I would suggest that the Prime Minister made a most revealing statement. He said he thought this was settled two years ago. This is a very interesting statement because he is admitting in effect that in spite of all the nasty things he said about the former minister of agriculture and the Liberal party with regard to the dam over past years, he now accepts their policy as government policy today. He suggests that because the minister of agriculture was able, through his machinations, to drive a bargain with or impose a certain set of conditions on the province of Saskatchewan-
You mean the former minister of agriculture?
Yes, the former minister of agriculture.
Mr. Murphy (Wesimorland):
They are both Saskatchewan boys.
It was a most revealing statement. Then the Prime Minister made the statement, "I do not think the provincial government should alter the rules between innings". That is another very interesting statement. He is suggesting in effect that after all there is not any difference between the policy of the Liberal government or the former Liberal government and that of the present Conservative government, that he has simply adopted the baby of the former minister of agriculture and called it his own and has suggested that what Jimmy Gardiner or the former minister of agriculture, I should say, was able to ram down the throats of the people of Saskatchewan is all right by him.
When the Prime Minister talks about changing the rules between innings, may I ask whose rules? The rules set up by the former minister of agriculture which he changed around at his will? We never did know what the rules were. But now the Prime Minister is apparently so enamoured
The Address-Mr. Ellis of the former minister of agriculture that he accepts unto his bosom all the conditions and all the twistings and turnings of the former minister of agriculture with respect to the dam.
Let us look back into the record. The present Prime Minister had a great deal to say about the South Saskatchewan dam when he was in opposition.
We are going to build it.
I do not want to go into the sordid history of the Liberal treatment of this important national project but I want to remind hon. members of this house that from 1940 on, or perhaps before 1940, the Liberals had gone up and down the province of Saskatchewan promising to build the dam. They never said that the province was going into it. No, it was going to be a purely federal undertaking; and that is what the present Prime Minister understood at that time. I have in my hand some exerts from some speeches. I went through all the speeches made by the present Prime Minister on the South Saskatchewan dam and they make extremely interesting reading. For example, I note that on March 29, 1949, in reply to the former minister of agriculture, the present Prime Minister said this as reported at page 2120 of Hansard of that year:
I am glad to have the sympathy of the hon. gentleman, hut what the people of Saskatchewan want is not sympathy at election time but action in parliament.
That is precisely what we want. We want action in parliament right now. Then he went on to say this:
It will be proceeded with-
That is the South Saskatchewan dam.
-immediately by the Progressive Conservative party when in power. Full consideration has been given to this matter. The leader of this party, having been apprised of the necessities incident to the situation not only in Saskatchewan but also in parts of Alberta and Manitoba, has given his undivided support to the plea that this work be proceeded with at the earliest date that engineering skill and capacity will permit.
Then he went on to describe this as a national work. I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to mark that phrase "a national work"-that will permit the expansion of industrial development, the extension of productivity in the areas affected, and will pay to the nation as a whole profits that can now only be dreamed of. Then he went on as reported at page 2123 of Hansard of the same day to say this:
There is deep resentment over the fact that in the speech from the throne this year this matter has been neglected.
The Address-Mr. Ellis
He railled against the government of the day. Then I find a very interesting excerpt from Hansard of February 3, 1953. This is what the present Prime Minister had to say at that time. I would ask you to remember that he said something about changing the rules between innings. The Prime Minister on that date said this:
Then on May 31, 1951, for the first time to my knowledge, a suggestion was made by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) that it would be necessary for the province of Saskatchewan to accept the responsibility of providing irrigation facilities. Until that time I had never heard, nor am I able to find any records anywhere, that there was any responsibility to fall upon the province of Saskatchewan.
So here are the Prime Minister's words after he himself had been promising that the Conservative government would immediately build the dam, criticizing the Liberal government because they had a joker up their sleeves; they were going to come out and require the provincial government to pay part of the cost. Is there any indication in the words of the Prime Minister that he had ever expected that the Conservative government would require part of the cost to be paid by the province of Saskatchewan and that his party might require the same sort of deal that the former minister of agriculture forced upon us through pressure over the years?
I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the situation as it appears at the moment is simply this: it has been the provincial government of Saskatchewan which has taken the initiative ever since this government came to office. To get support, the premier of Saskatchewan, to the best of my knowledge, sought in a telephone conversation a meeting between the Prime Minister and the members of the Saskatchewan cabinet within weeks after the new Prime Minister took office in order to discuss this dam. The premier of Saskatchewan has written to the federal government that the province of Saskatchewan is most anxious to proceed. The Prime Minister says the rules have been changed between innings.
Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):
Let me point out this fact. We never questioned it when the Liberal party sat on the other side of the house and required the province of Saskatchewan to pay out so much money in connection with this project; we accepted the proposition that the province should provide for the irrigation works in connection with the dam. The understanding of course was that the full cost of the dam would be borne by the federal government but then of course the Liberals came out and said "Oh no,"-I should not say the
Liberals because I do not believe the Liberals ever intended to build the dam, I think the former minister of agriculture used that as a political bait as long as he was able to do so-but I say this: as a means of prolonging negotiations and trying perhaps to force the provincial authorities into throwing up their hands in disgust, he then came out and said "well you will have to pay for other costs because there cannot be the slightest suggestion that any federal money will go to subsidize power development in any one province of Canada.
On that basis the premier of the province of Saskatchewan agreed to pay the full and complete cost of all the power generating capacity in connection with that dam, and we still do. In spite of that fact the government has now indicated that it is now prepared to pay for the power development of the maritimes and in the province of British Columbia; at least they have promised to do so, but we will have to wait and see what comes of that. However, under the changed circumstances we in Saskatchewan would be perfectly within our rights if we suggested that in the light of the new policy the federal government should be prepared to undertake its share of the cost of hydroelectric development in connection with the South Saskatchewan river dam.
The same treatment as in the other cases.
That is all we are asking, the same treatment as in the maritimes and in British Columbia.
You will get your answer to that in time.
The Prime Minister said the other day the rules had been changed and he suggested the province of Saskatchewan is asking the federal government to pay for everything. That is not true. The provincial secretary of the province of Saskatchewan made it crystal clear that while the province of Saskatchewan is quite prepared to pay for the cost of the irrigation works in connection with the dam and is prepared to pay for the cost of hydroelectric stations in connection with the dam, the Saskatchewan government expects that the least the federal government would do would be to build the storage dam on its own. Under the present circumstances therefore the province of Saskatchewan will be committed to the extent of at least $65 million and all we are asking is that the federal government build the dam itself, since in the words of the Prime Minister himself, "This is a matter of great national importance".
I suggest therefore that there is no reason why the government could not at this time proceed before the deadline which I believe is six months from June last-December 10 next-to do something,-
We wanted to hear your speech first.
-to redeem the pledge made, which was I believe expected by the people generally. We have been accustomed to political betrayals on the part of the predecessors of the present government but we did hope there would be some slight difference between the actions of the members sitting on your right, Mr. Speaker, and the members who now sit on your left. I would say, however, that the conduct of the government in so far as the South Saskatchewan dam is concerned indicates there is no essential difference between the Liberal and Conservative parties or, while there may be very slight shades of difference, when it comes down to doing something and getting into action there is little choice between them.
I suggest therefore that while the hon. members on your right, Mr. Speaker, may talk in their speeches for home consumption and boast of all the things they have done in seven weeks, they have not yet scratched the surface; they have not yet come to grips with the most important problems facing this country at the present time-unemployment, wheat marketing, parity price legislation and all the things which the Conservative party promised to the people of this country. These are the things which the people of Canada were led to expect and I suggest that instead of becoming preoccupied with seeking ways and means of provoking a vote at a time which they consider advantageous to themselves, they should come forward and present their full program, go as far as they can, and then let the people of Canada be the judges.
Mr. Theogene Ricard (SI. Hyacinfhe-Bagol):
Mr. Speaker, like any new member, it is with deep emotion that I rise to speak in this house. At the outset of my remarks, I should like to pay tribute to my constituents of St. Hyacinthe-Bagot and to thank them for the mark of confidence they gave me by electing me their member on June 10 last. I should like to assure them that I will always do my best to deserve this confidence and that it will always be a pleasure and a duty for me to speak and act on their behalf.
Mr. Ricard I should like to thank the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) for honouring the people of my constituency by appointing me acting delegate to the 12th session of the United Nations, now taking place in New York city. May I repeat what is being said by some of my constituents: "Never was so great an honour shown the St. Hyacinthe-Bagot constituency under a Liberal government."
I would also like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mr. Speaker and Mr. Deputy Speaker on their elevation to their present important posts. I also wish to pay tribute to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. St. Laurent). I wish him good health so that he can long enjoy a retirement which he has so richly deserved.
May I also say how ably the mover and the seconder of the address in reply (Mr. Smith and Mr. Arsenault) acquitted themselves of their respective tasks.
Mr. Speaker, rising as I do for the first time in the house, I cannot help saying how proud I am, and for several reasons. Let me name the major ones:
In the first place, I represent a constituency which is mostly made up of the two main classes in this country of ours, workers and farmers.
In the last elections, those two most representative classes of society joined in entrusting their affairs to the Conservative party. Another reason why I am proud to have been returned here is that this constituency had always been reputed to be a Liberal stronghold. You will no doubt be interested to learn, Mr. Speaker, that I am the second Conservative member to be returned since Confederation in the fine constituency of St. Hyacinthe-Bagot. The first Conservative member was elected 78 years ago with a majority of only six votes. My Liberal opponent having obtained a majority of close to 13,000 votes at the previous election, and having been elected by acclamation twice before that, it will be admitted that the 2,094 majority which I obtained from the electors of my constituency is such as to fill me with legitimate satisfaction and pride.
Mr. Speaker, as I said a moment ago, the largest groups of electors in St. Hyacinthe-Bagot riding are made up of workmen and farmers. At the mere mention of those two classes of people, you realize that in my riding, perhaps more and certainly as much as any other constituency there is need for sound social legislation.
The Address-Mr. Ricard
The textile industry is the chief source of employment in my riding. You know, however, that for a decade that industry has experienced slackenings which have been most unfavourable to workers. One plant which could employ 800 workers has only about a hundred people on its payroll at the present time. The lucky ones who can rely on our other textile plants to earn a living for their family are never sure to work a full week. Often, they have to remain idle a few days each week, with consequent serious reduction in their income. Very many families therefore lack the basic necessities for the proper care of children who will make up our nation of tomorrow.
I therefore urge the Conservative government to enact sound and rational legislation to stabilize that industry and raise the employment potential, so that the greatest possible number of Canadian citizens will benefit from our country's prosperity.
Allow me, Mr. Speaker, to draw your attention to the situation of many farmers in my riding. Under the former government, the agricultural market on the federal level was unstable. The price of raw materials and the cost of production have increased each year at a frightful rate while, on the other hand, consumer prices were held at such a level that the farmers have often suffered losses and deficits which threatened their livelihood. Fortunately provincial laws have made it possible for many of them to carry on in their wonderful field of endeavour.
If farmers have put their confidence in me, it is because the Conservative party willingly gave serious consideration to this vital aspect of their economic life. I am confident that this government will find it possible to give these men who constitute the foundation of the economy, all the safeguards they have a right to demand.
