The natural result of the tearing up of the Natural Products Marketing Act-and I am forced to conclude, 'from the attitude of the Liberal party when the act was before us, that they are not friendly to it-would be that our marketing scheme, which was voted on last week in the three prairie provinces would go by the board, and all the facilities afforded the primary producers would be dispensed with. But there is another point I would touch upon. In 1932, I believe, we passed here what became known as the Ottawa trade agreements. I fear to come to the conclusion, but I am almost forced to it, that the Liberal party are in duty bound to scrap these Ottawa trade agreements. Oh, I know they mean to scrap certain parts of them; but if certain
Unemployment Relief-Mr. Carmichael
parts of the agreements are scrapped at this end it means that the agreements fall down, because there are two parties to them and no change can be made at this end unless the other party at the other end is agreeable to such change. It follows therefore that if certain changes are made here the agreements will fall by the way, and become obsolete. Now, we had a Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act passed last session, and I am not sure of the attitude of the Liberal party towards that. Like the hon. member for St. James, they may have a change of heart either now or before they come into power, and they may not scrap it because it is a very popular piece of legislation in the prairies. But you cannot guarantee that they would not do away with that either. Unfortunately, as has been pointed out from this corner, no definite pronouncement has been made by the leader of the Liberal party. He who, according to their ideas and ambitions and hopes, is not very far removed from being Prime Minister of Canada, has made no pronouncement as to what that party proposes to do. His nine years of experience as Prime Minister and the past five years as leader of the opposition have made him discreetly wise and he is not saying anything.
The hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) has moved an amendment and he has stated very definitely what "I" propose to do. He says: "What I advocate, and I am giving my personal views only, not necessarily the' views of any party or group," and he proceeds to give us twelve points. Probably they have some virtue in them, but they are the individual views of one member and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Liberal party. So that there we are faced with the alternative of putting into power a party that has told us nothing of what it is going to do-and we know a number of things they will do which will not be beneficial. A lot of legislation that has been passed, and a good deal more that is in the act of being passed, will be prejudiced considerably toy a change of government; and yet we have before us from the Liberal party nothing official on which we can base our hopes if we support this amendment to put out the party now governing and put in the party now in opposition. The burden of the official opposition is just to put Bennett out; and the burden of the Liberal press across Canada is, "Just put the Conservatives out and let the Liberals in." That is not a very good reason for voting for the amendment now before the house.
There is considerable virtue in the amendment and1 I am not finding any fault for its being brought to the attention of the house. Its main thought is unemployment and its remedy. I doubt if I will take the time now to go into the question of unemployment to any extent except to say that I consider it worthy of being debated and I presume at some future time the house will be afforded an opportunity of discussing the question and suggesting remedies. But I do hold the view, contrary of course to that of some hon. gentlemen in this corner, that the only possible permanent solution for our unemployment problem is to get a more evenly balanced adjustment as between urban and rural populations. For the past two generations we have been educating our boys and girls away from the land which is, I was going to say their heaven-intended place to live, that is on the land, in touch with nature, working and getting their living to a large extent from the soil. For the past two generations we have been educating our people along a line that has induced them to move into the industrial centres, to enter into industrial, business and professional life and away from agricultural life. It seems to me that we must return to the basic principle of getting our population back where it belongs, namely on the land.
While many commissions have been appointed, many investigations held and even some (books written, I believe the most sensible thing for us to do in connection with this unemployment question would be to appoint a dominion land settlement commission that would have authority to make a survey in conjunction with the provinces and the smaller municipalities with a view to getting the good land lined up that would be available without cost to our boys, young men and families who are agriculturally inclined. I know in my province there is plenty of land held in some instances by the provincial government; in every township sections 11 and 29 are school lands; many of these sections have not yet been sold and some that have been sold have reverted to the crown, also in our municipalities there are scores of quarter sections that have been taken over in recent years under tax sale proceedings. Such lands might be made available without charge to those who are agriculturally inclined and under a properly set up and efficiently working commission boys, young men and families who are agriculturally inclined might thus be placed on such lands and assisted for from three to five
Unemployment Relief-Mr. Carmichael
years as suggested here a few days ago by the hon. member for North Timiskaming (Mr. Bradette).
Not only might such lands be made available for such purposes, but in our country there are other young boys who would be glad to turn their attention to agricultural pursuits if they knew how to carry on. I remember last year the suggestion was made to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gordon) that instead of bringing in British boys and giving them training in preparation for going on to the land, he should expend the same amount or more money to train our own Canadian boys, give them a year or two of training in agricultural pursuits and get them ready for going out and taking over land of their own. At that time I think the hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart) and in this corner the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Coote) could scarcely find language severe enough to castigate such a proposal. I still believe the only possible permanent solution of the unemployment question is to get our boys and girls and our men and women back on the land, not with an overhead of debt; they should be placed there without any debt so far as capital is concerned and they should be assisted by the dominion and provincial governments so as to give them a start that they may become self sustaining.
I have heard from this comer severe criticism of the government for the small amounts they are providing for the support of life in our urban centres. I can cite to the house the actual figure of what it takes to keep one family I know of near my own home town. There are the father, the mother and four children who are living on a farm. They live well; they dress well; they have not a low standard of living. The mother is a university graduate, having obtained her B.A. degree at Toronto university. They say that for $4 a week they are able to live on the land; that is, they spend just S4 a week to supplement what they are able to grow on the land. That means S200 a year for a family of six. Is that not much better than the amount of money we are paying out in our urban centres where we have to provide the people on relief with all the necessities of life? Would it not be better if these people were out on the land gaining from it a large proportion of their own living and working for it? When this measure is before us so that we may have an opportunity of suggesting remedies for the relief of unemployment, I shall have something more to say. At the present time I reiterate what
I said at first: my view is that the carrying of the amendment would not be helpful to the country; it would not be beneficial to the people I represent, and therefore I purpose voting against it.
Topic: SUPPLY-UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE