MR. SPEAKER: Oh Eternal and Almighty God from whom all power and wisdom comes, by whom King's rules make equitable laws. We are assembled here before thee to frame such laws, as we tend to the welfare and prosperity of our Province. Grant, Oh merciful God, we pray thee, that we may desire only that which is in accordance with their will, that which we may seek it with wisdom, know it with certainty and accomplish it perfectly for the glory and honour of thy name and for the welfare of all our people. Amen.
Reading and Receiving Petitions
Presenting Reports by Standing and Select Committees
Notice of Motion
Introduction of Bills
HONOURABLE DUFF ROBLIN (Premier): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable, the Minister of Agriculture, that leave be given to introduce a Bill (No. 6), an Act to amend the Civil Service Superannuation Act and that the same now be received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote, declared it carried. ]
HONOURABLE GURNEY EVANS (Minister of Mines & Natural Resources): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable, the Attorney-General, that leave be given to introduce a Bill (No. 5), an Act to amend the Companies Act and the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote, declared it carried. ]
MR. EVANS: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable, the Attorney-General that leave be given to introduce a Bill (No. 4), an Act to amend the Municipal Act and the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote, declared it carried. ]
MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): Mr. Speaker, I have been requested by the City of Portage la Prairie that this Bill be not proceeded with and I would, therefore, ask leave to have it withdrawn.
MR. SPEAKER: Is it the leave of the House to withdraw this Bill?
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: "Aye."
MR. SPEAKER: Agreed.
The Committee of the Whole House
HONOURABLE STEWART E. McLEAN (Minister of Education): Mr. Speaker, seconded by the Honourable, the Provinical Secretary, that the rules of the House be suspended and that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole to consider certain proposed resolutions. The resolutions, Mr. Speaker, are printed on the Order paper.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion and called for a voice vote. ]
MR. SPEAKER: In my opinion the "Ayes" have it and I declare the motion carried and the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole and would the Honourable Member for St. Matthews please take the chair.
DR. W. G. MARTIN (St. Matthews): Is the Committee ready to consider the Resolutions?
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Chairman, His Honour the Lieutenant Governor having been informed of the subject matter of the proposed Resolution recommends them to the House. The first Resolution stands in my name. It deals with a Bill which for the provisions of the--or the establishment of school divisions the appointment of a boundary commmission to draw the boundaries of the proposed divisions and the payment of school grants to school divisions--payment from the consolidated fund. I think the details of the Bill can be left for discussion when we have the Bill before us.
MR. W. C. MILLER (Rhineland): I realize that the proper place for a discussion of the principle of the Bill is on second reading. I had been hoping for a more elaborate explanation of the Resolution in order that we may make some comments on it at this stage. However, I take it that certain latitude will be given in discussing the whole Public Schools Act in connection with this change and that the activities and the Interim Report of the Royal Commission need be discussed at that time as well. Under those circumstances, I am not pressing for a more explicit explanation.
MR. LLOYD STINSON (Leader of the C.C.F.): Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask one or two questions of the Minister. How closely does the Legislation resemble the Interim Report of the Royal Commission? That is the first question and then following from that, does the Government accept the principle of the larger unit of school administration? Now, I may have one or two other questions but I think two at a time will be enough.
MR. T. P. HILLHOUSE, Q.C. (Selkirk): Mr. Chairman, if I may be permitted the Honourable Minister a question...Is it the intention of the Government to release the particulars or more particulars respecting this Resolution and the proposed Bill which
will be brought down to implement that? Is it the Government's intention to release more information or freer information to the press before that information is given to this House?
MR. ROBLIN: That question is not a departmental one, Mr. Chairman, and perhaps I, therefore, would be allowed to answer it. And that is, it is our hope that when this Resolution receives the approval of the Committee, that first reading of the Bill will take place and on first reading being passed, we shall then be in a position to produce printed copies of the Bills in accordance with the procedure and lay those printed copies before the House. Then, of course, they appear maybe at the same time, maybe a little bit....a little difference in time as printed on the Order paper. Our hope would be that the Bills would be placed before the House this afternoon, after the first reading has been given and then the House will be in full possession of all the particulars.
MR. MILLER: Mr. Chairman, that doesn't quite answer the question. I think my colleague asked the question whether or not the detailed proposals as outlined in the proposed Bill had been or will be made available to the press before they are made available to this House.
MR. ROBLIN: No public release is being made, Mr. Chairman, until the Bills are placed on the desks for the Members.
DR. MARTIN: Can the Resolution be adopted?
MR. STINSON: Mr. Chairman, I think it would be better if we followed the procedure of having one question answered at a time and if my Honourable Friend could restrain his enthusiasm, we might be able to do it in a more orderly fashion. Now, I did ask the Minister one or two questions and as this is a Committee of the Whole we can talk as often as we like so I think we could keep it to one question at a time.
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Chairman, in answering the two questions that were asked by the Honourable the Leader of the C.C.F. Party....the first whether the Bill follows the recommendations of the Interim Report, the answer is "Yes" with certain modifications and the details of that I will be quite prepared to give on second reading. The second question, do we adopt the principles of the larger unit, I think was the expression used, I don't like that word 'larger' for several reasons but I think the answer to that is that it is involved in the answer to the first question that in general principles the Bill adopts the recommendations suggested or made in the Interim Report and again the details of the extent to which we do so we will be glad to give on Second Reading.
MR. SPEAKER: Shall the Resolution be adopted?
MR. R. TEILLET (St. Boniface): I wonder if you could tell
us as well if the Bill or the proposed Legislation goes beyond the Report in any way or is it limited to the matters contained in the Report?
MR. McLEAN: It's limited to the--it doesn't go beyond the Interim Report.
MR. MILLER: The proposed Bill, does that depart in any way from the suggestions made during the recent campaign about the overall fifty percent increases and will it carry out the campaign promises of my honourable friends?
MR. McLEAN: I am certain that it will do so and in very adequate measure.
MR. STINSON: Will the Bill satisfy the honourable member for Rhineland with respect to larger school areas? I have an idea that the Bill just might do that because he has always been a strong advocate, or perhaps I should withdraw the word strong, he has claimed to be an advocate of the larger school area at the secondary level and I would judge from the report, from what we have from the grapevine, that this Bill will perhaps do just that very thing and so it will satisfy--I'm answering my own questions you see--it will satisfy the honourable member for Rhineland because he has claimed to be the advocate of the larger school area at the secondary level but not at the elementary level.
MR. MILLER: ..... on that question may I say, Mr. Chairman, that I sought outside advice as did my honourable friends opposite evidently.
MR. E. PREFONTAINE (Carillon): May I ask the Minister when he expects the Royal Commission to make its final report and if he feels it would be possible to implement any possible recommendation with respect to separate schools so that any assistance to separate schools might come in at the same time as assistance to the other public schools, so-called public schools in the province at the present time, because it would render the situation for the separate schools much more difficult if further assistance was granted to the public schools and none, for a certain amount of time, to the separate schools.
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Chairman, that is a hypothetical question and I wouldn't care to speculate on what would happen when the final report is brought in.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Shall the Resolution be adopted?
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: "Aye."
MR. CHAIRMAN: Resolution passed.
MR. EVANS: I would like to move, Resolved that it is
expedient to bring in a measure to provide, among other matters, for the establishment of a corporation with the object of encouraging a balanced development of industry in the province and to that end providing assistance financial and otherwise to persons and corporations engaged in certain types of business and to community development corporations; and for the purposes aforesaid to provide for the making of advances from the Consolidated Fund for the purposes of: (a) purchasing the capital stock of the corporation; and (b) making loans to the corporation.
I think the outlines of the general nature of this Bill are quite clear. The matter has been debated in the House before. It is proposed to create an opportunity for the joining of public funds with private funds to provide a kind of capital that has not been available in the province heretofore for the object of advancing manufacturing and other industries and certain aspects of the tourist industry; and partly as a servant thereof for nourishing and encouraging community development corporations.
The Bill itself is somewhat lengthy as you will find when it is distributed. It amounts to some twenty pages and I do feel that perhaps a more detailed discussion should await the second reading or the committee stage but I would be very pleased to answer any questions that I can now.
MR. R. PAULLEY (Radisson): Mr. Chairman, could we get the Honourable Minister to say whether or not--I notice in the terminology of the Resolution it mentions certain types of industry. Will they be spelled out in the Bill itself?
MR. EVANS: The types of--you refer to types of industry. Do you mean subdividing? For example, manufacturing industries into different kinds of manufacturing industries, if so, that is not proposed. If you mean as between say the manufacturing industries on one side and the tourist on the other, there is such a distinction in the Bill.
MR. PAULLEY: What I had in mind, Mr. Chairman, was in particular reference to the word "tourist" being used in its broadest sense. Would it, say for instance, include or spell out such tourist aids as hotels, motels, in that fashion or is it just a broad terminology of tourist industry?
MR. EVANS: There is some distinction within the tourist industry. It does say tourist accommodation and facilities I think are one of the words that are used, and it is intended to extend beyond the mere hotel and motel classification. These are, I do suggest my honourable friend, details that might be more convenient for both of us when the Bill is in front of us. I haven't my copy either.
MR. S. JUBA (Logan): Would harness racing fall in this category?
MR. MILLER: What type of security must the intending borrower offer in order to qualify? When I am talking about the
type of security, first mortgage, second mortgage, chattel mortgage and so forth.
MR. EVANS: .....Before us Mr. Chairman we found that the Board which is established in the Bill will be given wide latitude to conduct its operations.
MR. MILLER: And accept any type of security satisfactory to the Board.
MR. EVANS: I do really suggest to the Honourable Member that that is a detail that we can discuss later. I don't mind answering it now but it is provided that security may be taken or in certain circumstances that security may be waived, that it may be possible to take a second mortgage position, or even an unsecured position. I would be only too happy to discuss very fully the other provisions of the Bill as we come to them.
MR. D. SWAILES (Assiniboia): Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask whether or not any definite decision has been made with respect to the proportion of capital stock that could be purchased by this Government compared with that purchased by other interests?
MR. EVANS: It is proposed, Mr. Chairman, I would be very happy to go on with these detailed questions - it is proposed that the entire capital stock as such be purchased by the Government.
MR. SWAILES: So that it would be entirely Government property?
MR. EVANS: Yes, there is however a second - if you would excuse me Sir, there is the second sort of money that would be borrowed money in which private capital might participate but the ownership of the Capital Stock of the Company is contemplated to be in the Government hands.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, I was rising only to say that I support the Minister in suggesting that it would be better for us to allow him to make his complete statement on the second reading of the Bill, because I think it is rather unfair to the Minister who has laboured too long and diligently on this particular type of matter to have to give the answers, and perhaps his ammunition piecemeal, whereas it would be only proper I think and in the best interests of the orderly conduct of the business that he should be allowed to make his statements when the time comes and I am sure that the fullest latitude will be given for discussion. In fact, we will insist that the fullest latitude is given for discussion at that time, and I can't remind them too often that if we can just take our Honourable friends with us, we are in a position to insist still, as we have in the past, that I think that it's a good plan to allow the Minsiter to make a full and complete statement at that time.
When he has his statement for us we can go ahead with ours - and I am sure there will be quite a discussion in that regard. Now, the Honourable Minister doesn't need my help but I do think we should keep on with the same type of arrangement that the rules comtemplated, not drawing the details of the Bill by piecemeal but rather giving the Minister in charge the opportunity of presenting it as a complete piece, and then we can go to work and shoot at it all we like later on.
MR. EVANS: .......the Honourable Leader of the Opposition's consideration in this matter, and certainly I will welcome the broadest discussion when the Bill comes on Second Reading.
MR. L. STINSON (Osborne): Mr. Chairman, I have a question I think that could be put at this stage.....I can get along very well without the advice of my honourable friend - and it's not a case of my honourable friend wanting to carry us - it's a case of us going along when he's right. If he's right, why then we will go along, and before this Session is over I'm sure he'll be following us. Now, Mr. Chairman,....we always have time for a little fun in this House. Now, this during the election campaign was referred to as an industrial development bank and now I heard it referred to yesterday in the Throne Speech as the industrial development fund, which brings to mind the type of legislation that they have in the Province of Saskatchewan, and I'm wondering if the Minister has been following the good advice that has been given to him over the years from this group - particularly by my honourable friend from Assiniboia, who has had resolutions before this House on more than one occasion, and I am wondering just how closely this does resemble the C.C.F. platform?
MR. EVANS: I think when my honourable friend sees the Bill and has the opportunity to read the details for himself he will see that it is in the best interests of the Province of Manitoba, and any similarity with the Saskatchewan Bills would be purely coincidental.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Should the Resolution be adopted?.........Resolution passed.
HON. ERRICK WILLIS, Q.C., (Minister of Agriculture): Mr. Chairman, Resolved that it is expedient to bring in a measure to provide, among other matters, for the establishment of a corporation with the object of making loans to farmers to assist them in establishing, developing, and operating their farms, and for that purpose to make advances to the corporation from the Consolidated Fund; and further, to provide for the payment from the Consolidated Fund of the costs of administration of the legislation and the remuneration and expenses of directors, officers and employees of the corporations and persons employed to assist it.
May I say, Mr. Chairman, following the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, that the purpose of it is to establish credit facilities for farmers and market gardeners on the security of land mortgages, chattel mortgages where necessary, and sometimes lien notes.
MR. C. L. SHUTTLEWORTH (Minnedosa): Mr. Chairman, the Government of Canada have committed themselves to the establishment of farm credit - a scheme - a more generous farm scheme, and I was wondering whether the Government have consulted in recent months with the Government of Canada in this regard?
MR. WILLIS: The answer is definitely Yes.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Chairman, will this Government be depending upon the Federal Government for financial assistance in promoting this plan?
MR. WILLIS: The answer is definitely No.
MR. STINSON: Well then, Mr. Chairman, how extensive can this plan be?
