Major James William COLDWELL

COLDWELL, The Hon. Major James William, P.C., C.C.

Personal Data

Party
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)
Constituency
Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
December 2, 1888
Deceased Date
August 25, 1974
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_James_Coldwell
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=85a45525-d20a-41db-8c2a-1b91c360656b&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
author, gentleman, principal, teacher

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 1972)


January 20, 1958

Mr. Coldwell:

I have always thought I was in the right party, and as long as I think so I shall remain in what I consider to be the right party.

I join, too, in wishing him health and strength so that he may carry on in the high office to which he has been called by the party; now, of course, occupying as he does -what shall I say-the third highest position in this House of Commons; first the Speaker, then the Prime Minister and then the leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition. In that capacity we wish him well, and it is a capacity I hope he will fill in this house for at least some time.

I am not going to express a further opinion on this occasion; but, Mr. Speaker, we wish to join the Prime Minister in what he has said regarding the hon. member for Quebec East and the hon. member for Algoma East. We hope both will find happiness in the days to come.

Topic:   LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Subtopic:   TRIBUTE TO OLD, WELCOME TO NEW
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January 20, 1958

Mr. Coldwell:

What did you do about that matter? You told some of us that we should not be discussing unemployment, that to talk about unemployment and the possibility of some recession was to bring on recession and to bring on unemployment. In other words, you told us that, like ostriches, we should put our heads in the sand and try to hide from ourselves the conditions that are prevailing all around us. We do not propose to do that, Mr. Speaker.

The same thing applies with respect to farm prices. I am not going into farm prices tonight because the farm problem has been so well debated in this house on the bill which is now before the house and which the government has changed. However, what I am saying is this. What has happened was obvious earlier last autumn; and it was then that steps should have been taken to set up public works programs. I am thinking of

this northern project, mining roads, development roads and so on. When was it announced? It was announced on January 2. When has that project to be completed by the provinces? It must be completed by June. Obviously there is not sufficient time for the provinces to make the necessary preparations and do the kind of job that is required to be done if it is going to alleviate to any great extent unemployment in our country.

I look around and see the numerous things that need to be done in this country. I am not going to put the figures on the record. We have heard a good deal about housing and about new units that have been started and completed over the past year. That is fine. I am glad to know that. But when I see the figures showing the numerous houses already existing with no running water, no bathroom facilities, no inside toilets, I realize that the sanitary organizations of the municipalities and so on could do with some financial assistance in order that they might improve the sanitary conditions from one end of this country to the other.

Two weeks ago tomorrow I introduced in this house a resolution calling upon the government to do something for our educational system. At that time I gave a good many reasons why we should be doing that. I am not going to recapitulate them tonight. However, in the gallery that afternoon there happened to be a gentleman with very high qualifications whom I had never met before but who sought me out and said this to me, "Have you ever thought of this; have you ever thought that Canada did a magnificent job in the air training defence plan, one that proved to be of great benefit to Canada in the years after the war; that defence training plan gave you airfields and facilities of every description". He said to me "You said this afternoon that by 1980 both high school and university facilities would be entirely inadequate and would be overburdened long before then".

He asked me "Why not, as part of Canada's contribution to the world, decide that we are going to set up a commonwealth or wider educational plan so that we can bring in young students from overseas and train them educationally, scientifically and technically; build the facilities and when we are through with that plan we shall have provided ourselves with the facilities which would enable us to take care of our young people in the future?" I thought that was a very excellent idea. There are so many things that might be done in order to relieve unemployment and in order to distribute purchasing power.

Bear this in mind; when people are unemployed they cannot purchase eggs, they 96698-2244

Suggested Resignation of Government cannot purchase butter and they cannot purchase meat, with the result that the farmers who produce those things feel the effects of unemployment, not as acutely as the people in the cities but nonetheless fairly acutely.

Some of us who were here in the 1930's recall that in 1936 and 1937 our people were in the depths of the greatest depression this North American continent has ever seen but, in 1938, 1939 and 1940, when as governments we began to make great expenditures in the field of rearmament because of the threat overhanging the world at that time, we found farm prices rising; the price of eggs rose as did the price of butter, meat and other farm commodities. The two things are inter-related and I say that our government has neglected these aspects of the economic situation.

I said a few moments ago that among other things we should use financial methods to meet this unemployment problem. What did I mean by that? I meant that under the leadership of our governmental institutions -our Bank of Canada, if you like, or a new organization of that description-we should establish a national investment organization.

Such organization would not order but would direct the savings of our people into socially desirable channels, into housing, into improved sanitary conditions, into the elimination of level crossings. What a blot are the deaths at level crossings at the present time. I say that we have many things which we should do other than those which are being done. I say to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr) that it is all very well to appeal to our private citizens to do the little things within and around their homes to give some employment in the winter period, but that is a relatively small contribution to the elimination of unemployment.

I think I had now better put on the record this amendment which I now move, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles):

That the amendment be amended by striking out all the words after the words "steady administration" and by substituting therefor the following words:

"this house is of the opinion that the economic conditions now facing this country, including the uncertainty of our export markets and the alarming unemployment situation revealed by figures released during the past week, call for consideration by the government of the United Kingdom trade proposals as well as other means to secure increasing markets for our farm and industrial production, and also for consideration of immediate action to relieve unemployment and distress by adopting a fiscal policy which will enable the government to re-direct investment and embark on a comprehensive program of public development."

Suggested Resignation of Government

I say to all hon. members in every part of this house that I believe this is an amendment which should be supported in all quarters.

We have heard a great deal about the Thorneycroft proposal back in September last for a freer trade agreement between Canada and the United Kingdom. I do not know where my hon. friends of the Conservative party stand on this proposal and I certainly do not know where my hon. friends of the Liberal party stand on it either, because I noticed that when the trade delegation was in the United Kingdom day after day hon. gentlemen rose in this house who appeared to be very perturbed lest members of that delegation should visit certain industrial plants that might be competitive with plants in the areas they represented in this house. I wonder just how genuinely interested some, not all, members of the Liberal party were in the freer trade proposals. Freer trade is the word that should be used because, as Mr. Thorneycroft said at the time, this would have to be worked out over a period of years and we believe one of the essential things which Canada should be doing is giving leadership in the direction of freer trade across the world. We have suggested the establishment of an export and import board to assist in the sale of our products and the exchange of items for the things we need.

I was very interested the other day to hear one of the hon. gentlemen in the Liberal party rise and ask about the acceptance of sterling. We suggested that in 1947 and my hon. friends in the Social Credit group also suggested it. Always the suggestion was met by the government then in power with the statement that it could not be done and it would not be economic to take any local currency, sterling or any other overseas currencies. Yet we have seen the United States since that time promoting its trade with Japan and some other countries by taking quite large quantities of local currency and by re-investing it to develop those countries which supplied it.

I would even suggest that we make arrangements through a proper import-export organization to exchange goods on a basis of value for value, if you like, and I would certainly like to see trade channels opened up in some directions where I am sure we could dispose of some of our commodities-for instance some of our vast accumulations of wheat-in the years to come. I have in mind particularly the 600 million people on the mainland of China.

As hon. members know, we have long urged the government to recognize the fact that

there is a government in control of the mainland of China and resume diplomatic relations without approving of their form of government or what they are doing, so that our traders may go into that country, if for no other reason, under the auspices of Canadian officials who can introduce them and assist them in the sale of Canadian goods. I want to say that this suggestion is becoming more and more acceptable not only in Canada but in the country whose lead we have followed, namely the United States. One reads the statements which have been made in that country from time to time. The time has come when the facts should be faced and when recognition should be granted. There we have the possibility of trade with some 600 million people, a potential market which is important not only for our farm production but also for our industrial production. I am quite certain that some of our Canadian industries -the electrical industry or the automotive industry with its large output in Canada- could find markets overseas provided we accepted either the goods or the currencies of those countries with whom we traded these things. These are all ways in which we could relieve unemployment.

We have listened today to long speeches which, I have no doubt, are election speeches. I thought as I listened to the Prime Minister tonight that this was the handbook for the Conservative party for the next election which was probably being put on the record this afternoon; and, of course, the Prime Minister and his colleagues have now the facilities which they did not have before to get these things together, facilities which I am afraid my hon. friends in the Liberal opposition will greatly miss, and facilities to which we have never had access. Perhaps we are just as well off doing our own digging, because after all when we do our own digging it sticks in our memories and we do not need to get up and read a long manuscript; we know what we are talking about without having to read from a manuscript.

