April 9, 1951 (21st Parliament, 4th Session)


John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott


Mr. Sinnott:

Then with your permission I will withdraw those words and say he would be contributor No. 1. I feel that justice is long overdue, and 1 am sure the minds and hearts of many Canadians would be filled with appreciation by a quick move on the part of the government to curb this terrible inflationary trend.
I believe that just criticism is always welcome, but when one criticizes he should be able to contribute to a solution of whatever he may be criticizing. I am sure nothing would be more satisfying to Joe Stalin and the communists in this country than to have the present trend continue. While we are not actually at war today, nevertheless our position is exactly the same as when subsidies were introduced during the last war. The very fact that a bill has been introduced at the present time to subsidize gold mining in
Canada is evidence of that. Gold mining is an industry very essential to Canada's progress, and the hon. member for Cochrane (Mr. Bradette) ably presented his views in support of that bill. In the same way it is necessary at the present time to give essential foodstuffs some substantial support. I followed the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) very carefully this evening. He did not disclose that he was opposed to subsidies, and I believe he was quite impressed that something had to be done in order to keep down the rising cost of food. I believe subsidies on the essential articles we require to keep our families alive must be provided immediately.
I know the government must be careful in the matter of subsidies; yet the mothers of large families, the wives of men in the lower income brackets, earning under $3,000 a year, need some assistance in making ends meet. Those with incomes of more than $3,000 a year can very well look after themselves. Things are very difficult also for those living on fixed incomes, and we need not go very far to find them. I could take any member of this cabinet to many places in the -city of Ottawa where people are finding it very difficult to feed their families. In my opinion subsidies must be provided for milk, bread, meat and the other bare essentials of life until such time as production catches up with consumption. There must also be control of the legitimate profits between the producer and the consumer, since many men in business today have been all set for overall price control. While I am not in favour of such over-all price control I believe subsidies on a few commodities such as I mentioned a moment ago are essential at the present time.
I have given what I think is the major reason for this inflationary trend. In conclusion I repeat that some way must be found to assure the farmers of this country that farm labour will be encouraged to remain on the land. Under our immigration policy of the past few years many immigrants have come into this country as farm labour. I do not think that policy has been rigidly followed up, because many of those immigrants remain on the farms only for a year or so and leave. It is not particularly nice to have an unwilling worker on the farm; still when a man comes here under a contract, I believe he should be kept to that contract. Many of those who have come here under this immigration policy have remained on the farm for only four or five months. Then they visit friends in the city, find out the wages they are making, and as a result leave the farms.

In my opinion subsidies on the essentials of food would be one of the finest security measures this government could take at the present time. I have presented my views, and I hope the government will take heed.
I do not intend to vote against them, because I believe they appreciate that there is unrest throughout the country because of the rising cost of living, and will take steps immediately to provide some relief.

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