This is an extract from a newspaper which I do not think hon. gentlemen opposite will call into question. It is the Montreal Gazette of June 5. This is what the right hon. gentleman is reported to have said and it is in quotation marks:
The Conservative party will restore the true meaning of the British North America Act-
Having the power to do a certain job does not mean very much if you haven't got the financial means to implement these powers.
Over and over again the present Prime Minister promised-I could find dozens of examples of his promises in this book-that immediately after the election he would call a federal-provincial conference to do these things. He did not call it for five months, and now he makes the feeble excuse that he cannot call it again because hon. members in the opposition exercise the right given to them by their constituents to speak in this parliament. We in this party might perhaps have been embarrassed if the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar had framed his motion quite differently and I am not going to suggest how. I speak only for myself when I say that it does not cause me the slightest embarrassment to oppose this motion for precisely the reasons given by the Prime Minister at Three Rivers.
I would like to add just one other thing. Before hon. gentlemen opposite boast very much about what they have done in this field of putting the provinces in a financial position to carry out their functions let me remind them that just before coming into the house I looked up Mr. Ilsley's budget speech in 1946, and I found that in the year 1944-45 the provinces were receiving as their share out of the three principal direct taxes $82 million and under Mr. Harris' equalization scheme they will have received over $630 million this year. That, sir, if we are to assist the provinces to carry out their functions, is the right way to do it, namely by those equalization payments which we cannot get hon. gentlemen opposite to say they will carry forward in any increases they make in payments to the provinces.
Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a short statement in regard to the amendment which is
Federal Aid to Education before us. That is all I have time to do. First, I want to apologize to the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) for what may be interpreted as a discourtesy to him. I had to leave while he was speaking in order to keep another appointment that had been made before I knew this motion was being moved. I certainly meant no discourtesy and I would have liked to stay to hear what he had to say.
I have expressed myself on various occasions, Mr. Speaker, with regard to federal aid to education and our position as a party in the house is well known. We have supported the idea over many years and with the principle of greater aid to education in the provinces we are still in agreement. However, there is something further that ought to be included in considering this matter. There are many people in Canada today who are not certain that they want further aid to education from the federal government for the reason that they fear that along with increased grants in aid of education from the federal government will come a greater demand for federal interference in what are considered to be purely provincial affairs. I respect that attitude on their part, although I have always said that I do not think it is necessary that the two things should go hand in hand at all.
I am quite certain that means can be found to provide further assistance from the federal government to education in the provinces without carrying with it any interference on the part of the federal government in purely provincial affairs. Until such time as we can get the people of the country in pretty full agreement on the matter it would seem to me that it would not be wise to try to press it too fast.
What will be our stand on the amendment? I feel, Mr. Speaker, that this is not a proper matter on which to call for a vote of want of confidence in the government. I should like to see greater aid to education but I do believe that that aid can be made available by a fairer division of the revenue dollars amongst the governments of Canada. Inasmuch as the federal government has already called a dominion-provincial conference and the matter of increased revenues for the provinces is under consideration, it does seem to me that it is premature to bring about a vote of want of confidence in the government on the basis of calling for increased aid to education.
I want to see more money made available for education in this country. Greater amounts have to be channelled into the field of education if we are going to do the job that is demanded of us. That is quite true.
I want to see the very best people encouraged to get into the field of education to be leaders and teachers but that can only be done if we see that they are properly paid. But, Mr. Speaker, I do not feel that we can get money into the field of education by the means that have been chosen and for that reason and the reason I have already given, that the matter is under study now as to how we can arrange a better division of the revenue dollars amongst the governments of Canada, I do not propose to support the amendment that has been moved.
I declare the amendment lost. The Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys has advised me that he asks leave of the house to make a short statement which he did not feel he could make during business hours this afternoon. Has the minister leave to revert to motions for the purpose of making a brief statement?
Hon. Paul Comlois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a statement concerning the assistance to gold mining in Canada. The Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act will 96698-188J
Gold Mining Assistance expire on December 31 next. Requests have been received from the gold mining industry and labour groups for an increased subsidy and for an extension of the act beyond 1958.
Following a study of the existing conditions in the gold mines and their dependent communities, it is the intention of this government to introduce at the next session of parliament a bill amending the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act to provide for a two-year extension to the act. The other matters are still under study.
Topic: EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE
Subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED EXTENSION OF ACT
Mr. Speaker, I should like to be allowed to make a few remarks on this matter. The Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Comtois) in making his statement tonight followed the same procedure as that which was followed in 1955 by the previous minister of mines and technical surveys, and I recall that on that evening in 1955 the procedure followed then was criticized. Tonight it is not my intention to protest against this way of making this statement. However, I will point out that I am disappointed and I know that the people interested in gold mining will be disappointed. The miners will be disappointed and the people living in mining communities will also be very much disappointed when they learn that the minister, although he has announced that the act will be extended, did not state tonight the manner in which the act will be amended. Of course, this matter is postponed until the next session. We do not know when the next session will take place. It may take place after an extremely important event which is supposed to take place any time now. The people in my constituency and those in many of the other constituencies in Canada will certainly be greatly disappointed to learn that the minister did not take the trouble to tell us tonight what will be the nature of the amendment to the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act.
The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Fleming for committee of supply.
Topic: EMERGENCY GOLD MINING ASSISTANCE
Subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED EXTENSION OF ACT
Mr. Speaker, I should like to take advantage of this motion to bring to the attention of the house some questions which are, I think, of interest to all members and to the country. I refer to matters concerning trade and the effect of some aspects of this trade question on another matter which is of even greater concern to the house and to the country,
namely unemployment. Of course, in the time which will be available to me I shall be able to deal with only certain phases of this trade problem and others I shall be obliged to omit. But there is one aspect of the problem which is perhaps central to the whole consideration of it, and that is our relationship with tKe United States of America.
My view on that relationship, both political and economic, is exactly the same as it was when I was sitting on the other side of the house. There can be no more important political or economic relationship for Canada than that which we have with our neighbour; and there can be nothing of greater importance not only to Canada but to the world than that the United States-which because of its power is bound to be the leader of the free world-should give that leadership which is required, both politically and economically. In that leadership, Mr. Speaker, no country has more at stake than has ours.
As has been said by members of this party, and indeed by members of other parties over the years, while we accept that leadership, it must be on a basis of partnership. We are all the happier to accept that leadership in the political sphere when it is given with imagination, determination and wisdom. We welcome and we look for that kind of leadership. When we feel that perhaps it is not being given Canadians are-as my friend the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Smith) pointed out the other day, I think at Windsor-in a particular position or advantage to remind our friends and neighbours of the necessity for that kind of leadership. But this leadership has also its economic as well as its political aspects and certain actions of the United States government which are very much in our minds cannot help but be contrasted by us with United States words in Paris and in Washington. That contrast is bound to arouse our anxiety.
Take for instance defence-
Topic: RELATIONSHIPS WITH UNITED STATES AND UNITED KINGDOM