My hon. friend (Mr. Boyce), I am afraid, would be too obtuse to appreciate anything in regard to the great Celtic race to which I have the honour to belong. I ventured to point out, in 1896 and 1898, that our Conservative friends claimed that they were the special friends and patrons of the coal industry, and that that industry would expire if anything should happen to the Conservative party. But, while they claimed to be rampant protectionists, and preached the glory and virtue of protection everywhere in this country, and while they were uro-tecting everything else thev were not giving the coal industry any protection in comparison with what other industries enjoyed. And what was the result. In 1896, after eighteen years of Conservative rule, in regard to the coal industry? We did not have the St. Lawrence market. In the great county of Inverness, represented by my hon. friend (Mr. A. W. Chisholm), there was not a pound of coal raised. It is true these hon. gentlemen talked about giving the St. Lawrence market to the
coal miners of Nova Scotia, but the chief colliery in my county never sent a pound of coal in Montreal during the whole eighteen years the Conservative partv were in power. And, instead of there being continuous employment for the coal miners, what was " the position? In the winter months, there was destitution and poverty in (almost every coal mining town in the province.
My hon. friend from Cape Breton (Mr. Maddin) displayed his talent as a humorist when he declared that it was a satisfaction in those old Conservative days that the men did not work in the winter time, that they had a chance to improve their minds. Unfortunately, the result of that was, that in many of the mining districts of the province, appeals were being made to the charity of the citizens during the latter days of the Conservative party's term of power. And, in 1896, under this beneficent Conservative reign, to which my hon. friend refers, the total sales of Nova Scotia coal anywhere and everywhere in this country amounted to only 1,831,357 tons. There were poor wages in ali the departments of labour in and about the coal mines, and it was impossible for the people to get along. My honoured leader, in 1896, declared to me and to the coal miners and to people interested in coal in Nova Scotia, that under a Liberal government, the coal interests of that province would be carefully guarded. And let me tell you that my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has more than fulfilled his promise in that regard. The great advancement that has come to Nova Scotia industries, particularly to the coal industry, is such that not a man in this country, I care not what his political proclivities may be, who looks at the history and the facts, but must be bound to admit the change that has come over Nova Scotia since my right hon. friend took charge of the affairs of this country and the Liberal party began to dominate the policy of the Dominion. Instead of 1,851,000 tons of Nova Scotia coal being sold, last year we sold 5,485,583 tons, an increase of 3,654,226 tons, or three times as much coal as we sold in 1896 when the Conservatives went out of power. And, as regards the home market, we supplied to it last year 4,203,134 tons, including 2,047,638 to the St. Lawrence Biver market. And we sent it from all the counties of Nova Scotia that produce coal. The county of Inverness which never produced a pound of coal in 1896 last year produced 335,000 tons. In addition to that, the last act of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, when he left provincial politics, was to introduce and carry through a policy of developing the coal industry of the Island of Cape Breton by the inauguration of the Dominion Coal Company. And the fruits Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.
of that legislation are evidenced not only in our own province, but throughout the whole Dominion of Canada. No less than $40,000,000 of capital is invested in the coal mines of the county of Cape Breton alone. In addition to that, the inauguration of the Dominion Coal Company paved the way for the inauguration of the Dominion Steel Company, which is also in our province, and of which we have heard so much of late. But that is not all this government has done for the coal interest, in Nova Scotia. In 1896, in the days when my hon. friends claimed to be the be-alls and the end-alls in rendering assistance to the coal industry, not a pound of coal could be sent from Nova Scotia west of Levis in the winter time of the year. Our coal mines were paralysed when the navigation of the St. Lawrence was shut up on account of the necessity of paying two freight rates over the railroads in order to reach Montreal, the great commercial metropolis. But the taking over of the Drummond County Railway and the extension of the Intercolonial to Montreal enabled our mines to send their products into the city of Montreal during the entire year. As a result of this action the depression which existed in the coal industry during the winter, in the olden times, has completely disappeared, and in almost every instance work is going on in the coal mines continuously, in the winter months as well as during the summer months.
Then my hon. friend told us that the wages of the miners had not improved. I happen to have under my hand a return on this very point-I am sorry my hon. friend is not here. Here is an actual return ot the wages paid in the winter of 1889 in the Victoria mines in the county of Cape Breton. In January the men worked 19 days, in February 16 days, in March 19 days, in April 14 days, an average of 171 days per month. The average daily wage of coal cutters was $1.60 per day during that time. My hon. friend from Cape Breton was member of a board of conciliation which sat last year to settle some dispute between certain employees of the Nova Scotia Steel Company and the company itself, and the investigation brought out the wages that were being paid last year by this coal company. Hand miners at No. 1 colliery were getting $2.51 a day; at No. 5 colliery, coal cutters were getting $2.95, and machine runners from $4.57 to $4.70 per day. The average during the same months of 1898 was $4.50 a day, instead of $1.60 during the time our Conservative friends were in power. I am here to say that there is no industrious miner in the province of Nova Scotia who need lack work in the mines, under this government, under the hopeful conditions that exist, not only in Nova Scotia, but all over this country. There is no necessity for
any industrious miner lacking work in any of the coal mining counties of Nova Scotia. My hon. friend tells us that these miners go to the companies' stores for their purchases. Perhaps I ought to apologize to the House for going into these details, but these statements require correction. The provincial legislature of Nova Scotia, a few years ago, passed legislation peremptorily requiring that all the wages of these men employed in the mines should be paid fortnightly and in cash, irrespective of any relation to the stores. That measure was passed by the Liberal party in the provincial legislature. Not only that, but I am in a position to know that the various operators, men controlling the coal companies :n our province, are anxious to assist the miners in obtaining their own homes. Cottages are being built by the companies foT their miners, in order to provide their men with homes. My hon. friend would like this House to believe that the conditions are bad and objectionable. The fact is that these coal companies have gone to the extent of giving land free to assist their employees to provide homes for themselves about the coal mines of our province. I may say again that unless my hon. friend wants to appear before this House and the people of his own province as a humorist, I can account in no other way for the statements he made last night. So far as the record of this Liberal government is concerned towards the coal mining industry of Nova Scotia, it is one in regard to which we welcome the fullest criticism, and I for one will be glad to hear anything that any hon. gentleman can say about it. I can prove that whereas there was difficulty, whereas there was gloom and despair all over the coal mines in Nova Scotia when the Conservatives were in power, to-day we have prosperity, advancement and development everywhere.
