November 21, 1940 (19th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I shall come to the matter of production, and our capacity to produce.
Then, the hon. gentleman mentions the method of counteracting inflation which is, in my opinion, the only alternative .to taxation or borrowing out of savings which is really worthy of consideration. This is price fixing on a universal scale, which, of course, would have to be accompanied by rationing and regimentation, also on a universal scale; because it is obvious that to fix prices without limiting the amount any one person can buy will mean that only the first comers will be served. So that there would have to be rationing, along with price fixing.
Price fixing of a few commodities, indeed rationing of a few commodities, is possible and need not have a very serious effect, but price fixing and rationing on a general scale have at least two disadvantages.
In the first place, this would call for bureaucratic interference in the private affairs of all Canadian citizens. Perhaps I am speaking a little bit figuratively here, but generally speaking there would have to be a government spy in every grocery store. The Germans did this with some success, but the Germans are experts as spies.

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