The resolution, as I look at it, resolves itself into a suggested remedy to take people off the dole and put them back into remunerative employment. The plan for housing, building, reconstruction, renovation, slum clearance, land settlement, reforestation and so forth, is only incidental. Therefore it behooves us to deal for a few moments with the unemployment situation.
In much of the discussion to-day we have heard about slum districts and crowded areas, and about sickness and disease. These conditions are more or less confined to the cities, and throughout the discussion the western farmer has more or less been left out of the picture. The hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Hayhurst), however, has spoken along that line. I am wondering whether the western farmer who lives with his wife and children in perhaps a one-room shack, or in one of two or three rooms, should not have some consideration in a scheme of this sort.
There is one question I should like to ask in connection with the entire discussion, and
perhaps it might be called the proverbial question: Where is all the money coming
The hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) in the second part of his resolution suggests that the money might be borrowed on a lower rate structure. I would like to point out that the entire discussion which has ensued upon this resolution has revolved about the present financial system. The logic of all the speeches has been an attempt to run our twentieth century civilization within an eighteenth century financial structure.
The Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) has made the statement that for five years we have been trying to deal with the unemployment emergency. That is just the trouble; we have been dealing with unemployment as an emergency problem. We have not regarded the unemployment situation as being the result of some fundamental principle that is in error. Perhaps it might startle some hon. members if I were to suggest that we are not in a business depression. I might suggest that we are in a stoppage or short-circuiting of our laws of progress. 1 think all will agree that in no matter what field of science we delve there are certain laws of harmony to be found which must work one with the other. Take astronomical science and let us imagine for a moment that the stars in the heavens would say, "Well, boys, we have been going along at this rate for a good many millions of years; let us stop or turn round and go the other way." Something in the nature of a catastrophe would happen, and the same thing is true of mechanical science, physical science or any other branch of science. Yet it seems to me that we have overlooked this fact with regard to the science, if I may put it in that way, or the laws of progress. The age has progressed to a point where we need a new economic system that will care adequately for this very highly progressive and productive age. We are attempting to straddle with one foot in an ox cart and the other in an aeroplane. I should like to read a short quotation from a paper entitled To-day and To-morrow, published in Edmonton. In the issue of January 13, the editor says in part:
Public, or non-productive works, involving borrowing, will provide wages, but those wages must be taken by taxation from those engaged in productive work. This is a method of sharing the poverty of the people, and does not divide up, share, or make available, the machine-made abundance. There is, obviously, only one way out of the difficulty.
If we decide to keep the machines, then we must set up a method of giving people the wages of the machines which do their work. Incomes must be based on wealth produced and not on human labour performed.
Reconstruction Policy-Mr. Hansell
I should like to refer a little later to the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) with which I heartily agree. I admire his splendid spirit in making those remarks. I should like to quote from a little book entitled From Debt to Prosperity, by J. Crate Larkin. Speaking of the present world crisis the author says:
Of the present world crisis Major Douglas has written, "the break-down of the present financial and1 social system is certain." A comparatively short period will probably serve to decide whether we are to master the mighty economic and social machine that we have created, or whether it is to master us;
I want to emphasize the next few words. I continue:
-and during that period a small impetus from a body of men* who know what to do and how to do it, may make the difference between yet one more retreat into the dark ages, or the emergence into the full light of a day of such splendor as we can at present only envisage dimly.
On his return to England after visiting Canada last July, Major Douglas spoke at a banquet given in his honour on his return. The Calgary Herald of July 20 contains the following article:
Calling for a big electoral compaign in the United Kingdom to break the bankers' monopoly of credit, Major C. H. Douglas at a banquet given ini his honour on his return from Canada declared the world was facing an economic crisis of such magnitude that the next five years would fix the future of this planet for hundreds of years to come.
"Either the outcome must be the beginning of a virtual new epoch of economic freedom," he said, "or else there will be catastrophe and loss of all the freedoms and privileges on which the British empire has hitherto prided itself."
I wonder whether in the phrase in my first quotation, "During that period a small impetus from a body of men who know what to do and how to do it," I cannot see the little body of men who sit around me. Speaking to this resolution, the Prime Minister said that he desired cooperation and constructive criticism; that he was willing to accept any light upon any given subject that would enable the present administration to manage affairs in the interests of the people. I wish to say that hon. members sitting in this corner admire that spirit. I ask hon. members: How many of you have constructive criticisms to make? How many of you have suggestions of help instead of hindrance, suggestions of construction instead of destruction to make? We in this corner of the house desire to help by suggestions which may enlighten matters a little. We desire to help the. present administration to solve the problems that confront us in this parliament.
I suggest that three things are absolutely necessary: first, we must have an absolute and correct diagnosis of the disease. While we are not debating the speech from the throne, perhaps I may refer to it for a moment. I suggest that there was nothing in it to indicate the exact disease. In thinking over the speeches which have been made to-day, I doubt whether they would indicate to us the disease. The first thing necessary for the present administration to do is to diagnose and arrive at the proper disease. The next thing necessary is to discover the remedy to be applied. I have heard several statements made to-day, and in other days, concerning action. We are told that we need action; that we want action, but what we want is the proper kind of action. Third, we need a correct application of the proper remedy. We in this corner desire to contribute to the discovery of the disease, to the suggestion of a proper remedy and to throwing some light upon the proper application of the remedy. We do not desire to see any administration fail. We have no political axe to grind and we trust that the present administration will prove valuable to the country and that within a very few years this country may be taken out of the position in which it stands to-day, on the brink of chaos, to a place of economic, commercial and industrial security.
Topic: RECONSTRUCTION POLICY
Subtopic: PROPOSED MEASURES IN RESPECT OF HOUSING, LAND SETTLEMENT, REFORESTATION,- YOUTH IN EDUCATION, INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT