Another Conservative prime minister, Mr. Borden, took this country far off the colonial path. Fielding, a Liberal, swallowed high tariffs without a tremour. King was such a centralist that he could not abide the provincial Liberal premier, Mitch Hepburn. In the 70's the Liberals caterwauled about the C.P.R's gift of $25 million and 25 million free acres of the best land in Canada yet in 1956 the Liberals turned around and gave Trans-Canada Pipe Lines a public gift that makes the other appear fairly small.
Both parties came up with large campaign war chests filled by big business. Today neither is high tariff and neither is free trade; both claim to be free enterprisers, parties of sturdy individualism. Each pushes social welfare legislation which gainsays this.
There is a choice between them, all right, which will probably be evidenced in the next election campaign in terms of the personality of the leader: the jaunty bow tie versus the portentous, rhetorical pause. Each party is angling for the French Canadian bloc. Each seems to presume that the French Canadian either cannot accept an electoral defeat placing them on a minority footing in the nation or else they do not have to accept an electoral defeat. And what do we hear of the minority parties, strongest north and west of Sudbury? Out there where the air is light I suppose the popular image, according to the press, is that we are the crackpots, the zanies, the doctrinairs, the impractical fuzzy idealists. This image, of course, is fostered by the hostile press.
I would now like to turn to another subject. Hon. members will forgive me if I search my notes for a moment.
No; we changed that. The point I wanted to make in conclusion is this: if we are those fuzzy idealists, and if we are crackpots, it gives me a certain amount of pride to stand here and later on to vote for the amendment introduced by those crackpots you see in front of me, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) and the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). If they represent the kind of zany thinking that the C.C.F. is always being accused of, I am very proud to be associated with them, and I feel that
The Address-Mr. E. J. Campbell they and our group give a more honest opposition, even it you disagree with them, than the anomalies that overlap in these two major parties to my right.
Mr. Speaker, as I rise in my place lor the first time in this house my memory takes me back to a lesson I learned in public school and I can think of no better place to repeat that lesson than here today. It goes something like this:
Speak no ill, but lenient be To others failings as your own;
If you be the first the fault to see.
Be not the first to make it known.
For life is but a passing day,
No lip may tell how brief its span;
Then, O, the little time we stay Let us speak of all the best we can.
I am not going to attempt to speak at any great length in this throne speech debate, and I must admit also that I will be repeating some of the things that many other speakers have said. I will admit also that I am well pleased to repeat many of the other things that have been said because so many representatives agree with my own thinking.
I would like to add my congratulations to the Speaker on his elevation to his exalted position and also to the mover Mr. Smith (Calgary South) and the seconder (Mr. Arsenault) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I think theirs was a job well done.
I feel honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to speak for a few minutes to the hon. members who are here today representing the interest of the people of their districts, and on behalf of the people whom I have the privilege to represent.
I am not sure that I agreed with my colleague who moved the address in reply to the speech from the throne when he said that the terror you have when you get up to speak just automatically turns to plain fear because, as I sit here day after day-and I think the hon. member across the way mem-tioned 19 days-the pressure seems to build up to the point in a new member that I think the next object that you hear about flying around and around the world will be parts of a new member. The pressure certainly has not got less.
I do appreciate the comments which have been made from all comers of the house. I may say that I have had some experience in public service, althrough this is my first experience in the House of Commons, and in connection with that public service I have had the occasion to take part in a number of debates. I find that when you are reasonably
sure that you are right when you are debating it seems to lend a source of strength to you that you cannot get in any other way. In my public service I have come to find a source of strength, and it seems fitting that I mention it here, in the words of the apostle Paul. It is recorded that he said:
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
As I listened to the debates which have been given in this house, and having regard for the advice contained in the apostle's words, I like to think that the opposition which has been brought to bear against the proposals brought down in the speech from the throne have been intended, not so much to prove that the proposals are wrong but mainly for the purpose of making the representatives who are upholding them prove that they are right. If that is so, then I feel that they deserve to be commended for the opposition that they bring to those proposals.
I note that a number of members who, it would seem, have believed in and supported a different trend of thinking from that of perhaps a majority of the members who sit on this side of the house, have, after having had an opportunity to prove, as it were, the worth of their proposals and having apparently failed to prove that they were wrong, then reversed their position and voted with the majority on this side of the house. I feel that that is something that they are to be commended for and it is something which often requires tremendous courage to do.
I have suggested, Mr. Speaker, that there was a matter with which I was not quite sure that I agreed. However, at this point I would like to emphasize the fact that there are a number of things with which I do agree in the submissions which were made, and I will endeavour to deal with them in the order in which it appears to me that they affect the people of Canada and particularly the people of my district.
I feel that the need for greater stability and increased purchasing power on the part of agriculture and the beneficial influence that increased purchasing strength in the hands of the farm people would have on the many other lines of business is the one single thing that would do the greatest good for the greatest number of our people today. I feel that it would help to balance and strengthen the entire Canadian economy. I feel also- and I would like to emphasize this point- that aside from the indirect effect upon other lines of business the fact remains that on its own merits the dependence of the people upon agriculture for their most important needs, namely food, should give agriculture a rating
well up to the top of our consideration rather than at or near the bottom, where it seems to have been in these late years.
I would emphasize especially the need for help for the winter wheat growers. Measures have been taken to protect the western growers of spring wheat, but I suggest to the house that the growers of soft winter wheat in this part of the country are in a worse position than the growers in the west as far as price is concerned. I do not say that to reflect upon what has been done for the west. I am glad that the house has seen fit to pass a measure which is going to help the growers in the west but I respectfully bring to the attention of the house the wheat growers in this part of the country who are also in need of help. I believe it is the intention of the Ontario wheat growers to attempt to set up a marketing program in the near future under the Ontario farm products marketing act. If they do this I believe it will be a step in the right direction. I do hope they are successful in that effort.
I should like to say a few words in connection with soybeans. I understand there is a tariff or duty of $1.20 per bushel against Canadian soybeans entering the United States while United States soybeans enter Canada duty free. In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, if the Canadian regulations were balanced so as to provide the same protection for the Canadian producer as has been maintained for the United States producer it would change the position of the soybean producers of this country from that of a poorly paid business to one which would pay well. At the same time it would encourage the production of more soybeans which the figures show are needed in Canada. At the same time I feel quite sure this would draw land out of the production of other things which it would seem are being overproduced at the present time.
I should like to refer now to a letter I have in my hand. It is from the soya bean growers' marketing board and reads in part as follows:
The newest farm organization in the United States, the national conference of commodity organizations, is working feverishly to come up with recommendations on an over-all farm program before the next session of congress. Members have already agreed on two basic principles which apply to almost all crops. One of these is to provide greater protection to farmers against imports from other countries. The conference wants tighter import controls. They say the government permits too many commodities to enter the United States. . . . The second is to get a new base for the parity formula.
I should like to point out that the United States, our greatest competitor, is setting up
The Address-Mr, E. J. Campbell regulations to protect that country against imports from other countries. For that reason I draw the attention of the house to the fact that I feel we also need protection for our people.
I should also like to draw attention to the need for help for the sugar beet and corn growers. I feel I can speak with some authority in this regard because in the past I have, as a farmer myself, produced both of these crops in considerable quantity, and when I am home I still live on a farm where a certain amount of these things is still produced.
In the case of sugar beets, may I say that I was named a member of a deputation that came to Ottawa a number of years ago to see if something could be done to protect the sugar beet industry. We did not receive much encouragement at that time and on my return home I decided that I would cease growing sugar beets and I have not grown them since that day. In my opinion, many sugar beet growers are at a crossroads. Mechanized equipment has been devised to decrease the many hours of back-breaking labour that the harvesting used to take but farmers are in a quandary to know whether the future of the industry would justify the outlay of money that is required to equip themselves in this way. They are again asking for some measures that will stabilize and protect their industry to the point that they will have a reasonable assurance that their investments may prove to be profitable in the years to come.
I feel that this industry is well worth protecting not only from the point of view of the producers and workers who are employed in the fields and factories but also from the point of view of the machine companies and their workers. Perhaps more important than that, I believe it is necessary to have a home source of supply in case we should get into such a conflict as we have had twice in my time as the result of which trade barriers might be erected or trade might be cut off and we would not be able to get the supply that we need.
I also have in my hand a statement prepared by the sugar beet board in which is contained figures of contracted acreage from 1950 to 1957 inclusive. In 1950 there were 41,007 acres, which I believe was an all-time high, and in 1957 the contracted acreage was 20,313 acres, less than half the handling capacity. The Wallaceburg plant has been shut down for some time and would have remained closed throughout this year if it had not been for the fact that we had exceptionally good harvesting weather resulting in the beets piling up at the Chatham factory
960 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. H. J. Murphy and it was decided to operate the Wallace-burg plant for a short time in order to alleviate the situation.
I have a newspaper account here concerning a request made to members of the house a few days ago by a deputation of sugar beet growers in which they dealt with their objective and I should like to quote from the article which appeared in the London Free Press of Tuesday, November 5, 1957. In part it has this to say:
Western Ontario's sugar beet industry today enlisted the support of . . . members of parliament in its plea for the establishment of a federal floor price of $14 per ton under sugar beets, and a curb on the importation of foreign refined sugar. These twin actions, according to a producer-processor delegation, were necessary to save the Ontario sugar beet industry from destruction.
This brought back to my mind very vividly my own experience some time ago when we came to Ottawa asking for much the same kind of protection.
I should also like to say a few words in support of the proposal to try to work out a tax sharing agreement between the federal and provincial governments whereby the provincial authorities, who in turn exercise a measure of control over the municipal councils, would be in a position to share a more substantial part of the tax burden of home owners for schools and other services and in this way bring about a measure of benefit where I believe it is most needed and would do the most good. I should also like to emphasize that because the purchasing power of our dollar today is not nearly as great as it was when assistance to our senior citizens was first instituted I am in favour of supporting the proposals outlined in the speech from the throne to increase old age pensions and other kindred benefits, which increases have, as the result of recent action, become a reality.
Finally, I recall to mind a few words that I feel have a fitting application in helping to emphasize the requests I have made. They are:
If you would build a way that lasts Two things stand like stone Kindness to your fellowmen-
Courage in your own.
I hope that we may be able to work together, kindly and constructively and with the courage of our convictions towards the establishment of those things that are good for the people of our country. To that end, I solicit your support and I pledge mine to you.
Mr. Speaker, my first words in this debate are words of congratulation to you, sir, and to the mover of the address the hon. member
for Calgary South (Mr. Smith) and the seconder, the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Arsenault). I intend to make some suggestions during the course of this debate which I hope the government will find helpful in relieving the critical unemployment situation that is plaguing us in Canada, and more specifically in the province of New Brunswick. I am making these suggestions very sincerely because up until June 10 the Atlantic resolutions signed by the Conservative candidates in the Atlantic provinces and the new deal for the maritimes were the things that were most publicized. Since June 10, however, they have become deep secrets and I am not able to find out what is going to be done about them. I am told to wait and see. Apparently the government is in need of some suggestions as to what to do in the maritime provinces.
I should like, first, to urge the Minister of Transport (Mr. Hees) to take a greater interest in the welfare of Canadian National Railways employees, and to realize that his responsibility does not end with making funds available to the Canadian National Railways. He must see that Canadian National Railways employees who are walking the streets of the city of Moncton, and other Canadian National Railway points, are put back to work and that these unnecessary lay-offs, if I may borrow an expression from the minister, will not take place in increasing numbers. It was reported in the press that the reason the men were not taken back was because of certain seniority rights in the Canadian National unions. I had the opportunity of talking to R. P. Lellan, vice-president of the Canadian National system, federation 11, and Atlantic president of this federation, and I understood that the press release said the government would make funds available to assist in the re-employment of the Canadian National shop men who were laid off.
In this particular lay-off to which I refer there were 110 men laid off in the shop in our area and also some 50 men laid off in what is known as running repairs. I understand that no action has been taken by the government to induce the management of Canadian National to help those men in running repairs who were laid off. These men worked in the roundhouse and yards and many of them belong to what is known as the car man's craft. I further understand that the work planned in the Moncton area covered an increase in car production in the car shops. In connection with this new program, the management wanted to employ the laid off craftsmen in other trades, but the crafts organizations, having their own
seniority arrangements, wanted to see the car men who were laid off re-employed first. I feel the government should make sufficient funds available so that both the 110 men laid off in the shops and the 50 men laid off in the running repairs will be re-employed.
