No; it would be an iron bridge put up by the Dominion Bridge Company. We incorporated a company called the Interprovincial Bridge Company, and they applied for the usual bridge subsidy, which was voted-$150,000. This was deemed insufficient and an application was made for ia guarantee of bonds. The change of Government took place before the matter could be brought to a head. The condition in this case is not the ordinary condition. This is an interprovincial bridge; it would bring the Intercolonial railway into connection with two hundred miles of railway built with Dominion money which has not been fully utilized; it would bring us in touch with the port of Gaspe which is the finest port in North America notwithstanding what may be said by the representatives of Haifax or Sydney. Having Gaspe linked with Montreal, when your steamer from Europe reached Gaspe you could take a fast train and could land your mails in Detroit and Chicago about the time a fast steamer would reach Quebec; and those mails could be far into the western X^art of this country by the time the steamer reached Montreal. Besides, the construction of this bridge would open up a new part of Quebec to the agriculturists, the lumbermen and fishermen.
It is to such things, in my opinion, that we must look to the -solution of the high cost of living. The main cause of the high cost of living, everybody will admit, is that we have ceased to be a nation of producers and are fast becoming a nation of consumers. We have to-day in the island of Montreal 650,000 people. When I was a boy what is now the city of Westmount was an orchard. At the coteaux there- they grew the finest apples in the world, the Fameuse. When the late King Edward VII came to Canada he took such a liking to the Fameuse apple, that he gave -an order, which has stood ever since and which is still filled every year, that this apple should be furnished for the Royal tables at Windsor and other castles. Those orchards are disappearing from the island of Montreal. And the Montreal melon, which was second
to none on the continent, is also disappearing from the island of Montreal.
But the Decary melon is fast fading away. When I was a boy -the market gardeners around- Montreal were a sight to -see, with people coming in twice a week to the great Bonseeours market. But these have disappeared and the whole island of Montreal is being divided up into building lots. To help on the work, the Canadian Northern railway is coming in through the mountain to open up the northern portion of the island. To-day farms on the island of Montreal are sold at $200,000, $300,000, $400,000-whereas
twenty-five years ago you could buy a whole parish for -that money. With the disappearance of the gardens on the island of Montreal, we have to depend for our vegetables on the Ontario and American supply-largely American. Our .people have ceased to be producers and are all consumers. Other portions of the province of Quebec have not gone in for gardening. A movement was inaugurated last week by -the Gardeners Association of Montreal, to ask aid from the city in the way of facilities for the purpose of opening up Isle Jesu, immediately north of Montreal island in the county of Laval, and transform it into gardens to -supply Montreal -with what it needs. And what we see in the island of Montreal is taking place all through the province of Quebec. We have ten or fifteen counties in the province of Quebec whose population is 5,000, 10,000, 15,000
less than .before. Here at the very doors of the city of Ottawa, we have the county of Labelle, a new agricultural and colonization region where, thanks to the French-Canadian -settlers, you have 50,000 people. But immediately adjoining that you have the old historic county of Argenteuil, so well represented in this House by my hon. friend (Mr. Parley), the total population of that county being only 16,000. Is there any reason why this state of affairs should exist? We go the wrong way in the solution of our difficulties in my opinion, when we discuss as of tremendous importance, slight alterations in the tariff merely because those who are interested in the tariff come here and get up a lobby. But the mass of the people, the honest, hard-working farmers, the men who see .the sun rise and are often at work after it has set-such men are seldom seen about these lobbies, but they are the men who are entitled to
the protection, the fatherly .protection, of this House. I want this Government to live up to their so-called National Policy as it was intended Iby their great leader Sir John Macdonald. They are not very generous, our friends opposite. They will not believe that we have improved the National Policy to a great extent; they will not admit that the British preference has been a tremendous improvement, as also have been the changes we made since the British preference was introduced. They are not generous enough to admit that we have made improvements. Still they are satisfied with the National Policy as it was left by the Liberal party, for speakers on that side one after another have risen and told, us that this has been the banner year in the history of Canada so far as business is concerned. So much the better; I hope we shall have many other banner years,
I ask nothing but the progress and advancement of the country. The party that is in power is, after all, a secondary consideration; one party may hold the reins of power to-day and another to-morrow, but how best to meet the needs of the country districts and older parts of the province of Quebec-those which bore the burdens of the early days; those which have waited for generations for the assistance which they should have received but which they never did receive-that is the problem to the solution of which we should bend our energies and devote our time. I have indicated one of the ways of linking up Gaspe peninsula with the railway system of this country. The expenditure of $750,000 in the construction of a railway bridge which, being a part of the Intercolonial railway system, would remain the property of Canada, is one of the ways of bringing that about. The Minister of Public Works received the petition which was forwarded to Ottawa in this matter; he transferred it to His colleague from New Brunswick (Mr. Hazen); and his colleague from New Brunswick transferred it to the Minister of Railways and Canals, and that was the end of the effort made by the people in that regard. This is the letter written by the Minister of Public Works to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries:
Dec. 16, 1912.
My dear Mr. Hazen :
I enclose you herewith copy of a petition received from the town council of Campbellton, in the county of Restigouche, N.B., and also a copy of a petition received from the board of trade of the same town, memorializing the Government as to the importance and necessity 175
of a bridge across the Restigouche river at Campbellton on the one side, with the county of Bonaventure, in the province of Quebec, on the other ; such bridge to be a combined rail way and highway structure, and requesting the most careful consideration on the part of the Government of the same.
I might say that the two letters in question were accompanied by very numerously signed petitions from the residents of the district interested.
The Hon. J. D. Hazen,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries,
The letter of the Minister of Marine and
Fisheries was as follows:
December 17, 1912.
Dear Mr. Cochrane:
Hon. R. Rogers, Minister of Public Works, has sent me the enclosed letter, covering a petition received from the town council of Campbellton, in the county of Restigouche, also copy of a petition received from the board of trade of the same town, regarding the necessity of a bridge across the Restigouche river at Campbellton, etc. As the matter is apparently one for consideration by your department, I am transmitting the same to you.
J. D. Hazen.
Hon. F. Cochrane,
Minister of Railways,
The final letter was as follows:
December 19, 1912.
Dear Mr. Hazen:
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of December 17 enclosing petition re a combined traffic and railway bridge across the Restigouche at Campbellton. Rogers also sent me a copy, but we are not concerned as the Intercolonial does not cross the river at that point but at Matapedia further west.
Yours very truly,
The Hon. J. D. Hazen,
Minister of .Marine and Fisheries,
It is true that the Intercolonial railway crosses the Restigouche river at Matapedia, eighteen miles from Campbellton, but it crosses there for railway purposes only. At Matapedia on the south shore of the river there is a mountainous district where but little settlement is possible; at Matapedia much property is taken up by fishing clubs and used for railway purposes. Campbellton is an important centre, as it is on the line of coimmunica-tion with the New England states, the Maritime provinces, Quebec, and the West. Some years ago there was a bridge at Matapedia belonging to the Intercolonial railway. When the Sydney iron works began to haul their heavy material it was
found that this bridge, like others along the railway, was insufficient, and it was ordered that it be taken down and that a new massive iron bridge be erected. It took us seven years, with the assistance of my colleagues from the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, to bring about an understanding between three governments, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Quebec, and the Government of Canada, with a view to saving the old bridge across the Restigouche river at Matapedia and using it as a highway bridge. Finally, through the co-operation of the three Ministers of Railways, first the late Mr. Blair, then the hon. member for Westmorland (Mr. Emmerson), and later Mr. Fielding, during the time that he acted as Minister of Railways; through the co-operation of these gentlemen and of the Government of New Brunswick, through the Hon. John Morrisey, whose name I am glad to mention in this connection, the Hon. Mr. LaBillois, at the time he was Commissioner of Public Works; the present member for Restigouche (Mr. Reid) in this House, Mr. Kelly the member for Bona-venture in the local House, and the member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux), who then represented the county of Gaspe in this House; through our combined efforts we were finally successful- in saving the old condemned bridge to be used in crossing this river. Without this bridge the river had to be waded. It took seven 9 p.m. years, to do this, yet we wonder why people of the rural parts of the country are leaving the farms and going West; we wonder why they have not the pluck and energy and courage that their forefathers had. It is an easy matter for a farmer to go out to the western country, take up land and produce No. 1 Manitoba hard wheat when he has at his command various kinds of machinery which were not available to those who worked years ago in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. I presume the Minister of Railways merely acknowledged the receipt of the'memorials which he received, and, as he is not familiar with the conditions, I have no intention of criticising him in that regard.
Agriculture is, of course, next in importance to railways. Agriculture is a basic industry, but what is the use of agriculture unless you have transportation facilities? We have the water facilities which nature has given us, and of which we cannot be dispossessed, but agriculture is not receiv-
ing the encouragement in that district and in other parts of Quebec which I think it should receive. I -asked the Minister of Agriculture some days ago whether it was his intention to establish a new experimental farm at New Carlisle, and I am sorry that his only answer was that the matter is under consideration. When the Estimates were before the House, I called his attention to the peculiar advantages of that district for the production of butter and cheese. It is a hilly, mountainous country. The report of Mr. Chapais, the officer of the department entrusted with the work in eastern Quebec, declares that there is no finer region in the whole province of Quebec for the production of cheese and butter than the counties of Bonaventure and GaspA Would you believe it, we have not a single refrigerator car in the Gaspe peninsula. We never had. If you want to ship butter or cheese from any portion of the district you have to send it on an ordinary freight oar and that same oar is generally the property of the Intercolonial as the local railway has practically no freight oars; you have to send it one hundred or one hundred and fifty or two hundred miles to the Intercolonial, there to run its chance to be taken up by a refrigerator car on the Intercolonial railway. We have a few butter and cheese factories which eke out a miserable living. But it should be made a magnificent dairy country. It is a splendid country for raising cattle and for the production of butter and cheese. I have called on the Minister of Agriculture to give me some encouragement in that respect, and he has referred me to the Minister of Agriculture for the province of Quebec. I am willing to give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. This Government has voted $10,000,000 to aid agriculture, but $10,000,000 spread throughout the whole of Canada is a very infinitesmal amount. Quebec has received a certain portion of that vote, but the province of Quebec can do very little when we consider the immense area that it has to attend to. Quebec has at present a Liberal Administration. I am not here to say it is any the worse for that, because I think by common consent it will be admitted that the present Administration of Quebec has been progressive. Its financial standing is of the best, it has shown a satisfactory state of affairs financially and it has gone into the improvement of the highways, following in that the lead given by Ontario. There is to be a congress next week in Montreal at which the province of Quebec, the New England states and Ontario
are to be represented. The provinces at last are going in for what they should have gone in for many years ago, better highways in the rural parts of the country. That is one part of the problem which should be solved. I know our friends will tell us that at is the fault of the Senate that the Highways Bill was thrown out. Well the Senate will have to defend itself. I am not here to defend the Senate; I have not even the right to mention it; but I think the Government of the day should take a broader view of the s;tuation, should consider the interest of the farmer and not the interest of the party. If the Government of the day-and I do not wish to question their sincerity-were really anxious to help in the construction of highways in the , parts of the country where they are most needed, I think that another means could be found to improve the highways even before they obtain their ambition, if it is their ambition, of securng a majority in some other place. We weTe told at Confederation that the other Hovrse would never be partisan. It would be a court of appeal where there would be no partisans, a superior body not to be tainte 1 by any of the partisanship found in the House of Commons. But till the political complexion of the Senate changes, this Government is giving no assistance whatever towards the construction of these highways.
These highways are linked up with agriculture, they are linked up with railways. We have spent, I would not like to say offhand how many millions in this country for the construction of railways, and we are not through with their construction yet. We have guaranteed bonds for I do not ijnow how many millions, and we are not through with guaranteeing bonds. The railroads will be back again, they will come back again and again; as long as this House and public opinion in this country are willing to vote subsidies to railways they will come back and ask for subsidies. But a public opinion is being rapidly formed in this country. The Canadian public are now a reading public; there is a large independent population in every riding in Canada that is beginning to do its own thinking. The people are reading the newspapers; they see the returns day by day of what is going on. They see that Canada in the earlier days gave assistance to railways when railways were imperative, when without railways there would be no backbone to the country and practically no progress. But the time has now come when a halt should be called upon subsidies to railways, except those 175}
railways which are built in parts of the country where an ordinary railway company could not be expected to build, as, for instance, the Hudson Bay district. But the time for subsidizing the ordinary railway in the old settled parts of the country should he at an end. If I plead to-night for a subsidy for this railway bridge, I pleaded for it because I want this railway biidge to form a part of the Intercolonial system belonging to the country.
I think that the Government should rise to the occasion and find some means of helping in the construction of highways and not let us wait until the hand of death swoops down in another place to give a majority to one side or the other. The people want these highways. They want them opened particularly in the poorer parts of the country. In the old parts of Ontario much progress has been made, but in the northern and eastern parts of that province there is still much to be done, and in Quebec a great deal must be done! We have in the Gaspe peninsula, in Bona-venture and Gaspe, a highway skirting the sea shore. Fortunately the breezes from the ocean dry up this road after every storm and we have a passable road. We used to have in the old days a highway built by the military authorities of this country up through these counties, but it has been practically abandoned because it is not attended to. We also have the Matape-dia road following the Matapedia valley from Ste. Flavie to Cross Point opposite campbellton,. built by the old provinces of Canada and for some time maintained by Canada. It is now in such a condition that it is hardly passable, for the reason that there are parts of the road which pass through unorganized territory where there is no one to look after it. The province has no jurisdiction, and the Dominion seems to have washed its hands of the whole business of this same highway. 212 miles in length from St. Flavie on the St. Lawrence down to Cross Point, opposite Campbellton. It is now in such a state that at certain seasons of the year it is impassable. The hon. member for Rimouski has taken the matter up with the present Administration, as I did with the last Administration; and I hope he will toe successful in directing the attention of the Dominion authorities to a state of affairs which should not be allowed to exist. The Matapedia valley is probably the -section on the Intercolonial that has developed most in the last twenty years. When Sir Sand-ford Fleming used to walk up and down the Matapedia valley on his snow-
shoes trying to find a location for the Intercolonial there was the house of Dan. Fraser at Cross Point, a shanty or two farther back, and all the rest was a wilderness. Now there are twenty-five stations on the Intercolonial through the Matapedia valley and the railway is giving splendid service; it is being improved and has done a great deal to develop the industries all along the Matapedia valley, but the highways have been abandoned completely. There you have a highway partly through municipally organized territory, and partly through unorganized territory, a highway built by the old province of Canada and maintained by Canada for many years; but for want of proper supervision it has fallen into decay and these farmers have not even the ordinary facilities of reaching the market, either at Rimouski or atSte. Flavie or Campbellton.
