Joseph Adrien Henri LAMBERT

LAMBERT, Joseph Adrien Henri

Personal Data

Social Credit
Bellechasse (Quebec)
Birth Date
July 15, 1913
Deceased Date
July 23, 2003

Parliamentary Career

June 25, 1968 - March 31, 1971
  Bellechasse (Quebec)
April 1, 1971 - September 1, 1972
  Bellechasse (Quebec)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
  Bellechasse (Quebec)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
  Bellechasse (Quebec)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
  Bellechasse (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 470 of 470)

September 20, 1968

Mr. Lambert (Bellechasse):

I consider it a pleasure and an honour to belong to a Canadian political party whose leader is such a highly devoted man and who has the courage to foster the economic security of all through freedom.

I would also like to congratulate all the other members who have been re-elected or elected for the first time. However, I would be unfair to myself if I did not entertain a very special feeling for my colleagues of the Ralliement Creditiste who so valiantly deserved the trust of their fellow-citizens.

At the same time, I would like to congratulate and thank those entrusted with the legislative and parliamentary function who have achieved the present degree of parliamentary organization and efficiency. Even though perfection has not been attained and some may not be satisfied, there is an impression that, at least, we are not starting from zero. Already we are facing something that exists, that moves, that is organized and is improving and that is continually being completed, without ever reaching its final stage.

You will agree, Mr. Speaker, that beginning at the very early age of 16, as in my case, to farm the land and also becoming an orphan at the age of 11 and starting from nothing in almost all my undertakings, I have a very clear impression, on my election to the House of Commons, that truly something has been accomplished. I feel contented and happy, and I congratulate those who were here before.

But I do not come here without anything to my credit; something has happened in the past 40 years. I have always tried to understand why the people I came into contact with acted as they did. I learned first to get along pretty well with the members of my

September 20, 1968 COMMONS

family and now, for a long time, I have cultivated my land as well as my family and social relations. For 25 years, I have been the secretary of a municipality created with the help of my fellow-citizens, because the municipality I am talking about is relatively young, since it goes back only to the thirties. That municipality, which today is the pride of the riding of Lotbiniere, is well organized, because the hard-working people who live there have cleared the land and settled on farms. I would say therefore that I have some experience of public life.

For the last 30 years or so, I have been taking part in all the activities of farm associations. I have followed with a great deal of regularity, in the public gallery, the proceedings of the legislature in my province. Therefore, I do not feel completely as a novice in the social and public life when coming here to Ottawa. I am happy to feel at home, to have a part to play and not to feel as if I had stolen somebody else's place when taking my seat as a member. I feel that I am here really as the choice of most of the voters in my riding who honoured me by selecting me over my opponents, and whom I would not want to disappoint during the term of my mandate in the Ottawa parliament.

[DOT] (2:40 p.m.)

I am here, Mr. Speaker because I have something to say, a representation to make, and maybe also something to defend. I do not want to be too severe but I do want to be explicit, frank and honest in asserting the rights of all the citizens of my riding, of my province, of other provinces, in a word, of Canada as a whole. In my opinion, it is life that counts the most in the "qualification" of persons with whom I am in contact. To live on a farm and having chosen to do so, one must love life.

Since redistribution, the new riding of Bel-lechasse includes, besides the provincial county of Bellechasse, a large part of Montmagny and the major part of Dorchester. It is a large riding where the people, who used to live exclusively of agriculture and lumbering, now earn their living, partly, by working for industries which have settled there.

The agricultural production of the riding of Bellechasse, which formerly was quite considerable, has also decreased, as everywhere else throughout the province of Quebec and Canada, precisely because agriculture is not profitable.

As far as existing industries are concerned -there are large ones, and small ones-the


The Address-Mr. Adrien Lambert larger ones could still expand, and the Industrial Development Bank Act should of necessity be amended to allow loans to those industries, at lower interest rates, so that they might achieve their goal and expand for the benefit of the people who live in my area.

There are also smaller enterprises which have hired help. These are family undertakings, which can also develop but which, as it is, hire a certain number of workers who, for the better part, are farmers who work there to increase their income because their own farms do not bring in enough revenue.

There is talk, generally, and there has been for a long time, of industrial decentralization but not much is being done to achieve that objective. I feel that in order to achieve that industrial decentralization, interest must be developed at every government level, municipal, provincial and federal, amongst, the go-betweens, and also the people who live in that sector of society, in order to promote the development of the municipalities and to enable them to provide the services essential to the establishment and expansion of new industries.

It should also be realized that if we want to maintain a decent level of population in our rural areas, new industries will have to offer employment to the local manpower, in addition to farm labour. If this objective could be achieved, we could hope to see an interesting level of population, the construction of new family dwellings, on condition, obviously that it be found possible to offer rural areas the advantage of a housing loan policy that would encourage the construction of real family dwellings, buildings in which not only modern machines could be housed, but also little Canadians, so that those spouses who still want children are enabled to house them properly.

Mr. Speaker, we also have in our areas, in my riding, as in other ridings in Quebec, many abandoned farms.

The farmers had to abandon them because their income did not allow them to live there. If you go through those parishes, you see many farms which used to be the pride of our people, of our province. However, today, when you see them, you wonder what happened to bring about such a situation in such a great and beautiful country where there is still so much to do.

Mr. Speaker, those people who, for the most part, cannot offer their services to industry because they are not qualified have

September 20, 1968

The Address-Mr. Adrien Lambert become social welfare recipients. It is not good for our country when too many ablebodied people cannot do their share to build our country and to increase productivity in order to wage an effective war on poverty about which so much is said in the Speech from the Throne.

We will also have to work seriously to give our children, who will soon leave schools with a vocational or industrial training, a job enabling them to put into practice the science which they strived to acquire during all those years we kept them in school. People complain that education is expensive but, if so, it is one more reason why we should do something without delay so that these youngsters whom we are preparing for the future will not be discouraged, after having left school, when applying for a job. The first question put to a student seeking a job is: Have you a diploma? When he answers, yes, I have; here it is, he is asked a supplementary question: Have you any experience? But as he had always gone to school in order to get his diploma, he was not able to work and get experience, of necessity he had to answer no. And when he said: No, I have no experience, he was told: It is just too bad, but I cannot hire you because you have no experience.

Mr. Speaker, I mention those cases because they have occurred frequently in the last few months. Indeed, I have witnessed such dramatic situations and our children find them discouraging, because they are led to believe that a diploma some training or other, would enable them to earn a living and get ahead as easily as one drives a car on the highway.

Mr. Speaker, attempts were made, perhaps involuntarily, to lead all our young people to believe that diplomas would be sufficient to earn a living and to make their way up into society but, then our children discover that this is not enough, and they blame the adults for not telling them the whole truth.

Mr. Speaker, I see that my time is quickly running out. There are so many things to explain so that the house may improve the economic situation of the eastern part of our province. I am not the only one to have witnessed that situation and to have seen such things as I described to you.

During the conference of premiers which I followed on television-I heard one of the premiers of the eastern provinces say at one time: Yes, it is true that there is a constitutional problem in our country, but there is an even more serious problem, the economic problem.

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September 20, 1968

Mr. Lambert (Bellechasse):

He then described our country. When we speak of a united Canada, united culturally and in our common efforts to develop and expand the country, I am entirely in agreement. But the provincial premier said that Canada is divided into two sectors, one rich and the other economically weak.

Mr. Speaker, I belong to the latter. I happen to represent a part of this economically weak sector, and I would like to make my contribution and to co-operate, working hand in hand with my colleagues. By co-operating with the government, we will find effective solutions which will give results. The people will then no longer think that we only come here to pass the time, without any intention of producing results.

Mr. Speaker, there is an exceedingly serious problem in the field of agriculture which is in urgent need of a solution, or else it will play us a nasty trick.

There is now some talk of importing certain products which people need to feed themselves. Unfortunately, in my opinion, if we keep on the course that we already have taken, it will not be long before we shall have to import more of those products.

When a country has to turn to others for its own subsistence, then it loses its freedom.

Farmers in the province of Quebec are said to be inefficient, unable to plan their production, unable to set the course of their business. Those same charges were made from 1930 to 1939, when the prices of farm products were at their lowest. Farmers indeed were being discouraged because they were unable to earn adequate revenues.

Of course, production dwindled, and that was normal. When a businessman, or a manufacturer is not in a position to make some profit, he becomes disheartened and is compelled to give up.

However, Mr. Speaker, this was not the truth. What was true is this: in 1939, when war broke out, we called on our farmers to do their war effort. Intensive production committees were set up in every community. I was the chairman of one of those committees, and I used to hold informal meetings with local farmers to incite them to produce more butter, cheese, eggs and various meats. We succeeded in increasing the production of those goods by offering the farmers higher prices, as well as the possibility, the hope of at least earning their livelihood.

One or two sons were taken away from them, Mr. Speaker, for military training.

September 20, 1968

Eastern Canadian farmers, Quebec farmers, proved their efficiency, since they answered the call of their government, of their country, and generously made their war effort.

Mr. Speaker, this prosperous situation enjoyed by the farmers in the post-war years continued until about the 50's when the marketing of our products was adequate enough. However, since 1951, according to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, the farming conditions of Quebec farmers have deteriorated from year to year. They did to such an extent that, in 1968, according to some D.B.S. figures published in La Terre de Chez Nous, a weekly publication of the province of Quebec, it is shown that the net income of Quebec farmers, calculated on constant dollars, has decreased since 1951 in spite of a remarkable increase in productivity. In fact it has almost tripled. Therefore, the net farm income per unit which amounted to $1940 in 1951 had decreased in 1967 to $1684 constant dollars.

Note that these figures include the farmer's remuneration for his work, his administration, as well as for his net investment in his farm, that is more than $2,500 in 1967. This net property, capitalized at 5 per cent, would alone absorb more than $1,250 per year, which leaves barely $434 per farm in Quebec as working and management income.

Mr. Speaker, the disastrous situation of the farmer in eastern Quebec, stems from something, and one of the main causes lies in that the products used by farmers have increased, by 60 per cent from 1951 to 1967 while the price of agricultural produce has increased by only 17 per cent.