Suggestions have been sent to me by people in the international association of machinists. I have a letter from Moncton lodge, No. 594 outlining their plan. It is addressed to me as the member for Westmorland, and it says in part:
We are aware of the understanding that serious consideration is being given by the Canadian National Railways of the letting of a contract to private industry rather than do this work at the Moncton shops. It was suggested that the Moncton frog shop work seven days per week so as to enable them to fill this order at straight time rates. This procedure is contrary to our wage agreement (Rule 2).
It is also the understanding that the amount of this contract will be a minimum of two and one half million dollars.
It is the considered opinion of local lodge No. 594, I.A.M. that the best possible solution to the problem is to acquire additional equipment so as to enable the frog shop to compete with private industry inasmuch as production is concerned. This, needless to say, would mean a great deal to the economy of Moncton and the surrounding area.
A few days ago I brought to the attention of the Minister of Transport another letter from the Canadian National war veterans association, dated October 28, 1957. The minister said he had received a copy of this letter. The association protested the dismantling and scrapping of thousands of dollars worth of very valuable machinery in the Canadian National Railways shops. These are suggestions which, in so far as the Department of Transport and the Canadian National Railways are concerned will assist us.
I could agree with the statements made in the speech by the hon. member for Saint John-Albert (Mr. Bell) on May 14, 1957, which is reported in the Moncton daily Times. He is reported as saying that there is a definite barrier between the maritimes and other parts of Canada. The hon. member also told this group that something should be done to encourage our youth to stay in the maritime region. He said that each year we have lost many of our brains to other provinces; it is a concern for us which is alarming. I have noticed an increase in the number of people leaving Westmorland county since June 10 because many times I have been called upon to assist them in obtaining papers and documents to enable them to go to the United States and find employment. I feel that the time has come to carry out major public projects to combat the recession now taking place in our area.
The Address-Mr. H. J. Murphy
As hon. members of this house know, one matter of great interest to us is the Chignecto canal. This proposed canal would be about 18 miles long and would connect Northumberland strait with the bay of Fundy. I should like to point out that the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) is reported to have said in Saint John, New Brunswick, on May 4 that he considered the canal to be part of the St. Lawrence seaway system. Upon completion of this canal, ships using the St. Lawrence seaway and wishing to proceed to South American points would save 400 or 500 miles, depending upon their destination. The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Brooks), who is also the minister for the province of New Brunswick, has always been a great supporter of this project and has brought it to the attention of this house year after year. I hope that now he is in a position to do something about it he will, and that he will be supported by the parliamentary assistant from the province of New Brunswick, the hon. member for Saint John-Albert, who has also supported the project at public meetings in Saint John. Many other members from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have signified their support of this project. One of the strongest assurances concerning this canal was given recently in the house by the hon. member for Restigouche-Madawaska (Mr. Van Horne). I know that if the hon. member for Restigouche-Madawaska had been elevated to a cabinet post, as we in New Brunswick expected he would be after the remarks of the Prime Minister in Campbellton, we could put the faith that we would like to put in his assurances.
Another matter of great interest to the people of Westmorland county-and, of course, to the people of Prince Edward Island-is the construction of the causeway from Westmorland county to Prince Edward Island. Exploratory drilling has taken place in Westmorland county and I understand it is to ascertain the quality and quantity of stone that could be used in this project. We are all waiting for some announcement from this government concerning this project in particular. I am not at this time going to go into the merits of this causeway in full because there is on the order paper, standing in the name of the hon. member for Kings, (Mr. Macdonald) a resolution which will give us an opportunity to tell the house of the many advantages of this proposed causeway.
Another matter that was proposed some time ago, in fact, it was brought forward by the last government, was the power project for the maritime provinces. The idea behind this power plant is to make available power in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It has
The Address-Mr. H. J. Murphy been said that it will be built in the province of Nova Scotia at Springhill and it has also been said that it will be built at Saint John, New Brunswick. One reason that it would be built at Saint John, New Brunswick, would be that if coal became scarce, oil could be shipped in by sea to supply this power project. The reason given that it should be built at Springhill, Nova Scotia is its nearness to the source of coal. I have a suggestion to make in this regard. I suggest that the plant be built farther up the bay of Fundy at some point on Shepody bay. My suggestion would be that the plant be constructed at Dorchester which could be open to navigation the year round if, as suggested, they needed oil and it is only some 40 miles from the coal mines in Springhill.
