William Marvin HOWE

HOWE, William Marvin

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Wellington--Grey (Ontario)
Birth Date
February 24, 1906
Deceased Date
July 17, 1996

Parliamentary Career

August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
  Wellington--Huron (Ontario)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
  Wellington--Huron (Ontario)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
  Wellington--Huron (Ontario)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
  Wellington--Huron (Ontario)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
  Wellington--Huron (Ontario)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
  Wellington--Huron (Ontario)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
  Wellington--Grey (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 89 of 90)

June 20, 1955

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellingion-Huron):

Mr. Speaker-

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April 25, 1955

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellinglon-Huron):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in this debate I do not intend to delve into any particular aspects of the budget. They have been dealt with very ably and efficiently by some of the other members of our party. However, I should like to deal with one or two problems that are particularly applicable to my own riding and constituents and which, if promptly acted upon and dealt with in an effective way, could have a great economic effect on the whole of Canada.

I do not wish to belabour an issue that has been debated from time to time in this house, but I do notice that issues that are continually brought to the attention of the government sometimes do find their way into legislative measures. The question I am going to discuss was mentioned in the latter part of the second great war, and has been mentioned so often since that I cannot understand why some concrete policy has not been advanced by this government to assist in the decentralizing of industry.

A great deal of the buoyancy of our financial position in the world today is due to the fact that foreign capital is being invested either in the development of our natural resources or in the creation of new industrial empires. I feel that consideration should be given and planning should be done 50433-196

22, 1955

The Budget-Mr. W. M. Howe

to see that those empires will be set up under conditions and in locations that will be in the best interests of Canada as a whole.

I feel that there are three main departments of our government that would be economically affected by planning of this kind. The first department is that of transport. Indications are that our railroad systems have been operating at a tremendous deficit for the last year. In fact we know that in the year 1954 the Canadian National Railways had a deficit of $28,758,098. They find that some of this deficit arises from the fact that quite a number of their branch lines are not paying. I feel that if industry, which is being centralized in our metropolitan areas, could be distributed throughout the entire width and breadth of our country it would naturally give more business and bring more revenue to our transportation systems. I also feel that if many of these branch lines are discontinued the possibility of smaller communities getting any of these industries will become practically nil.

Another department that is involved is the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources which, through co-operation with the provincial departments of planning and development, should take some steps to see that great industrial empires do not encroach on our very valuable agricultural lands. I speak particularly of the lands in southern Ontario, where we have been endowed by old mother nature with fertile soil, a moderate climate and all the natural attributes to make that one of the most productive fruit and vegetable districts in the world. Man can never replace these natural resources which have been given to us, and there are many districts where soil and natural conditions make it impossible to carry on agriculture economically, yet where it would be feasible to build manufacturing plants.

Then we have one other department of the government which is directly involved, namely the Department of National Health and Welfare, which has the task of promoting and developing civil defence. We hope and pray that these tense periods will pass and there will not be another great war, but we know that we must look upon this matter with a sense of reality when all the great nations of the world are doing their utmost to keep ahead in the creation of new weapons of destruction. To this department falls the task of looking after the safety of the citizens of our country in case of attack.

When so many people are gathered together in great metropolitan areas the task of protecting or removing them from these areas becomes well-nigh impossible. We shudder to think what could happen. We have seen

The Budget-Mr. W. M. Howe it happen before when our weapons of destruction were many times less devastating than they are today. Had more thought and planning been given to this situation the expensive projects that we find in our larger centres to relieve traffic congestion, such as subways and through expressways, might not have been necessary. I feel that if more direction were given, many industries could settle in smaller communities to the mutual advantage of both the industries and the communities. Today we find that people living in those smaller communities are demanding and getting all the facilities provided in more thickly populated areas. If they had more supporting taxpayers the burden of municipal taxation on property owners would be less oppressive.

The second matter I wish to speak about is also one that has been given considerable publicity in this house, but it is also one about which I feel not too much has been done. I refer to the condition of the farming industry in our country. When one looks over the budget one finds that as regards the farmers as a whole very little relief has been given to alleviate the trying circumstances in which they find themselves. It is true that the average farmer may pay a few cents less in income tax, though when I spoke to a couple of my constituents during the Easter recess I found that one indicated that his reduction in revenue from the sale of his hogs over the past year was $2,500, while in the case of the other the reduction was $1,500. Therefore I think they will find that their reduction in income tax will be very small this year because a lot of them will not have to pay any tax. The farmer may get his tires a little cheaper. If he has a car to turn in he will likely pay a little less for a new one than he did before.

A survey by Dr. MacFarlane, of the Macdonald agricultural college, indicated that according to the bureau of statistics a year's work by an agricultural worker was worth only $3,600, while a year's work by workers in other occupations was worth almost $5,000. The explanation is that while the prices of farm products have been steadily declining for several years, the prices being charged for other products have been going up. In other words the producers of our agricultural products are not getting an undue share of the national production.

I am sick and tired of the fanfare and headlines that follow declines in agricultural prices. So much has been said about our high-cost economy that when beef prices drop, when hogs, poultry, or any other agricultural products go down in price, headlines proclaim that according to the index of the bureau of

[Mr. Howe (Wellington-Huron) .1

statistics the cost of living has dropped. I do not think, Mr. Speaker, that when it is caused by only one segment of our economy it is too much to shout about, and I feel it is a very selfish way of looking at this question.

No part of our national economy can live unto itself today. If farm prices drop, the things the farmers buys are fewer, and believe me, he is willing to buy when he is making a profit on his operation. He is willing to buy such products as farm implements, clothing, electrical appliances, automobiles and many other ordinary commodities of everyday life. When the farmer stops buying the manufacturers of all those commodities find that production soon catches up with the demand and there are lay-offs that are not all caused by the dumping of commodities by other countries where labour costs are lower. They are caused partly by the falling off in the purchasing power of one of the basic industries of our country.

I say that part of the fluctuation in the farmers' prices and in our agricultural returns results from the fact that today we have no definite, genuine market on which we can depend from year to year. The United States of America has from time to time been a good customer, but under ordinary circumstances and in an average year the United States produces more agricultural products than she herself can use.

The budget gave no indication that there would be any increased promotion of trade in agricultural products with other countries. There was a time when we enjoyed access to and even preference in the British markets where, because of their tremendous population, there are approximately 30 million people to be fed every year, and which is one of the most permanent and stable markets in the world for agricultural products. There was a time when our cheese ranked first in demand by the people of Britain. How do we know that the newer generations who have grown up and who have developed an appetite for this product from other countries will have the same preference as the rank and file of British people?

In those days not only did our cheese go to Britain, but our butter, our pork and our heavy steers went to that market. We do not send any beef today, and in that connection it might be interesting to note that Britain buys 70 per cent of the beef produced in the world. I feel that a great deal of the uncertainty in our agricultural economy is due primarily to the loss of this market.

This great Liberal government tells us that one of the reasons we had to give up the

British market was that Britain did not have the dollars with which to buy the products of our farms. But did this government leave no stone unturned to see that every possible dollar's worth of defence production was spent in Britain? The report of the Department of Defence Production, January 1 to December 31, 1954, indicates that materials purchased in the United States in the period April 1, 1951 to December 31, 1954 totalled $493,731,000, whereas those purchased in Great Britain amounted to only $104,255,000. Had more dollars been spent in Britain she might have had dollars which could have been used to stabilize our agricultural economy.

This government has been telling business, which has been in straitened circumstances for years, that they are faced with another buyer's market. This applies not only to business in Canada but to business in the international field. If the farmers of our country felt that there were adequate markets for their products and that when they were ready for market there would not be a surplus they could produce more than they are producing of cattle, hogs, poultry, butter, cheese, etc., and their cost of production would be reduced while our gross national product would be increased.

In the face of continued drops in agricultural prices there is one other thing I should like to mention, a phase which was applicable not only to my own riding in 1954, but because of excessive rainfall during the harvest season applied equally to many districts, particularly in southern Ontario. It is true that last year the western provinces had an unusually wet crop year, but the farmers there have the facilities of the Prairie Farm Assistance Act to help them when needed. The farmers in southern Ontario depending on late crops such as flax, white beans, soybeans and sugar beets to get extra money to pay taxes and many other yearly debts that accumulate, particularly in these days of high production costs on our farms, found there was no assistance available to them.