Before we had this bridge at Matapedia if a farmer wanted to take his products over to Campbellton, he had to wait for low tide and wade across or take them over in a scow, as was done in the days of our grandfathers. These are some of the conditions that exist in the rural parts of Quebec, and which should be looked into by the Government. The time has come for us to help the farmer. We have done enough for railways, they are able to look after themselves. I think my hon. friend from South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) will agree that the Canadian Pacific railway has done remarkably well. To-day it is one of the greatest concerns in the world, and in that respect is a credit to Canada. We are all proud when ,we go abroad of having such a big concern in Canada, although if it keeps on growing I do not know to what proportions it will reach. And there are other concerns like it in the Dominion. The duty of the Government now is to help the common people, to get back to the country districts, and to let the manufacturing people look after themselves under the tariff which they now have. If that tariff needs a little attention now and then, it should not be modified for party purposes or to help combines, because they can help themselves. Let this Government become at last a Parliament of the people. It is a Parliament elected by the people for the purpose of looking after the wants of the people. Let the farmers have all the assistance and education that they need. In thousands of places, but for the existence of the small post office, the farmer would not even know of the existence of
the Dominion Government. He has no advantages and no facilities, and no help of any kind is given to him. Agriculture, like everything else, should be taught to the people. It is true we have an experimental farm at Ottawa, and if a man can afford to pay railway expenses to come here and see what is being done at the farm it is all right. But do you expect the ordinary poor farmer, who may have to work like a slave all the year round to amass three or four hundred dollars, to come up here to see what can be done with money? He would say if he saw the experimental farm at Ottawa: Yes, I could do the same thing if I had money. We should demonstrate that these things can be done by the ordinary farmer in his own district on a small scale; that such and such a soil is suitable for such and such a crop. We should have these demonstration farms instead of armouries. I am not in favour of armouries and I am glad to say that in the constituency I represent there is not a five-cent piece expended for military purposes. I made an attempt once to organize a rifle club in my constituency, but my people are mostly sportsmen, and they said: When we go shooting we do
not shoot at targets; we shoot at the moose, the lord of the forest.
They shoot the moose and catch the salmon. The Restigouehe salmon is well known, but the fishing on that river is leased by the most exclusive club in North America. Forty New York millionaires have fishing rights on the Res-tigouche. They have admitted three Canadians to the club: the late Lord Stfathcona, Sir Montagu Allan, and the late James Ross. These people come down there and fish splendidly. They spend their money freely; they employ guardians and overseers to protect the fish, with the assistance of the Marine Department; but the poor farmer has not a chance to catch a single salmon in that river. The river is leased just as they are in England and in the old countries of Europe.
There is no inducement to stay on the farm. A farm should be a pleasant place to live in and should be easy of access. There should be good country roads. We often speak of Bonaparte as the great mili-
tary conqueror, the great legislator, but to
my mind one of the greatest thing he ever did -was to give France those great state road.s which are the admiration of all who visit that country to-day, and are second not even to those built by Julius Ceasar. The beautiful roads we see in England, France and the old countries of Europe do not exist in this country. We have spent our money on railroads, but the time has come to spend it on highways, and to give assistance to agriculture. This Government will make a huge mistake if it stands on technicalities, if it says to the people: We were anxious to improve your roads, but the Senate interfered with our purpose; they amended our Bill, and consequently we cannot do anything for you in that matter.
I think that would be a very poor defence.
I will close by saying a word for the fishing industry in my constituency. Besides lumbering and farming we have the magnificent Baie des Ohaleurs, which is teeming with fish, but we have no facilities. According to the report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries which I have here, fewer men fished in the gulf of the St. Lawrence last year than ever before. Several reasons are given for that. If I refer to the subject it is because it is related to the cost oi living. If we wish to reduce the cost oi living in cities we must send the food to the people and food comes not only from the earth but from the sea. We have the sea practically at our doors, but the Baie des Chaleurs fish is hardly ever seen in the city of Montreal except in a salted down state. 1 have almost taken upon myself never to eat any fish except what I eat at the seashore, because I like to keep in mind the taste of that fish. If the people of the cities would acquire the habit of eating sait water fish an immense trade would be created at once. The trade would be beneficial not only to the locality which I represent but to the whole of Canada. The railroads and all parts of the country would benefit by it. Dr. Wakeham, inspector of fisheries, who has been at the head of the gulf fisheries for the last thirty years, calls attention to one or two things in his report. Outside of the mackerel caught at the Magdalen islands, cod and herring are the two chief fish caught in that district. Mr. Wake-ham calls attention to the fact that the whale industry which has arisen at Seven Islands has prevented the small capelin from coming into the gulf; and as the cod follow the capelin schools they did not come inshore and the cod fishing in the gulf of the St. Lawrence and the Baie des Chaleurs
where the whaling industry is carried on had to be abandoned in July and August. The whaling industry may be important but it is not so important as the fishing industry. And that is one of the questions that the Department of Marine and Fisheries should look into very carefully, because fish is an important food which shomd not be neglected or allowed to disappear.
Regarding the herring, an attempt was made by a former Minister of Marine and Fisheries to introduce the Scotch method of curing herring in Canada, and Mr. Cowie was brought over from Scotland with a staff to introduce proper methods of curing and packing herring so as to get it upon the market in good condition. The examples that were given were certainly very interesting, and, had the methods been followed out, a great improvement would have been made in the herring business. But, unfortunately, the fishermen did not benefit as they should have done, and the careless way in which the herring has been handled has been more or less destructive to the industry. Commander Wakeham calls attention to this again in these words:
Herrins were very abundant all through the season and on the coast from Cape de Rosier to Matane, where the cod fishery failed, the paclc of pickled herring was unusually heavy. Unfortunately this fish is so carelessly_ cured, that the returns to the fishermen from it were small. The market for this fish, which m out-case is Quebec, became glutted. The common soft wood barrels, with only a few wooden hoops, in which herring is packed, won't stand handling. They will not hold the pickle, so that much of the pack got rusty, and bad, and had actually to he thrown away. This is an old story in connection with our herring fishery.
I hope, that the present hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen), being a Maritime province man, will take particular interest in this matter and will have a system of inspection organized on somewhat the same lines as the system of fruit inspection carried out by the Department of Agriculture. Why could we not have an inspection of the packing of the fish so that any fish that leaves a particular locality for the domestic, American or European market will bear the certificate of the inspector that it has been properly put up in order that it may not bring discredit upon the Canadian fishing industry. If one barrel of herring, or any other kind of fish faultily packed, goes into the United States or into western Canada, it is sufficient to destroy the whole industry. Very important progress has been made
regarding fruit, and I think that a new inspection system should be organized with reference to fish. I think we should pay more attention to our fisheries than we have done in the past. We are neglecting these things, and I do not think we should do so.
I shall conclude these very disconnected remarks by summing up in a few words the position I have taken from the start. I am prepared to give the Government credit where credit is due. I am prepared to call attention to what I think are their faults and shortcomings. What is the position of their followers? I know that the system of party government we have here will induce many men to do many things. Many men will under any circumstances support the measures of the Government; there are some exceptions, but they are not numerous. Governments, like men, are mortal, and they make mistakes. A number of mistakes have been made already, but some of these mistakes might have been prevented. While this Government has the confidence of the Canadian people, which it has as long as it remains in office, it should be up to the requirements of the times, and it should be prepared to face the conditions by which we are confronted to-day-conditions which are serious by reason of the number of unemployed in our large cities, serious by reason of the number of farms which have been abandoned, and most serious of all because of the way in which the cost of living is affecting the industrial classes in the cities. I have it on the authority of people who take an interest in charitable work in the city of Montreal that during last winter many, many families never
had any meat at all except what was given them by charity. When we know that a workingman has to pay twenty or twenty-five cents for a pound of beef that he could get a few years ago for ten, or twelve, or eight cents, we must realize that the state of affairs is very serious. The cost of living has gone up almost beyond conception. Those who are poor and those who have to struggle for their daily living, those who have to bring up large families, are almost in despair. The condition is such that the Government should take radical measures to bring about a change foa* the better and any measure that can be taken for the purpose of bringing back a condition by which we shall have a nation of producers rather than a nation of consumers should meet with the
all events, in the reading I have gone through. I take the quantities as follows: Steak 4 lb., mutton 2 lb., fresh pork 2 lb., tea
1 lb., granulated sugar 6 lb., bacon 1 lb., eggs
2 doz., cheese 2 lb., butter 3 lb., potatoes 2 pks., flour 10 lb., bread 151b., milk 6 qts. Running those quantities through both tables, T find that the workman in Stratford, Ontario, would pay for the month of October, 1912, $5.71 a week; for the month of October, 1913, $5.71; and for the month of April, 1914, $5.82. Now, in London, for the same quantities on the basis of British prices the British workmen would pay $5.46. In other words, the British workman gets his living just a little cheaper-twenty-five or thirty cents, possibly forty cents a week less than the Canadian workman; but the Canadian workman earns from $4 to $12 per week more. That is the position of the workman in Great Britain with free food and free trade on the one side and the workman in Canada on the other side. So I fancy the Conservative party and hon. gentlemen on this side of the House will be quite willing, having regard to these facts, to let our friends on the other side of the House come along with their free food policy.
