January 28, 1914

LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I am not commissioned to answer for the Government of the United States. The ex-President will be in this city on Saturday, and I would suggest that my hon. friend consult him in the matter.

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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. SHARPE:

Will the hon. gen-, tleman tell us who made the statement which he has been reading?

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

No, I will not tell my hon. friend who made the statement, although I am quite at liberty to do so; because I do not think he has any right to inqu.re. If he is interested in the matter, he can easily veri.y the assertion mode as a statement of fact. It is open ior any gentleman to show that it is not a fact, if it is not. There is no question about the fact that wheat was at a lower point in the Liverpool market last fall than it has been for many years. There is no doubt, as is affirmed elsewhere in this letter, that Canadian wheat was selling below the price of United States wheat of equal value; the reason given for that condition was that our Canadian wheat was forced on the market and naturally the price went down, as the article says, under its own weight. Why, it may be asked, was the wheat sent forward in such large quantities? Partly because of the pressure which was exerted upon the farmer compelling him to sell, and partly the feeling on the part of the farmer that it would be better for him to sell early than to sell late, after a grain blockade had occurred and the price had been still further hammered down. If we had the right to sell to the

United States all the year round, we would have the advantage of the double market; we would have the advantage of winter transportation to one of those markets, and our farmers would not be compelled to force all their grain out before the close of navigation. Free access to the markets of the United States last year would, aside from the advance in the price from the United States market, by mak'ng it a bus.ness proposition for our farmers to hold back their wheat, have helped the Liverpool price to - a very material extent. It is beyond question that, having regard to world products, the wider the markets, the greater their number, and the more easily accessible they are, the better for the producer. That is an elementary proposition that cannot be denied. If our prairie west is to increase in production, our farmers must be able to make a profit. Under circumstances as they are, it is necessary for the Government of Canada, instead of shutting their eyes, instead of asking people to wait until things right themselves, without loss of time to take every means that can be taken to secure to the producer the best price that the world's markets will give him, by decreasing the burden of taxation, by facilitating his means of production, by decreasing the cost of transportation, by improving the conditions under which trade is carried on; and if to attain this end it is necessary for these gentlemen to forswear their settled policy, if it is necessary for them to reverse the position that they took in 1911, I say the needs of the country are such as to demand that action at their hands; and, whatever they nay conceive to be their duty according to their belief, we consider it to be our duty to bring to the attention of the House and of the country, in the most emphatic manner that we are able to, the condition as it exists, the need of a remedy and a suggestion as to what the remedy should be.

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LIB

Levi Thomson

Liberal

Mr. LEVI THOMSON (Qu'Appelle):

I

am very sorry that the Government supporters appear to have dropped out of this discussion; it seems to me it is of sufficient importance to justify the Government in putting up men to continue it. In the minds of the farmers of Saskatchewan, at least the question of the removal of the Canadian duty on wheat is one of vast importance. We are told by members and supporters of the present Government that the Government has done great things for the farmers. I am willing to give all reasonable credit to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Burrell) for what he has done in the matter of agricultural grants. I believe the estimate for agricultural purposes for the years 1913-14 is something more than $1,000,000 over the estimate prepared by the late Government for the years 1911-12. It seems to me that the boasting we have heard about this great increase is very extravagant, to say the least of it, when we remember that the increase in the general estimates of the years 1913-14 over 1911-12 amounts to $50,000,000, it does not seem to me at least that the increase in the agricultural grant is surprising, except on account of its meagreness. A little over 2 per cent of the increase is given tq agriculture. As the people of Canada are generally waking up to the fact that agricultural education has been neglected in cur country, that agricultu al progress is necessary in order to have progress of any k nd, and that it is in the interest of the country generally that agriculture should receive more attention and assistance, it seems to me that the percentage of increase in the Estimates voted to agriculture is small instead of large, and that the minister might very well have made the vote much greater and still have had the general support of all classes of the community. I think his failure to provide for a greater proportion of the general increase being given to the work of his department indicates a want of courage on his part. The amount the farmers of the prairie provinces will gain by the action of the United States in throwing the duty off cattle and decreasing the duty on oats is very much more than they will gain by the Agricultural Instruction Act. The Minister of Agriculture should not allow himself to be outdone in the matter of assisting the farmers of Canada by the President of the United States. We have a right to expect more from our Minister of Agriculture than from the President of the United States; but 1 -do not think that any one will suggest that we get anything like as much. [DOT] The greatest assistance we have got since the present Government came into power, in fact the only assistance, has come from the other side of the line. We hear suggestions that it would be a bad thing to encourage anything that would create a desire to be annexed to the United States.

I do not know what possible condition would make that more likely than the present state of affairs, when we are getting

quotation I have is in the Winnipeg Telegram of Monday, January 19, reporting the Winnipeg flour prices of Saturday, the 17th of this month.

The highest quotation for flour at Winnipeg on that date was $5.40 per barrel and the lowest $3.00 per barrel. I give only two quotations, the lowest and the highest, but there were a number of other quotations given for grades of flour in between and dividing the total by the number of quotations given, I find that the average price was $4.47. I arrived at the average price in Chicago by the same process. The Chicago Tribune gives the price of flour for the same date, the highest price quoted being $5.30 and the lowest $2.65, and applying the same process, the average of the quotations is $3.70 a barrel. On the same day No. 1 Northern wheat was 851 cents at Fort William while the Chicago price for American No. 2 Northern was 901 cents. I find no Chicago quotation for No. 1 on that date and so I was obliged to take the quotation for No. 2. I think most of us have heard enough of the difference in the prices of these grades to have an idea as to what that difference would be. In other words, the best Chicago flour on that date was quoted ten cents lower than at Winnipeg; the worst 35 cents lower, and the average 77 cents lower, while No. 2 wheat was five and a half cents per bushel higher in Chicago than No. 1 in Fort William. This shows plainly how the Canadian consumer, as well as the Canadian grain grower, will gain by the action we propose. There is no question but that, while the Canadian grain grower will get more for his wheat, the Canadian consumer will buy his flour at a lower price and the millers will not be driven out of business even then. It is safe to say that there is no possibility of the millers being driven out of business by any proposal such as this. I assert that the statement to that effect is not supported by evidence. We are not shown how it costs Canadian millers more than American millers to mill their wheat, but the statement that the Canadian millers cannot compete with the American millers is very easily disproved by the evidence at hand. I take from the Canadian trade reports the exports of flouFproduced in Canada for the year ending March 31, 1908, to the year ending March 31, 1913, inclusive, and the following is the result:

Exports of Canadian Flour.

Barrels. Value.

1908 .. .. 1,962,740 .. ..$ 8,454,9541909 .. .. 1,738,038 .. .. 7,991,4131910 .. .. 3,064,028 .. .. 14,859,8541911 .. .. 3,049,046 .. .. 13,854,7901912 .. .. 3,738,836 .. .. 16,034,0641913 .. .. 4,478,043 .. .. 19,970,689

It will be seen that nearly $20,000,000 worth of flour was exported out of Canada by the millers of Canada, for the year ending March 31, 1913, and in that same year there was exported by the millers of Canada 1,662,338 cwts. of bran valued at $1,603,003. So that in the year ending March 31, 1913, there was exported milled products from Canada to the value of $21,573,692. It is impossible, of course, to give the exact amount that will be exported during the current year which will end on the last day of next month, but judging by the increase that has taken place from year to year in the past, we may safely say that over $26,000,000 worth of mill products will be exported this year by the Canadian millers. It must be remembered that when a miller exports mill products from this country to some other country, he is in open competition with the world; he has to face the Minneapolis millers and millers from many other places. He has no advantage whatever. Unless he produces his flour as cheaply as other millers, he cannot export his flour. Looking over the speech which my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. White) delivered the other day, I find he says that the output of the mills of Canada is now $82,000,000 or thereabouts. If that is correct, as I presume it is, then if the output exported increases during the present year, as it has done in past years, about one-third of the mill products of Canada will be exported to other countries and will come into direct competition with the mill products of every other country, with no advantage, no protection. If the mills can compete with other millers on one-third of their products, there is no reason why they should not compete for our benefit with other millers on the other two-thirds.

I think that makes the matter clear; but to make it a little clearer, even at the risk of repetition, I desire to quote from a news item in the morning Citizen of Ottawa of the 26th of this month. It is headed ' Canadian flour drives American out of Orient.' That is very pleasant reading. It must be remembered that these Canadian millers

are frightened out of their lives of American millers. We are told that they must be protected or our wheat will go to the United States, be milled there and the flour will come back to us to be consumed. On the other hand, however, they are able to go to the Orient, to compete freely with these American millers and beat them out of the market. The news item contains the following:

The weekly trade report contains an item that is of exceeding significance in connection with Canadian grain in the Orient. The American Consul General at Hong Kong, reporting to his home Government states that Canadian flour is practically driving the American product out of the market.

We have no reason to suppose that this statement is not correct. If it is correct, it proves plainly and conclusively that the Canadian miller does not require any protection from the American miller, from whomever else he may require it.

I wish to say a word in regard to the exporting of bran. We are told it would be a serious thing for our wheat to be allowed to go free into the United States, because it would go there to be milled and the bran would be consumed there, while the flour would be shipped back to us. If the bran exports of this year exceed the exports of last year in the same proportion that the exports have been increasing from year to year, we may expect that in the neighbourhood of 2,000,000 cwt. of bran will be exported by the millers of this country during the present year. If that is so, it is quite plain that we are not likely to be in any great trouble on the bran question.

