November 4, 1969

LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

It is entirely for the hon. member whether he wishes to accept a question.

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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Saltsman:

Certainly, Mr. Speaker, I will accept the question.

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LIB

Joseph-Phillippe Guay

Liberal

Mr. Guay (St. Boniface):

The hon. member makes much of encouraging Canadian industry instead of our United States friends. I should like to ask him whether his party gave a lot of consideration to this matter, in view of the fact that the lapel buttons his party members were wearing at their convention in Winnipeg last week were printed in the United States?

[DOT] (8:40 p.m.)

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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Saltsman:

Mr. Speaker, that is typical of the picayune mind of hon. members on that side of the house. It is an affront to the 21362-341

intelligence of members of this house when questions of that kind are asked. Surely the hon. member knows that the badges he has referred to were merely printed in the United States. Even had they been printed in Canada we should not be narrow-minded about them. We do not believe that chauvinism should be carried to the extreme and that every badge should be printed in Canada. We believe in trade; we believe in good relationships with other countries in the world. To pick up a button and say, "My, what a terrible thing it is that you should wear a button that is printed in the U.S.A." is nothing more than a display of an attitude which I suggest is not worthy of the hon. member.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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?

An hon. Member:

Perhaps it is.

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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Saltsman:

I prefer to think that it is not, and that it is merely a mental aberration due to the lateness of the hour. Let me return to the serious problem with which I was dealing before that somewhat irreverent and irrelevant interjection. There is a serious problem in respect of the nature of Canadian industry and we are in danger of becoming, not a second-class nation but a third or fourth-class nation unless something is done to make our industrial structure more efficient.

In France, Servan-Schreiber pointed out the great dangers facing Europe because of United States ownership. But he does not place the blame on the United States; he places it quite properly on European countries for not doing something about the problem. He pointed out-and he might have said the same thing about Canada-that the advantage in the future of computers, electronics and advanced technology will be to those countries which organize their industrial structure so as to create suitable companies which will take advantage of the inventions and technologies. We are not doing that; we are borrowing. We can borrow and live fairly well on the loan, but the future will not be ours. We will eventually reach the point where we will be so dependent that we will no longer have the opportunity to make a significant contribution as a nation.

When I look at the Throne Speech I find there is some emphasis on the question of individualism, individual rights and individual personalities. Let me suggest that there can be no personality out of the context of a nation. A person does not exist in a vacuum; he exists as part of a nation, as part of a

November 4, 1969

The Address-Mr. Saltsman country and as part of a culture. If that nation, country or culture is destroyed, I suggest that the individual will also be destroyed. He will have no opportunity to be proud of having a nationality. I do not want to see that happen in my country, and I do not think many hon. members of this chamber would choose this kind of solution to our problems. However, if the policies of this government are not changed, that will be the horrendous prospect.

In my riding I have seen a number of examples of the failure of the Department of Industry to offer any real assistance to companies. We have a sweater and a knitted-goods industry which is now virtually finished. I know it is a vulnerable industry which has been in danger for a long time. Having spoken to the people in this field I have been informed that they are not asking for protection or special favours. They want to know the policy of the government in respect of the industry. They want to know what we are going to do in the future. They want to know, if the government has reached the conclusion that the industry is expendable.

If the government has decided they do not want this industry any longer, they want the government to say so in order that they may make other plans and redirect their energies. That is not what has happened. They have been asking for answers, which have not been forthcoming. The government's attitude is that perhaps the industry will die gradually and the problem will disappear. That is not a fair or honest way to treat an industry. There is no program on the government side of this house-just lectures and little, moral

homilies.

Electrical industries have complained about discrimination in respect of purchases by overseas companies and the fact that very little has been done to help them. Engineering industries are competing or attempting to compete in respect of projects which are being supported by government funds. They find themselves totally excluded. The corporations receiving government funds are going outside the country to do their buying; they are not even entertaining bids from Canadian companies. This is an unfortunate situation and the solution is not simple. A great deal of the problem is concerned with financing, much of which is being offered by foreign companies. Canadian companies have reason to be dissatisfied because of the lack of attention being paid to this problem.

My area is a relatively affluent one. We in Waterloo are being asked to raise taxes to help the less fortunate areas of Canada. We do not object to this. As a matter of fact, we are pleased and proud to assist in this way. But when we do so I think we are entitled to ask that those areas being helped should attempt to provide opportunities for areas such as mine. If this is not done, the will to assist will not be strong and the program to assist designated areas in Canada will suffer.

