October 28, 1969

ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

THE CANADIAN ECONOMY

PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of the comment of the Minister of Finance last evening that he saw very little chance of success at the present time of a program of voluntary price and wage restraints, and thereby seemed to pull the rug from under the Prices and Incomes Commission's program, is it the intention of the government to ask the commission to consider some other approach to the problem of inflation?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

I did not hear the comment, but of course the Prices and Incomes Commission is considering all approaches. They did not put all their hopes in the proposed December conference but are considering other techniques. Therefore, we remain optimistic and, I must say, very determined to continue the fight against inflation by every means available to the government.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. In view of the comment of the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs yesterday in connection with the steel price increase that if management and unions do not exercise voluntary restraint as urged by the government, "then we will have to use less voluntary measures", to use his own words, is the government considering less voluntary measures and, in particular, is it considering seeking a constitutional amendment to enable the government to resort to either full scale or partial wage control methods?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Among the less voluntary measures we include, of course, fiscal and monetary policies, but the matter of price

control is something that the government is considering. I appreciate the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition about the constitutional difficulty. We are also considering it. If necessary, we will discuss the problem with the provinces to see whether, if needed, price and wage controls can be introduced.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. In view of the statement made by the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, and in view of the scorn poured last night by the Minister of Finance upon compulsory price and wage controls, whom are we to listen to, whom are we to regard as speaking for the government in connection with anti-inflationary measures-the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs or the Minister of Finance?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Both, Mr. Speaker-^-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

-and the Prime Minister.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

The conclusion is not very difficult to draw that we are keeping all options open. Of course we would hesitate and regret to embark upon a course of wage and price controls and income controls because of the constitutional difficulties, arising out of the federal structure of Canada, but we are not closing off that option. The Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs indicated, and I repeat what the Minister of Finance is indicating, that we are hoping other alternatives will be workable ones.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George Hees (Prince Edward Hastings):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct another supplementary question to the Prime Minister. As the Governor of the Bank of Canada, in answer to a question put to him at a meeting of the Finance Committee last spring, said that the government two years ago should have imposed consumer credit restrictions if it had the power to do so, may I ask whether the government is appealing to the provinces for the power to bring in consumer credit restrictions?

October 28, 1969

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, we are considering the cost of consumer credit restrictions, and we are even in the process of determining whether we would be able to adopt this course without recourse to or cooperation from the provinces. This is a constitutional point which is not quite clear. As the hon. member knows, it may be possible that the federal government could act on its own and, if so, we would envisage that. Otherwise, if necessary we would discuss it with the provinces, as we would other aspects of income and price control.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

I wish to ask one final supplementary question just to make this absolutely clear. If the government finds out it can impose consumer credit controls without the consent of the provinces, is it the intention of the government to impose these controls?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The question as asked is hypothetical. The hon. member for Moose Jaw.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink
PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

My question got the Prime Minister off the hook.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INFLATION-VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS- INQUIRY AS TO OTHER MEASURES
Permalink

INTEREST RATES-CONTROL OF INCREASES

NDP

John Leroy Skoberg

New Democratic Party

Mr. John L. Skoberg (Moose Jaw):

Mr. Speaker, could the Prime Minister tell us whether or not it is the intention of the government to allow interest rates to rise without restraint?

Topic:   INTEREST RATES-CONTROL OF INCREASES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I did not hear the question as I was being prodded by other members across the way.

Topic:   INTEREST RATES-CONTROL OF INCREASES
Permalink

October 28, 1969