CANADA AND THE NATIONS
AN ADDRESS BY THE RT. HON. JAMES GARFIELD GARDNER, P.C., B.A., L.L.D.
Chairman: The President, Mr. Tracy E. Lloyd
Thursday, February 19, 1948
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
We cordially welcome to the Empire Club, Canada's Minister of Agriculture--the Rt. Hon. James Garfield Gardiner.
It is interesting to recall that in March, 1935-nearly thirteen years ago--our guest of honour addressed this Club when he was Prime Minister of Saskatchewan-it is surprising what can happen in thirteen years.
Mr. Gardiner graduated from the university of Manitoba receiving his B.A. and also an LL.D. from the University of Manitoba as well as from the University of Ottawa. Our guest of honour began his career as principal of the continuation school in Lemberg, Sask., and has been farming since 1916. At the General Elections in Saskatchewan, Mr. Gardiner was appointed Premier in 1926-re-elected in 1929-then again in 1934. In 1936 our guest was elected to the House of Commons where he has served as Minister of National War Services and was appointed to the Imperial Privy Council, January 1st, 1947.
We recall with both pride and sorrow that Mr. Gardiner's son, John Edmund, was killed in action at Dieppe.
In introducing today's guest of honour, The Rt. Hon. James Garfield Gardiner, P.C., B.A., LL.D., Canadian Minister of Agriculture, let me quote--"the agricultural population", says Cato, "produces the bravest men, the most valiant soldiers, and a class of citizens the least given of all to evil designs".
"CANADA AND THE NATIONS"
Mr. CHAIRMAN: It is always an honour to be invited to speak to the Empire Club in Canada's greatest industrial city. The name of your Club suggests your interest in an Empire which has accomplished more toward the establishment of world peace than any other national or international organization. I would like to express my own opinion which is to the effect that its continuance as a Commonwealth of free nations is more necessary to the future welfare of mankind than any other conception.
CANADA'S INDUSTRIAL IMPORTANCE
Canada has for many years been one of the world's greatest trading nations. I think it is correct to say that at least since the first world war she has moved back and forth between third and fifth place. Much of her trade in that period was in raw materials or those only partially processed, and textiles and capital goods necessary to her development. During the second world war we assumed a high position among the nations in the export of manufactured war equipment. The experience and development of the period has tended to increase the importance of our own industry in supplying our own needs as well as in providing exports to meet the needs of others. Although it is important that our raw materials be made available to countries needing them to maintain their own industry, it is still more important that we utilize considerable of our primary products to employ people now here and to induce others to come to swell our population. It would seem to me that the extent to which we employed our resources and man power to prosecute the war should place upon others the obligation of providing that our industry be employed in performing tasks which that war made necessary.
THREE WAY TRADE
Our trade in the past has been largely with Britain and the United States but anything I say today regarding that should not infer that we have no obligation elsewhere from 1900 down to the present, generally speaking, this three-way trading has resulted in a near balance involving about three quarters of our trade. During the two wars these three countries carried by far the greater part of the Western Democracies' war effort. It is often said that no country can enjoy prosperity if its neighbours are in poverty. I think it can be maintained that no one of these three countries can over a period enjoy its greatest possible prosperity unless it is prepared to co-operate as enthusiastically in peace as in war to assist the others. In my opinion it is important that they continue to assist one another to play a full part in the re-establishment, not only of the economy of Europe but of the economy of each. Our three-way trade should be enlarged and balanced through the same type of co-operation in financing and in exchange of essential resources as prevailed throughout the war. There is no reason why there should not be the freest possible exchange among these three countries, and many others, of essential commodities. If there is to be that free exchange it can only be maintained if exchange difficulties are reduced to the minimum. In short any one nation which is in a position to ease the exchange difficulties of the others should do so. It is possible to put more effective obstructions to trade into effect through currency control than by the use of customs duties.
THE AREAS CONCERNED
It might be interesting to examine the relative importance of the area in Europe west of Russia including Great Britain and North America. The two areas combined have less than one-third of the population of the world. That less than one-third of about 600,000,000 people is divided, one-third in North America and two-thirds in Britain and Western Europe.
It is approximately correct to say therefore that under ordinary circumstances about two-thirds of the market for the necessities of life in this area is east of the Atlantic and about one-third west.
The circumstances are not ordinary, however. We have just spent six years blasting out of existence the industrial plants of continental Europe. In city after city we also blasted out of existence the homes of the people. Only a small percentage of the people was destroyed. The population of Europe outside Russia is estimated to be 20,000,000 less in 1946 than in 1940 or about 5% less. In short the immediate movement of commodities of all kinds eastward should be much higher than ordinary. I would think that if the European rehabilitation is to be effected within a reasonable time the east moving trade should be enormously increased. Instead of the constant movement of manufactured goods from east to west which characterized the period of development in the new world there will be an eastward movement of supplies necessary to rehabilitate Europe. Any effort to create an annual or any short time money balance in this trade will bring disastrous results.
THEY REQUIRED FOOD
That great mass of population crowded into an area not half the size of Canada required food immediately the war was over. This continent, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Africa supplied much of that food and clothing but North America supplied the greater part of it. It should be said for the farmers of this country that they materially changed the nature of their production twice during the period between 1940 and 1946 to meet the needs of Europe. They changed 10,000,000 acres from cereal to livestock production between 1940 and 1942 and changed 8,000,000 of it back from livestock to cereal production between 1944 and 1946. The farmers at their own expense carried 600,000,000 bushels of wheat from 1942 to 1945 to be utilized in rehabilitation. Every one agrees that Canadian farmers did their job as efficiently and well as any in the world both toward the prosecution of the war and toward the rehabilitation of Europe. THEY REQUIRED CLOTHING
That great mass of population required clothing. Much of the fibre necessary to its production was produced on this continent, most of it the United States. The movement of food and clothing must continue.
THEY REQUIRE FACTORIES
The last war was so different from the first that it is difficult to compare the problem of rehabilitation now with that of a generation ago. The first war was a trench war which destroyed a comparatively small part of industrial Europe. The last war was one of movement by land, sea and air, which ignored the country areas and concentrated upon the great industrial and shipping centres. Industrial cities and in a few cases great harbours were blasted into useless piles of scrap-iron and rubble. It is correct to say that industry made even greater changes to meet first the requirements of war and later to meet the changed requirements of rehabilitation than did farmers.
If these hundreds of millions of people are to be put back to work in Europe, the greatest productive area in the world, the necessary equipment for destroyed harbours and industrial cities must be provided from somewhere. Much of it must come from outside Continental Europe and a great part of it could be produced on this continent. If there is complete co-operation both in exchange of resources and provision of credits or dollars, Canada should be able to keep her factories as fully employed during the period of rehabilitation as during the period of war.
If agriculture and industry is fully employed during the period of rehabilitation in supplying Europe, the immediate future should be secure. I think it should be said, however, that great care should be taken by those who control the purse strings as to where the pressure is put on. If American dollars are being provided to assist in the rehabilitation of Europe and if American materials are being provided freely to Canadian plants it is quite proper to suggest that for the time being capital expenditures in Canada on capital goods thus provided for should be limited. But I think great care must be exercised to assure that this is not carried to the point where it results in a curtailment of development in Canada. Although Europe requires rehabilitation, Canada has not ceased to be a new and undeveloped country. If the greatest care is not taken to utilize to the limit Canada's possible contribution toward the rehabilitation of Europe not only Canada, but the world will suffer.
WHAT HAS CANADA TO OFFER
What has Canada to offer which would help in the rehabilitation of Europe? Canada has a great area populated by 12 million people. Europe including Britain has an area half as great, populated by over 400,000,000 people. Canada has vast undeveloped resources of land, sea, forest and mine. The resources of Europe are developed to the nth degree. Canada can provide materials necessary to the further development of the industry of Europe in order that their great populations may be maintained on a higher standard. Canada can provide additional food, clothing and materials to provide for the sustenance of the people. Canada can take our share of those commodities which they can produce to better advantage than we.
But Canada will assist Europe, Britain and herself most by taking from those areas to ours, people. They must lower or at least not greatly increase their populations. We must greatly increase ours if we are to perform the duties toward ourselves and others which warrant our being an independent nation.
HOW MUST WE INCREASE
There are two ways in which we can increase our population. The first is to make it possible for our Canadian born citizens to remain in Canada. The second is to bring others suitable to our climate and needs who can be assimilated with our own people into one common citizenship. The surplus populations who would meet these qualifications are nearly all to be found in Britain and Europe.
WHAT SHOULD OUR OBJECTIVE BE?
Canada has done a remarkably good job of obtaining and retaining population during the first forty years of this century. She opened the century with 5.300,000, and after forty-five years has 12,000,000. The United States opened the last century with 5,300,000 and at the end of forty years had 17,000,000. But statistics show that countries similarly situated to Canada do advance their populations much more rapidly after reaching 10 or 12 million. In my opinion, we should set ourselves the task of increasing our population by at least 500 thousand a year immediately with an objective of reaching a million a year inside of ten years. In others words, we should be driving for double our present population in not less than fifteen years. I base that objective on the results obtained through the development of industry in the United States, and Great Britain, during the last century.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO ACCOMMODATE THEM?
The outstanding criticism is that many of our people go to the United States. A certain group will always go to the United States or some other country with a warmer climate. On the other hand, a certain number will come to Canada from the United States because of the conditions existing here. Over a term of years the numbers will about balance. But we should do those things which will hold the sturdiest and best of our people.
WE SHOULD DEVELOP OUR MINERAL RESOURCES
First we must explore and make known to our young engineers and technical men the wonderful resources of our hinterland extending from the iron deposits of the Labrador coast through the gold and nickel fields of Northern Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies, and radium fields of the territories to the coal, iron and timber resources of British Columbia. We must develop the abundance of water power essential to the mining and processing of our mineral wealth. We must cash in with those countries in the world which find these resources necessary to their own existence to an extent which will wipe out any lack of balance there otherwise would be in our exchange of commodities.
WE SHOULD DEVELOP OUR TIMBER RESOURCES
As one flies West and stops at Kapuskasing one is impressed with the effect secured there by a great American publication in producing paper. The outstanding fact is that water power and pulpwood are found in close proximity. That is true from the Atlantic to the Pacific in a section of country which today maintains only a sprinkling of population. We have only touched the fringe of the possible conservation and utilization of our forest resources.
Our coastal fisheries have a world-wide reputation, but little is known of the possibilities of our inland fresh water lakes. The north is covered by deep cold lakes, everyone of which abounds in fish of unmatched flavor.
I have been speaking of the great unknown north. The glimpses given to us of its possibilities through the efforts of a few adventurous souls are a challenge to every young man who has taken a course in engineering. But the greatest known possibilities are in the area where population has already spread itself thinly. I have been speaking of the great natural water powers of the north and I could speak of the great natural powers of the St. Lawrence water system both developed and undeveloped as a source of wealth which would hold and induce settlement, but you are familiar with that. I want to speak for a few moments of the great agricultural section of Western Canada as related to water because of its potentiality as an inducement to settlement.
Canada's development was at a standstill until she placed in charge at the time of Confederation men with a vision of our possibilities, who linked our country with bands of steel. In the early nineties our development was again at a standstill until Sir Wilfrid Laurier invited into his government a man of vision in the person of Sir Clifford Sifton, who realized that lands without people to develop them were a source of expense. He put the two lines of rusted steel to work rushing in settlers and drawing out food to be shipped to the far corners of the earth. Fifteen years ago little Canadians were talking of shipping these same people out. Twenty-five million dollars has been spent in the last twelve years to prove they and others can live there to better advantage than elsewhere. One hundred and fifty million dollars spent upon the storage and utilization of water in Western Canada and an equal amount spent to harness and utilize water in other parts of Canada will make it possible for us to spread industry across this country to provide a home market for Canadian produced food which would greatly increase the farm population and so improve the living conditions upon farms as a induce Canadians to stay, and others to come.
There is one other matter I want to refer to shortly. It is the need for improved highways in Canada. I think we are the only civilized country in the world which has no system of National Highways. We have some very laudable provincial developments but absolutely no national highway system. We have had our railway builders, our shipbuilders, our aeroplane routes established, but no one has ventured to tramp upon the toes of the provinces by giving us a national system of highways upon which to operate the vehicle which carries more passengers than all others combined. Someone with the vision and courage to develop a national highway 'system would do as much to provide inducement to young people to remain and others to come as any other one thing.
If we all get busy and boost, we can more than double our population in 15 years.
The natural increase would raise our population at least Four and a Half Million, the other Seven and a half would come to us. Churchill said about two years ago that Britain could stand a reduction of seven million people. If we received our share of them and the others from Europe and the United States we would simply be taking our part in promoting a migration of European people, and ideals which has been going on since Columbus discovered America, first under Spanish Dutch, and French leadership but for the past three hundred years under French and British Leadership. THEIR IDEAL
These people descended from Europeans now occupy Western Europe, Britain, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and the greater part of Africa. They are organized as many separate countries. They have made their influence felt in great countries like India and China. They do not wish to extend their territories. But they are resolved that their right to live at peace within their own bounds and among themselves must not be disturbed. It is the group outside the continent which stopped at the English Channel the intentions of some from within to interfere.
Their ideal is expressed in the theory of the Brotherhood of Man. Just as it is the ideal of the anti-Christian Communists to spread their doctrines by force, so it is the ideal inherent in the great migration of Europeans that the Christian injunction "Go ye into all the World and preach the gospel of Peace on Earth Good Will among men" should prevail. The latest proof that the Christian Doctrine will win is to be found in the fact that the erstwhile warlike tribes of India are likely to associate themselves in two great independent nations likely to adjust their difficulties by peaceful means in associations with those of European origin. The services held during the past week to do honor to a great leader laid emphasis upon the fact that Gandhi preached a doctrine inherent in the Christian Beatitudes as expounded in the Sermon on the Mount. It is that doctrine which was carried from. Europe to the corners of the earth by European explorers and colonizers. It is that doctrine which is fundamental in the establishment of the Commonwealth of which the two nations formed in India have become the latest members. It is that doctrine which assures that peoples of different nationalities brought to Canada can be welded into one great Peace-loving nation.