May 18, 1911

CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

We have had too much experience of letting things go through without a definite promise, to lead me to place any faith in the government. But I do say that if the minister would state right now that there will be a sum placed in the estimates to buy or lease these elevators and operate them, we will not oppose the Bill for a moment.

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Subtopic:   GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

My hon. friend knows that no member of the government can pledge the government off-hand in that way. and he is not fair in making such a challenge as that.

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Subtopic:   GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The government is here and can answer.

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Subtopic:   GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

And they have already this session given a similar pledge with reference to a dry dock, and if they can do that they can also give a pledge in connection with the terminal elevators.

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

I am mot familiar 'with the 'working of Hhe Privy Council, but

'as we all know this is a government Bill (promoted by the Minister of the Interior, lan'd Mere is no doubt that this Bill ba-s (been debated by 'the Council, and that the (minister has a pretty good idea as to 'what the government is willing to do. I 'believe fthe Council "will be prepared to do what ithe Minister of the Interior recommends, jlf the minister and Ithe government want jto meet the demands of the farmers they (have it in their power 'to (do so. This leommission business has been on trial for |a great many years, and the farmers (nave Icome to the conclusion that it does not Imeet the case. The farmers refuse to laccept or experiment with that system any Monger. I shall oppose this Bill until I ihave some promise from the government fllh-at they will this session place in the lestimates a sum of money for the acquisition or control of 'these elevators. I must accept the statement of my farmers and believe that they are sincere when they isay they will not accept any half measure. (This Bill 'as it stands does not give what (we want, it is absolutely useless. The ifarmers came here on December 16, and (presented their grievances. Now, on the J19th of May, 6 months after, on the day (the House is to adjourn, we are asked in lone day to pass over 200 sections of a IgPain Bill whidh has been before the gov-jernmen't for 'about 6 months. I am not (obstructing this Bill. If any one of my (constituents takes flhe position that I am, jl shall leave it to his opinion, but 1 want ia Bill passed that will mee't the demands jof the farmers. This Bill does not do so. If I take the stand I have t'aken this (morning, I think it will be absolutely 'unfair for the Grain Growers' Guide or (any other institution to say that I am obstructing this Bill. I want exactly what I advocated in this House, 'and what the farmers have asked, that is, that we should have government operation of the terminal elevators at Port Arthur and Fort William.

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Subtopic:   GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Glenlyon Campbell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAMPBELL.

This Bill has been so well discussed by my hon. friends that there is little left for me to say, but, as [DOT]'the matter is one of paramount interest to the people of the west, I would be derelict in my 'duty to the farmers whom I try to represent, if I did not say a few words. I agree absolutely with my bon. friend from Souris who has put the case in a nutsihell. The farmers for years and years have been asking a certain thing. They sent a large deputation here, and the most important thing they asked for was the government control of terminal elevators. That request was the most strongly urged of any. The matter was discussed at that meeting by the farmers, the grain buyers and the millers, all of

whom voiced tlhe opinion 'that it was an absolute necessity for the grain trade of the west till at the government should control the terminal elevators. Now, at the eleventh hour, we are asked to pass a Bill not a clause of which touches in a practical manner the request laid before this government 'by the farmers, that the government should control the terminal elevators. I am not obstructing, 'but I am most seriously anxious to (have effective legislation put through, and it could go through in five minutes if flhe minister would take the bull by the horns or answer definitely the proposition laid down by 'the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Sehaffner). Will the_ government vote the money? The ministers are nearly all here, and we could hear from each one of them separately in a moment. If the Minister of flhe Interior will say that he will do this, and use his influence to have i't put through Council, an'd the other ministers would say yes, that they would carry out the semi-pledges which they have been making to the farmers of the west the matter could be settled at once. The farmers' delegation asked for (half a dozen things, and the reply to all of them is: We will give you reciprocity, we will

give you free trade in everything you produce, and you will have to buy everything you require in a protected market. By this grain Bill flhe farmers do not get what they wanted. As far as I can see there is only one little bunch "who will get anything out of this, and that is the three commissioners, who will be appointed and wtio I am quite certain will have been party heelers at some stage of the game. They are the only people who will get anything. The farmers are not getting anything they want, and for flhat reason I am with my friend from Souris, I am absolutely against this being passed at the eleventh hour in this way because it does not go one step in the direction of protecting the farmers' riglhts, and his wheat, and giving him what he has 'been asking for all these years.

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Subtopic:   GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

When this question of government control of elevators was before this House two years ago and again a year ago, it was urged strongly from this side of the House that in the best interests of the farming community of western Canada the government should provide means for taking over and operating the terminal elevators. That matter was urged by every hon. member on this side of the House from the west. The attitude of the governinent's supporters from the west: was directly opposed to that. Thev advanced the argument that the government had appointed supervisors of the elevators, that tlhe elevators were now under government supervision, and that the men who had been

appointed should be given a fair chance to demonstrate whether the supervision would meet the requirements of the west oa- not. Che claim of the farmers of the west was that they were unfairly treated, in fact that their grain was tampered 'witih, that its identity was lost, and that the men who were operating the elevators were mixing the grain to the detriment of the farmers and to their own gain.

That was demonstrated in this House time and again. Some of the men who were guilty were punished and fined heavily. The attitude of the government on that question and of the western men was opposed to the proposition of the farmers that the elevators should be owned and operated by the government. They said in this House, one after the other, that they were not prepared to urge the government to grant the demands of the farmers in the west because they believed that the present system should be given a fair trial. The proposition of the government to-day is very similar to the conditions which have existed during the last two or three years. The control of the elevators is under government supervision and the country has paid out from $60,000 to $70,000 a year to men who are supposed to take control of the wheat passing through the elevators. But what the farmers believe is necessary is the government operation of^ those elevators pure and simple. The minister has intimated that if we would allow the Bill to go through, the government might see fit to put a sum in the estimates to carry out the wishes of the farmers. I would suggest that he would consult with his colleagues now and make a definite statement so that we might know whether the farmers are to be treated fairly or not or whether this is another gold-brick they are handing to the farmers. There can be no doubt that, when from time to time the farmers of the west have made requests to the government to redress their grievances, they have been side tracked. Thev came down to Ottawa a large delegation asking for reciprocity in natural products and manufactured goods, but the government astutely turned the tables on the farmers by giving them reciprocity in natural products whilst still main-a protection on agricultural

machinery and everything the farmer has to buy. Thus the farmer has to meet the competition of the world in everything he produces, but he is not given the advantage of competition in things he has to buy. This Bill is along the same lines. The farmers have adduced evidence m abundance to show that the only possible relief is the government tak-mg over these elevators and operating them. The question is whether the gov-Mr. BRADBURY.

ernment should own these elevators or not.

I hold that they should. I would therefore urge the Minister of the Interior to consult his colleagues now and see if it is not possible for him to make a definite statement to-day to the effect that he will provide the means for the government taking absolute control of these elevators. It seems to me that the government have been injudicious in bringing this Bill before the House at this eleventh hour within a few hours of adjournment. Surely we ought to have reasonable time to discuss a Bill of such vast importance. I do not want to delay this Bill unnecessarily, but I am not afraid of the insinuation made from the other side that we are obstructing. I am satisfied to oppose any measure which I believe is to the detriment of the farmers. This Bill does not meet the demands of the farmers, and the minister would be well advised to allow it to stand over until the House meets again so that we may place it fairly before the people in the meantime that the farmers may know what the government proposes to do.

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Subtopic:   GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

It is quite evident that this Bill can hardly be classed among the non contentious measures; and as hours * and even minutes are beginning to become very precious if we are to carry out our intention of adjourning, I would suggest that the debate should be adjourned and the Bill stand over.

Mr. KING moved the aljournment of the debate.

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Subtopic:   GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

TRADE RELATIONS WITH JAPAN.


Bill (No. 224) respecting duties of customs on importations from Japan.-Mr. Fielding-was considered in committee and reported without amendment. Mr. FIELDING moved the third reading of the Bill.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Before the Bill is read the third time, I would like to allude to the fact that last evening there was a good deal of discussion upon the very important question of immigration. That discussion arose, however, out of some correspondence brought down in connection with this proposal from which it appeared that the government between the two governments embodied in a certain agreement which had been entered into some four years ;|go should be regarded as still continuing. The Bill itself contains no reference to the question of immigration. So far as this country is concerned, the fact that the treaty between Canada and Japan which came into operation a few years ago will cease to have any effect or operation after the 17th of July next leaves it entirely open to us in Canada to deal with that subject as we may see fit, unless the action of parliament in that regard would be impeded in any way by an understanding arrived at between the two governments. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) has assured us that any such understanding as continues by virtue of the correspondence alluded to can De brought to a termination at once. Assuming that to be the case, and in view of the fact that the Bill itself does not deal in any way with the very important question of immigration I can see no reason why it should not pass.

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Subtopic:   TRADE RELATIONS WITH JAPAN.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

My hon. friend (Mr. Borden, Halifax), has correctly stated my understanding of the matter as I expressed it to the House last evening. The reference in the correspondence to immigration did not arise from the Japanese authorities at all. We regarded the assurance that had been given of the restriction of immigration as a desirable thing, and we were anxious to be assured that that arrangement would be continued, and hence I made the allusion to and hence, I think the allusion to it did not arise in the proposals of the Japanese authorities. My

hon. friend's statement of what we understand to be the situation is entirely correct.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the third time and passed.


MONTREAL HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS' ACT-AMENDMENT.


On consideration of an amendment-made by the Senate to Bill (No. 48) to amend the Montreal Harbour Commissioners' 1894.- Mr. Brodeur.


LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

Section 1 of this Bill is designed to correct an error in the description of the harbour boundaries. That passed in this House. But when the Bill was before the Senate it was decided to further amend the Act. The first error was in the wording of the designation of the boundary. For the word ' southern ' we substitute ' eastern.' The Senate made another correction. Section 2 of the Bill transfers all the powers possessed by the Harbour Commissioners in .the port of Montreal up to the 19th of May, 1909, t >

the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. On the 19lth of May, 1909, by chapter 24 of the statutes of that year, assented to on that date the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal were relieved of all responsibility within the limits of the port of Montreal. It may be here stated that the port of Montreal, and the harbour of Montreal, are two separate and distinct areas, the harbour extending only to foot of the island of Montreal, but the port extending as far as Portneuf near Quebec. After the passing of the legislation in 1909, a doubt arose as to whether the Minister of Marine and Fisheries had jurisdiction in the port of Montreal. The proposed section in this Bill is to remove all such doubits on that point. Section 3 of the Bill is merely a verbal amendment. The heading of section 37 is ' recovery of rates, penalties and harbour dues.' As the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal no longer are the pilotage authorities, the reference to pilotage dues in the section is superfluous. Under section 39, of the Harbour Commissioners' Act, 1894, the Harbour Commissioners had originally the right to seize vessels for non-payment of pilotage dues. In 1909, this section was amended in regard to pilotage dues in so far as paragraph (a) of the section was concerned, but in reference to pilotage dues the paragraph (h) was however overlooked. That is the explanation given to me why this amendment was made in the Senate.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I thought I heard the words read * The boundaries of the harbour of Montreal.' It is within the knowledge of my hon. friend that there is a certain litigation now pending before the courts

respecting the bounds of the harbour of Montreal as they existed a few years ago. Will this in any way affect that litigation?

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

I am informed it does not affect it at all.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

It would seem to me that the rights of parties involved in that litigation should be in every way protected. I think my hon. friend from St. Anne (Mr. Doherty) is much more familiar with that question than I am.

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May 18, 1911