John George DIEFENBAKER

DIEFENBAKER, The Right Hon. John George, C.H., P.C., Q.C., B.A., M.A., LL.B., LL.D., D.C.L., F.R.S.C., F.R.S.A., D.Litt., D.S.L.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
September 18, 1895
Deceased Date
August 16, 1979
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Diefenbaker
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=84909dc1-9a60-44b3-a939-2393ab563089&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

March 26, 1940 - December 10, 1942
CON
  Lake Centre (Saskatchewan)
December 11, 1942 - April 16, 1945
PC
  Lake Centre (Saskatchewan)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
PC
  Lake Centre (Saskatchewan)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
PC
  Lake Centre (Saskatchewan)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (December 14, 1956 - June 20, 1957)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (December 14, 1956 - June 20, 1957)
  • Secretary of State for External Affairs (June 21, 1957 - September 12, 1957)
  • Prime Minister (June 21, 1957 - April 21, 1963)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
  • Prime Minister (June 21, 1957 - April 21, 1963)
  • Secretary of State for External Affairs (March 19, 1959 - June 3, 1959)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
  • Prime Minister (June 21, 1957 - April 21, 1963)
  • President of the Privy Council (December 21, 1962 - April 21, 1963)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
  • Prime Minister (June 21, 1957 - April 21, 1963)
  • President of the Privy Council (December 21, 1962 - April 21, 1963)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (April 22, 1963 - September 8, 1967)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (April 22, 1963 - September 8, 1967)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 6378 of 6383)


June 21, 1940

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS-UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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June 21, 1940

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I have the sworn evidence, and I shall deal with it, in answer to the question raised by the hon. member. I have before me sworn evidence' in a trial in the rural municipality of Fish Creek, situated within the provincial constituency of Rosthern. If necessary, I can give reference to the page of the evidence. Some days prior to the provincial election of 1938 it was bruited about that relief was going to be cut after the election, and relief vouchers were issued before the election and five days in advance of the usual time. Do hon. members know where they were distributed? They were distributed at ithe polling station on election day, as individual voters went into the polling booth to cast their votes.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS-UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Full View Permalink

June 21, 1940

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Section 3 of the bill with which we are now dealing reads:

The governor in council may enter into agreements: (a) with any of the provinces respecting the alleviation of unemployment conditions and of agricultural distress therein and to assist those in need-

And so on. About an hour and a half ago I endeavoured to secure from the minister an answer respecting the amount to be allocated to Saskatchewan in the coming year. I am asking him again whether he will let the committee know what the anticipated amount will be, so that the argument now being used in that province may be met, namely that the cut in relief is on account of the fact that the dominion government is cutting the allowance given to the province this year.

When I spoke some time ago I mentioned that the people in Saskatchewan were appreciative of what was being done and what had been done since 1930 in the matter of assistance for the alleviation of conditions there prevailing. The hon. member for Wood Mountain (Mr. Donnelly) has admitted today something which I think he would not have admitted between 1930 and 1935, namely, that during those years, too-and often in the face of strong opposition from hon. mem-oers of the opposition-assistance was given to Saskatchewan in particular, by reason of the conditions there prevailing.

Unemployment Relief

As the hon. member for Wood Mountain has pointed out, the difficulty in Saskatchewan, so far as relief is concerned, has been accentuated by drought. That condition made it necessary to make expenditures of large amounts of money in that province, moneys over and above amounts which had to be spent to meet conditions prevailing as a result of unemployment elsewhere throughout the dominion.

The hon. member has said there is no control by the dominion government in respect of expenditures made by the provinces. I would suggest, therefore, to the minister that some system should be adopted whereby the multiplicity of inspectors and officials administering relief would be substantially reduced. The hon. member said that the responsibility for the cutting of relief has been on the municipality and that the responsiblity for relief measures is that of the municipal council. He very well knows that on each occasion relief is granted, it can be granted by the council only with the consent of the relief inspector, who is the representative of the provincial government.

When the hon. member says there has been no political influence in connection with the administration of relief, all I can say is that in the provincial election of 1938 there was political influence. Men and women in Saskatchewan were placed in a position where, while direct threats were not made, they were made to realize that it would be diplomatic to be known outspokenly as a supporter of the government. To be fair I must add that during the last federal election I saw no political influence.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS-UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Full View Permalink

June 21, 1940

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

According to the evidence of the inspector of relief, 40 per cent was paid by the federal government, 40 per cent by the provincial government and 20 per cent by the municipality. Here is an excerpt from the evidence of the inspector of relief:

Q. So that the man primarily responsible for the checking of direct relief is yourself?

A. I would not even admit that.

Unemployment Relief

Q. So that your entire cheek consists of accepting the figures given to you by the reeve and members of the council of the municipality?

A. Yes, certainly.

There was no check-up, either provincial or federal. The conditions there were very bad, but they were not found out until some time later. In certain parts of the municipality, relief vouchers were distributed by being left, duly filled out, on the counters of certain merchants. The recipients picked up the particular vouchers they wanted. That continued for several months. There should be some control on the part of the federal administration to ensure that politics shall not enter into the administration of this act in any way. There would be little need to reduce relief payments to individuals if the administration costs were cut by the appointment of nonpolitical relief administration.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS-UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Full View Permalink

June 21, 1940

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I think the Minister of Agriculture knows the circumstances of the case. When this government hands over money to the provinces to be expended by them, there should be some system of inspection and control so that we may be sure that this sort of thing will not happen. Referring to what the Minister of Agriculture has said, may I say that for seven long months the director of relief of this particular municipality continued to issue false relief certificates which were made out to non-existent individuals. There was no check-up whereby that could be found out. It was discovered only when the relief certificates commenced to come back from the wholesalers four, five and six months afterwards. The agreements referred to by the Minister of Labour should be enforced and followed up with a system of control by the dominion government.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS-UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Full View Permalink