We recently experienced a nickel shortage. There is still a nickel shortage in this country. In spite of the fact that manufacturers in Canada use a very small amount of the nickel produced in this country, some of them have had to shut their shops and lay off employees because nickel is not available. The policy of the government is that we should treat all customers alike. That sounds fine on the surface. The exporter gets his share, but the government intends that the Canadian manufacturer shall receive only the share he received in the past.

I suggest it would require a change of only 1 or 2 per cent to ensure that manufacturers in Canada do not suffer from a shortage of materials. Obviously it is not the policy of this government to assist Canadian industry. I have said in the past, and I repeat, that the policy of the government is oriented to the selling of raw materials to the United States. It has very little concern for the development of secondary manufacturing in Canada. Members of the government may stand up and deny this, as they have in the past, but I have never found their arguments very convincing.

[DOT] (8:50 p.m.)

The government made one feeble attempt at setting up a department of industry and the department collapsed; it did not work out. This did not occur because the idea was not worth while but because the government did not give it any direction. They did not give sufficient attention to the problems of Canadian industry and eventually they threw up their hands in despair and decided to put it back in the Department of Trade and Commerce where it was before. Now there does not seem to be a policy for secondary manufacturing in this country. There does not seem to be a policy that would change the direction of our economy from one of natural resource development to one of secondary manufacturing. Sooner or later, as rich as we are in minerals, those minerals will not be available.

November 4, 1969

What will we do then if we have not become a manufacturing nation?

This afternoon I had the unhappy experience of listening to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Benson) when he appeared before the committee. He is an absolute disaster because he just talks. We have many talking heads over there. They talk a lot but do not do anything; they just lecture. The Minister of Finance talks too. He talks about inflation. His approach is that it can be talked away. He tells people they are going to get rid of it and he expects them to believe this. He talks about voluntary guidelines. He must know they have not worked in the past and will not work now. He seems to have a notion that people in business in this country are fools and will listen to the kind of things he suggests.

This country is experiencing a terrible economic situation. Despite the high-blown speeches the Minister of Finance makes we are having the worst of all possible conditions-high unemployment, slow growth and a rapid rate of inflation. What does he suggest as a way out of this situation? He suggests cutting back on a few government employees and cutting back on public expenditures. He will set an example for the private sector. There is just one thing wrong with that. The private sector is not paying attention to him. Every time he pulls in his belt they let theirs out and nothing is being accomplished.

When suggestions are made to the minister and it is pointed out that he cannot go on in this way and is living in a fool's paradise, he responds by making terrible speeches about communism and Cuba which have nothing to do with the suggestions made. If we tell the minister we must come to a point where some of the unjustifiable price increases in our economy are contained, he does not listen. He says, "Oh, you mean wage controls?" We say, "No, we do not mean that; we are talking about some price control". He says it is the same thing. It is not the same thing.

When one speaks of price control it is one thing to say there may be some element of wage restraint in it, but there also are many other elements in it. There is profit restraint in it as well. He does not acknowledge that. He simply refuses to face up to the fact that we are now living in an entirely different world. It is not possible any more to control inflation with the old weapons. To say we can control inflation by restricting prices and wages to productivity gains is no answer,

The Address-Mr. Saltsman either. Even if we were able to do this, such a situation would not take into account the fact that almost 50 per cent of our population is engaged in activities where the prospect for productivity increase is almost nil. I am talking about the service sector. How do you increase the productivity of a nurse, a doctor or a lawyer? There are very limited possibilities in these areas. It is very difficult to do this.

If there are productivity increases in some industries and wages rise there, surely it is unreasonable to expect that those in the non high-productivity industries will sit by and see their position even more eroded than it has been in the past. They will not accept that situation. This means that we have a built-in inflation in our system. We will have to live with it. We will have to do everything we can to minimize its effect, but until we realistically face up to the fact that there will be some inflation in our society we will never see justice done for those who are hurt by inflation.

As long as the minister says that we cannot increase old age pensions and attempt to do any of these things because we must control inflation first, he is in effect saying we will never be able to help that segment of society because we will never be able to control inflation in this country or any other country. The only reasonable and just approach to our problem of inflation is to compensate those who are hurt by inflation. There is no other way.

