Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have only a few more remarks to add. Either we make our financial system work-and there are perfectly simple reasons why it is not working at the present time- so that we can give the poor and needy those things we have in abundance about us, or we abandon the use of money altogether and with it the economic basis of democracy in place of a completely planned economy. Every step that increases our taxes takes away our power of choice, takes us away from the free market and economic democracy which I believe we must have.
In considering the legislation which will be placed before us, instead of trying to badger each other back and forth as political parties, it is far more important that we get down to
the basic fundamentals that will let us work together. Let us remember that in our parliament, complex as it is, the individual member must have preserved those rights that will give him the freedom to use the initiative and the enterprise which his Creator has given him.
Parliament, in my opinion, needs to do these things. We must through the Bank of Canada take charge of the credit supply of our nation. We already control the legal tender within our monetary system. Is it such an absurd thing that we should take charge of our credit as well? I think not. Reference has been made here tonight to debt free money. The fact is that because we have not taken charge of our credit-not as a government but as parliament itself-we have failed to give to our economy the necessary monetary bloodstream it needs.
I was interested to read the April 12 edition of the Winnipeg Tribune in which Professor C. L. Barber of the University of Manitoba was reported as saying:
The Canadian economy has been trying to operate with an insufficient money supply for the past five years and needs creation of $1 billion to function successfully.
Since it costs very little to create additional money, we are very foolish to try to get along with too small a stock of it.
A growing economy needs a growing supply of money . . . the supply is barely keeping pace with the growth of the gross national product. There's nothing being done to make up our $1 billion deficit.
The extra money in the economy would raise stock and bond prices and reduce interest rates, and might stimulate the rate of capital spending. The extra money would more likely be invested in Canadian enterprises than be spent on new cars and other consumer goods.
The result of the money supply shortage has been the highest interest rates since the first world war.
Canadians now expect "a great deal" from government . . .
They (governments) are expected to take an underlying responsibility for the successful functioning of our economy-and properly so.
Yet, I suspect few of us realize how much our standards of expected government performance have risen over the past decade or more.
He went on to explain how this would work. So, these things which far too many members of the house tend to laugh and jeer at, are things which people who are closer to an understanding of the function of our economy are thinking about. Since it costs very little and since the basic reforms that would be involved here are not major, it would not take long before our economy could produce the things that we agree are the desirable objectives.
France, Germany and Japan, during the years since the last war, have steadily increased their money supply and the growth 28902-5-6i
The Address-Mr. Thompson of their gross national product. Their economies have expanded; they do not have unemployment today. Is it immoral to do the same thing here? The answer is not higher debt and higher tax burdens.
The government can be assured, in the light of this approach, of our co-operation in this parliament as we agree that something must be done, but we give notice to the government that we are afraid it is on a fundamentally wrong track in preferring physical control to financial reform in trying to make our economic system bring prosperity to all. I am alarmed at the possible consequences that might result to individual rights and freedom in a private enterprise economy.
This is no blank cheque for support, but it is an earnest appeal to each one of us to work together to make this session a responsible session in the eyes of the people who elected us. We can prove to the people of Canada that we are responsible representatives only by acting like responsible people. Frontbencher or backbencher, cabinet ministers or opposition, it does not matter where we sit. This is the challenge that is before us now. I hope each member will take the now. I hope each member will take the opportunity of participating in this debate as I do not think any one has all the answers to the questions that are involved. However as we participate and share this responsibility we will achieve that which the country expects from us and which it needs in order that it can continue to develop and move forward.
This is now just four years before the centennial of our confederation. These are four very vital years. Whether or not we are able to hold Canada together as a nation remains to be seen. I think we will find the answer before 1967. I do not think there has ever been so important or critical a period in the history of our nation, as it has existed as a nation, as we face standing on the threshold right now. Therefore I trust-and I am confident we will do this-that each one of us will be carefully thinking of our responsibilities in this over-all picture and will be playing our own parts in moving forward to make Canada the nation that I want Canada to be, that all of us want Canada to be, that Canada must be if she is to stand, and a nation such as the world must have.
We in Canada are actually a miniature world. It is true that we are only 19 million people. We came together as two founding nations 200 years ago, and into our midst have come a multitude of other nationals from other parts of the world. We came into being almost in spite of the laws of economics and the reasoning of men that such a nation could survive. In fact it is a miracle that
The Address-Mr. Douglas Canada has survived to this point. But what hope have we of staying together as a peaceful world, of developing the human and material resources of this world, if we in Canada cannot work out our own problems? That is why I think our responsibility goes much further afield than this house or this nation. It reaches across the world. If we cannot do this, what hope have men and women as individuals who deserve the assurance of those things which they need in order to live, and who at the same time desire the freedom which will help them reach their objective in the world.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY