William Scottie BRYCE

BRYCE, William Scottie

Personal Data

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)
Selkirk (Manitoba)
Birth Date
September 7, 1888
Deceased Date
June 17, 1963
farmer, machinist

Parliamentary Career

August 9, 1943 - April 16, 1945
  Selkirk (Manitoba)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Selkirk (Manitoba)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
  Selkirk (Manitoba)
November 8, 1954 - April 12, 1957
  Selkirk (Manitoba)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
  Selkirk (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 301)

November 21, 1966

Mr. Bryce:

Let me try to find some of them.

In other words, he is breaking down the items included in the table. He continues:

May I pick out some of the major items? First we have the net rents received by individuals-

These are rents received by individuals, not by corporations, because the income received by corporations is included under the corporate profits section of the table. The second item is investment income of life insurance companies, including pension funds. Then there is bond interest, interest on bank deposits, trust and savings deposits, credit union deposits, mortgage holdings by individuals- not by corporations-government annuities, dividends from abroad, profits on mutual nonlife insurance companies, royalties, etc.

As you can see, Mr. Speaker, many of these items are not the type of income-producing item which it can be said accrues to the large corporation or big businessman. Much of it is income which is received through pension plans, credit union interest and so forth and has been received by the little man. So in this respect I think it was misleading for the leader of the N.D.P. to try to imply that there was an increase of 17 per cent among the members of the upper economic echelon of our society, whereas labour and wages income increased by only 7.7 per cent.

With regard to farm incomes the table which appears at page 95 of the report shows an increase of 1.7 per cent during the period from 1949 to 1965, which is a very low percentage. According to the following table, table 6, farm income is only 3.8 per cent of the gross national product, which again is a rather low percentage. The hon. member for Bur-naby-Coquitlam seemed to be implying that there was some inequity here, but an examination of the evidence given under crossexamination of the witness demonstrates that

Increased Cost of Living the situation is not what the hon. member would have us believe. On the subject of farm income the hon. member for Medicine Hat asked Mr. Bryce from the Department of Finance some questions. The hon. member for Medicine Hat asked about some years when there had been a significant decline. He said:

[DOT] (9:10 p.m.)

Does that account for why we come up with an average of 1.7 per cent?

Mr. Bryce said:

The reason for the 1.7 per cent growth is that agriculture is a diminishing part of the economy as a whole. A great deal of manpower has left agriculture and has gone into other fields. The increase in productivity in agriculture has been quite high. This income of 1965 is distributed amongst a far smaller number of farmers than the income of 1949 was.

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November 21, 1966

Mr. Bryce:

The reason the figure is so low is because agriculture has not been growing in aggregate in the way in which, let us say, manufacturing or mining has been growing through the period. The number of farmers has been diminishing, and not growing.

The report goes on to point out that though the total amount of farm incomes has been going down, in fact farm productivity and the income of individual farmers have risen, though not at the rate of those working in other sectors of the economy.

The hon. member, in introducing his amendment this afternoon and trying to find the causes for the high cost of living, completely excused wage increases, blaming the increase in profits for the increase in the cost of living. In all the evidence put before us by the companies in the food business we have seen that labour rates in food industries have increased more quickly than profits. Referring to a few tables, we see on page 549 that the salaries and wages for one of the supermarket chains increased 11,2 per cent from 1960 to 1966 and fringe benefits increased by 9.2 per cent, making a total increase of approximately 20.4 per cent, whereas their profits in the same period increased by 8.7 per cent. I am not excusing the food companies, but I think we have to be fair. We must agree that the matter is not as simple as pretended by the leader of the N.D.P. Different sectors of the economy have been responsible for the increased cost of living at different times. We must recognize this to be fair.

