Walter George PITMAN

PITMAN, Walter George, O.C., O.Ont., B.A., M.A., LL.D.

Parliamentary Career

October 31, 1960 - August 2, 1961
NEW
  Peterborough (Ontario)
August 3, 1961 - April 19, 1962
NDP
  Peterborough (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 90)


April 16, 1962

Mr. Walter Pitman (Peterborough):

Perhaps it is a matter of concern to us all that this resolution should be brought before this house in its last days when time is of the essence. It is a matter of concern that we could not have put things in their right order; we could have cleaned up all the complexities and cleaned up our act of parliament before we went off on this ratification.

None the less, the government is to be congratulated for turning to this matter and doing justice to those who are our authors and artists in this country in the last days of the session. I was interested to hear the hon. lady who represents Niagara Falls (Miss LaMarsh) mention a Canadian authors' bill of rights. In a sense this is very close to being a bill of rights as far as Canadian authors and artists are concerned, because in any democracy a basic freedom is surely the sanctity of property. Throughout the history of democracy in Britain there has been concern about the security of a man's possessions and their defence against authoritarian rule. We have seen in the desultory attitude in the U.S.S.R. and other satellite countries an attitude toward this particular aspect of a man's property which would lead us to believe that they are not very concerned with what we would call political democracy.

Some men's property is in buildings, goods and property of various kinds. Others use their imagination and produce literature, music, poetry and so on. Both kinds of property, whether material or of the imagination require protection. The Ilsley report states in this regard: "Nothing is more certainly a man's property than the fruit of his brain". That, I think, indicates the concern of all of us in this house. This legislation will, we hope, protect and give advantages to our authors and artists with regard to the property which emanates from the mind and imagination of gifted men and women in Canada. The resolution therefore commends itself to us.

Both the minister and the hon. member for Niagara Falls have given long accounts of the stages by which Canada has moved since 1896. I do not wish to repeat what has been said already. We do know that in the interim period this has been hanging fire since 1952 when Canada and 85 other countries signed this convention, 39 of those countries having already ratified the convention. It is remarkable to note in passing that this is another example of the work of the United Nations, particularly of UNESCO. We should not forget these organizations associated with the United Nations which do such good work. This convention was said to be appropriate to all the nations in the world. Canada thus joins a large number of countries which are seeking to protect their authors and artists.

Since 1896, since Canada was a member of the Berne convention, we have seen a number of revisions and we have also had a bilateral agreement with the United States. As both the minister and the hon. member for Niagara Falls have stated, the main problem has been the manufacturing clause in the United States legislation. The Canadian authors association has for many years sought to give arguments and reasons why we must advance in this area, and advance quickly. The royal commission pointed out the problems which were faced by our authors, and the O'Leary commission has now brought us to the point where we are ready to put this through before we leave for our constituencies. The advantages are many. Canada will be in a co-operative affiliation with many other nations. This will protect our authors. We shall be joining in an international agreement which is a progressive and forward-looking agreement which will, we hope, provide an impetus to our own arts and literature.

The immediate problem has been that of our association with our neighbour, the United States. It is always a difficult thing to live beside a giant. Although, in connection with the manufacturing clause we can, in a sense, reciprocate and keep out United States publications, it is obvious that United States facilities for Americans in Canada are not to be compared with the advantages which Canadians can secure in the United States market. The situation has been detrimental to the Canadian publishing and printing industry. A great deal of employment which would have come to Canada has gone by the way for the past number of years.

I hope that other artists will soon be brought under the Canadian legislation. As we know, there have been tremendous changes since the Canadian legislation was put through. I do not want to discuss them tonight because, as the minister said, we are not dealing with the act itself. I think we should express the position of this party, however, and say that we hope to deal with this matter as soon as possible. We in this chamber are concerned with the economic development of Canada but if we are to secure any kind of nationhood we must be equally concerned about artistic development, which is really the basis and the bond of nationhood in this nation of ours.

The royal commission dealt with more than just copyright. It dealt with patents, trade marks and industrial design. These were dealt with in separate reports and, of course, we cannot enter upon that field of discussion now. I will simply say that here nothing has been done in these other areas and it is a matter of great concern in Canada that we should be

Supply-External Affairs using legislation which is entirely and completely out of date in these other areas. An example I could give is the Industrial Design and Union Label Act. It is so out of date in its present form as to be completely unworkable. It does not even cover shape in terms of the design of particular articles. It appears that in our concern over securing economic progress we have allowed this problem to go unheeded and surely we have now come to the point when we must take definite action. In this parliament we have seen the sands of time run out and we must now adopt a hodgepodge solution to it. We must take stopgap measures in the hope that the problem will temporarily be dealt with until we return to this chamber once again.

I congratulate the government on taking this initiative and express the hope that the government will soon introduce other legislation that will be of benefit to our authors and artists, with whose problems I trust this chamber will concern itself more in the future.

Topic:   COPYRIGHTS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OP GENEVA CONVENTION, 1952
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April 16, 1962

Mr. Walter Pitman (Peterborough):

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly a pleasure to support the motion moved by the hon. member for York South. However, before indicating areas of agreement I should like to suggest that clarification of the motion would perhaps be of some value because it envisages the setting up of a department of industry. The problem there, of course, is that the word "industry" is used in such a broad way. I listened to the hon. member's remarks as carefully as I could and I felt that he really meant secondary industry. He talked about the fishing industry, the lumbering industry and various forms of industry which I am sure he would wish to keep outside such a department, as these primary industries have departments of their own. I take it what the hon. member wishes to see done is for a department to be set up which would be particularly concerned with secondary manufacturing, and it is in this way that I interpret the resolution that he has placed upon the order paper.