Our friends on the other side of the House often twit the western farmers on the fact that they are not go- ing into mixed farming, and tell them that they should adopt a system of mixed farming. I am a farmer in the West, and I am fully aware of the fact that it will be to our benefit to adopt a system of mixed farming. I am endeavouring to adopt it on my farm. I am gradually getting into that system. A large proportion of the farmers of the West, so far as they are able, are doing the same. It is all very well to lecture us in this respect. I do not think, however, that lectures will do any good. The western farmer has sufficient confidence in himself that there is no one in this House able to lecture him successfully. There is no one in this House from whom he is willing to take lectures. Perhaps that is wrong of us, but it is a fact.

There are other things which the present Government might do to encourage mixed 18i

farming. I do not know what has been done by this Government. The hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce used to give us periodic lectures on the necessity of adopting mixed farming, but I do not know that he has done anything to encourage us. As a matter of fact the encouragement that we are getting is like other agricultural encouragement, all from the other side of the line. The same unfortunate condition exists that when we look for help, encouragement, assistance, the Government says: You must get all your assistance from the Yankees. They say: We do not want any truck or trade with the Yankees, but if you want any help, you must go to them. I think I am right in saying that all the official encouragement that we have received during the last couple of years has been from the American Government.

When the American Government removed the duty from live stock, they gave us the greatest encouragement we have ever had or are likely to have for some time. The western farmers are not killing their calves now, as they formerly did. Formerly they preferred steers, as the steers brought a little better price than the heifers. Things have changed now. The farmers are looking for heifers. They are saving their calves. In a few years, if the price continues as it is now, you will see lots of cattle in Saskatchewan and other western provinces.

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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK:

And no thanks to the present Government.

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LIB

Levi Thomson

Liberal

Mr. THOMSON :

Ii is unfortunate

that we are not able to give thanks to our own Government, because as good citizens we would like to be in a position to give thanks to our own Government instead of to a government of a foreign country.

We are very often told that it is a dangerous thing to open the markets of Canada to our American competitors;* that the farmers of Canada must be very careful; that they want to look out for their own interest; that they do not want competition; that they must protect their home market and keep it for themselves. If I know anything about the farmers of Saskatchewan, that is not their idea of the matter at all. I am satisfied that in considering any policy we must consider its effect on the consumers as well as on the producers.

On these subjects, especially where the farmer is the producer, I feel that it is my duty to look carefully to the effect which the policy will have upon the Canadian consumer, and especially upon the

labouring classes. And let me say this: If I were appearing before the Grain Growers' Association of Saskatchewan and made such a statement as that, it would be cheered to the echo, I am satisfied; but if I made any remark which would show that I did not care a straw what effect this had upon the labouring class, I should be howled down. That is the spirit of the western farmer.

We have heard a great deal about the heads of the Grain Growers' Association. 1 want to say that there is no class of men in Canada who show better spirit in dealing with other classes of the community than the leaders of the Grain Growers' Association of the West, and I challenge contradiction. There is no class of people in Canada that are more likely to consider fairly the effect of any policy upon the consumers, especially upon the labouring class, than are the farmers of the West. I believe that to be the spirit of the farmers of Qu'Appelle; and I should not wish to represent the farmers of Qu'Appelle were it otherwise.

Now, let me say in conclusion, speaking for the farmers of the West, that all they want is a fair field and no favour. They are prepared to compete with the world. And let me say to the people of Ontario, who sometimes talk about their farmers not producing very much and about protection being of some use to them, that the farmers of Ontario would do well to keep their eyes on that western country. At present we are growing grain, especially wheat. We are exporting wheat, and the price of our product is fixed, almost invariably fixed, by the foreign markets. Some of our friends say that we should adopt mixed farming. We shall adopt mixed farming. But let it be understood that whatever we undertake to produce we shall produce in such large quantities that the home market will not be able to fix the price, but the price will be fixed by the export market. This is a point that should not be lost sight of by our friends in Ontario. I call them our friends. I am an Ontario man myself, born and brought up on an Ontario farm, and I am not ashamed of it. I am the son of an honest Ontario farmer and ask no prouder pedigree. I do not admit that one can have a better pedigree. I say our friends the Ontario farmers -should keep in view the point to which I have referred. If we start to produce beef, in a very short time the price of beef will be fixed entirely bv the export price; if -we undertake to produce

butter, the same will be true, or ' if eggs and poultry, the same will be true. All we ask is a fair field and no favours. We believe we have a country, a soil and a people that are the equal of any in the world. We believe that we have a better country than our friends to the south of us. We believe we have a better soil. And we believe, with all due respect to our neighbours to the south, that we have better men. If we are not prepared to face the world, we cannot say that; for the very fact of our being unwilling to face the world's competition is to say that either our country is not so good or our soil is not so good, or our people are not so good as those with whom we are to be brought into competition, and that we are not prepared for a moment to admit.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. T. W. CROTHEBS (Minister of Labour):

I would not take part in this

debate, especially at this stage of it, but for a few observations of a rather personal character, made by the hon. member for

Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) last

5 p.m. Monday evening in my absence.

