[Opening prayer by Mr. Speaker. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Presenting Petitions
Reading and Receiving Petitions
Presenting Reports by Standing and Select Committees
Notice of Motion
Introduction of Bills
Orders of the Day
MR. M. E. RIDLEY (Pembina): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to call your attention to the arch in the centre of the balcony. It is the Grade XI pupils from the Village of Snowflake. Snowflake is approximately 120 miles from here - 14 miles south of La Riviere on No. 3 Highway.
When I saw the pupils come in today, I asked myself a question. I wonder if these pupils are coming in to see if they are going to get a new highway to Snowflake or not, and I am going to rest that with the new Government and hope they do give it good consideration. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
HON. G. JOHNSON (Gimli): Before the Orders of the Day, Mr. Speaker, I would also like to draw the attention of the House to the first gallery on the left, where there are twenty-six high school girls from Gimli. A former Prime Minister of Canada said that the best looking girls in the Country came from Gimli, and there are twenty-six of them in the House today.
MR. D. ORLIKOW (St. John's): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I wonder if I could ask the Minister of Education a question. I understand that the first homes in Thompson, Manitoba, are now being occupied by workers in that town. I wonder if a school has already been begun, if so, when it will be open, and if not, what arrangements, if any, have been made for a temporary schooling for the children who will be living there?
HON. STEWART E. McLEAN (Dauphin): Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for having advised me that he was going to ask these questions. Under an arrangement between the Province of Manitoba and the Company operating there, the Company is required to build and provide schools and turn them over to the local School Board. The plans are prepared and have been examined and approved. Some construction difficulties apparently were encountered but it is planned that the new school be commenced early in the spring of 1959. It will be a very beautiful twelve-room school. At the moment, there are two rooms
in new homes that have provided for school purposes. These are homes in which the partitions have been omitted so that they will be satisfactory for classrooms. They are new homes and have never been occupied for dwelling purposes. Desks and furniture are on order and the school will open with two teachers on November 15th. The two teachers have now been engaged. Tenders, as I have indicated, will be called for the new school.
Of twenty-two pupils that are expected from the first thirty families, six are now, as of today, actually there, and they will be able to commence schooling on the 15th of November.
MR. H. P. SHEWMAN (Morris): Mr. Speaker, in the gallery immediately on the left of you, there is fifty pupils from the Consolidated High School of Sanford, and if the members of the House see a good looking student, boy or girl, around the buildings this afternoon, they'll know that they are from Sanford. They are here with their Principal, Mr. Delgad and Mrs. Hall, and as their chaperon this afternoon there is a gentleman with them who is well known, I think to all of us, and well known to the Province of Manitoba at large, for his efforts that he has put in throughout his life to further education - Dr. James Cuddy.
MR. EDMOND PREFONTAINE (Carillon): M. l'Orateur, j'aimerais me joindre aux députés qui ont parlé précédement et souhaiter dans la belle langue française la bienvenue aux demoiselles pour commencer et aux messieurs qui sont venu assister a cette Assemblée de la Chambre du Manitoba. Je suis certain qu'elles manqueraient quelque chose et qu'ils manqueraient quelque chose s'ils n'entendaient pas résonner le verbe français pendant au moins huit minutes.
MR. E. GUTTORMSON (St. George): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Public Works. Did the Government prepare to share the cost of construction of a bridge on the lower Fairford with the Federal Government as requested earlier this summer by myself and a member of the Department of Indian Affairs?
HON. ERRICK F. WILLIS (Turtle Mountain): Mr. Speaker, we were awaiting word from the Federal Government in regard to it, as to what their position is. When we know it, we'll announce ours.
HON. GURNEY EVANS (Minister of Mines & Natural Resources): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I wish to lay on the table of the House, a copy of the Economic Survey of Northern Manitoba, prepared by the Arthur D. Little Company, Incorporated.
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned debate on proposed reading of Bill No. 2. The Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville has the floor.
MR. R. W. BEND (Rockwood-Iberville): Mr. Speaker, it's not my intention to speak very long on this Bill. However, one who
has been connected with education for a considerable time, could hardly sit and not offer some remarks on it.
In the first place, I would like to make it quite clear that I certainly favour this legislation. I'm glad to see that the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Education have been followed so closely, and, therefore, as far as the main part of the Bill itself goes, I certainly will support it most strongly.
However, there are one or two things in it and some of this is by way of information, and it may be indeed, Sir, that the Honourable the Minister, gave the information and I missed it. If that's the case, why he no doubt can point it when he closes the debate. However, the first thing I would like to draw the attention of the House to, Mr. Speaker, is the matter of authorized teachers being left to regulations. Now, it seems to me that authorized teachers take on even more importance under this new Bill than it has done previously. Therefore, it seems to me that the policy of leaving it for regulations to decide exactly what that formula will be, is a mistake.
Now then, I have on my side in this argument, Mr. Speaker, one of the foremost members in this House, in a speech delivered on the 10th of March, 1958, with respect to legislation and regulations thereto, and with your permission in order to make my point, I would like to quote from...Now...I'll come to that later..."Now, I want to repeat and this, Mr. Speaker, I want to repeat my previous opinion that it is very difficult to eliminate this trend toward regulations entirely. Out of sheer pressure of circumstances, we have had out of sheer pressure of circumstances, to go along with this movement towards delegating to the administrative the power to make law, because it was simply more than the legislature could handle. But if that is the case, Sir, it requires the most strict attention to make sure that we do not depart from our ancient principle that it is the legislature that makes the laws and the administration that carries them out. Otherwise we get into a position where the administration does not only carry out the law but they are making the law." And the speaker, of course, was the Honourable the First Minister, when he was Leader of the Opposition. And I simply rise to say on this point that I was surprised when I found such an important matter as this, left to a matter of regulation. Surely the formula for authorized teacher can be established, surely the place to establish it is in legislation.
The second point that I wanted to make was with respect to the grants. Now all through the campaign, the Honourable the Leader of the Conservative Party and his colleagues, made it quite clear and gave a definite commitment that there would be an increase of fifty percent in grants to all school districts. Now then, as I understand this legislation, supposing that a district decided not to go in, then I take it they receive no increase in grants, because only if a district does come in under the legislation are they entitled to this increase.
The point that I like to make is this, and I would like the Minister to answer me in case I have misinterpreted it - supposing that by chance a district does not come in, that they vote and decide against it - we would hope that they would all come in, and certainly he can rely on our co-operation to help in that aim
as he requests it. But supposing one doesn't. Now are the youngsters of that district to be penalized because of that decision by the Government not taking into account some increase in grants? Or, and again I ask the question, is it intended that this fifty percent increase that was promised to all parts of the Province, will it be made to such districts in lieu of the proposed grants under this Bill? That is a point I would like to have made clear. I am sure that is the intention, but it doesn't say so here.
Now then, further, there is one particular part, and again I do not say this critically, but I think the Minister can make this clear when he closes the debate. There is quite a section of the Report devoted to merit system, and what a merit system can do. Now I would like to know, and I am sure a great many more would like to know, what is the Minister's thinking on this important point. Does he believe in the merit system? Does he believe in it as it is suggested here? Or has he some other ideas with respect to it? Or is it his intention not to use it? If the Minister would be kind enough to enlighten me on his position with respect to that, I would be very grateful.
As I said, I will not speak very long. I am most happy to see this Legislation in the House; I think it can be debated purely on a non-partisan basis, and that is what I am intending to do here. I am certainly only seeking information in order to better know how to deal with the Bill. However, with the matter with regulations, I do think that the point that I have made there, should certainly bear a little more enquiry, shall we say, and unless somebody can show me why it is necessary to have such an important part of this bill in the form of regualtions, it would be my intentions to move an amendment to have that formula for authorized teachers spelled out exactly so everybody knows where they're at.
MR. M. N. HRYHORCZUK, Q.C. (Ethelbert Plains): Mr. Speaker, I wish to move, seconded by the honourable member for Rockwood-Iberville, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned debate on second reading of Bill No. 3. The Honourable Member for Radisson.
MR. R. PAULLEY (Radisson): Mr. Speaker, I just wish to make one or two brief comments on this Bill. I might say that as far as we are concerned, we are quite prepared to allow the Bill to go to second reading, because we agree in the principle of the establishment here in the Province of Manitoba of an Industrial Development Fund as distinct from that of the federal authorities. Indeed you may recall, Sir, that during your service in this House, up until last year, when our group proposed such a Fund of such a nature as an aid to industry, that while there had been a lot of talk about it, nothing of any concrete nature had been forwarded for consideration within the Legislature.
And I'm glad that the new Minister of Industry and Commerce, some of the thoughts of this group have rubbed off on to him, and as a result we have this Bill before us today.
I might say that some of the terms and conditions that are contained in the Bill are not those which, if we had of proposed a Bill, would have been the same. I think we would have patterned our Bill along the lines in which there was more direct responsibility upon the Minister of the Crown in the actual bill itself. The Minister in introducing the Bill the other day, mentioned many jurisdictions which had similar legislation, and also of course said that it was removed from governmental supervision, at least to a considerable degree. I, for one, feel, Mr. Speaker that when we are dealing in public funds or funds for which the public treasury may be responsible, that the representatives of the people should be more directly responsible. For in this bill as I read it, it appears to me, that while we as a government, or as a legislature will approve an initial five millions of dollars into this Fund, a further fifteen millions of dollars can be borrowed by the Corporation itself. But in the final analysis, if things don't work out the way we hope that they work out in this Bill, we as a legislature will be responsible, of course, for the full twenty millions of dollars.
I also think, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister should give consideration, unless I missed it in the reading of the bill, that he should give consideration to allowing municipalities to take advantage of this Fund if they so desire. In the legislation which our sister province to the west has, there is provisions for municipalities to make loans on their Industrial Devlopment Fund. One of the main reasons that I say that, Sir, is because of the fact that in the Municipal Act of our Province there are numerous industries which through this legislature our municipalities are permitted to enter into. And it is quite surprising when you read the Municipal Act to find how many they are and how diversified they are. They go anywhere from operating gasoline stations to operating crematories; they allow municipalities to establish buses, depots, bus depots and other kindred lines of business; they allow our municipalites to go into the business of camping sites.
Now one of the features of the Bill is an endeavour, and I think properly so, to expand our camping and tourist facilities in the Province. It might prove under our free enterprise system profitably uneconomical for some of those that might might be desirous, of say, having a motel on a busy highway, to put up a camping ground in some more remote area in which it may be the desire of the municipality to do it. And I'd suggest that through this Fund that they might be given the opportunity if they so desire, to acquire the capital in order to do it. Not that I think the question of interest is quite right even in this Bill, Mr. Speaker, but I do note the overall provision for an increase or decrease, and I am perfectly satisfied in that respect.
Another feature of the Bill that may raise some objection. It appears to me that there seems to be a tremendous lot of responsiblity placed on one man, namely, the General Manager or Vice-President of the Corporation. I think some consideration
should be given to a limitation of some of the power, because as I read the Act, he and the executive committee can approve of the loans and practically award then, with the exception of the overriding approval of the Board itself. There is nothing that I can find in the Bill that spells out any regularity of meetings, either of the Executive Board or of the Executive Committee rather, or the Board itself. And it is my thought that there should be.
Another point in connection with the General Manager - it may be my interpretation of the Bill is in error - is that it appears to me that whereas the members of the Board are to be elected for a period of three years or until removed or resigned, or whatever the circumstances may be under the three years and, of course subject to re-appointment. But if the legislation means exactly the way it is worded in respect to the General Manager, he cannot be removed within the period of five years, because -- and we might be able to discuss that for clarification in committee. But it does appear on reading the Bill, Mr. Speaker, that whoever is fortunate enough to be appointed the General Manager of this Corporation, has the assurance of a job for five years no matter what happens.