I think the resolution is an excellent one and I believe we must give some emphasis to something that is becoming more and more important in the economic life of our nation. In my view the organization of government as we have it today reflects the kind of economic organization which largely supported our nation at one time. Therefore the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys and so on were very necessary and still are. But if in the structural organization of our government we are going to reflect the kind of economy that motivates our nation today we certainly need a department of secondary industry as our economy becomes more and more sophisticated. I do not think we want to burden a department which has, in a sense, become rather a hodgepodge already, that is our Department of Trade and Commerce. This department already deals with the bureau of statistics and several other branches. Certainly I do not believe it would be of advantage to burden that department with an industrial branch to look after secondary manufacturing. I feel it would be far better to have a separate department established with its own minister.

I think the hon. member for York South indicated some of the major reasons for my suggestion. Secondary industry is going to provide us with employment in the future. One of the professors at Queen's has indicated that over the next five years we in Canada will have to provide 5,000 jobs a week. These

jobs are going to have to be largely provided by secondary manufacturing. As has already been indicated, this area of manufacturing today supports more workers than any other area of our economy. Canada, over the past number of years, has become a major industrial nation. Certainly, I think we must recognize the fact that such a department has become a necessity. I do not disparage in any way the efforts that have been made by the Department of Trade and Commerce in this particular field. However, I am sure that all would recognize the need for some new organization in this particular area.

I believe we would agree that there are some very great developments that are taking place which merit the special attention of a minister and a departmental organization. There is, for instance, the problem of the combination of our industries and the fact that some of our industries are too small to compete. We are going to have to take a look at secondary manufacturing to see whether or not the units are sufficiently large to be able to compete on world markets. Then, too, we will have to look at some of our legislation, such as the Combines Investigation Act and other aspects of our legislation, to ascertain whether we can reorganize, reorient and redirect our efforts dealing with secondary manufacturing.

During the past few years we have been talking about the problem of United States control of secondary manufacturing. The bureau of statistics indicates to us that foreign ownership of secondary manufacturing has inched up from 38 per cent in 1926 to 57 per cent in 1959 and control has gone from 35 per cent to 57 per cent. This indicates the seriousness of the problem, particularly in the area of secondary manufacturing. Of course, we have seen this problem in the area of primary industry as well. This is a problem which can be dealt with, I believe, by a department particularly concerned with the problems of secondary industry.

We have to consider the problem of capital assistance to secondary industry because it is not needed in the same way or on the same terms as it is needed for primary industry.

I think, too, we have to take into account these nuances, these changes. We must not base our thinking upon primary industry. We have been talking a great deal about the relocation of industry. We have been talking about some of the problems of areas in our nation that have not been able to achieve the same level of development and prosperity as other areas. We have been talking about the possibility of relocating secondary industry. There are particular problems in connection with this suggestion which do not exist in

16. 1962

Suggested Assistance to Industry connection with primary industry. I feel that a department such as the one suggested by the hon. member for York South would indeed be a valuable addition in dealing with the problems of relocating secondary industry.

We have been talking, too, a great deal about the problems of training and about apprenticeship schemes. I feel it would be of value to have this department which could give advice and statistics to indicate trends to the Department of Labour when setting up new courses or new apprenticeship schemes.

I think that during this period of transition through which Canada is going the value of a department of industry would be readily seen. This department could look into the whole problem of the structure of our secondary industry. So often we tend to cram industry into one single area. I think this department could very well deal with that problem, just as it could with tariffs and the tax structure as they affect secondary industry. It has become almost a platitude over the past number of years to say that we have been exporting low employment content goods and importing high employment content goods. I am sure the government is concerned with this situation because it is one which we, as a nation, have to study. I think such a department could be a spur to activity in that area.

I know there are other members who wish to speak on this resolution, so I shall just close by commending the hon. member for introducing this motion this afternoon.

Topic:   INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED ESTABLISHMENT OF DEPARTMENT TO PROMOTE AND ASSIST MANUFACTURING
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April 16, 1962

Mr. Walter Pitman (Peterborough):

I have a question to address to the Prime Minister. In his absence perhaps the Acting Prime Minister could take it as notice.

Has the government received a petition from local 504 of the united electrical, radio

Inquiries of the Ministry and machine workers of America demanding pressure with regard to the decision of Canadian Westinghouse to close its air brake division, and could the Acting Prime Minister indicate whether any action is contemplated?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WESTINGHOUSE
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April 13, 1962

Mr. Pitman:

It is obvious that what the minister has said is right. This is something which was introduced into this house by the Prime Minister, but surely it was passed by this parliament and endorsed by all the members of the other parties. When such a document is being published at public expense I think it would be better understood if it were not partisan.

This is by no means the first bill of rights which has been drawn up. There is, for example, the constitution of the United States of America. The reason this receives the respect of all people is that it is non-political; no political party has made it a special area of concern.

Topic:   SECRETARY OF STATE
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April 13, 1962

Mr. Pitman:

Last night before the committee rose there was some discussion which had to be cut off with regard to the work being done by the queen's printer in connection with the printing and distribution of the Canadian Bill of Rights. We in this party feel that the bill of rights was probably one of the proudest achievements which parliament has been able to carry out over

the past century. However, I think the worst thing which could be done is to associate this achievement with any particular party or prime minister.

Topic:   SECRETARY OF STATE
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