February 17, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)

SC

Alexander Bell Patterson

Social Credit

Mr. Patterson:

-and because of the fact that he had to attend to business in connection with his V.L.A. holding, he had to leave his place of employment and return to that holding. Weeks went by, months went by. He made application for unemployment insurance, but he has not received it and apparently cannot. I have already written asking for a report on the case, but have not received one yet. According to the letter this young man has had to dispose of some of his furnishings in order to meet his expenses.
I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that we must find a solution for the problem immediately. Not only must we do that; we must also, it seems to me, lay down long-range policies to eliminate the possibility of a return to such conditions in the future. It has been said that where there is no vision the people perish. I suppose we had a pretty fair example of that in the 1930's. It would seem that there has not been any fundamental change in our approach to the economic problems that confront us,

and we can only conclude that history is going to repeat itself and such conditions are going to return.
I think the following cycle is worthy of consideration. It has been said that periodic lack of purchasing power results in a lack of markets for goods produced, which causes unemployment. This brings on a depression from which international frictions arise leading to war, which inevitably causes increased borrowing, debt and inflation, and to meet these things pyramiding taxation is necessary. Then there is peace, and later a recurrence of the cycle. This has been the history of the past and, as I have already said, in spite of the fond hopes we may cherish, in spite of glib prophecies and statements to the contrary, I am afraid that history is going to repeat itself unless the government takes the steps necessary to solve the problem and see to it that adequate purchasing power is placed in the hands of the people to enable them to buy the products of factories and farms and in order to contribute to further production of the essentials of life.
The situation is there; the problem exists. I submit that something should be done immediately, and that long-term policies should be laid down in order to forestall a recurrence of these unsatisfactory conditions.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR EXAMINATION BY COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
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