May 20, 1963


On the orders of the day:


NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

Mr. D. M. Fisher (Port Arthur):

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether to direct this question to the Minister of Finance or the minister from Windsor, but the question is, what are the government's intentions regarding the recommendations of the Bladen report on the automobile industry?

Topic:   INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   AUTOMOBILES
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO RECOMMENDA- TIONS OF ROYAL COMMISSION
Permalink
LIB

Walter Lockhart Gordon (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Walter L. Gordon (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, the government's intentions in connection with the Bladen report, and all other reports of that kind, will be made known at the appropriate time.

Topic:   INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   AUTOMOBILES
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO RECOMMENDA- TIONS OF ROYAL COMMISSION
Permalink

PENSIONS

INQUIRY AS TO INTRODUCTION OF CONTRIBUTORY SYSTEM


On the orders of the day:


NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of National Health and Welfare. Can the minister say whether

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker the legislation regarding contributory pensions will be introduced at an early date, and whether it will provide for an immediate increase in the amount paid under the present old age pension legislation?

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO INTRODUCTION OF CONTRIBUTORY SYSTEM
Permalink
LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Hon. Judy V. LaMarsh (Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to note the hon. member is so interested in our new legislation, but I ask him to contain himself for just a little while so that he may see the bill.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO INTRODUCTION OF CONTRIBUTORY SYSTEM
Permalink

SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed from Friday, May 17, consideration of the motion of Miss Pauline Jewett for an address to His Excellency the Administrator in reply to his speech at the opening of the session.


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, my first words must be to express the hope that His Excellency the Governor General will continue to improve in health so that he may soon again be able to discharge fully the duties and responsibilities of his office, which he has done with such distinction and honour during the period of his office.

I also wish to convey to you, sir, with the greatest deference my hope-and it is one which has been supported by the experience hon. members of the house have had during the period you were chairman of the public accounts committee-that in the discharge of your responsibilities you will carry them out, as we know you will, with fairness, with ability and, above all, with that integrity for which you have always been noted by hon. members of this chamber.

Next I want to do something that is not perfunctory in any way, and that is to extend my congratulations to the hon. member for Northumberland (Miss Jewett) for the manner in which she discharged her duties-and they are trying duties-in the making of a maiden speech. I also extend my congratulations to the seconder. Both are new members of the house and performed so creditably that I am sure in the months and years ahead their contributions to the public life of Canada will be in keeping with those whom they succeeded, with Harry Bradley in Northumberland, and with my longtime friend, the Hon. Raymond O'Hurley in the constituency of Lotbiniere.

At the opening of every new parliament it is always interesting to see the new members who come into the house. Without the infusion of new and able members the house tends to become more or less static. It lacks.

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker that enthusiasm and that idealism which new members bring to the thinking and the general conduct of this chamber. I welcome too the new ministers of the crown and also those who have fringe benefits in the position of parliamentary secretaries. To each and every one of them I extend my congratulations. I have been somewhat surprised, however, by some of the recent events that brought about seniority within the government of Canada. All of us who have known the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Martin) for so long hoped he would have been in a position second only to the Prime Minister. As I suggested the other day, possibly in the light of retrospect of recent events, if he had only followed the course taken by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Chevrier) in leaving his province of Ontario and departing for Quebec, his seniority might thereby have been assured in a manner which would have been appreciated by hon. members of this house. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Hellyer) shakes his head. I have here, but I am not going to waste them on him, some of the clippings in this connection in which reference was made along the line I have just mentioned.

To the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) I extend congratulations-I have already done so-on his achievement of this high office. At the same time I extend to him warmest felicitations on the honour that has come to him in becoming a member of Her Majesty's privy council, one of the greatest honours that can come to anyone within the commonwealth.

I hope this parliament will be an effective one. I hope no action will be taken by any member to degrade in any way this institution. I can assure the government that there will be no repetition of those things that took place last December, when from one end of Canada to the other there was condemnation against the opposition of that day for their attitude and action in refusing to allow the prime minister of Canada to speak in this chamber. The attitude of this party will be to do everything it can to make strong and effective its contribution to the bettering of the welfare of our country.

There are great problems to be faced. We shall criticize in a spirit of constructive fairness. Whatever practical knowledge and experience we have will be made available so that we may do our part to contribute to the economic and social welfare and prosperity of Canada. I do not intend to be very critical. I am not going to relive the days of the election or the events of last year, excepting in so far as those things will have to be referred to as a basis for argument. I do say this, though, that as a result of the election-

IMr. Diefenbaker.]

while, naturally, it did not turn out as we had hoped-the Conservative party has a stronger opposition today than at any time in all its history since 1867, with the one exception of 1925. I say, sir, with the utmost sincerity, that I believe, in the light of subsequent events, the policies that were advanced will be vindicated in the thinking of the Canadian parliament.

I am glad there is going to be some action taken in regard to making parliament more effective. I think we will have to give consideration to the shortening of the period between the date the writs are issued and the holding of the election. I think now, having regard to the events that have taken place, the technological and transportation advances, we might even consider shortening the period to five or six weeks. That could be done, provided a permanent voters list is set up.

I think, too, we should give consideration to restricting the amount of expenditure that can be made by any candidate in an election campaign, for otherwise potentially good members are denied membership because of lack of financial assistance. I believe that expenditures will have to be limited if democracy is to be preserved within our country. I betray no secret when I say that the tremendous amounts available to the Liberal party in the recent election leads one to ask whence came those contributions. Wherever they came from, I want to emphasize once more the need of action being taken to prevent the ever mounting increase in the costs that are incident to elections.

Having made those few general remarks, I come now to the 60 days of decision. That is a most interesting expression, borrowed from President Kennedy, with the deletion of 40 days. President Kennedy thought it would take 100 days. The Liberal party decided on 60 so that they would not, according to those in the press gallery who know, be charged with political plagiarism. Sir, I too, read a book the other day about 60 days, 60 days of disaster in 1914, when a great tragedy followed from false optimism.

Today we live in this period; we are still in the 60 days, although the government is starting to recede from that. They do not like an attitude on the part of anyone of directing the attention of the people to the particular inning we are in. There have been some errors and few hits in the past 30 days. But we are in the beginning of the golden age of miracles, these 60 days, with generalities made brilliant by propaganda stardust, by splashes in the press and public relations gimmicks. It has been

very interesting to follow the course of events. Only the other day the Ottawa Journal said:

With one fourth or more of these now famous days of decision passed, the only thing Mr. Pearson seems to have decided is that we must not expect him to be deciding in so little time.

