Those are the facts. I am a social crediter so-called. I believe that before this parliament can act democratically-by that I mean that democracy is given an opportunity really to function, by making available to the people the wealth we have-we must have a measure of monetary reform. It is gratifying to me to stand here to-night and
Unemployment and Agricultural Distress
know that the plan which we have put forward in this house in the last three years has never been successfully challenged. We have the goods, we have the consumers, we have the machines to produce more, we have the natural resources and the mental and physical energy of a million people who to-day are unemployed; every ingredient for a happy Canada is there. But when it comes to the question of money that is a subject which is vetoed in this house. Does any lion, member think I believe for one moment that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) is not doing his best? I do believe that he is doing his best. But I know that the Minister of Labour, like every other minister, cannot do the things he would like to do, because they are in a monetary strait-jacket. The activities of the various departments are dependent upon the amount of money available through orthodox channels.
This afternoon the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol) suggested as a measure to relieve unemployment in this country the building of dams for flood control. I believe those dams should be built; we have the concrete, we have the labour, we have the machinery. But we have not the money. Those who hold the money-bag of the nation control the nation. The people of this nation and of every other nation in the world are going to have to make the choice very shortly whether they will have real democracy, in which people can not only vote but get what they vote for, or chaos. It is one or the other. The monetary system is the keystone; without that keystone the arch of the economic system cannot bear any further weight. All across this country to-day in all sorts of organizations such as service clubs, the question of unemployment is being aired. In many churches across this country unemployment is being discussed. I tried an experiment in the last few days; I asked twelve men, at different times and in various walks of life, hat would you do with regard to unemployment if you were charged with the responsibility of dealing with it?" There was not one but said, "Put them to work." But when I asked them the same question that we asked of the hon. member for Davenport or the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Massey) who spoke yesterday for three and a half hours, and that we ask of the government, "How are you going to finance it?" they are stumped right there.
I know that on every question which comes up in this house this group has a tendency to discuss the question of money. Why should we not? Money is the problem. It is the mechanism that passes goods from the pro-
ducer to the consumer; and if industry is producing more goods with less labour, then there is less wages and therefore less purchasing power, while there are higher costs of production in terms of machinery.
We must make the choice, Mr. Speaker, whether we enter an age in which for the first time in the history of man the people will enjoy the fruits of 2.000 years of science, or whether this industrial machine will destroy us, because of this incomplete and inadequate mechanism of money. This parliament must choose. In 1935 the people of this country had some hope that unemployment would be solved, because the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) told us he would issue credit in terms of public need. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) told us he would issue 8500.000,000 in new currency. He has sat in his place in this house for the last three years, but not one further word has been said on the subject. I know many Liberals feel as we do in this corner of the house.
If at any time, Mr. Speaker, in speaking in this house I left the impression that I had no respect for parliament I want to correct it. I have; but as one of the youngest members of this house I am determined to make parliament what it should be; to see, so far as I am able, that it turns out the kind of legislation that will bring happiness to my people. Parliament is a useless instrument unless it controls the money-bag of the nation, unless it has the right to issue credit, unless it has the right to control the instrument that makes things go. I have before me a pastoral letter from the archibishop of Toronto, who said that poverty in the midst of Canada's plenty must be attacked. His excellency charged as follows:
The Catholic conscience must arise to attack the problem of the world's distress and its poverty in the midst of plenty.
He goes on to say that unemployment is fertile soil for all the evils and insidious organizations that might destroy a nation. The archbishop further stated:
In conformity with the wishes of our holy rather, the pope, and keeping before us his lcIe soc^ justice and charity for the masses oi the people, with all the authority at my C?mi?an<^ an(^ w*th all the conviction of the shepherd s heart I ask the clergy, religious communities and faithful of all classes in this archdiocese to join in a holy crusade of prayer tor the development of christianism in the social life of all communities.
During the last election campaign the Prime Minister said that in the next parliament the greatest battle ever to be waged in any parliament would be carried on between the people
Unemployment and Agricultural Distress
on. the one hand and finance on the other. It must be tiring to hon. members opposite to listen to us here hammering away on this monetary question, but we will continue to do so; we will continue that fight, because we have the sure conviction that this is where the evil lies.
