I would like to call the attention of the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries to the fact that the Montreal press reports that no berthing accommodation will be found this spring for the Royal George, one of the steamers of the Royal line, and great indignation is expressed on the part of the Montreal shipping federation owing to the fact that there is no one in Montreal to see what accommodation can be given to the various shipping interests. My hon. friend will notice that at the present time the Harbour Commission is practically non-existent, two of its members and the assistant secretary being in Europe and the secretary being ill. Has my hon. friend considered these facts and does he intend to remedy the situation?
Subtopic: MONTREAL BERTHING ACCOMMODATION.
The matter is really one for the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal to deal with. This Parliament has seen fit to place certain matters in the hands of the Harbour Commissioners, subject to certain control by the Department of Marine and Fisheries and the Governor in Council. The allotment of berths is one of those matters which are in -the hands of the Har-CMr. Pugsley.]
hour Commissioners. I do not understand that the Harbour Commission is disorganized at the present time. The chairman, Mr. Ross, has been in Europe inspecting harbours there, following the example of his predecessor in office, Major Stephens. Mr. Roberston is acting chairman, and is, I believe, attending to his duties. I do not know whether there is truth in the report or not; but I doubt it very much. I believe that the work of the harbour is proceeding very satisfactorily and that everything will be ready for the opening of navigation. The business of the harbour is perhaps increasing more rapidly than are the facilities, although I think the Harbour Commission, backed up by the Governor in Council, are working earnestly to bring the facilities up to -date. I believe that berths will be found for the Royal Line -and all other steamship lines during the present season.
Subtopic: MONTREAL BERTHING ACCOMMODATION.
A rumour or announcement has appeared in the eastern press to the effect that the federal government is giving some additional assistance for bridges in connection with the River Valley railway, and that an Order in Council has been passed for that purpose. Has an Order in Council been passed in any way relating to that subject or to the construction of bridges across the St. John river?
Hon. GEORGE E. FOSTER: There has been a proposition before the Government, and it has been considered and is still being considered, but no Order in Council has yet been passed.
I wish to say that -in the debate on the Budget the other day I stated that under the reciprocity pact the duty on mowers and binders had been reduced by 2} per cent and on other machinery by 5 per cent. My hon. friend the Minister of Public W'orks interrupted me to say that I was mistaken-that nothing had been taken off threshers. I wish just to point out to my hon. friend that in ' Hansard ' of 1910-11, vol. 2, page 2489, he will find the following: Threshing machines, the then duty, 20 per cent; proposed duty, 15 per cent; reduction by Canada, 5 per cent; windstack-ers, baggers, weighers and self-feeders
therefor and finished parts of the foregoing for repairs, the same duty. So that there was a reduction on threshers of 5 per cent.
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Oockshutt), who closed the debate before the Easter recess, is not in the House at the present time. We on this side of the House always like to hear utterances from the hon. member for Brantford, especially on matters of tariff. We feel that he has been somewhat bridled and curbed this session, from the fact that he did not speak when the resolution was before the House as to the advisability of free agricultural implements. We feel also that, when he makes utterances regarding matters of tariff and customs, the farmers sit up and listen, and that for some time after he speaks on such subjects a very considerable number of farmers throughout the length and breadth of this country join the ranks of the Liberal party.
The hon. member for Brantford, as is his usual custom, opened his speech with an attack upon the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), and closed his speech with a little flag-waving. Between these he sandwiched in prayers for the protection of the Minister of Finance (Mr. White) in that he had not seen fit to lower the duties on Oockshutt ploughs, or on ploughs coming into this country. It has been said of the hon. member that he was never known to smile. I wish to give that broad statement an absolute contra diction. When the Minister of Finance had finished his narration so far as it concerned the reduction of duties on farm implements, the hon. member far Brantford arose in his seat, heaved a sigh of relief that was heard throughout this Chamber, and actually did smile. But that smile, to be sure, put such a strain upon his
countenance that it did not stay there very long.
In the course of his speech the hon. member for Brantford made the astounding statement to me, that under the Laurier Government political and commercial morality sank to the lowest ebb it ha? known in this country since Confederation. He gave us no evidence to prove his statement. He did tell us something-and I presume he gave that as his whole evidence in the case-concerning the cruise of the Neptune.
I thought that subject was dead and that it had been buried in the election campaign of 1908. But the hon. gentleman has resurrected it. Let me tell him that on every public platform during that campaign, the cruise of the Neptune was flaunted as a great scandal, with the result that, after the Canadian people had carefully weighed it, after they had given it due consideration, they returned to power the Government of the present leader of the Opposition with a magnificent majority. So, evidently they did not believe the statements made throughout this country regarding the cruise of the Neptune; and I do not think the hon. gentleman is going to bring to his party or to himself any particular strength by (revamping that old scandal. Let me tell the hon. gentleman that when future generations of Canadians shall be sounding the praises of the right hon. the leader of the Opposition as a great statesman, a great Canadian, and when Parliament Hill shall be crowned with monuments to the revered memory of that right hon. gentleman, giving silent but strong testimony to the belief of all Canadians that he was the greatest Canadian of his time and did
mare to foster sentiments of friendship and good feeling among all classes and creeds in this country than any other man before or since, the hon. member for Brantford himself will be resting in a secluded grave in a secluded cemetry in the city of Brantford, the Canadian people will have entirely forgotten that he ever existed, and there will not be even a ploughshare to mark his resting place.
The hon. gentleman talked of political morality and political scandals. Perhaps this is not the time to go into a discussion along that line. But let me remind the hon. gentleman that his party has a history in relation to scandals. Let me ask the hon. member, has he forgotten all the things that transpired previous to 1896? Does he remember the Curran bridge scandal? Does
emigrating from that country, and that therefore there was little fear of their overcrowding our cities this year. I am afraid that this Government, and perhaps all previous governments, have not tackled the immigration question along the right lines. They have encouraged immigration without letting the immigrants know the exact condition of affairs in this country. Who in this House will say that we need workmen and artisans in this country at the present time? Why, during the last year thousands and thousands of artisans and workmen were walking the streets looking for employment. The action of the Vancouver Trades and Labour Council in passing and forwarding to the members of this House a resolution regarding immigration was very timely. The resolution reads as follows:
Whereas, continuous efforts are being made by transportation companies, emigration agencies and other societies to induce employers in Canada to import labour from outside the Dominion, and
Whereas, 'these companies and societies have received and are now receiving Government guarantees and grants of public money, and Whereas, the arrival of immigrants on these shores during a time of severe depression such as now exists not only intensifies the serious unemployment question, but tends to deteriorate the already too low standard of the workers' living, consequently retarding industrial and national progress, therefore be it Resolved, that the federal and provincial governments of' Canada discontinue assisting financially or otherwise such corporations and societies and further take steps to ensure that correct information be given to prospective immigrants in their own homes, and be it further
Resolved, that copies of this resolution be sent to Premier Borden, the federal members of the House of Commons, and the press.
I hope that the present Government will encourage immigration from such countries as Great Britain, the United States and Prance and at the present juncture retard immigration from continental Europe.
To go on the farms. I thought I had made myself clear on that.
I pointed out that there has been an actual decrease in the number of homestead entries during the last two and a half years. I did not make that statement on my own authority, but gave the actual figures.
I do not pretend to know very much about the tariff, tout I have given the subject some consideration and irrespective of party affiliation, my own opinion upon the ques-
tion of protection is this. The infant industries of this country which have not yet reached that stage where they are able to capture the home market should he given a reasonable measure of protection by whatever Government happens to he in power in this country.