It has been most interesting. I am not going over these days; the opportunity will come on another occasion to outline them in some detail. But the Liberal party have learned a lot; they have changed a lot. Some of the policies of a few months ago have been altered in these days of decision. Within 20 days the 60 days had become shifty days. It is most interesting to follow the course of events, for in the light of responsibility the promises which were made in 1962 and 1963 have in many cases been found impossible of application. As far as the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Hays) is concerned, some mention was made of him the other day and the question was asked whether he was the senior or the junior minister. Well, during the election campaign an announcement was made by the Prime Minister that there would be a Minister of Agriculture and an Associate Minister of Agriculture. However, in the light of experience, in the light of the search on the part of the Liberal party for biculturalism and bilingualism, these ministers are now to be co-equals and equals. Indeed, as far as the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin) is concerned, he would not be in the cabinet at all if the promise made by the Prime Minister had actually been carried into effect that the portfolio should be abolished as one without responsibility. I am pointing out that in the light of experience the responsibilities of office do change the thinking of those who take office.

Now I read in the Financial Post of April 27 a statement that those who expect miracles from the new government are bound to be disappointed. The article goes on to say that our basic problems were created neither by the Diefenbaker regime nor by the previous Liberal regimes-so we are both cleared there. They were created, it says, by the exigencies of our history and brought to a head by economic developments in Canada, in the United States and in the whole Atlantic community during the two decades since the war. The article then goes on to deal with a subject about which we have heard much from the Minister of Finance (Mr. Gordon). That hon. gentleman did not regard it as anti-American to advocate over and over again the need to assure control by Canada of her economic destiny. That has been the purport of his argument ever since he had the honour of being the head of a commission. Indeed, it says in this article

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker to which I have been referring that the problems of manufacture and of United States ownership are the heart of our present difficulties. They determine our potential for economic growth; they limit our capacity for creating new jobs.

I intend to deal with the particular plan the government has in mind-the plan to set up a board whose purpose it will be to interest Canadians in buying Canadian stocks, to take over United States companies and to ensure that the ownership of our resources in Canada shall be guaranteed to Canadians as far as this can be done. Well, with $23 billions of foreign investment in Canada, if this proposed corporation is to be effective it would mean an addition to Canada's national debt beyond anything one can contemplate today.

What about the speech from the throne? All of us were led to await it in anxious expectation. What a document was going to be produced when that group of brains over there, coupled with other brains, was to bring forth the salvation of Canada, with the assistance of the Secretary of State (Mr. Piekersgill) as general factotum bringing them together. We expected tremendous things. I intend to deal with this speech from the throne, because in every part of Canada there is national disappointment. It is full of platitudes spaced out among economic generalities which indicate that the planners and the bureaucrats know best. Certainly, it is a new world they are going to take us to-one which they have criticized for many years; one in which all-powerful boards will be set up. I shall make reference to that later. All around us will be boards. The Atlantic development board will have $100 million made available to it. Its membership will be increased from five to eleven. The explanation put forward is that this is being done to strengthen the board. But it is perfectly obvious that the real reason for the increase in numbers is to assure that those whom we appointed to office will thereby be removed. That is the purpose. That is the aim of this alteration to be made in the bill, whenever it may be introduced.

As far as the budget is concerned, we have to wait for that now. Rumour has it that it will be introduced immediately after the speech from the throne. Rumour has it-and it is usually well authenticated-that there is a possibility there will be a baby budget followed by a real budget later. Oh, it is interesting to watch these planners. Certainly planning is necessary. But planning which turns over the government of Canada to any group of men without control, making available to them a sum of money to the extent of $100 million, is another matter altogether. Unless there is control by parliament we have

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker taken a step which no other government, provincial or federal, has ever taken in this country. As a matter of fact, in 1957 the then leader of the C.C.F. party, Mr. Coldwell, moved an amendment which called upon the government to give immediate effect to the social and economic planning necessary to cope with certain problems. The amendment set out what those problems were-inflation, rapidly rising unemployment and other serious matters. Each and every member of the Liberal party at that time voted against the amendment. The speech from the throne indicates that today a new kind of philosophic and theoretical planning has become the essential program of the Liberal party, the theme being that the government knows best. If carried into effect by one or two of the ministers sitting over there-and by one who would have been a member but for the fact that the leader of the New Democratic party was successful in that constituency- the philosophy of hon. gentlemen opposite is a philosophy of planning, a philosophy of placing control in the hands of a few bureaucratic individuals who, unless circumscribed by protective measures in the legislation, will bring about in our country government by a bureaucratic autocracy.

It is most interesting to see these developments. What are the promises which were made? We know, now, that there is to be a dominion-provincial conference. The reason we know that, and knew it when we came here today, is because it was announced outside the House of Commons by Premier Robichaud on Friday last. Where is the plan announced by the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Laing)? He went to Vancouver and announced that great plan on behalf of this government. Ten thousand scholarships were going to be brought into effect at once. He said there was a tremendous plan to assist in relieving unemployment. Is that going to be brought in? Has there been any consent from, or consultation with, any of the provinces yet? Has the premier of Quebec agreed to this?

What of the promises in 1962 and 1963 on the part of the Prime Minister in respect of all of these programs? These joint programs were going to be done away with. They were dangerous to confederation. They were going to be removed. Yet in the face of that promise we now have on the part of the minister of northern affairs a complete recital of a new plan. I ask, has that received the approval, the consent, the consideration of any of the provinces?

Then they were going to abolish these joint plans. An amendment is being brought in to the Trans-Canada Highway Act whereby, according to statements in the press, 90 per

cent of the cost will be made available by the federal government. Premier Robichaud dealt with that. Is this the way in which the government that mocked joint planning, and which is now in a position to implement it, is carrying out their promise?

Then there was the medicare plan. What language was used in Saskatchewan against that plan. Has the Liberal leader in Saskatchewan been consulted in this connection? He said that there was nothing more dangerous than the medicare plan. What has happened to that? Mr. Kent is reported to have said that this would be one of those things to be introduced within 60 days. Of course, Mr. Kent is "up above". The others are "down below". I ask, what of the medicare plan? What of the plan to assist portable pensions? These were all matters which were discussed. These were matters of instant moment. We in this party came out in favour of action in this regard. We believe it is necessary that the federal parliament pass the necessary complementary legislation so that this proposal respecting a pension may be made effective in cases in which the provinces, under their own jurisdiction, have brought this plan into effect. I ask, what of these things? I believe that action must be taken along this line.

I am glad to see that those opposite today believe in technical training and the expansion of technical schools. The hon. member for Ontario (Mr. Starr), when minister of labour, brought this question before the house. We brought into effect one of the greatest plans of expansion of technical education in Canada to be found anywhere in the western world. As a result of that action $300 million is being made available to the provinces. Some 135,000 young Canadians will receive training each year. This is to be expanded. I should like the Prime Minister to give some indication as to his plans when he speaks, and whether he means to put flesh and blood on the skeleton of the promises which were made.

What about university assistance, aside from the scholarship plan? We were criticized very harshly, even though we were able to arrive at a plan acceptable to the province of Quebec, for extending the amount of assistance to universities by raising the amount from $1 to $1.50 and then $2. What is going to be done about that? It was said during the election that this matter would receive attention. The minister of northern affairs apparently placed some credence in those promises. I should like to ask the Prime Minister to indicate now what is going to be done. Has he received permission? Has he received consent? What provinces have been consulted?

Then in order to assure that the youth of our country can carry on, what is going to be done in respect of the important matter of family allowances, of extending their applicability to youths up to 18 years of age who are attending school? What action is being taken in this regard?

We had a complete unveiling of the speech from the throne from the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Sharp) when he spoke in Toronto a few weeks ago. What is going to be done in face of what now appears in the speech from the throne? There is nothing in the speech effectively to meet the problems we face, nor indeed to maintain the tremendous rate of economic growth in Canada which took place in 1962, and which is still continuing.

What of agriculture? The government are going to bifurcate the department. East is east and west is west, and only the twain shall meet in cabinet. What an idea. A problem which is facing all parts of Canada is to be divided. It was never originally intended that the heir to the eastern throne would be a co-equal, an hon. minister without portfolio. But this has now been changed; they are going to be equal. Who is to decide? Who is going to be the auctioneer when it comes to deciding the problems regarding the agricultural rights of eastern and western Canada? Where is assistance for agriculture? Have the government forgotten this? I can find nothing except generality in the speech from the throne. I find nothing of new programs promised to make farming as a whole more stable. I find nothing to provide expanding markets. Special attention was to be given to dairy products. We were ridiculed and reviled about our policy regarding dairy products, and now in office hon. gentlemen opposite adopt our plans and carry them on. Do they or do they not agree that it is necessary to expand credit for agricultural export sales? Do they or do they not agree on the need for a special feed grain and storage assistance plan for the eastern farmers? Do they or do they not agree that the promotion of better land use and conservation through ARDA should be followed? Do they or do they not agree that surplus products should be made available to support the world food bank? These are things that we would like to know about. But read the speech from the throne. It is noted for its brevity; it is equally noted for the paucity of the policies it contains.

What about economy? I spoke with admiration of the speech of the hon. member for Northumberland (Miss Jewett). She spoke with facility and ease. She had greater faith in those sitting opposite than, as will be

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker understood, is shared by us. But she did speak of the need of getting the economy moving. That is one of the brighter examples of Liberal mythology-getting the economy moving. I intend to refer in general to what has been done, the actions we took for which we were ridiculed and the effect on the Canadian economy of the course we followed, so as to answer once and for all that spurious argument.

The Liberals inherited a buoyant economy. On the basis of what we did and the action taken the economy has remained buoyant and there has been an advance in the economy not equalled anywhere else in the western world. They speak of getting the economy going. Well, Mr. Arthur J. R. Smith, director of research for the Canadian-Ameri-can committee, speaking in the city of Toronto on April 27, said: "The task of the new Liberal administration would be not to get the economy moving but to keep it moving".

I might point out what the situation was when we came into office. It was well summarized by the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson), speaking in the house in 1957, when he said that we claimed to have inherited declining revenues, and that was right; a shrinking national income, and that was the situation; a deteriorating economy, and that was a fact; and an arrested national development and foreign markets going or gone. That was the picture in 1957. In every part of the western world since there has been one serious recession and one lesser recession.

All through the piece one of those who said that the economy was moving forward very well was the president of the council. I have his address in that connection in which he pointed out that the economy was moving ahead very well in the summer of 1962, while at the same time in every part of Canada a doleful dirge was being sung playing down Canada's economic position. And today they pretend they have taken over a broken down Canadian economy. Sir, that kind of action is a despicable exercise in political deception endeavouring to lead the people to believe that the country has been slipping back. This is a myth, a myth resulting from a philosophy of undiluted despair.

I am going to review the situation in the country shortly to point out what the Liberals inherited when they took office, in order to answer these allegations that are so generously made without foundation and without being based on fact. Liberal despair over the Canadian economy has run into a flood of optimistic items in the financial pages of the press. Here are some of the recent headlines: Montreal Star, "Steel Climbs To

The Address

Mr. Diefenbaker New Highs"; Financial Post, "Canadians Will Run Up Record Tourist Mileage All 1963 Signs Indicate". The hon. member for Bran-don-Souris (Mr. Dinsdale), as the former minister in charge brought about the expansion of tourist development during our period of office. It increased to such an extent as a result of our action in pegging the dollar that in 1962 we had the lowest deficit for many years in tourist expenditures.

Here are other headlines: Financial Post, "Liberals Riding Upturn"; Toronto Telegram, "1962 Best Year On Record Possible". The Toronto Star refers to the tremendous expansion in automobile production and in employment in connection with it. Here is one in the Globe and Mail: "Predict 1963 Record In Chemical Sales".

Canada's economy has enjoyed a high plateau of achievement ever since the upturn registered early in 1962. If the problems were so easy to meet why were they not met in the United States? I remember the promises of 1960, the new frontier and what was going to be brought about. What about meeting unemployment there? Look at the record and you will find that we in Canada have done better than has been done in the United States in meeting a problem that has always been serious in our country by reason of climatic conditions.

Sir, the steel industry is a sound basis for Canada's economic progress. It is advancing as never before. An economy that was supposed to be receding has exceeded the forecasts of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Gordon) when in 1956 or 1957 he, as head of a commission, produced a report forecasting the future. Last year was the greatest in steelmaking history. Production was up 10 per cent and home market saturation around 87 per cent. Exports exceeded imports for the first time. Already Canadian steel exports appear to be running ahead of the Gordon commission's forecast of 12 million tons by 1980.

And so on. I could mention various industries and the expansion that has taken place. While the Liberals ridiculed we worked to bring about policies to strengthen the economy. In December, 1962, the London Economist reported that Canada had outstripped every other nation in the world in the rate of economic growth. I want to pause here and say that with the kind of policies announced in the speech from the throne the expansion this year will not equal the expansion that took place last year compared with the preceding one. I make that prophecy on the basis of the uncertainty of the nebulous promises contained in the speech from the throne.

The gross national product was over 8 per cent higher by value last year than in 1961. Again I point out the prophecy that was made by the Minister of Finance when he was a commissioner in regard to gross national product. Employment was higher month by month in 1962 than in 1961.

The latest figures show that 90,000 more Canadians were employed in April 1963 than in April 1962. This is the fourth month in a row in which unemployment has been lower than in the corresponding month of the year before. Labour income exceeds the 1961 figure by 6.8 per cent, and this is a new record. While we did not have the support of big business in many areas or in many fields of industry, corporate profits in 1962 were 12 per cent higher than in 1961. It is well known that without profits there are no jobs.

Foreign trade reached an all-time high in 1962. An unprecedented increase occurred in exports and in that year there was a surplus of $155 million in exports over imports. When we took office what was the position of those giants of intellect that today occupy the front benches? What was the position when we took office? Well, in 1956 there was a trade deficit of $713 million. Those were the halcyon days. We brought about a surplus in 1961 and 1962 when the challenge to our trade in every part of the world was infinitely greater than it had been following the war.

Mineral output was up 10 per cent during 1961 and there was a record production of nickel, copper, asbestos, crude petroleum and natural gas. What about the developments in western Canada in connection with oil? Markets were found in the United States and kept, as a result of which there was a tremendous expansion unequalled in the history of the petroleum industry. The construction of new residences was 8 per cent higher in 1962 than in 1961. Business investment in nonresidential construction, machinery and equipment rose 4 per cent in 1962.

Sir, I place these figures on the record in order to answer the sham arguments that were advanced, and effectively advanced by those who today speak for the government of this country. Canada has never enjoyed a sounder business climate than that reflected in the 1962 figures which showed higher consumer spending, restocking of industry and general progress. Do you remember, sir, how they ridiculed us when we pegged the dollar? They said it was a frightful thing to do, and Canada would be bankrupt. They filled Canada with counterfeit dollars on the back of which they indicated there would be a tremendous increase in prices. They knew better than that. The high priest and prophet of

finance of that party, himself, advocated the pegging of the dollar several years ago, yet all through the 1962 campaign they dealt with arguments that they knew were baseless. This policy elevated the Canadian economy to the plateau it achieved. I ask them, then, are they going to remove the peg?

We introduced surcharges in order to meet a situation similar to the one which had occurred in 1947 when the economy was expanding. They criticized us for removing all these surcharges on March 31. We undertook to remove them as soon as it would be proper to do so, and that was the end of the fiscal year. We removed them, and thereby brought to our country new confidence in financial circles in every part of the world.

Now, sir, what about the halcyon days of 1956, the last year they were in office? Well, the gross national production has gone up 32.74 per cent since; labour income 36.7 per cent; personal income 40.7 per cent. During our period in office we were able to keep in check inflation which is the thief of economic progress. I am not going to go farther into that because other hon. members will deal with other phases. However, I should like to point out that only a couple of days ago the Canadian National Railways reported that their financial position showed improvement by $18.2 million over the previous year and that Canadian National operating revenues were up $28 million over 1961. Sir, we left the Canadian house in good economic order.

In this party we have, throughout the years, from its beginnings advocated the need for maintaining and preserving Canada's integrity as a nation. There have been two particular policies that this party has followed throughout the years. One of them has been the maintenance on the north half of the North American continent of a free and independent Canada. In the days of Macdonald, on two occasions he fought battles for the maintenance of that principle. We followed it throughout the years. They charged us with being anti-American because we took a stand on behalf of Canada and her rights. I have no apologies to offer now or in the years ahead for that stand, which will be proven right. Never before, though, was there as much interference by certain elements in the United States in a Canadian election.

We had the closest of relationships with the United States. Only the other day the former president, General Eisenhower, that great American and great leader of men, said that we had no differences that could not be solved. We were able to get together. There was no interference on the part of either side. I say, sir, that we have a right to declare our policies for Canada and to determine

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker them without dictation. I am going to refer to one policy and ask what is the position today in that connection.

A nation cannot survive if it becomes a satellite. Those are not my words. Those are the words of one of those who occupy the treasury benches today. Were we anti-American? What did the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Sharp) say? It is surprising how things said by them turn out to be proCanadian, but if we say the same thing we are dangerous to the unity of the western world. Let me read some excerpts from a speech given by the Minister of Trade and Commerce at Windsor on November 9, 1962. "Can Canada preserve a separate identity beside the United States," was the topic for discussion.

As some of my friends have remarked, however, I have much to learn about politics, and one of the things I find most difficult to learn is always to play it safe.

He proved that in London a few days ago when he took his stand against the commonwealth. I will refer to that in a moment.

Then he went on to say this, that we need not fear the commission of a sexual offence or even an offer of marriage from the United States.

Then he said this:

I suggest however, that we are in danger of losing the essentials of nationhood and perhaps our will to survive as a nation.

This is the man who today is Minister of Trade and Commerce in this government. He asked:

Can anything be done about it?

Then he went on to say:

-the key to the preservation of our separate identity is not so much to resist American penetration as to reduce and minimize our dependence on American money, ideas and culture.

Is that anti-American or not? Quote me as ever having gone that far. Then he went on to say this:

We shall have to begin to regain control of our own destiny.

I had better read the whole of it or they will say I left something out.

The remedy for this dependence is not to raise barriers against the capital inflow but to order our internal affairs that our international accounts are brought into balance, that is, to learn to live within our means. When that happens we shall begin to regain control of our own destiny.

What does that mean-that we have lost it? Then he said:

Then and only then can we hope to bring the process of alienation of ownership and control of Canadian industry to a stop.

Then he said this:

We should not be dependant upon foreign capital to maintain a healthy rate of economic growth

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker

any more than we should be dependant on United States magazines and T.V. for information and opinions.

When I speak about television, Mr. Speaker, I am reminded of the fact that United States television stations on the west coast and generally across western Canada on election night were broadcasting into Canada the results in the Atlantic provinces before the polls were closed in western Canada.

Then he mentioned the trading union involving only Canada and the United States, and said that the decision about easier tariffs in the beginning would be made in Washington and in the interests of the chief party, and added:

I find it difficult to believe there could be free trade between Canada and the United States in agricultural commodities... You will understand from these remarks, Mr. Chairman, why I said at the outset that we shall be able to preserve our separate identity as a nation if we believe strongly enough in ourselves and are prepared to pay the price of remaining separate and distinct from our great neighbour.

Who said that? The now Minister of Trade and Commerce and, sir, he went on:

By any standards Canada is a very fortunate country and if we lose our separate identity it will not be because we lack the means to sustain our Canadian way of life. It will be because we do not make the effort.

Sir, that was the stand we took. In order to have some control over our resources we brought in effective measures governing our mines, oils and gas located in territories under our control, and one of those regulations stipulated that 50 per cent of the equity stock in companies exploiting those areas should be made available in Canada. Now I ask the Prime Minister to tell us, when he replies, whether there is any foundation for the suggestion presently widespread that that regulation is going to be changed? I ask that because everywhere we hear it said that there are going to be changes in this.

I shall pass on to the international situation mainly for the purpose of asking a number of questions of the Prime Minister.

The NATO conference will be convened here this week. The former government invited the NATO nations here and the invitation was accepted. Union within this group of nations must be maintained. However, I must say I was somewhat astonished, when I asked the Prime Minister the question regarding Canada's ideas respecting the multilateral force, that he could not give me a reply. That was on Friday last, and in effect he said we have to wait until the meeting of the NATO nations. Is that not what I said all through the campaign?

I read press reports pretty carefully and just the other day I read where the Prime Minister spoke to a newsman in the United

States. This is one story which he has not yet denied. I am just paraphrasing his words and if I misquote him I will be glad to make a correction, but what he said was that it is so much easier to say what you would do in international affairs when you read about them in newspapers than when you have available to you the information that comes from the various embassies maintained by the country.

This week's NATO meeting is an important one. At it there will be material discussions on the problems of defence; yet when I asked the Prime Minister what is Canada's view he said, "We cannot tell you that." They have not yet made up their minds and they will not be able to make them up until they sit down with these other nations. Did he not, when talking to Mr. Kennedy, discuss Canada's attitude in this regard? It said so in the papers. I do not know whether that has been denied but it is about the only thing the Prime Minister has not denied, except that he possesses the qualities that Jayne Mansfield ascribed to him.

If Canada is not going to fall in line with the views of the United States in this, should we not know? Is the course going to be determined by Canada as to the stand we will take? I ask should such a force be set up? The arguments generally have revolved around the fact that if it is acceptable it will deny Germany having atomic weapons for itself. It will assure a greater degree of unity in the western world by preventing France and Germany from having a joint deterrent force.

What of the mixed crews? Is Canada going to contribute to that idea? The Prime Minister said he thought he might be in a position to answer today and I hope he will be able to give us some idea as to what stand will be taken on the morrow regarding a question so important.

Today's press indicates that for now the United States has abandoned the multilateral nuclear force proposed for NATO. Is that correct? I ask these questions not for the purpose of dealing on this occasion with defence. That subject will be fully dealt with when action is being taken to set up the defence committee, but I ask them simply so that we will know in this country what attitude Canada will take at the NATO meeting.

I should also like to ask the Prime Minister what Canada's stand will be in connection with the maintenance of the United Nations. Today the United Nations faces the most serious fiscal worries of its time; $106 million is owing in assessments. If action is taken to exclude members then, of course, you have the beginnings of the end of this institution.

On the other hand there must be some action that can be taken to provide for the peacekeeping assessments being paid. Today more than 60 per cent of those in default, as I recall it, are the Soviet bloc and France. What is going to be done in this connection? What ideas has Canada in this regard? How can that institution continue to discharge its tremendous power for good and for peace in the world if its membership, or any of its members, refuse to pay the costs of belonging to that institution, without which there cannot be the hope of peace in the world?

I express the hope, in welcoming to Ottawa on behalf not only of the opposition but, I am sure, all Canadians, the NATO ministerial conference, that out of this conference will come a strengthening of the ties of NATO. In recent months, as a result of things taking place in Europe, there has been shown a weakening of the cement that binds that institution together. Without it there is no survival. Therefore a great challenge faces those who represent the several member countries to do their best at this conference.

I mentioned a moment ago that I would like to find out about something that is also omitted from the speech from the throne. Today an answer was given to the effect that the matter was being considered. Does the house remember how through the years they said to us, "You should get into the organization of American states. That will be the salvation of Canada. It will bring us closer to our friends in south and central America". I believe in close relations with them. The government of which I had the honour to be head extended to a very great degree the diplomatic posts in South America. I am frank when I tell you that I felt at one time it was a course that had an impelling demand to be followed by us. But events changed that. What is being done about it now? Today the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Martin) was his evasive best; when he was asked about this he seemed to be getting away from it. Have the government not decided their course in this regard? The Prime Minister over and over again said we should get into that organization, that it would mean a great deal in the influence we would have. I wonder. What about the present difficulties in Haiti? What about other events that have occurred recently? They have said it might improve our trade. We want to expand our trade.

The Prime Minister was reported by the Boston Globe as having said that Canada would announce plans to join the organization of American states. The Prime Minister denied that afterwards, but it is interesting that the question should find its way into a United States newspaper. I ask the government, what

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker is your decision in this regard? This was something upon which President Kennedy gave us advice. Standing over there, speaking in this chamber, he told us this was something we ought to do. Sir, we heard that during our term of office. We believed it was not something we should rush into, whether asked for by a friendly neighbour or not. We were pressed-some interpreted it as pushed-to get into this organization. The Prime Minister has been an advocate of this. I ask him now, why was there no mention of it in the speech from the throne? Has the enthusiasm of five years been dissipated in the experience of 25 or 30 days of decision? Has the Prime Minister found it easier to declare than to perform?

Indeed, there must be some basis for this newspaper report, because Mr. Charles Lynch said in the Ottawa Citizen of April 11, "Canada now to join O.A.S." He went on tc say:

This view was put forward forcibly by Paul Martin in his role as Liberal foreign affairs critic ... Liberal leader Pearson is known to favour O.A.S. membership for Canada ...

What are they going to do in this regard? They do not want my view, naturally, but I give it for what it is worth. It is pretty well summed up by an editorial in the Financial Post, to which I shall refer only in a general way. Summarized, it is this:

Despite President Kennedy's blandishments, Canada's reasons for staying out of the organization of American states look as good as they ever were- and perhaps better.

Then the article says:

There is no contribution to hemispheric peace and welfare that we can possibly make as a member of O.A.S. that we can't make as a non-member. And in some cases non-membership can be a positive advantage.

It is quite understandable that President Kennedy wants more votes for his side in the O.A.S. He wants us to come in so we will vote with him the way other satellites like Byelorussia or Bulgaria vote with the Soviet union in the United Nations ...

As a member of O.A.S., Canada would everywhere be regarded as accepting a cat's-paw role for the United States.

I am not adopting those statements; I am simply saying that the Financial Post holds that view. What is the view today of the government of Canada? Was it omitted from the speech from the throne because of the effect of sober second thought?

I mentioned the commonwealth a moment ago. This party through the years has been a strong commonwealth party. We believed in the necessity of preserving this institution, though it has no authority, there are no agreements among its members excepting the trade agreements and it is held together without seal. But to be a member of that organization and to be present at a prime ministers' conference is to realize the strength it exerts for peace and its preservation. Yet

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker it is being downgraded in some parts of the world. Dean Acheson, who is high in the administration of the United States, early in the year relegated Britain and the commonwealth to a "has been" position, the commonwealth by inference and Britain directly. The Right Hon. Selwyn Lloyd spoke these words in referring to that statement:

Mr. Acheson's statement was as damaging to the commonwealth as any I have ever read from either side of the iron curtain.

There was a meeting last week in London.

How they ridiculed us, when they were in opposition, when I suggested a meeting of the trade ministers of the commonwealth in London before the Geneva meeting. They laughed at the suggestion. Now, the stone they rejected in the House of Commons has become the cornerstone of their policy. They ridiculed the idea I placed before the prime ministers' conference last September. I do not intend to quote what they or their supporting press had to say. They said the proposal to convene a meeting of the commonwealth, of the European common market, of representatives of the United States, Japan and other like-minded nations was an ephemeral dream. They said it was worthless. Worse than that, they said that in advocating it I had lost standing for Canada among the nations of the commonwealth. Well, a little later on, after the President of the United States had secured his trade powers, I brought the suggestion to his attention. I shall not repeat what he said but I ask hon. members to read Hansard. I placed the suggestion before him and he accepted it and said he would join with Canada in taking the initiative. Out of that has come this meeting of these nations in Geneva which holds hope for all mankind, in the western world in any event, for the reduction of trade barriers between nations. However, that did not in any way close out the commonwealth.

Now let me say this: without discussion in parliament but in keeping with the views expressed by the Liberal party over and over again, when this matter came before the conference in London a stand was taken on which I intend to comment now. I intend simply to use comment which has appeared in various newspapers to support what I have to say. The Toronto Telegram said the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Sharp) had tossed a blockbuster into the conference.

Canada's new trade minister, Mitchell Sharp, tossed a blockbuster into today's conference of 16 commonwealth ministers by giving blunt warning that the Liberal government was writing off the commonwealth as a trading group.

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Some hon. Members:

Shame.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

When I mentioned this a moment ago there were jeers from over there. Let me read on.

He declared he had no suggestions on commonwealth trade to put before the two-day economic review.

Does that mean we are going to remove those preferences which we have-preferences which have stood the test of time and which have over and over again been a stumbling block among other nations? Let me go on to quote another statement from the Toronto Star. Both these newspapers, by the way, are not noted for being our supporters at this time. The Star says: "Sharp Rejects Commonwealth Trade Pact". I point out that there was no suggestion of an exclusive pact. It was a general agreement among the trading nations of the commonwealth. To read on:

The political commonwealth, yes. The economic commonwealth, no. Trade minister Mitchell Sharp yesterday set Canada's face firmly against all proposals to rebuild the British commonwealth as an exclusive trading or economic bloc.

I go on from there. The Toronto Telegram of May 13 carried a headline: "Sharp Erases the 'Family' As Trade Unit". And so on. I could give the house various quotations. For instance, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported: "Sharp Firmly Rejects Proposal for GATT Commonwealth Bloc". Finally, the day after, the Star has a story headed: "Sharp Answers U.K. Critics; Says He's No Trade Villain".

I say this: no one asked that this be made an exclusive body. But is there any reason why we, within the greater amplitude of GATT, to which members of the government whose head I had the honour to be gave their support and leadership, there should not be consideration given to the expansion of trade within the commonwealth? That is our view. That has been the view of the Conservative party throughout the years. It is not a backward-looking view, because the commonwealth has in it inherently a power in the future for good as in the past which demands its preservation, its expansion and its strengthening.

In the speech from the throne there is surprisingly little about dominion-provincial relations. I shall not take the trouble to quote exactly what it says. It is beautifully general. It says that as Canadians we can now work with hope. Then it goes on to deal with biculturalism, and says:

To make us a more united people, the government will in all things strive to strengthen and to give new direction to our Canadian confederation. It will foster the spirit of co-operative federalism-

That sounds suspiciously like the words of the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Lamontagne) in his immortal book on the federal system back in 1954.

-fully respecting the rights of the provinces while safeguarding and extending the equality of opportunity which properly belongs to all Canadians in all parts of our country.

Well, I should like to look into that for a moment. I should like to ask the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) this question: did he promise Mr. Lesage, the premier of Quebec, directly or indirectly, that he would bring about a new plan for sharing corporation taxation, personal income tax and estate tax? It is interesting to note the attitude of hon. members opposite in this connection. When Mr. Lesage was a member of the government, along with other distinguished people, Mr. St. Laurent, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Chevrier) and others, 10 per cent of income tax and corporation tax was sufficient. Now, it is 25 per cent of each of them. What undertakings were given? What has been the answer to the ultimatum? I noticed on Friday the Prime Minister said there was no ultimatum. Well, I would simply quote the words of Mr. Rene Levesque who called them immediate demands and an ultimatum. In other words: "Either you do, or you are out". The Prime Minister said it was not an ultimatum. Mr. Levesque said it was.

I ask the right hon. gentleman now whether he accepts the proposition advanced by Mr. Pierre Laporte that we should build up in Canada during the next few decades a confederation of sovereign states. That is not the concept of Canada, but they are the views which the Minister of Justice (Mr. Chevrier) took with him from Ontario to Quebec when he went there "in exile".

These are very serious matters, and I ask, what is the attitude of this government? What undertakings have been given? I point out this fact, that had we not during the period we were in office increased from 10 to 13 per cent the tax on companies and incomes, added to the amounts being given in the past to the provinces, we would not have had a deficit in any year; but we chose to increase the allowances to the provinces in order to permit them to carry out their constitutional responsibilities. What is going to happen if this new plan is carried into effect? What is going to happen to the promise of hope which we do not hear about any more, that of a balanced budget? That was the first objective. It does not appear in the throne speech any more because this plan, if brought into effect, according to the estimate before me would bring about an increase in the amounts paid to the provinces of $301 million. What is going to be done in this connection?

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker

What are the plans for the setting up of a municipal development board? Whatever the amount may be, be it $400 million or what, who is going to determine which municipalities will receive support? Has this in any way been cleared with the provinces?

There is about this, in the general terms as set out in the speech from the throne, great dangers of centralization in the country. That has been the bureaucratic dream since the days of Macdonald-to centralize power. The municipalities are the creation of the provinces. What is the attitude of the provinces, or any of them, in this connection? What about the meeting which is going to be called? Premier Robichaud told us about it. What is going to be the attitude of the federal government in this regard? I suggest that instead of a royal commission being set up, as the government intends, they should do what we suggested in order to meet the problem of reaching a greater unity of understanding and of equalizing opportunities for Canadians: place this matter before a meeting of the provinces; bring together representatives of all four political parties and secure their views; bring them together and take the first major step. If this government is able to attain it, I will salute them for patriating our constitution. We tried it, and but for the action of only two provinces we would have achieved it. You cannot bring about a discussion among various provinces of our national symbols by means of a royal commission. You can do it only through a meeting between the federal government and the provinces so as to secure in a common unity the acceptance of principles. Without this they cannot be brought into effect. That would bring about a concept of a new sense of national purpose and destiny. We did much to ensure that under confederation there should be a recognition of the bicultural nature of the nation as the foundation to the building of a greater unity within our land. This we did. We were unable to bring about agreement on the constitution. I suggest now that if there is a new feeling in the country in this regard, bringing the provinces together would achieve this purpose.

There are many other matters which I could deal with but I do not intend to go further today. The opportunity to be critical will come later. Today I have been constructive, as constructive as possible under the circumstances. I have pointed out that there is very little in the speech from the throne excepting for the fact that certain things which we advanced are again being brought forward under new names. Beyond that, the

The Address-Mr. Pearson imagination which was spoken of so generously and for so long by the former opposition is conspicuously absent.

Let me make a short review. Biculturalism I have already dealt with. The speech says that-

-my ministers will strive to lessen international tensions and halt the arms race by seeking measures of controlled disarmament, including a treaty to end nuclear tests under reasonable safeguards.

We tried to do that for five years. For three years the Hon. Howard Green gave a leadership at the United Nations which brought honour to him.

Then the speech says:

It is my ministers' intention to assist in enhancing the unique value of the commonwealth partnership in international relations.

I cannot understand how it was that when the Prime Minister arrived at Hyannis Port he forgot he had been to Great Britain, because he said: "This is my first visit outside of Canada since I became Prime Minister". His visit to the United Kingdom could not have had a very great effect upon him; or perhaps, in fairness and in frankness, I should say that the new stage was somewhat unsettling.

With regard to trade, the speech says:

Canada will take a constructive part in trade and other economic negotiations.

This will expand Canada's export trade. That is what we did. It was our co-operation with the President of the United States in bringing together like-minded nations which will have this effectual result when the meeting takes place at Geneva. In that connection, a few months ago the Prime Minister was all for the president's plan of a 50 per cent lateral cut in tariffs. It was a great thing- imaginative and bold, he said. I would ask him, is he for it now? I read in the press that he has some doubts. Certainly the Minister of Trade and Commerce has doubts. What is going to happen to us? I ask the Prime Minister this question; I know he has the answer. What will happen to us with the 50 per cent cut between Canada and the United States? Their tariffs are away up high; our tariffs are away down low, the lowest of any country in the world. If they cut theirs by 50 per cent theirs will still be high tariffs, but we will be open to competition the like of which Canada has never suffered before. I ask the Prime Minister, does he still believe in the 50 per cent lateral cut?

At Geneva today, according to press reports, there is agreement among the nations of the European common market in this connection. They realize what is going to happen. They are going to have little or no tariff

and the United States is still going to have a very measurable tariff. When you had your discussions with the president did you point out to him that if he were to reduce tariffs on Canadian products to the same extent that we have on American products that would be one of the greatest steps forward in bringing about an expansion of trade between our countries? I would be glad to hear what took place during those meetings at Hyannis Port.

Unemployment will be dealt with by the former minister of labour. Suffice it to say I have already referred to the fact that there has been a great improvement in this regard, and on the basis of our policies we were able to look forward to the day when unemployment would be reduced to a minimum. I think the setting up of a department of industry is a very good idea if it carries out its purposes, to foster industrial expansion and provide a central point to which industry can look for consultation, stimulus and assistance. We did something in this regard. We set up a small business branch. We assisted small business by reducing company income tax and in many other ways endeavoured to encourage it. But if setting up a department of industry will bring about what is stated in the speech from the throne, naturally we are in favour of it.

I have dealt with the amendments to the Atlantic Development Board Act. The measure to establish a Canada development corporation is certainly a tremendous thing. I should like to know who is going to choose which United States companies are to be taken over. Who is going to choose in respect of what companies the individual will be advanced money so that he can purchase stock? I should like to know who is going to take the risk, because there is always a risk. At least, that has been my experience. There was a time when I was interested in stocks but I was never successful in knowing what was going to happen. What are they going to do in this connection? This is what they say:

-a Canadian development corporation, by means of which Canadians can more readily direct their savings-

I think there are approximately $8 billion in the savings banks. That is the figure in my mind. What co-operation are you going to have from the lending institutions and the banks in order to channel those savings in the direction that you desire?

A measure will be placed before you to establish an economic council of Canada, in order to assist the government, industry and labour to develop means of ensuring in Canada the highest possible levels of employment, of efficient production, and of sustained growth-

We had the productivity council which did exceptionally good work in connection with efficient production. We endeavoured to bring

about a national economic development board. We brought the legislation before parliament. On the face of it this measure appears to me to be much the same as what we had in mind, but the opposition of that day and government of today spent six days debating our legislation and preventing it from becoming law. However, we are not going to react in kind. If this legislation when revealed indicates that it is not going to bring about a bureaucratic set-up whereby we will have anything of the bureaucracy that existed between 1945 and 1957, then we will do our part to give it constructive support.

My ministers will pursue constructive policies for the development of Canada's great resources for the benefit of Canadians.

How? When? Where? What? Nobody knows. It is a beautiful generality.

The government will undertake discussions with the government of British Columbia and with the United States, aimed at securing action on the development of the Columbia river.

I noted that the Prime Minister said the other day that he had to clear something with Washington before they could take up the matter with British Columbia. That was most interesting. He has to clear that up.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

It is a treaty with the United States signed by you.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

But they have got to clear it up.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

We certainly do.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Then we have the answer. I am glad the Prime Minister made that interruption. I ask him: What discussions are you having with regard to that treaty? What arrangements have been made for any change in the treaty in any particular? Have you agreed in any way upon any terms in that connection? If you have, we want to know. The very fact that the Prime Minister answered as he did indicates that something has been done in that connection. We will get the truth if we keep at it. I love these interruptions because they always reveal and never conceal.

The government is initiating consultation with the provinces to work out a program for national fishery development. My ministers intend to secure the establishment of a 12-mile limit for the use of the Canadian fisheries-[DOT]

That is a very laudable objective. They would not have it in the speech from the throne unless they had made some advances in this direction. We were within half a vote of having an international agreement in that connection. We were that close to having an agreement on a 12-mile limit, or six and six, with the nations gathered together in Geneva on two occasions. We have pointed

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker out, however, that unilateral action is dangerous when 80 per cent of our fisheries products are sold in the United States and action taken unilaterally like this might very well lead to retaliation that would have serious economic effects for the fishing industry of Canada. What discussions have there been in this connection? Have you got to a point where there is any agreement within the realm of possibility?

Then there is the comprehensive railway problem with regard to which the speech from the throne says that we will be asked to continue the existing payments to the railways pending the approval of long term measures concerning transportation. You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that when we said there should be a full examination of the Mac-Pherson report the now Minister of Justice (Mr. Chevrier) and then opposition critic on transport had all the answers. He said what could be done. He said, "Go right ahead". We would like to hear some explanation as to the reason why there has been a decision to change the assurance that was given so frequently that this was a problem easily met.

In that connection I do not wish to deal with individual cases. However, when the minister referred this afternoon, in answer to the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Kor-chinski), in such an offhand manner to the removal of those two trains in western Canada he indicated that he did not have any realization of the serious nature of this action both on a social basis and from the point of view of employment. Even now I ask him to give consideration to using the power which I believe rests with the governor in council to stop this action until a general and comprehensive policy has been worked out.

We come now to the question of contributory pensions. We will be looking forward with interest in this regard. We endeavoured to bring it about. We had the legislation ready but we wanted to provide for survivor benefits and in order to provide for survivor benefits, without which a contributory system will not be very effective, we found that a constitutional amendment was necessary. Has the government decided that we were right in that regard or is it determined to bring into effect a system of contributory pensions without survivor benefits?

Redistribution is referred to. I think this is a most important matter. We brought legislation before the house in the 1961 and 1962 sessions. We had it ready again last fall but we were unable to get the organization set up to secure passage of the legislation. I hope that this matter will be proceeded with and that for all time we will remove the

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker partisan nature of the redistribution procedures of the past. I would point out in this connection that while representation by population is the objective and the desirable mean toward which we should work, having regard to the widespread nature of this country there can never under our system be equality in population between rural constituencies and urban constituencies. We provided for the determination of the bases for redistribution, and then having determined them allowed for freedom within percentage limits to the end that reasonable consideration would be given to the necessity of assuring that rural members would not be required to have the same population basis as those representing cities.

Then, there is the committee on procedure for the strengthening of parliament. I commend the government in that connection. From year to year steps forward are being made. I have often said, in that connection, that I think this chamber could be reduced in size by almost 50 per cent. You would not have desks here, then. Everybody would not have a seat that each day would be set aside for him or for her. This brings the members closer together, and brings about that relationship which the mother of parliaments has found so necessary to the establishment of a free and conversational style in the general discussion of public affairs. I think we can go a long way in the procedure committee. I should like to see an extension of the hours of sitting. I think we use up a great deal of time with the adjournment at the supper hour. A number of members could be present, as is the case in the United Kingdom, and an opportunity would be given to many members to have their say at that time. There would be an undertaking that no vote would be called during that period. We have so much to do and our sittings are taking longer and longer. We are still back many, many years in many of the procedures of parliament. I will deal with those again. I often brought them up when I had the responsibility of office. However, sir, I found out that tradition and a jealous regard on the part of members for the preservation of their prerogatives denies changes being made which would in any way interfere with rights to a degree that would be unfair to a private member.

In summary, may I say that many of the measures set out in the speech from the throne are simply a rehash of legislation that we had available and before parliament, with the added benefit of having a new name but which, taken together, do not constitute the kind of program which Canadians had hoped for and had reason to expect. Therefore, I move, seconded by the hon. member for

Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill), that the following be added to the address:

While recognizing that Canada's economic growth during the year 1962 exceeded that of any country in the western world, this house regrets that many of the pledges made by the Prime Minister and his colleagues have not been incorporated in the government's declaration of Intention as outlined in the speech from the throne, and further regrets that the policies announced fail to provide full opportunity for the people of Canada to continue the social advance and large economic growth of the past year.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, in rising for the first time to speak in the house from this place I should like to mention that I do so on the official birthday of Her Majesty, our Queen. I should like to express to you, sir, if I may on behalf of all hon. members of the house our appreciation of the fact that you made reference to this fact and that you are conveying to Her Majesty the greetings and loyal good wishes of this house. I should also, Mr. Speaker, wish again to congratulate you on having been chosen by the house for the important and honourable post you now hold, and to echo what the prime minister has said about-

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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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May 20, 1963