October 21, 1957

LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

Now that I have said what I wanted to say about the representation of French Canadians in the government, I want to go to something else. There is an important problem as between the city of Hull and the city of Ottawa. The city of Ottawa, being the seat of the national capital, I really believe that the government should look forward to developing it in the way in which it has been developed, but a little bit faster.

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PC

Léon Balcer (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

How old is the problem?

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

The problem is much older than the hon. member who has spoken. But something has to be done. He, for one thing, is a good friend of Mr. Duplessis and I wonder if he could do something for the national capital and for the city of Hull. For a long time the former minister of public works (Mr. Winters) had been trying to secure the approval of Toronto and Quebec in order that a new bridge might be built as an alternative to the Alexandra bridge. The government in Toronto answered by sending experts to study the matter in order to ascertain what was possible. They made some proposals which were not acceptable at the time, but they did make proposals and that is something. But the government at Quebec consistently refused

to send anybody to study the matter, or to see whether anything could be done. The only answer Mr. Duplessis gave in Quebec was: Ottawa is the national capital, let the federal government build the bridge itself.

Mr. Speaker, it has been the practice in such matters for the cost of construction to be borne one-third by the federal government and one-third by each of the two provinces concerned, the approaches being the responsibility of the two municipalities. We have seen the minister of public works in the former government, and the present Minister of Public Works giving consideration to what could be done in the matter. There has been an acknowledgment by the provincial government in Toronto. What we need at the present time is the help of the Duplessis government. The Duplessis government did not want to speak with the Liberal government, but now that there is a Conservative government in power I think it should be very easy to obtain co-operation, and I suggest the hon. member for Three Rivers should speak to his friend Mr. Duplessis about the matter. Whether a new bridge comes from the Conservative party or the Liberal party the population will be equally glad to have it. If any hon. member had to cross from the city of Hull to Ottawa or from Ottawa to Hull at five o'clock in the afternoon he would find that under present conditions it takes between three-quarters of an hour and an hour and a quarter.

This is an undertaking that neither Ottawa nor Hull can carry out on their own; it is too expensive for municipal consideration, and can be done only by governments which have powers of taxation. I hope the hon. member for Three Rivers will look into the matter together with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Works to see whether something can be done during the short time they will be in office.

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PC

Léon Balcer (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

Is that the new Liberal way, to insult, and afterwards come to ask for favours?

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

There is no insult. The hon. member, who is a lawyer should know the difference between a claim of right and an insult; if he does not, he should not be a lawyer at all. There is another thing-

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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

I don't think the hon. member's judgment amounts to much.

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

I don't know that it amounts to much in the eyes of the Conservative party, but I think it does among the population which elected me.

Mr. Speaker, there is another question which I want to bring before the house. For

The Address-Mr. Caron over 50 years up to 1953 a succession of ministers of public works have assisted the municipalities in building protection walls. After 1953 the Department of Public Works decided that since most of the rivers were no longer navigated the federal government had nothing to do with the problem. If I am not mistaken, Mr. Speaker, under the British North America Act the waters spoken of are not "all navigated waters" but "all navigable waters"; whether they are navigated or not, if they are navigable they are the responsibility of the federal government. As I said, up to 1953, all the ministers, Liberal or Conservative, helped to build some of these protection walls. A while ago I asked in this house whether it was the intention of the present Minister of Public Works to continue this kind of work. He answered me in the same way as I was answered by the previous holder of his office.

I contend that either it is the responsibility of the federal government, because it is navigable water, or it is the responsibility of the provincial government because the bed of the river is the property of the province. We have been trying to reach an understanding about this with both the provincial government and the federal government. I know some cases where a river has cut into farmers' land for a distance up to 200 feet. The farmers are not responsible for that, and somebody should take the responsibility. If the present Minister of Public Works wishes to accept the view that "navigable" and "navigated" mean the same thing, I hope he will bring the question forward at the next dominion-provincial conference so that we may discuss once and for all where the responsibility in this matter lies. If the matter cannot be determined there, then let the matter be brought up before the supreme court so that everyone may know for certain to whom they must go to find a responsible body to look after this matter. It is a pressing problem and one which I hope the present government will consider.

Mr. Speaker, I will conclude on a Canadian note. Some newspapers have been conducting quite a campaign suggesting that the next governor general should be the Queen Mother or another member of the royal family. I want it to be very clear that I have all the admiration for the royal family that any Canadian should have for that family. Three years ago at the end of 1954 when I was mayor of the city of Hull we had the honour to receive the Queen Mother, and at that time I said a few words. I would like to take advantage of the opportunity of reading what I said at that time just to prove that though I intend to speak on this matter it is not because I have anything against the

The Address-Mr. Caron royal family but because I only wish that a real Canadian should continue to be governor general of Canada. At that time I said this, speaking in French:

(Translation):

The city of Hull is very glad that Your Majesty thought it proper to pay us a visit on the occasion of your trip to the capital. We appreciate all the honour which this means to our city as well as to our province, and we wish to thank you.

It would be superfluous to welcome you, since our gracious Sovereign, being Queen of Canada, is everywhere at home, and the same is true for the Queen Mother.

We should like, however, to express our joy in having you here among us: I am voicing now, not only my personal feelings and those of the aldermen, but those of the whole people of Hull.

From time immemorial, alchemists have sought the philosopher's stone and the Fountain of Youth. If these men of science came back among us, "a miracle" would be their cry, if they could see, as we do, how intact, after 15 years-the date of your last visit to Canada-you have preserved your grace, your charms, your refinement, your enchanting smile which still continues to warm all hearts, your radiant beauty, and also how time seems to have suspended its course to keep you eternally young.

(Text):

As I said in French, we value highly the honour given to the city of Hull in having an official visit and I expressed the wish that she would have the kindness to tell Her Majesty the Queen of Canada that we all repeat again and again with great pride and sincerity the words of our national anthem, "God Save the Queen".

This is the way in which I dealt with the question at that time. With regard to having a representative of the royal family or anyone else from England as the next governor general of Canada I think this would be a step backward. For the past few years we have had as governor general a man who has been a perfect representative of the Queen. I do not think anyone could imply that the present governor general of Canada has not filled his high office with honour and distinction and I believe we will be able to find other Canadians to replace the present governor general when the time comes. Canada has attained its majority and, as some would say, we should not allow those who are more British than the British themselves to decide on this matter. Instead it should be one to be decided by Canadians for Canadians. I really believe Her Majesty the Queen would not consider it disrespectful to call upon her to name another representative from Canada as governor general. I hope the present government will look into the matter carefully before making a decision. In saying this I am convinced I am speaking for the

majority of Canadians, that the next governor general should be, as is the case now, Canadian-born.

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CCF

Jacob Schulz

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

Mr. Jacob Schulz (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, as a new member of this house I should first like to express my gratitude to those who have given me the opportunity to come here. I consider it a great privilege to have become a part of this most important institution, the Canadian parliament, and to belong to a group of people who have the responsibility of designing and instituting policies for the purpose of directing the affairs of this country in a proper and progressive manner.

Of course, since I came here I have noticed that some hon. members occasionally become rather noisy in going about their tasks, but I suppose this is permissible in a democracy. Her Majesty the Queen renewed the pledge that there shall be free speech. I hope during my term in this house I will be helpful, not in making noises but in doing something worthwhile, by conducting myself and directing my efforts in such a way that the result of my work shall be of the greatest good to the greatest number, and especially to those who have been neglected and forgotten and who are now suffering from privation and poverty in the midst of plenty.

The fact that I am somewhat acquainted with the surroundings on parliament hill should be of some assistance to me in performing my duties. I have been here on various occasions with farm delegations presenting briefs to the government and pointing out and explaining the gradual but constant process of deterioration that has taken place in the agricultural industry during the years and which since 1951 has gone from bad to worse.

