January 27, 1914

CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

If I can move them, I certainly will do so. I am sorry if I have not shown the hon. gentleman that that is what I am trying to do. And I hope he will speak from his place on this question and that he will implore the Government, as I am imploring it, to take action.

Now, I come to another matter in which Canada stands at a disadvantage with respect to the iron question. Not only on the question of pig iron are we handicapped, but on the question of what is known as scrap iron as well. Scrap iron is used in conjunction with the ore in all the smelters; I have seen it used in Midland, and it is used elsewhere. Last year we imported from the United States no less than 54,000 tons of scrap iron. The duty is only $1 per ton, and as the price is about $14 a ton, the duty is about 7 per cent. I am sorry the Minister of Finance is not in his place tonight, because I should wish to address myself to him particularly in regard to one matter in relation to which the iron duties are of the greatest importance. A few years ago, before the change of Government, in answer to the request and demand of the agricultural implement manufacturers, and at an evil moment for the iron industry in this country, Hon. Mr. Fielding made the concession of reducing the duty on agricultural implements. The duty was reduced on mowers, reapers, harvesters, binders and attachments from 20 per cent to 17J per cent. At the same time, the raw material was admitted free of duty. That was a greater concession to the manufacturer than he had enjoyed before [DOT] in having 20 per cent duty on the manufactured goods. For, while his duty was only decreased 2i per cent, he was given permission to import his materials

duty free. This concession, it was claimed by the iron people, was manifestly to their disadvantage. I am not here to say to what rate these duties should be increased, but I am here to call the attention of the House to the certain important facts. We are bringing into this country the enormous amount of $140,000,000 worth of iron and iron products, as I have stated, and as was shown by Senator Mason. We have iron in our mines; we have coal in our country; we have subsidized railways to all these different mines; and towns and cities have expended thousands upon thousands of dollars in bonuses. It is high time the Government should awaken to the emergency, and high time that both sides joined in backing up the Government in making such changes in the tariff that the smoke may again issue from these smelters, that other smelters may be built in the country, and that all the other advantages may be gained that follow in the wake of this great industry. In Ontario we talk much about the advantages of cheap power. It has been demonstrated in Germany, where they have the coal, and have used that coal to make coke, that the byproducts of the coke amount to enormous sums. Why could not we have this industry with its by-products and all the wealth which would thereby be created? And from gas issuing from the coke ovens power would be produced at cheaper prices than those at which electrical energy can be sold.

I know it will be argued by some persons that if you increase the duties on iron a monopoly will be created. In answer to that, I have only this to say: We have here in Canada laws against combines. If a combine is made in restraint of trade or to unduly enhance prices, let that law be enforced, and that will have the effect of bringing prices down. After all has been said and done, the amount of iron that enters into the manufacture of one of these implements is but a mere bagatelle; I am assured that in the ordinary reaper or mower only about $3.50 worth of iron is used, so that no very great excess of price would be engendered. Take the case of malleable iron. We imported from the United States last year upwards of $2,000,000 worth of malleable iron, paying duty at the rate of 27J per cent. We have malleable iron industries in this country, and they too might manufacture what is necessary for the requirements of

Canada. I do hope the Government will take this matter into their serious consideration, and that such changes may be made in the tariff as will result in the opening up of the iron industry, thus developing the mines, creating traffic for the railways and giving employment to thousands of men who cannot be employed in this country and who must be driven out of Canada altogether unless aid is given to this industry at once.

During the debate more or less has been said in regard to the matter of transportation. My hon. friend the member for West Huron (Mr. Lewis) addressed himself to the House the other afternoon on the question of the losses on the Great Lakes during the past few months. Every hon. gentleman within the sound of my voice knows what happened on the occasions referred to. Two hundred and fifty valuable lives were lost. Insurance companies can compensate the owners of the vessels which were lost, but no power can compensate the families which have been blighted with sorrow and which have had their breadwinners taken from them. I want to say here that a great deal can be done in Canada by the Government of the day in the way of preventing the occurrence in future of such catastrophies. The Government has to-day announced the policy of expending a large sum of money on what is known as the French River section of the Georgian Bay canal. A glance at the map will point out to any hon. gentleman that the mouth of the French river is at the north end of Georgian bay, near Mani-toulin island. A large amount of money- I shall not charge my memory with recalling how many millions-has been expended on enlarging channels north of Manitoulin island, and it would need the expenditure of but a few additional millions to provide a channel from Port Arthur and Fort William through the Sault canal and north of Manitoulin to all Georgian bay ports,. When I tell the House that last year, out of

80.000. 000 bushels of grain-I am referring to wheat alone-which were shipped from Fort William, over one-half that quantity was delivered at points on the Georgian bay, it is fair to argue that by a [DOT] better system of routing, not only 40,000,000, but

80.000. 000 bushels might be taken that way. The Georgian bay ports serve a number of routes. While 80,000,000 bushels of grain may come from our Canadian Northwest and be delivered from Fort William at different points, the bulk of that amount does not by any means go by way of export either through New York or Montreal. A

large proportion, I should say fully 50 per cent of it, is consumed in Canada, and therefore, through the different ports on the Georgian bay which are reached by the Canadian Pacific railway and

by the Grand Trunk railway, this grain could be distributed throughout the different provinces of Canada. In addition to that a large portion of the grain from the north western states goes to the eastern and northeastern states via this route. This grain can be delivered from Montreal to eastern and northeastern states as cheaply as it can be delivered from the port of Buffalo, therefore it should be the object of the Government, by all possible means, to endeavour to divert that trade into the channels to which I have referred, and prevent its going to Buffalo. We are building up in Canada a large marine trade. Hon. gentlemen who do not live near the Grand Lakes have no conception of the immensity of the trade that is done to-day on these lakes; less have they any idea of the size of the vessels engaged in that trade. When I tell hon. gentlemen that in these Georgian Bay ports during the season of navigation they can see vessels carrying half a million bushels of grain of the value of half a million dollars, involving a total investment, including cargo, of $1,000,000, it will be at once apparent to them that a large and increasing trade is being done. If we are to carry that trade through Canadian channels, then the result will be the building up of a Canadian fleet, the giving of employment to Canadians on the vessels, and the grain in turn will be carried over Canadian railways. What avail is it to Canada if forty million bushels of grain are placed in American bottoms at Fort William, carried to Buffalo on American railways, and transported to the city of New York? That is no benefit to Canada at all; it does not leave one cent in the country. But if by the means I have indicated you can transfer that forty million bushels of grain to ports on the Georgian bay, hand it over then to the Canadian Pacific railway and to the Grand Trunk railway, and to their many branch lines and direct connections to New York and other United States ports, you would give to' the Canadian railway companies a large amount of trade. We are handicapped in Canada in respect of this carrying trade. There is no doubt about it that when the port of Montreal is closed we are under the disadvantage of a severe handicap. I believe, as I was informed very credibly a short time ago, that the Canadian Pacific railway

recently made this arrangement : they carried to the Suspension bridge ten million bushels of grain, which was then handed over to the New York Central railway to be carried down to New York for export to England and other European countries. What did that mean? It .meant that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company were better satisfied to have the profit that would enure to them by the carrying of the grain from Fort William to the Suspension bridge than to carry it to Halifax or St. John, N.B. What is to be done to -better these conditions? In the first place, the great handicap exists at Montreal, because the grain trade is not in full force and in full volume until the port of Montreal is on the point of closing up for the winter. The port of Montreal is invariably closed on November 26 or 27, and it is just about that time of the year that the grain is being pushed forward in the greatest volume. The result is that these large United States freighters, capable of carrying half a million bushels, come to Fort William, load up there-because it is no contravention of the coasting laws to ply between a Canadian port and a United States port-go down to Buffalo, tax the elevator accommodation there to its uttermost and those that cannot be accommodated become floating storehouses, until the grain can be unloaded later. Canada thereby lost last year the carrying by Canadian vessels and Canadian railways of the immense amount of 40,000,000 bushels of grain. This Government has now embarked on what to my mind is going to be a damaging project: the deepening of the Welland canal, but that is a matter of Government policy. No word of mine can stay it now, and I only hope and trust that it will not be a mistake. But if the vessels of the United States were able last year to come to our Canadian ports at Fort William and Port Arthur and take 40,000,000 bushels of grain from there to Buffalo, when the Welland canal is deepened to 25 or 30 feet, and will accommodate these large lake freighters, will they not be able then to take another

40,000,000 bushels of grain to Oswego, which i3 a shorter rail haul than to New York from Buffalo? Are we going to build up a merchant marine fleet in Canada? We are trying to do it. My hon. friend the hon. member for West Toronto (Sir Edmund Osier) is one of the owners of a large line of freighters on the lakes. To-day they are building-and I am glad they are doing so, because it gives that much more employment to Canada, and increases Canadian

tonnage to that extent-an immense barge capable of carrying 10,000 tons. In the shipyards at Port Arthur the company commonly known as the Richelieu Amalgamated Company is building a huge barge capable of carrying some 10,000 tons.

And to-day in the town of Sarnia there is a vessel receiving her finishing touches, one of the finest vessels on the lakes, I suppose she will be the Empress of the Great Lakes, outstripping in stability and grandeur anything on the American side as a passenger steamer. While capital in this country is being invested along these lines to build up the trade of the country, why should not Canada, through its Parliament and its Government, take steps to prevent the trade from slipping from Canadian channels and being diverted into American? I believe it can be done but it can only be done- by closing the doors before the horse is stolen. I am not addressing myself to this matter from a local point of view at all. I live in a section of the country which has risen to what was prophesied years ago that an enormous quantity of grain would be carried through that point. Twenty years ago when the late Mr. Hays paid his first visit to Midland, when I went with the mayor to call on him as an act of courtesy, he said that when the Grand Trunk had their line completed through to Montreal with better grades they hoped to be able to carry not only Canadian grain to Montreal but also to carry a large portion of the American grain. And what has the foresight of the Canadian Pacific railway done? Grades were against them, distances were against them from Owen Sound to Montreal. At a cost, of $5,000,000 or $6,000,000 they, without any government subvention, built a line from their own town of Port McNichol across to a point near Peterborough, eliminating grades, making a perfect roadbed, and to-day you can see a train moving out loaded with 60,000 bushels of grain. In consultation with a leading official of the Canadian Pacific railway I was told that they hoped not only to carry through the Canadian channel, by Canadian vessels and by Canadian railways, the grain of the Canadian northwest to an immense extent, but to go right into Duluth and take the grain away from the American vessels and railroads, grain intended for distribution to the eastern States and also all through Canada. What is the handicap at Montreal? I do not live in Montreal so I do not know the facts, but if I am correctly informed, and I think I am well within

