George William MCLEOD

MCLEOD, George William

Personal Data

Social Credit
Okanagan--Revelstoke (British Columbia)
Birth Date
May 30, 1896
Deceased Date
December 20, 1965
garage owner / operator

Parliamentary Career

August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
  Okanagan--Revelstoke (British Columbia)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
  Okanagan--Revelstoke (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 27)

January 30, 1958

Mr. McLeod:

Who cannot get along?

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January 18, 1958

Mr. G. W. McLeod (Okanagan-Revelsloke):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources. I regret I was unable to give him notice of the question, as the press release just came to my attention. Since, according to a press release today, the government of the United States is greatly concerned over the plan so widely publicized by General Mc-Naughton to divert Columbia waters into the Fraser river, would the government advise the house whether it supports the proposed diversion plan?

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January 15, 1958

Mr. McLeod:

Mr. Chairman, in dealing with the estimates of this department we know we will be called upon to approve an expenditure, much of which has already been spent, of approximately $41 million.

This makes this department of great importance financially, but in the way in which it affects our economy and way of life it is a very important department as well. It is under the leadership at the present time of a very able minister, though, I am sorry to say, he is just an acting minister. I believe this department is worthy of a full time minister. However, I have no criticism to make

of the present leadership. As I say, the acting minister is an able administrator; he is assisted by an active parliamentarian and I am satisfied he is backed up by a very efficient staff. In my personal dealings with this department I have always been given a very cordial hearing, my complaints have been adjusted to my entire satisfaction, and I am going to say that the relationship so far as I am concerned is very acceptable.

While I am in this happy frame of mind I should like also to commend the department for a couple of things which they have done during the past few months. First, I have noticed that there is a more humane approach to the problem of allowing immediate members of Chinese and Asiatic families to come to Canada where they may be reunited with their husbands, fathers or children who may have been allowed entry into this country in past years, I am also going to commend the department for having taken a second look at our immigration requirements, and for slowing down the flow to allow a careful study to be made of Canada's need for more people, and a careful study of the type of people still needed to man our economy.

Mr. Chairman, I say "still needed" for I feel that Canada's greatest need is a very largely increased population, and our efforts must continue to that end. However, at a time like this when a recession in business is causing concern among our working men and women it would be folly to continue the flow of those who would be dependent on employment and who would enter into competition with our native labour force. It therefore showed good judgment when the department saw fit to take action to slow down the flow of people entering this country. The conditions through which we are now passing are ample proof that our policy must be very flexible in order to meet just such a situation as we face at the present time. Careful planning is needed at all times in order to evaluate our requirements and to designate the type and class of workers needed so that only those who would fit into our labour force and who would not disrupt our economy are brought in. I think this is something which should at no time be lost sight of.

In addition, our immigration policy must be selective. The right to enter Canada should not be too lightly bestowed. Of course, the ideal immigrant would be a worker bringing with him possibly three or four dependants. Those dependants would become consumers of goods in this country and we would not have an improper balance as between labour and consumers. Then, of course, there are professional men or

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration women and technicians who may want to come to Canada. I do not think anyone will dispute that at the present time we need doctors, dentists, engineers of all kinds, chemists and technicians and I would strongly recommend to the department that it should make every effort to promote the interest of these classes of people when they come to.Canada, and encourage them to every extent possible. Bringing them to Canada is not all that must be done.

We are continually reading of cases where professional men, especially doctors and dentists, are finding it difficult to become established in practice in Canada. This is not the fault of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, but it arises through what might be called the closed compact of professional organizations among doctors and dentists which is making it difficult for these people to comply with regulations before beginning to practice in this country. I consider that at a time like this when these people are so urgently needed the department should consider taking some action which might help to ease the present situation, and investigate complaints brought to its attention.

Mr. Chairman, there are other factors to be considered in selecting immigrants besides their status in the economy on their arrival. Consideration must be given to their religion and to their political background at all times. We believe that all men are born equal regardless of race or creed. But we also believe that our immigration department must be careful to regulate admissions so as not to upset the balance of our social life. We know that due to immigration we will become an increasingly cosmopolitan nation. But let us see that Canadians of tomorrow will be Canadians who will possess the same physical attributes and continue to foster the same ideas as those which we of this generation are trying to develop, namely the ideals of tolerance and freedom. I do not think any department can exercise greater influence on the future of Canada than can the Department of Citizenship and Immigration by building up our population to a level which can make full use of our great natural resources and industrial capacity. I would emphasize that the slogan must be carefully selected.

May I say just a word about citizenship? The right to live in a country entails certain responsibilities, the chief of which is service to the country in which one is living. I once heard the governor of one of the greatest service clubs make a statement in speaking of service and I know I shall never forget it. He said that service is the rent

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration which we pay for the right to live in our country or our community. I think that is something that every Canadian could well take to heart. It should be impressed upon those who are thinking of coming to Canada and who have an idea of becoming Canadian citizens; but in order to give that full measure of service as residents of any country, I believe a person must be a citizen of that country.

Since I have said that-and I believe it- I am going to suggest that the department study the question of compulsory citizenship. Some policy should be formulated toward this end. Possibly it could be done by a person who has recently come to this country being compelled to sign a declaration of intent that he is going to become a Canadian citizen, after a specified time, maybe one year or two years. After he has done this it should be possible for him, in co-operation with the department, to study the obligations and the rights of citizenship and after a reasonable period apply for the right to become a Canadian citizen. I say "right" Mr. Chairman; I would like to say privilege for I do honestly believe it is a privilege to be a Canadian citizen.

I am now going to say just a few words about Indian affairs. I have spoken on this in past years. I think the committee is well aware of my stand. I was keenly interested in, and I fully endorse, the speech of the hon. member for The Battlefords who has just taken his seat. Much can be done to improve the lot of the Indian and I am going to close with this. The program should be one committed to removing the Indian from his position as a ward of the government and to making him a first-class Canadian citizen who may be assimilated into the Canadian way of life.

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January 4, 1958

Mr. McLeod:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to say a few words on this at the present time. I believe this is one of the most important acts that has taken place within our Department of National Defence since the time of Korea. From the interest shown by the speakers thus far I think the importance of this subject has been demonstrated to the house and the concern which most of us feel is over the possible surrendering of our sovereign rights or of the civil authority becoming secondary to military authority.

I do not believe that any of us is opposed to co-operation or integration if you want to call it that but we are fearful that co-operation may mean a surrender of our sovereign rights. However I was glad to hear the minister inform us that nothing like this will take place. He assures us that the chiefs of the general staff are reporting directly to him. On the basis of that statement I would assume that he has some knowledge of the progress that is being made. If such is the case I am wondering why a little more of that knowledge is not given to the house.

I must say I have listened to this discussion quite carefully and I do not know a great deal more about this question than I did on December 5 when it was first raised in this house. Surely the minister must have knowledge of some progress that has been made. He must know something about what is going on. I believe it is up to him to report to this parliament whatever accomplishments have occurred.

There was one other statement made by the minister and I do not know if I correctly understood him. I am under the impression he said that a draft note had been prepared by the military authority and had been submitted to Washington. If that is the case I would like to know why a similar action has not taken place so far as Canada is concerned. If this has transpired I think it is a serious matter and something of which we should be made aware.

One other question I have concerns finance. I should like to know what arrangements have been made or are being contemplated for the sharing of the costs of the operation of NORAD?


Supply-National Defence

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December 21, 1957

Mr. McLeod:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to say a few words on the first item that is before us at the present time. Like the two previous speakers, I also should like to pay my tribute to the officials of the Department of National Health and Welfare. During the last parliament it was my privilege to head the committee on health and welfare within our little group, and I had occasion more than once to visit the various heads of departments within the Department of National Health and Welfare and I always got a very cordial response. I was given all the information that was available-it was far too much

for me to assimilate-and I appreciate their efforts very much to be helpful and agreeable.

Like the other two speakers, I also was keenly disappointed in the action or lack of action on the part of this government in implementing hospital insurance. We listened to the debates in the last parliament, and have listened to the promises made throughout the country that this would be implemented speedily; that mental and tubercular care would be included and that various changes would be made in the act, which would be a much better and much more suitable act; and that greater financial assistance should be given to the provinces.

However, a strange curtain of secrecy seems to have been woven around this question of hospital insurance since parliament assembled here in October, and it is not just with regard to the department of health. We can ask questions of practically every department in the government, and we are given the brush-off in most cases. In this respect our questions as to what progress is being made, how other provinces are reacting to the plan and whether arrangements to cover mental and tubercular care are being considered, have been particularly unsuccessful in obtaining any definite information. We are told that all is proceeding well; we are asked to have confidence in the government.

Mr. Chairman, we may have confidence in the government, but our confidence may be growing less day by day due to the fact that there is no co-operation between the government and members of the house to give us information about what is going on. I say with all seriousness that there cannot be co-operation unless we are advised of what this government is doing; we must at least have some knowledge that they have at heart these problems with which we are concerned. We should be told just a little bit of what is being done in order to sustain our confidence.

I am now going to make a few general remarks and when the detailed items are before us I will perhaps deal with them more specifically. The Department of National Health and Welfare is the second largest in terms of expenditure of all the departments of government, second only to the Department of National Defence, but in many ways it is of the greatest importance to the people of Canada of all departments of government. It is greater in importance than the Department of National Defence which spends more money because the greatest asset of any nation is the health of its people. At the moment I am more concerned with the subject of health than with the subject of welfare and so I will confine my remarks to that

aspect of the department. It is the duty of our department of health to ensure that we have a nation of healthy and vigorous people and so it must be constantly on the alert to guard, promote and maintain the health of Canadians.

Today the emphasis in the field of health is on prevention. The medical profession and all our health organizations are today gearing their efforts towards the prevention of sickness and disease rather than cure. In order to facilitate that program of prevention, in other words to combat disease before it occurs, we must have an additional speeded up program of research and study.

The battle that will be waged by our research men against sickness and disease will require a greatly enlarged staff and we will have to provide additional training facilities in order to prepare technicians and experts to carry on this research. This will also require the expenditure of vast sums of money but I am satisfied that the people of Canada will not begrudge money for this important aspect of promoting their own health and welfare and in building a nation of which each of us may well be proud. That is a general review, as I see it, of the need for expanding and continuing research into the prevention of sickness and disease.

One aspect of illness with which I wish to deal in greater detail at the present time is mental illness. This is the No. 1 health problem not only in Canada but throughout the world. It is difficult today to pick up a magazine or newspaper of any repute without finding a report of advances that are being made in the study of mental disorders and in devising cures for the various phases of mental illness with which our people are beset. I sometimes wonder if we are completely on the right track in this respect. Many patients who visit doctors at the present time complaining of stomach disorders, skin disorders, neuritis, sciatica and migraine headaches invariably have their disorder diagnosed as being attributable to nerves. If a person with a chronic skin disorder visits a doctor there is a strong likelihood that the doctor's verdict will be that the patient suffers from nervous eczema. A person suffering from what used to be called gastric stomach disorder or some other common stomach ailment is today invariably told that he has a nervous stomach. Those suffering from various neuralgic pains, sciatica, neuritis or migraine headaches are advised they are suffering from just plain "nerves". The treatment for those conditions, of course, is frequently psychiatry or sedation. I think that in too many cases our doctors today do not have the time to devote to treating these

Supply-Health and Welfare cases which seem to be increasing in number and an easy way out is to prescribe sedation. This of course has a temporary effect and may bring relief but I have often wondered if it is the proper relief.

I was recently intrigued by a series of articles which recently appeared in a publication written by two noted doctors, one from Montreal and one from the province of Saskatchewan. I will not mention any names but I will say that these men are approaching the problem of mental illness in a fresh way. In cases of chronic skin disease they are attempting to find if there is some physical cause for the disease. They are of the view that perhaps chronic skin diseases which can be extremely irritating are the cause of the nervous condition in the patient instead of the nervous temperament of the person being the cause of the skin disease. In other words we are coming back to the question: which came first the chicken or the egg? That is the problem these and other doctors are trying to determine today in the field of mental health. I suspect that all too often doctors have said that the patient's condition was caused by nerves whereas the nervous condition has in fact been the result of physical disability.

The chief of the mental health department of the province of Saskatchewan and the doctor in charge of the research institution there are taking that attitude. They are obtaining wonderful results by treating people who for years have been considered incurable mental patients. They are attacking the problem from the physical standpoint and have discovered that in many cases a physical disability has been the cause of a nervous condition from which patients have been condemned to suffer for many years. Many people have been cured and are leaving that institution to which they were condemned, if you will, and in which they expected to spend the rest of their lives. The problem of mental illness will require a vast amount of study, research and the expenditure of large sums of money.

Hon. members of this house frequently ask the government to cut down expenditures and yet we always seem to be hollering for it to spend more money. I would suggest, however, that there be absolutely no cutback in grants to provinces, universities and health organizations of any kind that are furthering the cause of research into any of the sicknesses and illnesses that plague our people at the present time. I would make a special plea that the grant for research and study in the field of mental illness be greatly increased

Supply-Health and Welfare because it is one of our greatest problems today and it looks as though it will be a continuing problem of increasing proportions unless some drastic action is taken.

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, as I said we shall go into the minor details of the huge expenditure contained in these estimates. We shall study the estimates as we go along, but I should like to emphasize this. I hope the Department of National Health and Welfare will do absolutely nothing, in the way of curtailing expenses, to interfere with grants to the provinces, to universities and to health organizations in any plans they may have that bring promise of winning the battle in the prevention of disease and sickness among our people.

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