting that the majority of the people in this country are suffering from conditions of inflation brought about by his own government.

The other statement to which I want to make particular reference is, in my opinion, his unfortunate remark toward the end of his speech when he accused the hon. member for Greenwood of attempting to stab in the back, as he called it, the governor of the Bank of Canada and the institution itself. It is well known that I disagree most thoroughly with the economic theories of the hon. member for Greenwood. But, sir, even so, I have known him for the past 12 years and many members of this house have known him for many years longer than that, and if there is any phrase or language that cannot be applied to the hon. member for Greenwood it is that phrase, "stab in the back". It is simply not part of his character and certainly not his reputation to go about things in that manner. What he had to say he said in a forthright way, and whether he was right or wrong I do not think it was fair to describe his effort in those words, particularly when one looks at the record of the government itself to which he referred a little later.

The hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River also seemed to take great delight in pointing out, or making reference to the fact, that on this occasion the official opposition had not brought any quotations, editorials or news items to bolster their arguments. The reason he gave for that was that in his opinion the press had been almost unanimous in praising the Minister of Finance and the government for this budget. Well, I do not know just what

press he reads, but I have two clippings of the remarks of two spokesmen who are representative of a very large group of Canadians. One of the articles which appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press consists of a statement attributed to the president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Mr. Hannam. The title of this news article reads, "Harris Squeezed; H. H. Displeased". In reference to the minister's prediction with regard to the income of agriculture in 1957, the article says:

"There is nothing we see which could justify such a prediction", he said, "although some increase may occur."

Even if the minister's prediction were accurate that would still mean that farmers are not sharing in the growth of the nation's prosperity since 1951- which has been considerable.

He also said that the minister's estimates, so far as agriculture is concerned, were almost certainly too optimistic. His intention may have been to damn the minister with faint praise, but he seems to have praised him with faint damns instead; because it indicates that in the opinion of the president of the federation of agriculture, even if the minister were right that this year's agricultural income would reach the 1951 level, the farmers would not be participating to the extent they should in the increased income of Canadians generally.

I have another clipping which is a little more forthright. It is a statement by the director of the united automobile workers. The united automobile workers' union represents 70,000 workers. I shall quote the item, which also appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press:

The united automobile workers Sunday termed the new federal budget "measly" and described its $6 old age pension increase as "an insult to the old and to the Canadian labour movement which has been demanding decent pensions."

Here are two statements, one by the leader of a farm organization and the other by the leader of a labour movement, which certainly are not complimentary and which express general disappointment with the budget.

The budget has been described in some of the press at least as an election budget, and a great deal has been said about the concessions that have been made in order to attract voters in the forthcoming election. But a close reading of the budget raises some doubts as to whether that is really meant, or whether it is going to be effective in that respect; because if it was meant to be a budget to attract voters, then the most that can be said about it is that it is a mighty small piece of bait to be placed in such a large trap. When you take the benefits that are contained in it and compare them with what was expected by the people at this time it certainly does not constitute a great attraction.

The Budget-Mr. Zaplitny In fact as one reads it over in the quiet of his office, away from the animation of the house and the pounding of desks which surrounded its presentation, it reminds one of the description of a soap opera that was given at one time by a gentleman who was not particularly fond of that type of entertainment.

He said there were two sobs and a commercial. In my opinion this budget is made up of a maximum of platitudes and a minimum of benefits, with a political speech tacked on at the end.

First let us take a look at the general record of the government. If the Minister of Finance were personally responsible for what has gone on in the government since 1935 when they came into power I would begin to feel rather apprehensive, because he could be accused of a very serious offence. I hasten to say that the Minister of Finance cannot be held personally responsible for what has transpired, but there is a law in this country which makes it an offence to debase currency. That is exactly what this government has done over the last 22-year period.

If one looks at the wholesale price index contained in the bureau of statistics figures he will find that the general index, taking 1935-39 as 100, reached the figure of 229.4 in 1957, in other words about two and a quarter times as high. The only way that can be interpreted in terms of purchasing power is that the 1935-39 dollar which we assume was worth 100 cents would be worth approximately 45 cents today.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Do you want to go back to 1935-39?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

The minister asks if we want to go back to 1935-39. I am simply pointing out that the government has pushed us back further than 1935-39 by debasing the dollar to the extent of 55 cents. They have reduced the value of the dollar by 55 cents in their 22 years in office. They cannot get away from that, because that is indicated by figures published by the government. Everything that is quoted today in the way of statistics, every statement the minister makes with regard to benefits, taxes, gross national income and so forth, when given in dollars must be measured in relation to the value of the dollar as it now is, in other words as being worth only 45 cents. This is the result of 22 years of Liberal administration.

