I should like to endorse the observations of the hon. member for Macleod to the effect that it is very important that the scheme be properly started. I know of no industry which would absorb more of the unemployed than would the building trades. The one great essential exists, namely, a market in the cities, towns and villages for houses. In considering a matter of this kind I believe it essential that the government should consider the type of construction. I believe these houses should be designed by architects; ventilation should be properly attended to and in the cities and towns where electricity is available they should be properly wired. I believe it would be to the advantage of a scheme of this kind if the
houses were standardized; certainly that factor would cheapen them and standardization could be effected with a view to increasing efficiency and utility.
Not long ago I read an article written by Alfred Sloan vice-president of General Motors, in which he pointed out that properly designed houses could be erected in two days, including electric wiring, refrigeration, ventilation and the like. By standardization and through what might be described as high pressure practices they could be cheapened so as to be brought within the reach of nearly every labouring man. Houses built in that way would add to the health of Canadians, a factor which is to-day worthy of serious consideration. If the scheme were carried out properly it could be extended to the point where the labouring man in a town or city or the farmer in the country might have an up-to-date house equipped in every particular.
I do not know of anything which would have a greater effect in absorbing the unemployed than would a project of this kind. Canada has paid out .about $180,000,000 for relief. How much better it would have been if that money and the moneys paid by the provinces and municipalities could have been turned into a. Channel of this kind. I am pressing upon the government the importance of having this scheme properly started. These houses should be properly drafted by competent architects, and ventilation, refrigeration and1 everything of that kind looked after. I think it would add greatly to the health of the country, which is becoming a problem, involving so much expense to the provinces and the municipalities that they cannot keep going. We have here a scheme which practically has no limit, because there is no limit to the market for houses. It only becomes a matter of getting the houses cheap enough so that those desiring them can purchase them. I hope the government has given the situation that study which its seriousness deserves because it is one that will not end this year or next year but will increase from year to year as the efficiency is demonstrated and the necessity grows.
Topic: DOMINION HOUSING ACT
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION