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PROGRAMME ÉLECTORAL DU PARTI LIBÉRAL DU CANADA



Date: août 1953

Les libéraux (PLC), qui gouvernent le Canada sans interruption depuis 1935, sont dirigés par le premier ministre sortant, Louis Saint-Laurent, lors de la campagne électorale de 1953. Profitant d'une situation économique favorable, celui-ci fait le tour des programmes que son gouvernement compte mettre de l'avant s'il est réélu, insistant notamment sur les mesures sociales ainsi que celles qui s'adressent aux cultivateurs et aux pêcheurs.

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The Liberal party is making only one promise. And that is if you decide that we are the right people to carry on your afIairs we will do our utmost to serve you as weIl as we would our own individual families.

We are not going to make extravagant promises to get votes and we are not making promises which future conditions might prevent us from implementing.

We do, however, have a programme of things which we would like to see carried out and which we will do our best to work for. We think what we have in mind is realistic and will appeal to the native good sense and reason of the Canadian people.

The first head is taxation and expenditure. The Liberal policy is to pay as we go and reduce the national debt in good times, to go slow on new expenditures and to continue reducing tax rates as much as possible.

The second head is federal-provincial relations. The Liberal policy is to offer voluntary tax rental agreements to aIl the provinces which will place those with limited resources as well as the wealthier ones in a sufficiently strong financial position to carry out, by themselves, the functions assigned to the provinces by the constitution.

The third head is the constitution of Canada. The Liberal policy is to work out, in co-operation with the provinces, a method of amending our own constitution, in ail respects, here in Canada, which will fully safeguard the autonomy of the provinces and give the utmost legal protection to our sacred constitutional rights with respect to education and the use of the English and French languages.

The fourth head is internai security. The Liberal policy is to maintain the drastic legislation to protect our institutions, our defence establishments and essential industries from subversion and sabotage which is now on the statute books, including emergency powers to deal quickly with unforeseen and unforeseeable dangers, but the Liberal party is opposed to legislation to, control men's political opinions.

The fifth head is trade. The Liberal policy is to use every available means to maintain and expand Canada's external trade and, to that end, to encourage the removal of trade barriers generaIly.

The sixth head is floor priees. The Liberal policy is to maintain floor prices legislation to give farmers and fishermen the kind of security given to wage earners by unemployment insurance.

The seventh head is employment and labour relations. The Liberal policy is to maintain a high enough level of employment so that no one who wants to work and is able to work will have to go very long without gainful employment and to help meet the hazards of unemployment with unemployment insurance.

It is also Liberal policy to encourage collective bargaining; fair employment practices, and non discrimination in employment under federal jurisdiction. The eighth head is housing. The Liberal policy is to continue to give to housing the high priority which has made it possible for Canada to provide more housing units proportionately than any other country since the war.

The ninth head is health insurance and social security. The Liberal party is committed to support a policy of contributory health insurance to be administered by the provinces when most of the provincial governments are ready to join in a nationwide scheme, and meanwhile to maintain and improve health grants to improve provincial health services.

It is also Liberal policy to go on improving the overall social security programme, including the Veterans' Charter, when circumstances warrant and the resources are available.

The tenth head is transportation. The Liberal policy is to construct the St. Lawrence Seaway, to complete the Canso Causeway and the Trans- Canada Highway, to improve sea and air services particularly in the coastal provinces, and to encourage improved air and rail services to open up our frontiers.

The eleventh head is the conservation and development of our natural resources. The Liberal policy is to respect provincial jurisdiction but to offer federal co-operation through scientific and economie research, technical surveys, and, where appropriate, federal assistance to land, forest and water conservation projects.

The twelfth head is national unity and national security. The Liberal policy is to do everything we can to maintain unity and harmony among Canadians whatever their origin, language or creed, and to give encouragement to the expression of our common Canadianism in appropriate ways such as the public control of broadcasting, national films and the encouraging of our growing Canadian culture.

The Liberal government recognizes that the first responsibility of the government of the nation is to provide for our national security and it is Liberal policy to maintain our defence effort at a level which will represent Canada's fair share in providing for the collective security of the nations that really want peace.

We in the free world must continue the build-up of our defences until we can be reasonably sure that they are adequate to preserve peace. But that does not mean we should rebuff peaceful gestures from behind the iron curtain. We should explore every possibility of better relations while remembering that peace is likely to come only through strength and unity among men and nations of goodwill.

THE FISHING INDUSTRY

In the last session of the Parliament just ended, the government recommended another measure whose aim was to benefit the fishing industry by removing some of the financial hazards which are attached to it. The Fishermen's Indemnity Fund, which has just taken effect here in the Maritimes on July 6, provides low-cost protection against storm and other losses to fishing vessels and lobster traps.

It is confidently hoped that this scheme will provide a permanent form of protection. Like most Liberal measures this scheme is designed to be extended and improved as circumstances and experience demand and permit.

Only the other day, in an election broadcast, the Minister of Fisheries announced that once the insurance plan is well under way, the government expects to start a scheme whereby fishermen may obtain improvement loans.

AGRICULTURE

The Liberal party established the floor price policy to give the farmers something of the same kind of security against disaster which unemployment insurance gives to industrial workers.

And we have used the legislation, and used it effectively for that purpose, as our recent experience with foot and mouth disease and the V.S. embargo showed.

At the present time the farmers of Ontario are very anxious about this serious outbreak of hog cholera-and so are we in the government.

The officiais of the Department of Agriculture have been giving careful study to the problem of compensation for the animais which have to be destroyed to eradicate the disease.

My colleagues and I expect to consider the reeommendations at the next full meeting of the Cabinet which will probably be held on July 6th.

Meanwhile I feel the farmers are entitled to know that even in the heat of an election campaign, we are giving attention to their problems.

Floor prices are a protection against calamity and disaster if they should come.

But we don't want calamity and disaster to come - and that is why external trade and external markets are so vital to our farmers all over Canada.

The home market is not yet large enough, despite our great industrial growth, to absorb our total production of most farm products and we must have external markets to provide any real security for our farmers.

With the world in the troubled state it is, and with the difficulty most countries have in earning enough dollars to pay for what they want and need to import, we simply cannot hope to avoid problems - and often very serious problems - in maintaining and expanding our external trade.


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