the mark, ocean vessels were lying in Montreal for twenty days at a time and Great Lake barges lay there from ten to twenty days at a time. Why? Because there was not sufficient elevator accommodation. I do not believe it is the business of the Government or of the country or that it will ever he the business of private capital to build such elevators simply for the purpose of storing grain but if they could keep a perpetual stream of grain passing through they could make money but they cannot keep them there perpetually or for a great length of time simply for the storage of grain. What to my mind must be done is to secure better ocean rates from Canada to the Old Country. That matter has been placed before the Government. It has had a sympathetic hearing and that is all. Why cannot this Government engage in the institution and forming of an insurance business for lake freight and ocean freight in this country? If our vessel interests on the Great Lakes and on the ocean are unjustly discriminated against by the American and British companies let this Government form itself into a business proposition and give to the vessel interests of this country such rates of insurance that they will be able to compete with the out-going freight on vessels from New York. This matter should commend itself to the Government at the very earliest day. We have great advantages in this country to develop that trade to go by the north shore of Manitoulin island and by these two great railway systems and ports on the Georgian bay. When I speak of these two great railways let hon. gentlemen consider that the Grand Trunk have not only one line of railway from the Georgian bay but two because they own the railway from Depot Harbour, so the Grand Trunk have two lines by which they can carry the grain to the northeastern States as well as to our own Canadian ports or even to New York itself. If there is danger of accident and catastrophe on the Great Lakes, if they occur on the four lakes, Ontario, Erie, Superior and Huron, surely they will be minimized if the trade only has to run the length of one lake and if the danger is minimized surely the insurance can be kept down. If you discuss this matter with a vessel man he will say there is a uniform rate of insurance whether to Buffalo or Georgian bay ports. In the first place Canada has a great advantage or should have over the United States in the matter of insurance in this

that, while I have never seen a compilation of figures, I think I am well within the mark in saying that insurance companies, prior to last year when the catas-trophies occurred on lake Huron, paid more insurance losses for collisions between Sarnia and Detroit than on all the lakes put together. Why is that? Because there are narrow places and you see the huge vessels going up and down-and I think I am within the mark when I say every five minutes a vessel passes up or down-in the fall of the year when there may be snowstorms or heavy fog there are a great many collisions and as a result a great deal of money has been lost by the insurance companies. More than that every vessel that goes to a point on the Georgian bay will make three trips there as against one trip to Buffalo. Surely that is a manifest advantage when you consider the size of a boat carrying 500,000 bushels of grain where the rate may be as high as 3 cents a bushel. There is a saving of two trips. Then there is another question of importance and that is that by our route there is no detention. Reading the vessel reports you will often see a whole fleet delayed at lake St. Clair or some other narrow point by reason of a heavy fog when there is no possibility of moving forward and they all come to a halt for fear of accident. I believe that this country and this Parliament could well address themselves to the task of discussing a matter of this kind. It is not a purely local matter, it is not even a provincial matter, it is a matter of great importance to the whole country. Surely it is a matter of importance to the farmer of the West if he can lessen his freight rates and to the manufacturer in the East if he can carry back his manufactured goods at a lower rate. I wish that hon. gentlemen in this Chamber would visit some of these ports on the Great Lakes and see the possibilities there are there for the development of the carrying trade of the country. The Canadian Pacific railway alone employ over 75,000 men and, taking four per family, that means the up-keeping by that company of a population of 300,000. The Grand Trunk railway must have almost a similar number and therefore it is to our manifest advantage that the railway interests of this country should be advanced so that the Canadian Pacific railway will employ not 75,000 men, but double 75,000 and every other company may be increased proportionately. I am addressing myself to these two matters because they affect the part of the community to which I belong and from which I

come, and the people of my constituency are deeply interested in this whole question. They are vitally interested in the two questions. I think I can fairly say that the iron industry, affecting as it does every province of this Dominion, has made the province of Nova Scotia, and I ask hon. gentlemen where would the province of Nova Scotia have been to-day had it not been for the development of the iron industry? Where would the thousands of young men in this province have been? Certainly not in that province where they have passed into the ranks of mechanics and artisans of a high grade. This industry has affected the development of the whole country. Why, therefore, not develop in New Brunswick, where they have those splendid areas of iron ore, a large iron and steel business? Why not develop these industries in the province of Ontario, where we have large iron deposits? Go into the county of Hastings, and you will find that they have them there, go to Port Arthur and Fort William, and you will find that they have them adjoining those cities. Let us spend our energies and bring our arguments to bear upon the Government in order that this iron industry may be developed. The coming into the Chamber of the hon. member for Welland (Mr. German) reminds me of the fact that within the past year a smelter has been established at Port Col-borne. This should be backed up. The duty on pig iron should be raised to such an extent, in my opinion, whether it should be 55 a ton or $6 a ton, that the Canadian market would be guaranteed to the Canadian producer of pig iron, with the result that this great industry would give employment to thousands of men in this country. Open up and develop the mines and keep within our own borders the wealth that is now going to the neighbouring republic.

I am not going into many of the other questions that have been discussed. They will be discussed, no doubt, on the Budget. I am a believer in this, that we here in Canada have been galloping at too fast a gait. We have had too much' gambling in the Northwest in lands. Go to any town in the province of Ontario, and what is the statement that will be made to you? Men here are hard up by reason of the fact that they have been making payments on land in the Northwest. With all my friends who have come down from the Northwest, it is all one and the same story-they have been indiscreet, they have got property rich, they have been buying lands very freely, and as

a consequence they have not been able to pay their agricultural implement and store bills. But these things are all going to level themselves up. This country is only on the edge of its development. I saw it stated the other day by Mr. Michener, the leader of the Opposition in the Alberta Legislature, that in Alberta only two per cent of the arable land is under cultivation. I have heard the statement made, and I believe it is within the mark, that the province of Saskatchewan has less than ten per cent of its arable land cultivated, and the old province of Manitoba still has large areas of land that have not been taken up. What does it mean to Canada, to us here in Eastern Canada, who have felt the throb of development in the building up of our industries and factories as a result of the settlement in the West of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of farmers? When there comes a production from that western country, not of 200,000,000 bushels, but of ten times 200,000,000 bushels of grain, and when Canada has three great Transcontinental railways in full operation, it will mean everything not only for Eastern Canada but for Western Canada. Let hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House look before them and see what is going on in this country. Look at the railway construction that is being commenced to-day, the branch lines in the Northwest. True, in old Ontario-we are not having new lines of railway constructed such as we had in years past. We are having dry docks built at Vancouver and at Sault Ste. Marie, and there is an expectation of others being built at different points. We are having grain elevators constructed; a new one is being built for the Canadian Pacific railway at Port McNiehol. In the West we see indications that flour mills are to be erected in anticipation of the flour traffic westward by way of the Panama canal. VVe have the ship-building industry that I have referred to before. On all sides we see the prospect of the coming to Canada of thousands of people. Not only from Great Britain and from Europe, but from the United States the tide of immigration has set in for Canada. We are the only country in the world to-day that has unbounded areas of land to give free to the man who wishes to come in and become a citizen of this great country. Let the beacon lights of Canada for years to come be hope in Canadians and faith in Canada.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York):

Mr. Speaker, I must compliment the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. W. H. Bennett) on the excellent speech he has made. I have heard him speak in this House quite a number of times when he was formerly a member, and since he became a member recently, and I must say, after listening to the speech he made to-night, at the same time not wishing to cast any reflection upon the speeches of hon. gentlemen who preceded him, that we should have more of these speeches in this debate and in the House.

With the example before me I am going to try and deal with one or two questions that should be of practical interest to the country, and I propose to do it in a very short time. I was attracted and much pleased with the announcement made by the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Pelletier) this afternoon that we are at last to have parcel post in this country. There is a saying in the Bible that bread cast upon the waters will return after many days. Some of us have cast bread on the waters of this Parliament in favour of parcel post, and we see a realization of our hopes in the coming back of the bread on these waters now. While it may be said that progress is slow in this country, still we are always making some progress, and I congratulate the hon. Postmaster General on the announcement this afternoon that at last we are to have parcel post. I hope he will make his experiment on the largest possible lines, that he will take heart from the splendid success of parcel post in the United States, and that when he introduces the system next month the terms will be liberal, the service will be wide, and that the benefits will be appreciated in every portion of the country.

It is our privilege in the debate on the Address to bring up general topics, or topics of interest to various sections of the country, and I hope that privilege will long continue. I propose to-n'ight to refer to two or three things, but before doing so I would just like to lay down two underlying principles that I think are now recognized more or less by all Canadians. The two things that strike one most in a review of the history of Canada are, first, the long struggle to obtain self-government in this country as against the mother land. That took years and years. It required over a century of effort to obtain anything like self-government in this country, but we have it to-day, and we look upon it as the

most valuable thing we have under our system of government-namely, the right to manage our own affairs absolutely independent of the mother country. That, to my mind, comes up perhaps in connection with the question of naval defence, and I may be permitted to refer to that a little later on. There is another great underlying principle in connection with our country which is perhaps not recognized by all of us, but which must he recognized virtually by most of us, and that is that if we have achieved our political independence in this country as against the mother country, and if we have self-government, we have also achieved another great principle, and that is complete independence for Canada to control her fiscal policy independently of the United States. That took a long while to achieve, and the right hon. gentleman in a way was perhaps not opposed to it, but he did try to develop in this country the idea of commercial union, and later on reciprocity, and his experience must now demonstrate to him that while, as I think, he has the interest of this country at heart, the thing he thought to achieve in the way he thought tc achieve it was against the wishes of the majority of the people in Canada who are determined above all, not only to have political independence and to uphold selfgovernment as against the mother country, but determined to uphold the principles of being absolutely independent of the United States in the matter of their fiscal tariff. I do not cast any reflection on the right hon. gentleman for maintaining that position because we know that, Ephraim came down to history because he was wedded to his idols, and the right hon. gentleman may go down to history for his fidelity to his views.

