May 8, 1974

?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

The Prime Minister views this a regrettable interruption in some undefined, great process which he thinks is under way. I do not see any point in prolonging a process which features the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marchand) throwing up his hands and saying, "It's a mess." I do not see any point in prolonging a process featuring the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Andras) denying the country an inquiry into unemployment insurance. I certainly do not see any benefit to Canadians in prolonging the life of a government that

The Budget-Mr. Douglas

looks at two-figure inflation and says that nothing can really be done about it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, we hope in a few hours time to see an end to a tired and crumbling government.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

A few hours?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

I say a few hours because we have to give the man time to get to Government House and all that sort of thing. It will be an end which I am confident will lead this country to a new and better beginning. Without any presumption as to what the vote will be, Mr. Speaker, I want to take this occasion to thank you and the other officers of the House for the dedicated service you have given to this parliament.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the House for this widespread acclaim. I am not sure where the applause for the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Stanfield) ended and mine began.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

The House is in good humour. Yesterday and today we listened to speeches by leaders of each of the four political parties in this House. I think it will make interesting reading for the future because they characterize both the men who made them and the parties for which they spoke. I was very much interested in following the speech made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) who seemed to spend a large part of his time trying to determine who was responsible for the fact that the spectre of an imminent election haunted this House. I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that the person who is most responsible for the fact that we^ face a general election is the Prime Minister.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

I noticed that the Prime Minister was trying to be a bit of an amateur psychiatrist. He does not do a very good job of being Prime Minister. He ought to stay out of the psychiatry business, although I must say he has excellent clientele with whom to work.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

When the Prime Minister says the reason we are having an election is that the leader and members of this party cannot stand the strain of holding the balance of power, I want to point out that he has a very poor memory. With the exception of the years 1968-72 we have had a minority parliament in Canada since 1962. The only time we did not have a minority parliament was the four-year period after the present Prime Minister became leader of his party. By the way, they were the four most unproductive and arrogant years the parliament of this country has ever seen.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

May 8, 1974

The Budget-Mr. Douglas

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

For the rest of the period from 1962 to the present time we have had a minority parliament, and it has worked a good bit of the time. It worked from 1963 to 1965 and from 1965 to 1968 because someone was sitting in the prime minister's seat who had a certain degree of sensitivity and flexibility. He was able to work out a consensus. He had some human compassion. During that period we produced such things as the health services act, the Canada Pension Plan, the Canada Assistance Plan and a great many other programs that will be monuments to the memory of that parliament and the prime minister at that time, the Right Hon. Lester B. Pearson.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

That same type of minority government could have worked in this twenty-ninth parliament. When the election of October, 1972 was over, the members of the New Democratic Party indicated that whichever of the two old-line parties had a plurality they were prepared to give it an opportunity to show what it could do.

As I pointed out last week in another debate, we had a two-pronged attack on the major problems of inflation and unemployment. One had to do with the social area and the other had to do with the economic area. In the social area we were pressing for legislative measures which would cushion the effects of rising living costs on people with fixed and low incomes and others most vulnerable to the inflationary pressures which were besetting this country and, indeed, the world. And the government did many things which needed to be done.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that the NDP was taking credit for things which they asked for but which the Liberal Party was doing. Well, Mr. Speaker, they could not do it alone-not in a minority parliament. Unless we had been prepared to support them through repeated nonconfidence motions, they would not have been here to do the things which needed to be done, such as raising old age pensions, family allowances, veterans pensions, and so on. It is significant that in spite of the assertions of the Prime Minister that a Liberal government would have done these things anyway, in the preceding years from 1968 to 1972 none of these things had been accomplished.

My experience of the Liberal Party goes back nearly 40 years, and I have never seen them move unless they were prodded in the posterior or faced the prospect of defeat. Nevertheless, I want to say that the things which have been accomplished in the social area in the last 16 months were things we could support and, in my view, they made a contribution to easing the burden upon large sections of our people. At the same time, though, it should be remembered that since those measures were passed a year ago the rising cost of living has taken away most of those increases, and we had the right to expect there would be something in the budget to help these people.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

The second area in which we were pressing for action was the economic area. The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp) stood up today and said the opposition parties had not put forward alternative

policies. Well, we have certainly put forward alternative economic measures we wanted to see introduced to cope with inflation. But nothing has happened. The Prime Minister, in a speech at the opening of the session, said the NDP were like seagulls which, because they were squawking and making a lot of noise, thought they were running the ship. Mr. Speaker, we never claimed to be running the ship, but a smart captain will listen to the seagulls warning him that he is running the ship on the rocks.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

May 8, 1974