Amongst other things the hon. gentleman said that I had said that hard times were a good thing for the country. Now, he had not one tittle of evidence to warrant any such statement. And in my judgment, there is not very much difference between making a statement that you do not know to be true and making one that you know to be untrue. The address to which he referred, a report of which he read to the extent of one or two sentences, occupied about forty-five minutes. I was speaking of the high cost of living. Among other things I stated that we had enjoyed here in this country for many years a period of unprecedented prosperity, that our people during that period had had more money to spend than usual, that they had spent it freely and that such conditions were accompanied by a rise of prices. I also stated that hard times were generally accompanied by low prices. And I cited, for instance, the period in the early 90's, when we suffered a very severe depression in Canada. There are many gentlemen within the sound of my voice who remember that in those years we sold wheat at 40 cents a bushel. A friend of mine lost a large sum of money buying wheat at 40 cents a bushel. I remember that in those days we used to sell a horse for $60 that would bring $300 now. Prices continued to go down from 1890 until about 1897. Prosperity began then to reappear and prices proceeded to rise, and continued

steadily to rise until the years 1907 and 1908. We then had a temporary setback financially, hard times for a couple of years. What was the result upon prices? They went down. I think that if you will look at the record of prices you will find that when we have had financial depression, prices have been low, and that when we have enjoyed prosperity and expansion prices have risen. These were the observations that I was making when I had the honour of addressing the Board of Trade in the city of Halifax. The hon. member for Rouville jumped to the conclusion that I had said hard times were a good thing for the country. Now, if the hon. member for Rouville will permit me, I would suggest that if he would rely less upon his imagination, fertile though perverted by political partisanship, and exercise his faculties for the acquisition of facts, he would spare himself much well-merited odium and save this House and the country a great deal of time.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

* The extract which I quoted during the remarks which I had the honour to make to the House was taken from the Montreal Gazette issued the day after the hon. gentleman delivered the speech at Halifax. Besides the Montreal Gazette two days afterwards published a letter from a prominent Conservative in Montreal complaining about the remarks made by the hon. Minister of Labour at Halifax. That was my source of information.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

The information which the hon. member for Rouville says he received from the Montreal Gazette and from a letter appearing in the same paper did not warrant what he said on Monday night. At the bottom of page 197 of ' Hansard ' the hon. gentleman is reported as saying:

When I read the answer given by the hon. Minister of Labour, that hard times are a good thing for the country, I say that the Government is committing suicide by firing words into its brain.

There was absolutely nothing in the Montreal Gazette or in the letter to which my hon. friend referred which would justify these words.

The hon. gentleman then took up considerable time in referring to the United Shoe Machinery Company and the Combines Investigation Act. He thought great credit was due to the Government of which he was then a member for having passed the Combines Investigation Act, but before he sat down he proved that he had never read the

Act, and did not know what it contained. He referred to a statement said to be contained in the annual report of the Department of Labour for the year ended March 31 last, to the effect that after the board made its report, no action had been taken. I will give hon. gentlemen a little of the history of this investigation. The United Shoe Machinery Company some years ago, before the Combines Investigation Act was passed, sued some of the manufacturers of boots and shoes, in Quebec city, if I remember rightly, on some of the leases. The defendants set up as a defence to the action the contention that the leases constituted a restraint of trade, that they were therefore illegal, and that the defendants were not liable. The various courts in the province of Quebec held that the defence was well taken; I think the matter passed through the highest courts in the province. The United Shoe Machinery Company appealed from the highest courts in Quebec to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in England, which reversed the judgment which had been given by the courts in Quebec, held that these leases were not in restraint of trade and, the contention that the leases were a restraint of trade being the only defence that had been set up, that the defendants were therefore liable. The defendants had a large bill of costs to pay, as must be realized by every one who has had the luxury of carrying an appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. They were the people who started the proceedings under the Combines Investigation Act, the only proceedings of the kind that have ever been so instituted under this Act. A board was constituted under the Combines Investigation Act to inquire into the charge as to whether or not the United Shoe Machinery was a combine within the meaning of the Act, and had violated the provisions thereof. A majority of the board made a report during the latter part of October, finding that the leases, especially those portions of them designated as the tying clauses, constituted a restraint of trade and a violation of the Combines Investigation Act. The hon. member for Rouville inferred from the report of that board that the United Shoe Machinery Company at once became liable to a penalty of $1,000 a day. On page 202 of ' Hansard/ he is reported as saying:

To make a long story short, the board reported against the United Shoe Machinery Company, and the company was liable, according to the law passed in 1910, to a fine of $1,000 per day. In the month of November last, I find in the Labour Gazette, the report of the

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIBR:

What was the complaint?