This is one reason I cannot take too seriously the concern the government expresses once in a while with respect to inflation. Every once in a while, particularly this year with an election facing them, they indicate a great deal of concern and anxiety

The Budget-Mr. Zaplitny about inflation and they indicate they are really going to do something about it. They talk in terms of credit restrictions, raising interest rates and so forth; all the ineffective measures they can think of, and they leave the impression that something is really going to be done to arrest inflation.

That is a lot of malarkey. The 22-year history of this government has been one continuous round of inflation, and no one is going to believe them now after 22 years when they say they have at last discovered a formula by which they are going to reverse the whole process and bring back the purchasing value of the dollar.

The government have used inflation or the effects of inflation or the inflated dollar as a means of making themselves politically popular. They can point to dollar increases in pensions, dollar increases in this and that, in expenditures and revenues, but all the time they forget to tell the public that the dollar of today is worth only 45 cents as compared with the dollar of 1935-39. These are facts which have to be faced; this is the criterion by which we have to measure every statement in the minister's budget speech. We must always bear in mind when he is talking in terms of dollars that he is referring to a dollar which has lost 55 cents in its purchasing power in the last 22 years.

One of the greatest disappointments in the budget is that so far as agriculture is concerned it seems to be the forgotten industry. It is true that in the last part of his speech, in the political addendum, the minister made a few references to what the government allegedly has done for agriculture, but he did not have one word to say anywhere in his budget about what were the intentions of the government or what were the plans of the government with respect to agriculture and the present price-cost squeeze which is being faced by that industry. There was not one word about parity prices.

Everyone knows, and surely this parliament must know by now, that today this is the first and foremost objective of organized agriculture across Canada. Hon. members from the prairies are perhaps a little more vocal with regard to agriculture than the average member, and the impression may be left that it is only the farmers in the prairie provinces who are interested in the principle of parity prices. Nothing could be further from the truth. Organized farmers from coast to coast are interested in the principle of parity prices, because they can see no other way by which this industry can be stabilized, thus assuring themselves and their children a future in agriculture. If there is ever going to be

hope for the family farm, if there is ever going to be any stability in agriculture, sooner or later this parliament will have to accept the principle of parity income for agriculture and proceed to put legislation on the statute books step by step in order to bring that principle into reality.

It is hard to believe that a question as nationally important as the question of parity income for agriculture should receive not one word of mention in the budget presented by the Minister of Finance. If he did not agree that agriculture should have parity income then it was his duty as a responsible minister speaking for the government and setting out government policy to have expressed his disagreement and told the house why he disagreed. But no, there was not one word about it. The minister seemed to pretend that the whole issue did not exist.

The minister and his supporters are going to find in very short order how wrong they are. That issue does exist, and in agricultural communities it is going to be a topnotch issue in the next general election. Liberal candidates, whether in the east or west, representing agricultural constituencies, are going to have to take their stand on this question and make up their minds and let their constituents know whether they stand for the principle of parity income for agriculture. Neither the Minister of Finance nor the Minister of Agriculture nor any combination of ministers are going to be able to dodge that issue this time. The farmers have waited a long time for an opportunity to place before candidates in a general election this question of parity prices, and they are going to do it this time. Candidates representing the Liberal party are going to have to take their stand on this question.

Any farmer or farm leader reading the present budget and finding not the slightest reference to parity prices can only assume that either the government has absolutely no concern about agriculture or that the government is anxious to avoid that issue entirely and therefore has made no reference to it in the budget.

There is not a word in the budget about any program which would bring price supports, even under the legislation that now exists in the form of the Agricultural Prices Support Act, to the producer. The discussions we have had in this house, both yesterday and at other times during this session, indicate the difficulty in bringing so-called floor price legislation down to the producer level. We have tried again and again to impress on the government, particularly upon

the Minister of Agriculture, the serious weakness which exists in the present method of applying these floor prices, pointing out that these price supports on agricultural products are at the present time at the level of the dealer or processor; that there is no guarantee and no machinery whatever to ensure that the price supports placed on the statute books of this house will be reflected in the price the producer receives for his product, eggs, butter, cream or whatever else it may be.

