June 4, 1940 (19th Parliament, 1st Session)


Clarence Gillis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)


It is not my intention to occupy very much more time, Mr. Chairman. But I did want to tell that story, and I think it is the first time it has been told in that way in this house. We feel that it is the obligation of the government to see that the people who are trying to do something for themselves are protected, and with respect to the creation of monopolies we feel it is the obligation of the government to see that no special groups be given easy and fat franchises out of which to amass untold wealth at the expense of the people, whether these franchises have to do with the monopoly of money, minerals, waterfalls-or other forms of power. There are certain things that we must not pass over to individuals, and we feel that a national resource such as coal is one of those things. We believe it is the function of the government to see that every other business is properly conducted by charter from the government, and that it obeys the rules of the game and is not permitted to assume a monopoly of power as so many have already done. We remember the revelations of the price spreads committee, whose report showed that many things were wrong in Canada, rotten in fact; yet the findings of that committee have travelled to the silence and dust of the upper shelves and nothing has been

Unemployment Relief-Mr. Hlynka
done about them. We believe that it is the business of government in this country to equip the people with the instruments of freedom and then see to it that they have the full power to enjoy that freedom. We believe that it is the business of government in this country to make it possible for all to get enlightenment, without which no people can live in a free democracy, as is well exemplified by Germany at the present time. We want it clearly understood that it is not the possession of wealth and riches that we are objecting to so -much, but rather that wealth should enjoy freedom to control the economic processes of the country and stand in the way of the creation of other wealth by the people. They are the bottle neck through which new wealth must pass before it gets to the people.
As I said at the beginning of my remarks, we are looking to the governments of Canada as at present constituted to see to it that the development of the cooperative as it exists in the maritimes, where it is well away on the road to success, is protected against such monopolies as the coal company which I have attempted to describe here to-night. We believe it is the government's duty to see that the company is not in a position to cripple that movement by virtue of the fact that it holds economic power over the lives of the people in that particular section.

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