What is worse is that, in the meantime, the cost of living in eastern Canada kept going up to such an extent that at the end of 1967, it was one third higher than in 1957.

Mr. Speaker, some people complain sometimes because the farmers want more for their products, and when they make representations to get higher prices, some uninformed people might think that they are going too far.

So that producers and consumers can agree once and for all, they should stop accusing each other and quarrelling and try to rectify the situation.

I have here a small half pint container of cream, with 18 per cent fat, which I bought in Ottawa this week. I paid 34 cents for it and the producer-and I am happy to say publicly to that I am one-gets only a small fraction of that amount. On the other hand, 29180-191

The Address-Mr. Adrien Lambert the manufacturer of the container, the printer, and the selling companies get more for the container and its handling than the value of the contents paid to producers, but the consumer is unaware of that. We do not have the support of the consumer when we want to assert, in an honest way, the legitimate rights of the farmer or the producer.

The situation is the same for soft drinks. Mr. Speaker, has it ever occurred to people that 40 ounces sell for 50 cents, if we consider that an 8 ounce bottle costs 10 cents. At the present price of milk, farmers and producers of manufacturing milk, receive approximately $4.80 a hundredweight which represents 12 cents a quart. Imagine; 12 cents for 40 ounces of milk. However, one must pay 50 cents for 40 ounces of soft drinks.

I am interested in the consumer because I have children, I am myself a consumer. I tell you that we must do something for him in a common effort to establish a just society.

[DOT] (3:00 p.m.)

I am referring again to the establishment of a just society, of the just society, just for everyone including the small wage-earner. Mr. Speaker, I live among the poor people, I have always lived among those who have to work, on account of their circumstances. Therefore, I can tell you this: Today, I know all those problems, I am here the spokesman of the poor people, but I do not know what it is to work with you all, so that in the light of the requirements of each and everyone, we could do something.

Mr. Speaker, has the farmer any rights or has he only obligations in Canada? What are the obligations of the farmers, what are the obligations of the agricultural class? They are to cut down the trees in the forest, in an effort to make a farm out of it. This has always been done in Canada: My forefathers and yours did it. Before the building in which we are gathered was erected, there were but trees on this site. They are men like the one who is speaking to you, as many others in Canada, who have worked manually to fell forests and tried to make the Canadian soil fertile in order to feed mankind. Such is the nature of the obligation, such is our duty, Mr. Speaker, and I believe that we have rather creditably discharged it. Even when it is not profitable, cows are milked, crops are reaped and stored in order to keep them and make them available to Canadian citizens.

Mr. Speaker, this is our responsibility. Those are our obligations to the community, but I consider that there is never any obligation and responsibility without corresponding

September 20, 1968

The Address-Mr. Alexander rights. And the right for the farming class is that of a vital minimum; it is the right of a farmer to have an income enabling him to earn honourably his family's living. The farmer has a right to have enough revenue to pay for public services, like everyone else. They ask no special favours. If, two weeks from now, it should cost 6 cents to mail a letter, the farmer will pay 6 cents. If it costs $3 to get a tooth fixed, the farmer will pay $3. We are glad to pay the price, but in order to be able to meet the prices asked left and right, we have to have enough money. The farmer has a right to it, and that is why I am asking today whether something could be done about this. I am expressing myself as best I can, with the vocabulary at my disposal-for society did not give me much, and I do not have much of a university education, but at least I tried to get an understanding of the French language and arithmetic. If something could be done about this problem, it would help my fellow-citizens and perhaps my own family.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for the support of all

parties in this house to try to get some justice, not ten or twenty years from now, but as soon as possible, within a few months, so that the dairy farmers, the producers of manufacturing milk, may get at least a guaranteed price of $5.50 a hundredweight. That is not going to ruin anybody. Mr. Speaker-

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September 20, 1968

Mr. Adrien Lambert (Bellechasse):

Mr. Speaker, I should like first of all to thank you and to congratulate you on your appointment as Speaker of this house. You were chosen by the members unanimously because of your personal qualities which so well qualified you for such an important and difficult office.

This is the first time, Mr. Speaker, that I have the honour of sitting in this house, and I am therefore not familiar with the rules. [Mr. Lundrigan.l

However, I shall try to learn them and if I happen to break any of them by mistake, I beg you to excuse me and to show indulgence. I should also like to thank the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) for his kind words of welcome to the new members, as I am one of them. I should like also to pay my respects to my devoted and dynamic leader, the worthy member for Temiscamingue (Mr. Caouette) whom I would call, like so many others, a great Canadian. He is a French Canadian who has not been afraid to firmly insist on the rights of the French element across Canada without interfering with the rights of others or destroying them.

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September 17, 1968

Mr. Adrien Lambert (Bellechasse):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to address a question to the Minister of Agriculture.

Eastern Quebec farmers, especially in the riding of Bellechasse, have suffered heavy losses due to crop damage in 1967.

Has the Quebec government or any farm group made representations to the Minister of Agriculture so that financial assistance may be provided to the farmers involved, prior to

September 17, 1968

the coming into force of the Quebec Crop Insurance Act?

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