Mr. Dionne (Kamouraska):
My colleague tells me that in these days of floating about, the dollar will drown if it continues to float like that. So, to resume my quotation from Father Levesque's text:
Is money not the magic instrument capable of mobilizing all beings in creation, of representing all things while expressing their value... even where men are concerned (is it not said that so-and-so is worth a million?) In fact, money is not a means, it is the perfect means. So, the infinity of its possibilities confers upon it, falsely, the traits and prestige of a god.
Further on, it is very interesting because in that talk we Find many explanations of our famous present monetary system.
Speaking of money he says this:
That general commodity, what is it in fact, where does it come from?
Talking about money.
I remember reading an article in the August 16, 1939 edition of the Action Catholique which was entitled: A mystery to clear up. Where does money come from? This article was written by Louis-Philippe Roy who, after mentioning that we had been short of money for a long time-let us not forget that we were in 1939, at the time of the declaration of war-all of a sudden there was plenty of everything, there was a flow of money for all the needs, war needs, of course.
He concluded his article by saying:
If, according to Pius XI, economic conditions are such that the salvation work is absolutely jeopardized by the money makers, it is high time we investigated in that direction.
I return to the speech I mentioned earlier:
What is it in fact? Where does it come from? It is not a direct creation of God who does not waste his time coining money. God does not need money. He has in his hands all the magnificence of creation: all the treasures buried in the ground or scattered in the infinity of space, the beauty of spring flowers and the brilliance of fall colours . . . One may even say that with regard to His creation, God does not need anything since He is everything. We must have things because our being is finite. To have is the human condition. To Be is the attribute of God. In his celestial grammar, the Creator only conjugates with the auxiliary verb to be: "I am that I am". Hence, money is a human invention.
That is what I was saying at the beginning.
It is produced by us. And in doing so, we are wonderfully right, even in the eyes of God. For God has put the material world at our disposal, leaving it to us to develop and to increase the natural wealth that He distributed here and there. He also endowed our minds and our bodies with various talents and different aptitudes enabling us to help each other.
But in order to achieve this, we must take the required means. I was saying at the very beginning, when 1 had other quotations in hand, particularly the one referring to a former prime minister of Canada, the Right Hon. Mackenzie King.
Once a nation loses control over its currency and its credit, it does not matter much who in that nation makes laws. Once in control, money lenders will ruin any country.
This is somebody that you know well. Several of you have probably sat with him in this House. I also have here statements from American administrators, like Jefferson for instance who said and I quote:
Money, that is the mean through which modern nations will recover their dues. This institution (the Bank of the United States) is one of the deadliest enemies threatening the principles and the form of our Constitution. I believe that no government can feel safe when it is subservient to an independent authority or toward any authority other than that of the nation.
I could give you hundreds of quotations such as these, which demonstrate that the power held by the banking system must absolutely be changed. Otherwise we are directing ourselves toward . . . Well, the population is asking itself toward what. How many times has this question been asked to us during our travels in our ridings. People ask us: Where is that system leading us to? I confess that it is difficult to give an answer because we cannot foresee, at least seriously the presence of active politicians exercizing decisive powers of control and who seem likely to bring back order to that financial chaos. It must be undertood that this is a serious matter. One must first grasp the difference between what is real and what is financial. These are two different things. Yet one has to admit it.
When one speaks about wheat, butter, cheese, eggs, shoes or anything likely to help us in our daily life, we are talking about real things. But when one talks about dollars, pounds, francs, you are talking about symbols. You do not eat symbols. In our present system, symbols are nevertheless necessary to obtain food. These symbols cannot by themselves feed, clothe, house or cure individuals. They are only symbols made to evaluate things and also in our organized world to give to those who offer to trade them certain rights to things they want.
The most important of the two and this is at this stage that one must come to think about it, is obviously the real one for these are the things which are the most important. Without the real thing, the symbol would not mean anything. If there were not goods, if there were no men at work, no women at work, if it were not for the fact that the whole population of a country who wishes to produce something, what would then be the use of money? What is essential is the material good. The symbol is of secondary importance. It is therefore necessary that we adopt a policy to adjust the value of that symbol. This must be corrected to enable the goods to meet the needs that are to be fulfilled. There lies the answer. Why not look for it in that area. It is useless to discuss or replace the Minister of Finance. Even when we do have good ones, they do not change the system. They try to struggle in a defective system. Reality rather than the financial aspect is what counts. A starving man in the desert with a wad of bills in his hand will die. A loaf of bread would be more appreciated. And in a city, a man with a wad of bills does not starve because he exchanges his dollars for food. Reality depends on the productive capacity of the country: natural resources, land, climate, manpower, machinery, production procedures, division of labour, social order, etc. This productive capacity of the country, real or anticipat-
February 27, 1978
ed, is the basis of the confidence held by its residents or its new citizens. Before it was even realized, that potential capacity of our country inspired enough confidence in people from France for them to leave their country for the shores of the St. Lawrence. Today Canada's production system while it has not yet reached it's full capacity is not of concern to anyone at all-there is not a Canadian who fears that in 10 or 50 years from now his country will no longer be able to produce wheat, meat, wood and manufactured goods.
The confidence in Canada's production system is total. If the financial system were the true image of the production system it would inspire exactly as much confidence as the production system. That is not the case; if no one fears for Canada's production many Canadians fear for the financial means of obtaining the product. That is what you see; nobody can deny it. We do see constant progress made in the production system but also continuous disorders in the financial system. The signs are not at all in precise and constant relation with things. There are so many advanced machines today to make calculations of all kinds and computers costing millions of dollars that can apparently at even excessive speed put out results from a problem they are fed based on the operator's programming, and we, as politicians, as administrators, could not Find means of making adequate calculations and fairly distribute the wealth of this country based on the sign values. We would not have this difficulty of always being faced with the uncertainty of the variation of our dollar as the wealth, the real wealth, is in things and not in the bucks. No matter how many bucks you have, if the things are not there, people can starve to death. The main thing is food, clothing, conditions, everthing one can find to have these decent living conditions. And there is no lack of that in Canada! What we lack is an adjustment in figures. Did you ever see such nonsense? It is really beyond understanding. And as I was saying earlier, if it came from a divine power, we would comply with it but that is not the case. All that is controlled by men, a handful of men who control the exchange, products, at will; they supply the money needed to organize their system so as to continue to make money, to build up profits. It is written all over the place. Banking organizations, we know what they are from charter bank annual reports. That does not mean I am critical of reasonable profits, however there is no reason why the system that controls everything should also be controlling our very lives, deciding whether we are going to eat two or three meals a day through the amount of money they put into circulation, with their power to create and delete money at will. Dollars there is no dearth of in wartime, when the producing system is geared to making things that in no way correspond to the people's needs. But when the producing system is no longer capable of supplying everything required from it, dollars to cover orders disappear. This we have experienced on many occasions.
That game is anti-social and barbaric. It hurts consumers in the context of unused production. We remember periods where
there was talk of overproduction, while families without actually dying of hunger pretty near did, lacking the essentials in of everything across the land. We now have the same thing again. We should not be talking of Canadian prosperity but of the percentage of the people who enjoy that prosperity when thousands of people have incomes below the poverty level. The reason they do not enjoy prosperity is the lack of symbols which dollars are. That game is anti-social and barbaric, it hurts consumers and creates fictitious problems not only for the individual but for groups and even governments. The government is wrestling with its debt and is unable to repay. If we think seriously about that, there is no way this will not lead us into trouble. The government is trying to juggle with figures, it is not trying to go to the root of the problem. They would identify its cause if they tried, as it is rather easy. Today there are courses on monetary reform. I already quoted in this House the book written by a famous economist about the issuing of money. It proved that those who still believe that banks do not create money supply are wrong.
As there have been so many inquiries that proved it, we can say without exaggeration that 90 per cent of the problems are financial problems. And if we look at what happens everywhere in our families, our households, how many quarrels are caused by a lack of money? When federal and provincial ministers meet to conclude an agreement, it is always on a financial matter. Federal-provincial conferences are endless and what is the subject of discussion? Who has the right to tax? It is always on a money matter.
I remember very well that during a federal-provincial conference in 1941, a Social Credit premier of Alberta made some suggestions. They listened to him. They listened to him very quietly and the conference chairman who was the Right Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King even thanked him. He was the last one to have the floor but it did not bother the Alberta premier who explained his views about the situation. He made practical suggestions and said: We meet here to find the means to improve the situation and conditions in Upper Canada. If we really wanted, we should try to change something in the present system. Unfortunately, they did not follow his suggestions and since then they debate the same matter from one conference to another and it is sometimes a cause of differences. Now we are talking about national unity. We try to reunite-
Subtopic: BANK ACT