Mr. T. B. BARRETT (Norfolk):
Mr. Speaker, my contribution to the debate will be brief, for I do not intend to indulge in any detailed criticism of the budget but merely to endorse what already has been very well said by other members of this party.
I find that the manner of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) is so engaging that, as far as I am concerned, in his administering of a very bitter pill I am somewhat disarmed.
The Budget-Mr. Barrett
However, in spite of his assurance that the medicine will be good for us, I think the harshness and bad taste of the dose will not only nullify any good effects which theoretically it should have, but tend to destroy that confidence which is so necessary between patient and physician if a cure is to be effected.
The disease, the minister tells us, is inflation; the cure, high taxation. But this heavy burden of taxation, especially as it bears upon the lower income group, is having a definite effect in slowing up production; and increased production, it seems to me, which would help to satisfy the pent-up demand, would be a much better way of beating inflation than taking the people's money away from them so that they will be too hard up to buy what they want.
My conception of the function of government is probably an old-fashioned one, but I believe that government should interfere as little as possible with the ordinary affairs and the lives of the people. If injustices are being perpetrated by any one group, it is the duty of the government to correct and curb those abuses. But otherwise I think they should, as much as possible, leave the people alone to run their own affairs and they should make conditions such that the people will be encouraged to make a reasonable profit rather than discourage and discredit them for so doing.
I deplore this ever-growing tendency toward government interference in private business which is so greatly advocated by my hon. friends to the left and which is practised by my hon. friends opposite. I shall probably be dubbed as a Tory reactionary for taking this stand. Since that term is bandied about so often, I think it worthwhile to inquire into just who are the reactionaries in this house. According to my understanding, a reactionary is one who persists in advocating outworn and discredited policies. Socialism is nothing more than state management, state control and state paternalism. It is the oldest form of government known to society.
In the olden days of the tribal system it probably worked fairly well, in that stage of social development. The chief had full control over the lives of the people of his clan, and looked after them in a paternal way. As civilization advanced, this system developed into the old feudal system, and for a great many years that worked well, at that time. But society has outgrown that. It is now outworn and discredited. On the other hand, the system which this party stands for and supports, that of the greatest freedom of the individual-out of which have grown all the freedoms which we enjoy, such as the freedom of association, universal suffrage, freedom of elections and 5849-278
all the other benefits of democracy-is the most modern, the most advanced system, and has been more conducive to human happiness than any other system recorded by history. I therefore leave it to the judgment of the house as to who are the reactionaries.
Moreover, while our hon. friends of the C.C.F. are extremely voluble in repudiating these embarrassing advances which are being made to them by communism-and I quite acknowledge their sincerity in this repudiation -I must point out to them that, while their methods of approach and their methods of administration differ vastly from those of communism, in the long run the ultimate aim is the same, namely state control of the people. In fact, as Lord Lothian said a few years ago at an Empire club banquet, communism is the only form of socialism that will work. In this connection, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to read into the record a resolution which I have received from a group of Ukrainian citizens in my own constituency. It is as follows:
We, Canadians of Ukrainian origin, numbering 80 gathered ait a public meeting in Waterford, Ontario, May 16, 1948, unanimously resolved to bring to your attention the following:
1. In 1918, by the will of forty million Ukrainian people on their ethnographic lands of Europe, a democratic Ukrainian national republic was formed, which was recognized by the western powers.
2. The Ukrainian national republic was annihilated by the armed aggression of the Muscovite Bolsheviks between the years 1918 and 1920, and a fictitious totalitarian state the so-called Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was formed, which, even today exists due to the dictatorship of the ruling communist party and to the terrorism of the secret political police.
3. Since that time the Ukrainian people have struggled unceasingly against the Soviet occupants, viz.: millions of lives lost in that struggle, the present uprising of the Ukrainian partisan army, and the new 300,000 Ukrainian political refugees in the allied occupation zones of Germany.
4. Only after occupying the Ukraine, and annihilating the more intelligent and more active elements of the Ukrainian people by mass executions, by banishments, and by artificial famine, were the Muscovite communists able to commence the realization, of their imperialistic plans for undermining the whole world.
5. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, with its anti-national, totalitarian, terrorist regime, appears as the greatest threat to world peace, world freedom, culture and the Christian religion.
6. By means of revolutions, civil wars, economic crises and subversive acts of its fifth column communist parties in every country, the U.S.S.R. aims to overthrow the existing democratic regimes and to form vassal states, based on the dictatorship of communist minority.
7. The communist parties of the world, under various aliases, are in reality branches of Moscow's communist party of Russia and a fifth column of the U.S.S.R., whose orders guide their
The Budget-Mr. Knowles
activities. Their activity is aimed at the destruction and overthrow of countries wherein they function.
Therefore, we appeal to the Canadian government and especially to its united nations representatives:
1. To investigate, to introduce and to support at the united nations forum, the just requests of the forty million Ukrainians in regard to the renewal of the Ukrainian democratic national republic on their ethnographic territories.
2. To question the right of Mr. D. Manuilski, who has been appointed by and represents the occupational Eussian regime, the right to speak in the name of the Ukrainian people.
3. To point out to the members of the united nations the threat to world peace of the present totalitarian U.S.S.R. government with its antinational regime and its imperialistic foreign policy.
4. To outlaw the so-called Labour Progressive party, which is a branch of the Russian communist party and a fifth column of U.S.S.R. The L.P.P. is not a Canadian party because its headquarters are outside Canada and this party's activity is aimed at exterminating the democratic regime in Canada.
5. To extend a sanctuary on Canadian soil to the Ukrainian political refugees, who at present are found in western Germany and Austria. These peoples are anti-communists, and are representatives of every walk of life. During the last three years under the protection of the western allies they have displayed their skill in organizational and constructive work.
These displaced persons if assisted to settle in Canada would spearhead the movement and combat communism since they are victims of its menace. We feel that the settling of these people in Canada will raise the standard of Canada culturally and economically. In the present grave international crisis these people look with foreboding at the future and have no opportunity for a total expression of their constructive abilities.
We trust that you, being acquainted with the foregoing, will draw the necessary and fair conclusions and meet our request with approval. We remain,
Mike Podolak, Chairman of meeting.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE