Mr. P. L. Dube (Resiigouche-Madawaska):
Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of my remarks it gives me great pleasure to draw the attention of the house to a very important event. On February 17, the city of Edmundston saw one of its ancient traditions disappear, as a result of the inauguration of a mail delivery service by letter carriers. Through my humble efforts and the great kindness of the Postmaster General (Mr. Cote), whom I wish to thank very sincerely, New Brunswick's fourth largest city now has a door-to-door mail service. An official ceremony was held, in extremely cold weather, to mark this further step in the city of Edmundston's progress.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the citizens of Edmundston and in my own name, I wish to thank the Postmaster General for having given us this modern mail service, which meets with everyone's approval and for having sent his parliamentary assistant, the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Langlois), to represent him in Edmundston. I want to say to the hon. member for Gaspe that we have a very pleasant recollection of his stay among us. I also wish to offer my sincere thanks to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gregg) for having
honoured us with his presence, in spite of his numerous occupations. I hope they all came back delighted with the reception offered to them in the "republic" of Mada-waska.
It is a pleasure for me to thank the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) who, although he has not succeeded in satisfying everybody, has met expectations and made some people happy. Heads of families with children of school age will be greatly relieved by the $400 exemption, which was previously limited to children under 21 and is now extended to any university student, without any age limit. This will greatly encourage university studies and will do justice to a great many heads of families in Canada, and more particularly in my constituency.
The removal of licence fees on radio receiving sets is one of the measures which will be most appreciated by the people of this country.
I do not propose to speak about the budget any longer, since I would have to repeat what other members have already said.
I take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to point out that the constituency of Restigouche-Madawaska has been a little too neglected in the past. Since I have been elected to parliament I have constantly attempted to look after the interests and the welfare of my constituents, without concerning myself with the lack of co-operation on the part of a small group of my fellow citizens, even though I have obtained a large majority of the votes in my constituency. Knowing my duty, I have never ceased to request most vigorously, from the various departments involved, those essential public works most urgently required by my constituency, such as a bridge over the Restigouche river between Campbell-ton, New Brunswick, and Cross Point, Quebec; retaining walls on the Restigouche river at Baker Brook, so as to prevent erosion and to protect the farms which are situated there; repairs to the wharves at Campbellton, Dal-housie, Benjamin River and on Heron island.
I have also asked the Minister of Public Works to build, next spring if possible, a customs house at St. Leonard and at Clair. I have asked him also to build a freight shed and a railway station in Edmundston. 1 have requested an increase in family allowances and in old age pensions, as well as a more adequate pension for retired employees of the C.N.R.
In spite of all this, a small group would have liked me to do in 3J years what, through neglect, has never been done in more than 25
years. This small group is concerned about the stand I am taking here in Ottawa. I am pleased, therefore, to tell my friends, Mr. Speaker-in order to help them remember the past a little-that since my election to the Edmundston school board, I have always stood firm in my convictions and have never failed in my duty. The events which have occurred since I have been elected to the school board have never affected me.
I can say without fear that I have always done my duty by working in the interest of the taxpayers, the children, the teachers and by striving to treat everyone fairly. As a reward, that little group, craving for power, asked me in 1952 to resign as chairman of the school board. I refused to submit to their request and, in July of the same year, I was re-elected by acclamation as chairman of the Edmundston school board for another three-year term.
From the day 1 became the humble representative of Restigouche-Madawaska, I have followed the same policy here in Ottawa that I followed during my 17 years as a member of the Edmundston school board, that is I have always stood firm and have never kowtowed before anyone. If I have succeeded in being elected as the representative of the finest constituency in New Brunswick, it is because I have always done my best to serve all my electors. Every time they needed my help, I did everything possible to obtain what they requested.
While I represent them here in Ottawa, they can always rely on me to help them solve their problems.
I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I was greatly surprised at the adjournment of the debate on the resolution of the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Mclvor). I have also received many representations from completely disabled people. It is very sad to see those unhappy people, unable to earn their livelihood. I am of the opinion that any invalid should be treated the same as a blind person. Let us grant to our invalid a $40 monthly allowance in order that they may enjoy some of the comforts of life. I leave this matter with the Hon. Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin). Kindhearted as he is, he will no doubt be prompted to do something to lighten the burden of all these human beings. I am happy to note that some provinces are at present passing legislation in order to relieve these cxip-
The Budget-Mr. Starr pled people. The province of New Brunswick would also like to adopt legislation in order to help its indigent citizens, but its financial situation prevents it from doing so without federal help. I hope that, soon, the case of the crippled people in this country will find first place on the agenda of the Hon. Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin).
I hope that the requests which I have already made, and which I have just spelled out, will be given serious attention by the various departments, so that the county of Restigouche-Madawaska may benefit from the moneys to which it is entitled. This constituency has always shown itself to be very generous to the present government.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE