May 27, 1958

TO THE FRENCH CANADIAN ELECTORATE OF CANADA


As director of the campaign of the Right Hon. R. B. Bennett in French Canada, allow me to discharge a duty which seems to me to be imperative, my duty as organizer, as elector and as a Canadian. The times we are going through and the new mentality created by the depression makes it necessary that we should rise above party lines to consider only the ultimate welfare of Canada and of Canadians. I urge all my fellow-citizens not to vote for a colour or merely to support a certain group, but to vote for the better interests of the Canadian nation, vote for the interest of your home, vote for your children's future security. Never in the history of the Canadian people, will your vote carry greater consequences and will have wider repercussions than that which you shall give on October 14. But the Canadian people who had gone through the depression years of 1930 to 1935 were not to be led astray by this appeal to feeling, and the Liberal party came into power as it will do once again in 1962 or 1963.


PC
LIB

Marcel Boivin

Liberal

Mr. Boivin:

Mr. Speaker, with your permission, we shall go back six years. The Conservative party, in March, 1952, published a pamphlet entitled "Political Precis". In the centre page the following words may be found:

INCREASE OF UNEMPLOYMENT under a Liberal government Through overtaxation and credit restriction, the government was brutal towards the small income people. In so doing, it launched the worst unemployment crisis that we have ever had since the 1930's.

Serious difficulties have occurred, specially in the automobile, the textile and the household electrical appliance industries.

I hope that in the course of this session those who are here and who were members at the time of publication of this pamphlet will remember its contents.

I have here, Mr. Speaker, another pamphlet published in August and September of 1952-

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PC
LIB

Marcel Boivin

Liberal

Mr. Boivin:

Indeed we have and we are

not afraid to show them. All you have to do is come up to my office, I'll show them to you.

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PC

Léon Balcer (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

They have not had much success.

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LIB

Marcel Boivin

Liberal

Mr. Boivin:

On the first page of this booklet, Mr. Speaker, we read:

(Text):

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REFUSING TO FACE THE FACTS LOWER TAXES ACCURATE BUDGETING LOWER COST OF LIVING


(Translation): I do hope that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming) will introduce a well balanced budget, as the Conservative party promised it in this booklet. In the centre page of the same document, we read: (Text): COST OF LIVING NEAR PEAK (Translation): This, Mr. Speaker, was in 1952, and you know as well as I do that since the Conservative party has taken over the administration of the country, the cost of living has increased again. However, in all frankness, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me the Conservative party should not have published this booklet entitled Pocket Politics, title which I can only translate in French as "politique de poche". And now, Mr. Speaker, let us go on to the year 1953, when the gentlemen on the other side of the house were publishing a pamphlet entitled "Pledge for Canada in 16 points". The first point of this booklet reads as follows: We will lower federal taxes by at least five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000) a year. Under the second item, we see the following: We will introduce a legislation tending to exempt municipal councils and school commissions from the sales and excise taxes on all their purchases- And if we go on to the sixth item, we find there something about the Senate reform, which the right hon. Prime Minister promised to effect. During the same year, Mr. Speaker, the Conservative party published another booklet under the title: "This time we are all voting Progressive Conservative-Why?" Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I hear the applause coming from the hon. members sitting to the right, because they thereby recognize that this booklet has been published by them. I would ask them to remember the promises they made and which are recorded in that booklet: A TAX REDUCTION . . . but a true reduction, and not those symbolical cuts of the last budget. The Progressive Conservatives have promised to grant larger exemptions to the low income families, a substantial reduction of taxes for the less fortunate groups, a higher take-home pay to those who need it most. . . . the Progressive Conservatives are going to lower the sales tax . . . SAVINGS IN ADMINISTRATION ... the only way to reduce taxes is to eliminate extravagance . . . The Address-Mr. Boivin Mr. Speaker, the Conservative party has been in power for one year, and-


?

An hon. Member:

And it shows, too.

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LIB

Marcel Boivin

Liberal

Mr. Boivin:

-after some careful research, they find that they cannot change anything.