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

The complaint in substance was that there were some additional provisions put in the leases that were objectionable. My right hon. friend will know from the provisions of the Act that it will be necessary to have another board go over the whole thing again to determine that. The Combines Investigation Act is a comparatively new enactment. Like almost all other legislative enactments, it has its defects. Time and experience will disclose these defects, and I have no doubt that while this Government is in power and some defects appear provision will be made and the Act amended so as to have more satisfactory provisions. Myright hon. friend understands as a lawyer that hardly any statute proves very satisfactory in the condition in which it is first enacted. The operation of the Act very often brings out some defect that was not perceived. We are none of us perfect in drafting statutes, defects appear with experience and the wise legislator, when he is satisfied that the defects are material will make the necessary amendments to meet the objections that have arisen out of the Act.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I understood

the minister to say that the United Shoe Machinery Company had complied with the award of the board by altering the one condition which was complained of by the plaintiff in the case. Am I right in this?

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I think my right hon. friend is rather confining the words I used. What I said was that the board, in making its award, pointed out the objectionable features of these leases, I did not say only one; and I understand that within the six months the objectionable features were removed and new forms made. I may be perfectly frank with my right hon. friend and tell him that the one complaint that was made was, in substance, that the new leases were worse than the old ones; but only one complaint has come to the department.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I am sorry to say that the answer is not quite satisfactory. However, this discussion is rather foreign to the present debate. There is a motion on the Order Paper on which the matter will have to come up.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

My right hon. friend

says there is a motion on the Order Paper calling for copies of all correspondence and everything of that kind, which will be prepared as expeditiously as possible. This just inspires the thought that in all these cases it will be very much better, before referring to a matter of this kind, to wait until we get the documents and facts. I have suffered before now in cases where, in making a motion for the production of papers a long speech is made, founded on rumour or founded completely on fabrication, and when, the papers are brought down it is discovered that there was no foundation whatever for the charges that were made. I think that in this respect we are putting the cart before the horse and it would be very much better to get some facts, as my right hon. friend is proposing to do in his motion, get the facts first and discuss them afterwards, not discuss it first on rumour and fabrication for which, when the papers are brought down, it is found there is no foundation at all.

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LIB

George Ewan McCraney

Liberal

Mr. GEORGE McCRANEY (Saskatoon):

Since the defeat of reciprocity in 1911 no question has excited so much interest in western Canada and attained such large support as the question of free wheat. I am free to say that not only is the question of free wheat supported by those who were in favour of reciprocity, but it is also supported by many influential men and journals who were opposed to the larger measure. Among those who are now supporters of the agitation in favour of free wheat are such newspapers as the Winnipeg Telegram, which is the chief Conservative organ in western Canada; and I know that the organ of the Conservative party in my own city of Saskatoon has also come out in favour of the same measure. The fact that these journals have come to such a conclusion is not the reason why I am supporting this amendment. But it may be a reason why many others will support it and see good reasons why this Parliament should revise the tariff to allow free wheat to come into Canada. In the Legislature of the province of Saskatchewan, on the 26th of November last, a resolution was moved in the following terms by Mr. Scott, seconded by Mr. Finlayson:

That in the opinion of this House the Parliament of Canada should remove the duty at present imposed on wheat and on flour in order that Canadian wheat and flour may be exported to the United States free of duty.

Thirty-five voted in support of that resolution, and three against it. Those who voted 'Nay' were Mr. Willoughby, the leader of the Conservative party in the Legislature; Mr. Bradshaw, of Prince

Albert, and Mr. Wylie, of Maple Creek. I may add that both Mr. Bradshaw and Mr. Wylie had voted in the same Legislature in favour of a resolution in support of reciprocity in 1911. But as they found that the leaders of the Conservative party at Ottawa did not support that measure, they repented, and evidently concluded that they would not be caught again. The other members of the Conservative party in the Legislature are not accounted for in the division list. They must have shirked the vote or voted for the motion. In the province of Manitoba, however, there was no such division. On the 12th January last the Legislature passed a resolution unanimously which I would like to put on 'Hansard.' The motion was introduced by Mr. Simpson, a Conservative member, seconded by Mr. Taylor, and reads as follows:

Whereas the Congress of the United States of America have by recent legislation reduced the duty on wheat and wheat products entering the said the United States of America.

And whereas provision has been made in the said legislation for the total removal of such duty on wheat entering the United States of America from any foreign country who would likewise remove such duty.

And whereas it is the opinion of this House that the removal of such duty by the Government of the Dominion of Canada from the United States of America would be beneficial to the agriculturists of Manitoba.

Therefore let it be resolved that in the opinion of this House the Parliament of Canada should enact such legislation as would give the farmers of Manitoba the benefit of the countervailing duty on wheat and wheat products as provided in the Underwood tariff.

