July 25, 1969

?

Some hon. Members:

Explain.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

Never has the problem of pollution been so acute as it is today. Never have the people of this country been so conscious of what we are doing to the environment of the Canadian people. Where is the water act? Where is the legislation to deal with pollution? We have had no legislation, We have not got pure water or clean air. All we have had is a lot of hot air.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

When the Prime Minister has the unmitigated gall to say that parliament is not dealing with pollution, the responsibility rests right on his doorstep because he and his party are the people who should be introducing legislation to deal with the matter.

[Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Island) .1

The second matter that the Prime Minister said parliament is not dealing with is housing. We are very conscious of the fact that parliament is not dealing adequately with housing. As a matter of fact, the government did nothing about housing until the hon. member for Trinity (Mr. Hellyer), when he was the Prime Minister's senior cabinet minister and desk-mate, finally got so frustrated that he gave the Prime Minister a kick in the place where the Prime Minister was going to kick the little boy in Regina.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

We finally got some legislation. It is inadequate legislation, but that is the only time the government moved with any commendable speed. The other matter the Prime Minister referred to that parliament was not dealing with was moonshots. I do not know what the Prime Minister wants us to do about moonshots, Mr. Speaker, but something which concerns the human race even more than moonshots is the danger of a nuclear holocaust that could destroy the human race.

As far back as March the Prime Minister said that the government would follow the question of the Safeguard A.B.M. system closely. He said that if Canada thought it would escalate the nuclear arms race the government would express its disapproval to the United States and to the world. On the other hand, if the government felt the Safeguard system would be of value it might be prepared to participate and its decision would be made known to parliament and to the Canadian people. Months have elapsed. The other day I asked the Prime Minister whether a decision had been reached. He said no.

In the course of the next few days the United States Senate will make a decision. The majority leader of the Senate says that in all probability the construction of the Safeguard A.B.M. system will be approved by that body. Instead of worrying about moonshots, the Prime Minister should be worried about the A.B.M. system. This parliament should have an opportunity to debate that question. We should be able to debate it on the basis of what the government's stated policy is, not on the basis of no comment and no decision.

The Prime Minister said the other day that parliament is not dealing with slum clearance. The only reason it is not dealing with slum clearance is that the government has not put any really useful and effective legislation

July 25, 1969 COMMONS

before the house so that we can deal with the question of slum clearance.

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Benson) keeps turning down every proposal on the basis that it is inflationary. Yet we have had no legislation to deal with the problem of inflation. Just two days ago the near-banks of this country raised their interest rates again. This will undoubtedly bring pressure to bear on the chartered banks to increase their rates further. An announcement two days ago indicates that the increasing interest rates for mortgage money has had the effect of reducing housing starts with the distinct possibility that starts this year will not even reach the 197,000 starts of last year.

Where is the legislation to deal with inflation? It took the government almost a year to set up the Prices and Incomes Commission. There has been no legislation on the matter of interest rates. There has been no legislation to implement the report of the Porter Commission to bring the near-banks under the control of the federal government through the Bank Act. There has been no legislation on inflation at all.

The government says that the most pressing problem in Canada today is inflation, yet there is not one piece of legislation before us now. We are going to be sent home until October 22. No legislation can be dealt with until November. Yet the government says inflation is a serious problem. There are many other problems, Mr. Speaker. I need not enumerate them all.

One of the most pressing problems is veterans' pensions. The veterans of this country have been waiting years for the Woods report. Now we have the Woods report. Instead of acting on it, the government is waiting for a white paper. They are going to send the report and the white paper to a committee. We could have had legislation in this session. If the government requested it, every member would stay here to deal with legislation to improve the plight of the veterans.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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?

An hon. Member:

Where are your

members?

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

They are coming back on Monday.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

The hon. gentleman is worrying

about members. What he should worry about is where the government members were on the day parliament adjourned early for lack of a quorum.

Motion to Adjourn House

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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PC
IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Again it is difficult to hear the hon. member. I think in fairness I should point out that the verbal crossfire is between individual members on both sides of the house.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

One of the most serious problems which has not been dealt with by parliament because the government has no program and no policy is the plight of western agriculture. We are being asked to go home only a week before the end of the crop year. We do not know what the government's policy is going to be with respect to assuring the farmers that they will be able to deliver at least five bushels per acre in the present crop year which ends July 31. We have no understanding as to what the government's intentions are with respect to the price the farmer will receive in the new crop year which begins on August 1. We have received no indication from the government as to what its policies are to inject a massive infusion of cash income into the pockets of the western farmers.

[DOT] (11:50 a.m.)

The Prime Minister spent the best part of a week in western Canada talking to the farmers and meeting with various farm groups. When he had finished those discussions, at least he admitted that the farmers need money. When he returned we had a day's debate on this matter. The Prime Minister took no part in it. We had no announcement from the government concerning any policy envisaged for the coming year. The only reference was to legislation passed months ago to provide for cash advances on farm stored grain. Just a week ago I asked the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp), when he was Acting Prime Minister, when the government would make a statement concerning its policy in respect of western agriculture. His reply was very clear. He said it would have to be made before the end of the crop year. But we have had no statement.