I venture to think I have made some valuable acquaintances down here while on these missions, perhaps even some friends who will support me. I can think of one in particular, the hon. member for Melville (Mr. Gardiner), who at that time was minister of agriculture but who is now sitting with me in Her Majesty's loyal opposition to which is assigned the task of expressing the wishes of the people and impressing the government with the need of taking the necessary action to implement those wishes. I believe I have friends all over especially in my own province. By the way, I have enemies too.

When I left the farm union movement at the beginning of this year the Winnipeg Tribune published an editorial and declared that I am the most beloved and most hated man in Manitoba. Being a fairly young man

it is natural that I should have both friends and enemies because being without enemies is such a privileged position in life that it is perhaps enjoyed only by the very old.

For example, there is the case of the gentleman who celebrated his 100th birthday. It was a great occasion and even the press became interested in this fortunate man who lived to such a ripe age. As the reporters interviewed him at one point he said, "Gentlemen I am 100 years of age and I am proud to say I haven't an enemy on earth". The reporters looked at him rather curiously and one of them said, "That is a beautiful thought, sir". "Yep", said the old man, "the last one died about a year ago."

Well, as I said, I still have enemies and sometimes I even have trouble with my friends. For instance, I would single out the previous minister of agriculture. For years we have tried to impress upon him and his colleagues the need of doing something to alleviate the desperate conditions in agriculture which are slowly but surely spreading to other sections of the economy and will have far-reaching ill effects on the whole economy if nothing is done, but it was to no avail. I regret to say that most of our pleas fell on the deaf ears of the former government. Again and again we had to return home empty handed in spite of the fact that we brought with us volumes of proof of the need of agriculture, and we had to sit and watch the plight of our industry and pray that the day of judgment might come soon.

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

It came, all right.

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CCF

Jacob Schulz

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

Mr. Schulz:

Yes, it finally did come.

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?

An hon. Member:

And how!

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CCF

Jacob Schulz

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

Mr. Schulz:

The 10th of June was a great day not only for Canada but for democracy as a whole.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

We hope you like your friends.

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CCF

Jacob Schulz

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

Mr. Schulz:

Those who during their long years of office had become detached from reality to the point where they refused to listen to the truth have been cast into darkness and transformed into shadows of the past. I do hope they will be long shadows and that they will reach right across the floor of this house so that the ministers on the government side will always have a chance to look up and recognize them as a symbol of the pride that goes before a fall.

In certain sections of the country they do not even exist as shadows any more. This is proven by the fact that the group to which I belong is today the greatest political party in the four western provinces taken as a whole, and even in Ontario our vote has

The Address-Mr. Schulz increased by 26 per cent and in Quebec by 29 per cent. I do know, of course, that we are not the government yet but we are the party of the future because the good book says that John the Baptist was not selected by providence to save the world; he was there only to prepare the way for the one who came after. With the name of the government leader being the same as the apostle I just mentioned there could be some resemblance and they do claim that history always repeats itself.

In the circumstances I am glad we have a new government no matter by what name they are known. It was high time for a change. If the speech from the throne read by Her Majesty the Queen means what it says,-and I say this advisedly-then we must give credit to this government for at least recognizing one part of our problem, which is more than the previous government ever did. As a matter of fact, even at the very last minute they did not admit the problem existed.

We appreciate the fact that the present government is prepared to do something especially for the senior citizens of this country by increasing their pensions and those of others who are worthy of the same treatment. It was they who made this country what it is. They worked for it in peacetime and they fought for it in wartime and they deserve real consideration.

Advance payments on grain which farmers cannot sell, even though they can be regarded only as a stop-gap measure, are most important. During the last two days before I left home I made a trip around the constituency I have the honour to represent and I visited 10 delivery points trying to find out how many farmers have not delivered any grain in the new crop year.

Here is what I found. The percentage figures are as follows: Oak Bank, 50 per cent; Whitemouth, 50 per cent; Lac du Bonnet, 50 per cent; Beausejour, 65 per cent; Hazelridge, 65 per cent; Alma, 65 per cent; Cloverleaf, 75 per cent; Tyndall, 75 per cent; Stead, 75 per cent; St. Owens, 90 per cent. These people have not sold one single bushel of grain, even though we have progressed nine weeks into the new crop year. I put these percentages on the record mainly for the benefit of those hon. members who come from industrial centres and no doubt shall have difficulty in understanding our problem out there. This problem was often brought before the previous government.