Surely it is time the government should have something to say about that. We have been carrying on this discussion for the last four years in this house. The Minister of Agriculture is himself firmly convinced that the present system is not working properly in the interests of the producer. But the budget has not a word to say about it. So far as the Minister of Finance is concerned the problem does not exist.

I understand that a large part of his own constituency, if not the whole of it, is an agricultural area, one of the finest in the province of Ontario. As a matter of fact I had the opportunity to discuss this very matter with some gentlemen from that constituency only a few days ago, and I can assure him they were very concerned about this question of bringing to the producer the benefit of the prices established under the Agricultural Prices Support Act. Unless before this session is over the minister shows a little more interest in this question than he has shown in his budget, I am sure the farm leaders in his constituency are going to have a few things to say to him at election time.

Another thing which is completely lacking in the budget is any reference to a national grain policy. Over and over again members from the western provinces have emphasized that if we are to have any kind of long-term stability and security for the grain producers of the prairies the government will have to establish some sort of national grain policy, in order to assume responsibility for the marketing and storing of Canadian grain in such a way that the Canadian farmer may receive something comparable with what is being received by his competitors in the United States, who have the benefit of a national grain policy. However, the only thing which has come before this house so far this session is a bill to extend the provisions with respect to bank loans guaranteed by the government.

This milk and water proposition has never had any appreciable effect on the situation. Apart from that nothing has been done, and the budget proposes nothing. In effect the budget says, "You will have to continue to

The Budget-Mr. Zaplitny worry about surpluses, about shortages of box cars, about quotas and about markets. We are going to leave you in the same position you have occupied since 1953. After four years of government we have found no solution, and we have no proposals to make; we can give you no hope whatsoever". That is the record of the government, and that is the kind of hope they extend to grain producers.

The Minister of Finance must realize that the production of grain in this country is one of the most important and basic industries carried on within this nation. To a very great extent Canada's prosperity depends upon the prosperity of the grain producers of this country, along with that of other agricultural producers, and it is not reasonable that a budget which in all likelihood will be the last budget of the present parliament should completely ignore the whole question and pretend there is nothing to be done in so far as a national grain policy is concerned.

Does the Minister of Finance think the farmers of western Canada are going to feel satisfied that the government is doing any thinking about this question when the whole budget contains not one word about it except, as I said, in the political appendix at the end of the minister's speech, where he gives himself a pat on the back to the extent of saying the government had at least guaranteed to the banks that if they made a few loans on grain they would not lose any money? Outside of that the government proposes nothing whatsoever in this budget for grain producers.

There is another matter to which I want to refer, and that is the question of this $6 increase in old age pensions. Many people have been wondering since the budget was brought down just how the government arrived at this figure of $6.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Fifteen per cent.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

I wondered about it myself, because it seems rather an odd figure. It is not a nice, round figure like $10, $20 or $30; it was not even a round figure like $15. It happened to be $6. One hon. member suggests $5, and I will come to that in a moment.

I did a little deducing with regard to it. I cannot say I had my eye at the keyhole of the minister's office, but I just projected my imagination a bit, and I think I have the solution to what happened on that fateful day. I think the explanation is something like this. The C.C.F. amendment calls for an increase in old age pensions based upon the physical increase in our gross national product over the years.

The Budget-Mr. Zaplitny

That is a logical amendment to ask this house to adopt, because we feel that even assuming the old age pension rate in 1949 was adequate, every increase in the gross national product should be reflected in the allowances made to our senior citizens first and foremost, because the whole possibility of the increase in the gross national product arises as a result of the sacrifices and labours that our older citizens have put into this country. They should have first call on the national treasury when there has been an increase in the gross national product. So from that point of view our amendment sets out a logical contention. But by what logic did the government arrive at the figure of $6?

I think the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, who is unusually assiduous in these matters, had sold the idea to the Minister of National Health and Welfare that the increase should be $35 a month. Knowing, of course, the sympathetic nature of the Minister of National Health and Welfare I am sure he immediately recommended that figure to the Minister of Finance, and knowing his great persuasive powers I am also sure that he sold the proposition to the Minister of Finance. So in the first draft of the budget there was an item of $35 a month increase in old age pensions. There it stood, and as a matter of fact I think the Minister of National Health and Welfare rather slyly already had feelers out among the various Liberal members to say that the great moment had arrived, that the strategic moment had come to announce that there was to be a very substantial increase in old age pensions.

