Mackenzie King in 1935 - The Liberals in 1958

Written by Louis Even on Saturday, 01 February 1958. Posted in Politics

In the Fall of 1935, Canada was going through a federal election. The great depression, begun under the Liberal government of Mackenzie King, had kept the Canadian economy in the ditch for the full five-years term of the Conservative Prime Minister Bennett and showed as yet no sign of revival.

The crisis was in no way a case of which party held power. And if the average citizen was inclined to blame the late government and switch back to the Liberal party, Mackenzie King, while taking advantage of this tendency, was better informed. He knew very well that the depression had its origin in the restriction of bank credit causing a scarcity of money in circulation. He was aware of the formidable power wielded in any country by whoever controls the credit and money of that country.

We believe that Mackenzie King realized the import of his statement when, as leader of the Liberal party, he declared at the very opening of the electoral campaign:

"Until the control of currency and credit is restored to Parliament and recognized as its most evident and most sacred responsibility, all talk of democracy is idle and futile.

"The Liberal party believes that credit is a public matter, not of interest to bankers only, but of direct concern to every citizen. A truly national bank, properly constituted, should control the issue of money in terms of public need. The flow of money must be in relation with the domestic, social and industrial needs of the Canadian people."

The interests of the money monopoly are in stark contradiction to the welfare of the people. Mackenzie King knew that also, but apparently determined to challenge this financial domination, he emphatically declared, speaking at Saskatoon:

"If my party is returned to power, we shall make good our monetary policy in the greatest battle between the money power and the people ever seen in Canada."

The ballots cast on the 14th of October 1935 gave the Liberal party an unprecedented majority in the House of Commons. In a broadcast statement on the evening of this Liberal victory, Mackenzie King reiterated his commitment to curb the dictatorship of finance:

The election is an endorsation of the Liberal view that credit is a public matter, not of interest to bankers only, but of direct concern to every citizen.

It is a verdict in favor of currency issue in terms of public needs. There can be no mistaking the demand for a restoration to the government of Canada of control over credit and currency issue. As the campaign proceeded, the issue of the control, by the people, of all functions of government through their representatives in Parliament, and not by any other power, became increasingly clear.

The electorate, has declared that a responsible ministry, not organized finance and international money power, is to control all matters of State.

One may wonder why, after such plain and repeated statements, even with the Bank of Canada fully nationalized, the people were unable to obtain, and have not yet obtained the full financial means to make the available physical possibilities serve their public and private needs.

And today, in 1958, the Liberal party has just held a national Convention to elect a new leader and outline its program for the years ahead. What consideration has been given in this program to the solemn pledges of 1935? Absolutely none.

The Liberal party comes out of its Convention with only one point in its program: win the next election.

What would that give the people? The party was in power for 22 years after the promises of 1935. And all through these 22 years, it did not find another way to feed money to the people but through a six-year world war, followed by cold war, war production on a gigantic scale, and mounting debts for individuals and public bodies.

Where are the politicians of any party determined to enter the greatest battle of all times between the money power and the people? What keeps them from doing it personally right now, whether in power or in the opposition, outside Parliament as well as inside Parliament?

The people's battle against the money power will better be carried by the people themselves, inasmuch as a growing number of individuals come to grasp the issues involved and do their part in uniting the people behind commonly agreed demands. Such is the political formula nursed by this paper as implied in its name, the Union of Electors.

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Louis Even

Louis Even

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