Another point that I do think that should be given consideration in this Bill, Mr. Speaker, is the question of a limitation on the amount which can be borrowed by any individual borrower. Now I do know that it is up to us to place full responsibility in those that we ask to administer a bill of this nature, but if we only have, say, twenty millions of dollars in a fund, and we say that this fund is to be for small industry as well as medium, in these days of heavy expenditure, twenty millions of dollars can be rapidly used up - and it is possible that within a couple of loans or so, the full amount of the authorization could be used up. So, I wonder whether or not in the committee stage consideration might be given to some limitation in order that this, the benefits of this Fund should accrue to as great a number as is possible.
That's about all that I have to say on the Bill, Mr. Speaker. Again, I say we welcome it - we do think that we here in the Province of Manitoba, in this instance, again are dragging our feet. Other provinces in Canada have had such legislation on their books for ten or fifteen or more years, and from the records that I have received from their operations, it has proved a benefit to those individual provinces. We do appreciate and realize the fact that there is a small Industries Fund in the Federal Government, but in these days of keen competition between provinces as between individuals, I think that had we of had this fund ten or fifteen years ago, we would have had a greater number of small industries here in Manitoba.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. T. P. HILLHOUSE, Q.C. (Selkirk): Mr. Speaker, if no one else wishes to speak, I wish to move, seconded by the honourable member for Springfield, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned debate on second reading of Bill No. 8, and the proposed amendments thereto. The honourable member for La Verendrye.
MR. S. ROBERTS (La Verendrye): Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a very unusual day and it was a particularly rewarding day for me because of the years, the winters, when I watched closely the Agricultural Bills being presented by the Liberal Government. I made a particular point, being somewhere up there in the gallery at the time, that you, Sir, as spokesman for the Opposition and the Honourable Member, my neighbour and friend from the Constituency of Morris, spoke as an Independent, and brought certain things into view that, perhaps, were false in the legislation and certainly were in your opinion false in the legislation. And so I felt that up until some time yesterday that perhaps that independence - the voice of the independent farmer, was perhaps not going to be heard this year. I look forward and with anticipation to hear the remarks by the honourable member for Morris. I was quite shook-up to find that not only had you, Sir, by being appointed Speaker, have been silenced, but that the Independent had also been silent. He had become a trained seal.
And so I listened intently as he came forth with his arguments and with enjoyment, and the heckling brought out something again, Sir, that I found was quite revealing. "Ha! Ha! He is an Independent!", and as he went on with his talk, we found that he could not help but perhaps support the Minister of Agriculture on this Bill but when it came to the amendments of the Throne Speech, he was with us.
Now I can only carry on with that to mention the disappointment that I felt as the honourable Minister of Agriculture introduced this Bill. I felt that as he did it, he did it apologetically. There was apparently a desire to make the Bill unattractive to the farmers...And then perhaps the most astounding remark came from the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, when he was arguing the point of the interest rate of the Bill. We have proposed an amendment that the interest rate be reduced to five percent. The Minister pointed out a paragraph in the Bill - on page 8, No. 8, sub-section 8, which allows the directors to increase or lower the rate at will. The first time I read this Bill, and I still believe, that it is a mighty poor paragraph. And I was surprised to see the honourable minister point to it with pride, because not only can the directors lower the interest at will, but they can raise the interest at will. Firstly.
Secondly, it is not the intention of the Government to have the interest rate any lower than six percent, or most certainly it would have come in the Bill in that form - they're not that modest.
And, thirdly, of course as the honourable member for Rockwood-Iberville has pointed out, once again, it is a Board setting the interest rate and not this House, on such an important topic.
Now surely, the Honourable Minister of Agriculure has so many years on this side of the House in Opposition, and a good number of those years as Leader of the Opposition, would not want at this time to underestimate the role that an Opposition can play in the producing of a good Bill. And so his great scream was - what's one percent? We come up with an amendment that I feel has a great deal of merit, it means a lot of money to the farmers of Manitoba - and what's one percent. I suggest to the honourable the First Minister that before too many years have gone by, he will regret this noise - what is one percent. This can backfire, this can come back to you. And I think if I perhaps cite just a few figures as to what one percent might mean, then you understand what I mean.
Firstly, on a $25,000 loan for 30 years, as it listed in our Bill, 1% is at least $4,000 in interest. And supposing 250 such loans are made, this surely isn't out of question -- if the Bill isn't worth 250 loans, we shouldn't have it here. That is, a million dollars in interest. What's a million? I ask you, what's a million? Are we going to take that attitude to the farmers of Manitoba? I think that you will find that every time you turn around in the farm communities, they will say to you, "What's one percent?" And I think that you will feel it. Take for instance, the Canadian Farm Loan Board. There are $6,750,000 plus; there's more than $6,750,000 in the Canadian Farm Loan Board now in the hands of Manitoba farmers. If they raised their interest from 5% to 6% then the farmers of Manitoba would be paying each year $67,500 more interest than they're paying now. And if this Bill, surely if this Bill is...has the...intends...if it does work that it's intended to do -- we hope it will do -- then much more money than this will be involved, and a great deal more money in interest will be involved. And I think that the farmers are an efficient, clear thinking group of people, and I would hope that the Government of Manitoba runs their business as efficiently as the average Mantioba farmer runs his, and doesn't say "What's one percent" when they go to borrow the money for this Province.
Now I think that there is something that has to be made perfectly clear as well. There's no room for doubt that we are in, we feel as strongly as anyone could, the need for Agricultural Credit. We want this Bill to go through -- we want it to go through in a good form. We want, we have said, and you'll agree with me that a Federal plan would have been better, but in the event that we have no Federal plan, and we have not - then this Bill must go through. But it must be, it must be in a form that is acceptable to the farmer. Why can Government, and including this Government, bring forth legislation, services, industrial development banks, where the Minister is proud to stand up and present their case and when it comes to a Bill like this, presented by the Honourable Minsiter of Agriculture, he apologetically gets up and says "This Bill is not intended to compete with any other existing Bills, therefore the interest is high, and so forth." Why is this the kind of help we are giving to the farmers of Manitoba in this time of need? And no amount of shouting "Kill the Bill", is going to convince the
farmer that 6% is better interest for him to pay than 5% interest on his loan.
Now, I don't need to go on to great lengths as to the need for a low interest Farm Credit Bill. I'd like to just say at this time, that speaking as a farmer, I'd like to say this, that farmers welcome the opportunity. They hope for the opportunity to solve their own problems, and all they need is the opportunity to do so. They do not need hand-outs and I would like to say that a Farm Credit Plan, a proper Farm Credit Plan, which will give them this assistance, is not a hand-out, but is simply an opportunity to build with, for the farmer to build within his own unit, an efficiency of operation which will place him in a position where he can, where he will, have to back up to no man. And so, this farm credit bill brings, firstly, a purpose to the farmers of Manitoba of giving him an opportunity to meet his growing cost through greater efficiency. And this growing cost thing, this can mean different things to different farmers. In some cases, it means the farmer, if he wishes to purchase more land - not a corporation farm, but a little larger family size farm, so that he can operate more efficiently. In other cases, it means that he would like to buy a little extra machinery, or more practical machinery; in other cases it means he wishes to diversify into livestock, and, in other cases of course, it could be equipment, such as poultry feeding equipment, dairy equipment, and things like that.
That is one place this Bill should fill, fill it. Secondly, of course, has been mentioned is the opportunity for the young farmer to get started. And thirdly, of course, is one that has not been mentioned so far in this debate, if I am correct, but is one place where I think that some consideration should be given to a low interest Farm Credit Bill. And I'm speaking of course to the sociological threat, the peril, that is facing the farmers of Manitoba at the present time - this thing known as contract farming -- vertical integration. It has so many names, the rural members of course understand this. For the benefit of the urban members I can only say this, that city commercial firms, packing houses, processing plants, feed companies, etc., are making available to certain farmers - any farmer who can prove himself equipped, to make available to them all of the facilities, the poultry, the money, the seed, everything to produce a certain product, whatever that product might be, and the farmer for his work only gets out of it a nominal fee as a profit - not a normal profit, but just a nominal fee. This takes out of the normal thinking of farming all of the independence, all the traditional things that go with the way of life of farming. And, instead, replaces it with a position to the farmer in which he is merely a hired man of the, of the Commercial firm concerned. And while, for some people, perhaps contract farming is a good thing, and to them I say "Welcome to it", but for those who do not wish to go into contract farming, who still are farmers because they pride their work, because they are independent in spirit; because they wish the opportunity to take ups and downs and to make their own decisions; to these people we should have an alternative. And, the alternative would
be low interest farm credit where they could build up their own unit and run their own businesses in their own way.
Now, as has been mentioned time and again, and by the honourable member for Morris, credit, or the lack of it, is only one of the problems facing the farmer, but a sound low interest credit policy will provide, perhaps a stepping stone, where the farmer can help himself crawl out of the hole he is in now. I suggest that this Bill is not ready in its present form, to be that, and my Honourable friend from Ste. Rose has suggested a few ammendments that he would like to make in Committee. The Honourable Minister of Agriculture has suggested amendments that he would like to make in Committee, and I would just like to mention one or two little things here in the Bill, and there are many more, that are of particular interest. And I think that if you look at the Bill, that you will realize, or if you've read the Bill, you'll realize that this really, this Bill really does nothing to promote diversification on the farm. It does nothing to promote the livestock industry. Take our Winnipeg milk shed southeast of Winnipeg, where a large portion of the milk that comes into the City of Winnipeg comes from. These farmers can't borrow enough money on this Bill as it reads, to buy a milking machine, because the land does not value, is not a high value land. Their cattle are worth a lot of money; their buildings are worth a lot of money; and the farmers themselves are good operators, but if, because of the way the Bill reads, where 60% of the security must come from the land, they are taken out of the possibility. And, if you read the Bill closely enough, you will find perhaps the most disturbing thought of all, that, take a boy straight out of the University of Manitoba - our finest University - a graduate with a degree in Agriculture - cannot borrow money on this Bill to start farming, because it says he must have proven by three years' experience that he is an established farmer; experienced farmer; capable farmer; and our boys coming straight out of University not capable of going on the farms? Take for instance, these boys or these men around the City of Winnipeg here, who are out on market gardens, and because things have been tough in the market gardening business, they have taken on jobs in the winter time, they are working in the Manitoba Sugar Factory - they're working here, they have the initiative, they have the desire to stay on the farm so they would take other jobs so they can keep their place going at home. These people are not eligible because they have taken on other jobs, and further on in the Bill when it comes to the...to an ordinary farmer, other than market gardener, he also is ineligible if he takes any other job. I presume that a member of legislature is ineligible because he has accepted antoher position with pay, and I think that that is a little bit ridiculous.
A MEMBER: I do too.
MR. ROBERTS: Now, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture has compared this Bill to the V.L.A. I think he was stretching his imagination a little bit, and I would like to perhaps compare it, also to the N.H.A., the National Housing Association, where an
employee for the City of Winnipeg for instance, or any City, with a good paying job can go out and borrow, if he is not buying too expensive a house - we'll say an $8,000.00 house - can borrow, I think 90% of the full value of that house...at least, he only has to have 10% as a down payment. He can borrow the other 90% and he is providing for himself a home; and yet this Government feels that a productive unit, such as a farm in Manitoba, is only worth 65% as - on security. Just -- I believe I'm getting a little long Mr. Speaker, so I'll just cut this off with saying that no amount of shouting from that side of the House, and this "What's one - what's one percent" - and "Kill the Bill" is going to have much influence on the farmers of Manitoba when they realize that this Bill does not provide for them any further credit than they have at the present time, and I think that that we should give a great deal of consideration to reducing the credit to 5%, making such other amendments in this Bill that are necessary and coming forward to the people, the farmers of Manitoba, with a Farm Credit Bill that they can feel is a helpful thing to them. And, I only want to repeat this, that we feel that farm credit is necessary - I feel it urgently; the member for Ste. Rose feels it equally urgently, and that we must not consider at any time but what this Bill go through in a good form.
MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): Mr. Speaker, I rise here only to bring one point to the attention of the House, which I think has not been brought out so far. I think it is of considerable importance, and I think it is one which creates too much of a burden on the person who is borrowing under the provisions of this Act, according to what the Honourable Minister said when he introduced - when he discussed the Bill on second reading - and I would like to quote from Hansard, so that I'll have the wording correct: "Secondly," (this is on Page 36, of the...of Volume 1, No. 3) "Secondly, our rate is at 6% because we hope we shall not make losses, as far as this administration is concerned, that we would have a margin for administration which would be paid for by the borrower." Now, Mr. Speaker, if you will look at that carefully - it means that the borrower - I, as the borrower under that...under the provisions of this Act, would not only have to carry my loan, the cost of my loan, the cost of getting the money for my loan, and my share of the cost of the administration - but if my Honourable friend, or some other gentleman borrows under that loan, and there is a loss, I, as a borrower have got to pay it.
Mr. Speaker, I don't think that borrowers under the particular loan should have to bear the losses of other borrowers. I think that it should come out of the Consolidated Revenue of the Province, because what you're doing is putting on an extra rate of interest so that I, as a borrower will make up the losses of some other borrower. I think that is unfair to the person who will be borrowing under the loan.
MR. B. P. STRICKLAND (Hamiota): Mr. Speaker, in speaking to the amended motion for the member for Ste. Rose, that Bill No. 8 be not now read a second time, because of the rate of interest should be 5% and not 6.
I'm a new member, Sir, in this House, and I realize that there are, is a lot of parliamentary procedure, which I don't understand at this time. I'm probably a little bit naive, or not so naive, when I say that I think a lot of the members on the other side of the House are spending the time of this Session purposely for their own votes at home.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture, in my opinion, has most effectively described this Bill - I certainly am not attempting to add to what he has already said. The Honourable Leader of the Opposition very pointedly, referred us to the Rule Book yesterday, and, if I might, I will just read one portion that I did not hear the Honourable member of the Opposition read, and is dealing with the second reading. "If however, it is desired to get rid of the Bill altogether, there are two amendments by which this may be effected." And the second one reads, "That the Bill be now read a second, not now read a second time, and setting out a reason why it should not be read." They have set out the reason, Sir, and I wonder if the Opposition are thinking that this Government is so slow in catching on that we had to see their intentions in black and white.
I know that also, that there are cries from the other side of the House that they did not want to kill this Bill, and we hear them again today. I wonder if there is intentions then to delay in getting the bill before the Committee. Surely the Opposition understand that this Session was called especially to implement legislation that the people decided was important and needed immediately. Surely that has penetrated, Sir, that the people of Manitoba are particularly, and particularly the farmers are tired of this waiting for something to do, to be done. The Honourable member for La Verendrye has just finished saying that he has no faith in the members of the Board that are to be serving on this Legislation. The Honourable the Minister of Agriculture stated yesterday that he had scoured Canada for the best members that could be had to serve in this Legislation. Furthermore, the honourable member, I think for Portage, I have met the honourable gentleman personally, but I'm not sure of the area which he comes from - says that the farmers are afraid that they may have to pay for the borrowing of other farmers.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Speaker, I did not say that...I didn't say the farmers were afraid. I said the situation was that under this set-up that the borrowers would have to pay individually for the losses sustained under the program.
MR. STRICKLAND: Sir, I take it that in that case, they're prepared to put the burden on the rest of the people of Manitoba, and yet, the Member from La Verendrye stated that the farmers definitely wanted to be independent, and not reliable on...relying on the rest of the people of Manitoba. On Page 20, Sir, of Debates and Proceedings, No. 2, the Honourable member for Flee Island, I believe, is deriding the...
MR. D. L. CAMPBELL (Leader of the Opposition): I think that, Mr. Speaker, I should take the occasion to jump up when that name is...
MR. STRICKLAND: ...The Honourable gentleman is deriding this Government for having taken four months to initiate this progressive program, and I'm beginning to wonder if it is his intention to delay us a further four months in placing this legislation on the books.
MR. R. S. CLEMENT (Birtle-Russell): Mr. Speaker, in speaking on the amendment to this resolution or amendment to Bill No. 8, unlike my honourable friend from Hamiota, I wish to speak for the farmers of all of Manitoba, and not just my own Constituency.
I must congratulate him on becoming quite an authority on the Rules. He has been here for three or four days, and I've been here for nine years, and I've never attempted to get up and make a speech on Rules yet. However, Sir, I believe, and I must say that I have a few suggestions, and one or two observations to make. I believe, Sir, that the Bill in itself is basically a step in the right direction, I think, insofar as making money available, particularly to the small farmer, and the younger men who are desirous of becoming farmers and of staying on the farm if they've already taken over -- I believe it is a step in the right direction. However, it is Mr. Speaker, the setting up and maintaining of the proposed Manitoba Agricultural Credit Corporation, and the apparent high interest of 6% that I question. As a Canadian Farm Loan Act is now in existence, a larger farmer, or one who at least owns his own land, or can supply the suitable security, can quite easily borrow up to $15,000.00 as it now stands. That same farmer can go to the bank and borrow up to $5,000.00, with 5% interest as well. I might point out that even the Farm Loans Act, only charges a farmer who is in arrears, 5 1/2%. The one hitch, as I see, with the Farm Loan set-up, is that it is a very, not always, I should say a comparatively slow way of raising money and quite often takes up to eight to ten months to obtain. However, Sir, they have the Organization set up; they have the necessary personnel, and they have the offices right here in the City of Winnipeg which to - handle this loan scheme. And, it seems to me Sir, that with a little co-operation between the two Governments, namely, the Manitoba Government and the Federal Government at Ottawa, a little co-operation, and I say, Sir, that this should not be too difficult to obtain, that the one organization could have been enlarged slightly; its mechanics speeded up, and the Manitoba Government could either apply the needed funds and a few extra personnel to supply the money to these small farms, small farmers, or new farmers, or Sir, I submit that an easier way possibly would be for them to back the notes of the small farmer or the new farmer, which basically is what they're doing anyway, without all this additional expense of setting up a new Board of their own. And, if that was done, the 5% interest rate would be available to the farmer who basically and really needs it. And I submit, Sir, that it is apparent to everyone that this type of farmer is the group of farmers who least of all can afford to pay 6% interest or the higher interest rate. And I maintain that if the Government, the present Government, has the interest of the farmer in heart, they would do their best to see that he could get the rate, the interest rate lowered. That's the lower rate of 6, or 5%.
Now, Sir, the honourable the Minister of Agriculture yesterday stated, and rightly so, that the Credit Corporation was to pay its way as closely as possible. I think he even intimated that maybe they should have a little reserve - but I'll take it, the point that they should pay their way as closely as possible. If they do lose a few dollars, I don't think there is a better group of people in the Province of Manitoba that they could donate that money to, if the case need be. However, that is not their intention; they want to charge, or they intend to charge six percent, and they hope that it will pay its way. Now, the Honourable the Minister of Public Works, also stated, yesterday, that the directors of this corporation could, by regulation, decrease or increase the rate of interest. Now, Sir, I respectfully ask the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, on behalf of the new farmers and the future farmers of this province, to give serious consideration to the lower interest rate. I think that he would be doing, not only the farmers or the younger farmers of Manitoba a favour, but he would be doing his own party an exceptional good turn. I suggest that he start out with this five percent interest rate. I suggest that he investigate the possibilities of my suggestion to keep the cost of operation as low as possible. Every one today, particularly, who is in business, knows that the overhead is the killing factor in many business failures today, and that the duplicating of personnel, as will be done here, will be very costly, and in my opinion, unnecessary. And so, Mr. Speaker, may I suggest to the Honourable Minister that if my suggestion, or others, that may be submitted, or brought forward or that if this period of inflation, which we're going through, carries on or increases, and that the apparent losses are too great, then I think he would have every justification to increase his interest rate at that time to six percent. But I think, Mr. Speaker, and I feel quite sincere in saying so, that I think there is little or no justification whatsoever at this time in having the small farmer paying this higher interest rate, particularly when the larger farmers can borrow money for the same purposes at the lower interest rate. Remember that, Mr. Speaker, I suggest to the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, who is or has been at one time, was a farmer, and I think he possibly still owns a farm, that things may not have been so rosy in his younger day as they are today and when a person needs the money most, he can least afford to pay the higher interest rate, and I submit, Sir, that I do hope that they'll give consideration to at least starting out with the five percent interest rate.
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, I was interested in the history lesson that the Honourable Member for Morris gave us yesterday, and it's rather interesting to go back just a little and trace the path that has led us to this Debate in the House and to find so many strange speeches being made by different people. In the first place, it will be recalled quite well, that one of the strong arguments that was being used by the Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition, that his group in the country, as well as the Honourable, the Leader of the C.C.F. and his group in the
country, was that the Manitoba Government was doing nothing for the farmer, and that if you put us in, we can. We can do things. We can extend credit and we can do so and so. I'm not going to belabour that point. I only wish to point it out to estabish that certainly something was to be done if a change was made. And so we have a special Session of this House and now we are going to see what the changes are. On the hustings, Mr. Speaker, we pointed out, or tried to, that there was an institution, a Government one, set up for credit, and surely the only excuse for this one would be that it could do something that the other wasn't doing. Our point and our side was that amendments could be brought in to the other Act that one could do the job instead of having two. And then we had the Administration rising in their places here and saying this isn't meant to compete with that Legislation. We're going to put the interest rate up high so it doesn't. In other words, we promised that we would do something. We'll bring in the Bill but we hope nobody uses it. And that was the very reaction that one must get sitting on this side. And then, of course, there came in with this "kill the bill business." Well, let's see the situation that the Government found itself in. And the Honourable Member who spoke about the Minister coming in apologetically...that was the exact situation. He came in with the Bill, and I don't blame him, Mr. Speaker, the whole administration stands behind this Bill. And it's not his fault alone that he found himself in this predicament. And when they talked it over they had an alternative -- all this kill the bill business is just so much "tommy rot" and I would like to make it perfectly clear for the new members who have come in, in particular, saying that this is stalling tactics and so on. Because this is the situation. When that motion was made, all that needed to be done was your Caucus called and sat down and said, "boys, do we make it five percent, or don't we?" And if the Government, Mr. Speaker, was prepared to make it five percent all they had to do was bring in the amendment, making it five percent. We made it perfectly clear why we weren't supporting the Bill.
All this "bunk" about kill the Bill...it puts me in mind of the Minister giving his sermon on a Sunday and he had a footnote on the side: "Shout like blankety blank. Points weak here." And that's what we had over on the other side last night. And so when this point came in it was interesting to see what happened. The Honourable the Leader of the Opposition, caught off base on it, had a decision to make. And where did he go? He went over...Honourable, I'm sorry, the Honourable the First Minister. The Honourable the First Minister turned around to that champion of independence -- the champion of the farmer -- and said "adjourn it, for gosh sake, adjourn it." And so we found that he adjourned the debate. And here was a "pretty kettle of fish." Here was the man that has been speaking for eight years in this house solid for the farmer, forced to say "Why quibble about 1%? Why quibble about 1%?" If you ever heard, Mr. Speaker, of a man preaching for a call you heard it then; because here he was repudiating everything he'd ever said, forced to get up, forced to try to bail the Administration out of the picket they nailed themselves to. But
that wasn't all, it wasn't sufficient to have a life-saver over there, we must come to our coalition - we must come over here and see who will help us here.
Well, the signal was out - "Now look boys, it's an election," and every time the First Minister says "it's an election" there's a quiver echoes through all those seats over there that you can feel even here. And so who goes to the rescue? Well, I'm going to say this: the Honourable Member from Brokenhead showed yesterday that he's a man of ability. He gave a wonderful address. He really did. But what a spot to be in! What a spot after the speeches in the hustings in the country to get up and say this, "it's good to charge the farmers 6%--it's the right thing to do, charge them 6%." Put the legislation up but don't let them use that.
MR. E. R. SCHREYER (Brokenhead): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
MR. L. C. STINSON (Leader of the C.C.F.): Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member for Rockwood is letting his oratory carry him away.
MR. SCHREYER: Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville is attributing motives to me that I did not indicate to the House last night.
MR. SPEAKER: I might say to the Honourable Member for Rockwood...Order!
MR. BEND: I did not attibute motives to the Honourable Member at all. I was congratulating him and I meant it. He gave a good speech. I simply said "What a tough spot to be in" - "what a tough spot to be in," that's all, Mr. Speaker.
MR. SPEAKER: Order! I would say to the Honourable Member for Rockwood that he cannot attribute wrong motives to members of the legislature.
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, what would you say about the speech that was given yesterday from across the way? I have imputed no motives to anybody.
MR. STINSON: We're discussing the honourable member's speech and I thought he was a sportsman.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I suggest to you that the point of order involved here is not the question of attributing wrong motives. If the Honourable Member for Brokenhead stands up in his place and says that he was misquoted, then the question is not wrong motives, the question is whether the Honourable Member was misquoted or not. And if he stands up in his place and says that he was misquoted then I am sure that the Honourable Member from Rockwood-Iberville is prepared to take his correction. But there were no wrong motives intended, no wrong motives were ascribed, unless, of course, 6%.
MR. SPEAKER: I listened carefully to the debate when he attributed motives to the Honourable Member for Morris and I thought maybe it was a continuation of that track, I would suggest that the Honourable Member for Rockwood continue his speech and leave motives and questions of the other members to themselves.
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, I thought that the rules were established, the general custom of the House a couple of days ago and I've heard that made at least three different times across this House that people have been, it's said they were preaching for a call, but if it's your wish Sir, I withdraw the statement. And I can continue?
MR. CAMPBELL: Yes, you go ahead, don't be too rough with them.
MR. BEND: Now then, but, but this waste...
A MEMBER: Don't tell the truth about them...
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, the one honourable member that's sitting so uneasy in his chair today, who would relish this situation so much, is silent as the tomb; the one man who can make the best of this situation, the Honourable, the Leader of the C.C.F. who has demonstrated in the nine years that I have been here that you'd really make capital out of the situation we find ourselves in. Two fingers from the Leader of the Opposition.
Now then, I'll get back to the point I wanted to make, what's all this nonsense about killing the bill? You know what you can do with the bill. The administration knows what they can do with the bill. They can take it into their caucus room and they can come in and say "Fellows, we thought it over and you're right, it should be 5% - it should be a bill that will do what it should." That's all they have to do, and, Mr. Speaker, they know that too.
But what would that entail? No. 1, it would entail this, it would entail a matter of pride. It would be definitely established that the reason that bill was changed was right on the floor of the House. This group that they have been able to paint over the years as forgetting about the farmer was the one that brought it out. They were the ones that caused the change, not our honourable friends to the left. Right here. And that's a bad one to have to swallow. Pride. Pride goeth before a fall.
Now then, getting back to the points also--this Bill is supposed to do things to help the farmer, and we agree in principle that it is right. This nonsense about killing the Bill, that's not so. We put one point. Do you agree with 5% interest or you don't? There's your question. Let's have your answer. Your answer so far has been to shout "Kill the Bill. You try to kill the Bill."
The Honourable Member from Hamiota says "It's delay, this is delay," and I ask him so far this Bill has been held not any more than twenty-four hours on this point. Is it worth twenty-
four hours to argue for 1% for the farmers, or isn't it? That's the answer, and that's what we're doing right here, where this can be, where everybody is here to hear it, where it will get coverage and everything else so that people will know exactly what the question is. And you have it, is it six or is it 5%? That's the simple question.
The points that the Honourable Member from La Verendrye made are valid, because my area is an example. If anybody travels seven highway early in the morning and sees the traffic out there, two-thirds of it farm traffic, two-thirds of it farmers who haven't been able to make a living on their farms, coming in here to do part-time work. And here's a bill to help the farmer, and you say - "Oh, no, you're all right, you haven't had any trouble, no trouble that you have to run in and out twenty-five or thirty miles to make a living - so we set you outside the bill." And you try to argue, these gentlemen try to argue, Mr. Speaker, on that side of the House that this is a good Bill for the farmer the way it is. We simply call the shot, change it to 5% and we support it wholeheartedly. That's all you've got to do. Change it to 5%.
MR. S. JUBA (Logan): Mr. Speaker, I first might clarify the position or the location that I possess in this House. Although I may sit on this side of the House does not necessarily mean that my views are shared by the management of this side of the House. I think, in due course of time, as I have done in the past five years as a member of the Legislature, I have voiced my political independence. I have supported both, at least the three parties, on measures that I thought were of interest to my constituents. And I shall continue to do so, Mr. Speaker, although I do sit on this side of the House.
I had no intentions of speaking on this particular bill, but it would appear that at this time, that there is a considerable amount of time being wasted in discussing the matter before us. I think the bill is very clear. In my opinion, I feel that the government are of the opinion that the borrower should pay for the cost of administering the loan. And I think it is only fair the government also went on to say that they can reduce or can increase the rate of interest. There's nothing wrong with that. The market fluctuates, we all know that. So there's nothing wrong with such a cause.
If, after they have had some experience with this particular loan, then they can determine what the rate should be. They could either drop it or increase it so there is nothing unreasonable. And I hope that I am not giving the members of that side of the House the impression that I am going to the defence of the Government. I think time will tell that when I feel the Government should be rapped on the knuckles, I will be the first one to do it. I think that in the past five years I have displayed my political independence and I shall continue to do so. But when I say that there is nothing unreasonable in the wording of this bill in that the interest rate can be decreased or increased. But I can say this, and especially to the member that is so concerned and has spent so much time in calculating the cost, the
value of 1%, I would like to say this: What would the cost be to the farmer if this bill is delayed?
A delay of this bill will cost the farmers of Manitoba a tremendous sum of money which would make 1% insignificant and I think, the member will certainly appreciate that point of view. Now, I'm not going to argue on this bill at all, other than to say I have never in the past been accused of wasting too much time in this House, but it would appear there is a considerable amount of campaigning for votes being carried on at the present time, and I venture to say that if the members of the press were not present, this bill would have passed when it was first introduced...
A MEMBER: How about that, Mr. Speaker, how about that?
MR. JUBA: Going to ask a question?
MR. BEND: I only question to say that what has just said by the last speaker is ten times worse than anything I said. He imputes motives to all of the members of this House.
MR. SPEAKER: I would think that he would have to name members of the Legislature before he would be accused of imputing motives, the Legislature as a whole is different.
MR. JUBA: Now, I didn't get that, Mr. Speaker, did I say something wrong?
A MEMBER: No, go ahead.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Logan has the floor and I cleared you on a statement that you were reputed to have made.
MR. JUBA: Well, I, Mr. Speaker, I'm going to close now by saying I think it would be wrong for us to vote down this bill and I feel that we should support it. At least we have some evidence that there is some attempt being made to help the farmer as far as loans are concerned. And I think that, in all fairness, to the farmers and to all the members present, that we should get on with the business and not campaign for votes.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member for Brokenhead last night made a clear and concise statment on behalf of this group that it is our opinion that at this stage the bill should go to committee, and therefore it is our intention to vote for a second reading. I think everyone realizes that this is a difficult field for a provincial government, this matter of farm credit. Just as the other field, of the industrial development fund is also a somewhat difficult thing. Everyone realizes, I am sure, the limitations that there are upon the provincial jurisdiction so far as these matters are concerned. That is why the Royal Commission that sat in the province of Saskatchewan recommended against the province entering this field. Now, for these
reasons alone I think that it would be advisable to have discussion at the committee stage. Changes can be made and very often are made in committee. And it is much easier to have changes effected in committee than on the floor of the House. And there are reasons for that. In committee one may speak as often as he wishes and there is, I think, a different atmosphere in committee. There is more of an opportunity to accomplish one's purpose. There is more give and take. On the floor of the House, there is a tendency to score debating points and impute motives, of course. That's why the Speaker is called upon so often in a debate of this kind to make rulings.
When the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville spoke, he made charges against the Honourable Member from Morris, that the former Independent who now sits as a party member, had a weak case and that's why he had to shout so loud. Or did he refer to the Minister of Agriculture in that connection? Well, I think my honourable friend shouted quite a good deal this afternoon himself, and he claims that he had a strong case. He made some reference to the old story about the preacher with his marginal notes about H.L.H., and I think perhaps he was following that practice himself.
Now, it has been said here that people have been preaching for a call and pleading for votes and all the rest of it, and I suppose it's natural in the heat of debate that charges of this kind are often made. And I've indulged in this pastime myself more than once, I'll admit it.
A MEMBER: I'll say you have!
MR. STINSON: But I think, generally speaking, we in this group have attempted to be responsible, and that we have always attempted to secure the best legislation possible for the people of this province whether they are workers or farmers or engaged in any other type of occupation. Therefore, I think that we should now have a decision on this matter - let this go to the committee and hear from people from the outside. There are no doubt, many others who wish to state their views - the people who are not able to state their views in this chamber. And I for one would like to be able to listen to those who have opinions with respect to farm credit. The farm organizations have thier own ideas about this matter. And I think that we can make a better decision and have a better discussion in committee than we can now. Our position is made perfectly clear. We are certainly not going to change it. The oratory of my honourable friend from Rockwood-Iberville hasn't moved me in the slightest and...Because it was so lacking in logic. So, Mr. Speaker, we urge that the decision be made now and that it should go to the committee.
MR. SPEAKER: The question is: The amendment to the adjourned debate that Bill No. 8 be read a second time, amendment to that motion. Are you ready for the question?
HON. STERLING LYON (Attorney-General): Mr. Speaker, if I may, as a non-farmer member of the legislature, address a few words to the amendment which has been moved by the Honourable
Member from Ste. Rose. I think, at the outset, Mr. Speaker, it would be wise if we looked for a few moments at the actual wording of the bill itself. The claims of oratory which have been leaping across the way from the other side of the House, I think that perhaps some of the honourable members over there have found the paper burned up and a wee bit difficult to read. And I would therefore suggest and commend to some of the honourable members on the other side of the House, Mr. Speaker, they look first at section 8, sub-section one, clause K of the Bill; and they will find in that section, section 8: "Loans made under this Act are subject to the following conditions," and then clause K says: "Subject to subsection 8, interest shall be payable on every loan at the rate of 6% per annum not compounded" -- subject to sub-section 8! And then if the honourable gentlemen, Mr. Speaker, will look at sub-section 8, they will see in quite plain language: "The directors may by regulation made by by-law decrease or increase the rate of interest to be payable on loans made after the making of the regulation, but no such decrease or increase affects the rate of interest on a loan made before the making of the regulation." In other words, it is not retroactive.
Now, in the face of these very clear sections of the bill, Mr. Speaker, we have the Honourable Member from Ste. Rose, the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville, the Honourable Member from La Verendrye, saying on second reading of the bill that it should not be read a second time. Do they realize, Mr. Speaker, what they are saying?
MR. CAMPBELL: That is an incorrect statement.
