Harry Oliver WHITE

WHITE, Harry Oliver

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Middlesex East (Ontario)
Birth Date
January 6, 1895
Deceased Date
September 4, 1987
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Oliver_White
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=ed7c9721-7803-4bd8-a892-696cdd38f5a0&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer

Parliamentary Career

June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
PC
  Middlesex East (Ontario)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
PC
  Middlesex East (Ontario)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Middlesex East (Ontario)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Middlesex East (Ontario)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Middlesex East (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 156)


April 11, 1957

Mr. White (Middlesex East):

They used to grow onions on the farm occupied by the late Mr. Hepburn, but they are not growing onions now. They are not growing onions as they used to do in Erieau or on point

Pelee. They could not market their onions, and onions were being imported at that time.

During the week of February 15, there was imported 33 carloads of onions; 33 carloads of carrots. During the week of February 8, there was imported 56 carloads of potatoes] 22 carloads of apples. All this took place at a time when our farmers were finding it difficult to market some of their products. During the week of March 8, there was imported 119 carloads of vegetables; 48 carloads of onions and 30 carloads of carrots. This gives some idea of the large amount of food imported each week. During the week of March 22, there was imported 104 carloads of celery; 168 carloads of tomatoes; 41 carloads of onions; 76 carloads of potatoes; 5 carloads of pears and 14 carloads of apples. I am using these figures because I wish to show the situation in which this country could find itself in so far as food is concerned if disaster should strike.

I am just pointing that out because with that much food coming in every week how long would we last if our lines of communication with the United States were broken? Here we are spending, as I said, $2,000 million every year for national defence; we are exhorting our citizens to prepare for civil defence, and the mainstay of the people is food. If they have no food they soon perish. I think it is indicative of the lack of foresight on the part of the government that the agricultural producers are finding themselves in the position in which they are now.

I hold in my hand the new stamps that were issued yesterday depicting a loon. I wonder whether they are also indicative of things to come; I wonder whether they have any reference to coming events on June 10.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
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March 29, 1957

Mr. White (Middlesex East):

Before the hon. member changes the subject I wish to make this observation. I am not going to ask a question. I think this has been a rather healthy discussion and it will probably hinder anyone in the future from indicating not only on the radio and on television, but it might go farther than that and reach out to the press that certain people do not like certain things that might appear in the press. If that were done we would get censorship of all the articles that might appear in the press. I think this is a very healthy discussion and probably some warnings can be taken from it when we see what happens in European countries and other places.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
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March 25, 1957

Mr. H. O. While (Middlesex East):

I intended to ask a question of the Minister of Finance similar to the one asked by the hon. member for Greenwood, but in the minister's absence I shall direct a question to the Minister of Public Works. My question is, why not make use of the present legislation under the National Housing Act providing $150 million for low cost housing and quit tampering with the people's savings in chartered banks?

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   N.H.A. LOANS SUGGESTED INVESTMENT IN LOW COST HOUSING
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March 25, 1957

Mr. White (Middlesex East):

Mr. Chairman, I do not propose to take a great deal of time this evening, but I do feel that this is a most important subject, and I realize that many of the people in southwestern Ontario have

Health Insurance

been expecting and hoping for a measure of this kind for quite a number of years.

While we in the Conservative party welcome this resolution we regret that it has taken the present government and preceding governments 38 years to get around to the point of introducing it. Just to refute what the last speaker had to say I would point out that if it had not been for the action taken by Premier Frost of Ontario we might very well have had to wait another five years before this measure was introduced.

Topic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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March 25, 1957

Mr. White (Middlesex East):

The Canadian people are well aware of the need for some measure of this kind. The very fact that 70 per cent of the Canadian people are now covered by some type of insurance indicates the extent to which they are interested in this subject, and demonstrates the hope that a co-ordinated scheme with the provinces might in some cases reduce the cost.

I do not think anyone should labour under the impression that this is going to be free. Someone is going to pay for it, and who could that be but the taxpayers of the country? The increasing cost of illness makes this measure imperative. I was very much interested in what was said this afternoon by the hon. member for Lanark who, in dealing with the subject of the increasing cost of illness, said that whereas the average patient per day cost in 1947 was $7.46, it had risen to $14.64 in 1954. I was speaking to the hospital authorities in my home city just last week, and I was informed that the per patient per day cost was something over $15 in that particular hospital last year.

