February 2, 1938 (18th Parliament, 3rd Session)

SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. POOLE:

The other day the leader of the opposition, turning in the direction of the Prime Minister, said something to this effect, "I do not see any great difference between your policy and the policy which I pursued." I agree. The only difference between them is the height of the tariff wall. They have never yet dealt with a real issue; and if this speech from the throne is any indication of their activities this coming year, the Canadian people can expect no great measure of reform from the Liberal government.
At the beginning of my address I said that in the Liberal party there were extremists. I find in Hansard of February 1, 1934, at a time when the Liberal party sat to the left of the Speaker, the following extract from one of the platform addresses of Mr. J. A. MacMillan:
I am not an extremist, but I believe that the same authority that came into our homes during the war and took our sons from the knees of their mothers, because there was a national emergency, should not be afraid to take similar steps to bring to the aid of the nation all surplus wealth. We conscripted men, why not money? There is now another national emergency that will have to be faced resolutely and squarely, if the country is to weather the storm. One of the ways out of the difficulty would be to get rid of the terrible burden of interest by paying off a substantial portion of the national debt, and this can only be done by conscription of wealth.
The speaker was not a social crediter or a member representing the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation; he was a Liberal who now sits on the government benches. What has happened since that platform address was delivered? Just one thing. The Liberals have come into power, and now, I suggest, they are afraid to tackle this problem, afraid to deal with the cause of depression. That cause is definitely money, purchasing power. There is no such thing as a depression. A "depression" would suggest that we are short of goods. If we were short of goods there would be no unemployed. We have plenty of goods; we have also plenty of people who cannot get the goods; and the only purpose of our productive machine, our whole economic machine, is to enrich life by making available to the people all those things that can be produced by the knowledge of men.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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