MR. LYON: I ask the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition to read the amendment. Of course it goes on to say "but be it resolved that such and such and such and such..."
MR. PREFONTAINE: Yes, yes!
MR. BEND: ...Partial quotation.
MR. LYON: The principal point of their amendment, Mr. Speaker...
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, that still isn't the correct interpretation.
MR. LYON: The principal point of the amendment, Mr. Speaker...
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order. If my honourable gentleman is going to quote it, let him quote it properly. And I have a right to insist on that.
MR. LYON: That Bill No. 8 be not now read a second time.
MR. CAMPBELL: Now, my Honourable Friend.
MR. LYON: ...Be not now read the second time but that it
be resolved within the opinion of this House the rate of interest charged on loans to farmers should be not more than 5%. In the face of what I have pointed out to you, Mr. Speaker, they come forward with this sham of an amendment; a fraudulent amendment, I have no hesitation in saying it; a fraudulent amendment because they realize, Mr. Speaker, they realize quite well...
MR. GREENLAY: Order.
MR. LYON: They realize quite well...
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, I believe the Honourable the Minister is out of order calling this amendment fraudulent, and I request that you look after our rights on this side.
MR. LYON: Mr. Speaker, it appears fraudulent to me. I may be wrong.
MR. SPEAKER: I would suggest that Honourable the Attorney-General do not use the term 'fraudulent'.
MR. BEND: Retract it! Retract it!
MR. LYON: What appears to me...
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, my request was that the word fraudulent be retracted.
MR. LYON: I retract it, Mr. Speaker, if it bothers my Honourable Friend. They have produced this, in the face I say, Mr. Speaker, of what is obviously a clear - two clear sections in this Bill. Now, I don't know how long they were grovelling in their pack-sack of political refuse to come up with this amendment. It offends against reason and logic. It is deliberately, premeditatedly intended to delay the implementation of this bill and to thereby delay this help which is needed by farmers across Manitoba.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, I ask you if that is an imputation that my honourable friend can make? Is that not an imputation against the good faith of the members of our group--that we would deliberately delay...
MR. ROBLIN: Do you not deny this delay?
MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order! It is not against the rules of the House to delay a bill, but maybe not very good managment. But is well within the purview of the members to delay a bill if they choose.
MR. LYON: And that's what I have said, Mr. Speaker, that they are delaying it deliberately and premeditatedly.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, the only point of order that I
am making is that when my honourable friend says that we are deliberately delaying and imputes political motives for doing so. Now, surely, surely he should not make those suggestions.
MR. SPEAKER: I would suggest that the Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition permit the Honourable the Attorney-General to continue his speech. He has made his point.
MR. LYON: Yes, and I suggest further Mr. Speaker, that by their tactics in this House they are ascribing little or no intelligence to the farmers, the farming community of the population of Manitoba. Because I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that despite all of this talk about "We're the knights in shining armour out to save you from this terribly Tory government and from 1%" -- despite all of this talk, the farmers of Manitoba, I suggest Mr. Speaker, have enough common sense and intelligence, and memory as well, to know that this government to do something which the people across the way, Mr. Speaker, failed through procrastination, through lack of - through misopportunity, whatever you want to call it, failed to do during their over-long term of office. And I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker...
MR. ROBLIN: We act and they talk.
MR. LYON: ...that there is a need in this province, there is a need in this province for complimentary farm legislation of this type. At long last this government is fulfilling that need and it ill behooves, I suggest, members on the far side of the House, after ten, or was it thirty-six years, of doing nothing to now come forward with an amendment of this sort designed for their own purposes to delay and, perhaps, to defeat this Bill at this stage. And I need not lecture, Mr. Speaker, I need not lecture the Leader of the Opposition and some of his colleagues as to what the purpose of an amendment is at this stage of the second reading of the Bill, because they all know all too well, perhaps, much better than I, Mr. Speaker, that at the second reading of the bill you are discussing the principle of the bill. And it is at that reading of the bill that the House determines whether or not it accepts in principle what the government has laid before it for it's consideration. And what did they do? Well, they come forward and they say that this bill be not now read the second time. And we suggest immediately that that kills the bill. And of course, they throw up their hands in horror at that, Mr. Speaker, because despite all of their manoeuvres they didn't realize that they were getting themselves into this position. They didn't want this - the last thing that these people want, Mr. Speaker, is to put themselves into a position of challenging this government.
SOME MEMBERS: Hear! Hear!
MR. LYON: And little did they realize, Mr. Speaker, and it had to be pointed out to them by the youngest member in the House, the Honourable Member for Brokenhead, little did they realize when they moved this amendment that it might also have the effect of
delay--the bills on education, industrial development, witner unemployment and all these other matters which the people of Manitoba indicated rather clearly to us on the 16th of June that they wanted done. I don't think, Mr. Speaker, that the people on the other side of the House quite realized what they were doing when they moved this amendment. They can now disclaim as indignantly as they wish that they meant no mischief at all, that they were only attempting to do something for the farmers of Manitoba; but one minute we hear them say: "We don't oppose this in principle," the next minute they say: "Well, why didn't you let the Canadian people Farm Loan Board at Ottawa do it? Mind you, we don't oppose it in principle but we still think that you are not doing the right thing." Now if that is their feeling, let them have the intestinal fortitude--that's spelled "G-U-T-S," Mr. Speaker, let them have the intestinal fortitude to come forward and say: We do not believe in this bill in principle. Let's not have any of this shilly-shallying around. Let them come forward on a matter of principle and say, we do not believe in this bill in principle.
MR. BEND: He's delaying the bill. He's delaying the bill.
MR. LYON: They know very well, Mr. Speaker, that rates of interest, as I have pointed out, can be adjusted downward as the need presents itself. By regulation. They know very well, that it is much better on the market today a flexible rate. If their amendment is true, if it's truly meant, Mr. Speaker, why do they not go on to suggest that the board be restricted from making any adjustments in this rate by regulation? Why do they not suggest that as part of their amendment? No, the amendment is silent on that point. Silent completely. And I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that we can draw our own conclusions as to why it is silent on that point.
I sometimes wonder if one defeat at the polls could have reduced a once great political party, a once great political party, to using devices of this kind to frustrate the obvious will of the people of Manitoba. And if one defeat did that to them, Mr. Speaker, behold what will happen to them the next time they meet the people.
MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order!
MR. LYON: And now Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member from Rockwood-Iberville, has described our allegation that the amendment will kill the bill as so much clowning. In support of his position, the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition last night introduced to us the rules of this House and from the explanatory notes at the back of those rules - not from the rules, of course, but from the explanatory notes, he then proceeded to give us a shorter lecture as to the reasons why the Government would not necessarily have to suffer a defeat if this amendment were carried and if there is repetition, I think, to read again, Mr. Speaker, what the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition says - I am quoting now from Page 68 of those same rules. This question may be debated, that is the second reading, and if the motion is negative, technically, technically, it does not destroy the Bill
but merely postpones the second reading and we had the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition telling us last night, Mr. Speaker, that we knew very well what we could do with this bill if the amendment carried, that we could re-introduce the bill. Now, Mr. Speaker, he didn't carry on to read this one - the question having been that the bill is now read a second time and it is open for the member in charge of the bill to move for second reading on a subsequent date. If, however, it is desired to get rid of the bill altogether, there are two amendments by which this can be effected - either one of which may be put.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, if I may correct my Honourable Friend, I did read that part. I read that part, I read that part, Mr. Speaker.
MR. LYON: I accept the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition's explanation but I will continue to read what it is in his source book. If, however, it is desired to get rid of the bill altogether there are two amendments by which this can be effected - either one of which may be put; the first is that the bill a second time six months hence - that is commonly known as the six month bill and the other that the bill will be not now read a second time and setting out a reason why it should not be read and you will notice, Mr. Speaker, that it is the second of the two alternatives. The two alternatives, where it is desired to get rid of the bill altogether that they have fault. The effect of reading a bill the second time is to commit the House to the principle of the bill - only in the case of public bills but it is not bound to accept the bill as it stands all the same.
Now there was the source but for my Honourable, the Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition - that was the source book from which he quoted to us and based on the statement, the Honourable Member from Rockwood-Iberville says that our statement is so much tommy-rot.
Well, Mr. Speaker, I commend to the Honourable, the Member from Rockwood a few more authorities on this question. I would refer him first, I am sure he is familiar with this source book Beauchesne Parliamentary Rules & Forms, Section 384, bounded to page 277 of the latest or 16th edition. When the motion that the bill be now read a second time is negative, it is competent for a member to move immediately without notice, that the said bill be read a second time on so many months hence. On this motion being agreed to, the Bill takes its place on the Order. The same practice obtains with respect to the Bill at any previous or succeeding state. I would point out to the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition and the Honourable Member from Rockwood that from this, they might derive a wee bit more support for the position which they take but not too much, but not too much. Let them then go to Jenning - Yes, it would be enough to satisfy the honourable member across the way because, of course, they have no intent that this should go through as their amendment proposes. Jenning's at Page 248 says this, Mr. Speaker, referring to what will happen to an amendment on second reading. The next stage of the second reading, this is the stage in which the principle of
the bill for the information of the honourable members opposite is decided. The member in charge of the bill moves that the bill be now read a second time. There is, of course, no reading but a general debate on the merits of the bill ensued. The method for opposing is usually not just to vote in the negative. Such an opposition if successful merely shows that the bill is not then to be read a second time. Consequently, it is usual for an amendment to be moved. This either proposes to leave out the word "now" and add the words "in six months time" or to add the words "inconsistant with the principle of the bill." The former disposes of the bill for the session, the latter indicates why the bill should not be now read a second time. For instance, on the Parliament Bill of 1911, Mr. Austin Chamberlain moved as an amendment to the motion that the bill be now read a second time and these were his words: "To leave out all the words after 'that' and at the end of the question to insert the words "this House would welcome the introduction of a bill to reform the opposition of the House of Lords while maintaining its independence as a second chamber but declines to proceed with the measure which places all effective legislative authority in the hands of a single chamber and offers no safeguard against the passing of the law of grave changes without the consent and contrary to the will of the people." Technically Jennings has indicated that if this amendment had been carried, the proposal to read the bill a second time should have again been made by the government as the Honourable Leader of the Opposition suggests. Technically, it could have been made be the government. In fact, of course, the government would have at once have resigned as Lord Palmerston resigned on the defeat of the conspiracy to murder bill in 1858. There, and then he goes on to explain why he resigned at that particular time. Now I commend the reading of those particular passages, honourable member and members opposite, Mr. Speaker.
Again, in Sir Erskine May's volume having to do with reading, second readings of amendments on second readings. The sixteenth edition on page 530 and here he applies to the type of amendment which the Honourable Member from Ste. Rose has introduced, the word "reason amendment." Undoubtedly, Sir Erskine didn't have a contemplation amendment of the type proposed before the House today or I am sure he would have changed the appellation by which he refers to it under here, the effect of carrying a reasoned amendment. According to modern practice it would appear to be unlikely that after a reasoned amendment has been carried on the second or third reading of the bill, any further progress would be made. It it is merely desired to draw attention to a matter incidental to the legislation attended by the bill or to affirm a principle which could be incorporated in the bill at a later stage, this purpose could probably be better effective and he goes on to enumerate the ways in which it could be better effective.