That is one of the reasons why I would like to notice the remarks of my hon. friend from Nanaimo (Mr. Smith), and to point out to the government the necessity for care in observing the attitude of the United States in Tegard to this matter. My hon. friend believes that the prosperity of our coal mining industry depends largely on a foreign market. My hon. friend is misinformed in regard to that. The markets for the Nova Scotia coal mines are in Canada, are in Montreal, where we send over 2,000,000 tons of coal yearly. This talk about Nova Scotia going into the American market is not based upon actual knowledge. I notice that my friend, Mr. Daniel Mann,_ of the Canadian Northern, gave an interview in Philadelphia the other day, and he undertook to dispose of this question with a wave of the hand. My friend, Mr. Mann, may know something about building railroads, but he has a good deal to learn in regard to this coal question. I am here to say that his opinion in regard to what should be done 158
with reference to coal, deserves very little weight simply because he is not properly informed. It is one of the old theories that the Ohio and Pennsylvania people are able to send coal down to New York. It would be a very nice state of affairs if the duty was taken off by the Americans, because then of course Nova Scotia would send her coal into New York and Boston, and we would have coal coming in here from Pennsylvania. Now, these are not the conditions that exist at all. The coal conditions along the Atlantic sea-board are controlled by the coal miners of West Virginia. We do not hear of West Virginia coal coming into Canada. An hon. friend near me says it does come in. Well, that only shows how the West Virginian people are extending their operations; if they can send coal across the lakes, and up to the head of Lake Superior; it shows how completely they control the New York and Boston market. I had an opportunity of being south not long ago, and seeing these tremendous piers where the coal of West Virginia comes down from the mountains to Norfolk, and is carried in barges and schooners along the coast un to .New York and Boston. Any one who studies the situation will tell vou in a moment that the New York market is controlled completely by the coal miners of West Virginia, and that Ohio and Pennsylvania are not competitive factors at that point. The same conditions exist largely also with regard to Boston. The total coal market in Boston is not more than 5,000,000 tons, not much more than Montreal. It might be interesting to the House to see just what these coal mining people say for themselves. You find that the Pittsburg people want to have the duty taken off coal, and West Virginia don't want to have it taken off. I have under my hand a memorandum which the West Virginia people made to the Ways and Means Committee in the United States. This is what , they sav. and the wisdom of their statement will be recognized by this House:
The coal trade of West Virginia has been built up against great difficulties in the way of transportation facilities and competition in the markets, and while the operators have, of course, taken their chances in the markets, and while the operators have of course taken their chances on a revision of the tariff injuriously affecting, perhaps destroying their investments, the fact remains that the business has been created and grown under conditions substantially as they are.
There are $70,000,000 of Canadian capital invested in the coal industry in Nova Scotia in regard to which the same statement might be made with equal truth as the West Virginia operators make in regard to themselves. The business in which that capital has been invested has been created and grown under substantially the present conditions as to tariff and on the faith that
-that practically no more coal has been brought into this country from Canada when the duty has been much reduced or entirely eliminated.
It also shows another thing-that if the duty were taken off bituminous coal it would not help the Canadian people to send any coal into the United States. Then it goes on:
We believe that there is little grounds for the argument that our eastern sea-board markets would be supplied with coal from Nova Scotia, and the coal from West Virginia and central Pennsylvania displaced.
These gentlemen go to the United States government and one group say that they would like to get in here and the other group say that they do not want the duty changed. Every one can see that the question of dealing with coal duties as far as the United States is concerned is not a matter of argument and could not by any possibility be so considered unless there was some idea of a long-term reciprocal arrangement. Then you would have a proposition about which there might be some argument, but the idea that the duty should be taken off in Canada on the theory that the coal purchaser in Ontario is going to get his coal cheaper is the most delusive idea and one that is objectionable-
Yes, at the mine. Well, my hon. friend is telling us what the conditions are now. But, my hon. friend has heard of the dumping clause, has heard of the manufacturing interests of this country coming to this government and asking them to deal with cases where Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.
