October 18, 1976

PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

Perhaps I could be pardoned if I read a small quotation from it. As reported in Hansard of October 18, 1951, in the debate on the throne speech of that year I said on that occasion:

I maintain that if industry were brought to the outlying sections of our country the economy of the country would be improved, as would the social life in those areas. I would say too that children brought up in small towns and villages and in the country have an advantage over those brought up in the larger cities, who must live among the flashing lights and the ringing bells. The child of the modern city must feel something like a ball in a pin-ball machine. On the other hand a child living in the country either consciously or unconsciously comes to recognize that he is part of God's creation, a fact that stands him in good stead in later years.

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Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
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Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

I recently made a speech along these lines in a different setting, and one of my friends congratulated me on the profound impression the book entitled "Small is Beautiful" had had on my thinking. The book is by E. F. Schumacher, and I had to confess to him that I not only never read the book but, up to that point, I had scarcely heard of it, and that I had been talking along these lines for 25 years. I suppose it is too much to expect or hope that Mr. Schumacher, the author of the book, had been reading some of my speeches.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

The Address-Mr. MacLean

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

However, I do not agree with the theory that over urbanization is inevitable or that the use in a prodigal way of non renewable resources to fuel that kind of industry is justified. I will do Mr. Schumacher the honour of quoting from his book in this connection:

First of all, and most obviously, there are the fossil fuels. No one, I am sure, will deny that we are treating them as income items although they are undeniably capital items. If we treated them as capital items, we should be concerned with conservation; we should do everything in our power to try and minimise their current rate of use; we might be saying, for instance, that the money obtained from the realisation of these assets-these irreplaceable assets-must be placed into a special fund to be devoted exclusively to the evolution of production methods and patterns of living which do not depend on fossil fuels at all or depend on them only to a very slight extent.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

In my humble opinion we have to develop a way of life ever conscious that we are ourselves part of the web of life and that we cannot escape that fact. I would like again to quote from Mr. Schumacher's book, "Small is Beautiful":

While many theoreticians-who may not be too closely in touch with real life- are still engaging in the idolatory of large size, with practical people in the actual world there is a tremendous longing and striving to profit, if at all possible, from the convenience, humanity, and manageability of smallness. This, also, is a tendency which anyone can easily observe for himself.

Today we suffer from the almost universal idolatory of giantism. It is therefore necessary to insist on the virtue of smallness. In my view small is beautiful.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

I might digress here for a moment and deal with government experts. I have no objection to civil servants as individuals, but I think it is unrealistic for us as a country to take a person from perhaps the age of four, put him into a publicly supported kindergarten, put him through school and high school, which are funded publicly to a large extent, then through university and perhaps to a PhD degree, with a large contribution for that education from the public taxpayer, and then immediately make him a civil servant to direct us and to tell us what is best for us.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

I would like to see the day when one of the requirements to be a civil servant will be to have lived in real society for at least five years. Under the circumstances as they apply to us now, I believe to our disadvantage, we as a legislative body have been overawed unjustly by the governmental expert who is supposed to know what is best for the Canadian people.

I take second place to no one, regardless of his education or his qualifications, who is set up by his own peers, as to who is best qualified to say what is best for the Canadian people.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
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Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

We as commoners should be more ready to assert our superiority over the technical advice given us by

October 18, 1976

The Address-Mr. MacLean

people who are supposed to be more greatly qualified and therefore in a better position to say in what direction our nation should go. After all, we should not break faith with the people we represent.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

We suffer from an almost universal idolatry of giantism. It is therefore necessary to insist upon the virtues of smallness. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, I should like to quote briefly once more from the book "Small is Beautiful" at page 63 as follows:

Take the question of size of a city. While one cannot judge these things with precision, I think it is fairly safe to say that the upper limit of what is desirable for the size of a city is probably something of the order of half a million inhabitants. It is quite clear that above such a size nothing is added to the virtue of the city. In places like London, or Tokyo, or New York the millions do not add to the city's real value but merely create enormous problems and produce human degradation.

At page 66 it goes on to say:

As an illustration, let me take the case of Peru. The capital city, Lima, situated on the Pacific coast, had a population of 175,000 in the early 1920s, just 50 years ago. Its population is now approaching three million. The once beautiful Spanish city is now infested by slums, surrounded by misery-belts that are crawling up the Andes. But this is not all. People are arriving from the rural areas at the rate of a thousand a day-and nobody knows what to do with them. The social or psychological structure of life in the hinterland has collapsed.

This is where I quarrel with governments; not only this government-this is completely non-partisan-but every government in recent years. Due to the advice they have been getting they have not given enough concern or interest to rural and smalltown Canada.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

Any government that suggests such a thing of course has its suggestions turned aside by the argument that urbanization is inevitable and automatic; that we will have most of our population living in large urban centres in a very few years. They say it is true because of technology. Well, Mr. Speaker, we should not be slaves to technology-

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

On the other hand we should make technology our servant, give technology a human face.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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October 18, 1976