Wilfrid Garfield CASE

CASE, Wilfrid Garfield

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Grey North (Ontario)
Birth Date
September 23, 1898
Deceased Date
September 22, 1959
farmer, insurance broker

Parliamentary Career

February 5, 1945 - April 16, 1945
  Grey North (Ontario)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Grey North (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 133 of 133)

April 3, 1945


Our hundreds of miles of streams offer a fisherman's paradise. Our inland lakes and the great Georgian bay likewise offer respite to the busy man. In fact, we are a great tourist centre through which passes the Blue Water highway from Sarnia to Orillia, and we would like to improve our facilities to provide for the great friendly army who will invade our area for their holidays. Part of my riding is included in historic Huronia now being rapidly developed as an outstanding tourist attraction-more will be heard of Huronia soon. Tourists provide us with the greatest possible export market, an export market which brings the money into our centre, yet the goods and produce are consumed right at home.

I have in mind an immense conservation and reforestation scheme for my county. I should like to see a national park and game preserve developed. Reforestation provides a self-liquidating debt-and our possibilities are unlimited. However, we want better transportation facilities. In fact, as quickly as time will permit I hope to have a complete superficial survey of all our potentials.

I shall always remember my municipal experience. Municipal governments are indeed the bedrock of democracy-they are close to the people, they can interpret and anticipate the people's wishes, their desires and their needs. I intend to work closely with every municipal council in my riding. I can rely on their advice, and in a spirit of cooperation we will build for the future, sincere in a desire to leave behind something for which future generations can be grateful and proud.

May I venture the hope that we may all look beyond the immediate horizon, that we may appreciate how compact the world has become by modem communication and transportation, that we are citizens of that world society, and that we must accept certain obligations if we are to reap our fair reward.

An airport is very necessary somewhere in the vicinity of Owen Sound or Meaford. We must be on the air map of the future. In the meantime, Owen Sound has had completed on its own initiative a survey of a possible

aiport site. This area offers tremendous possibilities of national importance, as it will accommodate land, amphibian, and sea planes. We also need improved railroad facilities. I look upon our railroads as a national necessity, particularly in time of war; and surely in view of our experience in the past our future development should have the defence of the nation in mind. A great improvement could be secured by an outlet between Owen Sound and Meaford. Being the end of the line has restricted and hampered the development of both of these centres.

It was always difficult for me to understand why some naval training stations were located in rather unusual areas when we have such splendid natural facilities at Owen Sound, Meaford and Thornbury. Owen Sound boasts of one of the finest natural harbours on the great lakes. It is the last to freeze up in the fall and the first to open in the spring. This year set a record when boats cleared on March 24. However, the harbour facilities have been neglected. We need improved retaining walls and docking facilities. I propose to ask the department to make an inspection of both Owen Sound and Meaford harbours, so that a proper sum may be placed in the estimates to maintain and improve this great national asset.

Owen Sound, the scenic city, the city of the Greys, has a rehabilitation committee composed largely of veterans of the first war. They are seeking to provide for the rehabilitation of our armed service personnel, and the local branch of the Canadian Legion is doing a commendable piece of work. Wherever the legion have club house facilities, I would urge the government to seek their full cooperation. They understand the veteran's problem, and the government could quite properly designate certain legion members as agents of the department, and pay them accordingly.

Owen Sound also has a post-war planning committee to programme public works and civic improvements. However, like most planning bodies, they are looking to the government for over-all leadership. The government of Ontario-now appealing for a new mandate-has already consulted municipal authorities about post-war planning. They now await a dominion-provincial conference to coordinate plans. This conference is long overdue, yet I am sure hon. gentlemen opposite will appreciate how necessary it is if our planning is to be effective and to avoid overlapping. The county of Grey has also named a rehabilitation committee, having as its object the restoration of our armed service personnel to normal life and activity.

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I hope, Mr. Speaker, my reference to my riding has been reasonably interesting. After all, I represent North Grey-the only voice they have-and while I shall willingly address myself to problems of national concern, still I must not forget the people who sent me here. No organization is stronger than its weakest link, and I want our link strong and virile.

The town of Meaford is one of the prettiest in Ontario. There is where they hold fishing derbies. Their great fleet of fishing boats attracts thousands of tourists and visitors annually; indeed the industry is of national importance. Meaford is also the centre of apple growing and the home of thriving industries, all working, I am happy to say, at full capacity. In nearby St. Vincent township is the tank range, with a terrain said to be more suitable for this type of training than any other in Canada. Thus my riding has provided the facilities to train men for a most vital and important type of warfare.