the Americans had made Canada a dumping ground for their products when they were in difficulty and mv hon. friend will probably find that a changed condition in regard to coal would apply there. But my hon. friend is beside the mark as regards the ordinary everyday consumers of coal. My hon. friend from Nanaimo (Mr. Smith) gave us the figures showing that the imports of bituminous coal amounted to 6,485,000 tons and that of this 4,311,000 tons were imported by railways. I am aware that there is a large quantity of bituminous slack coal imported into Ontario, but there is no onerous difficulty in regard to that because the duty is only 15 cents a ton-a very much lower amount than a good many of those gentlemen who buy that coal ask and obtain from this government by way of protection to the products that they want to sell to the people of Nova Scotia. There were imported into Canada 1,154,000 tons of slack coal and the total amount of coal that came in for general consumption over and above what was used by the railways was only 2,173,481; so that, one-third of the coal that comes into Canada and is used by the ordinary consumer is slack coal on which there is only 15 cents a ton and on the whole quantity of bituminous coal the duty collected from the ordinary consumer in this country is only $1,000,000 or thereabouts. The ordinary coal consumer of this country contributes to the revenue outside of the railways, which occupy a peculiar position, only in the vicinity of $1,000,000. I do not think that is an unfair contribution and it does seem to me that the integrity of this country demands that due consideration should be given to all the industries all over the Dominion. Of course in addition to that, 615,000 tons of coke came into this country, but it came in absolutely free. One result of the policy of this government in regard to this question and in regard to the tariff question generally has been that it has taught the United States people that this country is a country that proposes to do business at its own stand and on behalf of its own people. In the days when our Conservative friends were in power we were regarded as a mere football for American interests and for American statesmen and manufacturers. But the position has so completely changed that the man who sits down and reads the tariff hearings that have gone on before the Ways and Means Committee at Washington rises from the perusal of that document with the conviction that the intervening years have brought Canada into such a position that the republic to the south of us regard us as a brother country practically of equal position and entitled to the same consideration as they extend to any country in the world.
I am neither a fad protectionist like my hon. friend nor a fad free trader. I stand for a sound business tariff such as this government have given this country for the past twelve years, one which is adapted from time to time to meet the needs we have and which has regard to the industrial conditions of the country all over. That, I say is a business tariff and I do not wish to be considered at all as a fad protectionist or a faddist free trader. I hope my position is satisfactory to my hon. friend.
Now, the conclusion at which I wish to arrive in regard to these few remarks is that the coal duty on coal and coal products to-day does not impose an enormous burden on the ordinary consumer and is necessary in order to maintain the proper adjustment of revenue production having regard to the different provinces of the Dominion. Nova Scotia produces very few things that enter into the business life of the rest of the country, and we purchase and purchase gladly from other portions of Canada Canadian products, the result of the efforts of Canadian manufacturers and Canadian workmen. The adjustment of conditions in regard to coal, as it has been made by this government, leaves our province in its proper place in regard to the whole tariff situation. The $70,000,000 invested in that province in that great industry creates a condition which cannot be disregarded whenever any of these problems come up for consideration. The attitude of the American nation to-day with regard to these matters shows that the policy pursued by this government in regard to coal and in regard to all other questions, has earned the Tespect of the great American people, and shows that they take us into consideration to a degree that they never did before when they come to settle their tariff problems and tariff considerations. The proposition laid down by the West Virginia coal miners in regard to this question is one which should be well considered and I have no doubt will be considered by this government in whatever action' may be taken on this question. For myself, I submit that the position of affairs with regard to our relations with the United States 158i
was never better laid down than it was laid down by the right hon. Prime Minister of this country some years ago when he declared that we would send no more delegations to Washington. That policy is one which should be maintained not only in regard to this question, but in regard to all the tariff questions which affect the interests of this country. My hon. friend from Cape Breton (Mr. Maddin) in his speech last night dealt with the coal industry in Nova Scotia, and were he in the House to-day I should like to know from him what is his policy with regard to coal. We have a very aggressive paper called the 'Halifax Herald,' which is supposed to speak for the Conservative party, and for months it has been promulgating the theory of free trade in coal. A distinguished journalist very high in the councils of the Conservative party, Mr. Milner, has been carrying a campaign for what is described as a Free Coal League, but the exact existence of which, unless it is a side wheel of the modern Conservative party, nobody has been able to discover. However, the object of his campaign is free coal with the United States. In 1891 the policy of the Conservative party was reciprocity in coal with the United States, and whether or not they have changed that policy I do not know, but for my part I submit that the record of this government for the last 12 years and the results achieved prove that there is no necessity for changing the existing conditions. Of course, as business developments arise conditions may change which might warrant the situation being reviewed in the common interests of the coal industry and of the people of Canada, but, in my judgment that time has not arrived, and should it ever come I have confidence in the ability of this government to grapple with the question and to arrange it in the interest of those concerned in the coal industry as well as of the coal consuming population of the country.
Then, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Maddin) attempted to show that the exodus of Canadians to the United States is as great to-day as it was under the Conservative government, and he cited as a proof that last year $2,000,000 worth of settlers' effects had gone out of Canada. I took the trouble to look at the official returns and I found that the exact amount was $1,664,662, so that the hon. gentleman was only about $342,000 out. It may, however, be interesting to look at the other side of the account and there we find that there came from the United States to Canada last year settlers' effects to the amount of $6,818,673, and that there were over $10,000,000 worth came into Canada from all countries. This is truly a pleasing change from the days of Conservative rule when the balances were largely against us. My
hon. friend (Mr. Maddin) is a pessimist. He of course followed the lead of the exMinister of Finance, who seems unable to rise above that feeling of settled gloom which has characterised him during the past three or four years in this House. Other Conservative members occasionally do exhibit some feeling of hope and confidence in their country, but the hon. gentleman from North Toronto has settled down to the gospel of pessimism and the hon. gentleman from Cape Breton (Mr. Maddin) seems to have caught the disease. Our people in Nova Scotia do sometimes stray abroad, perhaps because of the adventurous spirit which characterizes the sons of the heather; but, the happy fact is in evidence now that whereas in the days of our Conservative friends they went to the United States, today they are migrating to the fertile plains of the Canadian west. I regret that the sons of Nova Scotia should leave their native province, but if go they must is it not a consoling thought that they go to another part of our own land where their industry and energy are directed to the development of the resources of our own country. One of the things for which as Canadians we should congratulate ourselves during the past twelve years of our national life is that in that period Canadians have been taught to know their country and to feel proud of it; to believe in its great possibilties and to feel a certainty in its future which nothing can shake. Looking forward to the days to come, and taking a retrospect of the years that have passed in this first decade of the twentieth century, no matter what our politics, we realize that in this northern land we have a country lavishly endowed with vast resources, and a people who, not with faint hearts and doubting woTds, but with strong minds and hopeful thoughts are eager to develop these resources and to lay the foundations of a great and strong nation. I am one of those who believe that Canada is but at the beginning of her nationhood, and no matter how gentlemen opposite may cavil, expenditures have to be made to-day and will have to he made in the future to prepare our country for the high rank she is destined to take. The feeling of the Canadian people today, and we ought to be proud of it, is a feeling of confidence in the future of Canada, of confidence in this Liberal party which has governed the country so well and under whose admin-instration unprecedented national progress has been made.
Mr. Speaker, the annual delivery of the budget speech by the Minister of Finance, dealing as it does with the financial affairs of the country and outlining the general policy of the government, opens up such a wide Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.
field for discussion that no member of this House need apologize for expressing in this debate his views on the condition of the country. Before proceeding I want to refer to what has been said by the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) who has just spoken. He told us he did not know what the policy of the Conservative iparty was, but I can assure him that we have had a well defined policy for a good many years, and before the hon. gentleman casts any reflections on that policy I would suggest to him and to his friends that they should endeavour to find some designation for that poor, nameless, characterless, fatherless, motherless, something of a policy which belongs to the Liberal party, and which so far nobody lias been able to christen. The Minister of Finance arbitrarily fixed the population of the Dominion at 7,000,000 and I may say that having given sufficient attention to this question to enable me to give a fairly accurate approximation of what the population of our country really is, I can tell the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fielding) that if he gives the population of Canada at 6,000,000 he will be much nearer the mark, and his deductions as to per capita taxation and so on drawn from the population, would have been much more accurate than they were. These gentlemen opposite claim that they have stopped the exodus of Canadians to the United States but that I most emphatically deny. More Canadians are leaving this country to-day than ever before, and they are being driven out by the policy of the hon. gentlemen opposite. In that connection I wish to read one or two items which I have culled from the newspapers, and which like straws show which way the wind blows:
Toronto, April 13.-'The United States owes much to Canadian nurses,' said Mr. E. F. Stevens, hospital architect, of Boston, addressing the third conference of the Canadian Hospital Association at the parliament buildings to-day on 'Some Points in the Architecture of Small Hospitals.' ' One can scarcely visit a hospital from Maine to California without finding Canadian nurses in charge. In one hospital I visited I noticed a British flag in almost every nurse's room. I asked the superintendent how this was, and she told me that about ninety per cent of the nurses were Canadians. Thus you see that here in Canada I feel among friends.'
This prevails all over the United States. Here is another item which I cut out of a newspaper on the same day:
Seventeen families, all French-Canadians, are reported to have left the vicinity of Farn-ham, 'Quebec, for the United States.
Here is another which I cut out of one of the Ottawa papers this morning:
There are glowing reports of the success cf the Canadian society of New York, which
during the past year added 71 members to its rolls, and endowed a cot at $5,000 in the Presbyterian hospital of New York. Dr. J. J. iMcPhee is the president.
If hon. gentlemen opposite have stopped the exodus to the United States, where are the recruits coming from who are referred to there? To my own personal knowledge, there are young men and young women leaving Canada for the United States on every train that crosses the border, and in most instances they do not return to this country. I admit that there is quite an influx of Americans from the western states who are tempted to come to this country, bonused to come by the gift of $1,000 worth of land. A great many of them are coming, tempted by free land and the opportunity to make money out of the land, but a great many of them have no intention of becoming permanent residents of Canada. I will give an illustration. Being in the town of Moose-jaw about a year and a half ago, while waiting for an early morning train, I met an American who told me that he had come to Canada some five years before and taken up a homestead, brought some of his relatives, homesteaded in their name, stayed long enough to get his patent, speculated in lands in the neighbourhood, made a lot of money out of Canada, and then took his family back to the United States, and he had come over again to collect some money still due to him. He told me that he was a representative of a great many Americans who came to Canada without intending to make it their permanent home, but simply took advantage of the offer of this government to make some easy money and then go back. I do not mean to say that a large number of these people will not become permanent settlers. Once they settle in Canada, they will find it difficult to pull up and go back, but I do say that a great many come without any intention of becoming permanent residents of this country.
To return to the speech of the Minister of Finance. A great many of the apologists of the government have given a great deal of credit to the Minister of Finance for having what they call a surplus. When you have two accounts open, one a running account dealing with the ordinary running expenses of government, and the other dealing with expenditures on matters of a permanent character, it is very easy, if you are allowed to transfer from one account to another, to make your running account balance and show a surplus, and since hon. gentlemen opposite have come in they have made it easier. When the old rails on the Intercolonial become worn out and they put in new ones they charge the new rails to capital account. When a locomotive wears out and they buy a new one, they charge the new locomotive to capital account. This method of transacting business runs through all their accounts, and by doing business in that way it is the simplest thing in the world to have a surplus. I have been somewhat amused at the government and their friends adding up these surpluses year after year. They always suggest to me the story of the man who went to town before Thanksgiving to get a turkey. He bought the turkey, but also bought and consumed a good leal of liquor. But he knew that it was important that he should bring the turkey home, and he started. After rolling and tumbling in the mud a good many times, he managed to reach home, but the turkey was so muddy that it was hard to tell what it was. He threw it on the table, saying: ' Here, wife, are thirteen turkeys.' His wife said: 'You foolish man, when the mud is off we shall see whether there is one or not; but there are not thirteen.' He said: 'There must be thirteen, because I fell down thirteen times, and every time I fell down I picked up a turkey.' Those thirteen turkeys were not more visionary or harder to find than the surpluses of hon. gentlemen opposite. Some hon. gentlemen opposite suggest that it is important to know where the money came from to make the surpluses. I think it is as important to find out where the surpluses are stored and what use is made of them, and I would ask the Finance Minister to enlighten the House on these points.
We have heard a good deal with regard to the policies of the two parties of this country, as to which bears most heavily upon the general public. My own view is that the only rule that we can apply in deciding that question is to compare the amount of money that has been extracted from the pockets of the people under the respective policies. When we do that, and find that hon. gentlemen opposite have taken nearly three times as much out of the pockets of the people as their Conservative predecessors did, we must come to the conclusion that their policy, whatever its name is, has been successful in taxing the people to a much greater extent, both in bulk and in detail, than that of their predecessors. Now, it is not a very hard thing to tax the people. Some hon. gentlemen opposite thought that the Minister of Finance was deserving of a great deal of credit because he succeeded in taxing the people almost to the limit. To my mind, that is something to apologize for, not to pride themselves upon. It ought to be the policy of public men in Canada to take from the people just as small an amount in the way of taxation as possible. I lay that down as a rule, and that was the policy of the Conservative party when they introduced the national policy. Hon. gentlemen opposite seem to be surprised that we should favour a reduction of the tariff under certain circumstances. Let me reply that it has always been the policy of the Conser-
vative party to lower the tariff to the lowest possible point on everything we do not produce, such as tea, coffee, sugar and other things of every day consumption. Then we would set the tariff high enough to give protection to our manufacturers and at the same time take care to see that the general public were not taxed more than they ought to be. Wherever any manufacturer in this country showed a disposition to take more out of the pockets of the people than he was fairly entitled to, we were in the position to cut the tariff from under him and in that way look after the interests of the people. We were more successful in this matter than our hon. friends opposite. They have succeeded in taxing the people abnormally. They have extracted more out of the pockets of the people than there was any warrant for. So much for the difference between the two policies. But some of our friends, when they attack the national policy say that some manufacturers and producers would take advantage of the high tariff and tax the people beyond what they ought to pay. Well, I admit there is always a danger of that, but it has always been our policy, under the national policy, to protect the interests of the general public, and I do feel that these interests were safer in the hands of the Conservatives than in the hands of hon. gentlemen opposite. I need only refer to what we have heard this afternoon from my hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) and the other night from my hon. friend from Nanaimo (Mr. Ralph Smith). The hon. member for Nanaimo advocates free coal; my hon. friend from Pictou advocates the very opposite. Where is the unanimity there? What is their tariff policy-free coal or a high protective duty? Will some member of the government answer that question? I am afraid no one will attempt to answer it. They will not even give their policy a name because they want to make it all things to all men in every corner of the Dominion. In some places, it will be high protection; in others free trade; in others reciprocity with the United States; and elsewhere something else. It is one of those patent double back action arrangements which will adjust themselves to any kind of conditions anywhere.
Hon. gentlemen lay down the theory that our exports and imports are infallible indications of the prosperity of this country. I feel like taking issue with them. To my mind they are an index of the very opposite. I pin my faith to the theory that the nearer you can bring together the original producer and consumer, the better for the country. What is it that makes the farmer the most independent man in creation? Is it not the fact that within the borders of his farm he can produce a larger measure of what he needs than can any other man? What is true of the Mr. WRIGHT.
farmers is true of the country. Given a country like Canada, with all its natural resources, with its minerals, coal and iron, with its timber, fisheries and agricultural lands, is it not a shame that we should take up a policy apparently designed to make us merely the hewers of wood and drawers of water for the people of the south. What are our exports? Are they not simply the raw material upon which just as little work has been performed as possible to get them out of the country. True, we thresh wheat and ship it, and we ship it that way because we could not ship it in the stock. We cut our timber and ship it in logs because otherwise the United States would charge us a duty. If we cut it into boards, they will not admit it free. We are depleting our forests and taking out our minerals as fast as we can, and sending out our raw material to be manufactured some place else, and then brought back to this country and sold at a profit. That policy is altogether wrong. It ought to be the duty of the government to have these things manufactured in this country. If we had not half the exports and imports we now have, we might be still more progressive and prosperous. Why do we have these excessive exports and imports? Simply because we have been content to ship our raw materials out of Canada. Sooner or later we will begin to realize our mistaken policy, and realize it very keenly. The result of that poiiey has been that our young men are going to the United States where they can find the diversity of employment lacking at home. Our young men go to the United States in large numbers, and the only people whom we can keep at home are the boys who are content to go and work in the lumber woods or in the mines. To my mind that policy is altogether wrong, and it is the duty of the government to try and develop those lines of manufacture in which we have the raw material, and the brain and the brawn to convert that raw material into the goods we need. Is there any reason why we could not, if we had a proper poiiey, develop all these things here instead of sending out good money in order to bring into this country goods from Europe and the United States?
There is a feature brought to my mind in connection with this debate with which I wish to deal at a little greater length. Before doing that, I want to say a word with regard to some statements which were made by some hon. gentlemen who addressed this House. The hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McLean) stated that the, people of Canada did not want to go back to the days of soup kitchens, and he intimated that during the time of the Conservative government soup kitchens were a common thing. I want to say to him and to hon. members opposite that there has been more
soup ladled out in soup kitchens in the last two years than in any two years-or any four years-of the Conservative government. In the riding I have the honour to represent, there were more idle men last winter than in any two years of the Conservative regime. In that riding we have three factories closed that were closed within the last year or two-shut up by the policy of the hon. gentlemen opposite. No smoke comes from their chimneys, the wheels are standing still, the workmen rap at their doors in vain, and as they stand they bear eloquent though silent tribute to the efficacy of the policy of the present government. We are hopeful that possibly we may be able to start one of these again, but we are not sure. We had a linen mill started there very hopefully a few vears ago. It went on until the people found difficulty in selling their product. In discussing the matter with the manager, I stated to him that government objected to putting on higher duties, on the ground that the prices would be raised accordingly. He said to me: If the government will give us a little higher duty, sufficient to afford us a reasonable grip of the market, we are ready to give a bond to the government or to anybody in their employ that we will not raise the prices to the consumers of Canada; what we want is the market; the price is all right, we are quite satisfied with the price, but when we put our travellers on the road, they find that dealers are already supplied from importing houses in England, France, Germany, or elsewhere, making it very hard for us to carry on our business. Besides, there is the prejudice against Canadian goods fostered by hon. gentlemen opposite in the years, to them long and weary years, when they were out of office. During that time, they travelled up and down this country-and I charge them with it now-trying to poison the minds of the people against the manufacturers of Canada, calling them robbers, thieves, scoundrels and every name they could lay their tongues to. That is absolutely true; I have heard them say it myself.
I do not wish to be understood as saying that the linen mill is permanently closed. The people are hopeful
that they will be able to go on when they can get rid of their stock, or when the government come to their assistance. What is true of the linen industry is true of others; the people do not ask higher prices, but they ask the market and right there hon. gentlemen opposite and their friends throughout the country are unfair to the producers and manufacturers, of Canada. The manufacturers, as I understand it, do not ask higher prices, they only ask the market, and there is all the difference in the world between these two. Let me give an illustration. I was once in the manufacturing business in a small way, and I take this illustration from the business I know-building wagons: Suppose a small
manufacturer is building one hundred wagons a year and feels that he ought to make $1,000 a year out of it,-he works hard not only with his hands, but with his head. To make the $1,000 he has to make $10 on each wagon. If he can make
1,000 wagons instead of 100 wagons, he will only have to make a profit or $2 each in order to make $2,000 a year, which is better for both parties. The amount of business a man can do is the important matter. A manufacturer in the United States selling in our market, while he has his own market also is at a decided advantage over a manufacturer in Canada who has only a limited market and has to divide it with a competitor, who has an advantage over him in so many ways. I am speaking not only for the manufacturers of this country but for the consumers as well. I believe that, under a proper policy properly carried out, the consumers would get their goods cheaper than they do to-day. I ask hon. members on both sides of the House: Comparing with world-prices, are
the people of Canada getting their goods cheaper to-day than they did fifteen or twenty years ago? The answer must be, emphatically, No; they are paying more in proportion to the prices of the world than when the Conservative party were in power. Hon. gentlemen opposite say wages are up. We have not found it so in the riding I have the honour to represent. I will not say they have gone down quite to the point they reached in the days of the depression from 1893 to 1896. Wages in the lumber camps and work of that kind came down to $18 a month. Of course, at that rate the people were fed. During this winter, wages came down to $20, and, in some cases, as low as $18. But there is one great difference: There never was a time during all the years the Conservative party was in power when men were out of work; they had to take comparatively low wages during some years, but they could get work; but this winter they have had to walk the streets and could not get work. I have never had as many men at my door asking
for employment as last winter. I am not a pessimist; naturally I am an optimist. And I have not used outside this House the facts I have stated. I have never said to one of these men that it was the party in power or the policy of the party in power that was responsible for the dearth of employment. I have never tried to create discontent with the government or with the country in which we are living and which we desire to see prosper. We on this side will not adopt the tactics of hon. gentlemen opposite when they were out of power. Up and down the side lines, and through the press and on the platform they decried the country, and tried to make the people believe that they were being robbed. If we had adopted tactics of that kind at any time within the last two or three years, we could have brought about a condition that would be appalling. But we think more of the country than we do of the government benches, and we will not follow the example of hon. gentlemen opposite with regard to this matter.
Now, I have said a word or two with regard to emigration from the country. Before I take up the matter of public works, I would like to refer briefly to the subject of immigration into Canada as to what we are getting in this country in place of the young men and women who are going to the United States. Perhaps I cannot illustrate this better than to read this item from the Otawa Free Press of April 13:-
Galicians fought like demons upon the streets of Winnipeg while mad with whisky. Wild orgy in connection with the celebration
of the Galician Easter-The whole affair was
a bestial exhibition-Police had hands full
trying to arrest offenders.
