Every ten years the government in Ottawa takes a census of the population of the country. It sends out its census-takers among us, men carrying big books who ask us questions.
The government says that it wants to know how many people there are in the land, their ages, how they live, how much money they earn.
In the past, the government exercised a certain restraint in the number of questions, it asked. But for the census of 1961, our bureaucrats in Ottawa are preparing a very elaborate set of questions — a veritable "third degree".
They — he men with the big books, going from door to door in the name of Her Majesty's government -- are going to have all sorts of questions to ask you, many more than in previous census', and much more intimate in their nature. They're going to quiz you on your sicknesses, your work, your revenues. They'll ask, without any trace of a blush, questions on the fertility of the mother, the age at which she was married, the number of babies she has brought into the world. They are going to want to know what sort of lodgings you live in, the date of their construction; they will want to know all about the bathroom, the toilets, what you heat with; how much is your house worth, what mortgages have you on it, etc. etc. etc.?.
In a word, there'll be little they don't know about the most intimate details of your private life by the time they're finished.
Likewise, investigators will make the rounds of all business establishments getting all sorts of detailed information on the firms' revenues.
Farmers will have a list of 203 questions to answer. How old is the farmer, how many acres is in the farm; how is it divided up, what is it worth, how much is devoted to crops, what does he plant, how much of each, how many cultivating machines has he, how many vehicles, automobiles, what electrical power, how many and what kinds of animals, how many and what kinds of fowl, the value of his agricultural products, etc. etc..
This census is due to take place in 1961. However — during the month of June of this year, they are going to have a test census taken in the two municipalities of Joliette (Quebec) and Galt (Ontario). The authorities say that if the householders appear to be reluctant to answer all the questions of this census, the list of questions will be modified. If the quizzmasters have no trouble getting all the answers to their questions then the authorities will conclude that Canadians are ripe to be milked of all the details of their private lives. The people in Joliette and Galt, are, in effect, guinea pigs. And we might add that the good folks of Joliette are playing this role even further since they have been obliged by their city fathers to submit to having their water fluoridated. Anyhow, if the government decides that they can go ahead with this vast question and answer game, it will mean only one thing: that Canadians have lost their dignity as individuals; that, either through ignorance or an unfounded fear of reprisals, they are ready to submit to being regimented — like a herd of thoroughbred cattle or horses. They are ready to put themselves in the same class as the people of Russia — but voluntarily!
Now, good readers, what are your thoughts on this unjustifiable and insolent prying by the government into the most private and intimate details of our personal lives?
Where is all of this going to lead us? Of what use is it to spend billions to halt the agressive march of Communism if we busy ourselves setting up the same regime here in this country as holds sway in the land of the Muscovites. In Russia, an integral part of the government is the great mass of dossiers which hold all the details of each and every citizen's private life. That is how the Red government, the Communist party under Kroutchev, is able to maintain its iron grip over the millions of serfs we call the Russian people. And here in the Canada of Diefenbaker and the Conservatives we are laying plans to set up just such a system! The national registration of 1940 wasn't nearly as drastic in the types of questions it asked and yet it was made with a view to imposing national conscription upon the people. Why then, in time of peace, should a census suddenly take the form of a furious digging into the minutest details of the individual citizen's life? 14 million of them! Shades of Stalin!
The agents of the government who go about gathering the material for these dossiers are supposed to be under oath not to divulge any of the information they receive. What sort of simpletons does the government take us for? Keep secret something that is written down on documents and then classified in the government archives? Not likely! If our religious counsellors and spiritual fathers were to write down and classify in the churches' records all the information we divulged to them in our heart-to-heart discussions, how many people would continue to go to these men of God for counsel and advice?
What guarantee have we that these very same documents won't be used some day to lead us into some form of a concentration camp? Fantastic, you say? Don't you believe it for a moment. Those who say, "It can't happen here." when all about them they see the inroads Communism is making and the onrush of the Socialistic state even here in our own Canada, are like ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. Who can rule out the likelihood of another war or of a Communist victory? To what use then would the masses of dossiers be put. Or can you imagine what would happen if a Communist government were to come to power in another decade. These dossiers would lead to mass arrests the likes of which you have never heard before. And don't say this is propagandistic alarmism. The Socialist state, we say again, may be closer than you imagine. And what a windfall these dossiers would be for possible spies among our government officials. We've had enemy agents before in very high positions in the government. Don't forget Fred Rose, or Dr. Boyer.
The immediate dangers of such dossiers being in the hands of the government are quite obvious to anyone who stops to ponder over such a likelihood. Remember first of all, that the government is not a vague impersonal being. It is a group of men who have been chosen to manage the affairs of the country. They have been given wide powers to carry out this difficult task. Under them they have a vast army of subordinates known as the civil service. The members of the government change. The civil servants remain. And those senior officials of the civil service have very strong influence since it is upon them that cabinet ministers and members of the government lean, it is they who supply the necessary information for ministers to make their decisions. These men and women rarely appear in the public eye. They, in a sense, are the hidden powers whose true influence is probably not recognized even by cabinet ministers themselves.
Place this great mass of detailed information at the disposal of a group of high and powerful civil servants who are, as it were, indispensable to the smooth running of government. Who is to say that there are not those among them who would use this information to impose upon the people new ordinances, new regulations, new restrictions, all brought into being upon the pretext of guarding the country against this danger or warding off from the people that possible evil? Men love power. It is inherent in their nature. And men who find themselves in a position to influence the Ministers of the government cannot be said to be free from this possible vice regardless of the fact that they occupy a position of the highest trust.
We are not for a moment charging that this or that or the group of civil servants are plotting to tie the Canadian people up in a bureaucratic dictatorship. We are simply saying that all the crises and emergencies that face us today, with all the excuses for laying new bonds upon the people, it is foolhardy to place in the way of mere men and women the potential dynamite that is wrapped up in the detailed dossiers of every man, woman and child which the government projects for 1961.
Bernard Baruch, the so-called "elder statesman" and the economic and financial adviser of numerous presidents of the United States, once proposed a master plan of 7 years for the conscription of men women and children of all ages. This plan would begin with the conscription of labor, then progress by stages to the conscription of time, money, talents and lodging. This plan he proclaimed as the only method for meeting the menace of Communism. In other words, Baruch wanted to regiment the American people to prevent the Russians from regimenting them. A little along the line of going to war in order to prevent war.
There has been talk of a similar plan here in Canada.
Then the London School of Economics came up with the Beveridge Plan, which was to plan every detail of a man's life "from the womb to the tomb', as the newspapers put it. The London School of Economics, incidentally, is one of the principal breeding grounds from which issue forth some of the leading Socialists of the day — men who are occupying important posts in many different countries.
These men have been instrumental in setting in motion the great tide of plannifying what is running high today; the 7 year plan, the 5 year plan, commissions for control, for control of rent, for control of production, for the establishment of quotas, commissions for enforcing arbitration and reconciliation, state health insurance (obligatory), state unemployment insurance (obligatory), control of prices and all the myriad forms of controls and groups for surveillance and offices for enforcing regulations, all supposedly imposed upon the long-suffering population for their own good!
And what better tools for clamping still further restrictions upon the people — for their own good, mind you! — than the masses of detailed and personal statistics which this proposed census of 1961 will deliver into the hands of Socialistic plannifyers.
This mania for planning which has been called plannifying — the tendency to place everything under some sort of a plan which will include the whole subject to a multitude of regulations and restrictions — has afflicted a multitude of our so-called intellectuals, the men who come forth from the universities. It is in fact, a manifestation of the very ancient and very human lust for power and control. It springs up where you have humanitarianism bereft of Christian principles. These people find the misery of the people a marvellous opportunity to impose upon the people "plans" (e. g. obligatory state health insurance) for the relief of that misery. In fact, when analysed, these plans provide no real solution, cannot even be called palliatives, but are merely an opportunity to deliver the population, bound hand and foot, into the hands of the bureaucrats.
We want none of that. We are all of us human beings with the intelligence God gave us and the instinct for liberty and dignity. We are all of us quite capable of working out our own welfare according to our own "plans", providing the obstacles standing between our needs and the immense capacity for production which exists, are swept away."
Social Credit provides the means for obliterating these man-made obstacles which are wrapped up in our existing, obsolete financial system. With the realization of Social Credit principles, there would no longer be any possibility for a mass of power-hungry individuals to descend upon us with a multitude of plans to govern and regulate every detail of our lives. Away with plans and census!
.'. E. MASSECAR
(Sections of this article were translated, freely, from an article by Mrs. Gilberté Côté-Mercier, entitled, "On prépare la conscription'which appears in the July 1, issue of Vers Demain. E. M.)