Owen Sound has a civic auditorium arena. It is a centre for young people, and has played a great part in minimizing juvenile delinquency. I recommend to all hon. members that they do all they can to promote healthy play-centres in their communities. It will pay big dividends in citizenship. Give the young people an opportunity to expend their pent-up energy in good healthy sport and recreation. A strong, healthy, robust child is indeed an asset to the nation. Keep them playing at good clean sport; teach them to play the game. Life's problems will not be so great if they are healthy in mind and body.

Thornbury, surrounded by Collingwood township, is the centre of Ontario's finest orchard district. They have storage facilities for the product, and at both Thornbury and Clarksburg are processing plants. This to my mind is important, as we should constantly seek to process our natural products at home. Processing the product provides work for local people, and the finished product is more easily stored and can be marketed more regularly than in its more perishable state.

Owen Sound is flanked by Sydenham, Keppel, Sarawak, Derby and Holland townships, and by the village of Shallow Lake- once the centre of a sizable cement industry. Euphrasia township boasts of the Eugenia electric power development, with head water three times the height of Niagara Falls. Osprey township rounds out a great riding, of which I am justly proud-thirteen municipalities in all, in twelve of which the Progressive Conservative stand on man-power was endorsed by majorities.

I should like, Mr. Speaker, to make a passing reference to Poland, as a matter of record. In the years 1941 and 1942 we had stationed in Owen Sound the Polish Legion. We grew to have a very fine impression and appreciation of these splendid people. Everyone knows how much they have suffered, and surely they have steadfastly sought to contribute their all. I sincerely hope that the post-war world1 settlements arrived at will be to the satisfaction of all concerned, and I have faith and confidence to believe that it will be so.

No remarks from a newly elected member of a great party would be complete without some reference to his leader. I want to say that I believe that John Bracken has sought to prepare himself for a great task as has no other leader before. His contacts from coast to coast in Canada have surely fitted him for the high office of prime minister, and I do believe that he will discharge his duties with honour and distinction to himself and to the people of Canada.

As one who has a deep appreciation of all those who seek to serve in public office, may I say that I know my immediate predecessor from North Grey was respected by all members of this house, just as we at home respect and honour him. I know that you will all regret that his health has not shown the improvement his friends had hoped for, but I feel I can carry from this chamber the best wishes of all for his future comfort and1 happiness. Mr. W. P. Telford served North Grey for a total of almost fifteen years, and his late father was one time a member of parliament for our constituency. I should like to pay just tribute to one who has served so long and who enjoyed in marked degree the confidence of his fellowmen and women.

I have appreciated, Mr. Speaker, the many courtesies extended to me by members and officials of this house, and I hope they will bear with me while I find my way about and seek to discharge my duties to my constituency of North Grey and to the people of Canada.

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April 3, 1945

Mr. W. GARFIELD CASE (Grey North):

Mr. Speaker, this is the first opportunity I have had to convey my greetings to members of the house. You may be sure I have formed many impressions. No moment can be greater in any man's life than that which I experienced when I was officially presented to parliament by my hon. friend the house leader of the Progressive Conservative party (Mr. Graydon) and the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson). Indeed I felt both humble and proud: humble, because it was a momentous occasion in my life to march down the aisle, as it were, in full view of all those who have been playing their part in seeking to mould history in this great nation; proud, because I was elected by a majority of the people in a riding which will forever remain historic; elected by a majority of the people in Grey North to serve in a free parliament, the one great institution which remains the real prize for all freedom-loving people.

The people who sent me here are watching. They are interested in the course I pursue. They expect me to play my part, and within the limits of my ability I address myself to that task, confident in the hope that reasoned judgment of men of good will and purpose will prevail, that we may keep abreast of the times, and that our nation may play its full part in the onward march of civilization.

I am pleased that my first recorded vote in this assembly was cast to indicate my hope that a formula may be found to guarantee the peace of the world. What a great moment!

I should like to tell you something about my people and about my constituency. Sometimes I feel we are all too prone to forget the people who send us here. Blit I shall not forget that in the face of terrific odds, in an atmosphere of confusion and doubt; as it was intimated that the by-election might be called off; that there was no issue save one, a seat for my honourable opponent, the Minister of National Defence, Mr. McNaughton. In this arena of doubt and confusion I presented as clearly and forcibly as possible the stand my party had taken during the special session of this parliament. The stand was weighed by my people of Grey North, not in any partisan sense, but in its broadest application. Thus. Mr. Speaker, I come to the house with

a definite mandate direct from the people- a mandate which says in clear and unmistakable language that this government will be held strictly to account for any policy which fails in its objective to provide for equality of sacrifice and equality of service. My people have said that they do not believe the government has provided such a policy; they have said they believe the government's manpower policy is weak, that it is a half-hearted, piecemeal, unsatisfactory, makeshift man-power policy.

The history of the world is- indeed the history of the world's great men, and my highly honoured friend, the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) will find his place in history among the great men of his generation; but he would have found a greater place in the hearts and minds of the Canadian people if he had given effect to the people's will as expressed at the polls. This would have meant a great deal to the troops overseas, as evidenced by the scores of messages I received from them. They expected this, I can assure you.

War, of necessity, places a great strain upon democratic institutions. Surely, we have slipped-indeed, as the hon. member for Trinity (Mr. Roebuck) would say, we are bordering on fascism. One thing I do hope and pray and that is that after San Francisco we may with dispassionate minds determine our future manpower policy so that all those who enjoy Canadian citizenship within the British commonwealth of nations will be taught to realize that they must share its responsibilities. Reward seeks sacrifice and sacrifice seeks reward. 'You cannot have your cake and eat it", said the sage. Neither is it fair that the burden of responsible citizenship should bear more heavily upon one class or section than upon another.

My constituency is vast in area and populated by people ninety per cent of whom are English, Irish and Scotch. The other ten per cent are the salt of the earth, the best citizens in the world, with a keen sense of their responsibility. They are just as much devoted to British ideals and institutions as are those of direct British stock and origin. A large percentage of my people make up the farm and rural population. During the war this great county of Grey has produced more live stock than any other in Ontario. Our field crops are of a character and quality which makes their contribution effective and worth while. Grey county apples enjoy a world-wide reputation. Their texture and flavour are unequalled anywhere. ,

Yet our farmers have suffered because of this government's ineffective manpower policy. Farm women and children in Grey county are

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entitled to my highest commendation. They have worked hard under great handicaps while their sons have gone forth to war. They sought to produce from the fertile lands of Grey, food in abundance to feed the masses, and the fighting forces of Canada and her allies. My riding boasts of three Victoria Cross winners, namely Billy Bishop, V.C., Tommy Holmes, V.C., and David Currie, V.C. It is to the credit of my people and the soldiers of Grey that not one man was marked A.W.O.L. or listed as a deserter. Our industries are working at peak capacity in war production and the men who man these factories are loyally devoted to their task. Many are unionized, with very happy relations between the worker and management. The products of our factories, as the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) knows, are vital to our war effort.

All in all, I can be most proud of my riding and the folks back home. Farmers, labour, leaders of industry, merchants and all others have played their full part in this war. Every victory loan, as the Minister of Finance knows, has been oversubscribed and will be again. Every Red Cross and other war charity appeal has been properly and fully provided for, as witness our most recent appeal on behalf of the Red Cross-the largest quota we have ever had went better than 133 per cent over the top. We are a people, serious in our purpose and determined to play our full part in bringing this conflict to a victorious conclusion.

Then, when peace comes, we want to face the. problems of peace. We desire most to have our service personnel properly rehabilitated, secure in a job, but I hope a grateful people will not be niggardly with the rewards they have earned, and which are justly theirs. Do not give all the money to top-ranking generals; save some for the boys over there. God knows we will never discharge our debt to them, and to their interests I address my best efforts. There must be no repetition of 1919, when service men threw their badges away in order to get a job. If necessary we may have to humanize the rehabilitation problem by encouraging employers to adopt a most sympathetic understanding and give these men a chance to adjust themselves back to normal life. I have been more than impressed by the manner in which private enterprise is playing its part. Industry is indeed to be congratulated, and many have been making a tremendous contribution to soldiers' families by maintaining their wages on a level equal to the soldier's pay before he enlisted.

It is easy for us to talk "justice" and "generosity" in connection with our plans for the rehabilitation of these men and women. But

we must go farther. We must see that those two principles are practised. And, if we have to err, we must err on the side of generosity rather than on the side of a too strict interpretation of what is "justice".

Let me give an illustration of what I mean by showing the type of injustice which is perpetrated by narrow rules and regulations. It will be remembered that the totally inadequate discharge clothing allowance which was in effect at the beginning of the war was, after members of the opposition, veterans and their associations and members of the public had brought the strongest pressure to bear, raised from $35 to $65, an amount which was still insufficient to reclothe a discharged man properly. Further pressure resulted in the amount being raised to the present sum of $100, a sum which I do not even yet regard as adequate. On the occasion of each increase in the discharge clothing allowance it was not made retroactive. Consequently we have cases such as those of which I have been informed, of men who lost limbs at Dieppe and were unfortunate enough to be discharged from the army a few days before the new allowance came into effect instead of a few days afterwards. All they got was the lower allowance, whereas men who had never left Canada and were lucky enough not to be discharged until the higher rate was in effect, received a larger sum. You are going to find it hard to convince those Dieppe veterans and others who are in the same position as themselves that "justice" and "generosity" have been practised in their cases.