As I said, that resolution was carried unanimously, Sir Rodmond Roblin, the members of the Conservative Cabinet and the Conservative members all supporting it. If one reads over the resolution, it would appear that the members of the Legislature who voted for it had in mind that it would be very proper for an Order in Council to bring this result about, because they referred to 'the duty of the Government of the Dominion of Canada to remove this duty.' In the main part of the resolution they referred to the 'Parliament of Canada,' because at that time this House was within three days of meeting.

Throughout western Canada there has been a discussion as to whether it would be a good thing- for the wheat growers of the country to have American wheat admitted duty free into this country with the right to Canadian wheat growers of free

entry into the United States market. Many Conservative -speakers throughout the West have attempted to show that it would bring disaster to the western grain growers. Conservative journals throughout the West have also taken this view, and have given figures showing that at certain times during the year wheat was bringing a higher price in Canada than in the United States. This argument has been made not only in the newspapers but on political platforms throughout the country; and I think as late as last summer the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Roche) made such a point.

I shall not go into details to prove that the Canadian wheat grower is better off by having access to the American market, even with the liability of having to meet the American wheat grower in his own market; but I am going to take it for granted, in view of the changed attitude of the Conservative leaders, especially in the province of Manitoba, and of the changed front of Conservative newspapers, that this is an accepted fact; that it is to the advantage of the Canadian wheat grower to have access to the American market. To arrive at such a conclusion indicates that there has been a tremendous change of heart on the part of those of the Manitoba Legislature who are now supporting free wheat, and in those journals which were opposed to it formerly.

Let me remind you of some of the arguments used in western Canada against free wheat. One was that the American market was not as good as the Canadian market, and that the Canadian farmer would suffer in competition with American wheat in Canada. Another argument was that our raw products would be shipped into another country to be manufactured, thus making our staunch Canadian farmers 'hewers of wood' and 'drawers of water.' A third argument was that it would give Washington control of our tariff. A fourth that it would spoil the reputation now held by our grain, as the Americans would mix it with their own baser grades. A fifth argument was that our grain would be deflected to United States channels, to the injury of our Transcontinental system. Another reason was that it would give the United States millers a supply of hard wheat, and enable them to drive Canadian flour out of the markets of the world. Another reason was that it would destroy the Canadian flourmilling industry. A further reason was that it would encourage wheat mining,

that is to say our people would be so devoted to the growing of wheat that the soil would give out. Another reason was that it would prevent Canadian farmers from getting preferential treatment from Great Britain in any scheme that might be propounded under the Chamberlain proposals; and when one bears in mind that Sir Rodmond Roblin and all the Conservative members of the Manitoba Government had all used these arguments, one must conclude that the argument to-day in favour of free wheat must he overwhelming to make tnese gentlemen swallow themselves in this way.

It is said in the press that the resolution of the Manitoba Legislature was brought about at the instance of the Minister of Public Works of Canada. If so, it is altogether to his credit. But I am very much afraid, judging from the tone of the questions which have been addressed to speakers on this side of the House, that free wheat will not be the result of that resolution, and it was no doubt in the knowledge of the Minister of Public Works what was likely to happen when we came to discuss the matter in this House.

If, in the face of the attitude of the Conservative party in the Manitoba Legislature, and the attitude of the Conservative party newspapers in that province, this Parliament does not extend sympathetic relief to the farmers in western Canada, by giving them free wheat, there are some conclusions which might fairly be drawn. One conclusion we have the right to draw is that the resolution of the Manitoba Legislature is a piece of political humbug; another conclusion we might fairly draw is that the men who instigated it are political tricksters, and I would also say that it was put up for the temporary purpose of assisting the Conservative party in the coming provincial elections and in an endeavour to stave off defeat. If we do not get free wheat after such a strong resolution, it will show how completely tied up this Government is in the hands of the combines which gave it such support last election.

The wheat of western Canada is hard wheat; it is required in all markets where flour of high quality is made, and the endeavour of our farmers in the West is to make it a still harder and still better wheat. There have been three occasions on which the superiority of the wheat of Canada has been demonstrated over all other wheat in the world, and especially over the wheat grown in the United States.

I refer first to the Land Show held at New York in 1911, when Seager Wheeler of Ros-thern, in my own riding, took the prize given by Sir Thomas Shaugnessy of $1,000 for the best wheat produced in the world. In the next year, 1912, at the Dry Farming Congress held at Lethbridge, and which was more largely an American congress than a Canadian congress, Mr. Henry Holmes, of Raymond, Alberta, took the first prize for the best wheat grown in the world, and exhibited at that show. Only last year, at the Dry Farming Congress held at Tusla, Oklahoma, Paul Gerlach, of Allan, in my own riding, took the first prize for the world's best wheat, and to show how the cultivation of wheat has progressed and what high quality it has attained, I may mention that this wheat ran 71 pounds to the bushel, whereas the standard is 60 pounds to the bushel. That improvement in the quality of wheat is going on all the time in western Canada, and the example of those Canadians who have given such effort to the cultivation of wheat is doing a great deal, not only to encourage wheat growing, but the growing of wheat of the very best quality. I am not familiar with the land on which Mr. Henry Holmes of Raymond grew his wheat, but I think I may fairly assume that it is land somewhat similar in character to the land in the neighbourhood of Lethbridge, and that the same results could be obtained from any of the neighbouring lands into which the farmer puts his industry and skill. I have some familiarity with the farms owned by Mr. Seager Wheeler of Rosthern and Mr. Gerlach of Allan, both in my own riding, and they are not farms which are in any way exceptional to lands in that part of the country; they are what might be described as average land. I would say, however, that Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Gerlach are exceptional men in that they are experimental farmers, and they have shown great care and great industry and are doing great credit to Canada. The same results can be obtained by farmers of equal experience and knowledge and industry, and I have no doubt the same results will be obtained by others. I am told that the results in wheat growing obtained by these gentlemen in Alberta and Saskatchewan will do a great deal of good to western Canada in the way of inducing immigration. The Dry Farming Congress which was held at Tusla, Oklahoma, was attended by very many who lived in the more southern parts of the United States, and I am informed that there is going to

be a large immigration of persons from that portion of the United States to a country where such grand wheat can be produced. I would like to see the Government of Canada make more suitable acknowledgment in the future than they have in the past of those whose industry, enterprise and scientific knowledge are putting our wheat in the forefront of all the wheat of the world.

Sometimes our western people are told that they are doing too much wheat farming. In view of the fact that, notwithstanding the large crop, the price of wheat is going down, the growers are told by bank presidents and sometimes by daily newspaper editors that they should work harder and go into mixed farming. This question of mixed farming is having the attention of our western people. Stock farming has been taken up by the people in my part of the province and they are making progress in it as they are able to build barns and take care of the stock, and the results are most encouraging. Western Canada has obtained almost as good a record for its live stock as it has for its wheat, because at the International Live Stock Show held at Chicago only last month, Mr. J. D. McGregor, of Brandon, for the second time won the grand challenge cup with one of his animals, as against the animals from all over the United States which competed at that show. It was the first time that stock from the province of Saskatchewan had been exhibited there. The item in the Winnipeg Free Press of December 4, 1913, dated at Chicago, in regard to the Saskatchewan exhibits, is as follows:

Judging of all horse-classes in which Saskatchewan was interested is complete and the

western iiorats nave a phenomenal record of wins to their credit. Twenty prizes to carry home. In only one class' did they show and not get in the money. The axact number and character of the wins is as follows: 3 first prizes,

6 second prizes, 2 fourth prizes, 3 fifth prizes,

2 sixth prizes, 1 seventh prize.

I am mentioning these matters to relieve the minds of any persons who may think that we are doing too much wheat farming and too little stock raising. I want to show them that not only do we excel in wheat farming, but we are doing all we can to excel in live stock raising.

I wish to give very briefly my reasons for desiring to see free wheat in this country. In the first place we have a better market by having two markets, and we do not fear competition from the United States. Secondly, we have an opportunity to secure this market without disturbing

other schedules of the tariff. Thirdly, the cost of farm labour has doubled in the past few years, thus reducing the margin of profit. Fourthly, the price of wheat has gone down. Another reason is that the effect of the imposition of the United States tariff of 10 cents a bushel is the same as an export duty on our own wheat, except that the duty does not go into our treasury, but into the treasury of a foreign state.

Mr., J. P, MOLLOY (Provencher): Mr. Speaker, I desire to say a word or two upon the question of free wheat, largely on account of the position taken by the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) today. If nay memory serves me, shortly after the reciprocity pact was brought before the people, the first and most

pronounced opposition that we received came from the Legislature of Manitoba, of which the hon. Minister of Public Works was then a member. I understand that a friend of his made the statement that it was thought that the hon. Minister of Public Works was responsible for the action taken by the Manitoba Government, and its leader Sir Rodmond Roblin. How true that is I do not know except that the Manitoba Government, headed by Sir Rodmond Roblin, was the first to begin the opposition to reciprocity. Now, he and his entire party without one exception, supported by the Liberal following in the House, voted the other day for free wheat. What is the reason? Why the change? Why do these two men, who worked in harmony for so many years leading the Conservative party to victory election after election, disagree now? We are told to wait until the Budget is brought down. Every hon. member on the Liberal side of the House, who has given the question any thought has no hope that, when the Budget is brought down, there will be free wheat. We believe that the thing has been a bluff from start to finish, a bluff for the provincial elections which will come on within the next five or six months. As a result of the action which will be taken by the Government, the hon. Minister of Public Works will simply ask his supporters to vote against free wheat and they will support him without fail, because they will do anything he tells them to do and do it quickly and mildly. They are going to vote against free wheat. They may offer any excuse they like to the farmers of Manitoba, but it will not be accepted by the people who are not earning a living after working earnestly for it. This

is the position in the province of Manitoba to-day and in the province of Saskatchewan also, that the people, who are raising wheat and selling it upon the markets of Manitoba and Saskatchewan to be shipped to the markets of the world, are losing money.