Just about a year ago the Moncton Times sent me a complimentary copy of their paper containing a front page editorial scoring the hard money policy. In it they quoted Premier Flemming who pointed out that there was no inflation in the maritime provinces and he said that this policy should not be applied in the Atlantic region. I quote from the report in the paper of Wednesday, September 26, 1956 as follows:
"But I do not believe that this policy should be applied indiscriminately to all provinces and to all regions of the Canadan economy. The condition of the New Brunswick economy and, indeed, the condition of the economy of the whole Atlantic region, differs greatly from that of other parts of Canada."
And he urged that allowance he made when monetary restrictions were applied.
There has been no change. I asked the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming) the other day about the "castor oil policy". Perhaps he did not understand me. I will read what Premier Flemming has to say about that. This is quoting from the same paper:
Conceding that the hard money policy was necessary to prevent inflation in the booming central provinces, New Brunswick's premier said its application in this province was "about as sensible as a man with 10 children feeding them all castor oil regardless of their individual needs."
If this was true then, it must be true now; but I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that if it was true then, we are still getting the castor oil treatment enunciated by Premier Flemming.
I should now like to turn to a subject about which I spoke last session and for my effort on that occasion I received both praise and criticism. That subject has to do with C.B.C. television operations. After the election this year Time magazine printed an article. I am going to quote from Time magazine of July 8, 1957 in which there is a report of a statement of a C.B.C. official.
The paragraph was entitled "long haired nut boys", referring back to some remarks last year and it reads in part as follows:
Because the C.B.C. is free from obligation to make a profit, it is unfazed by program ratings. It experiments boldly with highbrow plays . . . Explains one C.B.C. official "If only five per cent of the population might be expected to find a program interesting then we do not expect more than five per cent to watch it. You cannot judge the value of a program by its rating."
I do not know how else you would judge a program. But apparently these people set themselves up as sole judge and jury. This is the attitude that I complained about last year in the House of Commons, namely that whether you like it or not you are going to have to watch what they put on if you are going to watch television at all.
In the part of the country from which I come we can receive, with a good set, four television stations. At the same time they produce C.B.C. programs and send them over all stations. With the percentage of five per cent interested in seeing this type of program, I wonder whether this C.B.C. official thinks for a moment that there is a large percentage of people in Canada who want to listen to someone advocating the communist line. We had on our station a C.B.C. program on which Joe Salsberg appeared and advocated the communist line. I have seen him the second time talking on the communist line and he said that he was a communist. He qualified that statement by saying that he was some particular type. But I do not think we as Canadian citizens want to listen to this man on programs for which we are paying. I think the percentage of those who want to listen would be very small.
At the same time we have other programs that are positively the wrong type, in my opinion, for showing at particular hours. From five o'clock to six o'clock over our station there is shown a C.B.C. program called "Fighting words". I think that is the name of it. Lately I have had more than one complaint about showing this program at this time. For over six months now in the Moncton district covered by this station we have been treated to a discussion on prostitution, homosexualism and allied subjects. That was between five o'clock and six o'clock at night when the children, including my own, are watching television. In one particular case a gentleman told me that this program came on and that his family were watching it when one of his children, age about 12, became embarrassed and he said, "We don't want to listen to that" and he got up and turned it off. That is not the kind of program we want in our province when our children are awake and are watching television.
I do not want anybody to think for a moment that I am attacking any particular person producing this program or anybody who cannot answer; because if there is anybody who can answer anybody, it is the C.B.C. Last year when in this House of Commons I came up with some honest criticism with regard to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a week later a program-the same program, I might say-came out and discussed what I had said in the House of Commons here; and the concensus on that program was, "This man either wants to be or will be defeated at the next general election". They have national coverage. When I go on television I must pay for it for local coverage.
When the Prime Minister came to Moncton on May 4 he is reported by the Moncton Times as saying that if they were elected they would set up a body independent of the C.B.C. I would ask the Prime Minister what action has been taken in this matter. I would suggest to him that this is an urgent and national matter. We here in Canada hold very dear our way of life, our families and our Christian ideals. This programming of communism, prostitution and homosexualism can have a serious effect.