Winnipeg, April 13.-Police court officials will have to take a rest to reoover from the effects of the police docket yesterday. It was +be aftermath of the Galician Easter celebration, and the names on the list looked as if tie alphabet had hteen dumped into a big bag ard each individual had grabbed a handful of letters to be arranged as best suited himself. And the mix-up in the names was no worse than the mix-up in the features of the owners. There were men with faces scratched and gashed, men with parts of their noses missing, men with pieces chewed out of their ears, men and women with bandages of all eorts and colours.
And the story told by the police who were on duty was lurid. The battle raged all over the foreign settlement, and in the later stages it was simply a case of gathering up the victims and stacking them where they would not suffer from exposure. A couple of constables would pick up a drunken man and start on a two-mile carry to the police station, but before they had gone a block they would eight a fight which looked as if murder was about due. The drunk would have to be dropped in the more pressing need, and by the tame the fight was stopped there would be one or two more in sight. There were Mr. WRIGHT.
drunken and battered men in sheds, on the sidewalks and in the ditches. A woman threw a beer keg through a door, smashing it from its hinges. Another keg went through a window. A man stole a keg, was seen getting away with it, and was hammered over the head with a stick of wood till he joined the 'dead ones/
From a point on Mangus avenue there were . three fights in sight at one time, and the police had no time to make arrests for they could not be spared from the difficult task of keeping the gangs of sots from killing each other. The whole affair was bestial in the extreme. The fines yesterday ranged from $10 down. There are prisoners awaiting trial on more serious charges, and gangs of foreigners are besieging the stations, wanting to lay information against others who beat them during the carousal.
I think, Mr. Speaker, comment is unnecessary.
Now, I wish to say a word or two on the subject of what is done with the money that is extracted from the pockets of the people of Canada for the purposes of this government. I will take up only one phase of the question, and will deal very shortly even with that-the question of public works. To my mind, the whole system under which this is managed by the government is wrong. There seems to be no plan to guide the government, and so we have large expenditures made in places where they are not needed, while other places are denied expenditures which ought to be made in the public interest. It seems that everything in this regard has to be done through the Minister of Public Works, who is supposed not only to look after the erection of the buildings and other public works of this country but to have an intimate knowledge of the intricacies of every other department, enabling him to form an opinion as to whether a public work is necessary or not. In my opinion, no Minister of Public Works could fill such a place. I think that if the Minister of Public Works looks after the erection of Public Works and sees to it that the public money is properly expended, he is doing all that we ought to ask any man to do who fills that position. The head of every great spending department ought to primarily assume the responsibility for the expenditures made for that department. If it is a matter of post offices, then the Postmaster General ought to say where the post offices should be erected, and in the same way with the Minister of Militia, who has the facts at his finger ends, ought to assume the responsibility of deciding where buildings should be erected for his department. In the same way with regard to the Minister of Railways and Canals, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and others. The Interior Department certainly ought to know whether an immigration building is needed at a certain point in the
west and whether a court house is needed at some other point better than the Minister of Public Works can possibly know. In that connection there is a little matter in the Post Office Department to be noted. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) in making his budget statement said that the Post Office Department paid its way.
I want to say that, under a fair statement, of receipts and expenditures, the Post Office Department does not pay its way and never has paid its way. Large expenditures incurred by the people of Canada purely for the carrying on of the post office are not shown in the statement of the Post Office Department. We are putting up post office buildings here and there all over Canada. But, when the Postmaster General deals with the finances of his department, he leaves these buildings out of consideration-they find no place in his report. Prior to the erection of the post office, the Postal Department has been making an allowance to the postmaster or some other official to pay for the maintenance of the post office, but, as soon as a public building is erected for>
the use of the post office, the Postal Department is relieved of that charge which is assumed by the Department of Public Works. When a deputation comes asking for a post office, they ought to appear before the Postmaster General. Right in his own department he would have all the facts and figures as to the revenue and the needs of the office to guide him in arriving at a decision as to whether the circumstances warrant the erection of a building there or not. When we criticise the Minister of Public Works for erecting a post office here or there, he tells us that the people came down from there and told him that it was necessary. The result of the present management of affairs appears to be that during certain seasons, generally prior to an election, the Minister of Public Works undergoes a sort of softening process, he gets his heart and feelings in pliable condition. Somebody is sent out to the various constituencies where there are Liberal candidates to notify them of the fact. They organize a deputation and it comes down, and, while the minister is in that pliable mood, they are able to make an impression upon him which is indelible, and which he will hold when he is getting up his estimates for the next year. But when the discussion of the estimates is reached in this House and we try to press upon the minister the urgent need of public works here and there, his heart is as hard as the nether millstone or as the cement made over in Hull which we see advertised in the 'Citizen'; we cannot make any impression upon it. I have taken the trouble to go into this question to show the way public buildings of the Postal Department are erected. I take
about fifty places in which post offices have been erected-the number is large enough to give a fair estimate. I find that the average cost of these post offices is oyer $30,000. This includes the towns and villages and leaves out of consideration the large cities.
