March 22, 1932 (17th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Joseph-Fernand Fafard


Mr. J. F. FAFARD (L'lslet):

Mr. Speaker, let me extend my congratulations to the ex-Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm), who has been away owing to illness. We all rejoice to see him in his seat once more and trust he will have a complete recovery.
When the house adjourned at eleven o'clock on Friday night I was discussing the resolution now under consideration, and I was opposing it on various grounds. In the first place, as I pointed out, it is unconstitutional inasmuch as it is an abuse of power, and because the money expended under the provision of the statute last year was spent lavishly and without consideration for the farmers of the country. When the measure was brought before the house last year it was strongly opposed, but it was understood then that the blank cheque, so-called, was to be used to relieve unemployment, to aid agriculture, and to assist the country generally. We find now, however, that under that blank cheque the government has seen fit to pass orders in council to amend the Bank Act, to lend money to the provinces-which money will likely be given away at the next election -to increase the force of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to buy riot machines, guns and so on, and to spend $20,000 for the secret service, which secret service, if I am rightly informed, is used to have men follow the Liberal speakers throughout Canada in case they say anything against the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett).
Certainly, Mr. Speaker, a member of this house who respects the mandate given to him by his constituents will not vote to give such power to one man, whatever his ability may be. In the second place, the money was spent in such a way that only one-third went

Unemployment Continuance Act
to the unemployed, the balance having been used to buy material to build camps, and for expropriations, creating new rich at the expense of the unemployed. The narrow politics of this government has stopped our trade with other countries, has depreciated our money, and has created all sorts of suffering throughout Canada.
No matter what the mistakes of the government may be, we are ready to help them. We are ready to help our sister province of Saskatchewan in her need and we thank God that a similar disaster has not fallen upon the other provinces. However, I consider I would be a traitor to mj' country, if, while doing that, I should forego my rights in parliament. That I will not do.
Mr. Speaker, the present government has spent to ill purpose the money voted for the unemployed. In order to cure an ailment, the diseased or affected organ or member is first treated. The agricultural industry is the really sick individual at this stage. So long as that industry does not receive the treatment which will restore its economic health, prosperity will never exist in Canada.
What has the government accomplished for agriculture? It cannot be credited with helping the agricultural population of this country by a reduction of three million dollars in the estimates of the Department of Agriculture.
I wonder what has become of those orators taking part in the last federal election campaign who then evinced such affection for the agricultural classes. The government has done nothing and the ministers who represent our province in the cabinet have done nothing either. Surely it is not by the dismissal of hundreds of postmasters in the province of Quebec that the powers that be have helped agriculture.

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