It must be borne in mind, however, that the amendment if agreed to, does not necessarily arrest the progress of the bill and here is what the Honourable Leader of the Opposition might have quoted to us again in furtherance of his case. I state his case for him to show how wrong it is. It must be borne in mind, however, that the amendment if agreed to does not necessarily
arrest the progress of the bill the second reading of which may be moved on another occasion. The technical, again, the technical effect of such an amendment is to supercede the question for now reading the bill a second time and he goes on to explain why. The practical result, again, Mr. Speaker, the practical result of carrying such a resolution varies according to its character and importance, the support it has received and the means there may be of meeting it and, on certain occasions, have had far reaching political effect and then he goes on to point out how in the conspiracy to murder bill in 1858 where an amendment, similar to the one which faces us today, was passed by the House, Lord Palmerston's government resigned immediately. He goes on to point out again that in the case of the town enbankment land bill in 1872 where there was a similar amendment moved the bill was not, could not and was not brought forward again by the government of the day. Of course, that was not a bill in which there was any question of confidence involved.
I would refer the honourable members also to Keith on the British Cabinet System, the 1939 edition, around page three hundred, where they will see and see most clearly that if the government chooses to treat an amendment such as this as a matter of confidence it is within the sole purview of the government to do so and I would refer them also to Jennings on cabinet government where they will find the same statement set out. I think, I say aloud again Mr. Speaker to myself, I wonder, I wonder seriously if the honourable gentlemen opposite have all of these thought in mind when they move this - what was intended to be - a rather innocuous amendment but which has now contrary to putting us on a stick, left them in the position, left them in the position where they are either going to deprive the farmers of this much needed legislation immediately or they are going on the other other hand to vote for the principle of the bill for which they say they have no disagreement. Now, what are they going to do? The practical effect as I have pointed out from these authorities, the manifest is clear. The practical effect of their amendment if supported, would be to defeat this bill for this session.
There is a further practical effect of this bill which I need not spell out of this amendment which I need not spell out in words to the honourable members opposite. They can consider now, Mr. Speaker, whether or not they are still the knights in shining armour who are riding forth to defend the farmers from one percent. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, by the time this debate is finished they will find that their charger is lame, their armour is tarnished and their lance somewhat blunt. The amendment, I point out, Mr. Speaker, the amendment as I have indicated before is designed not for the benefit of the farmers of Manitoba but surely for political purpose. It has been engineered for that purpose. The amendment, I am sure, Mr. Speaker, will fail, but this once straight party across the way which proposes it will soon fade from the political scene in Manitoba, I am even more confident.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, I call your attention to the fact that the Honourable Member, the Honourable Attorney-General, just at the conclusion of his address said, once again, that this amendment was moved for purely political purpose. Now, Mr. Speaker, I just want it understood that if the honourable gentleman is going to be allowed to use those terms, then we are too. If we're going to discuss political purposes here I think perhaps we both could have a little bit to say on that subject, too. However, I don't intend to follow my little friend into that practice. I think when he has been here a little longer he will perhaps find out that it isn't an advisable one to pursue. My honourable friend has tried very, very well and has made a very good job of trying to prove that this is a vote of want of confidence in the Government if this amendment is carried. I agree with him on one thing, that's the one where I think he was quoting Keith of the Cabinet Government. I would agree with him on this, that it is quite within the right of the Government to treat any such motion as a defeat of the Government if they wish to. I think what my honourable friend is arguing so carefully, vehemently on is to try keep his honourable friends in this party convinced that it means the defeat of the Government, so that there is no danger at all. If he were convinced yesterday, I'm afraid that he was a little nervous that they had become unconvinced and he has to strengthen their ardour a little more, once again.
Well, I must tell my honourable friend that I have not had the opportunity of reading either newspaper yet today so I'm not, at the moment, mouthing either the sayings of Tom Kent or Carlisle Allison.
I do want to say to my Honourable Friend, the Attorney-General, though that I think the case that he was quoting where the citation of one of the authorities he read was on the conspiracy to murder case - is that right? I want to assure him that this isn't a conspiracy to murder this bill. We're, once again, we're saying that we'll -- we once again - it's just a case of the fact that this is the way, it's the way we followed in this House for many years, of putting something on record. My honourable friend, the Attorney-General has quoted a lot of authorities there and certainly they are good authorities. Always the interpretation tends different and I don't argue with him about them. I want to quote him another authority that if he had been in the House just this last session and on other occasions as well, he would have remembered and recognized this as an authority because I quote him the Honourable First Minister. He argued, just at the last session, that a motion of this kind did not defeat the bill and I don't recall the debate - I think it was on the horse racing regulations. Whether it was the first racing bill themselves or whether it was one of the - I think it was the horse racing - yes, I believe. One of the horse racing bills, I believe. However, I haven't looked it up but I remember my honourable friend arguing this and, because, quite frankly, I agree with that position. As a matter of fact, if my honourable friend on that side wished to discuss any delaying tactics, look up the - look up the journals of last year and see what happened on many occasions.
Now, we're not trying to delay the bill. We can keep on here and after all, we've said many times before, a few days one way or the other don't matter. They don't matter like 1% in any case. We can keep on talking theses matters over and the fair question is whether this thing should be done or not. The sensible way for the Government to act would be when they are faced with this amendment, if they find this so difficult they think we're in trouble over it. Well, I don't feel in the least bit of trouble. It's confidence for the Government to have decided to either adopt the suggestion or to bring in some other one that might be satisfactory.
I want to give notice to my honourable friends now that we are not through moving amendments. I don't think it is necessary for us to move them all at this stage but we'll have several amendments and, my honourable friend, the Minister of Agriculture and the Attorney-General, have hit on one of the very clauses we certainly are going to object to and will be moving amendments on. Not in here. We could very well and I would willingly have moved one here to that one with regard to the Board having the authority to reduce or increase the interest rate. I think that's wrong to leave that. But, just because a few things, quite a few perhaps, are wrong in the bill, we're not, we're not opposing it, this amendment is not intended to oppose it but one of the real principles, certainly one of the important matters in fact, will be the interest rate so we chose that one as the amendment that we would move. Now, I can count, honourable friends, the Minister now who is in charge of this bill, that there will be several amendments moved. We don't intend, we could delay the House, if our honourable friends like to use that term, by moving them one after the other and skimming equal publicity with regard to this. We don't intend to do that. But, we do intend to move them in committee and I'll have something to say on that question when I speak on the main resolution rather than at this stage and at this stage, I certainly won't discuss the point of order if it wasn't for the fact that the Honourable Attorney-General has taken so much time to do so and I think I should reply with what he has said at that time.
Now, he tried to intimate to this House, surely his memory was at fault, but he tried to intimate to the House that I had slipped over part of this quotation. I read down to the part that he said I left out. If, however, it is desired to get rid of the bill altogether, there are two amendments by which this can be effected. Either one of which make it potent. I read the first one; that the bill be read a second time six months hence and I mentioned that that was our customary six months choice. It used to be employed a good bit in this House and I mentioned the other one very briefly and said that that was one that had not been used here. But I want to go back to the first part of that again. I have no wish in the world to refrain form leading any part of it that honourable members would like me to, but I want to get back to the part that the Honourable Attorney-General seems to think he made some remarks on with regard to the point at issue. Let me read it again. When the order of the day is read for the second reading of the bill - this is what he said is the
informative part not the rule itself, but it is something which is intended to explain the rule and practice. When the Order of the Day is read for the second reading of the bill, the Speaker will put the question as to whether it is the pleasure of the House that the bill be now read a second time. This question may be debated and if the motion is negative, now my honourable friend pays some attention to that part if the motion is negative. Technically it does not destroy the bill, but merely postpones the second reading. In practice, the negativing of this question usually has the effect of killing the bill, the question having been now read the second time. Now, my only point is that if the question is negative that is a vote, a straight vote against the bill, not an amendment moved at this time. Again our honourable friend the First Minister moved a motion. I don't remember the occasion but I can look it up. With regard - yes, it was with regard to regulations - yes, it is contained in this speech of the honourable colleague was quoting from this afternoon. That was the Regulation Act - An Act to amend, to Consolidate The Regulations Act. Now it wasn't, of course, in the same words as this one, but it followed the same construction. My honourable friend, I say to the Honourable Attorney-General, I don't think that he and I need to argue this more, any longer. I'm sure, I'm sure that I'm right, prophet sure of that. I'm sure that I'm right. Not as sure and not as often as my honourable friend, the Leader of the House is, but I'm quite sure on this occasion at least that I'm right. But my honourable friend does not need to worry about it, I haven't succeeded in screwing up the courage of my honourable friends. So, so, he's alright anyway, and if he's willing to leave it there, I am too.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, needless to say this has been a highly educated debate and I must say I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have been interested to hear what my honourable friend from the other side has had to say and it has been one of the most amusing afternoons that I have had for some time. Because I listened to such an eloquent speech from the Honourable Member for La Verendrye and I really must commend him on many of the splendid arguments he has used, in favour of farm credit. In fact, I hope he won't think me bold if I say that he used many of the arguments which I myself have employed in this House from time to time. I was so interested to hear the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville and all the other gentlemen over there explain their entire confidence in the fact that we should have some form of agricultural credit and their willingness to concede the scar after the election. They were quite happy to have the new Provincial Government proceed with this measure. We are gratified to have that expression of support and confidence, though I must say that elections have a remarkable and happy faculty of changing the opinions of even the most stubborn people.
I can recall how often we had introduced measures in this House in connection with farm credit, and how often my honourable friends opposite had produced the most convincing arguments at least to those that sat on this side then, that we should do nothing and in line with their customary attitude and attack on
the problems of the Province and particularly, agricultural problems, they did nothing. Now that we are in their places we intend to do something and I must say that I feel sorry that my honourable friend, the Member for La Verendrye, was not here in other times because he moved me today, and I'm sure that had he been speaking to the then First Minister, he might have moved him. I must say that some very eloquent speeches on this subject have failed to move him in the past and failed to move the Honourable Member of Ste. Rose and any of those gentlemen that occupied the benches of the Official Opposition. But all is changed! We now have the happy state of affairs and I venture to prophesy, Sir, that in spite of their concern about this and that and the other thing, that when the chips are down and we get to second reading - if we do - some seem confident that we will - that in this, as in the other legislation that the administration will produce, we will find that they will be right along with us. And I think, that is a well advised course on their part because the people have spoken. Let's get that straight. The people have spoken. They want this legislation and, I believe, they are going to get it.
Now there have been a number of things that have been said that one would like to comment on and I'm not going to speak on them all, but I would to get to the meat of the objections that are being raised on the other side and their argument is that the rate of interest as set out in one part of the bill is too high. Well, Sir, that is a perfectly argual point and I admit that there is a good deal of sense in some of the suggestions that have been raised in respect to the rate of interest. There is a good deal to be said for a different rate of interest for different types of activities including those in which the farming industry is engaged. We, in the Government, Sir, are very well aware of that fact, because we explicitly included in our bill some power that would enable the rate in existence to be changed. Now, my honourable friends object to that, they say it should be in the bill fixed. Well, if they can follow the bank rate around in Canada by means of a legislative enactment, I congratulate them. I don't think that anyone else can. They evidently are insisting on it being fixed somewhere where they are depriving the Government or the administrative body of any opportunity to having a flexible rate. It is well within the grounds of possibility that the Board will recommend that establishing young farmers requires a special rate of interest. I, myself, am very keen for that kind of thing but they are going to have that done away with if they have their chance. We've heard that we're not to be allowed to change this except by statute. Well, Sir, that is an arguable point, but I don't think that it is one that should be supported in all cases. I, myself, have opposed regulations and will continue to do my best to see that bills are specific where that can conveniently be done in the term of an efficient administration. Then I'm going to tell my honourable friend this, that maybe he thinks that this question of regulations has been forgotten by the Government because at the regular session of this House, Sir, we will be introducing resolutions and arrangements that they failed to do in the whole of their thirty-six years, in connection with regulations,
which, I think, will be a marked advance on anything in this House, or any other House in the Dominion of Canada. I'm serving notice on my honourable friends that they won't take their stand on the question of regulations we are willing to meet them at more than half way, because we are going to do something which we trust will be a habit not with our honourable friends - we're going to act. When we see something that needs to be done, we are going to have the courage to do it and we're going to take the risk, all the criticisms and take the risk of all the objections that my honourable friends see fit to raise.
Let's get back to the interest rate. The bill provides that it can be varied. Now, I'm sure the honourable member of Ste. Rose knew that when he moved his resolution. I'm positive the Honourable Member of Ste. Rose knew that. I think that the Leader of his Party knew that. I'm sure they read the bill. They know that these features are in it but for reasons which perhaps we may come to, they decided to ignore that part of the bill and to concentrate their attack on that section that has to do with the 6% rate. Well now, Sir, that's legimate. Let's not complain about it. They have the right and if they conceive it, the duty to bring in resolutions and amendments on second reading if they think that is the way it should be done. But, I ask my honourable friends, if they really think supporting the principle of the bill as they do and knowing that this kills the bill as in effect they know it does, I ask them, Sir, if they are being completely straight forward with us when they tell us that they were motivated by the highest feelings of conscience and concerned for the agricultural industry to bring this particular point before us in this way because it isn't necessary at all. My honourable friend knows - how well he knows - my honourable friend in the back row - I'm sure he is aware of this fact that this is the position of the bill we are going to have committee meetings on this point, Sir, all these sections of the bill will be discussed, amendments can be made and if they feel in conscience bound to make such an amendment they have their opportunity to doing so without killing the bill but they didn't choose to do it that way, Sir. Oh, no! There must be a reason why this particular method of bringing their point to public attention has been chosen. They must have been motivated by some compelling circumstance that made them decide that they were going to bring this matter of protest to the public or by killing the bill, when they could have done it in committee outside the House after we had heard representation by our good friend, the Member for Rockwood-Iberville. I'm sorry that he isn't here. He's made his -- Oh, there he is. I looked in the wrong place. Oh, I don't know, that looks like a good place for him anyway. He says it is a matter of pride, this stubborn, hard-hearted government, pride goeth before a fall, those stiff necks will not be bent, he says. Well, I'm not so sure about that. We're easy to get along with. We have legislation before the House, some suggestions have been made in second reading, not married to resolutions that kill the bill, Sir, but suggestions such as made by my honourable friend, the Member for Portage la Prairie, who gave a very good example of the right and constructive way to bring these measures before the
House. He made an excellent speech on another topic the other night, Sir, and he made some proposals for changes which we heard with a very willing ear.
We are conscious, Mr. Speaker, we are conscious of the fact that this legislation of ours or the other bills that are before the House, are capable of improvement. There is no false pride here. We are not concerned, Sir, to take our stand if they discuss it's right and everybody else is wrong. That we can't be...or we go to the country. Nothing of the sort. We are going to listen Sir, with attentive ears, to constructive suggestions that are placed, in the way in which constructive suggestions can be made and my honourable friends opposite know how that can be done. They didn't choose to do it that way! No, they had quite another object in view. They wanted to bring in a resolution to the effect that this bill be not read a second time for the reasons that are added on to the balance of the resolution. Our honourable, the First Minister, said "don't pay any attention to that - that doesn't mean the end of the bill, that just means that it has been outlawed a second time" and he read from this book to prove his point. He said, if the motion on second reading is negative, technically it does not destroy the bill, but we're not debating the motion, but we are debating the amendment and the amended motion and he went on - I don't know whether he went on to read the part that he skipped over so lightly last night - but I'll take the liberty of reading it again, although it has been once read by my honourable colleague here who so effectively dealt with the argument that had been raised on this point. If, however, our Rule Book says it is desired to get rid of the amendment altogether, there are two amendments by which this can be effected. Either one of which may be put. The first is: that the bill be read a second time six months hence and the other: that the bill be not read now, be not now read a second time and setting out a reason why it should not be read. I submit, Sir, that the amendment that we have before us now, is precisely the one described in the last terms that I presented to the House now. I believe that to be the case and if that is the case, I think our Rule Book states the situation very clearly.
I say to my Honourable friend that they are perfectly well entitled to make speeches in the House about interest rates. They may even have a very good point. I don't deny them that that might be so, but, I say to them, that if they wish to be helpful and constructive in getting a law that is good and they say they have ideas for improving it, and if they have, we will accept them and I tell them that now, because there is no false pride on this matter on our part, I assure you. I say, let them bring forward their ideas, Sir, in a constructive manner and they will be met in the same spirit on this side of the House, and of that I can give them my assurance.
On these other bills that were brought here, we had objections...Yes, but they were not put in this form. They were put in a form that is constructive and which we can deal with, but it is clear from the precedents that's been the custom of the House that the form in which this suggestion is put does effectively
kill the bill, and I don't think, Sir, there is any argument that can stand up to that particular aspect of this matter. So, I say to my honourable friend, we've had a fine debate; there may be other people who want to speak; they are welcome. I hope, however, that you will come to a debate this afternoon, because some 15 or 16 of us have already spoken, but I suggest this, that if this amendment carries, I think that I may say in conscience that we on this side must regard it as a defeated bill. The precedence of the House, the precedence of the Rule Book, what it clearly says, indicates that that is the case. Now, the House can do what it wishes, but if the honourable members opposite have their way, the bill is killed and there is no argument about that. If the bill is not killed and this amendment does not carry and we go to committee on this matter, I can assure my friends that we will dismiss from our minds any of the taunts and challenges of pride and cowardice, afraid of changes, afraid to accept a good idea when we see it. We will enter the Committee with all those things erased from our mind. We'll deal with the question on its merits and if members of this House, Sir, can suggest an amendment to this legislation or any other which meets the test of common sense and good government, we, Sir, will be happy to accept it.
MR. MOLGAT (Ste. Rose): Mr. Speaker, will the Honourable First Minister reply to the question? The question is this, is it not quite proper, quite correct, quite in order, if the Government wishes and is prepared to reduce the interest rate from six to five, or at this time or anytime during the debate the Minister of Agriculture, or himself to get up and say that it will reduce it 5%, is that not in order? Is it not in order as well for them to take the bill out from the Chamber today and present it back tomorrow showing that amendment?
MR. ROBLIN: My honourable friend asks a very good question. Anyone on this side or any other side can say what they are going to do with the bill, or what they think about it. The bill is before the House, it is in printed form. Our intention is to bring it to Committee. If we have to come up here and make a statement on every criticism that is raised about the bill as to what we are going to do here and now, we prejudge the issue. My honourable friend, is as anxious as I am, I presume, to hear in Committee what people to whom this bill applies have to say about it. Now, they might very well come in to us and say something like this and I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if it happened. They might say: Par example, le credit agricole de la Province de Québec, 2 1/2% interest for beginning farmers in that Province. A very attractive plan - I know that it appeals to me. There may be some who come before us to say that that is the rate that we should have, and who knows but what that is the rate that we should have, and we will give those consideration. My honourable friend wants the Government now to commit itself to a fixed point which, in my opinion, is better left flexible, and certainly should not be decided a priori here before we have the opportunity to hear these things in Committee. When we hear them in Committee,
we will approach the matter entirely with an open mind.
MR. SPEAKER: The question before the House --
MR. T. P. HILLHOUSE, Q.C. (Selkirk): Mr. Speaker, if no one else wishes to speak on this motion, I wish to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Springfield, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I intend to oppose this motion for adjournment. The reason I do so is this. Some 18 members of this Chamber have now spoken. All parts of the House, I think, have been pretty well heard. We are anxious to get this thing to Committee so that the public can have their say about it. I urge the honourable member, if he has a point to make, that he make it now. Some 10 or 12 people, or perhaps 8 or 9 have spoken this afternoon without preparation and extemporaneously. I know the ability of my honourable friend. I urge him to do the same but as far as a motion is concerned, I don't propose to support it.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, if this motion is debatable then I would like to say that I have a good deal of sympathy with the position of my honourable friend, the Leader of the House, at the moment, because I think that the amendment has been quite fully debated. I haven't consulted with my honourable, my colleague, but I would think that as far as my own suggestion would be concerned that we allow the amendment to be voted on, but I must say at this time that I certainly intend to ask to adjourn the House if no one else does to speak on the main motion because there are some things there that have come up during the first of the debate that I did not want to raise on the amendment and as far as I am concerned, if my honourable friend would agree to let this go at this time, and then we would take the adjournment on the other one, if this is satisfactory, because I think we have dealt long enough with this particular aspect.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, I am inclined to agree with the Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition, that if we take the vote now on the amendment then we should in the interest of free discussion be permitted to continue the debate on the main bill and I think that's a reasonable settlement of the matter.
MR. ROBLIN: I am quite agreeable to that, Sir. Only one member has spoken on the main motion and that is the member that moved the amendment. Therefore, there is plenty of room for discussion and argument on the main motion and I am quite agreeable to that, but I do think we should get the vote now on the amendment.
MR. HILLHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the House I would ask to be allowed to withdraw my motion.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member has the permission of the House. Question before the House.
MR. R. TEILLET (St. Boniface): The question is put and I think that we have listened to two long speeches on the other side this afternoon. I would like to be clear on this point. If I understand those two speeches, I mean the Leader of the Government, the Attorney-General, what they have said, in effect is this - we have decided to treat this amendment as want of confidence, if I understand that correctly.
MR. SPEAKER: The question before the House is the amendment adjourned debate reading Bill No. 8, second time. Are you ready for the question?
[The Speaker, following a voice vote, declared the amendment defeated. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Call in the members. The question before the House, the amendment to the motion that Bill No. 8 be read a second time.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, I think that we have to be perfectly clear. I - I think that you stated it correctly. The amendment to the motion.
MR. SPEAKER: To make it perfectly clear, the motion before the House is the amendment to the motion that the bill be now read a second time.
MR. MILLER: No.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, just to have it perfectly understood, I think the best way would be for you to read the amendment and then it would be perfectly clear.
MR. SPEAKER: The amendment reads, that Bill No. 8 be not now read a second time but that it be resolved that in the opinion of the House the rate of interest on loans to farmers shall be not more than 5% per annum. That's the amendment to the Motion.
[A standing vote was taken, the result being:
YEAS: Messrs. Bend, Campbell, Clement, Greenlay, Guttormson, Hillhouse, Hryhorczuk, Jobin, Lucko, McDonald, Miller, Molgat, Prefontaine, Roberts, Shoemaker, Shuttleworth, Tanchak, Teillet, Trapp.
NAYS: Messrs. Alexander, Boulic, Carroll, Cobb, Corbett, Cowan, Evans, Gray, Groves, Hawryluk, Jeannotte, Johnson, Juba, Lissaman, Lyon, McKellar, McLean, Martin, Orlikow, Paulley, Peters, Reid, Ridley, Roblin, Scarth, Schreyer, Seaborn, Shewman, Stanes, Stinson, Strickland, Swailes, Thompson, Wagner, Williams, Willis, Wright. ]
MR. CLERK: The Yeas - 19. The Nays - 37.
MR. SPEAKER: I declare the motion defeated.
The question before the House is the main motion, Bill No. 8 be now read a second time. Are you ready for the question?
MR. C. L. SHUTTLEWORTH (Minnedosa): Mr. Speaker, if no one else cares to speak, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Carillon, that the debate be adjourned.
MR. SPEAKER: I didn't hear your seconder. It has been moved by the Honourable Member for Minnedosa, and seconded by the Honourable Member for Carillon, that the debate be adjourned. Are you ready for the question?
[Following a voice vote, Mr. Speaker declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: The adjourned debate of second reading of Bill No. 12. The Honourable Member for Lac du Bonnet.
MR. A. A. TRAPP (Lac du Bonnet): Mr. Speaker. The contents of this bill and the proposals contained therein deal with a very important problem - the very important problem of seasonal unemployment that has developed over the past number of years, or I should say, in the recent years. The reasons for which are the economic ills of our nation. The Unemployment Insurance benefits that our labour force has earned in the more liberal times is running out, and we are faced now with the problem of our people who find themselves in the position where they must meet their bills, must meet the needs for every day expenses and with no recourse for employment from where they can draw their income.
We are pleased to see that the Federal authorities have admitted their responsibility in this matter by offering to pay 50% of the payroll in order to help to bring employment to the people of this Province. I commend the Government for entering into an agreement with the Federal authorities and for proposing to enter into agreement with the municipalities in providing and trying to provide employment for the people of our Province. I sincerely hope that the Municipal authorities will avail themselves of this opportunity to find some form of employment for the ratepayers of those municipalities. Certain questions, of course, arise in the bill that I hope will be cleared up in the Committee. Questions such as, who will actually benefit from this Bill? Will it only be those who will be classed in the indigent category? Will the farmers of our Province who have not been able to sell their grain, will they also be classed as unemployed? Will the fisherman who have to deal -- who are actually regulated to a great extent by Government regulations and by seasonal -- by seasons, will they be entitled to employment in these projects? These are questions that I am sure will be cleared up.
In the Eastern section of the Province stretching from the United States border going north in the rural areas, our problems
are marked somewhat different than those you will find in the urban area. That does not go to say that the unemployment situation is not as bad there as anywhere else. The economic problems of this country affect the work of the people throughout Manitoba, and, more so in that area that stretches along the sub-marginal lands east and north of here, the reason for that being that the land holdings are not as great by the farmers living in those areas, and the income not being as great, and that seasonal employment has had to be found in the winter operations such as pulp wood camps, logging camps and any other form of employment that might be available. This has been a very important source of income - a supplementary income, supplementing the farm income of the people living along in these areas and the problem of unemployment this year would seem to be that it will be even greater than it was last year.
There is much that this Government can do to alleviate that problem. Through the offices of the two utilities that do so much work in the eastern section of the Province - the two utilities being service utilities, the Manitoba Telephone System and the Manitoba Power Commission - through these two service utilities, many people in the eastern Manitoba and Northern Manitoba have gained employment for the past year in providing the power poles -- power transmission poles and providing the telephone poles so that these two utilities can go on with the work of providing the service to the people of Manitoba. This has been a very important source of employment for the people of Eastern Manitoba and Northern Manitoba, and that is one way that the Province -- that the Government of this Province can certainly take great steps in alleviating the unemployment situation, because in that field not only is the unemployment situation alleviated, but much needed service will also be provided to the people who reside in these areas. The service of telephone -- the facilities of a telephone have not yet reached the homes of all people in Manitoba and to a large extent in the unorganized territories and municipalities in the eastern and northern area. A well planned program between the municipalities, the Province in local government districts, and in organized Municipalities, could do much to give these people that type of facility and provide employment as well. The very same can be said for the Manitoba Power Commission. There are still areas in this Province that do not have Hydro or the services of Hydro. These areas lie in outlying places and probably do not apply to farmers to any great extent, but they certainly do apply to our tourist industry. We still have not the facilities of power in all tourist camps in the eastern section of the Province and north. This is a very important thing if we are to encourage the touring public to stay at our places that we do so much to advertise. Here is a field wherein the Government can really do an awful lot. The tourist establishment in the Whiteshell, the Falcon Lake district east of the Lac du Bonnet area, all the way in the northern area, these are all areas that need hydro development, or rather the service of hydro and this is the opportunity where the Federal authorities will pay 50% of the payroll costs. This is the time when these programs should be implemented so that these people can take the
advantage and get the advantage of this kind of a program and by the same time, giving employment to those who need it. I think it is a matter that has been spoken of very much. It is a matter that has been discussed quite frequently with the Honourable, the First Minister. It has been mentioned quite often by the Honourable the Minister of Mines and Natural Resources, and it is admittedly a problem that has to be faced in the very near future if we are to build our tourist trade into the kind of proportions that we think we can.
I say here, now, here is the opportunity to give our people of Manitoba the opportunity to work - this is the chance. We can put our lines, clear our roadways now, and put our poles in the ground during the winter months - these are things that are possible. I sincerely hope that there will be close co-operation between the municipalities and the Provincial Government in matters whereby a line has to run through unorganized territory in order to get to a municipality. These are things that will have to be worked out by the various departments and I believe that that can be done. I hope that we will be told, possibly in the Committee stage, where and how many municipalities will avail themselves or have indicated that they will avail themselves of this type of plan and program.
I would like to know, also, whether people in these certain areas, outlying areas, have been contacted as to their advice and suggestions on what could constitute a program for unemployment -- to solve the unemployment program. Now, all these things are quite possible and we look forward with hope that these matters will be met.
However, there is one disturbing thing, Mr. Speaker, and that is that while -- and when I say that the Manitoba Power Commission can do much to give the people of our Province that do not have their power facilities now that the Government of this Province can do much to give the people that kind of service now, and when I say that this is the time, this is the opportunity to give the people in the outlying districts that do not have telephone service -- that this is the time now.
There is one disturbing thing about it all, and that is that I am told that these departments, these utilities, this year are not purchasing any poles. The Manitoba Power Commission, I understand, is not purchasing one hydro pole in the Province of Manitoba. The Manitoba Telephone System has reduced the number of contracts and the quantity that they are purchasing this year.
Now, certainly that is not in the interests of the unemployment situation. Certainly that is not in the interest of the people of Eastern Manitoba, who have found this a very important source of employment, a very important source of income. Surely, this matter should be reconsidered because in the production of hydro poles, from the very time that the tree is felled, it has to be felled by a man. The time that it is taken out of the bush to a road that it can be put on a truck, it has to be done by a man, and from there on the whole process all the way through. Surely, all this means some solution to our unemployment situation and it means an awful lot to the people in the Eastern section of the Province and the Northern section, who have been so dependent on this source of income.
The same applies with the Manitoba Telephone System decision to cut down on the number of poles that they will buy or purchase this year in this Province. That is a direct blow to the people who are engaged in this industry. And it would do well for the Province and do well for the Government and do much more better for the people who have been engaged in this type of work in the past year, to possibly change their policy, because most certainly we haven't reached the end in our need for hydro poles. Certainly, this Province that has just grown up in recent years, with the electrical program that was instituted by the past Government, certainly all requirements have not been met. And if the honourable Ministers in charge of those departments can say that they have enough poles, maybe there are enough poles for this year but are there enough for next and the year after? And if the rural electrification has covered almost every area in the Province, surely the roads that are to be built, that our honourable First Minister says will be built into the north and further north and into all these different areas, certainly they will be serviced by the hyrdo facilities. And I am quite disturbed by the fact, that, while so much is being said about the unemployment situation, that here is a Government with two service utilities that can do so very much to help the situation, that they cut down in the demands for the materials that give employment to an awful lot of people in our Province.
I would ask the First Minister and the Ministers of his Department to reconsider their actions on these matters, because it means an awful lot to the people who have been so dependent on this source of income. There is no criticism to be levelled at any Government that want to deal, or brings in measures to deal with the situation that we are finding ourselves in--in these past years and I for one have none to make, other than what I have said. I certainly hope that the citizens of our Province will be given every opportunity to gain employment so that they can meet their obligations with their heads up and we will
certainly not oppose this bill in any way.
MR. W. B. SCARTH, Q.C. (River Heights): Mr. Speaker, I would like also to speak on this bill and as a novice in the House, may I congratulate the honourable, the member for Lac du Bonnet, for his well phrased address just made.
As a novice, Mr. Speaker, and being very much unschooled in parliamentary procedure, I come here humbly in fear of what might take place and after hearing the complications that can arise. But, I will say, Mr. Speaker, and you will have to give me marks for this, that I have read, and I believe I can understand, as a novice, what is contained on the bottom of page 68 of The Rules and Orders of Proceedings and the top of 69. I won't try to sell them to the House any more, but I can understand them.
Mr. Speaker, when we, we novices come into this House and take our seats, and then when we go into various committees and works throughout the building, and I am not alone, we find ourselves confronted with many documents, reports of commissions, Hansards, which, in part, is more difficult to read than the commissions, other rules, and then we get a whole sheaf of bills and we, the poor innocents, are supposed to go over these and then try to look intelligent about it. The only way, Mr. Speaker, that I can approach a bill is read it over carefully and then ask myself number 1 question; does this bill make common sense and is it a just one? And secondly; does it meet the purpose for which it was designed and for which it was introduced? Now, that may be a simple approach but it may not be too wrong.
I have listened yesterday, with great interest to the very dignified speech of the Honourable the Member from Portage la Prairie in regard to this bill and I am well aware the honourable member is well versed in municipal administration, perhaps better versed than any other member of this House and I was particularly interested when referring to paragraph four (2) of the bill, that is the part of the bill which provides that by-laws of the municipalities, the agreements and the raising of funds as normally requested, do not need the concurrence or consent of the Municipal Public Utility Board.
Now, as I understand the Honourable the Member for Portage, he was against that provision and notwithstanding his knowledge of municipal procedure, I must sharply disagree with what he has put forward in that regard. The reasons are obvious. The honourable member knows and must know that the machinery whereby a municipality goes to the Public Utility Board for approval of a measure such as a by-law for raising money on debentures and so forth is slow, it is unwieldy and--and cumbersome, and if those honourable members who have been mixed up on that in town councils won't agree with me, then they have a wonderful, they have had better luck than I have ever had.
And so, Mr. Speaker, we have a Bill here which is intended to short cut that long and monotonous going through the board, and I am not critical of Municipal and Public Utility Board, that is a quasi judicial body, which must hear the facts and make its decisions or give its orders on the facts and it is necessarily slow, just as a court of law is slow. So therefore, Mr. Speaker,
this Bill has done the obvious thing and has taken the short cut so that the municipalities would not have to go to the Board.
But there's a second question - but there's a second reason as to why the municipality should not and could not go to the Board. Supposing the Board who look at the facts of a municipality's finances should say, "No, you, the Municipality of X, are not in a position, a financial position to take on further indebtedness or issue debentures". Then what is the result? The Minister would be powerless to proceed to give relief to that municipality. In other words, the Municipal and Public Utility Board would render nugatory all his efforts in that municipality to render aid to them, to those men who need relief. And mark you, Mr. Speaker, it's been my experience that those municipalities, for the most part, which are the hardest up financially, have also the biggest problem and the most expensive problem for unemployed relief. So let us do this. Don't let us get into some mess whereby we've got to go into some machinery going through a Public Utility Board. The Honourable the Minister of Labour, with his staff, can inquire just as readily into the finances of a municipality in half the time, and just as accurately. He can deal with the subject. The poor overworked Municipal and Public Utility Board shouldn't have this thrust upon their shoulders over and above what they've got.
So I say this, Mr. Speaker, let us get this Bill working so that we can work fast; so the Minister can go to a municipality or the municipality can come to him if the occasion demands, that relief can be given in a matter of a few days and not six months after next Tuesday. So let us not clutter up this Bill by other thoughts, but leave it along the form as it now is in that regard, and let us get it working. I thank you, Mr. Speaker.
HONOURABLE JOHN THOMPSON (Minister of Labour): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable the Attorney-General, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared it carried. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, we have not reached the end of the Order Paper, but it may be that the honourable member who is scheduled to speak next would rather wait till later on, so if it does meet with the general wish of the House, I would be prepared to move the adjournment. I move, Mr. Speaker, that the House do now adjourn and stand adjourned until 8:30 tonight.
I'm sorry - 8 o'clock. The wish is father to the thought there.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried, and the House adjourned until 8:00 o'clock in the evening. ]
Page revised: 2 July 2009