My conception of Canadian history is that it teaches the two great principles of the right of self-government and the right to form our commercial and fiscal policy independent of the United States, and that Canadians are going to assert those princi-iles under every circumstance. In connection with the debate on the Naval Aid Bill, it was a matter of regret to me that suggestions were made in this House which looked to the abandonment of the idea of absolute self-government and of Canada being mistress of her own destinies.

I come now to matters of direct and present concern. We have had a great deal of what we call national policy in this country; we have had national policy in the interest of the manufacturers

and for the encouragement of home industries of all kinds; we have had national policy in the matter of railroad building and we have spent immense sums of money and incurred enormous liabilities in that respect; 10 p.m. and last session we had what perhaps might be called national policy with regard to banking, because we passed a law which was thought to be in the interests of the banking institutions of the country, and with which they are satisfied. But, Sir, the day has come when we must have a national policy for the farmers of Canada, and I now demand a national policy for the farmers of the Canadian Northwest in the direction of the abolition of the duty on wheat, so that these farmers may get what they want in their own interest. The farmers of the Canadian West want free wheat for two reasons: first, because they say they can get a better price for their wheat in the United States, and, secondly, because they contend they get better freight rates for the wheat they export to Europe if they send it by the American railroads. I believe it has been established that the price of wheat is better on the average in the American market, and that the railroad rates in the United States to-day are more favourable to the producer than are the Canadian railroad rates. These two things having been established, it is our duty in the interest of the farmer of the great west to withdraw the duty on wheat and thereby secure the entrance of Canadian wheat into the United States. It may be charged that in this I am abandoning my views with regard to protection. I do not know that I am, but if my views or if anybody's views on the subject of protection happen to be wrong or happen not to suit the requirements of to-day, then it is well that these views should be modified. But I think I will be able to show that I will have to abandon very little of my protectionist views to secure a great benefit for the farmers of the West. It has been said that free wheat would be detrimental to the Canadian railways and detrimental to the Canadian millers. I purpose answering that later, but in the meantime I say that I do not wish it to be thought that the Canadian millers are dependent on the legislation of the United States to keep their milling industry in this country. If it is necessary to keep the milling industry in Canada, I say now that we will have to find some method of our own to do so. If the Canadian farmer in the West-and he is now up against it, and we all admit he f.Mr. W. P. Maclean.]

is up against it, and he has had a hard time with stringent money and discouragement of one kind and another-if the Canadian farmer in the West is suffering, then it is our duty to come to his relief and to. give him the benefit of this American market where the prices are better, and to give him also the benefit of cheaper transportation over the American railways.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

Would the hon. gentleman be good enough to tell us how much was the price of wheat in the United States higher than the price in Canada during each month of the past year? The hon. gentleman might also tell us to what extent freight rates are lower in the United States than they are in Canada?

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William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN :

If the hon. gentleman wants to have that question answered, let him go to the farmers of the Canadian West.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

That is not an answer.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN :

That is quite a

sufficient answer. I have watched the progress of the agitation; I have seen it dis cussed in the newspapers; and I think the farmers of the West know what is good for them. Am I to understand from the hon. gentleman that the price of wheat is less in the United States than it is in Canada?

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

During a large portion of this year it was.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN :

How is it then

that shipments of wheat are going from Canada to the United States now and paying the duty? It may be that at times the price was higher in Canada, but what I say is that on the average the price is higher in the United States. We have the resolutions passed by the farmers themselves, and my hon. friend will not dispute that the farmers who have the experience know what they are talking about. Anybody who has read the long and careful investigation made by the Winnipeg Free Press in regard to freight rates in the West, must admit that a case has been made out that rates are lower on American railways, and that the price of wheat on the average is better in the Canadian market. It is our duty to do something for the farmer. Other hon. members have made speeches to that effect.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Do you mean farmers or wheat growers?

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN:

I will say wheat growers. The man who grows wheat is a citizen of this country and requires our protection. Of course, I would like to see him a mixed farmer, and the way to make him a mixed farmer is to show him that he is getting the best price for his wheat. Mixed farming is coming in the West, and a better system of farming is coming in Ontario. But to-day the farmers of the West are more or less discouraged. If I can believe the letters which I get, and all that I read and hear, and the resolutions that are passed, I know that the people who are asking for relief are the farmers of the West, and they are asking for relief in regard to railway freight rates and the price of wheat.

I come now to the question as to whether the railways will be injured or not and whether the millers of western wheat will be injured or not. A great cry has gone forth that they will be. It is also put forward that the eastern wheat grower will be more or less injured if we have free wheat. After analysing most of these statements, and I have got some capacity for getting at the truth of a statement, I find that this cry of free wheat is almost altogether from the railways of this country and partly from the milling interests of this country. Canadian railways can carry that wheat for less, and the moment they have the competition of the American railways they will come down to American rates, and they can keep their freight if they wish to.

The same is the case with the millers. Do you mean to tell me that Canadian millers, with their mills almost at the seat of production of the wheat, cannot compete with the American millers? I say that they can; I say that they are ready for the business. Of course they would like to keep the monopoly they have to-day in regard to wheat milling in this country, and they have got a great monopoly. They are well linked up together and are in a position, by reason of their monopoly and the association of the railways, to keep down the price of wheat. Thus in two ways the Canadian farmer will benefit. They will benefit by the competition of American railways and they will benefit by the fact that the millers will have to come up to the mark and give them more for their Canadian wheat if they want to grind it in their mills. If I thought for one moment that the Canadian mills would be in danger, I as a life-long protectionist might be inclined to listen to their views, but I have made a full investigation of the matter and, to the best of my mind, the Canadian railways, can stand a reduction in Ihe

freight rates, and the Canadian mills can stand the competition and can give more for the Canadian wheat and can still keep the business.

In connection with that, there is also the question of the offal from grinding grain, for the purpose of feeding stock. The farmers of the West ought to go more into mixed farming. They ought to abandon that business of being merely wheat growers and become out-and-out farmers. They ought to feed the offal of that wheat, ground in Canadian mills, to Canadian cattle. In that new national policy for the benefit of the farmers, which I think we ought to have in this country, we cannot too soon come to the idea that we must stop slaughtering our young cattle, and that we ought to use all the offal of the wheat ground in Canadian mills for feeding live stock on Canadian farms. There is a good national policy for the farmers, and I am for it, and it is because I am for it that I am making this statement to-night.

My hon. friend from Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) says: Oh, we may lose this

cattle-feeding business in this country; our cattle will all go over to the States, and our bran and shorts will go over there, and the Americans will feed it to our cattle. Then so much the worse for Canada. If it has that tendency, then under that principle, which I asserted here previously this evening, that we have the right to make our own fiscal policy and be independent of the United States, it is for us to do it here. If it is found that the millers of this country cannot grind our wheat under the competition of the American railways for the freight, then it is up to this Parliament and to the Conservative party now in power and to the party which opposed reciprocity two years ago, to make a national policy in this country such that it will keep this business heTe. We should not depend for the retaining of that business upon fiscal legislation passed by the United States. That is my idea of a national policy and that is my idea of what Canada ought to stand for.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN:

I can keep the milling industry here by a bounty on milling. I can frame up a policy that will encourage the growing of live stock in this country.

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William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Would you have a

bounty for that too?

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William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN:

I do not know whether I would or not. I am not against giving bounties; I was born that way. I hope the hon. gentleman is not taking the posi-

tion that the national policy for the encouragement of home industry in this country ought to be based upon the legislation of the United States. That is what it comes down to. If it goes abroad that this Canadian Parliament is looking to the United States duty on wheat to keep their industries at home and to encourage their home industries, President Wilson will be down to-morrow with a Bill taking off the duty on wheat, whether we care to do anything or not. That is what we are up against. Most likely he will do it, but in the meantime, do not let the Canadian farmer of the West suffer from present conditions. Take the Canadian farmer out of bondage, and he is in bondage to-day to the railways and to the mills. When I shy that the railways can stand a reduction in their freight rates, let me give you the instance of the enormous wealth of the great Canadian Pacific railway in this country. Can any Conservative member stand up in this House and say that he justifies our present railway policy, which is a discrimination in Canadian freight rates as against the Canadian West. The whole country paid for these railways or for the most of them. We passed the legislation and we are here to pass legislation, the result of which will be fair treatment throughout Canada. And, though we have been passing legislation dealing with railways for twenty-two years since I first came here, and long before that, I have never yet heard the voice of the man I would like to hear declaring on behalf of the West: We refuse to let any legislation go through this House until the principle of equality of freight rates in this country is inscribed in the Statute Book and not left to the Railway Commission. Who is there, who claims to be a Canadian and says he believes in fair railway rates and equality of treatment, who could justify the discrimination that has been put upon the West, that stigma that has been put upon them that although they pay their share of the customs duties and of everything else in this country, for some reason they, for all time, are to pay railway rates that discriminate against them. I contend that the Canadian Pacific railway has in its charter to-day a condition under which it ought to give lower rates to the people of the West. If you tell me that the Grand Trunk Pacific or the Canadian Northern railway, who are coming into the field, could not stand the reduction in rates that the Canadian Pacific railway would stand; I would reply that some kind of national policy should be devised that

would help them out for the time, and that the people of the West should not be allowed to continue under this unjust and unfair condition of railway rates. Nobody has ever justified it yet. The Railway Commission may be trying to justify it, or may be trying to wipe it out. My contention is-and I will stand by it every day in the week-that the time has come for equality of railway rates as between the East and the West. I contend that the farmer of the West is entitled to the best market for his wheat and to the lowest possible freight rate. I know just what the people of the West want, I have no doubt about it; and I am here to-night to urge the Government when considering their tariff, and in any changes they may have to announce in connection with the Budget speech - especially in view of their statement in this debate that the interests of the farmers of this country is to be their first concern *- to give consideration to the prayer of the farmers of of the West that they may be given free wheat in order that they may get better prices, and also given equal freight rates with the East. I may have to discuss this question at a greater length on a subsequent occasion during the present session. But I think I am doing a very practical service to the country by bringing the subject forward and giving -what I think are sufficient reasons for the position I have taken.

