February 19, 1937 (18th Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)



I will give my hon. friend the details if he wishes them. The total expenditure by Canada for defence services during the five year period, the fiscal years 1932-33 to 1936-37, amounted to $76,000,000, or a yearly average of $15,200,000. In other words the total expenditures in Canada for social security purposes amounted to $1,799,000,000 odd as against $76,000,000 odd for defence purposes during the past five year period, or a yearly average of $359,000,000 odd as against $15,000,000 odd. I submit that that is the only fair comparison to make when one is estimating what is being spent on social services in comparison with defence. All of these amounts came out of the pockets of the Canadian taxpayers.
May I point out that the provinces would not have been able to carry on their social services but for the grants and subsidies which have been paid to them out of the federal treasury and the money lent to them by the federal government. That is what enabled the municipalities to carry on their social services. I wish also to repeat that while the federal treasury has been drawn upon for
National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King
loans and grants and subsidies to the provinces to enable them to carry on their social services and for much in addition in the way of special contributions for relief, the dominion
has not been able to look to the provinces or to the municipalities for any contribution to help it in its work of defence.
The figures in tabular form are as follows:
Comparison of Estimates of Expenditures for "Social Services" and National Defence (Prepared by Dominion Bureau of Statistics and Department of Finance)
Total for _ five years
Estimate of expenditure by Dominion government on social services
for five-year period, fiscal years 1932-33 to 1936-37 $681,000,000
Estimate of expenditure by all provincial governments on public
welfare and education for five-year period 1932-36 506 000 000
Estimate of expenditure by municipalities on public welfare and by
school boards for live-year period 1931-35 612.000 000
Total $1,799,000,000
Total expenditure of Canada for National Defence services for ___ '
five-year period fiscal years 1932-33 to 1936-37 $76,000,000
Average for one year

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) seemed to be anxious to have details. I shall give him some. The expenditures by the dominion government during the last five years on account of unemployment relief, which is a social service-I want hon. members to keep in mind that during the same period the dominion spent only S76.000.000 on defence- amounted to $254,871,231. For special public works and undertakings for the relief of unemployment, the dominion government expended $38,253,127. For old age pensions the total sxpenditure during the five years period amounted to $78,033,081. During the last five years more money was spent out of the federal treasury to provide old age pensions than was spent for the purposes of the defence of Canada. A total of $620,251 was spent on technical education while $750,000 was spent in the administration of the Employment Offices Coordination Act. A total of $2,381,922 was spent in the administration of the Annuities Act, the Conciliation and Labour Act, the Fair Wages and Inspection Act, the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act, and the Limitation of Hours of Work Act. On national health we spent $3,752,895 and a total of $468,950 was paid out by way of grants to private institutions for social purposes. In the administration of the Employment and Social Insurance Act a total of $93,862 was expended. In the administration of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act a total of $1,532,266 was expended. A total of $22,691 has been expended in connection with the Dominion Housing Act. In connection with the social services I have enumerated there has been a total expenditure of $380,780,276 during the last five years.
In addition to these outlays which will be quickly recognized as for social services there have been other outlays assumed by this

government which were also in the nature of social service contributions. I might begin by directing attention to the fact that after the great war the dominion assumed the whole obligation of expenditures arising out of the war with respect to the treatment and after-care of returned soldiers, the total of the European war pensions and other like outlays. The question was never raised as to whether or not the provinces should carry a part of that load. The load was assumed at once and in its entirety by the federal government notwithstanding that theretofore the provinces had been regarded as the appropriate authorities to assume responsibility on account of social services. Here are some of the additional figures: Treatment and after-care of returned soldiers, $51,450,929.

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