MR. WILLIS: The extent of the plan I think will be indicated in the Bill, but I have indicated as far as it's concerned. May I say to broaden it slightly, that this is a combination of the Ontario Farmers, the Young Farmers Credit Act, and the Veterans' Land Act, and extends considerably beyond anything that has been offered by the Dominion Government to date.
MR. R. S. CLEMENT (Birtle-Russell): Mr. Chairman, I would ask the Minister if a farmer who is at present in debt will be able to borrow money to pay off his other debts - in other words, consolidate his debts with the Government?
MR. WILLIS: On the proper security and in a proper case - Yes.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Should the Resolution be adopted?
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: Aye.
HON. JOHN THOMPSON (Minister of Labour): Mr. Chairman, the Resolution appearing on the Order Paper is designed to support and stimulate municipal work projects during the winter months. Its primary purpose is to provide work and wages in place of municipal assistance. The Resolution proposes to authorize agreements between the Province and the municipalities of Manitoba and the Federal Government, with a view to achieving this desired objective.
MR. J. M. HAWRYLUK (Burrows): I think this particular Bill resolution will have a lot of merit considering the fact that we can look forward to a state of greater unemployment in this Province, but is it the intention of the Government to just give us certain amounts of money to be allotted to the municipalities for any project of that kind? Would there be a limit on the monies extended for that purpose?
MR. THOMPSON: Yes, there will be a limit.
MR. SWAILES: Mr. Chairman, if the Honourable Minister, later on, will give us a detailed outline of the Public Works projects that will be undertaken this winter by this Government.
MR. THOMPSON: By the departments of Government, or by the municipalities under this plan?
MR. SWAILES: By the departments of this Government.
MR. THOMPSON: Yes, that will be unfolded during the Session.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Resolution passed. Will the committee rise and report. Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the honourable member from Roblin, that the committee reports be received.
MR. SPEAKER: It is moved by the honourable member for St. Matthews, seconded by the honourable member for Roblin that the report from the committee be received. Are you ready for the question? Those in favour please say Aye.
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: Aye.
MR. SPEAKER: Those opposed please say Nay.
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: Nay.
MR. SPEAKER: In my opinion the Ayes have it, and I declare the motion carried.
MR. McLEAN: I move, seconded by the Honourable, the Provincial Secretary, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 2, an Act to amend the Public Schools Act, that the same be now received and read a first time.
MR. SPEAKER: Moved by the Honourable Minister of Education, seconded by the Honourable Provincial Secretary, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, number two, an Act to amend the Public Schools Act, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
Are you ready for the question? Those in favour please say Aye.
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: Aye.
MR. SPEAKER: Those opposed please say Nay. In my opinion the Ayes have it, and I declare the motion carried.
MR. EVANS: Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable The Attorney-General, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 3, an Act to further the economic development of the Province by encouraging the growth of business, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
MR. SPEAKER: Moved by the Honourable Minister of Industry and Commerce, seconded by the Honourable The Attorney-General, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 3, an Act to further the economic development of the Province by encouraging the growth of business, that the same be now received and read a first time.
Are you ready for the question? Those in favour, please say Aye.
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: Aye.
MR. SPEAKER: In my opinion the Ayes have it, and I declare the motion carried.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Minister of Education, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 8, to an Act, to provide assistance to farmers in establishing, developing and operating their farms, same be now received and read a first time.
MR. SPEAKER: Moved by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, seconded by the Honourable, the Minister of Education, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 8, an Act to provide the assistance to farmers in establishing, developing, and operating their farms, the same be now received and read a first time.
Are you ready for the question? Those in favour, please say Aye.
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: Aye.
MR. SPEAKER: Those opposed, please say nay. In my opinion the Ayes have it, and I declare the motion carried.
MR. THOMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable The Attorney-General, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 12, an Act to authorize the making of agreements between the Government of Canada, and the Government of Manitoba, and municipalities, for the purpose of increasing employment of persons in winter, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
MR. SPEAKER: Moved by the Honourable Minister of Labour, seconded by The Honourable The Attorney-General, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 12, an Act to authorize the
making of agreements between the Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba, and municipalities for the purpose of increasing employment of persons in winter, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
Are you ready for the question? Those in favour please say Aye.
ASSEMBLED MEMBERS: Aye.
MR. SPEAKER: Those opposed please say Nay. In my opinion the Ayes have it, and I declare the motion carried.
MR. WILLIS: Before the Orders of the Day are reached, I should like with leave, to make a statement to the House with regard to the shortage of water in certain municipalities directly South of the City of Winnipeg. We are well aware of the situation in that area. A survey is now being made by the Department of Mines and Natural Resources. The Department of Public Works has sent the following telegram to six municipalities in that area. It reads as follows: "Some equipment available to pump water from rivers to dugouts where needed. Stop. Please advise as to the requirements within your municipality in order that we may be of some service to you." In addition to that, the Government had previously supplied pumps to certain municipalities for doing this pumping of the river to the dugouts. I report to the House only that we have made these offers to the municipalities concerned and are willing to help them to the best of our abilities.
MR. CLEMENT: Sir, I would like to direct a question to the First Minister. Hansard is to be available I understand. To who do we direct our enquiries, and what will the cost be for this special session?
MR. ROBLIN: The Clerk of the House will be glad to answer all those questions for my honourable friend.
MR. MOLGAT: I have a question for the First Minister in that same regard. Could he tell us what is intended to be carried in the Hansard? Will it be the full debate of the House, what is discussed in committee stage, and questions, or is it just certain specific parts?
MR. ROBLIN: We shall do our best to record in Hansard all the proceedings that take place within the Chambers, whether they are with Mr. Speaker in the Chair, or whether they are the Committee of the Whole.
MR. STINSON: I should like to ask a supplementary question with respect to Hansard. Will there be some minor editing so far as the Hansard is concerned, or will it be presented to the public in the raw?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that the public are
going to get the full force of the blast.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, may I lay on the table of the House the report on measures for control of the waters of Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba, Province of Manitoba?
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Speaker, may I lay on the table of the House the interim report of the Manitoba Royal Commission on Education?
HON. JOHN CARROLL (Minister of Public Utilities): Mr. Speaker, may I lay on the table of the House the report of the Natural Gas Distribution Enquiry Commission of Greater Winnipeg?
MR. M. A. GRAY (Inkster): I would like to direct a question to the Honourable the Attorney-General. What is the new location for the Manitoba Home for Girls? Where is it located? When is it to be ready for occupancy? (2) Where are the inmates of the Manitoba Home for Girls presently residing? Are the conditions at the temporary home sufficiently suitable for their well being?