I should like at this point to direct the attention of the government to the importance of the services rendered to the farmers by experimental farms. The constituency of St. Hyacinthe-Bagot is situated in the heart of one of the richest farming areas of our province. General farming is practised and breeders of pure-bred stock are among the prizewinners at local, provincial and national fairs. I urge the government to consider seriously the possibilities of improving this technical agricultural service in my constituency. I also urge it to assure sugar-beet producers all the protection they deserve.
Mr. Speaker, the speech delivered by our most gracious and beloved sovereign raised high hopes at every level of our society. Among the measures that will provide welcome relief to my people, I would mention the increase of old age pension, veterans' pensions, holidays with pay for employees of industries under federal jurisdiction, etc. I would like here to draw the attention of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith) to the necessity of increasing family allowances as soon as this government finds it feasible.
Mr. Speaker, in the matter of agriculture, I must say that the farmers were very pleased to learn that the government had decided to ask the members of the house to approve price stabilizing legislation for their products.
The announcement that amendments to certain tax laws would be submitted to the house for approval was welcomed with great enthusiasm by the workers, and particularly by textile workers who were glad to learn that the government had decided to enquire into this field of industry, in order to protect them.
The many letters of appreciation I have received from my constituents prove beyond any doubt that the citizens of my constituency, like those in the rest of Canada, highly appreciate the legislation which our government will seek to introduce.
Here, Mr. Speaker, I should like to speak on behalf of the National and Catholic Syndicate of Building Trades of St. Hyacinthe, which has asked me to urge upon the federal government to undertake or have projects carried out in my district, so that unemployment may be reduced as much as possible during the coming winter months. I realize that even if this government cannot be held responsible for the present situation, it will do all it can to improve the difficult conditions which it had to face in this field, and which are clearly detrimental to the labouring class particularly.
As a practical suggestion, the construction of a retaining wall along the Yamaska river, at St. Joseph, between Barsalou and Bouchard bridges, would provide jobs for many breadwinners. Another project which would provide jobs for workers would be the construction of tunnels under the C.N.R. railway tracks, in the eastern and western parts of St. Hyacinthe. For the last ten years, this
part of the city which is called Bourg-Joli, has developed so fast that the building of two tunnels to relieve congestion in the underground passage of St. Anne street-the only one leading to the northern part of the town-has become a necessity. Workers of the St. Hyacinthe-Annexe, in particular, are often delayed by trains passing at the level crossing in Cascades East street, when travelling to and from work. The costs of those underground passages could be assumed by the city of St. Hyacinthe, the federal government and the Canadian National Railways.
During the last two weeks, hon. members in the opposition have mentioned the national flag and the representative our country should have at the Vatican. I trust that the hon. Prime Minister will, in due course, give the representatives of the people the opportunity to submit the views of their ridings on those two matters that have been left pending by the Mackenzie King and St. Laurent governments.
Mr. Speaker, I should like now to congratulate very sincerely the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Maloney) on the splendid speech he made in this house the other day. I am sure all hon. members will agree that it is one of the best we have heard since the beginning of the present session. The French part of this speech was a very fine gesture to the French-speaking members of this house as well as to those in the whole of the country. He reviewed the situation which faces us in such a manner and with such vision that we are permitted to believe that he has a very enviable future in our party and, thus, in government. I do not hesitate to state that a frame of mind such as the hon. member for Parkdale entertained does more for national unity than another sort of speech which was made in this house at the beginning of the present session.
English-speaking people and French-speaking people have a much better chance to understand each other and to live harmoniously side by side if they adopt the kind of thinking of the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Maloney), the hon. member for York Centre (Mr. Stinson), the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) and the hon. member for Trinity (Mr. Haidasz), and all those who think, act and talk as they do. This great nation of ours needs a complete understanding amongst those composing it. Members of this house can set a very effective example to their fellow citizens by taking
The Address-Mr. Ricard advantage of any opportunity to show that they understand the views of other ethnical groups.
It might be interesting for many hon. members to learn that my riding elected me as a Conservative in spite of tremendous efforts on the part of the Liberal candidate, his aides and the hon. member for Laurier (Mr. Chevrier) who waged a campaign of racial, sectional and religious prejudices. In what was intended to be the great rally for the Liberals, the former member for Stormont developed the following theme, according to the report in the Liberal weekly:
The chief of the Conservative party has made a deal with the premier of Ontario against the best interests of the province of Quebec.
When the former member of an Ontario constituency was saying:
The Liberal party is the only one that has a unified thinking all through Canada.
I wonder whether he knew that in the same issue of the paper the Liberal organization would make a strong appeal to racial prejudices by publishing, next to the photograph of the then prime minister:
We do not want Diefenbaker and his anti-French Canadian policy.
The members of the Liberal party who like to speak so much of Canadian unity would be keenly interested to learn that on the eve of the election the Liberal organization caused to be distributed after Sunday masses a circular appealing this time to the religious feelings of our population in such a way that the president of the Liberal organization for my riding has been arrested for having published and distributed a libelous circular without any signature or any name of a printer.
I am glad to proclaim that the people of St. Hyacinthe-Bagot, who are 99.9 per cent Canadians of French origin and who profess the Catholic religion, have ignored the sectionalism, the religious and the racial prejudice pact campaign of a former liberal member of this house. Let it be known to this house and to the country that my people do not ask for any favours; all they want is justice. Since we did not obtain it from the Liberal party we turned to our great Conservative party and I am confident that we shall obtain justice from our able leader.
In coming to this house, sir, I have accepted the obligation of acting as a representative of all the people of my constituency. Mr. Speaker, it will be a pleasure for me to devote my energy and full capacity in the best interests of our country, under the banner of the Conservative party and under the able leadership of our Prime Minister.
1048 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. R. Gauthier (Translation):
Mr. Rosaire Gauthier (Chicoutimi):
Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to tender my sincere congratulations to the hon. members of this house for the trust the people of Canada placed in them at the federal elections, as well as my best wishes so that all decisions and all legislation in this house be taken and passed in the best interest of the Canadian nation.
My feelings and wishes are, without doubt, those of the people in my riding of Chicoutimi, which I have the honour to represent in this nation's parliament.
My speech will contain no bitter criticism, but rather the expression of a few wishes dear to the heart of the people of my riding and also dear to every Canadian of good will.
From the very beginnings of the Canadian confederation, the fundamental force which has impelled our Canadian people and the gallant political leaders who have governed the country-more particularly the Right Hon. Mr. St. Laurent, to whom I am happy to express our esteem, gratitude and admiration for what he so magnificently accomplished in our great country-has indeed been this deep-rooted trend towards a genuine and rational national unity, that is to say unity in diversity, for it does seem that the two great racial groups of our country will never unite to the point of making up a single people with a single mentality. So it was the fundamental tendency of our governments to cause our two main racial groups to constitute a national community united by bonds of human fellowship, the harmony of well-understood liberties and the respect of the democratic scale of values.
Today, after more than a century of common wishes and endeavours, after more than a century of common undertakings in the direction of true national unity, do we not sense, all of us, the undefinable feeling that this national unity must be a truly living reality in the heart of every Canadian.
On the other hand, if we do have that first feeling, we cannot escape another. We know that this unity is still threatened by certain prejudices which have the unfortunate effect of lessening it, of weakening it, and often of threatening it in its fundamental principles. Still I hope that it will never be thought that in this country, there is the west and the east. We should rather think that, notwithstanding the faults committed in the past, we form one country. These faults have been committed, and we can do little but accept them as they were. In any event the west is necessary to the east, as the east itself is just as necessary to the west. Moreover what
affects one province also affects this country as a whole. Let there be no drawing back on our part. We must convince ourselves that it is absolutely indispensable for the Canadian people to understand how necessary it is to present a common front and to unite in every field of human endeavour, individually, collectively and nationally.
That is why I express the hope that the legislation which is to be adopted here will always take into account the meaning of true and authentic national unity.
Besides, this unity which I have just mentioned, will not be complete unless and until full general bilingualism is achieved in this country. I do not mean a complacent, diplomatically self-seeking, limited or superficial bilingualism. Our national unity will be a living fact when we shall have live bilingualism, in complete mutual respect and admiration, a bilingualism which is alive and realistic.
I therefore express the wish that future legislation affecting in any way the issue of national interest may fully honour the principles I just stated; and only at such time as our laws, in their spirit and administration, imply general bilingualism will our national unity really progress toward the completeness we all hope for.
In spite of all this, our national unity will not be perfect without the contribution to our national heritage of a distinctive flag, a symbol of maturity, independence and sovereignty; for, even if our country is recognized as having the characteristics of an independent and free nation, these attributes are scarcely believable when it is considered that this nation is deprived of its first symbolic expression, namely a distinctive and characteristic flag which would achieve our common ideal.
This doubt, which many Canadians feel, is not, I believe, the expression of prejudices. It is not a sign of disrespect towards certain great nations to which we are deeply attached by blood, traditions, culture and memories. Nor does it reflect a lack of admiration for those great nations. On the contrary, the collective desire to obtain in the near future a distinctive and typically Canadian flag is a sign of national maturity.
When a nation reaches that stage of national maturity, as Canada has now done it requires all the means of expression which characterize and identify an adult nation. When a nation is in possession of those means
of expression it will command more respect and it will have more respect for others in the full plenitude of its maturity and with all those means of expression which it requires.
I also voice this nation's growing desire to have a distinctive flag and I hope that very soon this general desire will be fulfilled through the enactment of practical legislation which will give our country a distinctive flag, one that will serve and enshrine the cause of Canadian unity.
Furthermore, means of communications have largely contributed to bind together the various parts of the world. More and more, countries are communicating between themselves, and more and more they exchange reciprocal ideas and opinions.
Now, there is in Italy a sovereign state, a defender of the same spiritual and material values that we ourselves defend. I mean the Vatican.
I would not like to hark back to an old question, nor would I wish to raise in the house a religious issue, which would be pointless, but regardless of that, the fact remains that the supreme head of that small state is drawing the attention of the civilized world and the admiration of all nations professing to defend democracy.
That is why these countries send to the Vatican an ambassador in order to partake of the immense advantages of such a friendship.
Why should our country, I am asking you, be further deprived of the benefits resulting from such essential friendship?
I therefore wish that an early decision be taken to send to the Holy See an ambassador who would represent our country and bring us every advantage that friendly relations between countries or states can award.
Without in any way wishing to discuss at this time the delicate constitutional matter of education, I nevertheless think that the government is not unfamiliar-and this is the least one can say-with the issue of education for the citizens under its rule.
Whatever the circumstances, we advocate- and rightfully so-the development of our national wealth. Now, is it not true that there is no greater wealth for a country than its young people, whose value is incomparably higher than all our material possessions?
The Address-Mr. R. Gauthier
More than ever therefore it is high time that the lawgiver should recognize in a concrete fashion such a priority of human values over other values, by furthering education in all its forms, and that he should enable the inquisitive and believing mind to dominate matter and put it to good use, and thus to insure the survival of the other values for which we all live and toil, the triumph of our democratic ideas.
I therefore hope that our legislation will increasingly tend to favour the discovery of the talents possessed by a host of young Canadians. I wish that legislation may facilitate the mental growth of our youth through the numerous legislative means at the disposal of this government, either by tax exemptions for large families, or by the granting of scholarships in every field, an education assistance scheme, a higher training assistance plan for young people, more adequate tax exemptions in the case of teachers, etc.
Mr. Speaker, before dealing with the wishes and particular needs of my constituency, let me dwell on a matter which we all have at heart, world peace.
We are all moved by this deep desire; I need not therefore say anymore about it.
Our understanding of peace is common and collective but often we underestimate the price we have to pay to get peace and maintain it.
Peace at the present time cannot be taken for granted. We all recognize our deep desire for peace but we must also realize the vital necessity of earning peace and paying for it.
It is with the greatest possible understanding that all Canadians must make certain concessions to ensure their security and their well-being in order to avoid having to make greater sacrifices.
I therefore wish that all the acts which will soon be enacted will definitely take this wish into account in order that we may contribute to world peace and take the means to ensure and maintain it.
However, if I make it a point to ask the government to protect the moral and spiritual values of the Canadian nation, I must also bring to the attention of the house the economic and social needs of my constituency, which occupies a very important place in the present economy of this country and whose enormous natural resources have attracted to an ever increasing degree, the attention of financiers and of governments.
The Address-Mr. R. Gauthier
If we must continue to claim that we must retain in this country the advantages accruing from the exploitation of our natural resources, this development must be favoured before anything and we must then see to it that they be processed locally.
The development of these mineral resources has already begun but serious observers have noticed that the progress of these industries has been paralysed through the absence of adequate means of transportation which could be used to direct the ore to large Canadian refining plants which it would be high time to establish in strategic locations, along the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay. As a matter of fact there is already under construction at Chicoutimi a nickel refinery to which will soon be added, I hope, a copper refinery and possibly even a zinc refinery.
The Saguenay river is most certainly one of the finest inland deep draught waterways flowing into the St. Lawrence and situated hardly two hundred miles from the main northern Quebec mining centres.
The government must therefore take such steps as are necessary to establish along the Saguenay the necessary harbour facilities so that maritime transportation may henceforth contribute to the development of our immense natural resources.
The government must also intensify its research and experimental studies so as to find an economic and practical means of preventing the freezing up of navigable waters and to allow the year round use of our ports and waterways.
When it becomes possible to use our seaports all year round, the whole economy of our country will benefit from such invaluable progress. Experiments carried out in this field have shown that it is possible to prevent ice formation over rivers where the temperature is exceedingly cold. All that remains for us to do is to apply this process or any other which modern science will no doubt find.
Furthermore, if ever it becomes possible, as I firmly believe, to navigate at least as far up as Quebec city during the winter months, I am no less convinced that it will be necessary to favour year round navigation on the Saguenay river as far as Chicoutimi. In fact, I should like to point out to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Hees), the importance of ports of the Saguenay river, especially Port Alfred, the port of the Saguenay Terminals Company, which is the third largest in Canada from the point of view of traffic. I might also add that ports on the Saguenay river are deep water ports and sheltered from heavy winds, offering thereby, it seems, a distinct advantage for their maintenance during the winter months.
[Mr. Gauthier (Chicoutimi) .1
It should be remembered that over most of our country the closing of seaports in winter deprives a great part of the population of its main source of income.
It would therefore be a happy solution to the serious problem of seasonal unemployment if that part of the population had the opportunity of working all year round.
Since the development of natural resources and the economy of northern Quebec are dependent on transportation, it is my duty to point out the deplorable situation of the railway services in my constituency.
The Chicoutimi constituency whose economic importance is undisputed, is connected with other centres of our country by a single railway which is in a crude condition and in this regard I call upon the testimony of those who use it. It is obvious that steps should be taken without delay to bring about the necessary improvements. We moreover urge the government to build a new railway line affording more direct connections between the city of Quebec and towns along the Saguenay, in the lake St. John area and in northern Quebec, so as to allow trains to join the national system without using the line already existing which is too long and does not meet adequately our present needs.
Since air transport has now become almost as important as transportation by water or by rail, I must mention the fact that the industrial and commercial centre of my riding has no civil airport.
A few private air companies now use the military airport of Bagotville but obviously that situation cannot last indefinitely. Distances between Chicoutimi county and other centres give a decisive value to air transport; there is no doubt that this means of transportation will be increasingly popular in the future.
We need a modern civil airport so located as to meet the needs of the whole population of the county as well as the needs of the many people who use that means of transportation to get there from the four corners of Canada and from foreign countries.
I hope that the government will give this need all the consideration it deserves.
Enlightened minds would never question the necessity of those means of transport of which I have just spoken in connection with the economy of Chicoutimi county and of the whole of Canada.
A look at the geographical situation of our county gives an idea of the importance of this problem.
This area, almost isolated in the centre of the province of Quebec, needs only adequate port, rail and air facilities to become an integral part of the industrial system of the whole country.
Some private companies were soon aware of its economic value and took the necessary steps to solve that same transportation problem to their advantage and for the benefit of our population. However, the government must do the same thing to allow other industries to establish themselves along the shores of the Saguenay river and, I repeat, the Canadian nation will benefit just as much from such improvements as will the population of the county of Chicoutimi.
I would not like to give my colleagues the impression that I ignore the identical needs of other parts of the country. It is obvious that certain parts of Canada have more urgent needs than others but it is also obvious that there are needs everywhere since we are, I would say, on the threshold of our economic development.
We are therefore pleased to see that everyone expects the federal government to give a free hand to industrial growth.
Even if the economic requirements of the whole country absorb a large slice of federal resources, the government should nevertheless seriously consider, as promised, cutting down taxes and increasing social benefits, not only old age pensions which, in spite of a slight increase, are still inadequate and should have been raised to at least $60.00 per month, from age 60 for people in need, and from age 65 for all others. I am surprised that there was no mention whatever of family allowances, which should be materially increased. Is it because they would mostly benefit Quebec people? It is up to the government to answer that question and to bring an adequate remedy.
The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr) has lately launched a campaign for winter employment, but what does the government intend to do to help the unemployed that we are going to have in great numbers in my riding as a result of the interruption of logging operations, since the economy of our region depends on two great and important industries, aluminum and lumber, the latter remaining the most important and most sizeable. It is certainly surprising that the government seems to ignore the necessity of public works to take care of unemployment. It is
The Address-Mr. R. Gauthier the government's duty to promote full employment, to increase benefits as much as is feasible, and to give such assistance to the unemployed as long as they cannot get work.
The influx of new industries to Canada has undoubtedly the effect of creating new jobs which partially solve the unemployment problem and social insecurity. But this is not enough for social security, and I respectfully urge the government to pay particular attention to the jobless, and especially to the lumberjacks who make up a great part of the population of my riding and who, like thousands of lumberjacks all over the country, are now suffering hardship not only through a slackening of this industry, but because of complete shutdowns in logging operations.
The unemployment insurance act does not sufficiently protect this class of workers who, unlike city workers, cannot hunt for a new job in other industries without being almost forced to expatriate themselves.
The unemployment periods in lumber industry are much longer than in most other industries.
At this time, the problem is serious, and our thousands of lumberjacks are anguished because they have no hope of finding the job they absolutely need to meet the needs of their families during the winter months. Our unemployed are not asking for charity. They want jobs. Let them be given the opportunity and, should that not come to pass, I urge the government to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act so as to insure greater social protection to this class of workers by reducing the waiting period.
In newly opened areas such as ours, bush workers and farmers are the pioneers of the twentieth century, and their presence in these areas which will eventually be economically developed is essential to future development.
We must therefore take all necessary steps to allow these pioneers to remain on their farms. If, to that end and to insure the lumber industry the manpower it requires, we must amend the Unemployment Insurance Act, we should not hesitate in adopting such legislation.
I am proud to pay here a special tribute to the settlers of my constituency and of the country as a whole since these men and women are part of the very elite of our great country.
My time being limited, I will only make a passing reference to the fact, but I would like to remind you that the farmer is a
The Address-Mr. R. Gauthier stabilizing element from the material point of view as well as being the very cornerstone not only of the material prosperity of our great country but also of its moral health in the social field. It seems necessary that there be maintained for his benefit an agricultural support price policy for his main products, especially butter, cheese, pork, eggs and poultry. It would also be advisable that account be taken of the possibility of reducing the interest rates on those loans which farmers must obtain to improve their farms. The matter of setting up a central bureau for agricultural markets should also be considered. I therefore hope that the government will be as ready to adopt these measures as it was with regard to western wheat.
As mayor of the city of Chicoutimi, I feel it is necessary that the government consider the possibility of eliminating the 15 level crossings furrowing our city from west to east and constantly endangering highway traffic. There is all the more reason to do so when we consider that those crossings are situated at the bottom of hills. The implementation of the Fairweather plan would remedy this intolerable situation and I should be very glad to give the authorities the necessary information on that matter.
Even if the Minister of Transport did not mention the port of Chicoutimi in the house these last few days, I am sure he is aware that it is a link in the chain of national harbours and I invite him to Chicoutimi to see for himself the state of neglect of some areas of this port, with a view to authorizing the necessary improvements. I would also add that sounding of the bottom of the Saguenay river should be carried out for four miles below Chicoutimi. In this way the necessary straightening out of the channel could be carried out, as well as the dredging required to allow ships of all tonnage to reach Chicoutimi at all times. Serious consideration should also be given to the possibility of allowing the C.B.C. to set up a television station at Chicoutimi to be incorporated into the national system. There are channels available for that purpose and I think that there would be no objection to the government issuing the necessary licence.
Retaining walls should also be constructed, not only along the Saguenay at Chicoutimi and at Chicoutimi-Nord, but also at Port-Alfred, along Grande-Baie boulevard and, farther on, at Anse Saint-Jean and Petit-Saguenay, as well as at Valin and Saint-Fulgence. A viaduct has been a necessity at
Port-Alfred for a long time. I urge that consideration be given to that matter as soon as possible.
As a former president of the union of the municipalities of the province of Quebec, may I bring up a matter which is of vital interest to our municipalities. Everybody knows that tight money and credit restrictions are currently the most agonizing issues for our municipalities. It is now difficult and costly to sell bonds, and in some cases impossible to find buyers, even if the projects to be financed are absolutely essential to the municipalities and even if all necessary guarantees are given; furthermore in cases where financing has been possible, the price of borrowed money has increased substantially.
To the higher cost of municipal loans must be added the increased costs of labour and materials.
The taxpayer's obligations are continually increasing, thus increasing in turn the cost of services; hence the need for municipalities to find new revenues in order to be able to meet the situation. Consequently, it would be in order perhaps to turn to our senior governments in order to obtain part of the taxes paid by the taxpayers. I presume it is with this idea in mind that the government has called a federal-provincial conference for the end of this month, but in my humble opinion, the municipalities should also have been invited, since they are also closely interested in this fiscal problem.
In any case, I hope this conference will bring the municipalities an adequate solution to their fiscal problems.
Mr. Speaker, does everything I just said- and I do not want to blame anybody in particular-not stress the fact that the district of Saguenay-Lake St. John has been somewhat ignored, and that Canada has therefore not had all the benefit from its especially desirable position as a means of penetrating the very economic heart of the continental spread of Quebec, whose mineral wealth has at least been known for more than half a century.