I remember having heard the hon. Minister of National Defence (Mr. Pearkes) and the Postmaster General (Mr. Hamilton) tell us that these two departments were very well administered and that no change had been made.

Mr. Speaker, I have listened to the speech from the throne, and I must say that the promises of the Progressive Conservative party have vanished; happily for us what has been written remains. In a word, none of the promises made in the past appear in the speech from the throne.

The Conservative party had no program during the last electoral campaign but we, Liberals, had a policy based on the principles-

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?

An hon. Member:

A great success.

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LIB

Marcel Boivin

Liberal

Mr. Boivin:

-of Canadian liberalism

which have so well served our nation under the Laurier, King and St. Laurent administrations. Naturally, that program was different from those proposed and implemented in the past. We were proud of those changes even though our opponents criticized us for not having brought about those measures while we were in power. By criticizing us, they gave us the very proof of their inability to lead a democratic government.

If a new policy was introduced by us, it is because the situation had changed and that it would not have been enough to remodel our 1957 platform.

Two years ago it was a matter of putting a stop to the threat of inflation, so that Canadians would not have to lose their savings. But no sooner had these inflationary pressures been halted than we were once more called upon to stimulate the Canadian economy. A government such as ours-and that must be admitted, Mr. Speaker-has to conform its actions to economic conditions and to the need of the people.

Experience has shown that the Liberal policy was best suited to the needs of the moment and that it did in fact, fill the needs of our nation in general. The Liberal party wanted for J;he Canadian people those measures without which it is impossible to stimulate the economy and to give work to

570 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Boivin hundreds of thousands of jobless. The best way, the quickest way to find work for these people is to deal with unemployment and to increase the buying power of the consumer by reducing taxes.

I have here an article which appeared in a newspaper and according to which Mr. Lush, president of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, stated last February in Sherbrooke that a tax cut was necessary to remedy unemployment.

1 also have in my hand a statement made by Mr. Charles St. Pierre, president of the Canadian National Bank, suggesting the same thing and that statement appeared in The Monetary Times.

We had proposed to cut taxes to the extent of $400 million to arouse the sleeping Canadian industry. We had told the Canadian people that the 7i per cent tax on automobiles would be abolished, which would have meant a saving of $60 million to the taxpayers while helping the motorists. At the same time we would have favoured a resumption of work in this important automobile industry. Considering that one worker out of seven is directly or indirectly affected by the automobile industry, this would have greatly helped thousands of unemployed people in Canada.

I find it strange that the Conservative has not yet promised us any legislation on social security, agriculture and youth. With regard to social security, it is deplorable that the present government will not introduce a bill to increase family allowances in order to help our large families and our workers who, due to the high cost of living, are in great need of such help. The changes in the support price for powdered milk have certainly resulted in great losses of money for our agricultural class.

Mr. Speaker, I should like now to say a few words about a very important industry in our country, and more particularly in the constituency I have the honour of representing in this house. I refer to the rubber industry, better known under the name of Canada Rubber Footwear Industry. In my riding, two companies are engaged in this industry: the Miner Rubber Company and the Acton Rubber Company. At the moment, all manufacturers of rubber products have great difficulties.

At least 4,500 people do not know whether they will still have their job to-morrow. Taking into account their families, there are 15,000 whose very existence depends on these 4,500. The rubber industry has an invested

capital of $25 million; but it is bound to disappear. However, during the second world war this was admittedly an essential industry. As a matter of fact, the Canadian government helped to supply the raw material it needed to continue the manufacturing of various products needed by our soldiers and civilians.

The import of running shoes has gone up from 2,000 pairs in 1949, to 1,000,000 pairs in 1954 and 2,200,000 pairs in 1955, while Canadian production of this same article decreased from 3,127,222 pairs in 1949 to 1,931,178 pairs in 1955. The import of rubber overshoes increased from 91,000 pairs in 1949 to 624,000 in 1954, whereas Canadian production, which had reached 11,600,000 pairs in 1949 was reduced to 10,000,000 in 1954, and is still decreasing. Well, if we consider the facts, each year that industry was paying $15 million in wages to its employees. But, in 1955, 2,182,000 hours of work were lost because of importation; 1,200 employees were laid off.

In Hong Kong, an employee of the same industry earns 6 cents an hour; in Canada, it is $1.50 an hour. The imported shoe cost $1.48 a pair; but the cost in Canada amounts to $2.90.

It is therefore most important that the hon. ministers of finance and trade and commerce (Messrs. Fleming and Churchill) look into that matter and come to a decision with regard to the importation of those Hong Kong products. If such importation is not stopped, this essential industry is going to disappear in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I renew my request for the adoption of a distinctive Canadian flag. I wish we could have one in the near future. I also wish to draw your attention to the appointment of the next governor general. I hope that he will be of Canadian origin.

The Prime Minister, accompanied by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Smith), received last week a delegation of students. Let us hope that a bill will be introduced to help them.

The Conservative party should bring about a legislation beneficial to all the citizens, to all the taxpayers, to all parents and all young men and women who wish to bring a constant contribution to a free democratic society.

In concluding, Mr. Speaker, I wish to say that in my opinion this government cannot bring the ship of state to safety. That is why, four years from now, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson) will become

prime minister of Canada and will continue to carry out the program based on the principles of Canadian liberalism which have so well served our nation under the Laurier, King and St. Laurent administrations.

(Text):

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PC

Lucien Grenier

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lucien Grenier (Bonaventure):

Mr. Speaker, the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne now being in its eighth day, I believe the repertoire of congratulatory words is almost exhausted, but I wish to say that I heartily endorse the unanimous testimonial of appraisal and esteem which your impartiality and firmness has inspired in all hon. members of this house.

This being the last time I stand to speak in this house for the first time I beg your indulgence and I hope that my sins against the rules of the house will not be too numerous or too outstanding.

I wish also to extend my sincere congratulations and best wishes to the hon. member for Longueuil (Mr. Sevigny) on his appointment to the office of Deputy Speaker of this house. I am convinced that his achievements in this office will prove him to be the worthy son of a very distinguished father.

Although the mover of the address in reply to the speech from the throne already knows how proud I was of his achievement I wish to say here that it was also an honour for the 1949 graduates of the faculty of law of Laval University, where together we endeavoured to learn the basic principles of law. The young hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Nielsen) has also contributed to prove that the youth of Canada, widely represented here, constitutes a valuable asset in this house.

Since the opening of this session I have listened with great interest to all the debates and especially the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne which is almost a complete picture of the economic conditions prevailing in every region of this wide country. This debate also contains various comments on the great event of March 31. Some have revealed a very high degree of sportsmanship, and others revealed bitterness and a lack of respect for the verdict of the people. It is highly regrettable that in my first speech in this house I must comment on misrepresentations which have been made in this chamber by certain hon. members from the province of Quebec in connection with the last election.

I was disturbed and also hurt to hear the argument put forward by some hon. members from the province of Quebec in order to explain the presence in this house of 50 Conservative members from that province and

The Address-Mr. Grenier at the same time in order to hide their deep deception and failure to keep the confidence of the people of my province. Instead of accepting the verdict of the electors of the province of Quebec as an expression of disapproval of the campaign of prejudice which was carried on in that province in the last election by our hon. friends they have tried to explain their defeat with arguments like the following one which is reported at page 179 of the debates of this house:

I would have liked to congratulate In a particular way all the members, especially those of the province of Quebec, but I must make some reservations since there are members from the province of Quebec who have been elected not by the popular vote but according to an electoral method which we call the corrupted practice of vote buying.

These comments were made by the hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska (Mr. Boulanger) and many other similar comments have also been made by other hon. members of the Liberal party from the province of Quebec.

It is my duty to protest vigorously against such a misrepresentation of facts because I believe the citizens of the province of Quebec are highly conscious of the sacred value of their voting right and are too honest to trade it for election day presents. My hon. friends seem to forget that until this year the people of that province had been giving unanimous support to the Liberal party and I believe they have chosen a very regrettable, unsuitable and shameful way to show the people of the province of Quebec their gratitude for their faithful support in past years. I wish to say that the electors of my province who voted for the Liberal party in 1957 and in the years before are still the same as they were then and they do not deserve to be insulted as they have been in this debate by too many Liberal members from the province of Quebec who now stand in this house as the shadow of the past glory and power of the Liberal party.

(Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I will now put before the house the problems which are of particular interest to the electors of the constituency who have given me the mandate of representing them in this house. I believe it is my duty to make certain comments which I would well have preferred not to have to voice, believe me.

I have followed with very close attention the debates which have been going on since the opening of the session and more particularly the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne. These have given, to my mind, a very complete picture of the

572 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. Grenier economic conditions prevailing in all parts of this country. It goes without saying that in this picture may be found a number of brush strokes inspired by political considerations which the Canadian people refused to endorse on March 31 last.

The events of that day, unprecedented in our political annals, have called forth highly deserved praise for the Prime Minister from all members sitting in this house and I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to add my voice to theirs.

This event also gave rise to some comments. Some found new greatness in defeat and I mean to congratulate them. Others unfortunately revealed themselves very sore losers and showed lack of respect for the will of the people. It is highly unfortunate that I should have to reserve part of my first speech in this house to objecting against some disgraceful speeches, to say the least, made in this debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne, by some hon. members from the province of Quebec.

You may be sure that I was indignant as well as disappointed at hearing the arguments used by those members to explain the presence in this house of fifty Conservative members from the province of Quebec and in trying at the same time to conceal their disappointment for lamentably failing in the mission which was theirs to keep the support of my province for the Liberal party. Instead of bowing to the verdict of the Quebec electors, which is indeed categorical enough, instead of admitting their inability to keep them in the fold of the Liberal doctrine, instead of opening their eyes and seeing in their action the unequivocal reprobation of the campaign of prejudice and disparagement pursued throughout the province of Quebec by my hon. friends in the last election, they have attempted, very wrongly indeed, to attribute their lamentable failure to electoral corruption.

I should like here to refer in particular to the statement made by the hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska (Mr. Boulanger), as recorded on page 179 of Hansard, and I quote:

I would have liked to congratulate in a particular way all the members, especially those of the province of Quebec, but I must make some reservations since there are members from the province of Quebec who have been elected not by the popular vote but according to an electoral method which we call the corrupted practice of vote buying.

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LIB

Jean-Paul Deschatelets

Liberal

Mr. Deschaielels:

That is true.

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PC

Lucien Grenier

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Grenier:

Several other members-my hon. friend should not forget that the purchasing of votes from electors also entails the sale of votes and, as I said a moment ago,

the electors of the province of Quebec are too honest and are too conscious of their responsibilities to sell their votes.

Several other Liberal members elected in Quebec ridings resorted to similar arguments and, particularly, the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin), whose words are reported on pages 356 and 7 (translations) of the official record, and I quote:

Among the Conservative members from the province of Quebec here present there are many who bear the mark of the Union Nationale party, with everything which that entails.

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LIB

Jean-Paul Deschatelets

Liberal

Mr. Deschaielels:

That is so. It is true. It is unfortunate, but true.

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PC

Lucien Grenier

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Grenier:

The about-face on the part of several colleagues of hon. members on March 31 last is about the only explanation I find for the remarks made by my hon. friend, and I want to tell him that all Conservative members from the province of Quebec in this house prefer to follow those who are standing upright than those for whom the abdication of provincial rights is a secondary matter.

The hon. members for St. Denis (Mr. Denis) and Hull (Mr. Caron) also resorted to arguments as unconvincing as those of the hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska, in an effort to belittle the merit of the Prime Minister and of the fifty Conservative representatives from the province of Quebec.

As I said a few moments ago, I have been shocked by the arguments of those hon. members who apparently made up their mind to unite their efforts to show such poor gratitude to the electors of the province of Quebec, who had so faithfully and for so long, supported the Liberal party. When the hon. members contend that the Conservative members from the province of Quebec have been elected either through corruption or vote buying, they are saying that the electors of the province of Quebec who have elected them have sold their right to vote and have lost all sense of honesty and responsibility.

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LIB

Rodolphe Leduc

Liberal

Mr. Leduc:

And it is true, besides.

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May 27, 1958