Mr. Speaker, one is almost in nubibus-in the clouds so to say-when in a House like this, after the Finance Minister has brought down his Budget and set forth the policy of the Government plainly and squarely, that Budget is debated two weeks in this House with an amendment promised by their financial critic, the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean) showing what the policy of hon. gentlemen opposite is; and not a word of it, not a sound yet as to that policy. What is the matter? Cannot they agree over there? Is the free trade wing of our hon. friends opposite getting the -best of them,and somebody else gone into sulk? What is their policy? Surely, in no other parliament in the civilized world can you find the state of affairs you see exhibited here. Our friends opposite claim to be ready to tear down this Government, and promised at the beginning of the debate an amendment setting forth their views; and yet, though their leaders are here and their speakers are up, they do not tell us what that policy is-at least, no two of them give it the same way. There is a complete mixture of opinion, as I should like to show. Yet, at the base, I believe, they convict themselves of being a protectionist party. The hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) has shown his colours, like the astute politician he is. He believes that it is right to take the people into his conf.Mr. Morphy.]
fidence, and he has done so. But his leader has not done so, and neither have many other gentlemen opposite. Let us see where these hon. gentlemen stand. In the first place, the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean), who is reported at page 2594 of ' Hansard,' said:
Therefore, I say that the proposition that the placing- of food-stuffs upon the free list necessarily means the adoption of free trade, is untenable and absurd.
I agree with that; I do not think it would be fair to say that that alone would be an adoption of free trade. He adds:
I do not propose pursuing my argument further upon this point.
So, that hon. gentleman is for free food. I do not know that, living where he does, he could very well come out as some of the western members do and say: I am opposed to protective duties. I am not sure that that would go very well in Halifax. I am sorry the hon. member is not in his seat. But perhaps some day he can explain just how he would be received among his constituents, if he favoured free food, free agricultural implements, and free wheat, and did not care whether there were protection at all or not. I can imagine that a number of people in Halifax would be calling upon the hon. gentleman to tell him where he got off at at the next election. He went on:
Economically our position upon this question is sound. I believe it is in the interest of both the producer and consumer.
Here is the same old thing-telling the producer that he can get better prices, and telling the workman that he can get his stuff for less. They tried to explain that in the reciprocity campaign, with the result that everybody knows. It is an impossible position, and bon. gentlemen opposite know that it is impossible. Apparently the hon. junior member for Halifax has forgotten the trimming his party got owing to their failure to explain that, and he goes back to reciprocity again. He is willing to expose the farmers of Canada to the competition of the world, while the farmers of Canada, on the other hand, stand largely for a policy of protection to their home market and protection to the industrial life of the country as well, which makes for the home market. The hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) is reported at page 2622 of 'Hansard' as saying:
How is it going to hurt the manufacturer if you give the farmer free wheat? How is it
going to hurt the manufacturer if you secure a free market in the United States for the farmer's oats, barley and flax?
The hon. member for Assiniboia is therefore a reciprocity free trader; he eliminates the idea of protection entirely, and in that way does not agree with many of those on the other side of the House. . He is a reciprocity free trader with the sectional tinge of the West. The hon. member for South Cape Breton (Mr. Carroll),- as reported at page 2648 of ' Hansard/ is also in favour of free agricultural implements, free food and free wheat. He is willing to open up everything to perfect freedom-[DOT] except that he raises his hands to heaven and says: For God's sake do not touch the duties on iron and steel products, because I live in South Cape Breton and we have very large interests there. He scolds about it, and will not listen to any proposal to take away this protection. I do not blame him; I think he is right. But he ought to be over here. His reason foT sitting on the other side of the House, I suppose, is perversity-pure cussedness, as the boy would explain it. He has no business over there, and any man who talks as he does has no business over there. He goes further than many hon. gentlemen opposite. I suppose his people will like that. What people? These big interests they talk about as having some influence over here. But I do not know how the farmers will like it. He says he is in favour of the most drastic kind of protection bounties. This free wheat, free implement, free trade advocate of the public right wants to shackle, the people of the eastern part of the province of Nova Scotia, not only with a tariff, but with drastic bounties. He says at page 2650 of ' Hansard
But what about the small manufacturers of nails, outside of the Dominion Steel Company and the company at Hamilton? The Minister of Finance holds a bludgeon over the Dominion Steel Company at Sydney and over the steel corporations of Ontario, and he says to them in effect: if you do not sell your wire rods to the small manufacturers of nails at a reasonable price, or at the price they were getting them at heretofore, we shall cut you out and remove the duty.
The Minister of Finance has said to these big interests: 'You have to be fair to the smaller manufacturers of this country-and, through them, to the people of this country -so that they can sell their wares at honest prices/ The hon. member for South Cape Breton complains because the Minister of Finance has had the nerve and the splendid courage to take that decided stand in
the interests of the people of this country. The hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux), with that candour_ of which I have already spoken, has stated his position very frankly. At page 2686 of ' Hansard ' he is reported as saying:
If we were to accept the traditions of good old England, we would accept the gage of battle; we would stand for free trade, because free trade has made England what it is to-day. But we live in America and we have to follow the traditions of the American continent. We cannot have free trade in this country. We are wedded to a system of moderate protection as long as we raise our revenue by way of indirect taxation.
The hon. gentleman says that he speaks only for himself; of course the hon. member for Westmorland spoke only for himself when he said that he was an out and out free trader-and these gentlemen a.e of the same party, and sit on the other side of the House. The hon. member for Rouville goes farther and says:
I am a moderate protectionist. I say that protection must exist in our country as long as we have to raise a revenue by way of indirect taxation. We cannot have free trade as they have it in England.
The right hon. leader of the Opposition went to the country on that policy; he said that we could have free trade as they have it in England. It its most delightful to observe what a happy family our friends on the other side are, and how well they agree. But when the matter goes to the country we will see what the voters think after they settle down seriously to consider the policy pronounoed by hon. gentlemen opposite, which I take to be free food, free agricultural implements, free wheat, and, according to the hon. member for Assiniboia, free oats, barley and flax, and any other little free things anybody in the West wants.
The cry of the hon. member for West Kent (Mr. MeCoig) is free corn and reciprocity. As far the hon. merobeT for Wright (Mr. Devlin), no living person can tell what are his views upon the fiscal policy of Canada. He has a policy all his own. He says that the Government ought to make agricultural colleges free, furnish the books free, give the farmers' sons free instruction; assist farm labourers to migrate from one part of Canada to another, keep the land of Canada for the Canadians, lend money to the farmers at 2 per cent, assist labourers to build cottages, &c. The hon. member for Wright is playing with his constituency ; he is under the barn himself as far as his views upon the fiscal policy of the country are concerned.
The hon. member for Huntingdon (Mr. COMMONS
Robb) spoke in this debate, and, as reported on page 2742 of ' Hansard/ he hits straight from the shoulder. One admires the honesty of the hon. member for Huntingdon; I say this in all seriousness. You can see the honesty beaming out of his language. He says:
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 at this season.
The hon. member for Huntingdon is willing to rob the Ontario farmer of his wheat market and turn it over to the Yankees of Ohio and Kansas. He is willing that Canadian wheat shall go into the western portions of the United States and that the Americans shall come into Ontario and take away the market of the farmers. I have not heard an Ontario farmer complain, they are not of the complaining kind. They are not worrying; they, in common with every other industry and occupation, have had their difficulties, but they have not been whining very much. The hon. member for Huntingdon, however, being a miller, has thought the matter over and sees a way of getting the best of the Ontario and Quebec farmers, Being a miller, he disregards his trade policy and he does not forget the idea, put forth by hon. gentlemen on this side of the House on his behalf, that we should make of Canada a great milling country- the flour bin of the world; - but the hon. gentleman would do it on Yankee wheat. I do not see how a manufacturer or miller can be so selfish as the hon. gentleman has been. It has been argued that the free entry of United States wheat into this country would ruin the Canadian millers; the hon. member for Huntingdon endeavours to prove that free wheat would be their salvation. Being a miller, he wants to see American wheat come into Canada to break the price of the Canadian farmer's wheat in Ontario, and Quebec. I myself can see a good deal of force in the argument that it would break the farmer's price at times if -the 150,000,000 bushels of wheat that the American people send out every year were lying alongside of the border in elevators ready to be -shoved into this market if the farmers of Ontario and Quebec were deprived of that protection to which they are so much entitled.
The hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Buchanan) is one of the fairest members of this House. He says:
In 1911 if the manufacturers of this country had had the right kind of spectacles on they
would have realized it was to their advantage to support reciprocity because it would have met the demands of the western farmer and have appeased him.
Made him be a good boy, made him pleasant and nice, so that he would not give sauce back.
Would have appeased him and manufacturers
would not have been very much injured if at all.
Now, that is a nice view. The hon. gentleman from Medicine Hat says in so many words that the manufacturers, the managers of industrial concerns, are incapable? and know not what they need; hut he fixes a policy in the twinkling of an eye, right here on the floor of the House, having thought it over for a long time. He says the manufacturers were fools that they did not take reciprocity. The hon..gentleman expressed himself a convert to mixed farming, and is therefore a western farmer free trader. He honestly expressed the view that the West is a section that ought to have one policy, although the whole of Canada had another. You see the calibre of the hon. gentleman from Medicine Hat in that remark; he is willing to have a policy for the West and let all the rest of Canada have one of their own. He said at page 2763:
I am candid enough to admit that, as long as there is a sentiment in this country that our industries cannot exist without a certain amount of protection, we should have a certain amount of protection.
The member for Medicine Hat is a protectionist sectional free trader.
In regard to the other members to the left of the Speaker, I have not been able to follow carefully all of their addresses, but I find as a general result of the investigation that we are drifting in Canada along the lines of sectionalism as the outcome of the localized desire of members of the House to speak on behalf of their own constituencies or on behalf of a section of this country. As a Canadian, I rather deride that attitude. I have no right to condemn any man, but I have the right to my own opinion and I feel that the Canadian federation was launched on the basis of a confederation of provinces and is deriving its revenue on the basis of indirect taxation. I can understand, as the hon. member for Westmorland (Mr. Em-merson) put it, and put it well, that that fact cannot be got away from. The hon. gentleman put it in this way at page 2777:
1 am an out-and-out free trader, and I wish circumstances permitted the adoption of free trade. I am to-day where I have always been. This Canadian Confederation was launched on the basis of indirect taxation; I quite understand that, and we have continued that policy. But if you could change the policy of indirect taxation and adopt a direct tax, then indeed you could have free trade. Speaking for myself, if a plan were proposed which would actually bring that about, I would hold up both hands for it.
The hon. member for Westmorland is a protectionist free trader. He would abolish the customs duty and place a direct tax upon land; but since he finds that impossible there is nothing for him to be but against the Government, and he is now in the same line, although in a different way, with the hon. member for Humboldt. The fiscal policy of both is largely that they are against the Government, except that the hon. member for Westmorland would take another dig at the farmers of this country, and place all the taxation to raise the revenue of the country, upon land, in which case the farmer would be the heaviest taxpayer and the millionaire would escape, the duty would be taken off all his luxuries. The farmer who cannot get away out of the country with his land would come under the benign sway and influence of direct taxation, according to the hon. member for Westmorland, who professes to be such a great friend of the poor, downtrodden farmer.
I have never before had the opportunity to listen to so many men speaking on one subject as in the last two weeks; but I must say it looks like an 'opposition unorganized, without a leader, everybody getting up and opening his mouth and letting it say just what it pleases. There is no method, there is no unanimity, there is no logical basis, there is nothing. The hon. gentlemen talk about their policy, but they hold it back, they are frightened to bring before the Canadian people the amendment which they promised, leaving it over in the hope that something may develop before the debate closes, when they can get down, choke off the western fellow who wants free trade and all get into one happy family with the doctrine of protection covered with the doctrine of free food for the workingman, free trade in wheat for the western man, coupled with free oats,
free barley, free flax, and free everything that they think will bring them in a vote here and there. That is their policy, and it does not seem to be up to the standard of the once great Liberal party.
A great deal has been said about western Canada. Arguments have been put forward that to my mind are seriously to be deplored. The trend of these arguments is towards disintegration, disunion. The general feeling of the Ontario members of the House on both sides is, I believe, that we are sharers, and proud of being so, in the great heritage of the western provinces.
It is as much ours in a sense to be proud of, as it is theirs who occupy the land.
It is a land fertile, a splendid prairie section where splendid grains are grown, settled with a splendid people who are above the standard of the men who represent them in this House as far as wailing is concerned. You ask the average man in the western provinces how he is getting on and he will say he is doing fine, that it is the best country in the world. He will admit that they have had a little set back in real estate and that things are dull just now, but if you ask him if he would care to come to eastern Canada, he would say: Never, you are not in it, the West is the ' place for me. The people of the West are full of optimism, and it is a fine spirit, a national spirit, a building-up spirit. But what different language do we get in. the House from those representing those people, one continual whine the whole session; and I suppose that will continue as long as life lasts unless the parliamentary opinions of the people of the West change.
A member listening to the debate must wonder whether or not there is justification for what members from any part of the Dominion say with regard to their province.
I had been taught to believe that the western provinces were practically the great wheat growing country of the world. Let us see what are the great wheat producing countries of the world, because I think every one should be conversant with the facts. They are: Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Russia-in-Europe, Russia-in-Asia, Canada, the United States. India and Argentina. Here are the figures of wheat production for 1912 and 1913:
Russia-in-Europe (a) Russia-in-Asia (b) Canada United States
That shows exactly where Canada stands in relation to the wheat-producing countries of the world. In face of those figures I do not know whether the time has come when we should boast of our wheat production, and I do not believe that it is worth while spending so much of the country's money running down present conditions just for the sake of wheat. I .look forward to the time when, in addition to a greater quantity being raised in our splendid western provinces, there will be an improvement in the quality; because I find, much to my surprise and mortification, that Canadian wheat is not the high priced article in European markets that I thought it was. I had thought that the western wheat was a splendid cereal that beat them all. Some western members look in wonder that I dare make such a statement; but I have here the prices of colonial and foreign produce in British markets for 1913 and
Canadian No. 1 $1.05i to ?1.06g
American Spring No. 1.. 1.06 to 1.078Australian
1.10J to l.llgWhite Bombay
1.14 to 1.145White Calcutta
1.13J to 1.14White Karachi
1.11J to l.llgRed Karachi
1.101 to 1.111Argentina
1.081 to 1.101
I do not wish to weary the House by giving all the figures. The point I wish to make is that we have been led to believe that western wheat was king in t'he markets of the world; but I find that we have a great deal to do in improving the quality of our production before we can be considered in the same class as a lot of the nations that are competing in the markets of the world. I Tegret to say that, but it is well to know exactly where we stand.
I wish to say a word or two about the imports of wheat into the United Kingdom. It imports 200,000,000 bushels yearly. How much do we send? Canada sent just one-fifth. The United Kingdom takes one-fifth from Canada, one-fifth from British India, one-tenth from Australia, one-fifth from the United States and one-seventh from the Argentine republic. Notwithstanding the low price of Canadian wheat we send in relation to other countries just about the same quantity, probably a little more than some countries in relation to area. It is not well to boast about what we can do as a country until we can do a little better in the markets of the world. Our market is undeniably there. According to the theory of the hon. member for Huntingdon (Mr. liob.b) every pound of Yankee wheat that goes into the Ontario miller's hands shoves a bushel of Ontario wheat to the British market. That is a displeasing fact no matter which way you take it. So long as Liverpool and London rule the wheat markets of the world just so long we shall 'have to look to our laurels; and before boasting too much we should improve the quality of our wheat. We need to roll up our sleeves and go to work, realizing that after all the government of any country can only do so much, and that everything depends upon the industry of the people. Let me give an illustration in regard to industrial life in my own county. In the county I have the honour to represent we have a large industrial community engaged in various industries'. Thousands of workmen are employed in the Grand Trunk shops and train services and hundreds of workmen in the furniture and chair factories. There is a large piano factory and a large
Mr. Speaker, I have listened very attentively to what the honourable member for North Perth (Mr. Morphy) has said, and what I have found to be the most amusing part of his remarks is the quotation which he made of speeches delivered in this House by certain members of the opposition, namely .by the hon. member for South Cape Breton (Mr. Carroll) and by the hon. member for Westmorland (Mr. Emmerson). He seemed to amuse himself with pointing out to you, Mr. Speaker, that we on this side of the House, were divided, the hon. member for South Cape Breton being in favour of a revenue tariff and the hon. member for Westmorland being an irrepressible free trader. He also alluded to my hon. friend from West Kent (Mr. McCoig). He quoted those three gentlemen as an instance of the would-be differences of opinion existing on the opposition side with respect to the tariff.
But, Mr. Speaker, I can only regret that the hon. member did not think it proper to scrutinize the views of the ministers now in power. He would have found that, during the campaign of 1911, there were great differences of opinion between those gentlemen. Does he know, for instance, that the Postmaster General (Mr. Pelletier) was against the present Prime Minister on
the question of the naval contribution? Does he know, also, that the Minister of Inland Revenue was opposed to that policy of his leader, and that the Secretary of State (Mr. Coderre) who travelled all over the province of Quebec during the summer of 1910 with several Nationalist members, had denounced not only the naval policy of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, but the very policy of his own leader, which, he said, was even more nefarious than Sir Wilfrid Laurier's? The hon. member, living in a glass house as he does, should not fling stones at his neighbour.
Mr. Speaker, I shall take advantage of the budget speech of the Minister of Finance for 1914-1915, to make a few remarks on certain changes effected in the tariff, especially as regards three kinds of agricultural implements: the mower, the binder and the harvester. The minister has announced a rebate of 5 per cent on those machines. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if this rebate does enable our Canadian manufacturers to successfully compete against the foreign manufacturers. If so, why then did the minister not make a total reduction of the taxes on rakes, drills, harrows, ploughs, hay loaders, etc., all of which are bought by numbers, especially by the farmers of the province of Quebec? Wherefore I have no hesitation in saying that this small rebate of 5 per cent on the three articles which I have mentioned will satisfy nobody, bcause it is only partial, whereas it should apply to all articles wanted by the farmers. Why then has the rebate not been general rather than limited to such a email number of articles?
If our Canadian manufacturers are able to face foreign competition as far as those machines are concerned-and it is an established fact to-day that they are-then I fail to see why they could not victoriously undergo the same reduction in the tariff as regards the articles wanted by the farmers.
Let me state, Mr. Speaker, that far from being satisfied, the farmers of Canada shall persist in asking that the duties on such articles be completely removed, for the very simple reason that our Canadian manufacturers -do face foreign competition to advantage in all the countries of the world. Why then should we, the farmers of Canada, be called upon to pay more for our implements than do the farmers of the European countries who buy those same machines from our Canadian manufacturers? Less freight is charged on machines used in our country than if they Wc.i shipped to
European countries, such as France, Russia, or Germany, and moreover, they are free of the import duty which is levied on the same kind of machines by those countries and by some others, and yet, irrespective of this, we pay from twenty to twenty-five per cent more than the European countries do.
I say, Sir, that if such treatment is meted out to us by our manufacturers, it is due to the protective system we have in' this country, it is due to the barrier created by the imposition of a 20 per cent or 25 per cent duty in order to prevent foreign competition. I say that this barrier must be pulled down some day or other, because our manufacturers have enjoyed a protective tariff for thirty-six years at least, and it is fully time that the mass of the people should have their own turn, let this be said with all due deference to SenaJtor Melvin-Jones, the president of the Massey-Harris Company.
Who are those who should have supported the reciprocity treaty in 1911? The manufacturers of farming implements especially, in my opinion, because they had enjoyed for thirty-six years a protective tariff, a tariff which enabled them to make millions out of the goods which fetched them all that money from the farmers of this country. When the Liberal Government, in 1911, asked the House of Commons to ratify a reciprocity treaty which they had negotiated with the United States with respect to the exchange of our natural products, who were they who struggled against us in order to prevent the adoption of that treaty? They were the manufacturers of this country, and more especially the manufacturers of farming implements, and they subscribed large amounts so as to ensure the defeat of the candidates who were in favour of that treaty. During the campaign of 1911 our opponents cried out on all the hustings: " If you vote in favour of that reciprocity treaty with the Americans, our markets will be submerged with all kinds of American products and we shall be able to sell our own products but dirt cheap." They talked to us of our cattle as an instance. But is it not a fact, Sir, that just after the barrier concerning our cattle was pulled down in 1913, it took us but four months to export to the United States 162,491 head of cattle, whereas during the same period of the preceding year, we had exported but 20,101, which makes a difference of 142,390 head more? Is it not also a fact that we have imported a great deal of hay since the tariff was re-
duced Dy one half, that is from $4 which it was in September, to 32 in October? And the same remark applies to several other lines of products on which the duties have been removed or a rebate of one half has been made.
The honourable Minister of Finance has declared a surplus of thirty-six millions and a half over and above the ordinary expenditure, and while presenting this side of the case he seemed to be fully satisfied. But, I would like to examine the other side for a few minutes. The honourable Minister told us that our public debt was less to-day that is on the 31st of March, 1914, than it was when he came to power on the 21st of September, 1911. This is what we are going to examine together, Sir, and just a few moments will suffice. Let us first go back to the early days of the present regime and take the fiscal year 19101911. During the session of 1910-1911 under the Liberal Administration only five-twelfths of the estimates were voted for the then current year, so that the expenditure was a good deal less than it would have been had we voted all the money called for in the estimates, and therefore the late Government was precluded from beginning a great number of public works in the whole country. It follows that the expenditure was less than it should have been if the whole list of estimates for 1910-1911 had been voted. As I said a moment ago, during the session of 1911-1912, the first session after the hon. gentlemen had come to power, the balance of our estimates was voted and few estimates appeared on the list of supplementary estimates for that session, and so we expended for public works of all kinds, during those two years, what would have been expended in just one year, had the estimates for 1910-1911 been all voted that same year. This has enabled the Minister of Finance to declare, in his budget speech for last year, a surplus of thirty-six millions and a half over and above the ordinary expenditure, and to finish the year with a surplus over all expenditure whether ordinary or extraordinary. But, unfortunately for the people of this country, the honourable gentlemen have inaugurated their administration but last year, and the new Government asked us then to vote them $250,000,000, thus setting aside such prudence as had been shown by the late Minister of Finance when he limited as much as possible the expenditure called for by the Administration of the country.
Times have changed to a great extent,
Sir! In 1910-1911, the ordinary expenditure was eighty-seven millions. This year it is 126 millions and a half, which means a difference of thirty-nine millions more for the administration of the country.
Let us now take the subject of that expenditure. The militia will cost $10,938,905, and under the liberal rule it did cost but $6,658,300 for the year 1910-1911.
In 1913-1914, the expenditure on public works was $32,033,751. In 1910, we, Liberals, have spent but $10,000,000, which means twenty-two millions less. I do not hesitate in saying, Sir, that several of those millions are spent to no purpose. Let us take, for instance, the building of arsenals throughout the country. Millions are spent uselessly on those constructions which bring no revenue to the country, and far from it, they are even a source of expense, because there must be a keeper for each building, and all the buildings must be heated, lighted and cleaned, which requires soap, brushes and brooms; moreover, repairing of all description must be provided for, and this with n$ return to be expected for the country. Is' it not a fact, Sir, that it will cost the Government ten times more to repair their buildings than it would cost a private individual to repair his own, and that the difference is intended for friends of the party in power?
Referring to the surplus of thirty-six millions and a half as represented by the Minister of Finance and to the public debt which the minister said was less to-day than it was in 1911 and left the present Government in a very satisfactory condition in this respect, I may say this: On the 21st of September, 1911, the net debt was $318,593,924.15, and the total debt $472,141,823.88. On the 31st of March, 1914, the net debt was $315,019,288.75. On the same date the total debt had gone up to $530,687,885.62, which means that our public debt was increased by $52,546,061.74 in two years' administration.
The interest on the public debt for the year 1913-1914 has cost us the fair sum of $13,179,913.01. For the current year the interest shall run up to $14,917,926.33, whereas for the year ending in 1911, the total interest paid on the debt was but $12,535,850.81, which makes a difference of $2,382,075.52 less under the Liberal rule.
Now, Sir, the minister may say that we have made investments, such as our loan to the Canadian Northern. Those investments are positively of no benefit to the country, and I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance is aware of the fact, for the
Canadian Northern got some help from this Government last year to the amount of fifteen million dollars, and rumour now has it that this company is trying to get another forty or fifty million this year. Should this be granted, that railway shall have got from the provinces and from the Government of Canada an aggregate amount of more than two hundred and fifty million dollars in the shape or form of subsidies and help. We have reason to 'believe that, in spite of this, the company will, from year to year, come and ask millions from the Government. Therefore, Sir, you will agree with me that those investments are hardly an advantage to the country. Here is how I consider such investments: Let us take a farmer who has a nice "farm clear of debt, that is, a man who does not owe a cent, while his neighbours owe more than their farms are worth. That man borrows five thousand dollars, he mortgages his farm for that much and distributes the sum right and left to his neighbours, who are already indebted to the extent of being unable to face their own obligations. Several of those who have received the funds will never pay them back. However, he calculates these loans as part of his assets; but, Sir, he shall always be bound to pay the interest due on the debt which he lias contracted, and as for those who have borrowed from him; if they come to fail, the assets which he had in the form of loans will vanish away and he will remain burdened with his debt. Such is the case of the present Minister of Finance. Several loans forming his pretended assets will never be refunded to him, and the country will have to pay the interest on his total debt and to pay that same debt some time or othei I have read in the ministerial newspapers the report of an interview given by the hon. member for Argenteuil (Mr. Perley) to the journalists when he visited the Eastern Townships. The hon. minister without portfolio declares that the French Canadians feel enthusiastic and that they approve the Borden contribution owing to the explanations which he gave them off-hand. He concludes that this contribution to the British navy had not been understood previous to his visit during which he was accompanied by the hon. Secretary of State (Mr. Coderre) who, in 1911, had nevertheless preached quite a different doctrine in the county of Hochelaga and in the province of Quebec generally. One must add the name of the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Sevigny) who was no less
severe towards his leader, Mr. Borden, during the summer of 1910 and the election of 1911 than he was towards his opponents.
I presume, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. ministers have told the electors of the Eastern Townships that, during the year 1913-1914, this Government got the House to vote $2,610,000 for the naval service, and for the current year, $2,410,000.
During the campaign of 1911, we, Liberals, were attacked by the~ candidates of the opposition on the ground that the Liberal Government had bought the Niobe and the Rainbow, and that those ships, as they said, were only good to be thrown aside and sold as scrap iron.
Has the. Government respected the pledge taken at the time by his candidates before the electors? No, Sir, this Government keeps the Niobe in the harbour of Halifax and the Rainbow in British Columbia, with crews on board, crews paid by this same Government who, moreover, maintains the naval school of Halifax at which his- friends are admitted as students, and the country spends about three million dollars to continue the naval policy of Sir Wilfrid Laurier through those who have denounced it on all the hustings of the country. At the beginning of the present session* the hon. member for Montmagny (Mr. Lesperance) introduced a bill to repeal the naval law of the Laurier cabinet. I thought the honourable member was sincere when he introduced that bill; but, I must confess, Mr. Speaker, that I do not believe in his sincerity any more.
That hon. gentleman has left for Europe, his Bill will not be considered at this session and I do not think it will come up in the near luture, judging from the stand taken by the hon. member for Montmagny. I for one, Mr. Speaker, would have been glad if that Bill had come up for its second reading, as that would have afforded me an opportunity to express my views concerning the Act of 1910.
This Government was unwilling to carry out the Laurier Navy Act. The right hon. Prime Minister, with a few of his colleagues proceeded to England during the recess of 1911-12 to confer with the British Admiralty and the Home Government, in order to know what this Government should do for the defence of Canada and for the defence of
It just amounts to this, Mr. Speaker, that
the Admiralty and Government of the mother country have modified their views, and I may add that, as far as I can see, they do not seem to know what they want. Apparently these gentlemen are at liberty to change their minds and to be one day in favour of a local navy and the day following in favour of the building of dreadnoughts.
If the British Admiralty and Government are at liberty to alter their views as regards the action which Canada should take, I trust, Mr. Speaker, that it will be allowable for your most humble servant who is now addressing you, to say what he thinks of that change of front and to make known his views as to the nature of our future intercourse with the mother country in connection with naval defence.
In 1909, I agreed to the resolution of March 29, and in 1910, I voted for the Bill known as the Laurier Naval Bill. But this Government has not deemed it proper to carry out the policy approved in 1910, and, on the contrary, has launched a new policy in 1913, that is to say, a proposal to grant three dreadnoughts to Great Britain. That policy is even worse than the preceding as stated by our Nationalist friends during the elections of 1911, though they have in the meantime become out and out ministerialists in this House. Then we are bound to take into account the present state of things in Europe, a state of things which is constantly improving, all danger of warfare disappearing. Mr. Speaker, I have never been of a warlike disposition, far from it. The British Empire is secure as yet, in spite of the forebodings of the right hon. Prime Minister in his speech of December 5, 1912, When submitting to the House his contribution policy. Conditions are quite different from wihait they were in 1909-10 and 1911-12; there is no longer any justification either for the establishment of a navy or tire granting of a contribution, and it would seem from all we have seen of the doings of the Admiralty that we should henceforth frame our policy in accordance with the sole requirements of Canada. In view of all the above stated facts, I say that we should under the shortest possible delay start the building of the Georgian Bay canal, a departure which would surely be of much greater benefit to the farmers of this country and to Canada's commercial metropolis than the construction of dreadnoughts and the maintenance of a war navy.
Had it not been for the interference of the Senate, the country would be just now 176
pledged to an expenditure of fifty or sixty million dollars for the building of those three dreadnoughts in Great Britain during the three years following the passing of the Bill; that is to say that for the current year we would have been called upon to insert in the estimates $15,000,000 or $20,000,000 for that purpose.
So I say, Mr. Speaker, that the people of this country would much prefer seeing the Government provide $10,000,000 in this year's estimates towards starting, by next spring, the work on the Georgian Bay canal.
A few moments ago, Mr. Speaker, ^1 referred to the tour which some of the ministers had made through the Eastern Townships. I read in the papers an account of their speeches, especially in regard to the Borden contribution. The hon. member for Argenteuil (Mr. Perley) found that the contribution proposal was very popular in French Canadian centres. I may suggest to the hon. gentlemen to pay a visit to my constituents in Laprairie and Napierville during the coming recess of Parliament. I would also like his colleague the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) to accompany him, so 'that we might discuss the bargain he made with the country, whereby after spending fifteen years on the Bench, he became entitled to a pension for the remainder of his life.
The country is mute, but I represent in this House a fraction of its population equal %2i>
and on that ground I may be entitled to take exception to that enactment and to move for its amendment.