I understand that some of these programs are produced and sold below cost to sponsors by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Now I may be told that there is a check on these matters by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who look after the security problems involved but the R.C.M.P., although excellent law enforcing officers, should not I think be asked to take on the additional job of acting as judges. Somebody else may argue that there is a board of the C.B.C. which censors these things; well if there is it is a case of one person sitting on his own judgment which is against every rule of law.
Although I am not one of those who looks for a communist under every bed, I do not like the way things are going with respect to this programming. The pattern, if it is a pattern, coincides with that used by communist groups and carried out in communist countries. The first idea of the communists is to destroy the moral fibre of the nation, destroy the family unit and when this is accomplished the people are then ready to have imposed upon them a new way of thinking. We in Canada have always been very jealous of our way of living and today we have honoured the men who fought to save us from aggression of ideas from without. Let us be just as careful to safeguard our families, particularly our children, from within. I would like to suggest to the Prime Minister that a standing committee be set up so that the persons who are responsible to the 96698-614
The Address-Mr. Hansell public will have their decisions-whether right or wrong-judged by the people of the nation in the results of the general elections. In this way we will have a real democracy at work, safeguarding democracy.
Mr. Speaker, in this debate on the speech from the throne I think I should say I am sure we are all very happy to have witnessed the visit of Her Majesty to Canada particularly for the purpose of opening this session of parliament. I am sure we were all thrilled with the way in which the visit was conducted and recognize of course that the Queen herself in all her loveliness represented not only a tradition but the fact of loyalty to the crown which will linger with the British people, including the Canadian people for many many centuries to come. I wish to say in passing that no stone was left unturned to make the visit successful; the Queen endeared herself to the people of Canada and placed the crown in the hearts of our people in a way that has perhaps never been accomplished before.
I also wish in this connection to say a word with respect to the magnificent job done by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in televising the royal visit. I have always been somewhat of a critic of the C.B.C. I listened to the previous speaker with a good deal of interest, especially so far as what he had to say in connection with the C.B.C. programs. I think I will go along with him just 100 per cent of the way. I suppose I will continue to be critical of the C.B.C. just so long as I feel its policies are unbalanced or indeed tend towards the propagation of socialistic and almost communistic ideas.
However, I give credit where credit is due and apart from my criticisms I repeat that the job they did in televising Her Majesty's visit and the opening of parliament was a magnificent job one that compares more than favourably with any similar undertaking by any network in the world.
Now the original motion of course is for an address to thank Her Majesty for her most gracious speech. I suppose on the face of that we would all want to convey our thanks to Her Majesty but, being the democracy we are, at the same time as we thank her we may register any complaints we have in respect to the activities of her ministers. This parliament is where we as representatives of the people of Canada may lay bare the complaints we have at the foot of the throne and some of us will indeed wish to register our complaints in this way.
One of the complaints I have is that I can find no difference between the basic policy of Her Majesty's government today and the
The Address-Mr. Hansell policy of the government which preceded it. I have never been able, I cannot now, and I do not expect I will ever be able to see any difference between the basic policies of the Conservative party and those of the Liberal party. I listened with a great deal of interest to the speech made this afternoon by the hon. member for Port Arthur (Mr. Fisher). It was a speech well prepared and well delivered; The hon. member went into a little bit of history with respect to the Liberal party and also the Conservative party, but I am sure when we come to analyse the situation we will discover that as far as basic policy is concerned, there is no difference. While I congratulate him on his speech I was disappointed that before concluding he did not lay down specifically the policy of the socialist party, but perhaps he may have thought it was not too necessary to do so for I am sure we all recognize that their basic policy is one of nationalization, in other words socialization.
Now I would like to reinforce my remarks with respect to the question of whether or not there is any difference between the two major parties in Canada. Let me refer for just one moment to their activities in this house. I do not want to deal with little things but sometimes the little things are an indication of the pulse of the situation. I have been here a good many years and I suppose some of us have become quite used to the way questions are asked and answered in this house. We certainly became accustomed to the way in which Liberal cabinet ministers for years were in the habit of answering questions, but I really expected that when there was a change in government there would perhaps be a change in some of the parliamentary activities of the government side of the house. But we have seen no changes. As a first illustration let me point out that on October 15, the day after parliament opened, I asked a question of the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) which I thought was extremely important in respect to the economic affairs of this country as they affect the people of Canada. As reported at page 17 of Hansard of that date I asked my question in the following words:
May I direct a question to the Prime Minister or the leader of the house. Would the government initiate a move to have a special parliamentary committee or even the banking and commerce committee meet to pursue a study of the reasons for the inflationary trend and the continued increase in the cost of living?