In the amendment the hon. member criticizes the government for not having done anything to produce a more equitable distribution of productivity and national income. As


Increased Cost of Living has been pointed out by the hon. member for Medicine Hat, the amendment makes little sense if we look at the record. Since this session, which opened in January, the government has introduced much legislation to help the lower income groups in our economy such as the Canada Assistance Plan which gives assistance to the sick, the blind, the crippled and the aged, the new amendments to the National Housing Act which will help people with lower incomes to purchase houses, the medicare program, and the Company of Young Canadians to help those in dire circumstances in Canada. The government has also set up the committee studying the cost of living. It is my opinion that the very working of the committee has had a corrective effect on the price structure up to now.

I think the fact that such a committee is sitting, calling witnesses and making companies reveal their records is having a corrective effect because it makes the people who set prices in the industry think twice before taking an undue profit at the expense of Canadian consumers. Statistics released at the end of October show that consumer food prices have decreased. I will not pretend that the immediate cause of the decrease has been the work of the committee, but I am fairly certain that the committee work has been one of the causes bringing about decreased food prices.

Contrary to what the amendment implies, if we compare the record of the government of this country with the records of other governments in other countries we shall see that we have been extremely effective in providing price stability and maintaining income. Despite this record the government is still not satisfied but wants to do even more.

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January 31, 1958

Mr. Bryce:

Last night at ten o'clock, Mr. Chairman, I had just started to tell hon. members that I had received a brief from the Manitoba Indian brotherhood, the northern section, and I was quoting from that brief to bring before the minister and his officers the complaints these Indians had against what was happening in the north country. I had commenced to read from the brief, and had read the first two paragraphs. I want to quote a few remarks from the people who live on the Pukatawagan reserve. They have this to say:

Pukatawagan Reserve

Last summer conference with Laval Fortier and Colonel Jones we were promised that our reserve would be surveyed, also the forest limits which we asked for; none of this was done as yet. Many of our people need homes and if a timber limit was given us our men would get out saw logs and manufacture their building material. As the

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration reserve in which we live is all rock we wish to ask that Brant lake be given to our band as a fishing reserve where we could fish in open seasons commercially and in all seasons of the year for domestic purposes. This place is also suitable for growing vegetables, which we need badly in our reserve.

We were also promised to have an Indian constable in our reserve which we did not get as yet; when we do get the instructions to appoint one we wish that you grant a $40 per month salary to the constable as this is a whole year job and a big responsibility.

I now want to quote the recommendations from the Shoal river reserve. The brief states: Shoal River Reserve

The brief was presented to you last February and another brief to Hon. Laval Fortier and Colonel Jones last summer and none of the briefs were acted on as yet.

The population of the Shoal river reserve is increasing and is requesting again that our reserve be extended. There is a space unoccupied between our two reserves and this is the space we are looking forward to as a grant from the federal government; this will serve well to the band as it is a very good place for fuel wood as our timber is all cleaned up in our present reserve.

We also requested for an extended highway into our reserve and bridges as well, that it may serve the band conveying their produce and emergency cases.

We repeatedly asked for a tractor, plow, disc and seed drill from the department of Indian affairs and none of this was granted us as yet; if granted the members of our reserve would grow their own grain and vegetables.

Our fishing area is very poor and I wish you could contact with the Manitoba game and fisheries branch to grant us fishing grounds at Cedar lake where we could fish commercially in the winter


The superintendent at Dauphin, Manitoba got us to cut wood, which we have done so, and no pay is forthcoming. We wish you could look into this matter and clear off our differences.

Ammunition and nets were not given us as yet. We also request that these articles be given us now instead of them laying in the warehouse at Dauphin.

Loans are also denied us by the superintendent, all of which we are in need, as we cannot go ahead with purchasing power to fish or farm.

The wish of the band is very important. We are requesting that our band be transferred to the supervision of The Pas agency instead of the one at Dauphin as The Pas is more nearer and suitable for us.

Councillor Noah Stevens is adopting a child and is paying taxes, also delivers U cords of wood to defray the expense of this child that is attending school outside of the reserve, which we are certain is a miscarriage of justice to a treaty Indian.

The constable of our reserve should be paid a salary as he is doing an important and dangerous job and it is an all year responsibility.

There was no help given to Alice Moore when she had her home built; instead she was compelled to pay all her expenses. The chief and councillors feel that Mrs. Moore should get restitution for what she has spent building her home from the department of Indian affairs, and of which we feel sure you will grant her the request.

We also wish to have our sawmill repaired as it is out of order and cannot operate our mill; therefore no building material is manufactured.

Before I go on any further may I say this.

I am sure everybody in this country expects

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration that education up to grade 8 is free. This man is hauling wood in order to defray the expense in connection with his child going to school. I should like the minister to look into this matter. I should like him to look into all these things that are mentioned, but that is one that is a glaring injustice. I now come to the Cross lake reserve and their recommendations:

Cross Lake

Fur bearing animals are getting scarce and we do not know what steps could be taken to better the living conditions in our reserve; we see no other alternative but call for your help to find other employment for the Indians of Cross lake, as we have no other means to meet the requirements for my people outside of trapping.

This is the reason why I am asking the department of Indian education to increase the grants for elementary education, to provide high schools and trade courses for advanced students, as common labour is about a thing of the past due to the rapid growth of population and modern equipment now in operation at all projects approached for employment; therefore we request that qualified teachers be given us to teach our children.

Material for bridges and homes are our biggest shortage in our reserve; if our sawmill was repaired and a new tractor given us, our men would get out logs and manufacture all the material needed for bridges, building material and fish box lumber. We beg that you give our band a new tractor for the purpose mentioned above ...

We are requesting that wood now delivered to the schools by my band members be paid $5 per cord instead of the present rate of $3 now paid to them, for no one could live on $3 per cord in my reserve due to the high cost of living.. .

The wardens are doing their best to abrogate our treaty rights; they are now trying to impose a fee on the' treaty Indians on big game such as moose and reindeer, etc. Our treaty rights state that we could take and kill big game at all times for our domestic use. We do not want anyone to take away from us our God given rights.

The Indians are also fishermen whenever the opportunity is given him to do so; for this purpose we request that it be promoted to co-operatives to market fish, furs and other products that is produced by the Indians of Cross lake.

As stated before we are in need of a good timber berth and we are looking forward to you to give this your serious consideration.

We need more homes for our old folks (the aged). Their homes need repair material, also money to buy wood for them as the present $40 per month given them is inadequate due to the high cost of living.

Norway House. A year ago you made a good speech.

I do not know to whom this refers, but speaking for myself I would say the reference is to the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate:

You said that the Indian some day would become a teacher, a clergyman, a lawyer, mayor or even become the Prime Minister of Canada, and that you hoped to live to see that day, and that you promised to fulfil our requests at that interview. . .

... At our band meeting we planned to ask from your department a tractor and other equipment needed to till the soil. We are in need of

potatoes and other vegetables and if the request is granted we could go ahead with our proposed project.

We regret to inform you that Mr. Staunton, our local superintendent, does not give us any consideration whenever we approach him for assistance. He denies us at every request we make and is not dealing with us properly. Mr. Sherwood is far worse. We want this man removed from his office and give us an honest and faithful man to deal with us.

We are in need of better homes. If your department will give us the material I am sure if you give us the consideration, this also goes for our aged persons in our reserve; the present $40 per month given them is inadequate to buy fuel and other necessities and we urgently request that fuel wood be supplied to them for they are in need of all this wood and their burden would be greatly relieved.

Our road needs repair and constructed properly. Conveyance is poor due to bad roads and I wish you could look into this matter. There are some families that should get relief due to unemployment and poor trapping season. We plead to you for relief for these poor people.

The nearest to our railway would be south of Wabowden and if a road was to be surveyed we would be only too ready to co-operate and in this way our men would get some employment and a straight road constructed for general purposes.