It is very likely, Mr. Speaker, that important legislation will be required if we are to salvage the economy of western Canada. Next November will be too late. We should either be dealing with that legislation now or should be told by the government that it will have legislation ready for early September. We should be dealing with that legislation.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

11630 COMMONS

Motion to Adjourn House

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

I want to remind you, Mr. Speaker, that the plight of western agriculture is not purely a regional matter. The farmers of Saskatchewan alone buy annually about $100 million worth of farm machinery, most of it coming from central Canada. They also buy large quantities of hardware, cars, trucks and other supplies. When agricultural income on the prairies declines by $430 million in a single year, it is only a matter of time until the rest of Canada feels the adverse effects of that decline. Here we have a government which professes to be concerned about the problem of the prairie farmers asking us, on July 25, to go home without any statement from the government about what it is going to do, and not only to go home but to remain at home until October 22 which means that in that period no legislation will be possible to salvage the situation in the prairie provinces.

There are a great many other things with which parliament has not dealt. In closing I wish to say there is only one reason parliament has not dealt with these matters. It is not because there has been obstruction. It is not because we are unwilling to sit here in the summer or come back early in the fall. The only reason parliament has not grappled with the problems that assail the Canadian people is that this government has no policies and no programs. It is completely bankrupt of leadership, and the motion today exposes that fact for all to see.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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?

Mr, Real Caouetle (Temiscamingue):

Mr. Speaker, at one o'clock this morning, the Liberal majority applied the rule of closure. At 1:20, the sinister rule 75c was imposed upon us again by the Liberal majority and now, at noon today, they propose no more or no less the pure and simple closing down of parliament for three months.

The present government is heaved-handed when it comes to closure, while very serious and urgent problems not only remain unsolved but have not been discussed or introduced by the Liberal administration.

Mr. Speaker, we are about to go on holidays. I am not against holidays for the hon. members, but in all ridings we note that there are some people who do not have the means to take holidays but who have them to pay taxes and allow their member of parliament to go on holidays.

DEBATES July 25, 1969

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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?

An hon. Member:

You have been on holidays for three weeks already.

Another hon. Member: Some members take ten-month holidays.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caoueite:

I hear a member saying that some members take ten-month holidays. We know that. We see them in the house on holidays, because they are not brave enough to rise and state their opinions. Those people are on holidays for four years. However, they are not on holidays when they have to go and beg for votes which they obtain on false pretences to come here and wear out the seat of their pants in the Canadian parliament.

Mr. Speaker, I am not against taking holidays, even for three months, as was suggested by the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Macdonald). That would be normal under a normal system, if the legislative program were brought in. As for problems, we solve them from day to day.

Hardly a few days ago, the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) or the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) said that we could do nothing for western farmers with regard to their wheat surplus.

The Prime Minister went to Winnipeg and told farmers: You have wheat, sell it. It belongs to you. We have no miracle solution to suggest.

Recently the Prime Minister returned to western Canada where, in some places, he was given a rather stormy welcome. He was even insulted. The Prime Minister then made the following statement: We shall ear-mark $250 million to help western farmers. We shall provide them with those funds without interest until they have sold their crop.

And, in order to project a better image to the farmers, the Minister of Agriculture visited the same regions the following day and told the farmers: We may even ear-mark up to $500 million rather than only $250 million.

Mr. Speaker, in order to get the government to act, will it be absolutely necessary that the Prime Minister be insulted from one end of the country to the other, and that Canada's poor fling insults at him and at the government?

As far as the summer recess is concerned, the motion moved by the President of the Privy Council reads in part as follows:

-provided always that if it appears to the satisfaction of Mr. Speaker, after consultation with Her Majesty's Government, that the public interest requires that the House should meet at an earlier time during the adjournment-

July 25, 1969 COMMONS

-at that time, the house might meet again in September, in August or early in October.

[DOT] (12 noon)

Mr. Speaker, would it not be in the public interest to solve the unemployment problem in Canada in July 1969, in order to assist some 400,000 unemployed who cannot earn a decent and honourable living in their own country?

Mr. Speaker, would the introduction of measures designed to efficiently fight poverty in Canada not serve the public interest? There are many poor people in Canada, Welfare recipients, for instance, write us day in, day out. The Liberal members also get the same kind of letters. Some mothers are utterly crushed because they have to manage to live on a monthly income of $110, $115 or $125. Mothers with five, six, eight or even ten children write to us: We have no security, we are entitled to nothing more than $125 or $135 per month.

Mr. Speaker, would it not be more important for the Prime Minister and the government to present legislation to improve social welfare so that every individual would have the right to life, security and liberty in his own country, that is Canada?

Mr. Speaker, is it more important to go on holidays or to solve these problems? Is it more important to go on holidays than to work at boosting the Canadian economy?

Day after day, the Prime Minister repeats that we have enormous problems to solve. Are we going to leave those problems pending? When the time comes for solving problems, the Prime Minister says exactly what he said recently to the representatives of the provinces: We have no money.

Would it not be more important, during the holidays, to look into the monetary system of Canada, in order to gear it to our opportunities for developing the country?

No, they prefer to move a motion to enable us to take holidays. Meanwhile, all problems remain unsolved and their study is deferred. The provinces complain to the federal government and municipalities complain to provincial governments, yet no solution can be found to those problems.

Mr. Speaker, I spoke earlier of western producers who, according to the Minister of Agriculture, will get up to $500 million in cash, as long as their wheat remains unsold. We are not against western farmers being assisted. We have always supported the measures that are likely to assist western farmers.

Motion to Adjourn House

But, Mr. Speaker, there are farmers in eastern Canada also. The dairy farmers in Quebec have surplus problems. Some farmers in the Maritimes, some potato farmers and corn producers in Ontario have to sell their production below cost price.

Mr. Speaker, the government does not propose anything to help these farmers. It is good of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture to solve problems, to help and to promise $500 million to the western farmers.

However, this does not complete the farm policy for the whole country. Has the government offered a national farm policy for Canada since it has come to power? Has the previous government ever presented a general farming policy for Canada as a whole?

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member will allow me to interrupt him for a moment in order to remind him that the house is presently considering a specific motion. The hon. member should somehow keep in mind the rule of relevancy, and his comments should relate to the motion under consideration at this time.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caouetle:

Mr. Speaker, the amendment of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Stanfield) allows us to give the reasons why we will support it. The Leader of the Opposition himself blamed the government for its inaction.

The leader of the New Democratic party (Mr. Douglas) had every chance to come out with what he had to say, and this too is related to the amendment, whereby the house would resume its work at the end of September in order to solve the problems that have been set aside, and which the government or the Prime Minister did not want to put before the house.

Since the beginning of the session we have been asked to adopt bills of very little importance while the government neglected to introduce the important ones. That is why, we will support the amendment of the Leader of the Opposition, so that the house might be invited to meet sooner to enable the government to introduce its legislation. The government has certainly prepared its legislative program because for a year and a half now, we have been hearing of all those steps that have been taken to realize a "just society". So, legislation must be ready. Why wait before putting it before parliament?

July 25, 1969

Motion to Adjourn House

Some bills were introduced, namely the omnibus bill, other secondary bills were also put to us. This last month we have been discussing parliamentary procedures. But has that solved the economic problems in Canada?

To my mind, Mr. Speaker, it is important for the members to meet as soon as possible. If this was not urgent, I admit that perhaps we could take a break until October 22. I could even suggest better than that: that sessions always be held at set dates, that the opening of the session be set for such and such a date, the closing or adjournment for Christmas and the New Year be always from December 20 to January 18 or 20 and that the house adjourn in June to come back in September. In summer, the house would adjourn at the end of June or the beginning of July and convene when the school opens early in September, because there are so many school children on the other side and it would be too bad to deprive them of the education they are entitled to.

Mr. Speaker, I believe it would be appropriate for the government to pass legislation so that sessions should always be within fixed dates. However, owing to circumstances, such is not the case; we are asked to adjourn until October 22. The Leader of the Opposition suggests September 22 so that we may have a month for the address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. As the leader of the N.D.P. pointed out, that would take about ten days or about the whole of October. In November we could begin with the bills that were so much promised by the government in the last Speech from the Throne.

Mr. Speaker, in the public interest, I believe it is urgent that we talk for instance about the underdeveloped areas the producers the farmers the overall agricultural policy in Canada, the social security structure that should be amended, old age pensions, pensions to veterans and retired people.

Those matters should be discussed as soon as possible. For three, four years or even five years already, the government has been asked to bring solutions in order to help those pensioners. The minister will say again: We are asked by the opposition to spend more money, but the government has less and less money.

And the Treasury will run dry because precisely the government allows financial sharks

[Mr. CaouetteJ

to increase their interest rates. The government will be supplied by financial sources on which it has to pay accrued interest. If it borrows $1 million or $1 billion on a 12-, 15-or 20-year basis, it would have to pay back $2 billion. And to pay off the second billion, it would have to borrow again, because this is how the system works.

[DOT] (12:10 p.m.)

Mr. Speaker, the Creditistes maintain that the first thing to be settled in Canada is the monetary system. The government should introduce in the house a specific, clear and definite legislative program with regard to the Canadian monetary system, which is at the origin of the inflation so often referred to by the Prime Minister. He dealt with it and we are sinking deeper and deeper into inflation which enables the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.

This is the system in which we operate and as long as that system controls the destiny of our nation, we will be in the same mess. Whether it be under the government of this Prime Minister or the next one or a former one, we always end up in a dead end and a solution is impossible to find. Such is the situation in which we find ourselves.

The government proposes now the adjournment until October 22nd simply because he has no solution to offer, because he does not have the courage to introduce its legislative program and to suggest solutions to the problems. Let him at least put the problems to the house and we are going to provide it with the solutions Canada needs.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 22, 1969
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July 25, 1969