Just about this time last year, as chairman of the interprovincial farm union council I sent a memorandum to the former prime minister on this particular problem. Do you

210 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Schulz know what happened? He did not even find it worth answering. This is what I received from his secretary:

Mr. St. Laurent wishes me to say that he is fully aware of the situation with respect to the marketing of the grain crop in the west and that he cannot but regard many of the assertions in your memorandum as exaggerated.

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

He found out.

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CCF

Jacob Schulz

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

Mr. Schulz:

To make it still more clear, I have decided to reveal the contents of a letter I received last week from a Manitoba farmer who asked me to use it in any way I saw fit in the hope that it will help. He states that the size of his farm is 709 acres, with 695 under cultivation. He goes on to give the income of this farm in the last five years. The figures are as follows: In 1952, a loss of $1,376.02; in 1953, a net income of $1,197.22; in 1954, a loss of $1,848.64; in 1955, a loss of $1,743.06; and in 1956, a net income of $674.89. He states that anyone wishing to challenge these figures may check them with the income tax department. Since this covers an average period of five years, he claims it was checked and counterchecked by the department.

This should complete the picture of the perplexing dilemma of an industry which for years has been subjected to a cost-price squeeze unprecedented in history and mercilessly driven to the bottom of the economic ladder. How far the destructive process has progressed is proven by a letter this farmer received from a mortgage company and which he enclosed. The letter is dated September 17, 1957, and is from the Great West Life Assurance Company. It is addressed to Mr. P.

A. Schick, re account No. M. 42824. The contents of the letter are as follows:

Some time ago we wrote you regarding the outstanding arrears on this mortgage and you were in touch with us saying that you could not draw any grain out, but that you had been to see the wheat board about the situation.

Has anything developed since that time? As you know, these arrears are becoming acute and we cannot continue indefinitely without something more than just interest.

They are not even satisfied with interest. I think they are lucky to get that. Then they go on to say:

If some definite arrangement has not been made by November 1, 1957, regarding a substantial

payment, we might be forced to take other steps to collect.

This is the bankrupt position of Canada's basic industry in the midst of prosperity. This is not an isolated case; this is general. Nobody who knows anything about agriculture will dare deny it. We are desperate and helpless under the misfortune of several abundant crops. You can understand the situation in its full dimensions only when you

see it or, more accurately, feel it and immerse yourself in it. These people are driven from their homes like beggars. They are losing their homes by the thousands and are driven to seek work in industry where there is no room any more.

The big question now is: What will this government do about it? I suggest that first of all the government should sell wheat. I mean sell it by any possible means. To do that the old fashioned, outworn Liberal marketing policy must be discarded because this is what has driven us into the mess. But from what has transpired since the government took office it would seem that the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Churchill) and the government as a whole are not yet ready to collect their wits and dig in. Speaking at Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, on the 19th of April, and reported in the Winnipeg Tribune of April 20, the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) made this statement:

The United States is actively trying to sell their agricultural products all the world over, and have been doing so for years. Canada has done nothing.

How much has been done since the government took office? I cannot see anything unless it is some place under cover. If it is, then I hope the government will bring it out soon because the farmers are getting desperate.

The next question is prices. This I think is our biggest problem. Rising costs created by inflation are the core of most of the troubles facing farmers and labour alike. In the last four years the farmers got it in the neck. I predict that in the next four labour will be hit. Living costs are climbing rapidly while the wheels of industry are gradually slowing down. As an example I want to mention the Manitoba Pulp and Paper mills at Pine Falls. For years this mill has been operating on a 7-day week. Now it is on a 5-day week and the rumour is that it will soon go on a 4-day week. The mill at Canora is already operating on a 4-day week.

I regret to say, Mr. Speaker, that the government has proven in the speech from the throne that it is not ready to lift its eyes and look at our most fundamental problem, that of inflation. President Eisenhower, when speaking to the twelfth annual meeting of the international monetary fund, said:

The phenomenon of inflation must be curtailed before it spins into a depression.

