January 21, 1910

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 110) respecting the Al-goma Central and Hudson Bay Railway Company.-Mr. Tolmie. Bill (No. Ill) respecting the Dominion Millers' Association.-Mr. Harris. Bill (No. 112) to incorporate the Independent Order of Rechabites.-Mr. Ver-ville. Bill (No. 113) respecting the Manitoulin and North Shore Railway Company.-Mr. Tolmie. Bill (No. 114) respecting the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company.-Mr. Forget. Bill (No. 115) to incorporate the St. Lawrence Power Transmission Company, Limited.-Mr. Pardee. Bill (No. 116) to incorporate the Toronto and Eastern Railway Company.-Mr. Fowke.


GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.

LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER moved:

That from the second of February next, inclusive, to the end of the session, govern-714 .

merit orders shall have precedence on Wednesdays, immediately after questions to be put by members.

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Motion agreed to.


INQUIRY FOR RETURN.

CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. URIAH WILSON.

I moved on the 18th of November last for a return showing the number of immigration agents in the employ of the government. When may we expect that return?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I thought it was laid on the table some time ago, but will make inquiries.

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. URIAH WILSON.

I inquired in Mr. Polkinghorne's office, this morning and it was not there yet.

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WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.


House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Mr. Fielding that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of the Whole to consider the ways and means for raising the supply to be granted to His Majesty.


LIB

William Stewart Loggie

Liberal

Mr. LOGGIE.

When this House rose yesterday, I had finished making some remarks on the net debt of Canada. I now propose making a few comments on our expenditure, and in that connection, I wish to refer to some criticisms passed by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). That hon. gentleman said-see page 1490 of 'Hansard':

What have you to show for the $922,000,000 less tlie $51,000,000 that has been spent in the twelve and three-quarter years. We cannot escape from the conviction that millions of it have been worse spent than wasted.

In connection with this, the hon. gentleman gives a tabulated list of expenditures. And, he uses this language:

.In eight and three-qnarter years, $57,000,000 have been expended on public works alone. I say that this expenditure is inordinate. It is indefensible and you cannot point with your finger to the compensatory advantages, to the compensatory product of stimulus or of health to warrant the expenditure of this amount of money.

I pointed out yesterday that we had received this money at a less rate of taxation than that which had prevailed under the previous government. I wish now to refer to some expenditures that, I think, we can all agree, are to the advantage of Canada. And it does seem to me it would have been much more pertinent had the hon. member for North Toronto named the expenditures that, in his opinion, it was improper for this administration to make. Let hon. members bear in mind that, during the year 1909, the amount expended in the public works of this country was no less than

$ 12,000,000 as compared with a little over $1,000,000 in the year 1896. Of what did these works consist? Well, there is all the dredging that is done throughout the Dominion, the dredging of St. John harbour of the St. Lawrence water-way, of the Northern Ontario sea-ports, if I may so describe them-inland ports but equal to sea-ports so far as transportation is concerned-and the public buildings, including the new wing to the parliament buildings here at Ottawa, a work carried on under our own eyes. And yet the hon. gentleman has the audacity to say, ' What have we to show for this expenditure?' What he ought to have done was to point out the expenditures that, in his opinion, ought not to have been made. By the way, he did say that when expenditures are contemplated the minister is buttoned-holed by the member and that expenditures for post offices are not placed where they ought to be. Speaking of the things that are not done, he says there is no such thing as taking into account the localities which are to be served and in the line of precedent, he illustrated that by the minister coming to parliament and asking $25,000 to build a post office' where there was a postal revenue of only $700 or $800. This, he said, was only an illustration of what was going on. I could not help thinking, when the hon. gentleman was speaking, that possibly we could find a precedent for that kind of expenditure. I made inquiries, and I found that in 1887, when the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) was Minister of Finance, and, as such, had the keys of the country's chest, a public building was erected at Dalhousie in the adjoining county to my own. The sum of $20,000 was spent on that post office, though the postal revenue of Dalhousie at the time was only $1,012. I admit that this is a little larger than the amount the hon. gentleman named, but I wonder who was consulted on that occasion. I wonder if the hon. member for Resti-gouche (Mr. James Reid) at that time button-holed the minister and if it was because of that that this $20,000 was spent on this public building. An hon. friend beside me reminds me that of the expenditure in the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Foster's) own county at Sussex. In 1881, when, I think, the hon. member for North Toronto represented King's county, a new public building was erected there at a cost of $23,000, though the revenue of the post office there was only $1,300. Then, in the county adjoining my own, the county of Gloucester, a public building was erected in the town of Bathurst in 1886, the cost being $26,000 and the postal revenues of the place at that time about $1,300. Have we a precedent, then, may I ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster)? Besides, I think he ought not to forget what the Minister of Public Works Mr. LOGGIE.

(Mr. Pugsley) stated when he asked for the appropriation which was criticised. That hon. gentleman said that we ought to have a substantial building, one built of brick, one that could be used for generations so long as the population did not increase to such an extent as to make the building inadequate for the postal service of the place. And there was the case in my own town, the town of Chatham, though to cover its whole history I mhst go back beyond the time when the hon. member (Mr. Foster) was not a member of this House. On November 4th, 1873, the Conservative government went out of office. But on the 16th of October immediately preceding, they bought" an old stone house which was converted into a post office and customs house building, and the cost was over $10,000 additional. It is true that the opposing party came into power and that the government under their control carried out what had been arranged. But, nineteen years afterwards, with the Conservatives again in power, the government abandoned the old building, after an expenditure of $20,000, on the ground that it was not suitable for the purpose for which it had been bought and remodelled. And so they built a new post office and customs house. This gives all the greater weight to the statement of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) that it is important that we should erect for these purposes buildings of a substantial nature, buildings that will meet the requirements of the public service for many years to come. So, J think the hon. gentleman from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) is hardly fair when he throws across the floor the insinuation that the expenditure of public money is handled at haphazard and without precedent. I contend that we have that precedent; whether it is a good one or not, hon. gentlemen may judge for themselves.

Now, I want to say one or two. words regarding other expenditure. On the. lighthouses and coast service the expenditure last year was $2,700,000, as compared with $445,000 in 1896. Thus we are expending $2,000,000 more on the lighthouse and coast service of this country, and it seems to me this is a work that is very necessary to our commercial prosperity. It is of advantage to exporters and importers, and also to the shipping interests of Canada, to the carriage of merchandise inwards and outwards. This expenditure has enabled us to place Canada in the enviable position she occupies to-day of competing for the ocean trade, I was going to say, of the world; because it is a matter of general knowledge that the New York shipping interests are envious to-dav of the possibilities of the shipping trade of Montreal and the St. Lawrence. The expenditure on dredging and lighting our coasts, and

placing better gas buoys in place of the old fashioned buoys in our waterways, I think is all a wise expenditure. The hon. gentleman should not have made the broad remark he did, and it would be much more becoming on his part if he had pointed out the particular expenditure that is not in the interests of this country.

Now, I want to say something about the Intercolonial, because the hon. member for North Toronto is very severe in his criticisms of the management of the Intercolonial. He read a letter purporting to have been written by the late Hon. Israel Tarte, in which he claimed that the management of the road was influenced by the member of the county through which it passes. Now I can tell the hon. gentleman that I have been a member for a number of years of a county through which that road runs, which it intersects, and as far as patronage is concerned by the sitting member, I can only say that there is not a particle of truth in the statement made in that letter, purporting to have been signed by the Hon. Mr. Tarte. I think the Intercolonial is managed from a business standpoint, it is run and managed directly in the interests of the people who have made the investment. Of course, due attention is paid to its customers, and to the customs of the road. Any corporation does the same thing, any corporation would be glad to receive a recommendation from a customer, particularly if that customer gave them a large business. When they require a good man they ask the name of a suitable person from the member, and that is about all the patronage there is on the Intercolonial. I think we have got the Intercolonial at present down to a matter of business.

But the hon. gentleman asks, what have we got for the addition to capital account? He tells us that during the Conservative regime, or rather up to 1896, the amount chargeable to capital account was $55,000,000, and that since then we have added $33,000,000 to canital account because of the expenditure on the Intercolonial; and he asks the question, when is this to stop? What have we to represent that expenditure? Now, Sir, I want to point out, and I think it is important that hon. gentlemen should know, that we have some valuable living assets for this additional expenditure. For the increase of sixty per cent to capital account, we have, first, an increased milage of about 318; we, have an equipment to-day that is capable of earning $8,527,069.40, as compared with an earning power in 1896 of $2,866,000. In other words, we have an equipment capable of earning, or capable of doing work, if you like to put it that way, three times as much as the equipment was able to do, or did do thirteen years ago. The 318 additional miles of railway is largely represented by the Canada Eastern between Fredericton

and Loggieville, and by the Drummond County railway. It seems to me these facts convey a totally different conclusion to the one sought to be conveyed by the hon. member for North Toronto when ispeaking on the Intercolonial. I think we should bear in mind what the hon. member for Westmorland Mr. Emmersoni said yesterday about this railway, this great national asset, and the trend of public opinion in favour of maintaining it as a great national asset, to be operated by the government of Canada. I quite concur in what that hon. gentleman said as to the terms and the standard on which this road was constructed, that it was to be operated by the government of the day.

Now, Sir, the hon. gentleman spoke about deficits on the Intercolonial. I find on investigation that during the thirteen years the present government have operated the railway, there was a deficit six years, and there was a surplus seven years. I find that during the preceding thirteen years there was a deficit eight years and a surplus only four years. So the condition regarding deficits is not very different under this government from what it was during the preceding thirteen years.

Another matter the) hon. gentleman brought up was the amount charged to capital account during this past year. I find on referring to the blue-books that we have expended as follows:

New rolling stock $1,353,000

Locomotives, car shops and equipment at Moncton 569,000

New machinery for shops 154,000

Double track from Moncton to Painsec 199,000

Strengthening bridges 131,000

Increasing accommodation at Halifax 499,000

New bridge at Indiantown 79,000

Will the hon. gentleman point out which of these items should not be charged to capital account. Then it has been insinuated that we are not keeping up the plant of the Intercolonial railway out of the revenues of that railway, but are charging it to capital account. It is true that certain items have been charged to capital account and rightly so, but listen to what has been charged to revenue out of the earnings of the railway during the past year. During the past year there have been paid out of revenue the following items:

Renewals of freight cars.. .. 100,000 Renewals of locomotives.. .. 135,000 Repairs to passenger cars.. .. 272,000 Renewals of passenger cars.. 67,000

Repairs to freight cars 602,000

Renewals of freight cars.. .. 100,000

It is only right that the country should understand that a large proportion of the cost of keeping up this railway is paid out of the ordinary revenues of that railway during the year, and only what is looked

upon as an addition to the asset is charged to capital account each year. I say, that to the best of my judgment, we have an asset worth $33,000,000 more than it was thirteen years ago.

I think that some of the remarks of the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) were extreme. His remark about the Saskatchewan Valley Land Company buying millions of acres of land from the government at $1 an acre is an unfair statement. There is a phase of truth in it and the worst kind of representation is the one with a phase of truth in it. What does it lack. It lacks the conditions of the dollar an acre, which were settlement conditions. If one farmer buys a lot of land for $1,000 with no condition and another farmer buys the adjoining lot for $1,000 with the condition that $500 must be expended in the erection of a house, is it not a concrete example that the one plot of land costs but $1,000 while the other, to all intents and purposes, is costing $1,500? That land was sold at $1 an acre with settlement conditions which some hon. gentlemen said were onerous, the settlement conditions were carried out and the country is flourishing and prosperous. The railway running between Regina and Prince Albert, I understand, traverses a country that is productive of good crops, and it does seem to me that the hon. gentleman has hardly been fair in his criticism regarding the Saskatchewan Valley Railway Company, when he says that we sold land for $1 an acre. He should have added that we sold it for $1 an acre subject to settlement conditions.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac).

The debate on the budget presented by the Finance Minister has this year followed much the same course as in former years. Very much the same array of figures has been presented by the Finance Minister and very much the same laudation of that hon. gentleman by his followers, the same tribute of bouquets has been laid at his feet at the conclusion of his address. But, Sir, I venture to say that never before in the history of this parliament or of any parliament in the British empire, or any other civilized country, has it taken a gentleman three days to deliver himself of the load which oppressed him, as it has taken the hon. gentleman who has just sat down. In the course of my professional career I have at times had to submit to some very long and weary hours of waiting, but, Sir, I confess that this is the longest accouchement I have ever attended-and I must say that the results are exceedingly disappointing. It has, it is true, passed through all the stages of first, second and third in each succeeding day. I .thought that from the very laboured and agonizing effort of the patient we would have had at least a trip-Mr. LOGGIE.

let of ideas to have added to the political nursery opposite. But, Sir, after all has been said and we have looked about for the results we find only a heterogeneous mass unworthy of notice except from the standpoint of the curio hunter, because I venture to say when you consider that mass in its entirety you find nothing like it in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth. The hon. gentleman in his remarks referred to the hon. member from North Essex as deserving the cognomen of the baby member. We on this side of the House, and I venture to say many on the pther side of the House, consider the baby member from North Essex as a very robust and promising youngster, and I am only sorry that when the member for North Essex was delivering his maiden speech in the House the Minister of Agriculture was not in his place, for I venture to say that if the minister had been in his place he would have been induced to revise his assertion that the farmers of this country were a slipshod and indifferent class of people. The suggestion of the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat that the member for North Essex is deserving of the name of the baby member recalls to my mind that there is a time in the life of men, if they live long enough, which is called second childhood, and I did think, during the course of the remarks of the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat, that he had prematurely reached that second stage which is supposed to be peculiar to men of riper years.

Between the severe pangs which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Loggie) seemed to be suffering during the course of his speech he was able to tell us that the Conservative party had allowed corn in free for distilling purposes. Well, I have before me the tariff of 1894 and the tariff of 1907, and I can tell the House that the statement of the hon. gentleman in that regard is absolutely incorrect, and that the duty on corn for distilling purposes under the Conservative regime was 7J cents per bushel, and the duty is the same to-day. Further, the Conservatives permitted corn which was to be planted and sown for soiling and ensilage to come in free of duty. The Liberal party did remove the duty from corn, and that was a benefit to farmers in certain parts of the country. but it bore hardly on the people of the county represented by my hon. friend from North Essex. But, when this government took the duty off American corn they neglected a splendid opportunity of conferring a great benefit upon the farmers of Canada in not exacting from the United States a quid pro quo that they would remove the duty from Canadian barley. Then, the hon. gentleman told us that the only article in regard to which the system

of protection had been retained by the present administration was bacon, on which the duty is two cents a pound, the same as it was before. He said that bacon stood all by itself in this connection. Now, I would like to know from the hon. gentleman how he could possibly make such a statement in view of the actual facts. Has this government changed the duty on butter or on cheese? Was the duty on biscuits changed? Yes, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Loggie) might answer that the duty was raised on sweetened biscuits and that is where that great and illustrious statesman, that apostle of freedom of trade, the Minister of Customs, got in his work. The duty on biscuits was raised because the Minister of Customs is directly interested in the manufacture of biscuits. But, let the hon. gentleman (Mr. Loggie) take the Liberal tariff of 1907 and compare it with the Conservative tariff of 1894 and let him look at the two tariffs for the duties on blankets, bicycles, carriages, buggies, farm wagons, cottons, boots and shoes, and then let him see whether he will repeat his statement that bacon was the only article on which no tariff change had been made by the Liberal government. The Conservative Tariff of 1894, is the same on these and many other articles as the Grit tariff to-day. The statement of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Loggie) is simply astounding, and I can only say that the hon. gentleman either made the asertion with the deliberate intention of misleading this country or he spoke from the depths of the most profound ignorance.

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LIB

Gilbert Howard McIntyre (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

If the remarks of the hon. member convey that any hon. member of the House deliberately intended to deceive the House then his remarks would not be in order.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

He qualified that by giving an alternative which I think removed anything which might be offensive.

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LIB

Gilbert Howard McIntyre (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

It is the right of the hon. gentleman to himself explain his remarks.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I beg your pardon, Mr. Sneaker; I am a member of this House.

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LIB

Gilbert Howard McIntyre (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

The remarks of the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) are not in order.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Then it must be supposed that I am not a member of the House.

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January 21, 1910