May 9, 1944 (19th Parliament, 5th Session)


Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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


I will tell you in a minute. He is:
President' Ogilvie Flour Mills Company Limited; chairman Allied War Supplies Corpora-
tion; member Canadian Comm. Hudson's Bay Company; dir. of Canadian Investment Fund, Consolidated Paper Corp., Consolidated Bakeries of Canada Ltd., Steel Company of Canada Limited, Bank of Montreal, National Liverpool Insurance Company, Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company Ltd., Liver.pool-Manitoba Assurance Company, Globe Indemnity Company of Canada, the Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company of Canada Limited, the Royal Trust Company, the Bell Telephone Company of Canada, Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, Canadian Pacific Railway Company, chancellor Queens university.
I do not think it is very convincing to say that because Mr. Dunning is a director of all these companies we have the best possible banking system that can be devised by Canadians. I suggest that the minister would be better advised to carry on along the general line he has been following in his department with a view to having those policies acted on in Canada which will guarantee the greatest production of consumer goods in peace time as in war time.
In the report of the Bank of Canada for the present year the governor of the bank outlines views that scarcely coincide with those advanced by the minister in his argument the other day. In discussing the adjustments which must be faced in the immediate future the governor of the bank points out that in 1939 we had about 4,000,000 Canadians gainfully occupied, and that at least 300,000 who were available for work were not employed. He goes on to say:
By the end of 1943 the gainfully occupied population had risen to approximately 5,100,000 but about 1,900,000 of these were engaged in the -armed forces, in supplying the weapons of war, or in producing the food required for special war time exports. The number available to meet civilian needs had therefore fallen to about 3,200,000, but at the same time the average standard of living had risen materially and. was probably higher than it had ever been. This increased output of consumption goods by a smaller working force can be accounted for in part by longer hours of work, favourable crop conditions and the -abnormally small number now employed in private capital development and maintenance work.
After the war, some of those who are now employed will voluntarily withdraw from the working force, and the armed services may -be maintained at a level considerably above their pre-war strength. It seems likely, however, that at least 4,700,000 workers will be available for employment in civilian jobs, or at least 1,500,000 more than the number employed in that sector of the economy at the present time.
The question that all Canadians must be worrying about these days is this: Have we the machinery to guarantee that the nearly two million who are now in the armed services and war industry can come back and find useful employment? It is our opinion that we cannot give any such guarantee unless we

Bank Act-Mr. McGeer
are prepared in peace time as in war time to plan our production so that the resources which are here will be developed as a part of a national plan.
I have been told that a company like Canadian Industries Limited employed about 4,500 in the pre-war years. They have been employing about 45,000 during these war years; but their reconstruction plans call for the employment of about 6,000. That will mean they will be employing about one-third more than they did in the pre-war years; but what of the 39,000 who have been employed and who will be turned into the ranks of the unemployed? Similar figures may be cited to describe what will happen in the shipbuilding industry and aircraft production in a great many industrial areas in this country. I hope the minister will, if he is in charge of his department when the war is over, be willing to have as his slogan, "Whatever is physically possible must be made financially possible."
It has been suggested by some who have taken part in the debate that we cannot look for prosperity in Canada unless we have a very large export trade. The members of the C.C.F. party look forward to international relationships so that the nations of the world will trade extensively; but I submit that Canada can provide a higher standard of living for her people than we ever had before, regardless of her foreign trade. Therefore I think it is imperative that the resolution moved by the leader of this group be supported by the house so that we shall have plans afoot when the war is over to enable the government of this country to be in a position to control the development of our resources, and have available at all times the currency and credit necessary to guarantee full employment and to maintain the highest possible standard of living.

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