But they erected public buildings in these places, and were paying the postmasters the average sum of $150 for light, heat, rent and looking after the office, all that was necessary to carry on the business. But in these places where we got a public building for $150 per annum, they have erected a post office that cost us $30,000, and the result has been that we have an average cost for maintenance of that building of $1,200, and at 4 per cent, the average interest on that investment, is another $1,200. That gives us a charge that we have to make up of $2,400, an annual charge for all time, making no provision for finally wiping out the debt we contracted in putting up the building. That is the position. What we got for $150 before, costs us $2,400. Now I think that if better quarters are occasionally needed, by giving a large sum in rent in these small places men could be found who would be willing to make a good postal bunding and put it at the disposal of the department, and there would not be, in many instances, any necessity for the erection of a public building at such a very large cost, for which there can be no necessity. I may say that I went over 25 of these small offices to see about what the average income of the office was, and I found that the average gross income of 25 of these offices was $1,628. Now these were considered, I suppose, works of urgent necessity. I have here the list, which hon. gentlemen can see if they wish. I have also a list of 25 places which were not considered of sufficient importance to warrant the erection of a building; they had not reached that stage 'of development that would warrant the government in putting up a new building, and yet the average gross revenue in these 25 places, three of them in towns in my own riding, was $7,225. But other places averaging a little over $1,600 were considered of sufficient importance to warrant the government in spending large sums of public money. Now I charge hon. gentlemen opposite with giving more attention to party expediency in these matters than to the public welfare, and so far as the expenditure of public money is concerned, they have left public benefit out of sight altogether. It is simply a matter of trying to win elections, and of trying to please their party friends; that is the Teason they expend such large sums in places where the revenue is so small.
Now I wish to speak of some other items of expenditure. I want to take up an occurrence with which I am familiar, because
it transpired in the riding I represent, and it shows the manner in which the public moneys of this country are spent. We have a little village in my riding called Bays-ville, a little town that rests on the northwest bank of the Muskoka river, the south branch. About five years ago the government determined to put a little wharf there, and when the appropriation was voted, they started to build the wharf and spend that sum of money. A little later on, after I came into the House, they appropriated another small sum of money to complete that wharf. The contractor had started to go on when somebody, evidently from the department or under the authority of the Public Works Department, arrived on the scene and instructed him to go right across the river on the opposite side from the town, and expend the money there. So they started to build a wharf there, and the result was that we had two wharfs started, neither of them completed. Again, last year they determined to complete one of these wharfs, and a gentleman was instructed to go on again and to complete the wharf on the side where the town is situated. He started to work, but he was again stopped and sent across the river. He has completed a little wharf on the east side, and put a nice deck over it, and a gentleman who is a good party friend of this government has been appointed wharfinger. He has a little store just above this wharf, on the east side of the river, and he is the only man who can use that wharf, it is no benefit under heaven to anybody else. The government simply built that wharf for a party friend, and they have denied it to the people of the town where the wharf should be. They say to them,
' You will have to wait until some future time, the interest of our party friend is so paramount that we must look after him first.' Now in that town, which is not very large, there are two ordinary hotels, a large summer hotel, churches, stores, a post office, shoemakers' shops, and all that goes to make up a nice little village; while on the opposite side there is only one business man, and he is well looked after by this government. Now that is not an isolated instance, similar instances can be cited all over Canada where they have been looking after their party friends first, and the moneys of the people of Canada are being squandered in that way.
Now the riding I represent pays annually into the treasury of this Dominion, in customs revenue and taxes, something over $260,000. And when I come to this government and ask them to renew a little grant for the town of Gravenhurst, an item of $4,000 that was in last year, they cannot afford it. They take out of the riding $250,000, and they cannot give us back $4,000.
Now, is that a condition of affairs that ought to prevail? Yet they have money to squander on that little wharf for a party friend; they have money for the Newmarket ditch, they have money away upon Lake Nipissing for a little place called Monette-ville, where they dredge out a channel for one man who has a little sawmill, but of course he is a party friend. That is the way the money of this country is being spent, and we decidedly objec.t to it. When hon. gentlemen opposite get up and tell us of the the great public works that cannot be stopped, I want them to stop looking after their party friends. They are squandering many, many thousands of the money of the people of Canada for no benefit whatever to the general public. To my mind it requires more than a mere statement that a work is for the general benefit of Canada to warrant us in making public expenditures of that kind.
I might go on in the same line, but I have already spoken longer than I intended. It has never been my habit to absorb the time of the House to the detriment of others, nor do I intend to do so to-night. I feel that any member of the House who confines himself to the subject can, in a reasonable time, say what he wants to say, and give all the members of the House an opportunity, at some time during the session, to express their views on public questions that come up for discussion. I feel that when public money is honestly expended, and expended on great public works that are of benefit to the public, we on this side of the House ought to give our assent, and we ought to assist the government in that matter. But that is entirely different from the wastefulness and extravagance that has prevailed all through the expenditures of this government. It is not confined to the items I have mentioned. We find Merwins all through the spending departments, we find hundreds of others who are feeding at the public crib, occupying the same position of middlemen, absorbing the wealth of the country which should be devoted to necessary public works. If the money that is being wasted every year could be put to some good use, we could carry on the business of this country without unduly increasing the public debt. But hon. gentlemen opposite will never be able to do a great deal in giving us public works as long as they continue the system which has prevailed during the past. I would urge upon them the necessity of cutting out their wastefulness, of cutting out the middlemen. Let us get an honest administration of public affairs and let us see that with every dollar extracted from the people we shall do something that will be of real benefit to them. I dissent from
the proposition that we should carry on great works, many of which will never be of any permanent benefit. I think that we should, as far as possible, pay as we go, and that we should not leave to posterity a great legacy of debt for works that will probably have tumbled into ruin before posterity arrives. The people who come after us will have their own problems to solve and their own burdens to bear. We will have pretty well cleaned out the timber resources and the minerals and will have taken the virgin elements out of the soil, so that it will be much harder then to till and to produce the wealth of grain that the people are producing so easily to-day. We will leave them problems that it will be hard for them to solve, and I think we ought not to unduly increase the public debt. We ought to see that every dollar we spend is spent in the interest of the public