I maintain that what is good for one section of this dominion in time of economic strain should be applicable and within the reach of every farmer who needs it. I should like to endorse the suggestion made by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture that we recommend the development of an adequate scheme of crop insurance with costs to be borne jointly by the federal and provincial governments and the producers.

In closing I should like to say a few words about education, a matter which I understand will be brought up before the coming dominion-provincial conference. We have no 50433-196J

The Budget-Mr. Herridge greater asset in our country than our youth, and we should leave no stone unturned to see that everything possible is done to fit them to take their place in the world of today. Most municipalities are trying to do this, but with the limited means of taxation at their disposal they are finding it well-nigh impossible.

I feel that the federal government, which now takes over 75 per cent of the tax dollar, must do more to assist this very important function of government at all levels. This was the conclusion arrived at after a research program carried out by the Canadian school trustees' association under the direction of Dr. M. E. LaZerte, a distinguished Alberta educationalist. This report indicates that to ensure equality of educational opportunity for all Canadian children the dominion government should designate special grants to the provinces for the specific purpose of assisting education.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

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May 26, 1954

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellinglon-Huron):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources arising out of a recent press release which stated that many horses in lumber camps are in poor condition. The report goes on to state that out of 77 horses examined- Mr. Speaker: Order. Would the hon.

member be kind enough to put his question.

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May 25, 1954

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellinglon-Huron):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to take part in this discussion on the assistance for promotion of scientific or industrial research. As the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) has indicated, it was interesting to note that the parliamentary assistant agreed with the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Murphy) that some time before too long we should have a committee set up to go into this question of research. I would be interested to know if that question of research is something that has to be looked after immediately. The minister himself indicated that it was not a static thing but something that has got to be promoted and continue to be promoted.

No doubt most hon. members who have given this matter any thought will be in agreement. Research is not only one of the greatest factors in moulding our lives, but within the sphere of research rests the wellbeing of practically every phase of our economy, as well as the future of this great country of ours. We have been particularly and abundantly blessed with practically all the elements known to man and all the impetus possible should be given so that these elements of the field, the forest, the mines, and waters within and around us can be studied by our scientists. The benefit of that study should be passed on to every phase of our economy. It is a field that is as old as man himself. Today we are living in the reality envisioned by the poet who saw "the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails".

In the Globe and Mail of Monday, March 22, there appeared an article bearing the headline: "V-2 Man Says Atom Progress Means War Impossible Soon." I will read part of the extract. It states:

The man who invented Germany's V-2 rocket said today he thinks atomic research will make war impossible within the next 12 months.

Research Council Act

Professor Hermann Oberth said that by then it will be possible to reach any point on the globe within 45 minutes with atomic rocket.

This means that in the case of war all big cities of the enemy can be destroyed within two or three hours. I definitely believe that then no minister will decide himself for a war because he would sign his own death sentence at the same time.

So, by this means, the latter part of that great poem which ends like this:

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,

And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law-

-may come true.

During this session of parliament and during the debates which have taken place we have heard a great deal about the depressed economic conditions of certain sections of our industries. I feel that some small measure of relief can be found for these industries through the field of research, and I would suggest that in many of our industrial fields we could, through the medium of research, definitely establish a more pronounced Canadian trend in the field of textiles, for example, rather than bask in and profit by the ideas promoted, particularly by our neighbours to the south.

I find that in my own business as regards women's apparel, American fabrics are not selected particularly on account of their more reasonable price but rather because of their distinctive patterns and novelty materials. Some phases of our textile industry are recognizing that fact, and I would like to quote in this connection a news item which appeared in the March issue of a Canadian magazine called Canadian Business which carries a story entitled "Salesmanship plus New Products" with a subtitle "A formula for textiles?". That article carries the story of the Bruck brothers who are running one of the largest synthetic fibre mills in Canada. They heard of milium being developed in the United States and they went over to the United States and attempted to get the rights in order to sell that product in Canada. But the American firm which controlled it did not want to give the rights to the Canadian firm because they thought they could promote it in Canada. But the Bruck brothers came back to Canada and through the medium of research developed thermalon and went out and sold it. They made such a wonderful job of it that the people from the states were glad to give them milium.