We cannot say to the old age pensioners that we will not help them until we bring inflation under control, "because we will not bring it under control and the old age pensioner must be helped now. We have all had an opportunity to be back in our ridings this summer and talk to people with ordinary problems. To them, however, these are difficult problems. This experience restores my perspective concerning what is happening, because I see the effect government policies have on the ordinary people of this country. I see the effect the cutting back of these expenditures is having on the people. Mothers call me about their disturbed children. Some of these are children 11 or 12 years of age who are already in trouble with the law or are having difficulty in school. These children desperately need help. They may one day show up in our courts because they have killed somebody and then we will want to hang them. These children need help now. We know what is happening; there is restraint on

522 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Saltsman them. The federal government set the example and the provincial governments are following it.

We are told that only so much can be done in one area. When I ask what will happen to the children when the quota is filled, officials shrug their shoulders and say they cannot do more because they do not have the money. It is incredible that we should stand by and watch this kind of thing happening to children who did not ask to be born, and whom we will condemn five years from now if they have committed a crime. We turn them away at a time when they plead for our help. If we look around we see old people living in tiny lofts above stores. These people may have only one, two, three or four more years to live. We built some good housing for older people in my area, beautiful accommodation. Those less fortunate look longingly at the people who were fortunate enough to get this public accommodation.

[DOT] (9:00 p.m.)

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LIB

James (Jim) Gordon Lind

Liberal

Mr. Lind:

May I ask the hon. member a question?

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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Saltsman:

In a moment, Mr. Speaker. They ask: Why cannot we have it? The answer is, of course, that the federal government has decreed that we shall have austerity. These people ask: If there is austerity, why are there so many hamburger stores going up all over the place? Are they more important than providing accommodation for these people? I say no, but this government says yes. The government is to be condemned for that kind of callousness and for its refusal to act. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Benson) asks: What do you want me to do-interfere with the economy? That is communism. I say that is not communism, and if it means that we have to interfere with the economy in order to ensure decent housing for old people rather than setting up 700 more hamburger stands, let us interfere with the economy.

In my riding we have handicapped people. We pride ourselves on our manpower program. It is a reasonably good program as far as it goes. It does not go far enough because in order to take advantage of the program one has to be, first of all, three years out of school; one has to be unemployed for three years, which is the case with some of the handicapped people. They are told: Go to the province, which has a special program for the handicapped. This is all right except that the province does not have any money or any facilities, and it is doing what the federal

[Mr. Saltsman.)

DEBATES November 4, 1969

government wants it to do, which is practising austerity. There are handicapped children who need help. They are born with these handicaps. They are not being helped by federal programs; they are being turned away from the provincial programs and simply discarded on some kind of human junk heap. It is too expensive and troublesome to try to train them; they do not fit into the pattern.

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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

I regret to interrupt the hon. member but his time has expired.

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LIB

James (Jim) Gordon Lind

Liberal

Mr. Lind:

May I ask the hon. member a question?

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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Order, please. As the time of the hon. member has expired, the unanimous consent of the house is necessary to allow the hon. member to ask his question. I understand there is not unanimous consent.

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LIB

James (Jim) Gordon Lind

Liberal

Mr. Lind:

I was wondering if the hon. member would answer a question.

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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Order, please. There is not unanimous consent.

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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, it is traditional to commend those who formally participate in this debate, the mover and the seconder and the party spokesmen. This I do readily and sincerely. There have been some notable speeches in the course of the debate. I regret I was unable to hear the speech of the hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefen-baker) in its entirety this afternoon. I was pleased to hear that during his absence from the House of Commons he has become chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan and a patron of Canadian letters.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

But I did have a rueful moment at the realization that one of the last grass root hold-outs had finally capitulated and become firmly entrenched as a member of the Canadian establishment. I also extend my commendation to members for the quality of the debate to which they contributed from all sides of the House. Hon. members are obviously concerned about their constituencies and their country, and while their diagnoses and remedies vary drastically and are sometimes contradictory, I do not think anyone can question the sincerity and dedication of those who have spoken in this debate. Perhaps I will be forgiven if I single out

November 4, 1969 COMMONS

government backbenchers tor special mention.

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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg Norih Cenire):

What a surprise!

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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

It was evident from the tenor and content of their speeches that they as a group have a better appreciation of some of the problems confronting Canada and Canadians as we enter a new decade and have offered more constructive suggestions and criticisms than any member of the opposition parties. I think this is an encouraging trend.

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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Perhaps they should take the place of the cabinet.

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November 4, 1969