HON. STERLING LYON (Attorney-General): Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the honourable member for Inkster for giving me notice of this question. Replying to the first part of his question, I should say that we are moving with all urgency with regard to the Architects, to have them complete the final plans for the new Home for Girls as soon as possible. Insofar as the site is concerned, very probably it will be in the vicinity of Drury Lane, or another suitable site in the area of Greater Winnipeg. Insofar as the present accomodation of the girls is concerned, Mr. Speaker, they are located as follows: Since approximately the beginning of this month, the bulk of the girls were transferred from the Dynevor Home to the Marymound School in Greater Winnipeg. The figures on that transfer as of this morning are as follows: Presently located at the Dynevor Home are eight girls. Presently located at the Marymound School are ten girls - that is, ten girls involved in this transition. The balance of the girls are on remand - they are in the new Remand Quarters in Vaughan Street Detention Home. Insofar as the welfare of the girls is concerned, I can assure the honourable member, Mr. Speaker, that we would not have undertaken their transfer to Marymound had we not been completely satisfied that that was in the best interest of the girls.
MR. GRAY: I now would like to direct a question to the Minister of Agriculture. Can the Minister advise the House whether there is any progress made in connection with the tragic situation of the Metis and Indians, particularly the plight of those residing in the Urban districts?
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I should like to report to the House the Legacy Commission has just about concluded its investigations and that I am assured that we will get a report from them very soon, on which action will be taken.
MR. HAWRYLUK: Mr. Speaker, just a further question to the Attorney-General. As we recall the home of the girls we had the resignation of the Matron, Mrs. Tobin. Has she been replaced to take charge of the new home?
MR. LYON: No, Mrs. Tobin has not been replaced. We have been carrying on with an Acting Superintendent. I might say for the benefit of the honourable member, however, that we are interviewing, at the present time, prospective applicants for the position of Matron.
MR. SWAILES: Mr. Speaker, a further question with respect to the home for girls. Is it proposed that this new home will be of the cottage type as recommended by Mrs. Tobin, or will it be a single institution?
MR. LYON: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, the architects are just now completing their plans but I can assure the House that it will be of the cottage type or some combination of the cottage type and the institutional type. It is of a type which was recommended by my advisors in this field and is certainly one which meets the commendation of other people working in this field in other provinces.
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Speaker, I have placed on the table of the House, the report of the Manitoba Physical Education and Recreation Study Committee along with the copy of the briefs which accompany the Report.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to enquire from the Minister of Public Utilities if there is copies of the Natural Gas Commission report available?
MR. CARROLL: Sir, I believe those copies will be distributed today.
MR. PAULLEY: Today I would like to ask a question of the Ministry - some have already been answered. Will the copies of the Arthur D. Little report on Northern Development be distributed to the members or do we have to pick them up from the department? And also, in connection with the report that has just been tabled on physical fitness, will copies be distributed to the members, of the report?
MR. EVANS: Mr. Speaker, yes, it's proposed to table the Arthur D. Little report on the economic study of Northern Manitoba and copies are available for the members and will be distributed.
MR. McLEAN: The report on Physical Education has been printed and I understand will be available for distribution to the members here this afternoon.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, it is a very great pleasure for me, particularly in view of what transpired yesterday, to be able to congratulate you, Sir, first of all in those pleasantries that always attend the opening of a new Session. I want to reiterate
what was said yesterday, that the objection of my colleagues and myself was founded entirely on the departure from the program which we had initiated and intended to carry forward, and by no means--by no stretch of the imagination had it anything to do with the persons involved. In fact, to make that all the more plain I would like to compliment you on your handling of the first session. It was done very well indeed and I am sure that you are going to make a very excellent speaker. I can't extend my compliments so far as to wish you a long term of office or to suggest that you are likely to be in any sense a permanent Speaker, because I expect your tenure to be very brief indeed, and unless when we come to implement the program that is temporarily delayed the choice should, by arrangement and agreement fall upon you, I am afraid you will have to content yourself with a fairly short stay. However, in the meantime you have our very best wishes and we'll do our level best to co-operate with you, as the gentleman who used to occupy this position used to suggest, whenever you're right.
I am also very glad indeed to extend my compliments and congratulations to the mover of the address in reply to the Speech From the Throne. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him personally yet. He's a young man whom I certainly think shows great promise. I was impressed with his performance yesterday and I think that he is a real acquisition to the party that he represents and to the constituency that he represents. I am sure that the modesty that he displayed, while quite refreshing in this Chamber because it's one where we are not noted for that characteristic, was not wholly justified, because I think he is a young man of ability and character and one who will serve his constituency well and the people of this province as well.
And I am glad, too, to pay my compliments to an old and valued friend in the person of the seconder of the address and reply. The honourable member for St. Matthews has had a distinguished career and has already served as a Minister - a Cabinet Minister in one great province, of this province, and then has brought to his chosen profession a veritable lifetime of outstanding work, and I am sure that all of us are glad to see that he is now turning his undoubted talents and dedication to the public service to serve us in this Legislature. I can't claim to have assisted him in getting here, but now that he is here, we wish him the very best and I'm sure that he can contribute a great deal to our deliberations.
And then, of course, I am delighted to extend my compliments to the Honourable the First Minister. I can't claim any especial credit except it was a sin of omission to getting him here, but he is in the position and I wish him completely well in it. And this is an occasion for double congratulations of course because, as has been previously mentioned, we can congratulate the Honourable the First Minister of having changed places with me in the one particular and then having emulated my example in the other and followed my advice in taking unto himself a very delightful wife. I am sure that we extend him the congratulations not only on achieving the position towards which I am sure he has long
aspired but, in addition, on having acquired a "better half", and when the honourable member for St. Matthews yesterday was suggesting that he thought that the credit should go to the Right Honourable the Prime Minister of Canada for having given his friend Duff this advice, don't forget that "Doug" had given the advice to Duff long before "Dief" did, and we're hoping that we could get a little bit of the credit too.
Then I'd like to say, as the Speech from the Throne said, that we certainly welcome all the new members of the House and I think we should say all the former members of the House too, because just as it is an accomplishment and achievement for the honourable members to get elected the first time, it's something of an achievement for we fellows who have been here and made a lot of mistakes and got into a good bit of trouble to get elected a second or third time as well. So here we are altogether and I think I can say this, after a pretty long experience in public life, that the new members and the ones who have been here before will find that it's an enjoyable experience to be here.
This is quite a fraternity when all the things are said and we develop a lot of friendships here, not only among the members of our own group but among the members of the House as a whole. There's quite a bond exists between the people who have sat in the House together. I see two of the former members in the distinguished visitors' gallery on the one side and two of the former members of the House in the distinguished visitors' gallery on the other side, and I know that all of these honourable members--one whose service goes back more than thirty years--all of these members have a lot of friends here--real friends--and they are glad to come back and meet with them. And you folks will be too. We have quite a fraternity here and it's true that we argue a little once in awhile and sometimes the arguments become a bit emphatic and occasionally they even become a bit violent but, after all, while we are here to express our opinions and to state our stands, we all have respect for the other person's opinion as well, and we all certainly will declare his right to express his opinion. And so long as we all go along on that basis then we can, I think, contribute a good bit to the welfare of the province as a whole.