However, every textile mill has not the capital which the Brucks had for carrying out this type of research activity and they should therefore be given encouragement by the government in that respect. As the hon. member for St. Paul's (Mr. Michener) intimated, it is not every organization or

manufacturing firm that is large enough to have these facilities, but there are a tremendous number of small factories and firms in this country employing people which are a definite part of the economy of this country. Some phases of our textile industry are recognizing that fact.

In this connection I would like to quote from a news item which appeared in the March 3 edition of Style which is a women's wear newspaper issued to the trade. This article carries the heading "Nova Scotian Tartan Will Hit Market Soon" and the item states:

There is something new under the sun ... it's Nova Scotia Tartan.

This should provide good news for manufacturers and retailers alike, especially those who keep an eye on the tourist trade.

I am not going to read the entire article but it goes on to conclude with this:

Already many inquiries have been received about the tartan . . . who will be manufacturing it and when it will be available in any marketable quantity. All these questions will be answered when the copyright and registration have gone through.

Tourists will soon, it is hoped, get their first introduction to the new tartan when they cross the Nova Scotian border and behold the Scottish piper blowing the bagpipes to the accompanying swirl of Nova Scotia tartan kilt.

From the same paper I have taken another small item entitled "Canadian Ideas". The article states:

Better still, who not try to create-and we mean create-some truly Canadian fashions, based on Canadian ideas, history and folklore?

The same thing might hold true on the question of housing about which we have heard so much, and to which I think one of the main objections was that even though down payments have been reduced the price of the houses available is still too high for the average wage earner. I feel that through the medium of research a house could be evolved that would make it possible for the ordinary man to have his own house.

In my own experience as chairman of our district high school board, I know that we were confronted with the problem of building a new high school. The provincial department of education set a maximum of $300,000 as the completed cost of our new school. When we first approached the subject we found that schools were costing approximately $14 a square foot. This would mean that the type of school we wanted completed would be around $385,000 which was out of our reach. However, we went into this matter seriously and found that a new school was being built in Mount Forest at a cost of a little over $9 a square foot. This firm of architects, through the medium of considerable prefabrication and other money

saving devices, was able to prove to us that the school we required could be built for $300,000. That school is now in process of being completed and is already being used to a certain extent.

I therefore feel that through the medium of research we in Canada could do as they are doing in so many other countries of the world. In this connection I would like to quote from an article which appeared in the Journal of Thursday, February 20, under the heading of "Prefabricated Housing". The article states:

I. F. Fogh, logging development engineer of the Canadian International Paper Company, Montreal, gave a revealing picture of prefabricated housing in Sweden based on a visit to Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark last summer.

He then goes into considerable detail in describing the type of modern house being built over there and goes on:

The saving to the purchaser compared with a similar house built to the same standards by conventional methods was estimated by Mr. Fogh at about $3,000 plus about two months' time.

This development is the result of the efforts of one of Sweden's large combines of water power, iron ore and forest products which was faced with the problem of providing adequate yet economical housing facilities for its workers.

In this connection there is a suggestion I would like to make to the government even though my observation has been that the government apparently sees no good in suggestions coming from this side of the house. My suggestion is one which was urged upon me by the fact that we are paying a large sum of money to an architectural firm in New York for plans for the new national film board building in Montreal. I maintain that as this question has been under discussion for so long and the need for this new building has been realized for so many years, the Department of Public Works should have had the foresight to appoint a team made up of architects, technicians, engineers, draftsmen and so on to study this question. I realize that as this is a specialized type of building, it requires specialists in this field to create it, and I maintain that had this plan been followed we in Canada would have had the benefit of this advanced training for this and any other similar types of buildings that may have to be built in the future. I maintain that this suggestion could hold good for many other departments of the government which, through the medium of long-term planning and research, would have available the men to carry out major projects of this type as they arise.

But how are we going to keep pace, Mr. Speaker? How are we going to ensure the future of Canada in order that she may continue to take her place among the greatest

Research Council Act

nations of the world? I think it is through the immediate assistance and promotion of scientific and industrial research in Canada. But, Mr. Speaker, how are we going to ensure that this great realm of research will have available men with the brains, the courage and the fortitude to carry on the work of our great scientists of today? In this connection I should like to read from page 181 of the Massey report a paragraph which deals with this question:

79. The conclusion presented to us, then, is that the great need is for first-class men to give leadership and inspiration through their own brilliant, original discoveries. The future depends not only on the continued liberality of governmental agencies but on the number and quality of the men induced to work at research. The greatest need is to discover and train these men and then to make sure that they are provided with research facilities and opportunities to enable them to render the services of which they are capable.