Topic:   AMENDMENT CALLING FOR RESIGNATION OF GOVERNMENT
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January 20, 1958

Mr. Coldwell:

As a matter of fact, on the night of June 10 the Liberal party was utterly defeated. It was obvious to me at the time, and I said so, that there was only one honourable way for the leader of that party, the then prime minister, to act, and that was to submit his resignation to the governor general and call upon the leader of the opposition, not because I had confidence in a Conservative administration but because that was the proper constitutional thing to do. .

May I say that since they surrendered the reins of office in June and told His Excellency that the Liberal government could not carry on, no party in this house could support an amendment of this description calling for the resignation of the government in order to put back in power a party which said it could not carry on. May I add that there has been a little change in the membership of the house since then because there are two more members in the government side today than there were on the night of June 10. Therefore I want to dispose of that immediately. We could no more vote for this amendment as it stands with this proposal in it than we could do anything else that appeared as unintelligent as that would be.

Having disposed of that, let me say that throughout this parliament we have tried to place our views before the house at every opportunity. We have done that by way of various amendments which under our parliamentary rules, of course, are regarded, I think sometimes unfortunately, as want of confidence motions. I know that we have been twitted and told that we knew that

3540 HOUSE OF

Suggested Resignation of Government our Liberal friends would not support us, and that therefore we were quite safe in moving these various amendments.

May I say to you, Mr. Speaker, and to the house that we did not know what the attitude of the Liberal party would be shortly after it resigned last June, when our members met in the city of Winnipeg and decided upon the course that we have followed consistently ever since. We have no apologies to offer. We have functioned as we think an opposition party should function. We have, as we said we would, supported legislation that we thought would be in the interests of the people of Canada. We have done that consistently. When we thought that legislation should be amended to make it better, we have moved amendments. When the government has failed to bring down legislation which we thought should be brought down in view of the statements made by the Prime Minister and others during the election campaign we have moved amendments along the lines of those promises that were made in April, May and June of last year. That has been our consistent policy; and come what may, we shall have no apologies to make either to this house or to the people of Canada when an election comes around as to what our role has been.

Topic:   AMENDMENT CALLING FOR RESIGNATION OF GOVERNMENT
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January 20, 1958

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, may I too rise for the twofold purpose the Prime Minister had in mind when he rose to speak a few moments ago: first, to pay tribute to the right hon. gentleman who led the government for so long and the opposition until today. I hope he will have health and strength to remain with us and to give the parliament of Canada the advice he can give for a good many years yet.

The right hon. gentleman came here, I remember, in 1942 at a time of very great difficulty during the war, and gave freely of himself, having relinquished the practice of a profession in which he not only shone but, indeed, gloried. That was a great sacrifice on his part, and I think the country appreciated it, just as the country appreciates the services he has rendered to this nation as minister of justice, as minister of external affairs and as prime minister. And I am quite sure the right hon. gentleman knows that, whatever the fortunes of his party on June 10 of last year, that was no reflection upon the former prime minister himself.

We join the Prime Minister in expressing our regret that he has felt it necessary to lay down the reins of the leadership in which he was so distinguished and in wishing him well in the future.

I want to join the Prime Minister, too, in congratulating the hon. member for Algoma East (Mr. Pearson). I have known him now for a number of years and have been closely associated with him from time to time at international conferences. I have the highest regard and the greatest respect for him, and his only misfortune is that he is associated with the Liberal party. I could wish otherwise, because I have sometimes found my own mind running along the same channels as the hon. gentleman's mind in international affairs at least.

Topic:   LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Subtopic:   TRIBUTE TO OLD, WELCOME TO NEW
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January 18, 1958

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the minister a supplementary question. The sons of freedom emissaries have to register with our embassy in Moscow, have they not? I wonder if they have done so. Canadians who go there are expected to report to our embassy at Moscow, I believe. Perhaps that is a question that could be answered at some later date when information is received, but I will put the question on the record.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   REPORTED SEEKING OF LAND IN RUSSIA BY SONS OF FREEDOM
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