What is our Prime Minister saying? He and his ministers did not even find this question important enough to mention it in the throne speech.

The assurance given in the speech from the throne that the government would introduce measures to stabilize farm prices in order to assure farmers a fair share of the national income will, of course, go a long way, if it means what it says or if it means what the Prime Minister said in the election campaign. Here is what he said at Shellbrook on the 19th of April as reported in the Tribune of the 20th of April:

I want to see the farmer protected. The parity we want to introduce would bring a level between prices and costs.

If this is true then I will not only give the government credit but will congratulate them on doing something worth while. But there is one thing I want to point out. No halfway measures will be good enough at this time. Millions and millions of dollars will have to be pumped into the bloodstream of this sick and dying industry to revive it, and there can be no more delay.

In the brief presented to the government by the interprovincial farm union council in August of this year it was clearly pointed out that in the last 18 months farm costs have increased by 16.7 per cent while at the same time the price of wheat went down by 23 cents a bushel. How can any farmer live in the face of these figures? Just last week it was pointed out in the Toronto Telegram that farm cash income turned sharply down in the second quarter of this year.

To stop this there must be prompt and immediate action. The dwindling buying power on the farm is today affecting not only every business establishment in every rural community but the whole business life of the country. Slowly but surely it is dragging down the entire economy.

The government was elected for the purpose of stopping this and to keep the economy on an even keel. It cannot be done by doing just something. There must be full-scale and purposeful action. It must be everything that is humanly possible, and we know what is humanly possible when the almost unlimited resources of this great, rich and wonderful country are put into action by a government. We have learned that during the war. If this is not done, then there is one thing that is certain in my mind and that is, this time there will not be any 22 years of grace.

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PC

Robert Carman Coates

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. C. Coates (Cumberland):

It is with deep humility that I rise for the first time to bring to the attention of this house a problem that is of grave concern, not only to my constituents but to all the people of Nova Scotia. May I first express the gratitude of the people of my constituency to this government for the deep concern and prompt action

The Address-Mr. Coates shown by the bringing forth of the $100,000 subvention covering coal from the No. 2 colliery in Springhill. This prompt action prevented what could have been an economic tragedy for 7,000 people in the town of Springhill who are completely dependent upon coal mined from this pit. Let me say further that this $100,000 subvention was not a solution but it was an action which provided the time for the finding of a solution to this problem. The failure to take such action could very easily have turned this progressive community into a ghost town. When I say that the government action was of a temporary nature, I mean just that. This action provided the time necessary for the finding of a solution.

It is my humble opinion that a coal marketing board is the solution to the ills that have befallen the coal industry of Nova Scotia. In Canada we have the Canadian wheat board whose principal job is the marketing of western wheat. As a result of the actions of this board we exported wheat to the tune of $338,216,000 in 1955 and $567,907,000 in 1953. This is a wonderful thing for Canada. We need this money coming into the country. I say to you, Mr. Speaker, is it not unfortunate that in 1955 we were forced to watch $74,453,000, and in 1953, $94,680,000 leave Canada for the United States in payment for bituminous coal, while in the province of Nova Scotia we saw coal mines being closed, whole areas in a depressed state, which were sitting upon millions of tons of the same type of bituminous coal as we imported from the United States. We imported greater quantities of coal than were mined in this country. In 1956 we mined 15,100,000 tons of bituminous coal and imported 19 million tons.

In 1946 a royal commission on coal recommended that the mines of Nova Scotia be mechanized in order to cut production costs. A further study of the coal situation was made by the royal commission on Canada's economic prospects. This study indicated that the mechanization has reduced production costs but unfortunately other problems have arisen and are apparent today. With mechanization has come increased production and the owners of the coal mines, through necessity, have had to either sell more coal in order to maintain employment at the mechanization level or to retain production at the pre-mechanization level and employ fewer men. I do not believe I need to tell you, Mr. Speaker, what has happened. Dosco indicated very clearly the road it would take in both Cumberland and Pictou counties. If the commission data is

The Address-Mr. Coates correct, then by 1960, 4,000 miners in Nova Scotia will be thrown out of work and 40,000 people directly affected.

A coal marketing board would do three things. It would keep the mines at full production, thereby lowering production costs still further. It would market the coal, both in Canada and overseas, thereby stopping large sums of money from leaving Canada and bringing much needed money into Canada. This board could also make a close study of the prospects of the gasification of coal, and if feasible, establish such plants. It is my humble opinion that many of the problems facing our coal mining communities would be solved with the establishment of these plants. We would then have not only a use for our coal but the basis for the establishment of industries in communities now entirely dependent on coal.

May I turn now to the speech from the throne, and say how happy I am, as a member from the Atlantic provinces, to realize that at long last a federal government has felt that this area deserved something besides unfilled promises. We in the maritimes have had a great many promises since 1867. We have received promises in every election campaign that has been held, but let me tell you very few have ever been fulfilled. It was very gratifying to a young man from the east, like myself, to hear the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) refer to the maritimes as "these provinces by the sea". It is wonderful to even hear these promises mentioned in the speech from the throne, and it is indeed gratifying to know that some of the things that were studied and pooh-poohed by the former government have come to be realities for the people of these provinces. This represents a new deal for the east. May I say that as a result of this new deal there is a possibility of a reappraisal of a project which in 1867 stood fourth on the list of public projects in Canada. I refer to the Chignecto canal. May I say that with the attention given the necessity for power in the east this Chignecto canal may now become a reality.

May I offer my sincere thanks to the government on behalf of the elder citizens, the blind, the disabled and the veterans. It is indeed gratifying to know that at long last their services have been recognized.

May I now refer to the speech made this morning by the hon. member for Charlotte (Mr. Stuart), who said that we in the maritimes could look forward to nothing except industries that were built on subsidies or dependent upon subventions. In the last house Nova Scotia was represented by only one Conservative, but let me say that today that province is represented by ten Conservatives.

The reason for this change is the fact that the former members from Nova Scotia all had that same idea, namely the idea that we in the maritimes must look to subsidies and subventions. We are not looking for something for nothing. We are not looking for a handout. What we are looking for is recognition to be given, just a little bit of recognition that we have always desired and never received. We have it now and you will see the maritimes come forward and become a part of Canada the equal of Ontario and Quebec.

May I say further to the hon. member for Laurier (Mr. Chevrier) that as a young man, I am indeed impressionable and that the speech he made last Friday, under the guise of Canadianism, was one of the worst speeches that any man could make in this house and contained the worst kind of tripe. It was made under the guise of Canadianism but in fact all he was doing was rabble rousing in the province of Quebec and trying to disunite this wonderful, great country of ours that can go so far if united.

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LIB

Louis-Joseph-Lucien Cardin

Liberal

Mr. Lucien Cardin (Richelieu-Vercheres):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to join with all the hon. members of the house in extending to the hon. member for St. Paul's (Mr. Mich-ener) my heartiest felicitations and warmest wishes on his appointment as Speaker of the House of Commons in this twenty-third parliament. Everyone realizes, I am quite sure, perhaps even more so than ever before, just how important, how difficult, and sometimes how ungrateful, is the role of Speaker. I think the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) is to be commended for the excellent choice he made in assigning the hon. member for St. Paul's to this extremely important and responsible position.

The position of Speaker in the house has been referred to on many occasions as the foundation and the cornerstone of our democratic form of government, and the Speaker has been referred to as the guardian of the dignity and the prestige of this venerable house. Although I agree with both those statements, Mr. Speaker, I feel that they reveal only part of the true picture. In practice the dignity and the prestige of the House of Commons rests principally on the sincerity, the good will and the profound sense of responsibility of each member who has the honour of representing a section of the Canadian people in the House of Commons. With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I maintain that the Speaker alone cannot preserve the dignity, the prestige and the effectiveness of this house unless all the members are willing to recognize and to share that responsibility with him.

One of the essential facts which apparently is forgotten sometimes in this house is that the purpose of the house is to discuss and to transact the nation's business in the best interests of the people of Canada and that the House of Commons is not and should not be used as a political platform or stage to further the interests of any one political party by putting on displays on trumped-up or non-existing issues which, of course, always get a good deal of publicity but whose aim is not to enlighten but rather to confuse public opinion. It seems to me that the real problems that face Canada today, whether in the national field or in the wider international sphere, are sufficiently important and sufficiently complicated without confusing them further with small-time political strategies which have never solved a problem in the past but which have been known to destroy the very essence of good and responsible government.

One must read a little bit of history or even again keep in tune with current events in the world today in order to realize that it is actually frightening to see how conveniently there can be compromise for the sake of expedience, how easily liberty can degenerate into licence and how narrow a margin there is between democracy and anarchy. One of the basic responsibilities of your high office, Mr. Speaker, and that of each member of the house, is to assure Canadians of a sound and responsible form of government whose only aim is to serve the best interests of the Canadian people and not those of any one political party. For this reason may I assure you-and I am sure I am speaking for all members on the Liberal side of the house-that, while expressing our point of view as forcibly and as energetically as we can we will do all we can to co-operate with you in the exercise of your functions in your very difficult position and that under no practical considerations, whether political or otherwise, will we act in such a way as to undermine the prestige of the Speaker or jeopardize the dignity of this house.

I should also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. member for Calgary South (Mr. Smith) on the excellent manner in which he moved the address in reply to the speech from the throne. Of course, I am not expected to agree with all of what the hon. member said but at least I appreciate the fine manner in which he expressed himself. I hope we shall have the opportunity of hearing him often taking part in debates in the house.

(Translation):

I also want to commend the hon. member for Bonaventure for so ably seconding the motion on the address in reply to the speech

The Address-Mr. Cardin from the throne. I know that in this house, with its sometimes rather stiff atmosphere, it is somewhat difficult to give a first speech to one's own liking, but I can assure the hon. member that he carried his task out very well.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, I also want to congratulate you on your appointment to this very responsible post. I am satisfied that you will carry out your responsibilities with your well-known dignity and talent.

(Text):

Although it is perhaps an established custom in the house to congratulate a newly elected prime minister and the members of his government, I cannot help feeling that it is premature at this time to offer congratulations. As a matter of fact, I would be ill at ease in doing so. Although I have great respect, esteem and even friendship for the Prime Minister and for the members of the government, I am afraid I disagree completely with the line of argument and the tactics used by the Progressive Conservative party in the last electoral campaign in order to win the election. Nor am I convinced that if the Prime Minister were to put into effect all the promises he has made the result would necessarily be a more stable economy or for the general welfare of the Canadian people. Before offering my congratulations I prefer to wait for the result of the government's legislation as reflected in the general economy and welfare of the country.

If the far-reaching and popular-sounding program of the government is successful I shall gladly take my hat off to the government and extend my congratulations. If, however, the Conservative program is not put into execution in a reasonable time or if the results of the program are not successful I shall be confirmed in my present opinion that the speeches and the promises made by the Progressive Conservatives were not made for the general welfare of the Canadian people but for the exclusive welfare of the Progressive Conservative party.

I do not think I will be surprising anyone who has been following politics within the past few years when I say that the plight of the Conservative party was for a long time the cause of great anxiety for many Canadians. The Conservatives had no real political policy or platform upon which they could campaign, and even today they are administering Canada with Liberal policies.

As members of the loyal opposition they offered no real alternative, no real solution to the pressing problems which faced Canada in the last parliament and, if you will recall,

214 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Cardin Mr. Speaker, in the previous parliament they could not find an issue on which to fight an election. So during the last parliament they decided in conjunction with other political parties to create an issue and staged the filibuster on the Emergency Powers Act. And they found that by doing theatricals they secured a great deal more publicity than they could have hoped to gain from their speeches.

In consequence, they were good enough to inform the Liberal government in the following year that on the Trans-Canada pipe line they intended to stage a filibuster such as the house had never previously seen, and they did just that. In the course of the 16 days during which they could have discussed the bill intelligently they in fact impeded discussion on the bill by-

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?

An hon. Member:

By closure.

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LIB

Louis-Joseph-Lucien Cardin

Liberal

Mr. Cardin:

Yes, Mr. Speaker, by closure. Closure was applied and, if hon. members will recall, the purpose of the opposition at that time was not to discuss the pipe line bill but to stop it and to block it. I agree that the minority in this house has rights, but then so has the majority and if it should come to pass in this house that legislation considered by the majority to be in the interests of the country can be effectively blocked by the minority, then there will no longer be democracy in this chamber.

Even though closure would most likely be applied to us as members of the opposition, if the Prime Minister goes through with the promise he has made to strike the procedure of closure from the rule books he will be opening a wide door to the abuse of the rules and regulations of this house. It will cripple parliament and pave the way for anarchy and on his head will fall the responsibility.

During those black days of the pipe line debate, apart from the speeches and apart from the loud words, apart from the insults and the attacks which were made, there was also a great deal of theatricals. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming), with all the pomp and indignation of an exaggerated Shakespearean actor, stalked from the house, according to the script, and on his desk flew a little Union Jack to mark the spot where the supposed hero was supposed to have fallen a victim of an allegedly tyrannical Speaker.

Then, shortly afterwards, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fulton), who is considered to be a bright young man, saw the tremendous publicity potential there was in being a victim of parliament, and not wishing to be outdone by his rival in the race for leadership of the Progressive Conservative party decided he

was going to do things right. So before anything else he invited the members of the press gallery, the photographers, the television men to be in the hall outside the chamber with full lights blazing, so that they would not miss the hon. member for Kamloops as he came marching out of the house.

Some people may consider that to be pretty shrewd politics, Mr. Speaker, but I maintain it is not only unworthy of parliament but is dangerous. The hon. members who were the principal actors in this episode have been paying a great deal of lip service to the rights and prestige of this house. Their very acts not only contradict their words but also prove that they are willing to jeopardize the dignity of this house in order to achieve their aim.

Of course, the relative success of these shenanigans and political histrionics gained for the Conservatives the keynote of their entire political program, the keynote, in fact, of their entire campaign. That program may be summarized very simply: Sensationalism rather than soundness; fanfare rather than facts, and sophistication rather than solutions to national or international problems, with the result that Canada is now endowed with the greatest grandstand government of its history.

Hon. members opposite have been trying to make a very important point from the fact that the opposition will not move a want of confidence motion. Some of us regret that members of the government do not appreciate that the opposition is not only willing but actually anxious to have the government put down in legislative form this fine political manifesto it has been talking about. Of course, there are many reasons why the opposition should not move a motion of no confidence in the government and I daresay that any intelligent political observer knows those reasons. The reason I prefer-the reason I think is closest to the truth-is this: Canada and the Canadian people have been endowed with a generous and well-developed sense of humour and on June 10 they called the present government's bluff. Now we are all waiting to see how long the Conservative government can ride its bicycle with no hands.

Although the Conservative promises may have made very interesting speeches at the election, members of the government will soon find out that words are not enough and that the Canadian people have been accustomed in the past to expect from the government effective action and successful

results. We shall have the opportunity of discussing in great detail all the aspects of the government's program and activities during the months to come.

I would like to mention at least one of the activities which took place during the past few weeks and that, of course, was the commonwealth finance ministers conference at Mont Tremblant on which the Progressive Conservative hopes were so firmly fixed as a way of solving the very real problem of an unfavourable balance of trade with the United States. I can say that we were all very happy that the conference took place in Canada, and that we could be hosts to the finance ministers of the different countries of the commonwealth in the beautiful Canadian setting of Mont Tremblant. However, I have some very serious doubts as to whether we are any closer to a solution to this question of our unfavourable trade balance with the United States than we were before; in fact, I have the distinct feeling that we are further away from a solution, and it seems to me that it would have been perhaps much more successful, and certainly much more enjoyable as a get-together, if there had been no conference at all, and if the ministers had just sat around and had tea.

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October 21, 1957