I think a group of young people in my riding have come up with one of the answers. I should like to read a resolution that was passed by one of our high school student bodies. It was passed by the student council, Fergus district high school, at their regular meeting on Monday, February 8, 1954, and reads as follows:

That, as possible future recipients of the scholarships and rewards, this council, on behalf of all students in the Fergus district high school, urge the dominion government to organize a committee to bring about the immediate awarding of the scholarships recommended by the Massey report.

At this time I should like to pay a tribute to young high school students who will give serious consideration to a problem which is as old as the world, namely that of the child who through no fault of his own is unable to pursue learning to the extent for which he is fitted by natural abilities. No doubt many hon. members can recall friends of their youth who showed remarkable promise but who on account of their particular status in life were unable to continue at school. Thus Canada was the loser.

In that connection there appeared in the Globe and Mail of March 29 an article entitled "Extending Pure Research" and which speaks about research in the United States. It reads in part as follows:

President Eisenhower has directed the National Science Foundation, an official U.S. government body, to survey the government's research and development program. The stated purposes are to speed the attainment of federal research goals, to stimulate basic research, ascertain possible economies and to propose methods which would safeguard the strength and independence of educational institutions. .

I have here some figures from the Massey report as compiled by a committee on education of the Canadian Manufacturers Association and published in February, 1950. This

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report emphasized the fact that out of 100 Canadian children attending school, only 22 finished high school, only 3 graduated from college and that 54 per cent of those who dropped out did so for economic reasons.

In 1946 the Ontario department of education discovered that only 7 per cent of the young people who had completed their primary and high school education had registered at a university. To us the disturbing thing is not the percentage but the fact that there is no assurance that this 7 per cent comprises the best qualified students. From page 362 of the Massey report on arts, letters and sciences I quote the proposals- as indicated by the resolution I have received [DOT]-made by that very wide and comprehensive study:

16. We are proposing that the present scheme with which the federal and provincial governments are familiar, and which is operating satisfactorily, be enlarged. As for the number of undergraduates who should thus be aided, we do not think it appropriate to suggest a precise figure, although it is our view that as far as may be possible young persons who have the necessary ability and diligence should receive reasonable assistance to enable them to become more useful citizens.

Paragraph 17 lists the scholarships to be given to these undergraduates. Rather than take up the time of the house by reading it, I would ask the permission of the house that these be incorporated in Hansard of today.

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May 25, 1954

Mr. Howe (Wellington-Huron):

Paragraph 17 reads in part as follows:

17. The following plan has been proposed to us and is respectfully suggested for the guidance of the government and of the agencies which may be charged with the administration of these scholarships:

1. 100 annual scholarships of $1,000, tenable for four years, to be known as Canada scholarships. These scholarships are intended to confer not only a valuable award but considerable prestige upon students of outstanding ability and exceptional promise. These scholarships at least, in our judgment, should be granted only after personal interviews.

2. 250 national scholarships annually of $500, to be tenable for four years. These are intended for distinguished and promising students.

3. 2,000 bursaries of $500 a year tenable for four years, for able and diligent students on the basis of need.

4. A loan fund open to all students whose work is acceptable to the authorities of their universities.

It was interesting to note from the minister's speech how many scholarships are being given by the national research council and it was interesting to note that in the estimates of the national research council

they have suggested an increase in the allowances from $448,500 last year to $563,000 this year. However, these scholarships are only for a few of those students who have completed their university training and are in the form of fellowships and doctors' degrees for advanced studies. I feel that this is a move in the right direction, but I think that the government of Canada, in cooperation with the provincial governments, should go further and should put into force the recommendations that I have mentioned in order that we may be assured that our own Canadian research will have the benefit of all the brains and ingenuity to be found among the youth of our country. The Canadians who will inherit this country, the ones who will have the responsibility of guiding this young giant which is now awakening from its slumbers, are sitting in the classrooms of the schools today. It is our duty and responsibility to help them contribute to the Canada of tomorrow.

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