Mr. Chairman, -when I had to interrupt my speech to enable the house to revert to the consideration of private bills, I was giving my general impressions on yesterday's speeches.
I was saying that it was desirable that goodwill should exist first of all within the government itself. I also said that all past governments ran into enormous deficits, and that in spite of their accumulating deficits they never managed to settle the problem of unemployment, and there still is a great deal of hardship in spite of our abundant natural resources.
Mr. Chairman, we speak of national unity. But have we stopped to think, as we consider these supplementary estimates, that they do not provide anything for the eastern farmers. I am pleased to see that the western farmers get all the assistance they need in order to remain on their farms, but I had hoped that the government would take the same attitude with regard to the eastern farmers.
Moreover, Mr. Chairman, coming back to supplementary estimates, I notice that the Department of Public Works gets only $1. I just wonder what the Minister of Public Works will do with an increase of $1 to end this fiscal year.
Let me draw to your attention a few items, from page 4, of the supplementary estimates (A):
Gift offered to the Queen of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhardt on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary; $700.
Gift offered to commemorate the independence of Nigeria: $10,000.
Gift offered to commemorate the independence of French-speaking African states; $2,100.
Gift offered to commemorate the independence of Tanganyika: $5,000.
Gift offered to commemorate the 150th anniversary of independence of the republic of Mexico: $4,100.
Mr. Chairman, I know it denotes good will to commemorate anniversaries such as these, but I would fully understand the government giving away gifts-I say "gifts" but it would actually be mere justice-to the citizens of the country, to the unemployed and the mothers who, with their pensions and family allowances so ridiculously low, must be content merely to exist.
Well and good to offer gifts to all the countries in the world, but I think we should start by offering gifts to our own Canadian people.
I also see in the estimates an item amounting to $1,081,000 for a contribution to a world food program; I fully agree that the government of Canada should assist underdeveloped countries. However as the proverb goes: "Charity begins at home".
In our own country, human beings are underfed, I therefore wonder what the government is thinking about when they prepare their yearly estimates.
I also see an item of $179,000 as Canada's dues to world organizations. There again, I am in full agreement with the item, because it may further good understanding among the countries of the world. But, on the other hand, Canadians are having a hard time getting along with one another.
We also find in this budget which contains fantastic expenditures, the following item:
Expenses of the royal commission on banking and finance, $166,630.
If only governments had read and given effect to the recommendations made by the commissions which were set up over the years, we would not find ourselves in the midst of such a depression today. Thousands of dollars are being spent on the establishment of commissions and after the latter have examined certain problems, the government does not even take the trouble of considering their recommendations.
Expenses connected with royal visits: $50,000.
And a little further on:
Gifts for furniture to the International Communications Union, $10,000.
Interim payments under the Freight Rates Reduction Act, $50 million.
Mr. Chairman, a bill respecting that act was adopted yesterday morning in an underhanded manner by a parliamentary committee. Everyone knows that, normally, parliamentary committees never sit on Monday morning. It was well known that at 9.30 on a Monday morning, the members who sit on that committee would not have arrived in Ottawa from their homes where they had spent the week end. The committee sat just the same and railroaded that bill.
Mr. Chairman, there is something wrong with that bill. In fact, under it, shippers cannot choose the transportation means. They have to use the railways. When they use trucks, they do not benefit from the grants.
Mr. Chairman, all previous administrations just as the present government did their utmost to claim they were against monopolies and trusts of all kinds. I think that this Bill C-91, gives proof that the government is practising a form of monopoly or control. Let us not forget that private enterprise built up Canada to what it is now. It is by giving more assistance to private enterprise that we shall succeed in building up a prosperous Canada.
The trucking industry which took 30 years to develop is just about to vanish completely because of certain unfortunate legislation passed by the government. I have never been and even today, I still am not in favour of that policy adopted by the government towards our truckers. I am wondering whether some day our governments will take their responsibilities and give more assistance to private industry, the very basis of our Canadian economy.
I shall not spend any more time on those supplementary estimates and I hope they will be approved as quickly as possible. I should also like to remind the Minister of Finance (Mr. Nowlan) and the Conservative government that, for their own good, they should have something better to show us in their next budget, because, otherwise, I, personally, will support it no longer.
I shall not dwell at greater length on that matter. We had thought since September 27, that the government would bring a solution
to this country's problems, but, more and more, we realize that, with the present government, we are continually accumulating deficits and that the budgets it is submitting are not solving any problems.
In closing I must say that I feel sure beforehand that the government will take its responsibilities and will wake up soon in order to give the Canadian people what it is waiting for.
Topic: INTERIM SUPPLY