I heard an hon. member on the other side of the House say that the farmers of the West were clearing from ten to fifteen thousand dollars a year by raising wheat. I make the statement and I can prove it, that the farmers are not making fifteen per cent on their money, nor yet five per cent on their money. More than that the majority are not in a position to pay interest on what they owe, let alone making ten or fifteen thousand dollars a year.

It will be interesting to wait and see what will become of the action which will be taken by the Government. The Winnipeg Telegram, the organ of the Conservative party in the province of Manitoba said: ' Give the people free wheat.' We do

not believe it will have the effect that a great many people think it will have, but let us try it anyway. The people in the West, Conservative or Liberal, Grit or Tory' say: Let us try it anyway. After reciprocity was defeated, a great many people said: Well, if we had known that reciprocity would have been defeated, we would have voted for it. But when they have another chance, the hon. Minister of Public Works will find out if he consults the farmers of western Canada that at least ninety-five per cent of the Conservatives of the West desire free wheat. They desire an entrance to the American market. It cannot possibly do any harm; and if it does any harm, it can be revoked. It is bound to do good arid nothing else will satisfy us. .

The raising of wheat in the West is not paying. The majority of No. 1 Northern wheat sold in my district this year was sold for seventy cents a bushel. What has the farmer got left? Ten cents a bushel for the threshers. Labourers get $3.00 a day and teams are worth $6.00 a day, and there are all the other costs of operation, to say nothing about the capital invested.

It is all very well for people to go into mixed farming. What is the situation regarding mixed farming in the West? Farmers will not go into mixed farming so long as there is so much virgin soil. That must be admitted. Those who are able to do so will go into mixed farming, but men who are bound down with debts which they

owe on their land with banks refusing to lend a dollar, with the interest going up year after year, are in no position to go into mixed farming. If a man owes ten thousand dollars on a section of land, where is he to get $5,000 to go into mixed farming?

If his land is mortgaged for all it is worth how is he going to get $5,000 to go into live stock raising? Stock may not always bring the same price that it brings now. Stock raising of course is safe; it is surer. That is quite true, but people are not going to labour from the first day of January to the last day of December if they can possibly make a living by working less. Mixed farming is the last resort, where the farmer, his wife and his family have to get up every morning at daybreak, and do not get to bed until ten o'clock at night. They will not do that if they can possibly get out of it. Free wheat is the position the western farmers are taking; that is the demand they are making, and they are going to see, as far as they can, that it is carried through.

The farmer in the West is hampered by the banks increasing the rate of interest. Interest on land is now nine per cent. The manufacturer gets his toll out of the farmer. The railway gets his toll out of every bushel of wheat. The farmer is in a position in which he is despondent and losing heart.

My reason for voting for free wheat, as I said, is that the farmers as a body demand it, and as I represent a farming community it is my duty to vote with the people I represent. The position of the Government is entirely different. They are.afraid to grant free wheat, and they are afraid to oppose it. But they must do one or the other. If they turn to the right they will get punched; if they turn to the left they will get punched. But they cannot get away from it. The talk about this not being the proper time and this not being the proper way to do it will not be accepted by the ordinary farmers like myself. So far as the railways and the millers are concerned, it has been demonstrated time and again in the history of Canada that the railways and the millers will take care of themselves. They will have to face competition, as the farmers of Canada have always said they were prepared to do. The farmers ask for no protection, they are willing to go into the markets of the world and compete with others who are in the same industry as themselves. So far as mixed farming is concerned, I have explained that. I know dozens, yes, hundreds, of farmers in Provencher and Lisgar and Mac-

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donald who would gladly go into mixed farming if they had the money. It is all very well to tell people what they ought to do, but I notice that the advice is generally given by those who toast their shins at coal fires paid for by the Government. It is near to six o'clock, and I will close with the quotation of a few paragraphs from a statement by Mr. E. A. Partridge. I understand that the Prime Minister the other evening quoted from statements made by Hon. Walter Scott, Premier of Saskatchewan, and Hon. A. L. Sifton, Premier of Alberta. But on the very same page is this statement by Mr. Partridge of Sintaluta, one of the most prominent farmers of Saskatchewan, a man who understands what he is talking about as he has demonstrated time and again. He said:

chewan, is likely to take place in the portion of Manitaba in which I live.

On motion of Mr. MacNutt the debate was adjourned.

At six o clock the House adjourned without question put, pursuant to rule.

Thursday, January 29, 1914.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY.
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January 28, 1914