But on the last day, just before the budget came down, along came the Minister of Trade and Commerce and said to the Minister of Finance-I take them in order to precedence-"What is this I hear about a $35 increase?" The Minister of Finance replied. "Well, there it is; it is written in the book". Then the Minister of Trade and Commerce said, "Look, you have to remember that the trans-Canada pipe line has not even reached Winnipeg. It is an awfully long way from Montreal, and there is going to be many a dip into the public treasury before we get it as far as Montreal. I have some ideas of my own right now. It would be impolitic to do it before an election, but I am going to make a call on you after the election, so you had better have something in reserve."

Well, the minister had to do some quick calculating, so he decided that he would have to deduct $10 from the $35, which left him with only $25. Then along came his parliamentary assistant. Judging by his speech of Tuesday evening he has a rather

soft spot in his heart for corporations, because he seemed almost to weep for the poor corporations. He persuaded the minister that this would not be a good year in which to reduce corporation taxes because it might prove to be very unpopular in an election year, but that after all, for services rendered, right after the election something would have to be done for these poor corporations in the next budget. So logic is logic, and the minister took off another $10 bringing it down to $15.

Then along comes the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. McCann). Of course he is a senior member of the cabinet, his word is weighty and he has to be listened to. He says, "Now, Walter, do you remember when we had the debate last year about the kickbacks we had to make to certain power corporations in the province of Quebec after they had paid their taxes into the national treasury? They took us to the appeal board and we took them to the exchequer court and we won the case. It was decided we had the right to tax and the money was in the treasury, but somehow we made a deal and we kicked back to them half the money they had paid, amounting to around $3 million. The same kind of thing is going to happen again. Obviously we cannot do it this year, but it will have to be done right after the election." The Minister of Finance had to make allowance for that, so he did a little calculating and knocked off another $3.

And so it went on until the bank conference that took place on the same day. The bank managers served notice on the minister that if he wants more housing he is going to have to be prepared to pay higher interest rates. The minister knows very well that it would not only be a matter of higher interest rates on housing loans. If interest rates are increased it is going to cost more to finance all our public borrowing. Therefore the minister had to make some allowance for that so he reached the stage where he had to cut down his increase to $9 a month.

He was willing to settle for that, but along came the member for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre (Mr. Thatcher) at that particular moment. As we know, the member for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre has a reputation to live up to. He has been rather consistently opposed to any increases in social security payments because he is a great believer in the virtue of poverty. Perhaps he could be used as a horrible example for those who do not possess that virtue. He persuaded the minister that he simply must reduce the increase by another $4 to bring it down to a nice round figure, the $5 which the hon.

member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Mang) was advocating a few minutes ago. Down it comes to $5 and the minister puts down his pen and says, "That is that; I am not going to touch it any more."

But he had not taken into account one more member of the cabinet, because just at that moment the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Pickersgill) comes along wearing his short pants and boy scout hat and says, "Just remembered it is a long time since I have done my boy scout good deed. I have not done my good deed for this week." Under his arm he has a whole pile of letters which he has borrowed from the Minister of National Health and Welfare. They are heartrending letters from poor pensioners across the country describing the almost indescribable conditions under which they have to live, with higher rents, higher costs and pensions of only $40 a month.

So the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who is a master of histrionics, reads these letters very dramatically to the Minister of Finance; and before he is finished they are in each other's arms sobbing away with tears streaming down their faces. The Minister of Finance says, "Oh, my, John, you have saved me from making a terrible mistake. You have convinced me that it would have been heartless and cruel to do what I have been doing, knocking these amounts off the increase step by step. I owe you a great debt for what you have done. You have completely converted me, and I shall make the pension not $5 a month more but $6 a month more." That is how we got the $6.

This, of course, is all hypothetical, but it is the only kind of logic I can imagine by which the government arrived at that figure. It is not based on the increase in the gross national product, it is not based on the increase in the cost of living, it is not based on anything I can see except the pressures exerted upon the minister by lobbyists and others.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 21, 1957