Now, you'll expect me to say something about the election and if you think that I'm going to attempt to offer any alibi, you're mistaken, because I'm not. The greatest statesman of our times, in my opinion, has used some words that I think we on this side could appropriately consider now. The Right Honourable Winston Churchill in the last, I think, of his books of the war series draws a moral, and he says, "In war," (and after all politics is a form of warfare as a lot of us have found out) "In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity; and in peace, goodwill." Well, in war some of our friends and colleagues were killed off in the warfare of politics and we lost some members. In defeat we're defiant, not of the public will because the public will is supreme to the extent that the public has spoken, we unqualifiedly and unquestionably accept their judgment. Not defiance of the public will, whatever, but still defiant of those who try to claim that
the record of the government was one of which we cannot be proud. We're prepared to argue that at all stages, and I'm sure that there'll be many arguments on it - and in victory, the small measure of victory, and it's considerable that attaches to my honourable friend.
I don't ask for magnanimity - I don't think we've received much up to date. Some of the Ministers have, I think, been less than kind, less than fair, less than honest, with their predecessors, but we don't ask for any magnanimity. If they are not inclined to extend it, that's fine with us and we'll continue to be defiant...but so far as our record is concerned, so far as our policy.... But when the war of election is over, peace obtained, and we will have goodwill even if the magnanimity has not been extended in the way perhaps that we expected it would be, but we have goodwill, nothing but goodwill toward the electorate themselves and towards those who have come to form the government of the day. And I repeat that we have no alibi. We were defeated. I think I can take a great deal of the blame upon my own shoulders. I think I was more to blame than anyone else, or than everybody put together, because it was found that I am not a good publicist. I have always admitted that - I'm not a good publicist. I am not good at publicity and I'm not good at patronage. I haven't attempted to use either of those two "P's" - patronage or publicity. And I think I failed also in getting the story of the government across as well as it could have been done. But these are not alibis. We....there was a fair fight - pretty nearly all things are fair, in love, war, and politics, and though the situation happened as it did, I have no regrets and no recriminations. We're here in the Opposition. The fact that we got only one-third of the seats in this House, where we formerly had more than half. The fact that the main opposition groups both more than doubled their membership of before, while we lost quite heavily speaks for itself, and I have no recriminations about that. We shall try to do better in the future. I think we can do better. In the meantime, I want to say that we have still a feeling that the policies that we had carried forward, if they had been fully explained (and it was our responsibility to explain them, perhaps better than we did) they had been fully explained to the people would have carried their judgment, because in spite of what happened last June, I still have faith in the judgment of the people of Manitoba.
Then there was another book that - another message in the same book that I refer to of Mr. Churchill's. Most of the honourable members here will know that the name of that book is "Triumph and Tragedy", and I'd amend that title a little bit so far as the government is concerned and suggest for them that instead of that title, "Triumph and Tragedy", I'd apply to them just "Partial Triumph and Impending Tragedy". Because I think that some of the actions that they have already entered upon plus the conduct of the election campaign, of which we will perhaps hear more later, are fundamental weaknesses in the administration that some time will catch up. I'm not going to complain, but some day we'll be talking about some of these
things that have happened. I think that the First Minister and members of his group were less than fair to the government in continuing to play upon what undoubtably was a very useful argument of presenting us as an "Old Tired Government". I continued to try to convince the people - I had to admit I was old - I tried to convince them that I wasn't tired. I tried to convince them that old age in itself was not a crime or a fault, and that sometimes old age carried experience, if it had been properly employed, and that there was a basis of good in that as well.
I think the Oppostion were unfair and untruthful when they tried to represent us, and quite successfully, as a "stand pat" government. We were nothing of the kind. I think the record will show and will prove, and will establish that the ten years, or little less than ten years, that I had the honour of occupying the seat that my honourable friend does now, saw more progress in Manitoba - much more progress than any other ten years in our History. Times were better, it's true, but I think you can not call such a government a "stand pat". I think that there was an attempt by members of the Opposition to belittle and pervert, and misrepresent statements that were made by some of my colleagues and me, when we were trying to honestly say to the people of this Province what we believed to be the facts. One of the faults that I have had when I look at what happened to successful politicians these days - one of the faults that I have had is that I have tried to tell the truth. It may not have always been the fact, but it was the truth as I saw it. And I have always tried to say, when people have been talking about the difficulties that face our basis industry or agriculture - and we have those difficulties, there is no question about it - I have always tried to say that in my opinion, and I think we should recognize it, that the things that are the most important to agriculture lie in the national, and even the international field, and that in those most important things of all, that there is not very much that the Provincial Government can do about it. And I think that, and my colleague the Minister of Agriculture, and others of my colleagues said something the same thing - the thing that was succesfully misrepresented to the people by saying that the Campbell Government just throws up its hands and says there's nothing we can do for agriculture. Those are telling arguments, telling statements - spectacular, but they're not good in the long run. They're not good, and when the present administration finds out how little it can do for the basic problems of agriculture. Oh, it can do some things, and it thinks it is going to do so - but when they determine how little they can do about the basic things, I think they'll be inclined to wish that they had not so maligned the statements that we made.
Similarly with regard to the road program. When I tried to say to the people of this Province that certainly we had made some mistakes in the road program - that we had tried some experiments - not all of them had worked out well, but some of them we had tried deliberately knowing that they were just experiments. My honourable friend, The First Minister, was quick to rush in, and with me not there to correct him, he said
that I admitted mistakes in the road program. Well, my honourable friend shakes his head and I will accept that as a denial of that, but my point is that there was a great deal of misrepresentation of the position of the government. I admit that I did not make a good job of putting our case before the public.
I'm delighted to see that our honourable friends, if we can gauge by seats in the legislature, have acquired another member of their group who certainly doesn't take a back seat from any of the rest of them. When it comes to publicity, the man who took in nearly 60,000 votes the other day in the City of Winnipeg, if he has joined the forces over there now, it is a formidable addition.
MR. ROBLIN: I would point out, Mr. Speaker, in the interest of accuracy that the reason why my honourable friend sits there is that there is simply no more room on the other side. It is as simple as that.
MR. CAMPBELL: If that is the only reason then I am delighted to know it, and I didn't expect my honourable friend, the Leader of the House, to not wish to have the honourable member as a member of his group.
But in connection with the raised - many misrepresentations that I have been speaking of, I think I should quote to the Government what the Right Honourable Mr. Churchill calls the theme of his story. That, I think, is equally important with the moral that he referred to a minute ago. The theme, he says, of his story is "How the great democracies triumphed and so were able to resume the follies which have so nearly cost them their lives". If an ordinary man said that, it would be regarded, I think, as altogether too satirical. But when a man of the Right Honourable Mr. Churchill's stature makes that suggestion that the democracies have resumed the follies which almost cost them their lives, I think that all of us should take heed to where the public men are taking the people of their respective countries in these times. I have no intention of expatiating upon that extremely broad subject today, but I commend to the attention of everyone that statement or theme of the Right Honourable Sir Winston.
But even with all of this, I come back to the assertion that I'm not trying to minimize the fact that in the election just held, that we were the losers. We did, and so we are over here, and we have no recriminations whatever. That's the case of the public speaking. I have full confidence in the public's judgment and we'll try to do better, and in the meantime, we are very, very happy to consider all these motions that are brought before us - all these programs and policies that are to be discussed.
And so I move directly to the Speech from the Throne and shall not use the hackneyed phrase, used so many times, of saying to the government that it is remarkable for what it leaves out instead of what it contains. I realize that the government intends this to be a Special Session. I said yesterday, actually there is no such thing. Every sitting of this House is a Session
of the House, and I wouldn't expect that at this Session they would have tried to deal with many more matters than they have. And I quite understand their inability to deal with some very important matters that are omitted and to which we shall refer a little later.
I shall not comment on the first paragraph, but in the second one, we read, "You have been summoned on this occasion to consider proposals dealing with certain specific matters which my government believes can most profitably be dealt with by means of this special session; or to deal with certain specific matters which the government believes can most profitably be dealt with by means of this special session." Now why can they be better dealt with at this special session - most profitably dealt with?
I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that if the increases and grants for education that are suggested here, the funds for the development fund, the monies for the Agricultural Credit Plan and the funds for the other proposals that are outlined here -- if those funds are going to be made available by December 1st or even January 1st, then I think that second paragraph has some significance, because if that is the fact, if the intention is to make them available by January 1st, the beginning of the New Year, then I think there is sense to that statement, but if they aren't, then I say to you Mr. Speaker, that these matters cannot be more profitably dealt with because we could have carried on with any program of unemployment assistance, or anything of that kind with funds already available or by special warrant, or something of that kind, and unless these funds are going to be made available then the special session for that purpose is in my opinion, of no value whatever.
But there is a good reason for this special session, and I think a good reason. The one that really does obtain should have been the one that was given the good reason for calling this session Mr. Speaker, is that the honourable, the First Minister promised them and that is a good reason, I approve that reason because when he promises that he should perform, and that is the real reason for calling this special session not anything else, unless these funds are going to be made available, so I'm quite in agreement with the fact that when the present Prime Minister in his position as Leader of the Opposition, promised that if elected there would be a special session, then there should be a special session, because one of the things that are extremely harmful to democracy in my opinion is politicians who make promises and then don't keep them, and at least the session is being held so that is the reason I think should be given for the calling of the special session.
Then we have the one with regard to the education. There'll be some discussion on that with the Bills now before the House and I don't need to comment very greatly on it, but there is a little bit of a suspicious sentence in here -- government concurs with the views expressed by the interim report that this Province has not been giving sufficient financial support to education, poses to implement certain changes along the line suggested, and so on.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I would just like to recall something of the progressive increases that the former government gave to education, to the extent that we, in the ten year period went from approximately $6,000,000 to more than $23,000,000 in that period. It's true that the expenditures on education generally increased greatly, but I think that that's an increase that should not be ignored, and that and some other things perhaps were not fully taken into account by the Commission. However, there'll be definite discussion on that particular subject and I don't intend to stay too long with it.
Then the next one, "My government intends to initiate a vigourous and industrial and tourist development program." My government intends to initiate - surely not - surely, Mr. Speaker, the government isn't telling us now that they intend to initiate a vigorous program. They've been in office pretty nearly four months - surely the vigorous program that was talked about is already initiated. The honourable, the First Minister, who has been speaking to us this afternoon has had ideas about this program - he has been telling us about it for a long time. They had their plans ready. Now they are just going to initiate a program! Most of it should be on the way. This active, alert, vigorous, dynamic, atomic age, jet age, youthful, dynamic government - why, surely they're not just getting around to initiating a program after four months in office. I could hardly believe that that would be the case, and if they say that they are waiting for the funds that will be made available this session, surely they could at least initiate the program, instead of making plans about it with the resources that were available from the Departments concerned. Well, that's alright, but what about the measure itself?
Mr. Speaker, I suppose I might add one thing to what I said a little while ago about the elections. I think that it's only democratic that we should recognize as well as what I said about the fact that we're not making any alibis about having lost the election. We should recognize that where specific proposals were declared by the group or groups that now make up the government, or the government and the one wing of the Opposition, where specific proposals were declared to the electorate and based on those specific proposals, we, -- two-thirds of the members of this House have been elected, and again I say that on most of these matters of more and greater expenditures, the programs were quite similar, if not identical. We perhaps are justified in assuming that the public has spoken on these matters and that we have, the government, has a right to introduce them and to put them through. And I come back to what I said a minute ago. I am in favour of that. I'm certainly in favour of the government doing its level best to put through the things that it has promised, because I think it is desperately bad for, not only for the government itself, but for democracy as a whole, when promises are not kept. But we should, just the same, even though we give the government credit for introducing them, and even though, perhaps, they'll receive the, our support in the interval - I think we should examine them very carefully and see exactly what value the public as a whole is
going to receive from them in connection with the taxpayers' money that is collected.
So what about this particular measure? Is it not a fact, Mr. Speaker, that this measure as briefly outlined, and we have not the full outline yet, I know - but as intimated, isn't it a fact that this measure is a straight duplication of what already exists in the federal field through the Industrial Development Bank? Well now, the Honourable the Minister shakes his head, but we will have an opportunity to debate that question later on. I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that the Industrial Development Bank has, or can get the authority to do all of these things. Everyone of them, or can get if it wants to, to extend its operations. It has already extended its authority on more than one occasion. It can extend it again. And I come back to the same old argument that we have had in this House time and time again - that where there is an already established, existing federal agent in a field, surely it is duplication for the Province to start into the same field, and as honourable members know, the Industrial Development Bank is a creature of the Bank of Canada. It is owned and controlled by the Bank of Canada. It could be said to be a subsidiary. I believe it has the same Board of Directors. It has the authority. It was set up primarily to give assistance to small manufacturing, to help with small manufacturing.
And when the honourable, the Minister said this afternoon that this is a source of money that has not been previously available in Manitoba, it may be that they contemplate extending the provisions of this Bill to some areas that are not now covered by the Industrial Development Bank. But my point is that the Industrial Development Bank's authority has been extended on more than one occasion, and I simply ask the question, is it not duplication of a costly kind to get into a field where we already have a federal agency doing, I understand, a good job with lots of federal money available, with experienced personnel, and with a record of successful experience behind them? And why, under those circumstances would the present government not use its admitted persuasive qualities upon the Federal Government to (who are not averse, I think, to telling the Bank of Canada what to do) to get them to extend the field to take care of the things that my honourable friends think are not having the capital available to them?
Surely, Mr. Speaker, this is a question that we should consider here. But in the meantime, I do give the government credit - that's the right term - for bringing in the kind of thing that they have been talking about. But I would like to hear their arguments as to why this program cannot be combined with the federal program already in existence.
Would I be too conservative, Mr. Speaker, if I suggested that maybe we should still look, once in awhile, at the position of the private individual? I ask my honourable friend, the First Minister, if he were in business already; if he were established in a small business; if he were getting along in that business and perhaps just getting by - but paying his way and paying his taxes - then the government comes along and proposes to take
taxes from him in order to start me up in business in opposition to him. Does he think that that is a good program in the long run? Or at least does he think that there should be two programs of that kind? I ask you, if I am being too conservative when I raise a question of that kind even for discussion, because I have recognized over the years that my honourable friends who, the old timers in the House, who now are in the front bench over here, have departed very, very far from so-called conservative principles. They have, I think, not only in this matter, but in a good many others, had more than a coincidental connection with our friends from Saskatchewan - and with excellent company - and with my friends to this side they haven't had to go as far as Saskatchewan to get that advice. But surely, surely somebody always has been pretty resistant to them I think. Surely somebody has to continue to think of the position of the individual who is going to be paying these taxes, and having the government funds collected from taxes, and going to competition with them.
Well perhaps that is too conservative for my honourable friends in these times, and the one conservative that we used to have on this side of the House has now left us, not through defeat at the polls but because he chose to look after his private affairs rather than give his talents to public service any longer - or at least for the time being. Well, if we can believe the Press, if we can believe the Press, why one of my honourable friend's desk mates should be worried quite a little bit right now. And since he has left us, I mustn't attempt to assume a role of conservative, but I ask my honourable friends to remember the position of the ordinary taxpayers in matters of these kind. It is very fine to say that we will make government money available for this and that and the other thing. We may be very popular for the time being, but don't forget that these are things that need mighty careful business management and the government is not always the best manager of that kind of concern.
Then we have a paragraph on unemployment. Again, I don't want to take any time with it. I think where the work is needed, where it can be done efficiently, in the winter time, that it is a good suggestion that has been made. The Ministers will be pleased that they have the assistance of the former government in, with their usual foresight and efficiency, having some some planning that they will now take advantage of. They have the building over here that if they have kept up with the schedule that we have proposed, that will be ready for inside construction this coming year. If they haven't kept up with it, then they should have.
I note by the reading of this paragraph, that much work has been done. I compliment the honourable, the First Minister. He has evidently, according to this paragraph, been working diligently and effectively. He has been in touch with the municipalities, got programs and plans arranged; much work has been done, and with all that work done, then the legislation is ready I presume, and I am sure, that with all the planning and programming that is already done, that we don't need to have any fear that the many important matters that will arise in connection
with a program of this kind, will be left to regulation. They will all be set right out in the Act I'm sure, because I recall the honourable the First Minister being an advocate of the legislation spelling out exactly what the formulas will be, and nothing of any consequence being left to the government to deal with by regulations - so I am assuming that such matters as the formula for payment for these works, the amount that will be paid and how it will be done, will all be set out, and we will be looking forward to that Legislation.
Then we come to farm credits, and again I can give credit to the government, because this is something they talked about, and this is something they advocated, and this is something they are putting into the program. And I am not satirical at all when I say this. I mean that I think that is all to the good. But again, again I must raise the question. When we have an already efficiently operating federal institution in this field, is it the best way for the Provincial Government to get into competition with them? That's been the disagreement across this space for some years, and while I do not at all criticize the government for bringing this in - as they did promise - I still say that it is open to grave quesiton if this is the right way to proceed.
Doesn't it stand to reason, Mr. Speaker, that when you have the Board already in existence, trained personnel, experienced personnel, with years of experience behind them, with a good record behind them, that it would be better to accommodate the program of that institution to the conditions that are existing now? Better too, if necessary, raise the limits that can be given on security; if necessary lengthen the terms of payment. Get the Federal Government to do that. It's the sensible thing to do to modernize the existing program that the Federal Government has, rather than have a Provincial Government entering into competition with them. But our honourable friends have proposed it. They are convinced that they should try it so I give them credit for bringing it in. We look forward to the legislation and it can be further discussed at that time.
I think we will have a discussion on roads later on so I don't need to say very much about them. But again, we have one of those constructions that I think is completely unnecessary in a document of this kind -- the highways thus constructed will be built to a higher standard than in previous years thereby reducing the future cost of maintenance of both highways and motor vehicles. That's a subject that my honourable friends have liked to talk about, a good many of them. But of course the highways that are built now are better highways than they were a few years ago. We're making progress in these matters all the time. And of course the highways of today are much better than the highways of 10 or 15 years ago, and the highways of future years will be better still. But if the suggestion therein, and my honourable friends have tried to make this, not the suggestion, but the statement throughout the length and breadth of this Province, the suggestion that, for some reason (and the implied reason was parsimony on behalf of the former
government) for that reason that the highway standard was not what it should have been - then I refute that charge completely. And that charge, the same as some charges that have been levelled against others, in other departments as well, is absolutely unfair, not only to the former government, but to the many able and devoted civil servants that work for the different departments of this government.
Among the government ranks there is a former member of a Public Works Department, an able member, who was highly experienced in this work, and I am sure, knowing that honourable member as well as I do, that he will bear me out when I say that we asked the department to give us their very best advice on these questions - that we built the very best roads and the most of them that we could with the money that we had available for that purpose. And sometimes, as I have mentioned, and this is one of my complaints with the honourable The First Minister, where he misquoted me, sometimes it's true that we went ahead and I'm sure that the present Minister of Public Works, although that is not the title that he holds - I'm sure that the present Minister when he goes to put the program into effect, that he will find that it is quite often advantageous to, for the time being, to get away at least from the dust hazard by putting on a temporary surface. And then, of course, he won't be here long enough for us to come back and criticize the work that he does while he is still here, when that breaks down that's no cause for alarm. You put this kind of a surface on for the time being while you're building up to the better type of road.
I quite definitely resent the implication that's contained in this paragraph, just as I resent the suggestions that have been made by Ministers of the Crown about the inefficient work that has taken place in several of the other departments. That criticism that my honourable friends think they are directing toward this government, they are also directing towards a very, very able civil servant. And when they criticize forestry policies and road policies and fisheries policies, and agricultural policies, and many others, it's not of people that they are criticizing alone, they are criticizing the people who have had, with our overall policy control of course - but have had the administration of those, and who gave the very best of service to the type of work that they are doing.
Yes, and my honourable friend the First Minister can't deny that he has been ultra critical of many of these departments, and some of his colleagues as well.
And I want to speak a word for the senior civil servants and the other people who have given the very best of service to this in the various departments, and who do no deserve that kind of criticism.
Well, Mr. Speaker, I am very nearly through, which I am sure will be good news to all the members of the House. But I do want to close with some brief further suggestions with regard to an extremely important subject and that's dealing with agriculture. The Tribune newspaper of 14-6-58, the 14th of June, I presume--no, 14th of May--carried a program here of "The Party Leaders State their Cases". Two delightful photographs--and the one on Agriculture by Duff Roblin, Manitoba Progressive Conservative Leader, after having an opening sentence of "Throughout the campaign the Progressive Conservative Party has been clearly attempted to show overpowering reasons why the interests of Manitoba would be better served by defeat of the old and stand pat government". Then Agriculture--"A Progressive Conservative will act to safeguard agriculture and encourage its expansion with a broad program well within competence of a good Provincial Government." If the Act to safeguard agriculture and ecourage its expansion with a broad program well within competence of a good Provincial Government then, to be specific, it will: (1) Initiate an agricultural credit plan with special emphasis on long term credit for the beginning farmer and a family farm. Well, better leave that one because they have legislation on that matter. Then, (2) Introduce a voluntary crop insurance program and work for a revised and improved Prairie Farmers' Assistance Act; (3) Establish a province-wide Water Control and Soil Conservation Board assisted by provincial funds; (4) Make available on an increased scale the advances and achievements of scientific research in a form that can be turned to practical advantage to those on the farm.
The Progressive Conservative Government will establish a Provincial Research Council in co-operation with farm organizations with emphasis on livestock, marketing, new products and modern farm management techniques.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that if there is any place that this government should have been in a hurry to act and act effectively, it would have been in the field of agriculture. What do we have in the Speech from the Throne? One matter it's true dealt with credit. But what about all the other matters? What about the--credit is important--these others are important. I know that as I am of the opinion that very, very few people who have studied this question will agree with my honourable friend, the First Minister, that a voluntary crop insurance program will work, and my honourable friend, in this article, is apparently suggesting to the people that it is going to be a provincial fund as there is nothing said about federal participation. It's very doubtful that a provincial one could be successful and still more doubtful if a voluntary. But at least, at least we should try these tasks once we have promised them, the same as we are doing with the Credit Plan.
Then they establish a province-wide Water Control and Soil Conservation Board. That's been a great friend, great policy of the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, and yet our government put legislation on the statute book, I understand that. I am afraid that my honourable friend, like his Minister of
Agriculture, doesn't understand it. Yes, and no atempt, so far as I know, has been made to act on that very, very useful program that was made possible at that time.
Then research--my honourable friend the First Minister has been an expert on that subject. What are they going to do about it? What are they going to do about water and soil control? The Honourable the Minister of Agriculture made a statement this afternoon with regard to what's being done in the south-west, south central part of the province. I must confess that I don't find it very encouraging. We'll have more to say about that later on.
But what about the other things? Even though they submit that we should have had some action on these matters that were specifically suggested by the Honourable the First Minister, but important as they are--they are important--credit is important too. What about the others that are still more important? And when my honourable friend, the present Leader of the House, was talking about these subjects, he indicated to the people that we, on this side, were not doing enough about these other and basic tasks.
The real problem that faces the farmer today is the cost price squeeze. That's the real thing. Until that one is relieved credit is nothing but a palliative and may even compound these difficulties, because if he can't have a paying concern to operate, what's the use of the credit to him? The thing to get established is the basic industry itself. Now my honourable friends can say, and I'll agree with them, they can say that this is not within the control of the Provincial Government. I think that's true but they tried to indicate before that it was. Yes, they thought that the ones of us who were honest enough to admit to the farmers, to declare to the farmers, that that was the case, and now what do they do? There is something that the National Government can do and our honourable friends, quite proper, are good friends with the National Government. We'd like to know, and the Speech from the Throne should have said what representations they had made on this important question to the Federal Government. We have a right to know that and I can assure my honourable friend, the Minister of Agriculture, that his bill on credit will received a searching examination. And these questions he must be prepared to reply to before he expects to get very far with that bill because credit, though important, is of little consequence compared to these main problems that face the farmer today.
Here we have an emergency Session, according to our honourable friend, a special Session, and no word whatever--no attention paid to these other matters whatever. What have they done about the marketing situation so far as the farmers are concerned? True, that isn't their problem. We've said all the time that it isn't the problem of the Provincial Government but they wouldn't agree that we shouldn't have been doing something about it. What have they done about it? What representations have been made? What suggestions have been made? What plans and programs? This is an agricultural province. Our honourable friends used to criticize us that we weren't sufficiently
friendly to the farmers. What have they done? What are they going to do? What are they going to suggest to the Federal Government with regard to the marketing of the farmers' crops? What are they going to do about the cost price squeeze where, year by year, the things that the farmer has to sell, perhaps with the exception of livestock recently, have been going down? And year by year the things that the farmer buys have been going up, and the farmer is squeezed in between those two difficult situatons. And that's the basic problem, Mr. Speaker. That's the basic problem.
Mr. Speaker, you used to be spokesman for agriculture for your group and I know that you agree with this. I could wish that you were in a position to be less independent, less nonpartisan, so that you could use your influence with your former colleagues in order to get them to take some action on the important things with regard to agriculture.
What are they doing about trade and tariff? Of course they haven't got anything to do with it themselves. That's what we've always said--the Provincial Government hasn't, but the Federal Government has, and what representations are they making at that? Here, at a special Session called because of the urgency of the situation and to deal with the important matters and the matters that are confronting the people now--not a word about these things that are basic to agriculture.
What are they saying to the Federal Government about the British Free Trade proposals? Have they made representations there? When they realize that we still are the bread basket of the world here in Western Canada, and that in order to buy in the way that we want them to buy, that the Old Country people must sell to us. Have they made representations how absolutely imperative it is that trade be free in order to give us the markets that we so urgently need? Get rid of the supply. Keep up that connection that is traditional for us. What representations have been on these and the many other matters?
There will be opportunity when the Bill comes along for us to debate these at greater length but I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that on these matters the Speech from the Throne is silent. True, this government hasn't got the primary responsibility in it but they haven't in some of these other things that are mentioned too. And the one that is mentioned with regard to agriculture, though important, is of little consequence compared to these other things, and not a word about it.
So, Mr. Speaker, I am going to move an amendment, seconded by the honourable the member for Minnedosa, that the motion be amended by adding at the end thereof, the following words: "That we regret with regard to Agriculture, Manitoba's basic industry, the Speech from the Throne refers to one matter only, but ignores the many other immediate and serious problems facing the farmers of our province."
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the honourable member for Inkster, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker put the question and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. ROBLIN: This is the time, I believe, when I should move the adjournment of the House but before I do so I would just like to draw the attention of the members to the fact that there is now being distributed to them the copies of the Bills with financial implications that received first reading this afternoon, and I trust that that distribution will be completed before the members leave the House.
I would just like to say that, if there is no objection to following this procedure, I propose to allow others who do not sit in this House to see these Bills at the same time as they are placed on our desks. This will be before second reading but if there is no objection to that course I propose to take it, in view of the fact that we are anxious to get the matter before the public with the minimum of delay.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, one of the honourable members engaged me in conversation and I didn't hear the suggestion of the honourable the First Minister.
MR. ROBLIN: Mark it, Mr. Speaker, that the Bills that received first reading today were being distributed and I propose to make them available to others outside the House as of now rather than wait for second reading, if there was no objection to that course. No objection--very good.
MR. CAMPBELL: In that case, as far as we are concerned, I'm afraid I can speak for only one group.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, silence on our part means consent.
MR. ROBLIN: This is one of those amazing situations when I find my two honourable friends opposite in agreement; no explanations, no coalition, no alibis--extraordinary. Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the honourable the Minister for Agriculture, that the House do now adjourn and stand adjourned until 2:30 on Monday afternoon.
[Mr. Speaker put the question and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
Page revised: 2 July 2009