The direction of the Bank of Canada has not been satisfactory, as far as I can find out. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) persistently tells us that the issuance of more money would mean inflation. The other day he went back to 1935 and said that we are now inflating, that we have a measure of controlled inflation. Why did he not go back to 1929, the year of the high price level in this country? Here we talk of relief for the distressed farmers who are facing an impossible situation. They cannot meet their obligations. According to every present indication the world price of wheat will be lowered, so the income from agriculture will be less, while debts and interest will compound and compound. And year after year those men who are not unemployed, the farmers, have been going behind. People come to me every year when I go home and say, "What would you do with this?" They want to place their case under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, or desire to get some relief through the debt adjustment board. But when I study their individual cases I can see how hopeless it really is. Even if they had crops for the next five years at a guaranteed price of ninety cents a bushel they could not possibly meet their obligations. Some suggest that others should go on the land. Why, to-day people on farms are suffering from malnutrition. They may have the things they can produce on the farms, but they cannot get the other things that are not common to farm production. So the problem of unemployment is identical with the problem of agriculture. There is no solution for it outside monetary reform, the issuance of credit in terms of public need.
Hon. members speak about Alberta breaking its promises; hon. members tell us we made promises that we had no intention of keeping; hon. members say that our record is worse than that of any other province. Let me say this: In terms of health legislation, in terms of debt, in terms of unemployment relief. I think we lead the field of the nine provinces. If this parliament is not prepared to bring about the necessary monetary reform then give that one province an opportunity to do so. We will go ahead and do it. If you do not want to do it. at least give us the opportunity; that is all we ask We are 71492-179J
facing the facts squarely. This year a relief committee operated in Alberta, and the recommendations of that committee were brought into the legislature. Just to show how we are facing these facts I want to quote one passage from a speech made by Doctor Cross, minister of health of Alberta:
As a result of their investigation, they came to this'conclusion: that the only hope for the people on relief as far as the powers of this province go, and under the present economic system, is rehabilitation-rehabilitate them in the industries or on farms; and, in order to do this successfully, the government must be prepared to subsidize them for an indefinite period of time with the hope that they may eventually become partially self-supporting. They suggest that this government go on fighting for monetary reform. It's the only real hope they can see for these people.
This year I was in Nordegg, a town built up on the one industry, the production of coal. There we find men working one day a week, as they have been doing for some years. If they happen to work a full week they do not benefit because the mine operators own the property, and everything the men make beyond the one day a week goes to pay the rent of the houses in which they live. What a hopeless future! What a mad system! And we have been sitting here for three years, or rather for eight years, because I do not differentiate between one party and the other. I am not blaming the parties. What I do want to do is to impress upon the government that when you analyse the problem you find the solution lies in money. That is what we are short of in this country. You can bring about monetary reform without inflation. The Minister of Finance has never yet successfully contradicted that statement.
The other day he spoke about velocity. He said that we do not take that into consideration, and that the danger was that with the velocity speeded up after the issuing of more money we would have chaos, and inferred that if velocity were not speeded up we might have prosperity. I do not know how you speed up the velocity of money. If you can tell me how those thousands of people in Canada who are existing on $6.42 per month can increase their prosperity by increasing the velocity of their money, then you have a convert.
Let me appeal to the government along these lines. Let me say this: We have the desire, as you have, to solve the problems of Canada. So much depends upon it-possibly the whole of civilization. I know how the generation to which I belong feel about it, and I want to give them an opportunity to restore to themselves some vestige of manhood. Once again there must be not only
Privy Council Appeals
the desire to live, but that bubbling health which impels the youth of a nation into a glorious future.
Let us combine our forces in the house. Let us find out if we are right or wrong. We can cut across all party lines, and submerge politics. If we can unite by finding that one common denominator, if we can think in terms of Canada first, then this problem is already solved and happiness is here.
On motion of Mr. Pelletier the debate was adjourned.
Topic: UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic: UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS- UNDERTAKINGS IN GENERAL INTEREST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES