January 27, 1914

LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

How many men are out of employment now?

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

Between 2,500 and

3,000 in the shoe trade alone.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

How many factories are closed?

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

Fifteen to seventeen.

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

Can the hon. minister explain why the manager of the Intercolonial railway at Riviere du Loup, some days ago, dismissed 23 employees in the winter time without even a day's notice?

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

I am sure my hon.

friend will admit that it is hardly fair to ask a Postmaster General what has been done in the Department of Railways a few days ago, without giving any notice of his question.

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

You are the minister of the district. You must know what is going on there.

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

If my hon. friend will give the usual notice of his question, it will be answered.

The hon. member for Rouville referred to the dispute in connection with the United Shoe Company. He went so far as to say that the United Shoe Company was a combine; that it had heen declared a combine by a board of arbitration, and that because these people had friends in the Government, had friends at court, nothing had been done in the matter. This is a most unfair statement of the case. I do not intend to enter into the particulars. At a later period my hon. friend and colleague, the Minister of Labour (Mr. Crothers) will do so. Suffice it for the moment to say that there is not one tittle of foundation or evidence for the statements made by the hon. member for Rouville in that respect. A board was appointed and found that the United Shoe Company was a combine, and that company was given six months in order to change the conditions of the leases which they had with the shoe manufacturers. The law says that, when a sentence has been passed by the board, if the manufacturers continue so to operate, they are liable to have an indictment brought against them before the court. The hon. member for Rouville said to us yesterday: How is it that these men' are

not paying a penalty of $1,000 a day? I desire to call the hon. member's attention to the fact that the United Shoe Company, after the board's decision, as a matter of fact changed the conditions of their leases; and that when the leases were changed they either obeyed the order of the board or disobeyed it. If they have disobeyed the order of the board, that is a matter for further adjustment and adjudication; but, as a matter of fact, the leases were changed within the time allowed by the board. Consequently, I think the hon. member for Rouville will have to withdraw his statement that the United Shoe Company were not condemned to pay $1,000 damage a day because they had friends in the Government and friends at court.

The hon. member for Rouville said: True enough, we had bad times and unemployment in 1907-8, but we then did a great thing; the Minister of Finance of that time, seeing the bad times, came before Parliament and made a big cut in the Estimates of the current year. My hon.

friend believes that to be the act of a big man. I do not. If, without impairing the credit of the country, in view of the good administration of the affairs of the country at a time when there is tight money, at a time when there is uneasiness in business, you can see your way, not to cut down public expenditure, but to leave it as it is, so as to give money to the people and to give employment to the people, I think you are a bigger man than if you cut down public expenditure.

We have been told by the hon. member for Rouville that he had heard the hon. Minister of Finance, one of the noble eighteen, say that he was not going to do the same thing as his predecessor had done in that respect. Whether the hon. Minister of Finance is one of the noble eighteen or not, I am prepared to say that we feel pretty safe under his direction and management of the finances of this country. I think the hon. Minister of Finance has been a safe pilot. He has been able, with his big mind and farsightedness; to tell us . all that is happening now; and when he tells us that at the present moment we are practically out of our difficulties, I for one trust him and think he will be right forthe next few months as he was when he

foretold us what is happening to-day.

We have been told by the hon. member for Rouville that we are not taking care of the port of Montreal as we should do. If my hon. friend will look at the statutes of last session and the statutes of the year before, he will find there that we have given the Harbour Board of Montreal everything they asked for, and that the money has been spent under the direction and control of the Department of Marine and Fisheries in a

most proper and efficient manner. Now, I am from Quebec, but I make the humble claim that I am not a small Quebecer. Montreal is the metropolis of Canada. As such, her port and her facilities should be improved; and, moreover, they are being improved, with public money if you like, but money that is advanced by the Government and on which they pay interest, and pay that interest faithfully and well. We heard the right hon. leader of the Opposition say at a meeting-I think it was in Joliette-that the city of Montreal had not been properly treated so far as its connection with the Transcontinental railway was concerned. This argument has not been repeated in this House, and I have not heard from any representative of Montreal any comt*lr. Pelletier.]

plaint in that respect. Every one knows that the Transcontinental railway was begun in 1903 or 1904, and in the ten years since that time there has been no connection to link the commercial metropolis of Canada with the Transcontinental railway. Apparently the city of Montreal, at least a great part of the city of Montreal, thought that no reproaches should be made to the late Government on that subject, for if you will look at the election returns you will find that the majority of seats in the city of Montreal were carried by our friends of the Liberal party. Now, I wish to say here-because I have read something in the newspapers which calls for the remark from me-that if this Government and the commercial metropolis of Canada think that metropolis ought to have some connection with the Transcontinental, I for one will not stand in the way, but will cordially approve of anything that can be done in that respect, not as. a Quebecer, but as a Canadian who desires to further the interests of Canada at large.

Now, Sir, about what my hon. friend said for the port of Quebec. Whilst I say let us do what is right for the port of Montreal, I say, at the same time, Providence has given us in Quebec one of the finest ports to be found in the world. But this port has not been equipped so far. Though the city of Quebec has been represented for years by members of the Liberal party in this House, there is not to-day- there was not before we came into power- accommodation of berths for more than three ships in the great port of Quebec. I have asked my colleagues, the members of this progressive Government, to have both ports equipped. There is no reason for rivalry or jealousy on the part of either Montreal or Quebec; for, if we are not disappointed in the clause which the late Government put in the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway contract, and which may be interpreted to mean that the Grand Trunk Pacific may carry our trade to the United States-I say if that clause does not have that bad effect, there will be enough to make trade for the two great ports of the St. Lawrence during the summer navigation. And I hope that when these ports are equipped as they ought to be, we shall be able to attain the result we have in view and have it as the policy of all Canadians, Conservatives and Liberals alike, to have our trade carried to Canadian ports in Canadian bottoms and handled by Canadian labour.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Will the Minister kindly state how many more ships will find accommodation after the works in Quebec are completed?

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

At least seven or eight as against three for the last twenty years.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Did any company complain of lack of accommodation under the late Government?

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

When we came into

power one of the first things I was asked was to try and have some accommodation in Quebec, because as was said by those who dealt with the matter, our company would like to send our ships there, but we cannot find any berths or accomniodation.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

What company was that?

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

I would not like to

give names; but the hon. gentleman will learn these names when the accommodation is created. And as he is a good Quebecer, when he sees the ships there he will know their names.

I would like to say a few words in passing about the Georgian Bay canal. Our friends on the other side have begun all of a sudden to be very strong on the Georgian Bay canal, they are enthusiastic about the Georgian Bay canal.

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LIB
CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. PELLETIER:

They were rather bearish when in power, but now they are not bears but have become brills. The hon. member for Rouville told us that the Georgian Bay canal was not started at once because, forsooth, the southern part of Ontario was opposed to the wishes of the northern part of Ontario, and also to the wishes of part of the province of Quebec in this respect. Well, Sir, this should not stand in the way. If this work is a good work, one which is in the general interest of Canada, the fact that one section of the country would not like it would not stop this Government from completing it. The question whether this is a work in the general interest of Canada is the only one that would be considered. Sir, this is a work of great magnitude. We are told by men who know something about it that this enterprise, which has been looked into from an engineering point of view, ought to be looked into now from a commercial and a financial point of view before we embark upon any such large expenditure. Some people say that in a commercial and business way the canal cannot be made a success; others 14

say it will be a success. Under the Circumstances, the Government have come to the conclusion to adopt the only logical and practical course that it could adopt, and that is to have this question carefully looked into and a report made by thoroughly qualified men.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

There are so many commissions already.

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

But I can tell the

right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) that the men whom we have in mind for appointment to that commission are men who will act for Canada and without salary in that respect. Their only object will be to help this Government in coming to a wise conclusion on this subject. I cannot give names now, but I think it is but a matter of days before we shall be able to tell the House the personnel of that commission.

It may be taken for granted that the people of the West-the people of Winnipeg, for instance, because Winnipeg is the great distributing centre of western Canada- should have some interest in this matter, and that this portion of the country, as well as Montreal and other important Canadian centres, will be represented on that commission. At all events, the Government, as the hon. Minister of Public Works has said, have been looking into the matter, and will try to find the best men, being guided by whatever will be in the best interests of Canada at large.

The hon. member for Rouville has said that certain things which took place in the county of Chateauguay were very bad. The right hon. leader of the Opposition, during the Debate on the Address, I think, said that the county of Chateauguay had been robbed from hon. gentlemen opposite. I do not think that we should accept with a great deal of anxiety the declaration made by my right hon. friend in this respect. Last year, during the debate on the Address, reference was made to another election robbery, and it was a matter of such public shame that the right hon. leader of the Opposition thought fit to move an amendment to the Address, which read as follows:

We Peg to represent to Your Royal Highness that in the elections of Macdonald and [DOT] Richelieu there were practices' calculated to terrorize and corrupt the electorate, which were connived at by your ministers and which deserve the censure of the House.

Now, some things have happened since then. When the trial took place, what became of the awful charges made in connec-

tion with the election in Macdonald? In that election, as in the Richelieu election of 1911, the sitting member admitted that certain errors had been made by some of his friends, the election was annulled, and that was all. Where was the terrorizing? Where was the proof of the operations of election thugs and of the other alleged irregularities in connection with the Macdonald election? No proofs came to light. The election was annulled without any scandal, and the same good man was reelected by a majority of over nine hundred, his majority at the preceding election having been seven hundred and fifty. If the robbery which hon. gentlemen allege to have taken place in Chateauguay is of the same nature, I am sure my right hon. friend will be compelled to acknowledge that in his motion last year he went too far; that he made certain accusations against members of the Government without having the facts before him, and that he failed to substantiate them. I fully realize that the result of the Chateauguay election was not very agreeable to our friends on the other side of the House.

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LIB
CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

I will come to South Bruce in a moment. When my right hon. friend told us that he had been robbed, I said to myself: Evidently some awful things have taken place in the constituency of Chateauguay. It may be that stuffed ballot boxes had been used, as they have been used in the past under a Government which was not a Conservative Government. When I heard this loud complaint, I could not help remembering Hastings, Brockville, West Huron and the Minnie M. But when the facts in connection with this matter are brought out in the courts, I am afraid that my right hon. friend will be somewhat disappointed, and that the persons against whom proof of irregularities is offered will not be those to whom my right hon. friend referred the other day.

We are told that a pamphlet was distributed in Chateauguay county, and that in that pamphlet the people of the constituency were told that another judge, Mr. Audette, a Freneh-Canadian, had been appointed to the -Exchequer Court. That was true; what lulAm do hon. gentlemen find in* that? Does the hon. member for Rouville criticise that appointment? He does not, and will not. Since this Government came into power, Liberal speakers and the Liberal press day after day have said: 'What is the Borden Government goins to do for

the province of Quebec?' When we had the great leader of -the Opposition as our Prime Minister, the province of Quebec was all right, but now with these awful men, Borden and Rogers, in power, what is going to become of our poor province? The newspapers throughout the province of Quebec have been saying: Just look at that; we had a Minister of Public Works from Quebec, but now the present minister is not a Freneh-Canadian; our compatriots and their rights have been trampled upon. What do hon. gentlemen see in that circular which was read by the hon. member for Rouville yesterday? They see a copy of the Estimates voted by Parliament, showing that the province of Quebec received a fair appropriation of public money. Was it a crime to place this before the people of Chateauguay? If hon. gentlemen on the other side of -the House had never committed any greater political crime than this, we should have little complaint to make. It has been said also that we told the people of Chateauguay that the Prime Minister of this country was a .friend of all races and nationalities. Is that not true? Has not the Prime Minister of -this country risen mightily in the estimation of the people of Canada? Has he not made good? Having been in power only two years, is his name not written in golden letters in the history of this country? Has he not endeared himself to every Canadian? Yes, Sir, he has, and we have the right to say so to the English-speaking as well as to the French-speaking people of this country. This is the crime we have committed in Chateauguay-that of telling the truth.

One of my friends on the other side asked me to speak of South Bruce; let me see what kind of literature -was circulated in that constituency and what kind of appeals were made to the electors. Some were funny; some were anti-Canadian, and some, as usual, appealed to the prejudices o.f race and religion.

You will permit me to read the funny part in the first place. The hon. gentleman who now sits as member for South Bruce (Mr. Truax) made a speech during that election at Pinkerton, and a shorthand reporter was sent down to take notes of what he said. I shall not quote his speech at length, but shall content myself by placing a few sentences before the House. This is the way the campaign started:

I went down to a German wedding: in Carrick and enjoyed myself. A few days after I was told I was drunk, I had a girl sitting on my knee. Well, you know, I am fond of females

all right at any time, but for the last ten years I have not enjoyed their company as I used to.

This "was on the public platform. (Reading):

I played cards and such as that and had a dance, and as long as I like I will do so.

I think every one will admit that this was not quite enough to elect the hon. gentleman, and so something else had to be found. My hon. friend from South Bruce (Mr. Truax) was complaining that Conservatives were going in great numbers into the constituency and that he was lighting them alone, single-handed; but we read in another column of the paper reporting his speech that the hon. member for Welland (Mr. German), the hon. member for Lambton (Mr. Pardee), and many others of the stalwarts of the other side were advertised to speak at different meetings in the county, and then my hon. friend from South Bruce (Mr. Truax) took some courage and thought he would leave the question of the dance and the girls alone and would speak on other subjects. What do we see? Let me read to you here a circular which was distributed all over the county of Bruce and find what the hon. member himself did as a candidate in a Canadian constituency and a part of the British Empire:

Walkerton, Oct. 13, 1913.

Dear Sir,-Accompanying this letter you will And an exact copy, in part, of a speech delivered in Vancouver on August 17, 1912, by the Hon. Sam. Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence in the Borden Government. Premier Borden has never repudiated that speech or any part of it, so we must conclude that the Hon. Mr. Hughes spoke that way on behalf of the whole Borden Government. Read the speech carefully.

The report is taken from the Globe, of course, and was annexed to that circular.

Read the speech carefully; note particularly the parts in larger type referring to Germany and also remember that shortly after this speech was made thp Borden Government tried to force a vote of $35,000,000 through Parliament to send to England. The Hon. Mr. Hughes said the peril is very direct and Germany must be taught a lesson. Was this vote of $35,000,000 for the purpose of teaching Germany a lesson?

That is a question put by the hon. member.

Mr. Cargill is the candidate of the Borden Government, and therefore a supporter of this naval policy. If you think the Fatherland-

That is Germany

-is a peril to Canada that must be taught a lesson, vote for Cargill; if, however, you would prefer to continue the present cordial relations 144

existing between the Fatherland and Canada and to have a national and industrial peace and tranquility and the spending of Canadian money in Canada, give me your vote.

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January 27, 1914