The reason for this fact is probably easy to understand. After confederation, the wish to achieve a great Canada took priority over the care of building up the country more rationally perhaps, more economically, but in a way that would not be in keeping with the great political aim that had been set up. Disregarding the hinterland and supposing that another nation, different from eastern Canada, would have been established in western Canada, it would seem obvious that
the pattern of economic development in the east would have been entirely different. People would obviously have sought to develop the northern sections rather than reach indefinitely towards the west. However, no sooner had the political choice been made in favour of the west than the energies which were expended for the development of these areas, in order to sustain as much as possible the railway policy which was to unite the country, ceased to be available for the development of the resources of the eastern part of this country.
This development, in actual fact, was considered in the light of western railway development, not much thought being given to anything else. What happened to be near these lines was in fact developed because the development of these resources appeared more profitable. However there was no inclination to embark upon a local policy with regard to access routes which would have allowed for more balanced regional development.
Had this been done, the Saguenay-Lake St. John area would certainly have occupied a place of honour in the minds of the authorities of the day and would certainly have received a great deal more attention than has been given to it.
Indeed, our district is so located and settled as to be the heart of a large economic empire and allow developments which can contribute considerably to enhance the prestige of Canada on world markets.
Those are briefly, Mr. Speaker, the few thoughts that I wished to submit to your kind attention.
Mr. J. H. Blackmore (Lethbridge):
The Address-Mr. Blackmore
What about the dominion notes printed by-Canada's finance minister under the Dominion Notes Act of 1868, from 1868 to 1914? Were those notes funny or sound? If so, why in either case? What about the dominion notes printed by Canada's finance minister under the Finance Act of 1914 and of 1923, hundreds of millions of dollars of which were lent into circulation through the chartered banks of Canada, and tens of millions of dollars of which were spent into circulation during world war I? Were those notes funny or sound? If so, why in either case? Sir Thomas White, great finance minister of the Conservative administration during world war I and of the union government administration during the reconstruction period after world war I, believed those notes were sound. Do you? Sir Thomas, in his "Memorandum of Dissent" from the report of the royal commission on banking and currency in Canada published in 1933, wrote the following words as reported at page 85 of that report:
It is my belief that no central bank in the world-
Notice the word "world".
-during the war period functioned more smoothly or was capable of being utilized more promptly or with greater immediate effect in serving the purposes of national and business finance than the Canadian Finance Act of 1914. It is also my view that during the period in question and in the very trying period of so-called reconstruction following the armistice no other monetary system proved more efficient or better adapted to national needs than that of the chartered banks of Canada supplemented as it was by the provisions of the Finance Act of 1914.
And in my opinion the same high degree of efficiency has been maintained by the Canadian financial system down to the present time. Of this statement we have at least partial proof in the stability of that system during the unprecedented world depression of the past four years.
Someone who knows the man who wrote that editorial in the Financial Post should suggest to him that he read some of these things and enlighten himself! In the light of the things I have said some of the things that were written in that Financial Post article are seen to be just pure nonsense. Absolute nonsense!
May I congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) upon his outlined program for the improvement of social conditions in Canada. He will require great quantities of money; where will all that money come from? The first question he must ask himself is: Can Canadians deliver the goods he will require to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, keep healthy, defend and otherwise provide for Canadians the standard of well-being which Canadians have the right to expect and enjoy, and which our present Prime Minister is
eager to render available to them? Can we as Canadians, and will we if given a chance, deliver milk and milk products, meats, grains, vegetables, fruits, sugars, etc., down through the whole list of needed goods? The answer in the main must be a thundering "Yes!"
Surely then we ought to be able to have dollars! A dollar is merely a ticket to goods and services; merely a ticket or a claim. Such being the case the more goods and services a community has and can produce and can deliver, as, when and where required, the more tickets or claims to goods and services that community ought to be able to create.
A theatre manager, having 500 seats in his theatre, ought to be able to stamp 500 tickets. That theatre manager, having 1,000 seats, ought to be able to stamp 1,000 tickets. Incidentally should that manager have to borrow those 500 tickets from anyone? Reason and common sense simultaneously answer "certainly not". He should not have to borrow those tickets. Neither should Canada have to borrow the tickets she uses unless she sees fit so to do.
Now the Canadian community in the year 1957 either has produced, or will produce, in the neighbourhood of $30 billion worth of goods. Of that amount the proportion made up of consumer goods such as food, clothing, shelter, etc., would adequately supply the needs of Canada's people, up to a good standard of living. Why then are so many Canadians not able to acquire that standard of living? The production of each and every kind of those consumer goods can be rapidly and almost indefinitely increased by Canadians if potential producers could but obtain firstly the credit with which to produce, secondly markets, and thirdly, profitable prices. Yes, Canada is able to deliver the goods!
Referring again to our illustration of theatre tickets, might we not say that, in the great Canadian theatre plenty of seats are available; why are the needed tickets not made accessible? Now, can the Diefenbaker government get the tickets or the dollars that would claim these consumer goods and the other goods Canadians are producing, and can the Diefenbaker government work out a scheme whereby they can get those tickets into the hands of potential consumers in such amounts as will enable such consumers to consume the goods and services on Canadian markets, or coming upon those markets some time in the future, without bringing about any rise in prices caused by scarcity of goods? That is to say, without causing real inflation, which, after all, is "too many dollars chasing too few goods?"
May I repeat the question I have already asked? Where will all the money come
from? During 20 years every Liberal minister who has spoken upon the subject has positively affirmed that all the money available to the government had to come from taxation, that is, to come from the pockets of Canadians. Are the ministers of the Diefenbaker government intending to make the same declaration? Is the present government going to maintain that it can have no dollars to spend except those which they can wring from our people through taxation or borrowing? Is it going to do that in spite of the record of Sir Thomas White, the great Conservative finance minister back in history, available for them to read of, and study? If so, then Canadians are doomed to disappointment and further frustration and suffering.
Any central government should possess, and scientifically exercise, the power to create money. Our fathers of confederation in 1867 provided that the federal government of Canada should possess that power. May I quote from the British North America Act section 91, clauses 14, 15 and 20:
... it is hereby declared that (notwithstanding anything in this act) the exclusive legislative authority of the parliament of Canada extends to all matters coming within the classes of subjects next hereinafter enumerated: that is to say-
14, currency and coinage,
15, banking, incorporation of banks and the issue of paper money,
20, legal tender.
Our fathers as early as 1868 legislated for the exercise of that power by enacting the Dominion Notes Act. The Dominion Notes Act of 1868 empowered Canada's minister of finance to create and issue up to $8 million worth of Dominion of Canada notes, the first $5 million with 20 per cent backing in specie, that is 20 cents worth of specie behind each one dollar bill, and the next $3 million with 25 cents worth of specie behind each one dollar bill. I would refer you to the report of the royal commission on banking and currency for Canada, 1933, at page 21.
By 1913 the Dominion Notes Act had been so modified during the years, that the minister of finance was empowered to issue $30 million of notes with a backing of 25 cents worth of either gold or guaranteed debentures behind each dollar. Notice the remarkable change there-it is very significantguaranteed debentures instead of gold! Still more dollar bills could be issued backed by 100 per cent of gold. You notice they were not worrying very much about inflation so long as they had the gold.
Subsequently in August 1914 the parliament of Canada empowered the minister of finance to create and issue $50 million worth of notes with 25 cents of gold behind each
The Address-Mr. Blackmore one dollar bill. Later $16 million were issued backed by a deposit of railway securities guaranteed by the dominion government; also $10 million were issued without any particular backing and spent "for governmental purposes".
There is a case where they did not take the money they got from the taxpayer-There you are Conservatives!-do not allow yourselves to be fooled by writers in the Financial Post. (See the report at page 22.) In 1917 $50 million were issued, secured by imperial treasury bills-see the report, page 22-and spent for horses, grain, and other needs for world war I. So there was a time when Conservative governments had wisdom in this country, and we hope that time has come again.
The Finance Act of 1914 made provision for the Canadian government to issue dominion notes backed by approved securities, including dominion bonds, certain railway, provincial and municipal bonds and certain other securities subject to appraisal by the dominion treasury board. See report to which I have referred, page 22. That report is in the House of Commons library and I suggest it be read with care by everyone who bears the heavy responsibility which lies on the shoulders of all members of this house. Paragraph 49 of that report reads thus:
A proclamation in pursuance of the act was issued on September 3, 1914, and thenceforth throughout the war and the early postwar period extensive use was made of the act.
Notice that word "extensive". Paragraph 50 reads:
An act passed in 1919 provided for the continuance in force of the proclamation made on September 3, 1914 until two years after the conclusion of peace on termination of the war.
This explains the continued operation of the act until 1923.
From paragraph 51 I quote:
But extensive use continued to be made of the power to issue dominion notes to the banks against approved securities . . .
So well did the act function that the hon. W. S. Fielding, a Liberal finance minister, in 1923 re-introduced the Finance Act of 1914 as the Finance Act of 1923, using the following words, and I read from the report:
The act was adopted as a war measure, and no doubt it was exceedingly useful in the financial operations during the war. It may be said that the war being over we no longer have any need for the act, but experience has shown that the act is still required: indeed, I am inclined to think that something of the kind will have to become almost a permanent part of our financial system.
Mr. Speaker, so do I think that; I agree with hon. W. S. Fielding. The potentialities of the Finance Act of 1914 and of 1923 are
1056 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. Blackmore outlined by the royal commission on banking and currency in Canada in paragraphs 13538 inclusive. At page 40 of this report, published in 1933, may I read:
In normal times the Minister of Finance may make advances of dominion notes to the chartered banks and to those to which the Quebec Savings Bank Act applies upon the pledge of:
(a) Treasury bills, bonds, debentures or stocks of the Dominion of Canada, Great Britain, any province of Canada, and of any British possession.
It is an unchallengeable fact that every Canadian finance minister from 1923 down to the passage of the Bank of Canada Act of 1934 possessed the power to create in normal times Canadian dollars backed by approved securities, and advance those dollars to Canadian chartered banks. It is uncontestably true that between the outbreak of world war I in 1914 and the end of 1917 the then Canadian finance minister, who was Sir Thomas White, issued and placed in circulation in Canada $76 million in Canadian notes with no Canadian backing except that of the credit of Canada, that is, with no backing but Canadian goods and services and Canada's ability to produce more goods and services and to deliver such goods and services as required, when required and where required. This I have shown by reference to paragraph 47 on page 22 of the report.
It is true that under the finance acts of 1914 and 1923, the backing of Canadian notes was to be securities of a particular and specified kind as listed in paragraph 135 on page 40 of the report. One class of this kind is given in paragraph 135 as "treasury bills, bonds, debentures or stocks of the Dominion of Canada." I am quoting that again so as to help the editor of the Financial Post to get it.
Any quantity of Canadian bonds could easily be created. What was to be the limit of the amount of Canadian bonds which could safely be created? That is the thing we want to know. That limit, basically, must be Canada's credit, her real credit; that is, her ability to produce or to acquire and to deliver goods and services. What was the backing of the made-beaver money? Goods and services. What was the backing of the French playing card money? Goods and services. What was the backing of the Guernsey island notes? Goods and services.
We have in Canada goods and services today. No one will argue about that. We have goods and services of sufficient variety
and quantity. Dominion notes of 25 cents, $1, $2, $500 and $1,000 were legal tender which of course means, as everyone in this house knows, that when a person tendered a note of one of these denominations in settlement of a debt the person to whom he offered it was obliged to accept it or to cancel the debt. See paragraph 133 of the report. For a time after world war I the holder of a dominion note could call for gold-