We are glad that some form of universal coverage will be provided. I am inclined to doubt the wisdom of the statement made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, who said that the greater part of the cost should be borne under a plan that would take it from those with the greatest ability to pay. He mentioned the corporations and large companies. What happens in a case like that is that their contribution becomes a part of the operating cost of the company, which will be added to the cost of the goods they sell and the consumer will be the person who pays ultimately, not the corporation. I do not think that plan is practical, and probably it is not as fair as many other schemes which could be proposed.

Many middle class people are fearful of rising hospitalization and medical costs, which in some cases are ruinous. I am going to cite

Health Insurance

two or three illustrations. These cases were brought to my attention just last week end when I was home. In one case a child was in hospital for seven days, and the Middlesex county co-operative medical services were carrying the risk. They paid the cost of hospitalization up to $7 per day. The cost of the room per day was $7.50 so in this case the family was charged only a total of $3.50 for the room. The unfortunate part of the case was that because of the rather peculiar type of illness the diagnostic and special examinations, including X-rays and tests of one kind and another, amounted to $154, or $22 a day for the period of seven days during which the child was confined to hospital. Although the family believed they were covered with insurance, they learned that their total costs were $157.50. That same family last year also had other medical expenses amounting to approximately $500. This is one case of which I had personal knowledge.

I was inquiring about some other cases, and learned of one near my home. The child involved was confined to hospital in St. Thomas. The parents, who were young farmers, received a bill amounting to $2,200. They had to put a second mortgage on their farm, and only after many years were they able to pay the bill.

I know of a similar case in which the breadwinner of the family, a working man, was stricken and the costs of his hospitalization and treatment amounted to $2,400. Following his recovery the man and many of the men who worked in the plant with him sold their blood in order to help eliminate the debt against him. This serves to point up how necessary it is to have some scheme of this kind.

It is well known, of course, that those in the higher income brackets can afford hospitalization and medical care and those in the townships and municipalities are taken care of, but the vast majority of middle class people find this an extremely difficult situation to meet.

We come now to another problem having to do with nurses and nurses in training. There is no doubt that with the inauguration of a plan of this kind there is an increased demand for hospitalization. I am told that the experience in other countries and other provinces has been similar to what we found with the introduction of television, when the attendance at theatres dropped off; and that is that with the inauguration of such a plan there is a high demand at the beginning, which levels off as time goes on. We know there is a shortage of nurses at the present time. A girl getting her matriculation may

enter hospital for training or she could enter teachers' college, where upon graduation she might earn anywhere up to $3,400. It might be pointed out that the supervisor of nurses at a hospital will receive about $3,500. There are probably not enough of our young ladies being attracted to the nursing profession.

Another matter to be considered is that not all hospitals have the same standing. I am thinking now of London, where we have a medical school whose students may attend the hospital to receive valuable experience and training for their medical careers. Some hospitals provide nursing training and others do not. These are some of the details with which no doubt the Minister of National Health and Welfare and the ministers of health in the various provinces will find it necessary to deal.

I would cite the case of a man in Ontario becoming seriously ill and being sent to the Montreal neurological institute. Until such time as Quebec enters the scheme the question would probably arise whether he would be eligible under this plan. That is something else that will have to be worked out. There is no doubt that the same coverage will be extended to all hospitals regardless of the type of training they may provide.

Some mention was made in the newspapers about the possibility of one or more of the existing health plans in the province being made the administrative core once the act came into force. I think I read something in the paper to the effect that some of the officials of the Blue Cross might provide this administrative core. I wonder about the advisability of that, because there are many other worth-while groups, and I am thinking particularly of P.S.I. and Associated Medical Services. Then I might mention that we have in Middlesex county the Middlesex co-operative medical services which provides health insurance at cost. I have looked into that plan and I find it is most comprehensive, being provided at a much more reasonable figure than that of the Blue Cross. No one organization has a corner on good ideas or on administration.

Perhaps I should not mention the Blue Cross in that way, because it has been said that they operate on 5 per cent of their income. I heard someone mention a 40 per cent cost, so I do not want anyone to get the impression I am against the Blue Cross because of their cost of administration, since I realize that a 5 per cent cost is fairly moderate.

There is another thing which we as Canadians should not overlook, and that is that in practically every province or nation where a health measure has been introduced it has

been found necessary to increase the rates. This is understandable, because we know that we learn by experience and rising costs due to the inflation that has been going on all over must be considered. We hope we will be able to level off, but if the inflation envisaged by the Gordon report continues we can look forward to ever-rising costs all down the line.

I do not wish to speak further, as there have been many hon. members, including the hon. member for Lanark, who have spoken on behalf of this party. But I do want to say that I think the vast majority of Canadians have been expecting and hoping for a plan of this kind for a long time, and we hope the minister will get on with the legislation.

Topic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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