April 17, 1914

IMMIGRATION OF HINDUS.


On the Orders of the Day being called:


CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. H. STEVENS (Vancouver):

I desire to ask the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Roche) if he has received information that four hundred Hindus are on their way from Shanghai and Hong Kong on a steamer of the Maru line, under the leadership of one Gurdit Singh, and that the intention is to test the regulations of the Government with regard to Hindus and others; and, if the minister has heard of it, whether the Government are taking any steps in the matter?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION OF HINDUS.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

This morning a telegram was received by the deputy minister from out agent in Vancouver to the effect that a number of Hindus were on their way to Vancouver, -and instructions were sent to prevent the landing of all those who attempt to gain entrance to this country in violation of the Order in Council recently passed.

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THE BUDGET.


Consideration of the motion of Hon. W. T. White (Minister of Finance) foT the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means, resumed from Thursday, April 16.


LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. J. A. ROBB (Huntingdon):

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member for West Peterborough (Mr. Burnham) does not expect me to follow him in his interesting trip through the empire of China and the Principalities of India. That non. gentleman is always interesting, and last night he brought forward for the consideration of the House many questions that are of real moment. But we must not forget that the mother country, to which we go to borrow money, has had her markets open for many years to the products of -China and India, and that course apparently is helpful to the prosperity of that country.

I have had the privilege of listening to three Budget -speeches by the present Minister of Finance (Mr. White). Listening to his Budget speech of this season, it -seemed to me that -conditions are not improving under this Government. In his Budget -speech of 1912, the hon. gentleman was able to present some very rosy statements, by reason of the administration of his predecessor, -and the splendid condition of trade at that time. The Budget speech of this year -sounded very much like an excuse for continued borrowing and de-

pressed trade. I will not attempt a discussion in detail of the Budget, so carefully presented by the Minister of Finance, and so ably reviewed by the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean). But one feature of the minister's speech encourages me to make a suggestion to the Government. He told us that Canada had reached such a condition under this Government that we could not expect for some time to borrow money in London for less than 4 per cent.

Indeed, the hon. gentleman frankly told the House and the country that during the past year he had made loans in London at 4J, 4J .and 4J per cent. I ask the Government: is there .any good treason why we should continue to borrow money in London at 4| per cent while we pay but 3 per cent to our own Canadian depositors in the Post Office savings banks? I submit in all frankness to the consideration of the Government the suggestion that they take this matter up and give some little attention to the savings of the people. If, as the Finance Minister says, Canada must for some time expect to pay 4 per cent in the London and New York money markets, is there any good reason why we should continue to take the savings of our own people at 3 per cent.

We are apparently .all agreed that agriculture is the basis of our prosperity. The Finance Minister told us that during the past seven years the increase in exports had .been largely agricultural. We are all agreed that good crops are good for Canada and that poor crops mean stagnation, but we are divided on .the question of how to turn those crops into money. Our hon. friends opposite say: Tax everything you produce, everything you consume, everything you buy, everything you sell, and build up the home market. We on this side have a policy of larger and wider markets and reduction of taxation on the food of the people. Apparently that i.s the difference between the two parties. While we on .this side of the House

have a -policy of larger and wider markets, our hon. friends on the other side, if we can interpret their policy from the speeches of those who spoke yesterday and the day before, have a policy of sympathy for the western farmer. I submit to the consideration of hon. gentlemen opposite that there are times in a man's life when sympathy is very desirahle, but sympathy is of little use in Hiving wagons

from the manufacturer in Chatham, engines from the manufacturer in Kingston or cotton from the manufacturer in Valleyfield. Sympathy is not much good for the help on pay day, and so what the western farmer wants is not so much sympathy as a policy of bigger and wider markets for his products. Canada had a fair crop in 1912, and a good crop in 1913. Our western provinces had a big crop but a very narrow market, and as a result the western farmer is without money to pay his store bills. Eventually that condition must back up first on the factory and then on the eastern farmer who feeds the employees of the factory, because if the employees who have been working in a factory are without work and cannot get money, they will be unable to buy the butter and cheese and other products of the eastern farmer. So I say that the farmers of the East are very much interested in the products of the farms of the West.