Then take those men who deserve every consideration we can give them, the men who twice in a lifetime have put on uniforms to help their country in its hour of need, the veterans of both the first and the second great war. In mentioning these men, Mr. Speaker, I desire to pay special tribute not only to those who are with the armed forces at home and abroad in the regular services, but particularly to the members of the veterans' guard1 of Canada who, it must be remembered, have been of ail our men and women on sendee longest in contact with the enemy.

I do not think that the people of Canada have a full and complete realization of the arduous task which these two-war veterans have performed and of how well it has been done. Since, years ago, the first German prisoners were brought to Canada, the members of the veterans' guard have been in charge of them. Their duties have been carried on under difficult conditions. They have had to be on the alert every minute of the day and night, watching over an enemy whose cunning and determination are of the highest order.

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Their job has been done, not in the comparative comfort of camps such as Borden, Debert and others, but away in the wilds far from home, with much less opportunity than the average service man of seeing their own folks because of distances and difficult travelling conditions. They have carried on uncomplainingly in 40 below temperatures and in blazing wilderness heat. They have set up a magnificent record, in far-away desolate spots such as Angler and Neys, for keeping our enemies committed to their charge under control. They have been, in practically every sense of the word, and certainly in the spirit, front-line troops again; and I believe these men should be paid exactly the same gratuity for their service in Canada as the men on service overseas receive, rather than the lesser sum due for service in Canada.

The rehabilitation of these men will not be easy. Many of the plans which have been evolved will be of little use to them. You cannot expect the man of fifty-five to take advantage of the educational opportunities which are open to the younger men. It is of no use to put a man of fifty-five on the land, under the Veterans' Land Act, with a twenty-five year contract to work out. It is asking too much even of a group of men who have proved their toughness and, let us not forget, men who did not get any too good a break after the last war, before Canada had learned how to treat her men returning from service against the enemy.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs has not given adequate study to the problems of these men, who in all justice and common sense deserve all the consideration which this country can give them. It is true that the dual service pensions act has been brought into being for their benefit, but what is this act? It is nothing but the War Veterans' Allowance Act dressed up under another name. It is nothing but a species of relief, sugar-coated. It is, in plain English, relief. It has created a very great deal of resentment among the members of the guard, who, seeing it for what it is. are properly resentful of the fact that their long service is being recognized by what is nothing better than a hand-out- something just enough to keep body and soul together.

I repeat that their problem is a special and a pressing one. The ages of these men prohibit them from taking advantage of many of the provisions of our rehabilitation plans. The same factor will be a serious disadvantage to them when they have to compete in the labour market against men many years their junior. Passing a relief bill is not good enough. The Department of Veterans' Affairs must give

(Mr. Case.]

much deeper study to their problems, must formulate plans to fit them into our national economy. They have given many years of useful service to this country, have many years ahead of them. They must be given employment-not the dole.

There is one more class of those to whom we owe so much for whom I feel little is being done. I refer to the men of the mercantile marine, the men without whom our armed forces and our allies could not have gone very far. They have, in every sense of the word, been on active service. I have heard from many of these men and they are much disturbed at the lack of recognition of what should be accorded in respect of their future. I know it has been said on many occasions that this subject is being studied. We need study all right, but we need some action too. Our talk of rehabilitation, of justice, of generosity, has a hollow ring to men of the groups of whom I have just spoken.

Let me add one more word to say that in the matter of gratuities a deceased soldier's next of kin, his beneficiaries, executors or administrators, should receive the gratuity he would receive if he had lived. Surely this is reasonable and fair; and I think the basis of settlement should be his length of service to the end of the war just as though he had lived.

Again, may I say I have been greatly impressed by the House of Commons. Yet I am asking myself a question having to do with San Francisco: How can the government or Canada's delegates speak for Canada when we shall have no parliament? To whom will the delegation report? The Prime Minister has no right, to anticipate the personnel of the next parliament; he may not be a member of the next parliament. Many of the delegates may not be members of the next parliament. Parliament is supreme; parliament must answer to the people. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the Prime Minister has placed Canada in an untenable position. We should have had a general election earlier, so that whatever government was elected would have a mandate from the people. Now, at the most formative period in the history of the world, Canada will be without a parliament, Recently the Prime Minister drew a parallel comparing our position with that of Great Britain. I submit that there is no comparison. There they have a national government whose term of office is protected. Our parliament, this parliament, will never assemble again after April 17. I cannot imagine Mr. Churchill dissolving the British House of

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Commons and then going to San Francisco- certainly not; he would want to report to the parliament which authorized him to attend the conference.

I should like to think also of the unlimited possibilities my riding offers in the post-war future. I hope I can persuade the government not to spend all its money elsewhere, but to survey carefully our possibilities.

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