I knew that such a committee existed in the United States Congress which met not long ago and did admirable work on this subject. I asked this question because we were opening another parliament with a new
government in power and because I thought the cost of living, the question of inflation and the economic conditions of the country were serious enough to warrant a thorough examination by this parliament. I thought surely another government of a different stripe would now perhaps take up the cudgels of battle, institute such a study and bring forward something of value from such an investigation. But what happened? The Prime Minister answered my question in these words:
Mr. Speaker, this government, as always, will give consideration to anything for the benefit of the Canadian people.
Well now, what an answer! This was the same kind of answer some of us had been listening to for 22 years from the government that was in office before the present government came to power. That was the answer I received to what I regard-and I think all would regard-as a highly important question. Immediately following that, the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch) rose to his feet and is reported in Hansard as saying:
I desire to direct a question to the Prime Minister. I am sorry I was not able to give him notice. I should like to ask him, what is the difference between the attitude of the majority of your members now as compared to the attitude shown by the previous government and to which your members strenuously objected?
Now, notice the Prime Minister's answer:
It is not a question of attitude; it is a question of parliamentary rights.
There was, of course, an immediate chorus of "Oh, oh" by some hon. members and the hon. member for Vancouver East spoke again:
As a supplementary question, may I ask the Prime Minister if he does not find there is a difference when the shoe is on the other foot?
The Prime Minister made no reply to this. The point is that I had raised a question which is a matter of concern to every citizen of Canada and the government has deliberately closed its eyes to the subject through the Prime Minister brushing it off and saying, "As ever, we are always interested in anything that is for the benefit of the people of Canada." Over and over again we have heard that type of answer given to questions that have been asked by hon. members. I do not know if I was actually amazed by it, but just the other day when the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming) was asked a question he said in effect, "You must remember that we inherited this situation from the previous government". What sort of answer is that?
Let me ask one question. If the present government did inherit the existing situation, what of it anyway? Did it not ask to inherit it? Of course it did, and the members of the government got just what they asked for.
Perhaps they did not really expect to get it, but they did. Just like Little Jack Horner, the Prime Minister put in his thumb and he pulled out a plum. Well, the members of the government got what they asked for and now they complain because they are faced with the problems that confront this country.
Hon. members will recall the nursery rhyme that begins, "Little Jack Horner sat in a corner". I thought perhaps I could write a little poem that would be apropos of the situation in which the government finds itself.
"Little John Horner sat in a corner," and had to use the word "corner" because I could not find a word to rhyme with "Diefen-baker". I thought I might have to give up the effort but finally I did sketch this:
The members of the present government asked to inherit the existing situation. They pulled out the plum and now they complain. Even today when questions were asked on orders of the day one government member said he was not aware that the situation today was any worse than it was under the previous government. What an answer! Another government member referred to the fact that he had not brought his crystal ball with him. Hope, hope, hope. He used words to the effect that he was looking into his crystal ball and hoping. That is not what the people of Canada want and that is not what we in this chamber want.
In answer to a question addressed to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Churchill) he said he was only following the method used by the former minister of national health and welfare in answering the question put to him. We do not want him to follow that method. We want the members of the present government to come up with something new, fresh and dynamic, something that will appeal to the people of Canada as a solution to the grave problems confronting the country today.
Any government which inherits a situation and in a five-month period allows that situation to grow worse must be held
The Address-Mr. Hansell responsible for it. Let us now hear any reference to the present government inheriting bad policies or existing situations; that is a confession of failure. The government has inherited something with which it does not know how to deal.
We in this corner of the house have always contended that the difficulties which governments have to face from time to time are the result of a faulty financial policy and unless those faults are corrected we will never be able to solve those difficulties. That is the reason this group is here, the reason we are returned almost every election, and that is the reason each one of us was returned this election with four additional members.
Let me turn now to the subamendment proposed by the leader of the Social Credit party in Canada.