The game wardens are trying to make treaty Indians pay for fees on moose, etc. Our treaty states that Indians could take and kill big game for their domestic use, and we strictly oppose paying fees.

We request that wives under pensioners' aid, married to old age pensioners, and men likewise, get rations for they cannot earn a living; if other bands in Manitoba are giving rations to persons mentioned above, we wish that our band members be treated alike.

Hospitalization-we have a hard time getting our sick to hospitals and we are requesting that some vehicle be given us for conveying our sick to the hospitals in the winter season and a boat for the summer season.

There is no other employment near my reserve after the summer fishing season is over and I wish you could arrange with the Manitoba game and fisheries branch members to have Montreal point, lake Winnipeg, as a fishing reserve, where they could fish commercially in the fall season. In this way the Indians of my band would have some employment.

Split Lake reserve. The school children of the reserve have a long ways to walk to school. The smallest ones have a hard time to reach the school due to cold weather. Some freeze their feet and faces and for this purpose some line of conveyance to school is requested to avoid further suffering to our children attending school. If not, a residential school should be built in my reserve.

Hospitalization-some of my people were denied admittance to the hospital and sent home to suffer; just lately one of my members was denied admittance and medical care and sent home. A day after, this person passed away. For this most important matter I am requesting a hospital in my reserve where the sick of my reserve could be taken care of. There is very little assistance given to my people in regards to rations and fuel wood, especially to the aged and indigent. A special request is urgent to help those that cannot help themselves.

Homes are very poor in my reserve and those that need them cannot afford to get the building material, and it is for them I am calling for help, that you can give according to your kind consideration.

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

The merchant whom we deal with is overcharging us for merchandise and paying poor prices for fur and due to the scarcity of fur-bearing animals, my people will soon face starvation if no help is forthcoming because there is no employment nearby. We wish you could arrange that a store be established on my reserve managed by the department of Indian affairs.

Cedar Lake reserve. During the winter fishing season the Indians of this band are over-crowded by white fishermen and cannot get enough fish to cover their accounts with the fish company they are dealing with. They request that special fishing grounds be granted to them in Cedar lake where they alone can fish commercially.

Trapping areas should be enlarged and big game should be open for the use of this band; also waterfowl for them as there is no other way to earn a living in this area.

They have a sawmill and cannot make use of it because a white man is operating the outfit for his own use. They are requesting that this outfit be returned to them, and that they make use of it by manufacturing their own lumber . ..

The delegation is urgently requesting that when a man is in the hospital or is hurt by an accident and laid up from such injuries or sickness that his family be looked after by the department of Indian affairs while recuperating or convalescence at home or in the hospital. We beg that you give all this and other requests your serious consideration and action thereon.

This is signed by Chief Cornelius Bignell, The Pas, Manitoba, and by the secretary, A. E. Thompson, Peguis reserve, Dallas, Manitoba.

I have read the report of the director of Indian affairs, and in it he has spoken of employment conditions during the year in Manitoba, where more than 1,000 Indians were gainfully employed, mostly on seasonal work. Indians found work on railway maintenance, pulpwood operations, defence projects, pipe-line construction, mining and other developments in the north, and took part in sugar beet industries in the south. The report also mentions pulpwood operations which were carried out to provide work and wages in different districts of northern Manitoba, and it is hoped that there will be a big development at Grand Rapids which will employ many more Indians.

I would like to ask the minister what have been the results of the department's endeavours to provide work and wages for Indians near Berens river, where there has been a big project. I would like him to tell me how many cords of pulpwood were cut in 1956, and how many in 1957; also, of the amount of pulpwood cut, how many cords were hauled out of the bush? I would also like to know how much the government paid the Indians for cutting pulpwood and what was the haulage cost when this pulp was taken to Manigotagan and then shipped to Pine Falls. What was the cost per cord from the stump to the pulp mill? I would also like to know if the pulp mill paid any of the

transportation costs, or if the entire cost of the operation was paid for by the department.

There were two barges sunk. Were they a complete loss or were they salvaged afterwards? If they were lost, were they insured?

I would like to know, too, if all this work was let by tender.

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January 31, 1958

Mr. Bryce:

I was interested in the cost of transportation.

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January 31, 1958

Mr. Bryce:

Yes, and was the work that had to be done let by tender or just done through an agreement?

With reference to education I might point out that I first visited Norway House 15 years ago. There has been a great deal of improvement in that time but what is required there now is a high school where higher education will be available than can be had in the school they have at present. I am sure the people there will be agreeable to having the Indian affairs branch make arrangements with the provincial government. Actually one school could serve both purposes through the construction of an addition or some similar arrangement.

Many Indians there are not treaty Indians, and they require higher education. If they return to Winnipeg they find they cannot get a job tying parcels unless they have grade XI or grade XII education. It would be cheaper for them to get higher education at Norway House than it would if they had to go to Snake Island or Matheson Island, approximately 300 miles from home. I urge the minister to investigate the situation to see if higher educational facilities could be arranged at Norway House. I believe it could be done for relatively little cost.

I wish now to speak about the disgraceful condition of the roads. A highly graded road is not needed, because the roads are used in only two seasons of the year. When the river is open boats are used, and when it is frozen the people ski or skate on the ice. In the inbetween times conditions are bad and the children get their feet wet. I got my feet wet, too, although I was there in the summer. The improvements would not have to be elaborate or expensive, and even if a few logs were placed over the road it would protect the children.

When I raised this question previously and appealed to the former minister of justice, my good friend Mr. Garson, he said the problem was that of securing labourers to do the work.


Supply-Citizenship and Immigration The present Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is also Minister of Justice. He has access to the jails in this country that are full of prisoners, many of whom have been guilty of minor petty offences. Could these men not be put to work constructing these roads for the school children? There may be difficulty involved in having 10 or 12 prisoners put to work in this way, but the idea appeals to me as being reasonable.

I have in my hand a clipping from the Winnipeg Free Press of January 27, 1958, which says there are now more Indians living in Winnipeg than on any single reservation in Manitoba. The clipping is a report of a conference on Indians and metis recently held in Winnipeg. The question of education was stressed at this convention, and the delegates passed the five following resolutions aimed at improving education of Indians and metis:

1. Provision of provincial government scholarships to worthy students.

2. Institution of short, factual training courses.

3. Factual courses at local schools on urban life and its requirements.

4. Training for all students in differing cultures.

5. Provision of technical courses for Indians and metis.

The concluding paragraph of the article is most interesting. It reads:

Discussion on resolutions was stimulated by a delegate who claimed the only lucky Indians were those who had had T.B. He claimed that when cured, the rehabilitation program prepared them for city life.

I draw the attention of hon. members to this fact. Perhaps the minister or his officials have already read this article.

Mr. Chairman, I have only five minutes in which to bring this message to the minister's attention. The Indian committee, which sat for three years, made a number of recommendations, one of which was that we should set up a claims commission. In the correspondence which I have read to the minister today, and about which I have spoken, it is clearly shown that the Indians have one idea and the department has another. The Indian still thinks he is only asking for the God-given rights that were enjoyed by his forefathers, and about which he has been told.

One will say he wants a mower or a wagon. The thing is not possible any more. What he needs, if he wants to be a farmer, is a tractor and the necessary machinery. I do not know how many of the recommendations of that committee were ever put into operation, but here is one that should be put into practice now. Bring the Indians in and let them understand that these things will never come back and let us reach some common agreement with them, because as long as one man thinks one thing and another thinks another, we will never get anywhere.

I hope the department will give consideration to the matters I have brought to the minister's attention. In closing I should like to pay tribute to the ministers and priests and those associated with them in the work among the Indians in the north country. I should also include the doctors and the nurses. I have made ten trips into this region and know full well the trials and tribulations these people experience in their endeavour to bring health and education to the people they look after.

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