April 17, 1962

PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinlon):

Will the hon. gentleman permit a question?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I am always delighted to hear the minister.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinlon):

Has he completely forgotten that the deficit for the fiscal year 1958-59 was substantially less than I had forecast?

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LIB
PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinlon):

Let us hear what your leader has to say.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

The minister has just convicted himself out of his own mouth. He says he was wrong away back in 1958-59 but, Mr. Chairman, this was the only time he was wrong in the right way.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinlon):

That is not what you said a moment ago.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Not only has he been wrong the right way once but he has been wrong in the wrong way many times. However, I am glad he was wrong in the right way once, but that was away back in 1958.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinlon):

Don't you think you were extravagantly wrong just now?

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

When the minister and his colleagues try to get out of their difficulty by criticizing those who expose their weakness and call attention to the problems facing him, they call us prophets of doom and gloom. I

say, Mr. Chairman, that is merely cheap politics and demagoguery. Nothing we have said in this house about the economic position at the present time has been contradicted by outside objective observers. I could quote, as I have done, the president of the Newfound-land-Anglo Development Company. I could also quote the ex-governor of the Bank of Canada, Mr. Graham Towers, who said our economy is not growing sufficiently to take care of the demands made on it.

I could also quote another very eminent economic authority whom the Prime Minister loves to quote, Mr. Michael Barkway, who said in the Citizen on April 2:

Amongst economic experts who have no political axe to grind recent weeks have brought a distinct moderating of optimism about both the length and strength of the business pick-up.

All we asked was that the government realize that some of these things may happen, and that in the budget put forward by the Minister of Finance there might be some policy to deal with them if they do happen. But all we have had was a little more of the old stuff we have had during the last four years. It is too late and it is not good enough.

All the big decisions of this government are always being postponed. On this occasion we have got just a little more of their usual treatment for economic recovery, a little of the same, and it is the same four years too late. The problems are piling up. Yet the government ignore them and fall back on their favorite motto-save the surface and you save all.

We have had continuous growth of our debt over the last five years, a piling up of deficits without the economic growth and employment that would justify them. We are having more and more international indebtedness and greater and greater foreign control. We had four years of refusal by the government to do anything about the dollar, and now they are trying by frantic efforts to keep it from dropping too far. We have had devaluation by loss of confidence. We have had fumbling and uncertainty in international trade policies. We have had an increase in exports, but it is dependant on markets which give no assurance of stability or continued growth.

We have had a continued postponement of solutions to the problems that are facing this country but, Mr. Chairman, that continued postponement is nearly over because the time is coming when this government will have to give an account of their stewardship to the Canadian people-

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PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Carlelon):

And happy they are to do it.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

-and the Canadian people will decide on the record of that stewardship.

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PC

Richard Albert Bell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Carleton):

That is what you said in 1958.

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LIB
PC

Richard Albert Bell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Carleton):

The result will be the same.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Not according to the recent test of public opinion carried out by an agency asked to do this test by the Toronto Telegram.

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?

An hon. Member:

You went south of the border.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

That paper initiated and financially sponsored this test, but when the results came out in the last week or so they were so damning for the Conservative party that the newspaper which initiated this test refused to publish the results.

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PC

Grant Campbell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Campbell (Stormont):

Was the man who

composed the speech being delivered by the Leader of the Opposition the same man who was responsible for the liquidation of Canada Cottons Limited in Cornwall?

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

That is probably the last interjection the hon. member is going to make during this session, and perhaps his last intervention in a Canadian parliament. May I tell him that this interjection is characteristic of all the others that have preceded it in this parliament.

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April 17, 1962