Recognizing that the growing production of the West demanded larger and wider markets, the Liberal party in 1911 appealed to the country on a policy of larger and wider markets. The subsidized interests throughout this country had grown fat and selfish. Our hon. friends with their aides, the subsidized interests, organized a campaign to defeat the policy of larger and wider markets-not upon economic grounds, but upon a policy of flag waving; in the province of Quebec, a no-naval policy; in the province of Ontario a big navy policy to which was attached a race and religious appeal that was not creditable to the great sister province. That appeal being before the country, the policy which we had sought for forty years was defeated. For forty years the people of Canada, represented by both great parties, the Conservative party and the Liberal party, have looked with longing eyes upon the great markets to the south. We made continual trips to Washington without much success, until in 1911, when the Hon. Mr. Fielding, who was then Minister of Finance, brought home what in my judgment was the best trade offer that Canada ever had. I insist that many years will come and go before Canada receives a better trade offer than that which she received from the great Republic to the south in 1911. Had that policy not been defeated, trade from the Atlantic to the Pacific would have been .stimulated; the great producing West would have had more money with which to buy the products of eastern Canada and so, instead of the stagnation and unemployment which we have to-day, this

country would have been in a more flourishing condition.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The farmer of the West would have had more money to buy the products of the East. My district was not stampeded in the campaign of 1911. At Brysons, in the valley of Chateauguay, surrounded by the best farms in Canada, there stands a monument to the brave Canadians who in 1812 drove back the invaders and saved the province of Quebec to Canada and the British Empire. To the sons of such sires, the loyalty appeals of hon. gentlemen opposite were hut pure hypocrisy. They knew the value of the American market, with which we have traded in the bright open light of the sun by day, as well as under the protection of the stars by night, for over 100 years.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

If our United States friends are ready to stand the chance of coming over here and paying $25 more for a horse and $15 more for a cow, we are not going to ask many questions.

The policy of our hon. friends in 1911 was: build up the home market. Now that they are able to put their principles into practice, their policy is build dreadnoughts and drill-sheds. But I submit to hon. gentlemen opposite that this country will require something more than that policy if they are to sustain the Government at the next election. Having listened to the voice of the jingoes, Canada still has a narrow market, and the price of foodstuffs is going up in this country; our United States neighbours on the other hand have revised their tariff to suit their requirements and apparently with some regard for Canadian prejudices. The Underwood tariff has put. the reciprocity issue straight up to this Government. Under the Fielding-Knox policy the products of the farm would have flown freely from the producer to the consumer. But the Underwood tariff, as revised, has very seriously interfered with the wheat industry of this country. The hon. member for West Peterborough (Mr. Burnham), in his interesting discussion of the conditions in China, pointed out that the highest wages paid to the artisan in China is thirty cents a day, and that the average wage paid is five cents a day. I suppose my hon. friend was discussing this from a silver basis, becanca China is on a silver basis.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Listening to my hon. friend from Peterborough, I wondered what the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Foster) would think of the value of the Chinese market for Canadian flour, with wheat selling at ninety cents a bushel, Fort William. I wonder how much flour the people of China, earning five cents a day each, will be able to buy as long as we keep the price of our wheat at about ninety cents, Fort William. The hon. member for Peterborough says we may" export flour. But. we know that in Manchuria there are-some of the largest wheat fields in the world, and that at Harbin there are as good flour mills as in Minneapolis or in Canada.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Do not be too impatient,

my friend. The Underwood tariff places the wheat from all the world on the free list on a reciprocity basis, but a clause in that tariff hits Canada. The free list of the United States tariff reads:

That on and after the day following the passage of this Act except otherwise specially provided for in this Act the articles mentioned in the following paragraph shall, when imported into the United States or into any of its possessions (except the Phillipine Islands and the Islands of Guam and Tutuila) be exempt from duty.

Article No. 664 of the Underwood tariff says that the following shall be free:

Wheat, wheat flour, semolina and other wheat products not specially provided for in this section, provided: That wheat shall he subject to . a duty of ten cents per bushel, that wheat flour shall be subject to a duty of forty-five cents per barrel of 196 pounds; and semolina and other products of wheat, not specially provided for in this section, 10 per centum ad valorem, when imported directly or indirectly from a country, dependency, or other subdivision of government, which imposes a duty on wheat or wheat flour or semolina imported from the United States.

Now, Sir, how does this affect Canada? Does this article not mean that the Argentine Republic now enjoys what Canada refused in 1911, and does it not mean that there will ibe a tariff of ten cents against the wheat of Canada unless this Government are prepared to open the Canadian market to the competition, not, as in 1911, of the United States alone, but to the competition of the Argentine Republic and of every country that exports wheat? That is the position in which the h-on. gentlemen

have placed this country hy their opposition to the pact of 1911. In 1911 tihe big millers of Canada opposed a proposition that would have given them two markets wherein to 'buy their wheat without paying duty, and would have given them a protection of fifty cents per barrel in a market that was gaining ait the rate of a thousand barrels mill every year. Under the policy of 1911 the millers of Canada could have gone down into Kansas, Michigan or Ohio and bought wheat; and this would have been of special benefit to the Ontario miller right on the direct transit route to the sea at this season. Every year about May, the millers run short of winter wheat. The Ontario miller could have gone into the southern markets and bought wheat, kept his mills continually running exporting flour, and would have had the bran and shorts for the dairy interests of this country. They opposed that policy, and it has taken them less than three years to wake up to the fact that the reciprocity pact was not the worst thing that could have happened to the Canadian milling business.

In the Montreal Gazette, a very good Conservative paper, on Christmas day last, the big millers of Canada sent out what must have been intended as a Christmas card to the Prime Minister of Canada. I shall quote not the whole article, but a few extracts from it. The first extract reads:

The present Government were elected on the main issue of reciprocity, the provisions of which were more favourable than those offered under the present United States tariff.

And, not believing that that was quite strong enough, a little further down in the same column we find from the same big millers this further reminder to the Prime Minister:

Those who are agitating for the removal of the duty on American wheat and its products are the same who so strenuously fought for the late Government at the last election when, if anything, the proposals under the reciprocity treaty were more favourable than the present softer.

Not satisfied with making the statement once, they throw it into the Prime Minister a second time that the policy of 1911 was better than the position in which this Government has placed the farmers of the West and the milling interests of Canada.

There is another feature of the card which the big millers addressed to the Prime Minister that is worthy of some attention- because it will be remembered that the great issue in 1911 was a loyalty issue. Our friends opposite contended, and the big interests contended, that to give the western

farmer permission to sell his products to the United States meant disloyalty and possibly annexation, and that we should keep closer to the mother country. Here is what the millers have to say on that proposition:

If flour is admitted into Canada free from the United States, Great Britain and other countries in the empire might with reasonable justice ask that the same privilege be extended to them.

They say further that the millers would have to meet competition from the millers of Great Britain on our eastern coast and of Australia on our western coast. Imagine the men who in 1911 shouted loyalty and closer association with the mother country, on Christmas day, 1913, sending to the Prime Minister a Christmas card, saying: Do not let our western brother sell his wheat to the Americans or we will have to meet the competition of the motherland on the Atlantic coast and of our Australian brethren on the Pacific coast. .

I contend once more that if the policy of 1911 had not been defeated the western farmer would have had a better market for his wheat, and not only for his wheat, but for his oats, barley and flax. He would have had more money with which to buy the products of the eastern factories and, instead of stagnation and factories running short time as they are to-day, we would have had greater prosperity. This view is supported by no less an authority than the Montreal Gazette. When I am at home, before I settle down to work in the morning, I generally read the editorials in the Montreal Gazette. On May 29, 1913, at a time when there was no general election, the Montreal Gazette laid down this theory to which we on this side can offer no objection:

Much for the future depends on a succession of good harvests because the product of the field is not only the dependence of home industry but is the chief item in the total of the exports which enables the country to pay the interest on its large borrowings.

If it is good for the country to have a good crop surely it cannot be bad for the country to get good puces for that crop. I think the Montreal Gazette might have gone a little farther and pointed out that as Canada produces more wheat,'oats and barley than we can take care of, what we need most is larger and wider markets for the products of our western country so that the people who produce these commodities may be better able to buy the products of the factories in the East.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The farmer is generally a

pretty good buyer; my hon. friend should know that. I wish to deal briefly with the dairy industry. I am sorry that the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Borden) is not in his seat. Speaking at Winnipeg on the 19th Ju e, 1911, the right hon. Prime Minister, then the leader of the Opposition, is reported in the Conservative papers to have said that the Conservative party opposed the Fielding-Knox trade arrangement because:

It encourages the export of agricultural and animal products, in their lowest and least finished form. Our cream will be converted into butter or cheese not by Canadian labour but by United States labour.

At that time the United States had offered to admit Canada's butter and cheese free into the United States if Canada would in turn admit the butter and cheese of the United States into Canada. It would have been a mutually advantageous arrangement but our Tory friends, unable to deny its economic value to producer and consumer, raised the cry of British connection. The very thing which'the Prime Minister wanted to prevent is now reaching enormous proportions in this country. The eastern townships and the counties in the valley of the Chateauguay and the lower St. Lawrence are very large dairy districts. In the eastern townships and along the valley of the Chateauguay the factories are either closing down or burning up because the Underwood tariff has discriminated against the butter and cheese of this country. They admit our cream and milk free into the United States but there is a discrimination of 24 cents a pound against our butter and of 20 per cent against our cheese. What is the Tesult? The butter and cheese factories are being turned into creaming stations. The cream is being shipped to the United States and our labour is following that cream. The increased labour that we should and would have bad in Canada, because, had reciprocity carried we would have had a larger market for butter and cheese, is lost, and the manufacturer is losing the work of making the cheese cloth and butter wrappers and his employees are paying 3 cents a pound duty on New Zealand butter.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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CON

John Webster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEBSTER:

Will the hon. member be good enough to tell the House what the wholesale price of cheese in northern New York was last week as compared with the price paid in Montreal ?

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LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I have not that price, but I would like to remind my hon. friend of this-he is in the business ?

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CON

April 17, 1914