April 2, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)


James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

I doubt if everyone to my left is quite as careful as my hon. friend in the statements he makes, or rather in the statement he makes now.
Then I should like to turn to this question of planning, because I think I can understand why planning is attractive. But let us bear in mind that it is planning for other people that is' attractive, that there is not so much
attraction in having other people plan for us. I think it very important to remember that. Last evening I believe the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) had that in mind when he made what J think was a very wise statement in regard to planning. At page 1946 of Hansard he said:
We all object to interference with our freedom. I do; indeed, if there is anyone who likes to have his own way more than I do, I should like to meet him.
I thought that was a very sound observation on the part of the hon. gentleman. I was reminded of the story with which no doubt all hon. members are familiar, of the Irishman who was having the judgment day expounded to him. After it had been explained he asked, "Well, will the Murphys be there?" He was told, "Yes, they will be there." He asked, "Will the O'Flahertys 'be there?" He was told, "Yes, they will be there." "Will all the Finnegans be there?" "Yes, they will be there." Then, he said, "Well, I'm thinkin' there'll be mighty little judging done the first day." I thought that might be said in regard to planning and regulating the hon. gentleman, who today is absent.
I said I wanted to see if there was not some area of agreement, to see if these parallel lines could come together at all, because when we are talking about these matters which go to the very root of our economic welfare in the future I think it desirable that we should try, as far as we can, to talk the same language. I suggest that there is an area of agreement. I suggest, for example, that we will all agree and are all agreed that the tremendously important thing now is production. That is becoming a terribly commonplace expression, but let us remember that it was not always commonplace. Let us remember that we were suffering, or thought we were suffering years ago, from over-production. In that connection I want to read a sentence or two from the British white paper, because it is interesting I think, to have the case as set out by Mr. Attlee to the British people, and it is interesting to read the remarks he made which I think mutatis mutandis apply to us here. At the end of this long paper he has this to say:
Apart from these special dangers-
Which he has outlined.
-the great difference between our economic conditions today and those between the wars is that, for as far ahead as we can see, there will be a high demand for the products of industry. It would appear that there is no danger for many years to come that industry as a whole will have to work below capacity because of a falling off in the general demand for its products.
Emergency Powers

And later he said:
The problem of today is to increase production to fill the gap between the quantity of goods on the market and the amount of purchasing power available to buy those goods. We must remove the idea of spinning out production in order to avoid unemployment, or of restricting output in order to safeguard earnings. On the contrary, industry, employers and workers alike, must be ready to adopt every possible means of increasing production, secure in the knowledge that this does not carry with it any threat to employment.
I say I think we can agree on the question of production, and I come next to the question of incentive. That is not so easy; nevertheless I feel-and I have now in mind particularly hon. gentlemen immediately to my left- that particularly when you are talking to those who are farmers you are talking to people who do understand incentive, because after all if there is any man in the world who has an incentive it is the farmer, who works and gets the fruits of his own labour under his own vine and fig tree. Therefore I suggest that when farmers are thinking about this question of incentive they must have very much the same attitude as the rest of us; and I suggest also that when farmers are thinking about controls they should realize-and I think this is very important-that by far the greater part of their own economic life is lived entirely free -of controls, that the only controls they seek, ns far as I know, are controls in connection with prices and in connection with their own marketing. The great part of their life is entirely free of controls.
In connection with this matter of incentive I should like to read an extract from an article appearing in the London Economist, that great English liberal weekly. I always object to the fact that this fine word "liberal" has been appropriated by a political party. Today I was wondering if one could not accuse the Liberal party of something like grand larceny for having chosen this word, which is a fine and noble word, and put it to uses which even the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) would not suggest are always fine or always noble.

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