The hon. member for Argenteuil, while in the Eastern Townships, also referred to the Highways Bill. Through this Bill the Dominion Government appropriated an amount of $10,000,000 for ten years to come, which means an average of one million dollars per annum for the next ten years, towards improving highways throughout the country. If, in that Bill, the minister had inserted a provision whereby that amount would have been distributed on the basis of population, which would have meant for the province of Quebec a yearly grant of $270,000, that would have been fair.
Are you aware, Mr. Speaker, that there are in the province of Quebec, 1,048 municipalities, and that just now over 400 municipalities are benefited by the Act passed a good many years ago by the Liberal administration of Sir Lomer Gouin? .
I estimate that there is on an average twenty miles of roads in every municipality, an estimate which is very conserva-
tive indeed, considering that in my own constituency some municipalites have as much as 43 miles of roads to make. That will give a total of 20,960 miles of roads to look after in the province of Quebec. I estimate the average cost of such roads at $7,000. Now, 20,960 miles multiplied by $7,000 gives the startling total amount of $146,720,000.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to figure out with you how many years it would take the Government to get through with that work in the province of Quebec. With $279,000 to spend per annum, at the rate of $7,000 per mile, we will be in a position to improve slightly over thirty-nine miles per annum, let us say forty miles per annum in round figures. Let us see how long it would take to go over the 20,960 miles I have just referred to. Since it takes $278,000 to build 40 miles of road, by dividing 20,960 miles by 40 we have the number of years it will take to complete the undertaking, and that is 524 years.
Please note, Mr. Speaker, that I have not taken into account the cost of the machinery required for the building of such roads in the various provinces. Such a plant, complete, costs $6,500, and such an outlay would reduce materially the amount available for road-building in the province of Quebec. Plants would be required from year to year and the $278,000 appropriation would be cut down by so much. I expect that the hon. gentleman I referred to a moment ago would thus address the electors of the Eastern Townships: We had resolved to hand over to you $10,000,000 towards furthering the improvement of your roads which are in a deplorable sta'te, and if the Senate had not amended that Bill, you would have had as good roads here as they have elsewhere. That is the unvarying statement of these gentlemen wherever they go.
Mr. Speaker, I did not have much faith in the Government's sincerity when they put through that Bill for the improvement of highways. It was rather in the nature of a vote catcher in election time, and we had a good example of it when a bye election took place in South Renfrew during the session of 1911-1912. Even previous to the Bill being introduced into Parliament, some politicians were pressing the voters in Renfrew to support the Government candidate as a means of securing a large'appropriation towards the macadamizing of their roads. I think that was the only object they had in view, since the Government rejected the amendment made
by the Senate, an amendment which purely and simply required that the clause providing that the funds should be left wholly at the disposal of the minister to be spent at his own sweet will be struck out and replaced by the words 'on the basis of population ' in the various provinces.
I think that the best means of assisting the farming class in the improvement of the highways would be to increase the subsidies to the provinces. I should say, in passing, Mr. Speaker, that the Quebec provincial act is most satisfactory in its working and all are entitled to take advantage of it, whether the constituency be represented by a Liberal or by a Conservative, whether the parish be Grit or Tory. In a word the Act is for the benefit of all.
Mr. Speaker, to show that I have good reason not to rely on the good faith of the Government in the matter of the improvement of highways. I shall refer to that part of King Edward avenue which traverses Laprairie. The former Liberal Government spent $38,000 on the lower part, called the Laprairie domain, covering a length of 8,000 feet. This Government, which has been in power since September 21, 1911, has not as yet done anything to emerge from that quagmire. The carrying out of that work is urged, not only by the Laprairie and Napierville farmers, but by the whole city of Montreal and also by the automobile clubs of Montreal as well as of the United States. However, as yet the Government has not done anything, and please observe that this stretch of road is only 8,000 feet in length. I stated a moment ago that 524 years, to say the least, would be required to build up the roads in the province of Quebec out of that $278,000 per annum; but if I was to base my estimate on the time it is going to take to complete those 8,000 feet of the Laprairie road, 5,000 years would be nearer the mark. Possibly that stretch of road at Laprairie is left in abeyance to be taken up again in the course of the next electoral campaign.
Besides, how could two Governments carry on simultaneously the improvement of roads within the same county or the same municipality, one stretch of which would be worked by the municipality by means of the 2 per cent loan of the Provincial Government, while another stretch would be under the supervision of the Dominion Government? That would not be practicable, and I am satisfied the Government will not bring back that Bill as framed in the first instance, but, will provide a further grant so as to put the pro-
vinces in a better position to improve their roads as rapidly as possible.
I was referring a moment ago to King Edward avenue. The hon. Minister of Public Works is aware that the said avenue passes through my constituency, as I conferred with him on the subject last year, and he gave me to understand that those 8,000 feet of road, that is about a mile and a quarter, would be built in the course of the summer of 1913. However, nothing as yet has been done. That road was at the time, and is still at the present time, in a deplorable state. The hon. Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Nantel) has some experience of it himself since, one evening, returning from the county of Chateauguay, where he had been to canvass electors on behalf of the Government candidate, he came very near being obliged to spend the night in a mudhole, as the automobile in which he was driving got stuck and could not proceed any farther.
To my mind, the best way of assisting the provinces in the matter of road improvement, is not through the Dominion Government stepping in and doing the work themselves, but simply making grants to the provinces, or extending bonuses to municipalities which are carrying on improvements. Such an Act would be of benefit to all, all municipalities would equally be in a position to take advantage of it, provided they improved their roads. Make the bonus $25 or $50 or $100 as you please, for every mile improved. Such an enactment would be fair to all, nobody would be singled out for special favours. Any municipality effecting such improvements, would be entitled to get the grant provided by the Act. I think such a procedure would be a good deal more satisfactory than that laid down by the Government in its Bill of last session.
In concluding, I wish to draw the attention of the Minister of Public Works-I do not know whether he understands French -to the work on the embankment at La-prairie. When the estimates of his department are brought down, I shall take occasion to confer with him at greater length on the matter. In the meantime, I would like to urge on him the necessity of getting the contractors who signed the papers a few days ago, according to the answer given yesterday to a question put by me, to push the work to completion as expeditiously as possible, so that the farmers of Lap.airie 176i
and Napierville may take advantage of them. I think that the road might be completed within two or three months, and then not only farmers, but the automobile clubs of Montreal and elsewhere would be in a position to use it.
Mr. Speaker, I shall not tax your patience any longer; I have kept the floor a good deal longer than it was at the outset my intention to do, and in resuming my seat,
I must thank the House for the courteous hearing hon. gentlemen have extended to me.
Mr. Speaker, it is with some degree of nervousness that I rise to address the House for the first time; but I will not detain it very long. As a novice, it would be very hard for me, at this stage of the debate, to make a speech without rehashing what has been said by previous speakers. I am proud to represent a constituency which has remained true to the Conservative party since 1867. I am also proud to predict that the same constituency will remain true to the Conservative party for as long again.
I am also proud to say further that this constituency has been honoured by being represented in this House by the late Sir John Macdonald and also by the present Prime Minister of Canada. References have been made here to the hon. member for Carleton. I sometimes felt embarrassed when I heard those references made, but I am proud to say that they did not Tefer to the member for Carleton, Ontario. I am sorry the hon. member for Carleton, N.B. (Mr. Carvell), is not in his seat, because 1 would like to tell him of a little incident which happened to me, and which perhaps might be beneficial to him. A short time ago I was introduced to a constant frequenter of the gallery as the hon. member for Carleton. ' Oh-', he said, ' you are the member for Carleton1, who rises in your seat every few minutes and says a whole lot that does not mean anything.'
' No,' said I, ' I am not the member for Carleton to whom you refer. He is the member for Carleton, N.B., and is known in this House by the Conservative party as the jumping jack politician of Canada.'
I must congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance on his businesslike Budget speech. I must also congratulate the Government on having every man in the Treasury benches fulfilling his duties in a businesslike manner. I am proud to he a Conserva-