Robert Ross (Roy) KNIGHT

KNIGHT, Robert Ross (Roy)

Personal Data

Party
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)
Constituency
Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
December 12, 1891
Deceased Date
September 11, 1971
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Knight
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=f2bbf383-7eb4-4502-a636-9fe5ed8129ea&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer, teacher

Parliamentary Career

June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
CCF
  Saskatoon City (Saskatchewan)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
CCF
  Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
CCF
  Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 353 of 354)


October 1, 1945

1. Did the United States government at any time in the years of the late war make a survey of the waters and of the air over the waters of Hudson's Bay and its outlets?

2. If so, did the Canadian government receive a copy of a report resulting from such survey?

Mr. ST. LAURENT:

1. Yes. The United States army air forces, with the permission of the Canadian government, conducted aerial surveys of the northern and eastern approaches to the bay and along the west shore of the bay itself during the summers of 1942, 1943, and 1944.

2. The Canadian government has been provided with copies of all aerial photographs taken in the course of these surveys.

Topic:   HUDSON BAY WATERS AND AIR SURVEY
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October 1, 1945

Mr. KNIGHT:

What action has been taken by the government in answer to requests that treatment of discharged Canadian overseas fire fighters should be identical with that given to discharged members of the armed forces?

Topic:   CANADIAN OVERSEAS FIRE FIGHTERS
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September 17, 1945

Mr. KNIGHT:

I hope you do not take mine; you cannot, because I haven't any.

I appeal to the government to do something about this matter of reciprocal trade to encourage cooperative trade through Hudson bay. If they are not prepared to do it-and even if they are prepared to do it-I suggest that the better plan would be to accede to the wishes of the Hudson Bay Route Association, to allow a western board to be set up to control the railway and the port, in conjunction with the governments of the western provinces.

Now, sir, being a tyro in the matter of speaking, I have no idea when I started or how many minutes I have left. If I have time enough left I shall go on to another subject which lies very close to my heart, namely, the matter which was introduced here the other day by the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Zaplitny) when he said that there should be some federal aid to provincial education. We have in late years revised many of our ideas in regard to the responsibility of the state to supply this education. To my mind, sir,

The Address-Mr. Knight

equality of educational opportunities is the greatest single factor in the promotion of a true democracy. For instance, I believe that the implementation of the new education bill in Great Britain will result to a degree in the lessening of the class idea, in a destruction of the class system which has been for generations the bane of old country life. The solution for the problem of the old school tie, sir, is to make the old school tie available to everybody.

Hon. members are aware that the average per capita taxable wealth of the people of the provinces of this country varies very greatly. This means that in some provinces they have less money to spend on education of the children than in others, and therefore there is inequality of opportunity. The result of the difference is, of course that some children do not get a very good education. I find, for example, a statement in 1944 that one of our Canadian provinces spent $31.70 per child on its education, while another province spent $83.38, a ratio of two and a half to one. We who come from Saskatchewan have had some idea of how that operated during the last depression. To my mind education should not be altogether a provincial matter in so far as finances are concerned. I would not interfere with the study or with the curriculum in the different provinces, nor would I interfere in the administration; but in the the ultimate manner of providing finances for equality of opportunity in the provinces, the dominion government should be standing squarely at the back of the departments of education in the provinces.

In the report of the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations we find this statement:

The quality of education and welfare services is no longer a matter of purely provincial and local concern. In Canada to-day freedom of movement and equality of opportunity are more important than ever before. These depend in part on the maintenance of at least minimum standards for national education.

Will hon. members note these two words: "freedom" and "equality"?-because education can bring freedom in more ways than one. To us in this little but increasingly larger group, freedom means more than the negative thing of freedom from domination by other people. To us it means the freedom to have the opportunity to live a full, free and happy life. Only by that method can equalitj' be brought about. We believe that all men are equal in the sight of God, not in physical stature, not in intellectual ability, but in the same inherent right 'to the enjoyment of life.

Equalization of educational opportunity has been achieved in a smaller way in our own

province of Saskatchewan with the larger school unit. There, a child who is unfortunate enough to be living on a farm that is infertile or on a farm which is temporarily dried out, has the same advantages provided for him as the child of the wealthier farmer in the same district. He has the same opportunities. That, of course, I shall mention with bated breath, because it is an example of the awful thing which the hon. members in this house so dread. I shall now read a clipping about education; it is as follows:

Rural Students Get Aid to go to High School

Fifty cents a day living allowance, payment of fees and free text books and exercise books for pupils in rural areas who attend town or city high school is what the . . . school unit does to aid country youngsters in getting a high school education.

I shall give hon. members one guess as to what province is referred to in this clipping.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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September 17, 1945

Mr. KNIGHT:

a rickety and undernourished baby. Let me warn the government that while I am making no accusation at the present time, there is a distinct and vocal opinion in the western prairies that there is a nigger somewhere in the Hudson Bay railway woodpile.

The latest information I have on the matter with regard to shipping wheat overseas this fall is found mostly in communications from ministers of various departments of the government to officials and private people in the west. I gather that the Park ships with which the government might come to the aid of the project are not equipped with gyro compasses, or are engaged in essential services elsewhere, and I understand that the season is now too far advanced to do anything about it. The absolute limit of sailing is October 10, and, in the next place, any British ships that might have been available have either been sunk or are not properly equipped with gyro compasses. Again it is a question of being too late. Whether the latest in compass equipment is necessary for sailing into this port is open to debate, but if the old pioneers of the country had waited until they could get the latest gadgets there would have been no pioneering and no discoveries.

The question has been asked whether the N. B. MacLean could not be used to lead in sister ships equipped with ordinaiy compasses through the area of magnetic disturbance, and some people wonder why one mile of slob ice cannot be kept open later than October 10, say to October 31. Whatever the answers to these questions may be, I know that if one hundredth part of the energy and research was put into this matter that was put into certain matters in connection with the war, that route would be in full operation and a solution to most of these difficulties would already have been found. I think it is a case of where there's a will there's a way. We cannot say too much about it now. I realize the season is getting on, but we will look for the government to do something definite about that situation in the year to come. It will be coming up on the floor of the house and in discussions throughout the whole western country.

We should link this matter of the Hudson Bay route with the matter of cooperative trade. Cooperative enterprise is increasing by leaps and bounds in the province from which I come, and I have the honour to have had some connection with it. Cooperative enterprise in Great Britain, Scotland and England, is particularly anxious to promote reciprocal trade. Hon. members scarcely need to be reminded that after this war Britain finds herself in a particularly difficult situation. Be-

fore the war years she was greatly dependent upon two things, one being export trade and the other, interest upon her foreign investments. In the great cause in which we have all been engaged, Britain has freely sacrificed her foreign investments, and it is more and more important that she be dependent upon a good export trade. In that, sir, I think we should be very ungrateful if we were not prepared to assist her.

With a view to promoting such reciprocal trade a delegation of cooperatives came to this country some time ago. They were very anxious to ship to us some of their fine goods in exchange for our primary products. And these goods could very readily be shipped- and perhaps this is the nigger in the woodpile to which I alluded before-to them through the Hudson Bay route in the ship which took over to them these primary products. We could all do with some of those fine British textiles at this time. I do not know how other hon. members of this house are equipped for certain items of their wardrobes, but I could do with a couple of shirts myself. I have not had time since the session opened, but for four days before it opened I walked the streets of Ottawa in an attempt to buy two shirts, and was unsuccessful. I think it is about time we had some good British textiles on the Canadian market.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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September 17, 1945

Mr. KNIGHT:

I doubt, sir, if it all went to Britain.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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