April 10, 1957

CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

It was nice knowing you.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Philpoil:

Before dissolution: May I

say how happy I am that when I made my very first speech in the house the premier of British Columbia, Mr. Bennett, and Mr. Bonner and Mr. Gunderson were sitting in the gallery and heard me support the plea of the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge) for the development of power on the Columbia. We all know what has happened in that regard.

When I was elected four years ago I made two promises. One was that I would try to get an increase in the war veterans allowance and the second was that I would do my level best to get on the statute books of Canada a national health insurance plan. I think, Mr. Speaker, that I have done my bit.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Would the hon. member permit a question?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Philpott:

Certainly.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

In view of the suggestion he has made as to his effectiveness with certain provincial premiers and in certain other ways, would he please stop off at Winnipeg on his way home to Vancouver and try to sell this hospital insurance idea to the Liberal premier of my province?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

You may be surprised what happens there.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Alfred Claude Ellis

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

Mr. Ellis:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Philpott:

Mr. Speaker, I have been asked a direct question. I will be delighted to do so. I will be delighted to communicate not only with the premier of British Columbia on this matter-

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Manitoba.

Health Insurance

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Philpott:

-but with several others. I must complete my answer to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre in poker terms by telling him not to be too impatient, that the Minister of National Health and Welfare always has a couple of aces in the hole.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Would the hon. member permit one more question?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Philpott:

Certainly.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Was he suggesting when he referred to the St. Laurent formula that it would not be proper to introduce something that is contrary to the spirit of the constitution with five provinces agreeing to the idea but that it would be proper if six provinces agreed?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Philpott:

No. My hon. friend has missed the point. I am glad he has given me a chance to explain it. I am talking entirely in terms of effectiveness. First of all, I think it would be politically unwise and constitutionally unsound on the grounds of creating a precedent, but far more important to me at this moment so far as this bill is concerned is this point. The Minister of National Health and Welfare is out to get all ten provinces into the plan. If the house were so unwise as to vote for the amendment moved by my hon. friend, the first effect would be to remove the pressure exerted on every province by great and powerful organizations like the Canadian Congress of Labour. We are against the amendment, not because we do not want to go ahead with the scheme at the moment but because we want to go ahead with all ten provinces of Canada in the plan and not just five.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Extend the coverage and you will get them all in.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

That is not right.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Alfred Claude Ellis

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

Mr. Claude Ellis (Regina City):

Mr. Speaker, there are a few comments I should like to make at this time with particular reference to the speech just made. It was a rather rambling speech. The hon. member started back in 1763, I believe, and also referred to the war of 1812. We also heard a discourse on poker playing and a number of other topics which I found very difficult to relate to the bill now before the house. I think the better part of his speech was given over to eulogizing various members of the government, and of course we know that the hon. member who has just spoken is a past master at licking the boots of cabinet ministers.

In my opinion the bill has been dealt with up to now in a businesslike manner. I do not think there has been any effort to deal with it in a strictly partisan manner. Yet

Health Insurance

every second sentence of the speech to which we have just listened heaped praise on this minister or that minister, on former prime ministers such as the late Mr. King, and even brought in the Right Hon. Winston Churchill. I think of previous stages of this debate when members of this group, through the imposition of a self-denying ordinance, did not participate to any great extent in the debate on second reading or on the resolution stage in order to facilitate the passage of the bill. When some of us had a few words to say on clause 1 the minister was gesticulating wildly, pointing to the clock and suggesting that we were holding up his bill. In my opinion the speech to which we have just listened certainly did not contribute anything to an intelligent appraisal of the legislation now before us.

A number of things were said by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Philpott) which I cannot let pass without comment. I gathered from his speech that he feels that the legislation we are about to pass is the ultimate. I was able to catch one or two of his sentences. He spoke of the legislation as being the first stage in national hospital insurance. I suggested on a previous occasion that the government has watered down its health insurance proposal from its original commitment to bring in a comprehensive health insurance bill to a mere hospital bill, and that has been confirmed by the remarks we have just heard.

I think we have to get this matter in the proper perspective. The hon. member spoke about the unanimity in the house regarding the legislation now before us. But I would remind him that while we give complete support to the bill before us we are anxious to see whatever benefits may accrue from the bill brought into effect at the earliest possible date.

For that reason we have moved an amendment which will enable the Canadian people, in those provinces which have governments which are anxious to go ahead, to derive benefits from this legislation at an early date. That is the whole purpose behind the amendment. Not only are we wholeheartedly in support of the legislation, we are anxious to see the legislation put into effect at the earliest possible date.

When the hon. member was speaking about the small gap, as he puts it, between those of us who believe that this amendment should be passed and those who are opposed to it, I think he was minimizing the importance of this amendment. In the reference he has made to the 99 44/100 per cent which he used to indicate the unanimity of opinion, I trust he is not trying to create the impression

that all members in this house feel about this legislation the same way as he himself does; because while we support the hospital bill as it now stands, we are bitterly disappointed that the government has not kept the promises it has made to the Canadian people and has not brought in a comprehensive health insurance bill at the present time.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Marlin:

Would my hon. friend permit me just to make a statement? He gives me a chance to do so here, and I think it is extremely important.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

Alfred Claude Ellis

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

Mr. Ellis:

Yes.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Marlin:

When we met with the

provinces last January it was the unanimous decision of the provinces that this should be the step to proceed with.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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April 10, 1957