Now, I wish to deal briefly with another question that I have raised pretty often in this House, and that is the capitalization of railways. That question has been brought to our attention again by the action of the Canadian Pacific railway in its last issue of capital. I have heard very prominent men in this House, especially lawyers, and more especially ministers of justice, say that the question of capitalization is of no interest to the people, that it does not matter to the people what capital the railways issue. Will anybody look at the United States today and see what has taken place there in regard to the over-capitalization A railways, see how the New York and New Haven and Boston and Maine roads have been wrecked and reduced to absolutely non-paying propositions by reason of over capitalization, and repeat here again the statements I have heard made in this House by men in high positions supposed to be authorities on this question? Over capitalization is a curse; it is against the public, against the State, against the railway itself. But the air is clearing in the United States. A statement was made there the other day by the Presi-

dent of the United States which, I think, settles the question for good. I heard the other day that our Minister of Finance was considering the question and would perhaps issue a commission to ascertain the facts in regard to the capitalization of railways. I do not know whether I am correct in saying that, I merely heard it incidentally. But we do not want any commission after the lucid deliverance that was made by Mr. Wilson when he addressed Congress the other day. I will read his words:

In the second place, business men as well as those who direct public affairs now recognize, and recognize with painful clearness, the great harm and injustice which has been done to many if not all of the great railroad systems of the country by the way in which they have been financed and their own distinctive interests subordinated to the interests of the men who financed them and of other business enterprises which those men wished to promote.

The country is ready, therefore, to accept, and accept with relief as well as approval, a law which will confer upon the Interstate Commerce Commission the power to superintend and regulate the financial operations by which the railroads are henceforth to be supplied with the money they need for their proper development to meet the rapidly-growing requirements of the country for increased and improved facilities for transportation.

We cannot postpone action in this matter without leaving the railroads exposed to many serious handicaps and hazards; and the prosperity of the railroads and the prosperity of the country are inseparably connected.

The time has come when we must regulate the capitalization of the railroads and other corporations of this country. Overcapitalization has been a curse. I say, it has wrecked railroad after railroad in the United States. Attempts have been made under State laws to regulate the capitalization there. Wherever this has been done the benefits have been substantial and the results have been greatly appreciated by the public. But the time haa come in regard to railroad corporations when the federal authority must control the issue of capital. And the wise thing for us in this country as I have often contended in this House- and both parties are to blame that it was so, and the worst thing ever done in that thing in this country, I have often contended in this House and both parties are to blame for it-was the way we allowed the Canadian Pacific railway to issue stock on which a high dividend had to be paid, against an issue of bonds which would have been sufficient for all their purposes. I hope and trust that in the new Railway Bill which is to come down, I do not know whether it is mentioned in the Speech from 16

the Throne, but I have seen it stated in the newspapers that such a Bill was to be introduced-there will be a section vesting the control of capitalization of railways in the Railway Commission. I hope the Minister of Railways will also put on the statute book a principle of equality of freight rates in this country. It is a principle that Parliament must settle. It is absurd to say that such a principle must be left to the Railway Commission. If the assertion of the principle means that freight rates may have to go up a little, if we put the principle on the staute books, it will be the duty of the Railway Commission to adjust the rates all over the country so that there may be equality. I want to see the man rise in this House who will say that, notwithstanding that railways cost no more to build and to run in the West than in the East, there should be higher prices in the West than in the East. If the feeling in this House is, as I believe it to be, in favour of equality of freight rates, then that should be put on the Statute book and not left to the unsafe action of a Railway Commission.

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Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I am largely disposed to agree with what my hon. friend says about over-capitalization, but he said that it was over-capitalization that had brought the Boston and Maine railroad to its present condition. Can he explain that?

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William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN:

Yes. A man died recently in the United States, having first made a confession of faith and of his belief in the Christian religion. If any hon. gentleman will refer to recent issues of the New York World he will see it plainly set out that the late Mr. Morgan and Mr. J. D. Rockfeller were at the bottom of a scheme for buying up all kinds of trolley, steamship, or subsidiary lines at the rate of say $8,000,000 each, and the next minute selling them to the New York, New Haven and Hartford railway or the Boston and Maine railroad for $25,000,000. The shareholders of the big road, many of whom are poor people of New England, can ill afford to be looted by schemers unloading such [DOT] worthless propositions and getting four times what they pay for them in paid-up stock of the great company. That is the way it is done, and it can be done here. The President of the United States now says, in the presence of Congress, which will carry out his wishes, that within a very few weeks no railway shall issue any securities without first receiving the approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission. And we want that

here. It is provided by Act of Parliament in some way that the Canadian Pacific railway shall consult the Governor in Council in regard to some of their issues, but they have not done so, and they have gone round the corner and put out this note issue. I do not believe they wanted the money, but they wanted to do some melon cutting for the benefit of their shareholders. I do not think it has been a very successful issue; something has happened since these melons were cut by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and it is this: The net shrinkage in Canadian Pacific securities since this melon cutting began,-having regard to all the issues that have been made since-is $150,000,000. It has been ascertained by the investors in these securities that this cutting of melons and unnecessary enlargement of stock is not a good business transaction for that railway. I want to see legislation in this country providing that all our railroads, large and small, must subject the issue of their securities to the control of some responsible body. It is in the public interest that they should be so controlled, because the increasing of the issues is done with a view to imposing greater burdens on the people. That has been established and admitted on all sides, and you will see legislation in the United States this year in that direction.

We have entered upon a policy of great expenditure in the way of ports and terminals in this country. We are to make Montreal a great terminal port, and the same may be said of Quebec, St. John, Halifax, and I think I heard an hon. gentleman say this afternoon that he hoped Sydney would be included also.

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Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

What about Vancouver?

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William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN:

take care of their own issue and he ready to pay depositors who call for their money The day has come when bank notes must be withdrawn in this country and national notes must take their place, and we can give these banks a better currency and give it to them on deposit at 2 per cent, and they will make more money out of that than from their own issues. If they can re-discount there will not be a bank that will be afraid to extend its credit to its customers; it will know that we have the system of one great national bank in this country doing the business of the *country in the way of re-discounts and issuing of national notes. They can get relief immediately there. The other thing is that the Government of the United States to-day is a partner in the banking business of that country, and the profits over a certain point are to be shared with the country; and the banks in the United States, and the President of the United States and the Government of the United States will hereafter have a say, as the Government of France has a say, and the Government of Germany and the Government of every country in Europe, with the exception of Great Britain, has a say in the rate of discount that prevails in the country. It would be a' good thing for the farmers

of the West if somebody here in actual authority had something to say about the rate of interest which the banks have been charging out there. There is another discrimination put on the people of the West; 10 per cent interest is the rule out there because we have permitted higher freight rates to be charged the farmer in the West than are charged in the East, and the farmer of the West, I am afraid, will have to put up with it until he rises and says it has got to stop. We must have in this country the improved system of banking which they have in the United States and in all Europe, and we cannot have it too soon. If there is a money stringency here now there will be another stringency subsequently and this will often occur. The way to head off a money stringency is to have a means of credit, a flexibility in the currency of the country by the system of rediscounts controlled by the state and the use of national notes, sufficiently secured by gold and other reserves of the nation; and when you have that there cannot be a money stringency such as we have had in this country, and such as they have had in the United States. The proof of it is this: A short time ago UMr. p, Maclean.]

when the banks of the United States were prepared to take advantage of the American people by reason of the stringency, the present Secretary of the Treasury, a very progressive man, Mr. McAdoo, said: ' I have $500,000,000 of the nation's money, and I will lend it to any bank.' The rate of interest that was threatened was never put into force, money got plentiful and money will be enormously plentiful in the United States by reason of that improved banking system. When we dealt with the organization of banks last session we did not deal with the question of currency. We absolutely neglected it and if we want to bring the country back to prosperity we have to revise our currency laws.' The nation must have a lot to say in regard to banking and must make provision for rediscount, for a plentiful supply of national notes properly secured by gold reserves. If we do that we will do something to help and benefit this country. The banks to-day, under the present system, cannot find the currency necessary for this country and that was the reason for the subterfuge that was adopted last year of creating a gold reserve in Montreal. Any one who wishes to see that it was only a subterfuge and has not increased the currency should read an editorial in the Montreal Telegraph of a few months ago written, I imagine, by the late Minister of Finance. I read that article with great interest. It confirms my views and I wish to say that the currency question is another question that has been absolutely neglected in this country for years and years. We have been working under an old system, so have the people in the United States; but they have instituted reforms in this respect, they have shown the way as they are showing the way to us now in a great many things. If you wish to see progressive legislation here you have to look for it in the United States and in England. The greatest progressive legislation is going on in the United States. The people there were awakened some years ago. They had been brought up to believe that they had the greatest government and the greatest constitution in all the world.

The fathers of their constitution were treated as fathers of the church are now treated by good churchmen. When you come to an actual investigation, their constitution amounts to very little and great monopolies and very unfair things were permitted under it. There was child labour in that new country and there were slums all over the United States. Nearly everything was found to be bad, the Government was bad, the constitution was archaic.

But the people started to read books on political economy, and the magazines started to discuss these questions in a way that the public press had neglected. The attitude ot' the public press towards a great many of these questions has been surprising. I have been identified with the press for quite a while and I still say this, that a newspaper has no right to assert that it is possessed of the gospel unless it is the true gospel that it preaches. Newspapers think they have a divine right and, but if you investigate the history of the United States for the past thirty years you will find that the newspapers have been gradually going against the people and that the magazines have come to the relief of the people. The people began to read these books on political economy and as a result to-day there is a wave of political reform in the United States. They are making a degree of progress in that direction that may well attract our attention. They are older than we are and they have had more experience than we have. They have reformed their laws in regard to banking and they are reforming their laws in regard to the capitalization of railways. The Railway Commission has come to the relief of shippers and farmers from one end of the United States to the other. I see the right lion, leader of the Opposition laughing; perhaps he thinks this is a new doctrine.

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Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

No, I quite

agree.

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William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN :

Perhaps he thinkB

that I am a disciple of his. I hope he will be a disciple of mine and follow me.

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January 27, 1914